Archive for November, 2010

Rated Battlegrounds – A Golden Opportunity Missed

Posted in PvP, World of Warcraft on November 27, 2010 by Armada

I can count on a single hand the number of times that Blizzard has announced an upcoming feature for the World of Warcraft where the implementation plans of said feature has me scratching my head and wondering “what could have been”. Unlike some failed new game mechanic implementations such as voice chat or meeting stones, the upcoming new rated battlegrounds have such potential to further enhance the Player verses Player experience on so many levels. Unfortunately, new details recently released regarding how these new rated battlegrounds will actually operate has tempered my anticipation and left me with so many questions along with feeling a high level of frustration and disappointment.

First let me detail just some of the key points of these new battleground mechanics for those that are interested.

* These new rated battlegrounds will support 10v10 and 15v15 brackets. It is important to note that the 25v25 bracket support that was initially announced has been scraped.

* The rated battlegrounds will require manually creating a “pre-made” before queuing into the system. This can be done within your guild and/or by utilizing the global chat channels to find players (in much the same way as PUG raids are formed).

* Honor scoring will be similar to the new Arena honor system

* No solo queuing

* Teams consisting of at least 80% guild members will receive bonus honor

Okay… so where do I start with my disappointment? I will try to divide my frustration into two facets; the mechanics of creation and scoring and the incredible missed opportunities and narrow focus of this “new” system. Let us start with the mechanics. Why and for what purpose would Blizzard not allow a single solo player to queue into a team for rated battlegrounds? If your answer is the “for the same reason you cannot solo queue into an Arena team” then you need to keep reading because the system is inherently flawed as I will explain.

I suspect that the development team might, at least in part, state that they feel solo players who queue together with the same mechanic as the regular battlegrounds, will be at a disadvantage to those who actually create a rated “pre-made” and that there would be little to no difference between these rated battles and the normal battlegrounds. While I concede that this is indeed a valid assumption, my response would be “so what?” and I would add that they would only be similar because you took the easy road in the initial design by not including differentiators (more on that in a moment). The short answer is fix both systems while you are in development mode.

No one, least of all me, is going to argue that a pre-made is not the best option for victory. A fact that any seasoned PvP fan can verify. However removing what might be the only convenient option for a not insignificant portion of the player base only means that elitism and prejudice (read the “gear score” mentality) will continue to run rampant. Blizzard has all but admitted that the Arena system, in its current form, was a mistake. So it seems to be that the fine folks at Blizzard should do a little history reading on George Santayana (yes I am going to make you Google it).

If Blizzard allowed players to queue solo there would be no shortage of players on both factions using this feature and as such, these more “random” teams could be paired up against one another. If the development team wanted to really get creative they could implement a system that matched up teams based on scoring that accounted for not only item level but also the number of players that joined “as group” or even how many belong to a single guild and/or server.

Let us delve into this for a moment. Just think about some of the great and creative matchups that could exist this new system. Not only could the system pair groups of pre-mades in similar gear – much like the way the dungeon tool works now – but in addition we could see for example, a 10v10 bracket matchup with an Alliance pre-made team consisting of 10 guild members in say level 270ish gear going up against a random Horde group of solo participants that are rolling in with 290ish gear (remember this are level 85 battle grounds so the gear will be increased). That might put to bed the question of which is more important; gear or coordination and logistics. Obviously skill becomes the “X-factor” here but there is a sweet spot to be found and the potential matchups are almost limitless.

As we now move on to discuss the missed opportunities, keep in mind that this new system has an incredible potential to really change and enhance the genre by making the mechanic more accountable on a personal level while also building a system that rewards performance, dedication and activity. Anyone who has spent any time in a BG or remembers the old days, can recall with extreme prejudice and disdain the AFK infestations, fishers and just flat-out leaching of honor that the system inadvertently rewarded so many players while penalizing the hard-working with unjust team losses.
What I speak of specifically is the way scoring will be done with no innovation whatsoever despite the potential here being enormous.

