Manufactured lies and drama

I was recently speaking to one of the several people with whom I am still friendly who are in my former guild. During the chat, it came up that another person who is still in the former guild but with whom I was never terribly close is saying odd things about me.

My friend asked if I spoke to this other person much and I said that other than having seen them briefly and exchanged a few “How are you?” sorts of pleasantries a few months back, I had not spoken to them at all.

As my friend and I chatted more and I pried at them for details because I am too often too curious for my own good, it came out that this other person is putting words in my mouth that I never spoke. For some of it, I can understand where something I wrote here might have been misinterpreted or applied to more people than the one or two I had intended. For others, it is outright fabrications and lies.

I am half amused and half irritated.

After all, the things I write here are open for everyone to see and while I cannot prevent anyone from misinterpreting them, I can at least point to specifics and quote myself if anyone ever felt the need to challenge something I have said. Besides, I already admitted I’ve been less than kind about some of the people who caused me a great deal of a stress and caused the former guild a great deal of drama.

And sometimes I do feel a little as though my references to the former guild are going to be taken as some sort of seething and petty hatred I can’t just get over and let go, even though I really just mention it as the closest thing I have as an apple to my current guild. When you’ve only ever been in two guilds and have been GM of both of them, there’s not a whole lot out there you can compare your current situation to.

That really is the more amused side of me talking. If it were only that someone was taking my every comparison as a slight against my former guild, I wouldn’t even bother writing this post.

What I find irritating is that this person that I barely even knew is apparently manufacturing whole conversations that I suppose I am to have had in game with them and then talking in their guild chat about all these things I allegedly said. Like the one where I am apparently trying to poach people from my former guild.

I admit that three old and dear friends have been made aware from the earliest days of my departure that I wouldn’t turn them aside if they wanted to come over, but the rest of the membership of the guild at large is not a membership I covet. I say this not because I hate them or for any reason other than that I had them before and they did not have the same goals I did or they would have come over when I left. I am not trying to nor am I desirous of recreating my former guild in any way.

And certainly I have no use for this person in particular, who seems to be trying to stir a pot even after the contents were chucked months ago.

Given all the drama that spouts up like mushrooms in this game, I am starting to wonder suspiciously where all the tabloid type blogs are. People love drama, so this could really be a niche for someone. Bold yellow headlines: GM CAUGHT TALKING TO SOMEONE IN FORMER GUILD, ALIEN ABDUCTION OR ATTEMPT AT POACHING? SHOCKING DETAILS INSIDE.

Yeah, I can see it all now.

Posted in Eff the Ineffable, Teh Dramas | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Honeymoon’s over

Eff the Ineffable has left the honeymoon phase in recent weeks, I think it’s fair to say. We’ve hit a few of the rough patches that come from trying to live together in the real world, away from the vacation that is exploring a new expansion together with stars in our eyes and nothing but love in our hearts as we congratulate ourselves and each other on our good luck of having found the perfect people with whom to spend our raiding lives.

There are good points and bad points to settling into the long term. You discover that things which might have been endearing quirks the first few times you saw them are really capable of getting under your skin. Someone that seemed perfectly compatible on the surface actually has all these strange beliefs about how things ought to be done. There’s a mild power struggle as the subtle hierarchies sort themselves out. Chores you used to be happy to do just to make someone else’s day a little easier have become tedious and you start to feel that if that person wants nice things they can work for it themselves.

And those are just the good points.

I’m kidding. Sheesh.

It would be going much too far to say we’ve had any real drama at this point, but there are stress lines starting to show here and there. I am doing my best to keep a watchful eye on situations of which I am aware, but am refusing to leap into the middle of anything. We cannot continue to be an officerless guild if I take it on myself to babysit people through potential drama. It’s a job I can’t and won’t do alone.

I think I am right to stay out of it. Not because I want to see drama flare up, but because if we’re all claiming to be adults, I think it is best to give people the opportunity to act like it. Or so I tell myself.

