Appreciate Your Guild Leader Day

So I’ve had a rough weekend.  Without a regular sub (no, haven’t logged back into EVE yet, but I do need to do that to wrap up a few loose ends) I’ve been concentrating on my favorite brower based F2P game – The Reincarnation (aka Archmage for you old timers), where I lead one of the games oldest and (to my mind, but I’m biased) best guilds.  But lately there’s been a little too much drama for my tastes.

The player base has dwindled over the years – which is not surprising.  The game itself is over a decade old now, and it shows in the graphics and interface.  For many years though, the main guild (as opposed to solo) server has had an “Apprentice Academy” to help new players of the game.  You can join that guild and learn all the unofficial guidelines that have developed over the long life of the game, not have to worry about being picked on or being warred to death while learning, and get some good teaching from some of the games best mages.  Though there are no protective mechanics in place for the Academy, most everyone differed to them for the good of the game as a whole and the hope that it will help the life of TR continue.  As a guild leader, I too supported their efforts, knowing it was the best way to find good new players for our guild.

A few sets ago apparently though, a move was made putting teachers into that Academy, rather than teaching from their own guilds on the server.   No official announcement was made, and those who saw it shrugged and moved on – there are some mechanical advantages to being in the same guild – easier to share battle reports and more lines of communication.  Which leads me down this tender road:


This set though, the Academy leaders renamed it “Advanced Academy” and welcomed not only new players, but graduates as well.  They also radically expanded the teacher base.  As a result, out of the dozen or so active guilds on the server, AdvA now ranks 4th.  Some of their “students” occupy spots in the Top 50 (out of some 600 active mages).   Some of the teachers have taken advantage of the confusion over their place in the guild and the hands-off approach that is afforded the Academy to break commonly accepted rules of engagement (ROE’s – the game is essentially constant Open PvP, and over the years to keep the entire server from constantly being in a state of wild abandon, there are now lines in the sand between attacks that help you rank and move up – and attacks that are deliberate assaults on a guild or player)  and “hide” among the ranks of students to reduce the number of attacks that they would have to face.

How do I know this?  Because my guild caught a teacher doing just that.   On talking about this, our guild realized that *all* of us had been letting go numerous violations of our ROE’s – not just by students, but by teachers too.  So we did what any guild would do when faced with that situation – we declared war.  All bets are off in war – ROE’s are not respected, the most powerful and destructive magics and units are utilized, etc.

And that’s when the crying began.  That we needed to accept AdvA’s sanctity, and that we were hurting the new players and the game.  Always one to try to do what is right, I set up a ceasefire to work out a diplomatic solution.  The first diplomat they sent just repeated “you are wrong” over and over and told us to stop immediately or else.   So I kicked him out of our IRC channel.  The second one they sent called me words that I can’t really repeated here.  So I kicked him out too.  The third one they sent has been pretty much the same as the first.


Normally at this point, I would be done with the whole ball of wax.  And I am.  But I do feel a responsibility for those new players who would be caught in the crossfire.  As a result, I just laid down some basic rules and a mild punishment and let the whole thing go (for this set anyway).   Which achieved nothing.  The other guilds are mad that we didn’t follow through with the war  – they agreed but didn’t have the guts to pull the trigger themselves.  The AdvA people are royally pissed and taking every potshot they can at us through the people who run the game and through the game itself.  Even some of my own guildmates are upset.


So why am I writing this?  Just to let you all know – I’m declaring this HZero’s unofficial – Appreciate Your Guild Leader Day.  Because we put up with crap that 99% of any MMO playerbase just wouldn’t have time for, and sometimes people just don’t understand that.  There are tough decisions to be made, babies to be dealth with, and activities to coordinate.  So when you log in today, send a PM or a public “YAY” to your current guild leader and tell them how much you love them for all they do.  Okay?  It will make their week, I promise.

State of My Game: November

I’ve been thin on content lately my friends – I had a large family wedding this weekend and this week a dear friend passed away, so I have been neck deep in friends and memorial arrangements.  Here’s where I’m at:

EVE Online 

I should be back in the fold as of tonight.  I have plans and alot of future posts planned about those plans, so stay tuned.  Mostly I’m excited to strap into that badass Command Cruiser and put it to good use in the coming PVE events in Incursions (when it finally drops I suppose).  Also on the docket – T2 missiles and projectile weapons.  Its time to diversify into the world of Minmatar.  Kudos to EVE Online’s re-sub discount, its one of the reasons I’m back.

Fallen Earth

I am back in here as well, working my way through some content to catch up with my brother.  Mostly I have my eyeballs on crafting though, as usual.  I have a severe case of motorcycle envy, and and even worse case of submachinegun/shotgun envy.  I’m trying hard not to blow all my points on Pistol to have one  *now*.  Kudos to Fallen Earth for their re-sub discounts.  Its one of the main reasons I’m back.  Seeing a  trend here?