The new system could reward and incent the diligent and dedicated while weeding out those that look to game the system or watch Netflix while playing. This would be incredibly easy to do with some minor scoring changes. I will provide an example with Eye of the Storm for demonstration, but keep in mind that there are number of similar or even better ways to do this, however the concept is the same and could be applied across maps.

* Increase individual bonus for carrying flag to tower
* Award individual bonus honor for taking a tower
* Award individual bonus honor for recapturing a tower

Pretty self explanatory here. If you capture the flag, take a tower or recapture YOU should be rewarded with some extra bonus. The team still benefits as well.

* Award individual bonus honor for a kill (based on damage not final blow)

I am not sure if killing blows are part of the existing equation, but while they are great to display as a stat they should have no bearing on scoring. We have all done 90% of the work before only to see a well timed strike from a teammate result in a lost killing blow.

* Award a slight end of game modifier of bonus honor for top X in DPS
* Award a moderate end of game modifier of bonus honor for top X in healing
* Award a  end of game modifier of bonus honor for defending a tower

The differentiators. I tire of all the complaining that someone who has worked his or her butt off to be a killing machine and damage dealer does not deserve a bonus for their hard work, gear, ability and time invested. There should of course be other routes available to say, my protection spec warrior who will NEVER top a scoreboard in damage done, but can hold off 3 or 4 guys until the Calvary comes. On the other side of the equation we have healers who have long suffered from any lack of incentive in PvP. A good system will reward the “best” of the game in a number of areas with incentives to keep getting better.

* Apply a moderate end of game penalty modifier to bonus honor based on a lack of damage or healing
* Reduce group honor for honorable kills

If however you are not very good yet because of gear or skill, then you will still gain some honor but not at the same pace as those that have carried the battle. And if you are trying to game the system or just lazy then a good system will make it so that it is “not worth” the effort (or lack thereof).
At the end of the battle, a modifier will be applied to each individual based on all the factors above (and maybe some I have not even thought of) and honor will be awarded accordingly.

Lets look at a hypothetical example:

Base Honor for a WIN: 100
Base Honor for a LOSS: 25

Player A: Leads scoreboard in damage, captured a flag and netted 65 honorable kills. His modifier might end up being 1.25. His team won EotS so he gains 125 bonus honor plus above and beyond his in-game individual honor.

Player B: Also on winning team but decided to semi AFK most of the fight. He stayed at a tower most of game and was thus awarded some defense honor but ended up at bottom of damage/healing done. His modifier equates to .65. Based on his win he still gets 65 bonus honor. Not perfect but an improvement nonetheless.

Yes these are hypothetical scenarios and certainly open to argument (as is about everything in the game). But do not fall into the trap of thinking what we have now is satisfactory and could not be improved upon. It is one thing to not revisit a mechanic due to other priorities, but it is wholly another to add an entire new mechanic and to just copy over the flawed system. If rated battle grounds were deemed worthy enough to add to the game, then they are worthy enough to be done correctly.

Rules… Are They Really Made To Be Broken?

Posted in MMO, PvP, World of Warcraft on November 15, 2010 by Armada

In case you were unaware by the name brandishing this site, I am and have always been, a Horde player (for life). When I stood in line that chilly morning in November 2004, I had two rules that I swore I would never break for as long as I resided in the World… of Warcraft.

Now, to be fair, I never thought I would play this wonderful game for 6 years!

The first rule (of Warcraft Club) was that I would never play on any server that was not labeled as PvP. Having come from Ultima Online originally, followed by long stints on the Darktide Server of Asheron’s Call and Asheron’s Call 2 along with some not so long stints with Shadowbane, Age of Conan and Warhammer Online; the idea of playing on a server where I was artifically protected from another faction or player base seemed, well, stupid.

However, that rule was broken when I very recently grew tired of the immaturity and unbalanced nature of open world PvP (read; level 80s ganking and camping level 30s in say STV) and moved over to the Wrymrest Accord server, an RP PVE server no less. Things have been great, amazing in fact so far as I find the experience with the rule set and people in general a much more desirable setting.