See, I’m a total control freak. I see a potential problem and I want to try to box it up, contain it and deal with it before things get unreasonably messy. I’m not sure that it’s a bad desire, but in practice, it would tax my sanity. I know because I tried to fix everything I could in WWAB, usually to no great effect.

At the same time, I feel a little bit at a loss as to what I ought to do if something does come up that needs some sort of intervention from leadership. Do I play the supreme dictator and do whatever I think is best? Do I consult with others, and with whom if so? I know a handful of other GM’s and officers and I have always greatly valued a disinterested, third party opinion. But if this guild is all of ours and we all have some say in it, then perhaps member input is more valuable.

Again, we’re not even what I would think of as being close to needing to consider the best way to handle drama, but I’m still a control freak who likes to have a plan.

From thinking about that, I branched into other areas to torture myself with what if’s. Forget drama, if there is something that needs to be done within the guild to keep things running smoothly (raid leading, as an example), and no one will do it, what would a proper response to that be? I have proved time and again I cannot make anyone do anything they really don’t want to do.

So far, these things are not problems. I would honestly be surprised if anything more than a minor bout of drama became a problem. But while I am speculating in preparation for a future that hopefully will never come, I do find myself wondering whether we would ever take on officers for the sake of keeping the peace.

I think that would make me sad, because even if the honeymoon is over, we still have a great thing going and a lot of great people. How long can we last governing ourselves? How do other officer-free guilds deal with drama and keeping things running smoothly?

I’m interested. For science.

Posted in Eff the Ineffable, Leadership | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Search Term Soup

First, a PSA: It is not Kick my Alas. If you wish to kick anyone’s alas, it may not be mine. We are all about love here. Or at least brown nosing. One of those two things.

Other terms and questions that have made me react in one way or another?

Bingley spank Darcy. Err, no he did not. And you won’t find that sort of retelling here, unless I should happen to say that Bingley spanked Darcy on the threat meters. But that’s all the spanking. Recount spanking.

Blog drama. I had some towards the beginning of this year. And then again a few months later. I don’t recommend having it. If you really feel the need to search it out and read some, I suppose you are the sort of person who watches Jerry Springer.

Cataclysm, why is my mage so terrible? There could be a lot of reasons. I admit that mage leveling seems rather borked here in the Brave New World, but if you are at level cap and not performing well, it’s probably your fault in some way. Because mages are pure awesome in end game. Go read up on gemming and stat priorities and rotations. Or spec out of frost. (/ducks to avoid anyone who likes frost)

Is an authenticator an unreasonable requirement. No. Anyone who says otherwise has nothing but crap in their bank and plenty of time to ferry it all back. If you want to be taken seriously, take your account security as seriously as you can.

Is there a way to get a colonial chalet in cityville without 15 neighbors? Uh. Uh. I don’t know how that brought you to my door but I don’t know and I don’t care. I have personally freed myself from the pull of facebook games.

Mortigan placing blame. I bet he is. That’s the warlock way.

Various “is loremaster worth it, how do I get it most quickly” questions. Worth is entirely up to you. It’s easy to get now that they have a quest requirement for each zone to get credit. Back in my day, I had to walk across every zone in speed enchant boots until I got my slow mount at 40 and then there was no flying until 70 and even then you couldn’t do so anywhere but Outland, and there was like, snow and hills and two ways.

Now? Just level mainly through questing and try to finish out each zone you do quest in. When you get to 85, you should have a good deal done. Once you are at cap, get the best flying you can afford and go mop anything you have left. Good for rep and gold! It’ll take a bit of time, but like I said, the question of worth is up to you. I like achievements and when I got Loremaster it meant something more. I thought it was worth it then.

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

KSK: A how-to in painstaking and tedious detail

So, this will be a new experience for me. I am actually sitting down to write a serious business guide to an addon. I never would have thought this up on my own, so if you hate this post, blame Grimmtooth and Rhii.

Our guild uses Suicide Kings for loot because it’s simple when using a good addon and a pretty fair system overall. As with any addon, the first thing you have to do is go download the right one. Of the two I have tried, I prefer KonferSK.

