Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Making a guild fun

I have started to develope ideas in attempts to pay it forward for future guild growth and success.  Though success is not defined specifically under its precept, I guess I just look forward to a group of peeps that can field enough people online at the same time to field some group events.

To that end, I am planning events w/ gold reward for winners and participants.  The first is a level ONE toon race.  To help limit cheating, and create a fair race, developing rules to make it harder to cheat than to just participate has been a challenge. 
The race details will be given 3 minutes before start time. 
Everyone will be of the same race, TBA
Everyone will have to be grouped with other racers
The Names of the toons will have specific ALT characters, TBA
The begining race route is TBA
Any more ideas? or pitfalls to look out for?

This would prevent use of speed potions, or minor speed to boots mailed to the toons. (not sure there is any way I can prevent trades in route, just the others watching and inspecting others...
Or grouping with a hunter for AoP or friend to ride a mount.

Other ideas for future events...
-scavenger hunt
-goblin leveling race (they are instanced)
-gurubashi or dire maul arena gladiator event.

The ideas going through my head are to get players satisfied with a get it now type of reward, rather than have to level.  also to get people logging on to check the calendar and play the toons from time to time.  Also to make some social function w/in the guild.  If anything the guild is somewhat anti-social...  I like that to a point, but at some point if a guild does not do something together, it will fall apart.

any thoughts?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Why people cant raid

I have found out the real problem.. by chance...

My wife is in a category all her own when it comes to casual player... but as she was playing with me, she said her hands hurt... from being on the mouse and keyboard... it must be so many more peoples problems... they need more conditioning.. the finger muscles must do more nose picking or something to get in shape for the epic trials of 2+ hours of raiding...

Now you know the real problem and the rest of the story...

Commitment to...

Commitment... it's almost a rare thing at any significant level.

AH players...  Guild members.... Raiders... PVP teams... Gamers in general... 

If you play long enough you find precious little in the way of commitment.  If you can stay commited, to anything in the game for any length of time you are a rare gem.  I know, of late I personnaly have not stayed commited to much...

Things I have moved away from:
-My main:  the guild I was a part of was racked through the coals and crumbled when the GM just quit...  That lead to about a 2 month break from raiding.
-Raiding: See above.  There is an endless chase for things people want and can have, but dont really want to work for in the game.  Joining that circle can be pretty draining when your not enjoying it.
-PVP:  It was just not fun for me, just the raiding grind all over again
-Hunter Alt: got tired of leveling him, now he is the enchanter banking toon... I will be back
-Druid Alt:  Was originally part of a bigger plan in the orriginal guild mentioned above..  I will be back
-Warlock Alt: got sidetracked with another Alt, I will be back
-DMC business:  The profits were huge, the time invested was too.  It was early in the expansion so it was good, but the time to make items did not change and really the percent profits did not either, but the bottom line did as mats fell in price... it can be a rough nich market, I made a gamble and was only able to almost recover my investment.  So, I ducked out to play at something different, or many other things.

How does this apply to gold makers and guilds.   There are many who are loyal to guilds and the efforts they persue as a group, however, there are many instances where in almost all guild a gap is created in the group due to a new baby, graduation, summer/winter breaks, new job, new shedule, special events etc.  New players join the fray and often guilds are a revolving door to them, roll in gear up and learn with the patient and kind players, then move on to the next best thing.  The same events create new markets all the time in the AH too.  Slow and steady and diversified....  There is no secret to making gold on the AH, there are tricks and little know ways to improve the game, but in the end, commitment to a market may not net you high return at the moment, but in time the market will shift and the total returns will be better than always trying to make it in a nich market that is the current hotness...  When asked how I made the pile of gold I have, I have no fear of telling them...  I know they will not commit to the same level of effort and invest the time to create the business.

All of this just keeps the game fun, changing it up so it does not become a job.  Alts do that for me and the time in the AH provides a steady income to support my expensive leveling habits.  What I have commited to for the time is the project guild, and a new raiding guild with my main, as well as continuing to go for the 1M gold.  The rest, is just other ways to pass the time.  How do you pass your "extra" time in game?

Crock pots and Food Processors

Yeah, we all like to eat, and the title is the answer to maximizing game time...

I went home for lunch, flipped the auctions, completed a round or random invites, ate lunch, made a pot of chilli and back to work in about an hour...

