Archive for the MMO Category

The Raid Leader’s Manifesto

Posted in DDO, Everquest, Gaming, Guides, MMO, MMORPG, PC, SWG, SWTOR, WAR, WoW with tags , , , , , on 07/10/2009 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Those who read my blog and know me in game (whether it be WoW, EQ, SWG, or any other world I’ve stepped into), know that I’ve spent much time as a raid leader. And if you didn’t know, you do now! If you know anything about raiding in MMOs, you know it’s hard work, but if you think that just being at the raid is hard, try leading it! I garuntee your stress level would be through the roof. Anything that goes wrong is pinned on the raid leader, regardless of actual fault. For some, being the leader of 25 (72+ when I was leading in EQ) is not an easy task, to others it’s a breeze. It can be game making, or game breaking. In the end it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Clockwork Gamer had this awesome post yesterday about what it means to be a raid leader, and I thought I would share (full article at the link).

The Raid Leader’s Manifesto

I am a raid leader.

Time is my enemy. I recognize that the most important number on any raid is not the mitigation of my tank, the health of my target, or the damage of my raid force – it is time I have left on this raid.

Anything or anyone that interferes with the limited time I have before my raid breaks up is aiding my enemy. Raiders who show up unprepared, raiders who have not read the strategies I’ve written, raiders who do not listen while plans are discussed, raiders who get into conversations during fights, raiders who did not work on their character since the last raid – these are all collaborators I must halt or overcome in order to perform my duties within the time my raid force has alloted me.

As a raid leader, I am impatient. By definition, patience is a virtue that requires time. Time is my enemy. I grow frustrated when the raid is taking too much time. I do not care about dying…I care about dying slowly. I do not care about wipes…I care about recoveries which take too long. I do not care about careful pulls…I care about pulls which hold us up. If I must repeat myself, I am wearied. If I must wait for a recovery, I become irked. If I our raid wipes frequently due to the same mistakes, I grow upset.

When we run out of time, the raid is done. If I have lead my raid well, they will have accomplished something new, performed better, or moved faster than they have in the past. They win when they gain new loot, see new enemies, or learn something different. Any or all of these things are referred to as progression. When my raiders do not progress, I have lost the raid. In order to avoid losing, they must progress…and they must do so within our time constraints.

Whenever I am online, I am either raiding or preparing for a raid.  When I am online between raids, I talk about raiding. I discuss raiding. I ask questions about raiding. I try to get my raiders thinking about raiding. I want my raiders to understand that success in a raid does not start in a raid zone.

Groups are the way to success. Before I ever step foot into a raid dungeon, I know that our raid force’s success has already been largely determined. I realize that the best way to prepare for raids is to prepare raiders and the best way to prepare raiders for raiding lies in groups. I know that we bond in groups. We gear up in groups. We prepare for raids in groups.

Mine is a thankless job. I accept this. I accept that if I am polite and the raid fails, I will be berated. I accept that if I am kind and the raid is slow, I will be judged. I accept that even if the raid is a success, so long as I am not polite, I will be criticized. I accept that when I do well, I will rarely hear it. I accept that when the raid fails, it is my fault.

If I believe I am acting firm, I am being rude. If I ask someone to leave the raid, I am a jerk. If I call out someone on their performance, I am elitist. If I reserve any loot for a critical raid class, I have favorites. If I remain quiet, I am weak. If I chat, I am distracting. No matter what I do, I will never please all of my raid force. No matter what I do, I will always be compared to other raid leaders who do things better than I.

It is irrelevant that the very people who tell me what I am doing wrong as a raid leader are rarely people who have ever been a raid leader. It is irrelevant that the reason a raid failed is due to one person making the same mistakes over and over. It is irrelevant that the target was just too hard for the raid force we brought. Any time we fail the raid and any time I am criticized, the fault is mine.

I take failure personally. Each time we fail, there is something that I could have done differently. I could have explained the strategy differently. I could have benched a different raider. I could have chosen a different target. There is a never a raid which fails which is not my fault. That is the responsibility which is mine as raid leader.

There are no second chances on raids for the leaders. Each raid is a trial. Each raid is a judgement. Each raid is a review. If I perform well, raiders will continue to follow me. If I perform badly, they will stop attending my raids or even seek a new raid force. This is the reality I live with. This is the the only thanks I will ever truly know – that if I do my job well enough, I will be allowed to continue to do my job again in the future.