Once you have it loaded, the first thing you’re going to want to do is type /ksk createconfig [configname here]. I named my configuration Effers.

Then you’ll type /ksk to open up the menu. The first tab I like to start with is the Users tab, where it is easiest to simply do a Guild Import. Clicking on the Guild Import button will bring up a menu to choose which ranks from your guild you want to import (see top right of the image below).

Once all the players have been imported you can start to go through and get everyone properly sorted and organized. This is the biggest part of getting the initial setup out of the way. Done correctly, it makes everything run smoothly. Let’s take a tour of the various options.

I've used my mad gimp skillz to get all the info in one picture

User Roles come in several flavors: Healer, Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, Spellcaster and Tank. Personally, I might set each person their User Role to what they typically play, but I’ve never yet made any calls about loot usage in the manner that the tooltip suggests one might. It might be different for other guilds, but I find that if something is genuinely better for a healer than it is for a spellcaster, our spellcasters aren’t likely to suicide over it. When we get to the Loot tab, I’ll point out the options there that can tie in with User Role Settings.

If you know someone is an Enchanter, I strongly encourage you to go ahead and check that box. There is an extremely handy option that you can tie in with Enchanters over on the Configuration tab.

The alt option is fairly straightforward and can be useful if your raid does have a few people who are consistently swapping which toon they are raiding on. If you have any alts, be sure to associate them with their mains so that you can implement tethering on the Config screen.

Frozen users and users exempt from decay are linked notions. No one on my lists are ever exempt from decay because I obviously want to award people who have better attendance. Likewise, I’ve never frozen anyone. The decay rate is pretty slow and with a small roster of even semi-regular raiders not likely to be noticeable.

Making a New List

Once you have all your users sorted and labeled, you’ll want to put them into a list. To do that, you’ll go to the ‘Lists’ tab on the bottom and then click on the Config tab at the top of the Lists page. From there, hit the Create button to make a new list.

When I am creating a list for the first time, I like to have the Insert Randomly box checked. I believe if it is not done randomly, it’ll just go in alphabetically. If you are importing several guild ranks (ie: Officers and Veterans), you’ll have to import each rank separately. It’s just a few mouse clicks, so this is no big deal.

Clicking on the Members tab at the top will show you your list and the order in which people show up. You can also tell at a glance who is marked as an Enchanter. Typically, if I have to add a new raider into a existing list, I do it from this tab, by clicking the Insert button there in the top right. You have the option there to insert the new person randomly. However, adding this person non-randomly will place them at the bottom of the list where they belong because they haven’t earned their spot near the top yet.

Final step before loots: Setting your preferences

This bit is really going to be all about your preferences and the way you like to handle your loot. Again, here’s a nickle tour of what you have (as a note, when I shared Admin rights with Rhii and she did Loot Master duties, these settings did not appear to transfer so each loot master should have some ability to set up these options according to their personal preference):

The highlights. Checking the very top box means that when an item that requires the loot master to distribute it comes up, you will get the screen popping up automatically. This can be a pain if your raiders are eager beavers and loot while fighting, so either don’t check this box or threaten to kill anyone who is looting early. Your choice.

When distributing loot, you have a whole range of options to choose from. Those are awfully self-explanatory, so I am not going to cover what it means to select “Announce winners in guild chat.” Incidentally, that is the only option that does not come pre-selected for you, so you decide how much you want to spam whom and go for it from there.

Obviously, if you have multiple lists, you will want to have your default list selected here. Otherwise when you are distributing loot and your default is some list that doesn’t get used much (ie, a remnant from Wrath lists or whatever) you will be swearing about having to change it every time. Don’t swear if you don’t have to.

I don’t use guild rank filters. It’s my opinion that even if I had officers they are not instantly worth more to the raid team and they would not get first crack at the loot. That’s lame.

Moving on, I prefer to hide anyone who is not actively in the raid just because it’s less clutter to sort through. Sure, they are greyed out when not there. But it’s even nicer when they just don’t exist.

