Links for a tired Monday

Super Deluxe Launches iPhone App

We posted our first foray into iPhone land today.

You can get there by going to http://iphone.superdeluxe.com on your iPhone. Currently, you can watch a selection of Super Deluxe videos on your iPhone.

Wednesday is yet another day links

Some link objects that reference web pages

What It's Like Being the Guildmaster of a WoW Raiding Guild (Part 1)

I've referred to the fact that I am the Guildmaster(GM) of a World of Warcraft Raiding guild before. You learn a lot about yourself and other people being the leader of a group of 70 people, and I thought I would write a couple of posts about my experiences. World of Warcraft is unlike any game before it in some ways, although it takes a lot of its lineage from the other MMO's that came before it.

First some basic information about our guild. It's roughly two years old. I was not the original GM, but I was one of the founding members. I was the Raid Leader for the first six months of the guild's existence. I will talk a little more about that role later, but I had the role of GM sort of thrust upon me when the membership was unhappy with the original GM. I didn't really want to be GM, and I think in some ways that has made me a much better GM. We have had, at most, about a hundred members.

We raid four days a week on a regular schedule. Most of our members are adults, and I have had everything from State Department diplomats to lawyers and doctors to college students and warehouse workers in the guild. I would guess that the average age of our guild would be something like 28. Raiding, for those who don't know anything about games like WoW, is when a large group of players get together to tackle game encounters that require everyone in the twenty five man group (it used to be 40) to effectively play their role well. The encounters range from very simple ones which last 5-10 minutes, to very complicated ones that last up to 30 minutes. The learning curve of a particular encounter can be anywhere from a couple of hours to a few weeks. When your guild has mastered an encounter, they move on to the next one in the learning ladder, and the previous one is said to be "on farm status".

Our guild ranked around 500 in the world and 200 in the US in terms of progression. That's not terrible by any means, but it's not nearly as hardcore as some folks. In the past, we cleared Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, AQ40, and almost had cleared Naxx when Burning Crusade came out. Currently, we are working on Kael'thas Sunstrider, the last boss in Tempest Keep, who is sort of a gateway boss to the second half of raiding in Burning Crusade. It's a brutal encounter, with 5 phases that require learning. We've been working on it for three or four weeks now, and should finally get it done in the next day or two. On our particular server, we are the third most progressed guild, and one of the oldest raiding guilds.

So, with that background, here's some observations. First, being a GM can be a very lonely job. You have to be the voice of reason, the source of discipline, and ultimately keep order where 50-70 personalities are involved. You have to try and gauge morale while continuously trying encounters and failing over and over until you succeed. Interestingly enough, this aspect of being a GM is very similar to my day job of managing people. Once you cross that line into being a boss, your relationships with your guildmates will change. You now hold the ultimate power where all things guild are concerned. It requires, above all else, patience. People want raid invites, and things from the guild bank, and they will leap up and down to do things for you if you ask. It's tough to remain impartial, and to keep things as fair as you can.

When you are a GM of a raiding guild, you are always hiring. In order to keep pace with the other guilds on your server, you have to keep killing bosses. If you don't have enough people of one class that is required for an encounter, it can stunt your progression, and people are constantly coming and going. People decide they want to play with an old friend and leave your guild, or get a "better offer" from a more progressed guild. Recruiting is a full time job, and as a result, I have two officers whose only job is recruitment, which is critical because I don't play every night. We have a set process for evaluating candidates, and I would say we actually take about 5% of the people who apply when we have openings. Of course, once you hire someone new, you have to then train them in the various encounters you already have on farm status. It's a never ending treadmill that you just have to get used to as a GM.

Reliable infrastructure is important. It's critical that you have a guild forum, a dkp accounting system and a voice chat server for the guild, and that these three things are reliable. The forum gives the membership a place to discuss things out of game, a housing for your rules and regulations, and a place to post your "strategies" on how bosses get killed. It also gives your potential applicants a place to post their applications for your evaluation. A fair dkp system is the lifeblood of any guild. It's purpose is to make sure that "loot" is distributed in a manner that is in line with each person's contribution to the guild. This can be a real pain in the arse, as you have to then enter four raids worth of attendance and loot every week. However, it's incredibly important that this get done. Finally, without voice chat, you won't get very far. It's critical to succeeding at the complex encounters. It's also critical to fostering the social relationships that make the game worth playing.

I'll do a part two to this soon. If there are particular things you are curious about, post in the comments, and I will trey to address them.

Some links for a Wednesday with AC

I now have AC again. Thank the good lord. Here's some links for today.

  • I like BookTour and all, it's just depressing to see all the great authors people in other cities get that we do not in Atlanta.
  • McSweeney's Comedy by Numbers Video. On Super Deluxe, of course.
  • We discovered last night that FoodNetwork HD has been added to our Comcast lineup. We are very happy about this. I would link to the Comcast channel lineup, but their Web site is pathetic.
  • I bought an Apple iPhone Bluetooth Headset over the weekend. Here's an excellent review. My quick take is that this is the easiest to deal with headset ever, and I highly recommend it.
  • I created a tumblr log. It's a mash up of my flickr feed, twitter updates, delicious links, and last.fm feed. I'm going to play with using this as my link blog. I wonder if MarsEdit posts to tumblr blogs. Will have to look into that.
  • John from Cincinnati was cancelled. It was interesting, but clearly wasn't something that would have the broad appeal of other HBO shows. I watched the first few episodes and then lost interest.
  • Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball looks, well, awesome.

Yankees Hall Of Famer Phil Rizzuto Dies

Yankees Hall Of Famer Phil Rizzuto Died. As a child, I must have watched a thousand games with him broadcasting and giving shouts out to his peeps in Florida. Just the mention of his name conjurs up memories of sitting in my grandparents living room watching the Yanks with my grandfather. Holy Cow.

Thursday and Our AC stopped Working Link List

Wednesday is a day of meetings link list

Having fun here today, lots going on and I am in meetings from 9:30-3:30 straight.

Steroid Enhanced Link Post

On the heels of my girlfriend's appendix fun, I got a severe case of poison ivy doing yard work. I am now on steroids. Hopefully this will clear up the poison ivy fast.