I am a raid leader.

110% accurate, so you followers out there, remember this the next time something goes wrong on a raid. Don’t be too hard on the guy organizing it all.

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What a Great Idea!

Posted in Everquest, Gaming, Gaming News, MMO, MMORPG, PC, Retail, WoW with tags , , , , , , , , on 01/17/2009 by Jeremy (Jmo)

Even though my current “main game” of sorts is World of Warcraft (again), I’ve always been a Sony fanboy. Whether it be their consoles or their MMOs, I’ve always at least given them a shot. Most of the time, I have not been let down.

Earlier today there was an announcement put out about a new way to get your hands on SOEs MMOs. Steam. Yep, you heard (read) me write! Sony’s main MMOs are now available for download on Steam. Why do I care? Steam reaches over 15 million people. These 15 million people now all have a ton of MMOs more readily available to them, including Everquest. If it wasn’t for EQ, I wouldn’t even have this blog. It’s what brought me into the world of MMOs, and for that, I will be forever greatful.

So my props and kudos to SOE, for taking a step in the right direction, where marketing and distribution are concerned. Wish them the best of luck in this endeavor, and truly hope that this will actually cause a spike in subscription numbers for EQ, EQII, Vanguard, and any others that are now on Steam.

As a side note: For those that don’t know, I spend a lot of time as an Admin on NotAddicted.com and have recently started hosting the site’s PodCast. Be sure to check out Not-A-Cast, and NotAddicted, when you get a chance. I keep it fairly short…for now. Also, I’m scheduled to be on an upcoming No Prisoners, No Mercy Podcast as well. Stay tuned!

(Some) Pixels Are People, Too!

Posted in Gaming, MMO, MMORPG, WAR, WoW with tags , , , , , on 09/29/2008 by Jeremy (Jmo)

So, after a long day at work, I decided to get on and play some WoW, in hopes of closing that long gap to 70. I’m on a PvP server, mind you, but the mentality that some people have while in-game still ceases to amaze me. I was camped for over an hour and a half by a single person who apparently had nothing better to do with their time. All I wanted to do was finish off a couple quests in W. Plaguelands, but to no avail.

I could go on ranting, but I felt the need to repost (in part, it is slightly updated) an article I wrote for NotAddicted.com a couple months ago. Thank to Julie at VirginWorlds (she runs the PodCast No Prisoners, No Mercy) for originally sparking the idea for this article in my head. I look forward to feedback.

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How “brave” and cold some can be behind the shield of anonymity.

I was listening to the “No Prisoners, No Mercy” Podcast over at Virginworlds.com and Julie, the show’s host, brought up a very good discussion topic that really got me thinking.

How many times have you had a really bad day, and just wanted to log into your favorite MMO and let loose, only to have a run-in with an in-game asshat? I know I can speak for most of you when I say it’s happened much more than once. Why is this though?

While I truly believe that the ability to remain anonymous is one of the root causes, it is not the whole reason. I think back to reading a little book called “Lord of the Flies” and can see a definite parallel.

A bunch of children (players) are stranded on a desert island (log into game) and are left to their own devices. There is no true governing body to lead them on a moral path, so they are left to choose their own. While GMs do get involved sometimes, they do not have a direct relation to how one player treats another.

Humans are fallable. We all make mistakes from time to time, it’s just a fact of life.

In the book “Lord of the Flies”, Piggy, one of the main characters, is killed because a few of the other children get so mixed into their own little world, that they forget that their actions may have dire consequences for others. We can see this happening every day in our MMOs.

No, no one is killed by the game, but feelings are hurt and friendships are broken. Groups are destroyed, and Guilds are decimated. I truly believe that sometimes we get so drawn into our own little fantasy world while playing a game, that we forget the reality that there are other living, breathing human beings behind the other pixels on our screens.

I’m not saying that getting drawn into the game is a bad thing. Hell, I for one love to Roleplay. But what I am saying is that — and I’m just as guilty of this — we tend to treat others as less than human, and this gets even worse as we see players push towards end game and grow an even bigger e-penis. And this leads us back to the whole anonymity aspect of the MMO world.

While I tend to feel that the ability to be anonymous plays a major role, it is not the only cause of this online nonsense. What do you guys think? Does it all stem from the anonymity? Or is there another underlying cause? Where does all of this Ass-Hattery come from? Inquiring minds like mine want to know!

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Discuss away!