The next one is an absolute must in my opinion. When someone wins a bid, you shouldn’t have to manually give them the loot. Especially since loot is tradeable now. Just let ksk pop it in their bags.

Similarly, when you set a threshold and you get loot that is below that threshold (so, greens for us. If we won a blue I would have to give it to someone specifically), if you have the Auto-disenchant box checked, all you need to do is click on a body (as loot master, doesn’t work for some random schmuck to click on it) and it will automagically give that green to someone who is marked as an enchanter.

In my last and biggest square, if you open an item for bid and no one wants it for their main spec because that helm has dropped four times already, seriously, can we see something new already you damn Omno’s? – depending on what you have checked here will determine the flow of the loot. If you have everything checked the way I do, anything that is opened for bid and then closed will automatically go to open roll. We do open rolls for off spec, because I’m not going to make anyone suicide for that and I would rather see some use than a shard.

People then have the option to roll (more on setting this up in a moment). If no one wants it, then it goes to an enchanter for DE. Automagically. The way we like it.

The last box is BoE specific. I know guilds will have a variety of ways to handle BoE epics. I allow people in the raid when it drops to suicide for the item if they like. If no one bids, it goes to my bags and is subsequently sold (either on the AH or for 1/2 AH prices in guild) with proceeds going to guild repair funds.

Setting up roll timers and other admins

The other two options under the config tab are rolls and admin. Both are simple, so the high overview of the control panes is like this:

The two slide bars on the roll pane are where you get to choose how long people have to make up their damn minds about whether or not they want to roll on an off spec item. The roll time out extension is how long the clock will extend if someone does roll. I like to try to keep both of these short because time is money.

On the admin tab, you can do two important things: Add other people to be admins of your list(s) so that you can take a break from being loot master once in a while and, if you allow people to raid with alts, you can tether their alts to their mains so that if one gets suicided they both do. I do not have this checked because I do not believe in letting alts raid progression content.

Now, you finally have everything set up and ready to go the way you want it. Let’s take a look at the loot distribution pane, shall we?

Handing out the loots, what we’re really here for

Here is what the loot pane looks like without any loot actually being selected. This is the screen that will pop up for me any time I am loot master and a rare or greater is looted. If you choose to run multiple lists, you’ll want to make certain the list you want is the one selected.

Once I have selected an item, my options will become available. Here, I have opened bids on the Leggings of Lethal Force.

No one wanted them for main spec, so I went to open roll for off spec. No one ended up wanting them even for that, so I got a message at the end of 15 seconds saying they went to Gnoble.

When I next opened bids on the Scorched Wormling Vest, some random guy named Kotak bid on them. I got a message down in my chat pane, but you can also see where his name showed up in the bottom box of the loot pane.

Other notes on the loot pane

Occasionally, someone will bid without meaning to or KSK will get into a temporary snit and then I will have to make some manual changes. Had Kotak wanted to reverse bidding, I would have had to click on his name and then hit the Force Retract button. Pretending for a moment that we had another person in the raid who wanted that loot but the bid wasn’t being accepted by KSK, I would have to select their name in the list on the left and force a bid for them. As loot master, if I ever want to bid on something myself, I click the Bid button at the top.

For people who want to get more into depth with who is able to roll on which items, there are various filters that can be set here. There are also options in the Item Editor pane, but I can’t help there since I have scarcely looked at it.

The history tab at the top will provide history on what dropped and who got it – and under which circumstances. We had a sync not happen recently and there was some dispute over who should be at the top of the list. My history didn’t show the win that should have suicided someone though, so I had to check with person who had been loot master for that night to untangle what had happened!

Summary! The end! It’s all over!

Overall, I like the Suicide Kings loot system and I like KSK as an addon for managing it. If anyone made it this far without lapsing into a coma, I hope you found the information helpful!

Posted in Raiding, Reviews, Screenshots | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Things I am doing

I don’t know why I feel the need to explain my lack of presence around here lately. I suppose I feel guilty for not making much of an effort to reply to comments. Anyhow, I am quite busy and with more than just a shitty temp job and a commute that can be anything from peaceful (when no one sits on me and I can write) to an exercise in restraint (when people do sit on me and I want to kill them but don’t).