The chilli is so easy... stove on, burger in the pan, open canned beans tomatoes, tomatoe sauce dump it in while meat is cooking.  Flip the meat, skin onion dump in food processor w/ a bit of jalapenos in the food processor, whirrrrrrrr, dump, and then process the meat as it should be about done now.  I like to have the meat run through the processor since you get fine ground meat instead of wierd chunks...  done... now, as I do a mojority of cooking, and meal planning, that makes 2 dinners and lots of lunches w/ little time to actually prepare and cook a meal later...

OHHH, and microwaves.... instant hot lunch... 

I also do burrito meats, BBQ beef and chix, french dip all in the crock pot... less cooking and more gaming

Now who is going to do the dishes?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Balance and Balance

Balance does not exist in game.  Often a close teeter may be shared by some aspects of the game, however there is never an equal.  When I was looking at the screenshot of a Paragon world first and there was I think 11 druids, balance was clearly not represented.  Currently, there are 2 balance things that bother me.  Lower level BGs and the Chasm between classes and contributions to the battle.  Hunters are Ohh PEE!!!  and others.  If you play in this environment you know, if you don't you don't know, and I suspect don't really care.  But really, when the disparity is so great, there is a clear and annoying danger to the game.  Not saying they need to balance the game around low level BGs, but some little things to bring classes closer to being in line would be nice.  I am talking often 300% differences, and more.

A second point would be the GXP and leveling process.  Low level toons do not contribute any significant amount at any significant speed to the leveling of a guild.  Rather discouraging that the guild is 10% of the way to level 2, and there has been a notable amount of activity.  The same amount of activity by players over level 70, would be somewhere between 3-10 times as much.  I feel its on me to level toons to get the GXP sometimes.  That means I need to level the hunter since he is closest to max and do it mostly by questing... ewww, but quest grinding is the only way to get a non raiding guild GXP. 

Frustrating, but I also understand the balance that Blizzard needs to keep in a for profit business organization.  Almost all players spend far more time AT 85 than getting TO 85...  If you ever wonder play the "/played" game with some friends and see what the numbers are...

Balance does not exist, it is only percieved or artificially manufactured.

To the point, and growing the project guild

Random thoughts distract me when reading blog.  I like a fast light read when reading others blogs (for the most part).  A message that passes on clearly and concisely an idea or thought and amplifies it with opinion and fun anecdotes or story.  There is no set length to the entry, it just needs for me to have a generous amount of those characteristics.

The point of this blog is to cronical a project guild and my personal gold making project from wow, as well as random thoughts that in my mind revolve around or relate to those things.

Right now, for the first, the project guild "commitment" is growing.  Membership and activity are fun to watch, some on actively and regularly, others, far from it.  Some are in and out in minutes, and others days, still others are out and have not logged in a long time.  I never expected dynamic or instant results.  I would like to get a little more momentum though.  Part of that will certainly be my own contributions to the guild by just questing and leveling up my own toons to contribute to the GXP.  Once the guild hits level 2, I expect things will get a little easier, as at least then there will be a perceived momentum greater than what is present currently at level 1.  I write this as I prioritize my own game time to accomplish the goals I have roughed out. 

The biggest things I have in front of me now (listed in no particular order):
Get my main to honored with that guild to get the heirloom rewards. 
Continue to increase the gold to ensure there is enough to pay out the incentive offered to the guild
Continue to raid with my main
Continue to grow the guild

None of these things are exclusive, they all go together, and mesh in a liquid fabric.  Each contributes to the overall game experience and my enjoyment of my principle RL hobby. 

Getting guild rep on my main I try to do mostly by raiding with the guild.  For my its far more pleasant to raid for GXP with the guild than it is to do dailys. So those 2 go together, though I think I may do a few to make sure I get the heirlooms sooner than later.
Increasing the gold in my coffers is just a daily effort, and concious process of how I do everything in the game.  Everything you do can probably be related to gold making activities in one way or the other.  Spending thousands of gold on twinking a toon on the way up to endgame, can be considered a cost, but it is also an oportunity.  I enjoy leveling much more doing it this way and it creats more gold making oportunities with more professions.
Lastly is the growing the guild part.  This is in many ways the most challenging.  It takes persistence and effort with often little to no return, however I do enjoy the little moments and lessons from the observations and experiences I get.  For me it is a worthwhile activity, and I enjoy the experience greatly.  For that reason I will persist.

Blog focus

Blog focus, life focus, game focus... its a thing I seem to miss a lot,  staying focused on a topic and carrying one thought from to begining to end is something I seem to fail at.  I tend to think of things as write or converse and just go off on a tangent without coming back to the orriginal subject, or even remembering what it was.  With writing its easier to go backwards and re-read what is writen, and circle back, edit, cut paste and flow.  I know this is something to work on, hence blogging, like many things, the communication takes practice to develope.  In time I hope to be able to clearly convey a message in few words and be happy with the message.  I like to write, as the audience is volutary, and you are not trying to hook an audience of warm bodies, your writing will apeal to some and not others.  The audience will be who wants be a part of it. 

So, as I continue to write, and continue to play WoW, I hope to learn more and get better at writing and communicating a directed message without rambling all over.  Though sometimes you just let it rip and spill random, disjointed thoughts.  The part I would like to most get over is my current need to plan, review, outline and edit in several steps.  With practice I hope to be able to sit down with an idea, and write to the subject with out all the middle steps.  This blog has seen many edits and deletions for what I percieved as failures or lacking in clarity or direction.  But in doing that I have also deleted or edited the track record to review at a later date and see my own progress.  I guess it all come back to Focus, and KISS (Keep It Simple Silly).  The lessons go far beyond the game, and will certainly aid in my communication with my wife, and kids first, and extend beyond to business personal like in every way.  Like making gold in game, there does not seem to be any trick to doing it, practice, experiment, and try... try again.  Now this is on record in the blog and it is my own "journal" entry to review over and again later. 

There I think I did it.  Focus on the subject with little deviation.

Love the Comunity of WOW, and blander

Games claim to be the WOW killers, they often think they have better graffics, more engaging play and a new fresh skin.  But WOW has a community of web sites, bloggers, addons, tools that will not exist in other games till someone can make a profit for it by running the website or donations...  That will not soon exist in any game, its a community that built itself from the WOW phenomenon.  No game will soon topple WOW by my predictions because the community and availabilty of information can not soon be replaced.

(tons of other bloggers)
wowhead, thottbot, alakahzham, wowwiki (4 that all do the same thing, more or less)
API plethora of addons and developers, maintainers, translators, and those that will assume the maintenance when one steps out of the role.

the list could go on forever, the community is just HUGE!!!  and continues to ebb and flow.  That can not be replaced.  Then there is the in game community of old friends and its more than a console game.  As good as they are, they can not really compete w/ WOW because they have nothing on the social gaming crowd.  Only WOW has broke their own all time and first day and first month sales records... thats a lot of momentum.

I regularly contribute to the community now that I have amassed a knowledge base in the game, this blog, comments on others, and just in game community.  How to level professions, tips and tricks, how to make gold.  I had one guy that for 4 years had played as an engineer and did not know about extracting elements from clouds.  I, blathering on in vent about how I made my first 5K gold for epic flight as we exchanged stories about the subject I mentioned the  Zapthrottle mote extractor... He had no idea and went to get it in a couple hours.  Yeah, sholozar basin and hours of circles "zapping" clouds for eternal fires.  I made my first stake at that about 2 years into playing the game, and its been almost all uphill since then

Now I always have gold, I fell to under 400K because I decided to buy BOEs.  Against my nature but, raiding has not been so good to me.  I geared for heals, then when going for DPS all the spirit gear put me to 21.4% hit... It bothered me so I spent another twenty something thousand gold to get gear and gems enchants to get my hit down.  BTW it worked out nicely, I managed to get to 17.00%, and realize that no other gear combination will probably ever be able to do that again.

I love the commmunity, and its why I play WOW and only WOW.  I have to thank Cold specifically for the tidbit in his post about mass invites for the Guild.  Sorry guys, I would link em but not so good at all that yet.  Maybe I can go back and edit with links to this stuff.

Right now, I finnaly loaded up and started running Zero Auctions.  What a time saver.  I love the log, it gives me names of who under cut me... when I see one name repeatedly... OOHHHHH, ITS ON...  biggest problem in some markets is getting undercut below market value.

Auctionator is my prefered AH addon for miscelaneous AH action outside of what ZA does.  Lil Sparky's Workshop... can not say enough about how uselfull this can be.  but it is only as good as the date it gets, and right now auctionator data is not great.  I used to run auctioneer, but it was buggy for me and I could never get a full AH scan. The differnce that I am missing is the average cost that Auctioneer uses, vs. the snapshot low price that Auctionator uses. 