Now that Cataclysm approaches I am also finding myself teetering on the edge of breaking my second rule. A rule that is so core to my MMO being that I am almost ashamed of its revelation (hence my posting it a blog?). Yes my second rule, never to be broken; to role and play an alliance character! Now to preface the details of this revelation, let me first state that I am and will always be, Horde For Life. I prefer everything about the Horde and 95% of my in game time will always remain on the Horde side. However as someone who has never stepped outside of starter zones on the Alliance side, as someone who does not even like the majority of the Alliance races (human hairlips anyone?), I find myself strangely attracted to the new Worgen race.

Let us put aside for the sake of this entry, my shared sentiment that the Worgen look, smell and feel like a Horde race (my apologies to the lore experts who could and would dispute this). Let us not even broach the fact that a need for racial balance was a driver in this decision. We can all agree that the Horde needed a “small” race in the Goblin, much like the ugly Horde needed a “pretty” race in the Blood Elves.

What am I to do? What if I really like my Worgen? What if I want to play him more than 5% of the time? While my allegiance to the Horde will never be shattered, the mere fact that I desire, for the first time ever, to roll and play an Alliance race has me shaken.

So I ask you, Horde brethren (and Alliance lurkers), will tempt fate and play a Worgen? Tell me how great the Goblins will be, tell me how I will enjoy killing Worgens more than playing them… talk me down from the ledge and show me that this rule in particular, should never broken!

Addition By Subtraction Is Fuzzy Math

Posted in PvP, World of Warcraft on November 9, 2010 by Armada

As anyone who has been reading my most recent blog entries will know, I have been on a bit of a retro/nostalgic kick in Azeroth lately. I suspect that this is due, in some part, to boredom with the Wraith content as we look towards Cataclysm. But that is not to say I have been bored in game, quite the contrary. This past week, I have spent the better part of my in game time on a secondary account that is utilizing one of Blizzard’s best recruitment tools, the “Recruit A Friend” feature. I brought back a friend of mine who has been away for a time and we have been really enjoying the fast leveling via the equally cool looking for dungeon tool. We are doing this for the specific purpose of creating some PvP Battle Ground bracket alts.

And that is where my ire was raised…

It was at this time, during my renewed interest in battle ground PvP, that I discovered something that I simply cannot rationalize. Try as I might to understand the Blizzard logic employed in this decision, I simply came up empty. So I have to ask, and maybe one of our readers can enlighten me; why and with what reason has Blizzard removed from the game, almost all of the older Tier gear as well as Seasonal PvP weapons and gear items? Sure, there are some basic older items for 60’s and 70’s but for the most part, all the amazing art, effects and uniqueness of 6 years worth of weapons and armor have been removed from the game.

Do you not remember the greatness that is the Tier 2 Paladin set? What about the Season 2 Warlock PvP set that might be the best looking armor set in the game. Did you forget about those incredible looking (and huge) Merciless Bonecracker maces? You know the ones that literally created the hybrid mace rogue template? Priest Tier 3? Hunter Tier 3? The list is long and… have you seen Tier 11? Not Blizzard’s finest work to be kind.

So Why?

Yeah I get it is not current… and my guess is that the “official” response and/or logic that Blizzard might give as a reason would be that they do not want people to be confused.

Really?

I have to be missing something because any “confusion” could be instantly and easily remedied and the game enhanced in any number of ways. Let me give you just three:

1. Put these items in a specific and unique location and have the place/NPC called “antique weapons of war” vendor. This combined with the sell back feature would mitigate any confusion completely.

2. Convert the honor costs to gold. These items no longer run any risk of being exploited or overpowered so why not keep them in game to add to the uniqueness and individuality of the characters? Heck make them very expensive if it is necessary.

3. Adjust the stats accordingly and make these items available for different level characters. I do not know about you, but my level 49 shaman would look pretty cool in the Tier 2 Ten Storms set!

The bottom line here is that 99% of the work is already done. The art and effect assets are complete along with the code. Yet they are wasted and unused. While I certainly concede that I am not a Blizzard developer, I do understand the development process very well and any remaining work to make these creative looking sets available in game and not unbalancing would not be difficult or cut into other work (relatively speaking).