At found this post for me a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. Because I am so impressionable, I found a lot on there to steal and to emulate and to apply. I bought a notebook and I am rapidly filling its pages on the train.

I have three novel-length works in progress. One is Emergent, which I have mentioned here before and posted a bit from back when I thought I would try NaNoWriMo. Another is a WoW fanfic, which is an older project and actually only a few chapters out from completion. The last is a legitimate P&P fanfic (unlike my silly rewrite here) and it has been getting most of my creative attention and a great many very kind reviews from strangers.

It seems as though feeling free to pursue side projects has released some corked up artistic energy.

Aside from writing (and writing about writing, which I have done some of at an alternate blog), I am working with the insanely talented Apple to put together another WoW music video. In fact, I owe her the rest of the reworked lyrics so that I can move onto putting together the video. And that will be the tricky part since I will need a lot of extras. Anyone out there have good cross-faction relationships on their server? It’s all about PVP. I feel like Cynwise should vet it for authenticity.

What are you doing to express your creativity?

Posted in Real Life, Thoughts and Ideas, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

For Amber

I said I would, never thinking I would actually get this pretty pet:

Now if only I can get the spirit bear, I’ll be happy.

Posted in Screenshots | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Going to a new server

Chapter 27

With no greater events than these in the <Longbourn> guild, and otherwise diversified by little beyond the dailies not so often done, sometimes dirty and sometimes deadly, did the days and weeks pass away. March was when Elizabeth planned on rolling an alt with <Rosings>, after giving Charlotte time to establish herself on the server and with the guild. She had not at first thought very seriously of going thither; but Charlotte, she soon found, was depending on the plan and she gradually learned to consider it herself with greater pleasure as well as greater certainty. Absence had increased her desire of seeing Charlotte again, and weakened her disgust of Mr. Collins. There was novelty in the scheme, and as, with such a group of guild mates, her home server could not be faultless, a little change was not unwelcome for its own sake. The alt would moreover give her a peep at trying a new class; and, in short, as the time drew near, she would have been very sorry for any delay. Everything, however, went on smoothly, and was finally settled according to Charlotte’s first sketch. She was to roll alts with Sir William and Mariah. The improvement of getting some gold and gear was added in time, and the plan became perfect as plan could be.

The only pain was in leaving her GM, who would certainly miss her, and who, when it came to the point, so little liked her going, that he told her to pretend to have a hacked account and be unable to start anew anywhere until it could be sorted out.

The farewell between herself and Mr. Wickham was perfectly friendly; on his side even more. His present pursuit of a pocket healer could not make him forget that Elizabeth had been the first to excite and to deserve his attention, the first to listen and to pity, the first to be admired; and in his manner of bidding her adieu, wishing her every enjoyment, reminding her of what she was to expect in Lady Catherine, and trusting their opinion of her—their opinion of everybody—would always coincide, there was a solicitude, an interest which she felt must ever attach her to him with a most sincere regard; and she parted from him convinced that, whether raiding seriously or casually, he must always be her model of the amiable and pleasing.

Her fellow-levelers the next day were not of a kind to make her think him less agreeable. Sir William Lucas, and Maria, a good-humoured girl, but as empty-headed as Sir Lucas, had nothing to say that could be worth hearing, and were listened to with about as much delight as the rattle of forum trolls. Elizabeth loved absurdities, but she had known Sir William’s too long. He could tell her nothing new of the wonders of his presentation and PvP title; and his civilities were worn out, like his information.

Posted in Pride and Prejudice, Writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

An Effing Raiding Recap

We Effers have been making pretty steady raiding progress over the past several weeks and it is well past time for an update on that as well as how we are doing overall as a guild.

A few weeks ago, we pushed past the roadblock that was the Twin Incestuous Wonder Dragons. Because we fail, no screenshot was captured of the kill until the next week when we did it again, just barely, but still, again.