I also loved Advanced Trade Skill Window back in the day, but I has become buggy, like demanding more graphics and freezing the game.  Like many that play I have a bit of ADD tendencies and need to be doing something, when the game freezes, and I am sitting ther waiting.. GAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Tax season and if the wife and money allows i am looking to UG the PC to a SSHD and a new MB w/ better than the single core processor I am running. 

I play for fun, and I can say, having a lot of gold is fun.  Having lots of crafters is fun, it feels like it costs less when you make your own enchant scrolls and gear to twink out that new toon. 

Random thoughts on the twinking toons, I am so very much looking forward to the GXP changes from BGs.  I twink stamina on low level toons and often run around w/ double the HP of several toons on my team.  But balancing is ROUGH... hunters, are just killer, they should be number one on your kill priority, not the healers.. at low levels anyway....  I can not solo spam heal myself and live through a decent hunter that focuses me.  I would like to see some balancing for low level BGs.  If you dont have heirlooms your at a major disadvantage off the bat.  the cost to keep up enchants on replaced gear, gets costly fast.  I only keep 3 scrolls on my hunter rogue, 7 stam to boots and bracers and agi to gloves.  thats it... all pretty cheap to make relativly too.

Rambled on enough.. random thoughts and the power of the community.. a mountain to cross over that will take an amazing game to topple WOW, because that is one thing the designers and programmers can not "develop" at HQ...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Long in between

I did not lose my tail in the DMC market but I definately made the wrong gamble.  Then I just got tired of looking at them.  I banked on the market going dry between DMFs.  I was wrong, and as I watched prices fall pretty steadily, I did not see supply go away. Then the new fair came, and I was only able to seel deck to recover costs and investments.  Oh well, lesson learned, now if only I knew what the lesson was.  I have leveled a couple toons far enough to have a bigger base of professions to work with.  Not all maxed to 85 and in Cata markets, just there is a a lot of small and slower nich markets on the way up you can play with.  Twink style enchants are great sellers, as well as any armor you can craft that is rare quality can usually be sold for a profit, excepting chest and shoulders due to BOAs.  A few other markets I am exploring with are in Primal might, and Formula: Runed Arcanite Rod.  Usually sells for 100G profit or more, just for using teleport moonglade on a druid, or leaving a toon parked there.  Daily I am looking for a couple more items to that look likely to have modest volume, strong profits and low competition, craft and set up Zero Auctions for the items.  It is howerver hard to deal in lower end markets.  Supply is hard to come by on some mats and prices are often all over the place.

It seems I have moved in on at least one persons market. I see there name in the Zero Auctions log repeatedly on my scrolls.  Now for the fun patience game, or see if the economy can handle both of us.  This is all Wrath and lower enchants, as the hunter is only level 70.  That is enough to go solo the whole of BRS for Large brilliant shards, but a bit slow to do.  It will speed up when I get enchanted myself with taking him out on a leveling spree.

lately the fancy has been in playing my twinkish druid healer, and rogue up.   Running around a BG with more than 2x the HP of some of the other players...  Stupid fun, completly stamina stacked, where I can, but then still have the Primary stats to go toe to toe with others and win... RAWR, or while healing instances, being able to out dps the dps...

the guild still seems to fluctuate a lot, a couple seem semi regular, and mass random invites once or twice a week.  It is still slow in growing, but i never expected it to be fast.  it is a long term project and I have fun with it.  The guild is not social, it is just a leveling guild.  we do almost nothing together, ever, not even use /g when we are on.  I guess it is sorta an anti-social guild.  people join for w/e reason, and stay for their own reasons too.  the incentives to stay are minmal, but it is something to maybe keep a few players around, and coming back to level.  It is still disappointing that blizzard has such a gap to the time it takes for low level toons to get GXP vs. higher level.  Getting GXP from BGs will be great, as I do a lot of BGs on the way up since they are just plain fun, and relatively speaking is not that expensive or hard to be twinked, i dont have BOE head or back, and consistently have the most HP of anyone on my teams. by 10% and more frequently.  Consequently, I found that I enjoy AB a lot more, but the xp from AB seems to be dismal compared to WSG... what a drag.

Why is it that people just dont seem to grasp the concepts of WSG... I wont rant, if you been there and know, you know.  If not, you to may be one of the bads or you may not BG.  I often do think player go there just to grief their own team... 

Thats all this time, random thoughts and rambling, like most of what passes between my ears.