Star Trek Online

I am around 700 skill points shy of my Nebula and Akira.  After that, I have no idea what, if anything, I will be doing in the game.  I continue to be intrigued by Diplomacy though.   Part of my slow progress in the game has been spending time (without spending Credits, because I know I will need them for the non-free Tier 3 ship) stringing together enough Diplo XP to open up more missions.  I’d really love to see them spend more time in that category.  I enjoy the space battles and land battles, but I need the exploration and conversational stuff thrown in to break up the monotony that can come from having an MMO where your skill bar has less than ten buttons on it instead of the normal thirty or so.  One other request Cryptic – and a small thing I never thought I would miss – color code the quests by level.  As it currently stands you have no way of seeing, until the quest is in your log, its difficulty relative to you.  Gimme that old “grey to red” colorscale to help me sort them all out, m’kay?

Rifts: Planes of Telara

There may or may not be an Alpha.  It may or may not have an NDA.  I may or may not be in it.

Everquest II

I haven’t been playing but I’m excited.  My wife and I’s ten year anniversary is upcoming.  She asked me last week what I wanted.  And I jokingly said “play some games with me.”  She pursed her lips and replied “one night?”  I said, “one for each year of marriage.”  She frowned.  “Okay,” I admitted, “I’m open to some negotiation here.”  If it happens, and it looks like it might, this would probably be where we would play.  No extra money, its pretty vanilla in terms of system, not alot of grieving going on, etc.

Pirates of the Burning Sea

Goes F2P this month, and it will be on like Donkey Kong.

The Reincarnation

I continue to urge you to this free warhorse of a game.  Its been going on for over a decade now, and is fantastic.  We are currently neck deep in a two front war, and about to open a third.  Its my third or fourth set leading our guild, and we have truly grown into a veteran war guild.  Despite the two front war, we have lost only one mage to each of those opponents, while slaying multiple foes on each front in response.  And another two will probably be dead before the day is out.  If you like strategic PvP, this is the place for you.  I imagined that would apply to alot of you EVE pilots out there…

So that’s it.  Add in my long reading list and my neglected novel for NaNoWriMo, and you’ve peeked inside my world this month.  Was it good for you?

State of My Game: September ’10

Well looks like I have shingles for another week – this according to my latest doctors visit on Monday.  I’ve also been told that I was lucky that we caught it early.  Normally shingles on the torso manifests around one nerver branch – with the rash covering perhaps a rib or two.   Mine is vertical from the top of my shoulderblade to midway down my back, wrapping around all the way to the front.   This week the fun has been numbness and itching, which don’t go well together.  Because it itches, and you try to scratch it, but you can’t feel anything.  Oi.

Anyway, onward to the games  (its more fun this way – if you see a game you dont play/dont like, just skip to the next one!):

EVE Online

I’ve decided to rest this one for awhile.  While there is alot still on my training list and I’d like to do planetary interaction, I just can’t seem to get motivated to do much more than change skills and sign in once a week to run a mission or two.  That’s still plenty of entertainment for $15, but I have other areas that would be probably more fun and productive.  My one big regret here is that this means the corp will probably sell that big beautiful Damnation they were building for me…

Star Trek Online

I swear I’m going to get that Akira before my sub lapses in February.  Consider it my other yearly goal or something.  Plus I want to see these new diplomacy missions.  Sadly enough though – I watched the AMC Star Trek Movie marathon last week (two weeks?) ago, and even that didn’t movitate me to play…

Champions Online

Free game time, for anyone (not just past account holders – new players will have access to the whole game) from today to September 7th.  That will be just enough time for me to check in on my favorite superhero and teleport around a bit.  And probably just enough time to get bored with the game again.

Fallen Earth

 Last night I went to cancel my subscription because my free time was out and I haven’t seen hide nor hair of my brother since he bought The Guild 2 (for the unfamiliar – its like a medieval version of The Sims).  I could have played some solo and been fine, but after 3 solid weeks of adventuring in the game, I was ready for a little break.  That turned into a big break when…well more on that later.  Anyway, as it turns out, they had billed my card for the month’s sub one hour and forty five minutes before I logged in to cancel.  I was *that close.*  Last night I was pissed about it, grumbling, and considered asking for the money back.  This morning though, I was of a more philosophical frame of mind.  The studio could probably use my money, I like what they’ve done, I’m not sure I’m really done with the game yet, etc.   Let it never be said that I’m not a generous person!

The Reincarnation

 And this is the reason I haven’t logged in to much in the MMORPG world lately.  My favorite free game heated up again when we got into a major war.  A three way alliance of guilds, totaling 77 players, taking on the servers favorite guild of villainous backstabbing players, totaling 30 in number.  Not fair yes, but the enemy brought it on their own head – running their mouth, trying to sneak spies into other guilds, leftover hostility from betrayals last set, etc.   I give them credit,  they were losing tactically just by shear numbers, but they made up for it strategically and diplomatically.  At first they war dec’d everyone, which caused us all to waste turns and trip over each other.  You can’t share battle reports and spell logs if you are not allied, and most of the other guilds weren’t going to ally for any number of reasons.  Then yesterday they simply disbanded their guild, leaving us to rebuild our enemylistings and battle morale issues from some of our guys who were ready to be done and thought that should be the end of it.   Thus far we’ve gotten 7 of them and only lost 1 of ours, and we have perhaps another 6 of theirs on the ropes that will go down in the next couple of days.   It will still make for a tough Armageddon though because we haven’t been able to drag down many of their top mages.  I’ve enjoyed being the guild leader again this set, particularly with all the diplomatic hurdles and hoops I’ve had to jump through.  Makes me want to play more Vanguard!


Yes, yes, yes.  I’ve really enjoyed it so far.  The limited races and classes has actually *helped* my game.  I know I can’t create mulitple crafting alts.  I know I can’t hoard my gold, I need to spend it on gear.  I’ve discovered two new classes that I passed over before that I really really enjoy (Warlock and Inquisitor).  I really like the new twists they put on the starter areas (yay no more annoying little girls in Feydark!)  though I still really do miss the trial islands.  And I’ve come to accept the fact that I like the Neriak and Gorowyn starting areas best, despite my earlier Gorowyn gripes.  The change up in skills was not as bad as I thought, and the new appearance flexibility goes way beyond what I imagined (you can be using a sword and board for group play and yet look like you are dual wielding axes, etc).  Some of the RP skills I liked (Summon Food and Water for example) are actually still available, but are considered “fun” spells now and can be purchased rather than given automatically.   Plus, I ran into someone who had transferred their level 90 over (a Shadowknight, what else?) and we had a good time talking as he ran me through Darklight Woods to the tune of 6 levels and 7 AA points.  While dumping a mound of gold on me (would have been platinum, but there’s that pesky cap on money).   I don’t know if this is representative of the whole game or not – but our group consisted of him with an active account, me with an inactive account – and two brand new players.   That’s a great sign for the game I think.

All that – and more than anything, all I want to do is shell out for a Station Pass.  How said is that?  All these good games, many of them for free, and I still want to spend money.  I guess the F2P systems works somehow then.  Perhaps alot like it worked for Wizards of the Coast when 3rd edition DnD dropped.  The Core Rules were free – but everything else cost ya.  And it made them truckloads of cash.

The downside is that it also made them greedy – hence no free stuff in 4th edition (I wish someone would take them to court over this, because I think they would win considering their public pledge that Dungeons and Dragons would henceforth, always and forever, be free).  But that would never happen to our friends in the MMO industry would it?

Tag, You’re It!

“Listen, Ender, commanders have just as much authority as you let them have. The more you obey, the more power they have over you.”

~ Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card

I can’t help but think this in some ways sums up the latest development in my “other mmo” – The Reincarnation.  Our High Council is made up of what basically amounts to a singular leader and three advisors.   The leader is going to miss at least half of the coming set due to RL issues, and she will be missed.  The advisors are all there because they are vets who know  the game,  but who do not wish the burdens or extra time commitment of leading the guild.   And one of them will not be returning next set.   So our blessed leaders nominates – me. 

I was surprised.  Even more so when the vets chimed in their approval of the selection.  Surprised I guess because we have butted heads throughout the last two sets under the stress of what basically became a blood feud with another guild.   But…enter the above quote.  While we fought often, I never abandoned the guild.  I didn’t agree with the fighting, yet I was still involved with it – to the point of landing that KO last week.  Basically, I wasn’t fighting because someone ordered me to.  I was fighting because I decided that I would fight.  Because I love the guild ideals.  Because I believe that loyalty has a price that needs to be paid for, sometimes in blood.  Such a person accrues a reputation for being a team player, for being self motivated, and for being reasonable.  And those things, more often than not, accrue respect.  And to those we give respect…

Or of course, maybe its just the old musical chairs conundrum.  Last one standing the when the music stops…  (-:

Anyway, long story short – The White Raven is now my personal baby.  And this set is wide open.  We need more people.  And for that you need relationships, as I have explained before.  And I have a relationship with you – nominal as it may be.  So head over to the Silvery Talon Tavern and get yourselves signed up.  No worries, we have an extensive training campus.

But…we require three things:

Thou shalt make thy guild proud.
Thou shalt be loyal to thy guild.
Thou shalt not ashame thy guild.

Do you have what it takes?