I don't know who let Pedotree and the dead guy into this shot

Then we went on the next week to kill a blind dragon. Because we’re really macho like that.

Full of confidence in ourselves after downing two bosses in such rapid succession, we decided to go back and give Maliorak a look this last week. We’d tried him for maybe an hour many weeks before but found that the gear check was one we couldn’t meet then.

This time, he fell over in very short order. And we were so excited, no one got a screenshot.

But we also killed this guy on retro raiding night:

Maybe not DEAD here, but conquered anyhow.

So there’s that. And this was after knocking over Sunwell, so it was fun to see some new fights even if they were laughably easy.

Speaking more srsly

I think our recent string of kills has come as we have all mostly really gotten into the rhythm of raiding together. We have been very lucky to pick up several new people lately and are now sitting people out fairly routinely because our roster has reached the point where we have about 12 people signing up on any given night. Those of us who have felt the strain of of having to be present every week for a raid to happen are enjoying the opportunity for a night off, I think.

By and large, those we have brought into raiding have been extremely talented players and we are lucky to have several hybrids who can do one thing as well as the other and so far no complaints about it.

Which is not to say that everything is all sunshine and roses, but our positive points are very positive indeed. Especially compared to my experience in ICC, when it was weeks of wiping between each new progression kill and seeing the same first four bosses every week. For months.

I remind myself of that whenever I get too frustrated over us wiping to the same mechanic several times.

Beginning next month we’ll be changing up what we’ve been doing on Tuesday nights so far this expansion: getting everyone and their dog the Sarth 3D mount. With four bosses firmly on farm status (five if you count Argaloth) and with a fifth very soon to follow (if the ease with which we downed Maloriak was any indicator), we’ll be carving out as much of the farm content as we can on Tuesday in the short time we have and gaining ourselves more progression time on Fridays and Saturdays. It is my hope that we’ll be able to work a more people into the Tuesday night farm content to bring them up to a level where their gear will allow them to raid progression content with us.

All in all, I’m very pleased with where we are as a guild and I think we’ll continue to make good headway in raiding. Given that we’re still so new as a guild, I think that our being 6/12 is truly excellent progress.

Honestly, the biggest irritant I have to deal with right now is vent usage during raiding. I have very clear ideas on how it should be used, but a lot of former raid leaders means a lot of cooks in the kitchen. Last weekend I told people if they wouldn’t stop talking so much when it was inappropriate to do so, I would globally mute them. The crickets then swelled into the dead silence that followed and I felt especially like a jerk when someone whispered me to ask if he was talking too much.

Someday, I’ll get over feeling like a monster for insisting on keeping vent clear for the raid leader. At least I hope so. Either that, or people will eventually learn to keep it to in-game chat if it’s a time to be quiet.

Posted in Eff the Ineffable, Raiding, Screenshots | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Update to the offhand saga: this is more like me

I’ve never been the sort of person to carry a purse. I’ve never liked them. They’re black holes where all sorts of ‘useful’ stuff can get lost. Sure, it might be nice to have pen or a safety pin or 127 haste, but what good is it if you can’t find it in the maze of a purse?

(I have a messenger bag now and there are similar problems, but I needed it on the train, alas, and so I ground my teeth and tried to get something not froofy. Most important, it carries something I am more likely to want to have: a book, perhaps two.)

So it’s nice to see that since Alas can keep all her worldy goods stowed in invisible bags about her person, that she has ditched the larntern/purse…. thing, and instead carries about her a symbol of her vast intellect:

For those of you ignorant fools who cannot read those runes on the cover, Alas is reading The Gods Who Really Made Us, the Blizzards Devs, Understanding the Old Gods and Their Place in Azeroth: A Brief Disquisition on the Motivation of Giving Humanoids False Gods.

Some guy in a dungeon had it before, and given the date stamped on the inside of the cover it’s a Stormwind library book they probably gave up on getting back over 50 years ago.

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Screenshots, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Epic Chest


I suppose this picture proves that I am very white and probably a girl, eh?


Posted in Eff the Ineffable | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments