Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Guildleader Chores - Change is hard, and is a freebie as good as it looks?

Some time ago, Crooked told me about Discord. I looked into it and I had been surreptitiously using it to chat to Aimei to get the hang of it whilst we were concurrently on Ventrilo. I'm not that Discord-savvy yet, but it has some great features including a web-based ability so you don't have to have the program installed to listen, but you need the program if you want to speak. Great when you're travelling and want to listen to the raid.  It also has non-voice chat channels where you can post pictures and videos much to everyone's amusement.

It's a lot like Skype but with certain little things I like - such as Individual Volume Control. Voe too loud? Well I can turn him RIIIIIGHT down!

Because of my Vent server issues the other day and after trying Discord, we thought we would try it too. And it was alright - the voice part is quite crisp, and the latency is low. And it's FREE.

I don't know if they will make us pay for it in the future (I doubt it), but I do wonder how they make money. I even wrote to them wondering about it, and they replied:
Cilantrelle (Discord)
Sep 3, 23:09
Hey Navimie,
Glad to hear everything's working out great! We have no plans to charge for any of Discord's core functionality, so if you want to bring the whole guild on board, we'd be happy to welcome everyone to the Discord family!
We do have plans to release skins, sound packs, and other cosmetics for financial purposes, but Discord will be free!
If you have any other questions or feedback, let us know! We're all ears. :D
But I need to fix it up a lot. I have to figure out how to link the channels better etc. Aimei linked me some info that I need to go through so I can improve my Discord server.

But, how can something that looks so good be free?

Discord has had a lot of money poured into it by investors, and so they seem pretty happy for the moment to let everyone use it for free, with plans in the future for stickers and cosmetic things to make some cashflow. Not sure I'd do that though. If they were like 10c, maybe.

There was some concern with the privacy disclaimers that Discord had. Jason jumped onto reddit to answer some concerns people had:
Hey nfowleri - I'm one of the devs (and founder) on Discord. Just thought I'd jump in and clarify. For some context, this policy was written for our first product which was a game. Discord is really really new, and we haven't had a chance to make a new one specifically for it yet. I realize that's not ideal, but we'll have a Discord specific policy ready soon.
Our intention is to build an amazing product that modernizes VOIP and Chat apps for gamers. We do not intend to profit off of invading your privacy or selling your data. We will not sell your data to 3rd parties. We will not read your messages or record your conversations.
Your "browser history" does not belong to us and cannot be accessed by us. Browsers do not even make the data available. The only history data we get is the website that referred you to Discord called the "referring Web Site." This is very typical and is used so we can tell where our traffic comes from (i.e., reddit or google).
As for the "usage and activity" that refers to our use of analytics so we can improve Discord. We very often review anonymized and non-anonymized usage data so we can learn what features people use, what features people may be confusing, etc. The goal is to include real data in our understanding of how to improve Discord. This sort of thing is very typical for all software these days... and it's a part of what will help us make Discord awesome.
Anyway, I hope that clarifies a bit. I know it's important to stay vigilant when dealing with companies since you never know who is going to be nefarious or not. I hope that we'll be able to demonstrate over time that we're one of the Good Guys :-)
Thanks and lmk if you have any more questions. I'm @jasoncitron on twitter and will be checking reddit regularly.
The privacy thing was a bit concern. But people on Facebook and Twitter surely have the same data collection being done to them, so I wasn't that fussed with what Discord was doing with the information they were collecting. I did worry that they were selling the information they took from us to other companies for advertising/marketing purposes, but it looks like that's not the case, phew.

It's not a perfect system though, but every chat program has its dropouts. We had a server dropout at a crucial time during an achievement we were attempting last Thursday. However, for what it is right now, it's great and I would highly recommend it as a gaming chat program. The other great thing about it was on Thursday I had a suburban power failure and I just jumped onto my mobile phone client and listened to the raid as well as told them what had happened to me. Handy! Couldn't do that with Mumble or Ventrilo!

I'd love to hear your experiences with it and whether there are any drawbacks to Discord that I haven't come across yet. Feel free to leave comments anonymously if you're shy :D

Monday, November 30, 2015

Raiding - Diagonals and A Mythic Kill

Our first combined mythic run was plagued with so many problems I am surprised we got a kill!

Firstly, the Frostwolves side didn't produce the numbers required. Ultra tried to get on but his internet was rubbish. Nok was out. Duck was out. Yuuda was with his new girlfriend. Az and Exray said they weren't interested, and neither was Crooked. Ash and Brutal said that they weren't keen on Mythic. That doesn't leave many people to play.

As it was, we scraped together 9 people. Kyxyn, Aimei, Navi, Rag, Lushen, Sev, Voe (who was late), Danleet and Crooked grudgingly agreed to come. I felt bad about it, but he was too nice to let everyone else down.

Onineko produced the extra - Kupp, CTwin, Stormshot, Sonuku, Anghelz, Malkwyn, Yogoth, Sinnoh, Pharo, Angryhealzz, and Peggysui.

Kupp and Aimei were tanking and we basically split to guild groups to look after a side each.

At first we had issues with the order, but we managed to get that down quick enough, and Rag and Angry did the bulk of the healing since Pharo and I were running artillery to our cannons. I felt a bit bad as we had to take an extra DPS on our side so the Onineko side was a bit down on DPS, and Berserkers were really smashing the tanks if they weren't killed fast enough.

When we did kill it, it was so sudden, suddenly BOOM! It was dead.

Can you believe it, no guild banners!

Then we thought we'd have a crack at Iron Reaver. There was a rather hilarious member exchange when we discussed some raid positioning issues for the fight.

I was at red marker with Aimei and Kupp was at purple. Kyxyn mentioned that he put the tanks at a diagonal so they could move in to help opposite sides.

Kupp was a bit confused. He mentioned that he wasn't at a diagonal. Then, after we told him he was, he insisted he wasn't.

"A diagonal is the line between two opposite corners of a square," Kyxyn pointed out. "And... umm... I'm a maths teacher, you are having this argument with the wrong person," which brought gales of laughter from everyone else. Turns out poor Kupp thought red was adjacent to him or something, rather than an opposite. Either that or he didn't get through primary school maths. Or it could have been late.

Well. Kupp at least brought some humour to the raid. He's good for something! I kind of think of him as their morale mascot. I guess if he's always bringing humourous relief like that, I can see why.

Iron Reaver was messy. I ashamedly died to a barrage, but so did a whole bunch of other people. It seemed to go OK though overall - there are some slight differences with the bombs but other than that, it's pretty similar.

I think everyone who went actually enjoyed themselves - maybe except Crooked, who was dragged there. But he can't be sad about getting an achievement! Even Lushen said he had fun, and Aimei too. There was no degenerating to our basal instincts, screaming and pointing the big fingers of shame. I enjoyed myself, and I am looking forward to getting Iron Reaver down this week.

Officially a mythic raider I guess! Now, let's see if I can repeat what happened at the end of last expansion and keep raiding until the end of the tier! I'm not sure how long we can keep going, but there may be some people out there wanting a nice guild to raid with - you never know who might join our family next!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Navispam - Keeva is still around!

The other day someone in Onineko asked me if I knew Keeva because he had been in her guild before, and I had said, yes of course I knew Keeva. She was one of the great resto druid bloggers in her day, alongside Phaelia, Beruthiel, Jasyla and Lissanna.

Her blog, Tree Bark Jacket, went quiet sometime in 2011, because she had real life things to do (and then her site got hacked) so I had thought she had stopped playing WoW.

I do follow her on twitter but rarely saw when she tweeted about WoW stuff and when I went to look at her tweets, I realised that she still DID play WoW.  I looked her up and there she was, still active. Boy did I feel silly. Just because she doesn't blog anymore doesn't mean she doesn't play anymore!

She was on a realm that I don't have a toon on (but I do have a toon on a connected realm - handy), and using my super stalking skills I tried to be on an hour before she was last active - anyone who has young children tends to stick to a routine and log on at the same time each day. So I whispered her guildies, asking if she was online and they were very polite and said they would send her a btag message and she would be on shortly. I wondered if this happened often.

Soon she was online! I quickly introduced myself - though no need because she did know who I was and she must have thought how silly I was because I was excited she knew of me. I asked if she would mind taking a picture with me and she graciously agreed!

The good thing about oceanic realms is you can invite to party across realms without being btagged and so we met up in her garrison and had a quick chat. I asked her about raiding because I noticed she wasn't raiding anymore, and she said she didn't have the time but still pottered around doing all the solo things and dungeons - though she did do LFR! She was quite interested in the Diablo type dungeons coming in Legion and I chattered away about how there seem to be a large amount of druid guild leaders compared to other classes. I also asked her if she had a Tree Bark Jacket in her bags - as I was surprised she wasn't wearing it - and would you believe it, she doesn't have one! o.O

It was pretty cool meeting one of my druid heroes from my early druid days! Thank you Keeva for letting me hang out in your garrison :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

#FriendshipMoose and Free Moose runs - An example of a great WoW community? Or an administrative nightmare?

A popular topic on the forums right now is Free moose runs. What is that, I hear you ask?

And there was also FriendshipMoose as well. #FriendshipMoose is a Twitter-community driven initiative to get people the Grove Warden mount from killing Archimonde on Heroic.

Now, both the ideas are great in theory and in sentiment, but there are a lot of things that can disrupt the whole charitable idea.

Firstly, I wanted to sign up to help as a healer. The sign up process is more like a movie sitting - once it's full you have to get the next session, except the next session isn't up yet for me to put my name on. And you don't know when the next session is.

If I donated my time as a healer who has experience on Heroic Archimonde, I think a sign up sheet with:
- Toon Name/Realm
- Battletag
- Class and Role (Tank, Heal, RDPS, MDPS)
- Available times to assist

And leave it at that. Potentially, if there were people who were planning a run and looking for people who can help (because you probably can only "carry" 4 people in a 20 man if everyone else is geared enough) they could go through the list of available people and ask them if they'd like to help.

Secondly, you'd hope that there would be some way to ensure that everyone - the person that is getting into the group as well as those who are doing the run - has a good time. You would hate to be the one carrying someone who was ungrateful and unpleasant, or be on the one being carried and being harrassed and belittled. Perhaps a rating system?

Open raid is a good way to organise all this stuff. The infrastructure is already there to set up runs and give ratings. I'm surprised they don't use Open raid as the raid organiser and just use the websites, Facebook and Twitter to promote the Free Moose runs.

Also, I'd hope that those trying to get in on their free moose will be patient. There will be a lot more people wanting to get their mount than those who want to help. I'd hate to see people angry and frustrated because they got their hopes up and were dashed.

I think that a paid run puts less stress on - because in a paid run there is little expectation that you would be able to do anything (ie a full carry/dead weight) and you don't feel as bad being a bad player because you did pay for it in gold.

Runs on our server are going for 50k gold. I think it's similar on other servers.

I hope everyone who wants a moose can get one. I wish that such a great mount wasn't put as a drop from heroic Archimonde - this would have been better kept at the store, or even attached to some world achievements. A better Archimonde mount would probably be something like the Fel wolf that the reward for the HFC meta-achievement - or a mechanical mount, like a rideable Fel Cannon or something. But, it is what it is!