So why would Blizzard not want the art in game when the benefits so clearly outweigh all (if any) negatives?

* Low resource cost
* Art assets already in game
* Adds diversity and uniqueness to game

Wheres the downside?

Bueller… Bueller?

Horde For Life Guild Charter

Posted in General, HFL, MMO, PvP, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on November 6, 2010 by Armada

Horde for Life Guild Charter

Original Version May 10, 2010

Revised May 22, 2015

You have found the Horde for Life guild charter. Within these pages are the specifics of the Horde for Life guild that all members and potential members are expected to read and become familiar with. If you were directed here and/or are new to the guild, the sheer amount of information might seem daunting at first. However the information is important to your success and tenure with HFL as we believe we offer one of the strongest communities in the World of Warcraft.

While this entire charter should be reviewed at length, we recommend for those that want to get an idea of what HFL is all about, to just read three sections; the H.O.R.D.E. Code and Guild Charter Synopsis which are the first two sections, followed by the FAQ at the bottom of the charter. This should at least give you a good idea if we are a good match for your play style and in-game attitude.

The H.O.R.D.E. Code
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H – Honor
O – Opportunity
R – Respect
D – Dedication
E – Equality

The H.O.R.D.E. Code is a summary, at the most basic level, of our core beliefs and tenants. We expect every member of Horde for Life from the Guild Leader down to the trial member to treat  this code equally as a guiding principle for behavior expectations in Horde for Life.

H – Honor:
We demand our members be honorable and fair in their actions. Show integrity for yourself, the guild and our members. Nefarious and thus dishonorable activities such as ninja looting, harassment, vulgarity and dishonesty are not welcome in Horde for Life and will be dealt with swiftly and severely.

O – Opportunity:
We believe that guilds should enhance, not limit a players opportunity to enjoy the game and the many various play styles that are available in any manner that they wish, provided it is done so in a stress and drama free environment and while not breaking our simple but zero tolerant guild rules.

R – Respect:
As a guild that strives to accommodate many play styles and dedications, we believe strongly that respect for one another is of paramount importance to the cohesion of the guild and it’s community. To maintain this level of respect we ask that members do not cross boundaries that include but are limited to; off-color or uncomfortable topics like vulgarity and racism or controversial topics such as politics or religion. Many people know the word respect but do not always understand the true meaning, we expect all our members to understand this fully.

D – Dedication:
Horde for Life members are expected to maintain certain activity levels within the guild and to advance our exposure and good name on the server and within the community. Every member can and should contribute even in the smallest of ways, including but certainly not limited to welcoming new members, being helpful in guild chat to answer a question, providing your trade skills to others in guild and participating in those guild events that fit your play style. These activities are crucial to our growth and sustainability.

E – Equality
While it is technically impossible to create a true and literal flat guild hierarchy, Horde for Life strives to provide a egalitarian and democratic structure where every member has a voice. Just like any organization from governments to charities, leadership must be maintained, but privileges, ranks and authority in Horde for Life are based, in their entirety, on merit, necessity and attitude as opposed to gear or level.

Guild Charter Synopsis – What To Know Before Joining
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While many intricate details are contained in this guild charter that should be read, this section is designed for new players to get a quick reference of the most important rules to know about HFL before joining. HFL is a zero drama guild. While this should be obvious, we have listed many but certainly not all behaviors that are considered drama and will not be tolerated by any member of any rank.

Core Rules

Guild Chat Behavior – Guild Chat is for all intents and purposes considered a public channel and as such must be monitored for offensive behavior. While HFL strives to offer a freedom of play style for its members, we must enforce certain rules of etiquette in the /g channel. The best advice one can follow in terms of guild chat is to think of it the same way you might think of any other real life public forum. We all have our proclivities around close friends and in family settings, however most if not all of us tend to talk with more respect in other forums. For instance, what you think might be appropriate to say to a close friend or a family member you might not say at your doctor’s office, place of work, church or at school. Follow that principal and you should never have a problem.

* Religion – This is a game first and foremost and not a place to offer your personal views of such topics. HFL is about tolerance and acceptance of others and your faith or opinion of faith is yours and yours alone. No one EVER wins a religious debate and expressing your views here only serves to cause drama and offense.

* Politics – Very similar to religion, no good comes from these discussions and any member who outwardly begins to voice opinions on these matters will be treated as hostile and drama inducing. This includes discussion on any countries politics, political leaders, stance on war and political affiliation. Many of us have our passions and beliefs outside of the game, but please keep them to yourself.

* Racism – One of the very few things that will get you removed faster than politics would be any level, however mild it may seem to you, of racism. If this has to be explained, then stop reading now as you are not a good fit for our guild.

* Discrimination – No member of HFL should be discriminated against or made to feel uncomfortable. We are old and young, male and female and many of us come from all walks of life. However in-game we are brothers and sisters and respect should be accorded to one another.

* Vulgarity – HFL is a mature guild and as such we expect that some mild curse words may be used in chat. Our overriding view on cursing in chat is generally that if someone takes the time to type out a series of curse words, it is just a way for someone to say “hey look at me, I am mad” and frowned upon. That said, we do have some tolerance here provided one is not being overtly vulgar for vulgarities sake.

* Screaming (ALL CAPS) – This is just bad form. HFL is the largest guild on our server and one of the largest in the entire game. As such understand that at any time we have 50 to 100 people who are online. Typing in all caps is simply rude and an annoyance so we ask that you please refrain from this type of ranting.

* Spamming – Additionally, please refrain from posting multiple line text, especially information such as damage meters and complex ASCII art or congrats. This rule does not apply to officers who post lengthy macros with important and guild relevant information (meetings, raids, guild and podcast updates, et al.).

Additional Guild Rules

* No Begging – This includes begging for gold or runs and covers guild chat, trade chat or anytime in-game. Any HFL member begging reflects poorly on our guild and this action simply cannot be tolerated.

* Calendar Use –  Nothing is more aggravating than a guild member wanting to put together a last-minute 25 man raid and then getting upset because everyone in the guild is not dropping whatever it is they are doing and accommodating a request of one individual. The fact is that while are a community and strive to be helpful and friendly, it is also unreasonable to not respect that most everyone online is doing “something” and not just waiting around to assist others.

At the same time, for many members this is frustrating because you want to be helpful, but with no planning or scheduling, these events usually fail and have less than desirable participation. Making use of the in-game calendar feature is tantamount to the success of any event, from dungeons and quests to raids and world events.

Guild Overview
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Horde for Life (HFL) is a “seriously” casual Horde Guild on the Wyrmrest Accord US-RP Realm of World of Warcraft. We strive for and will always be a community guild where maturity, equality, respect and friendship are valued above all else. Our members realize that most of us receive enough stress and drama in our normal lives that we look to our online in-game experiences to provide an insulation from those negative energies. Participating in the World of Warcraft and HFL guild membership should never be a job. To that end, Horde for Life provides a home for only those that check attitudes, demands and any form of drama at the door.

While HFL certainly strives to reach all end game milestones, we will never do so in any way that would demand forced participation of any kind (raid, PvP, RP, et al) or otherwise take away from the “gaming” nature of this virtual world. We only ask that our members remain active, friendly and supportive of all drama free play styles. Conversely the very nature of our focus and culture to accommodate a freedom of play style does not limit or label our guild to only casual non raiding or non PvP type play styles.

In fact, we have and will always support raid and PvP initiatives and even work towards end game progression. The key however is that each raid or PvP team is self-contained and shall be led by a member who echos the same level of commitment exhibited from his or her team and that these initiatives never involve drama, stress or any expectation that falls out of our guild focus.

Guild Policies
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Horde for Life employs simple common sense rules that for most mature game players who are part of our target demographic, will be easy to understand and follow. These rules are in addition to abiding by our H.O.R.D.E code as detailed at the beginning of this charter.

1. Drama – No player/member is above the guild and we have a simple one warning system in place. If you cause drama you will be asked to stop one time, if it continues you will be demoted to a rank with no guild privileges pending a discussion with an officer. At that time you will either be re-instated or removed with all due haste. If you are not sure what drama is or if you are doing it, you are not someone who should be part of our guild anyway.

2. Guild Rating – HFL is a mature guild. This means that cursing and some behavior that is not intended for young players is to be expected (but never promoted). That said, we are NOT an “X” rated guild and extreme vulgarity or graphic language for the sack of just being vulgar will not be tolerated. Any violation of this policy will be treated the same as drama.

3. Participation – As stated HFL does not require any member to raid or PvP. If however you join a raid or PvP team, then we do expect you to attend those raids you have committed to in a reliable and prompt fashion. Violation of this policy will result in raid leader action that is commensurate with the degree of the violation and the individual raid leader and raid team expectations.

4. Representation – Since all HFL members represent our guild in whatever he or she is doing in-game, any and all actions that reflect negatively on our guild will be dealt with swiftly and decisively.

Guild Expectations
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In addition to some very obvious policies there are a few expectations that should be covered as well. These are not so much rules as general direction or tips for a better guild experience, not just for you but for all our members.

1. Time Respect – Nothing is more aggravating than a guild member wanting to put together an impromptu, last-minute 25 man raid and then getting upset because everyone in the guild is not dropping whatever it is they are doing and accommodating a request of one individual. The fact is that while are a community and strive to be helpful and friendly, it is also unreasonable to not respect that most everyone online is doing “something” and not just waiting around to assist others. At the same time, for many members this is frustrating because you want to be helpful but with no planning or scheduling, these events usually fail and have less than desirable participation.

2. Calendar – As a continuation of the time respect expectation, making use of the in-game calendar feature is tantamount to the success of any event, from dungeons and quests to raids and world events. Use of the calendar is highly encouraged and borderline required. If you are unfamiliar with the interface, seek a Crusader or Officer who will be happy to assist you.

3. Ventrilo – The use of vent, a free communication tool (www.ventrilo.com) is not mandatory for guild entry but is required for raids, arena, rated battlegrounds and even some heroics (at the discretion of the organizer). Many people are intimidated by vent, but keep in mind that you are not required to speak or even have a mic (unless you are leading) and just being able to hear direction in an event or encounter is very important.

4. Activity Levels – HFL is routinely at the Blizzard mandated guild member cap of 1000 players and as such we are required to institute minimum activity levels of 2 weeks. This only means that the character must have been online at least once in a two week period (yes even logging on for a minute is acceptable). Any character that has been offline for 14 days or more is subject to removal. Special circumstances of course do exist, please see FAQ below for more detail.

The HFL Member Profile
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We often are asked to outline our guild’s focus and the type of player who would make an ideal member in Horde for Life. Are we a raiding guild? PvP? Role Playing? Leveling? Hardcore? Casual? The truest answer is that we are a collection of dedicated players who immensely enjoy the game and the people who populate the server we call home. To label yourself into only one or two of the categories above is missing the point with Horde for Life. Some of our members can and do fit into all the above categories and that is perfectly acceptable.

The expectations of our members include:

1. Following of the H.O.R.D.E. code
2. You do not bring drama into our guild… ever
3. You follow our simple but zero tolerance rules (more on that below)
4. You understand that we allow and support all drama/stress free play styles
5. You are a mature and friendly individual

A note about maturity:

If forced to wear a label, Horde for Life would be categorized as a mature run guild. The majority of our members are over 30 and the bulk of our officer corps have kids now playing the game. It is important to note here that maturity refers only to the average age, attitude and mindset of our members and not the language or ESRB rating of our guild. Horde for Life clearly recognizes that age and maturity are at times, mutually exclusive of one another and as such, an immature acting 35-year-old is just as unwelcome in our guild as any stereotypical 12-year-old. Drama and Nerd-rage are the same, regardless of your birth date. While HFL has no intention of discriminating against younger players who follow our code and rules, and in fact have some supreme examples of exceptional younger players, the fact remains that our guild is probably best suited for those players who are in the adult age bracket.

In the end, we encourage our members to ask themselves… “Am I having fun first and can I do so within the confines of the rules and code of the guild without stress or drama?” If the answer is yes, then Horde for Life is the community for you. To best determine if you are a good for Horde for Life, take the H.O.R.D.E test at the bottom of this charter.

What is Casual?
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Guilds such as HFL are often labeled as casual because we do not support and in fact avoid at all costs, the militant and stressful nature of progression raid guilds and their accompanying obligations. While those individuals and guilds who chase world firsts and are fueled by the color purple are certainly hardcore, we would argue that our focus while accommodating to the casual player, is in fact not always casual.

Why?

Horde for Life will raid all content
Horde for Life will support serious raid teams
Horde for Life will support arena teams
Horde for Life will create rated and pre-made BG teams
Horde for Life has dedicated players who match the most hardcore in terms of “hours online”

The difference is that the Horde for Life member understands fully that it is a game first and foremost. The Horde for Life member will not introduce stress or drama over a game. And finally the Horde for Life member is not selfish and embraces a community focus and healthy respect for his or her guild brethren.

Role Playing
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Horde For Life while not a defacto RP guild, respects and supports all drama free RP elements and will in fact create RP related events and provide RP leadership. The lore of Warcraft is amazing and we believe adds to the in-game experience.

Raiding
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Horde for Life will raid any and all content in the game from Classic to Warlords and beyond. However we will do so at various levels depending upon the raid team composition and we will never become or support militant raid progression teams. Our goal is to provide a raid home for the casual to serious player. However we do require that even our serious teams understand that this is a game and we will never threaten a player with a “raid or die” mentality. Raiding in HFL will always be done on a friendly and amicable basis, and those that raid do not have any preferential status over those that concentrate on other in-game pursuits.

It is very important to note that HFL will rely heavily on individual raid teams as opposed to a single guild raid team. We will encourage and support our members to create or join existing raid teams and support their endeavors with site updates, recruiting, vent access and repair gold. Raiders and Raid Leaders will be designated as such within our guild and will be expected to treat every member in the raid group as well as the guild with respect and to conduct yourself in a civil manner.

While raiding in Horde for Life is strictly voluntary and not a prerequisite to join our ranks, we do expect those who choose to raid to be prompt and reliable. The key here is and always will be that we will not support, tolerate or allow any team, raid or member that becomes militaristic, drama fueled or stressful. In the end, respect, enjoyment and community must be the undercurrent of everything we do.

Player vs. Player
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HFL is not a primary PvP guild. Most members of HFL will PvP in small, impromptu groups. However, some members will form arena teams and organized battleground groups. Occasionally, as a guild, we coordinate World PvP events as well as PvP Initiation events in order to jump-start PvP among those who may have not experienced it yet. Like all other play styles within our guild, PvP is voluntary and never forced.

HFL Ranks
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The guilds ranks are designed to be simple and informative. A brief description of these ranks are as follows:

Trial – A trial member that will be reviewed and promoted with rights and privileges as an officer deems timely. No timetable here but feel free to contact an officer if you have been an active trial player for more than 2 weeks.

Core – Our primary member rank with guild rights and privileges. Core members will make up the bulk of our guild membership and should be considered a “member in good standing”. While there are higher ranks based on tenure and leadership positions, the Core member is in fact the rank that most players not interested in leadership will strive to achieve. There are no level requirements in achieving the Core rank.

Defender – The Defender title as a tenure rank signifies that a member has not only been in good standing with the guild for at least 6 months, but has also upheld the core tenants of our H.O.R.D.E code. The Defender rank is attainable for any character in good standing with no level restrictions.

Guardian – Guardians of HFL and our guild code, these quality members within HFL are honored Core members who have achieved three guild objectives. Guardians have served a tenure of 12 months within the guild, consistently exhibit the qualities of the H.O.R.D.E. code in their in-game actions and tend to go the extra distance to help and befriend others in guild. While Guardians are not defacto officers, they are fine examples of what we hold as important to our guild. The Guardian rank, like that of the Defender, is not subject to a level restriction provided the character is active within the guild.

Champion – A Champion of HFL and our guild code, this rank is reserved for characters who demonstrate dedication and selfless attributes and have been with HFL for at least 2 years. However, just as with the Guardian rank, tenure alone does not warrant this promotion. While tenure is a component, more importantly your attitude and approach to the game and the guild as a whole will set you apart as a Champion of the Horde for Life. Unlike the Defender and Guardian prestige ranks, Champions are required to be max level characters and very active within the guild.

Crusader – The Crusader role in Horde For Life the highest non officer role within HFL. However Crusaders often show leadership qualities in their daily actions. Crusaders are guild members who have shown a willingness to help shepherd our members and enjoy helping others. Crusaders while not officers, help with monitoring of guild chat rules violations, can assist with new member invites general assistance. Due to the limited amount of ranks available within the Warcraft guild interface, Crusaders may have varying roles, such as class or raid leaders, game play or lore officers and event coordinators just to name a few. However all Crusaders are expected to abide by and enforce our guild rules with fairness and modesty as an overriding theme. Crusaders are our finest example of a quality member and as such are held to a higher standard of rules adherence and expectations.

Officer – Officers in HFL have many of the same responsibilities as Crusaders but in addition are the “go to” leaders in guild with more direct needs or guild issues. Officers are empowered to remove individuals from guild as well as member promotions. As a community guild and not a dictatorship, Officers (and to a lesser extent Crusaders) possess a strong voice in the navigation and growth of our guild, including new policy creation and revision.

Administrator – Where an officer is empowered with rights and responsibilities on a tactical level, our Administrators are the stewards of our guild and are tasked with a very strategic and critical leadership role. Administrators are the final word on nearly any guild member decisions and answer only to the guild master. HFL officers serve at the pleasure of our Administrator council and it is very important to know that our Administrators are appointed with the expectation of being a lifelong position that is reserved for those that have displayed and demonstrated guild values counted in the years.

Guild Master / Founder – The Founder is the guild leader and creator of the guild.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
————————————————–

1. Do I have to raid?
No member is required to raid or participate in any event that they do not want to. We are a casual guild first and foremost. However if you commit to an event, we do expect you to arrive on time and participate.

2. When do you raid?
Raid teams in HFL will be self-contained teams that will run on a schedule decided upon by the raid team and the raid leader. HFL will schedule official raids on the calendar but they are all done in a one time approach and should not be considered a recurring event.

3. How do I get promoted?
While there are about 5 paragraphs that could be outlined here, the simplest answer is to lead by example. Players and behaviors are noticed and noted. As a general rule, if you have to ask for a promotion, then you probably do not deserve one. The one notable exception to this would be the lifting of the trial status to that of a core member. If you have been in the guild for longer than 2 weeks and are still in trial status, feel free to contact a Crusader or Officer.

4. You say you are helpful but you discourage asking for low level runs, what gives?
The game of Warcraft is an incredibly easy game in which to level. There are very select few facets of the game that would actually require the help of a max level character. That said, players often request a max level take a low level character through a dungeon or raid for experience and gear. The problem with this is we have something approaching 1000 members and to ask someone to “run you” is not respectful of their time. You are welcome to use the calendar to organize an event or a dungeon run with level appropriate players but asking for runs if prohibited and labeled as begging.

5. How do I get more bank access?
Bank and gold access is rank dependent. If there is something you need in the bank and you do not have access to it, simply ask an officer to assist. In most cases it is not a problem to get you the item you need. Please note that taking valuables from the bank and listing them on the Auction House is grounds for removal. The obvious exception to this rule are officers who routinely remove items, vendor and sell for space, depositing the gold into the bank.

6. Can I get a loan?
Every so often, a member will see gold in the bank and approach an officer about a loan. At the risk of sounding too harsh, it must be said that any player who would even ask this question is probably not someone we want in guild. This is said because if you do not understand the precedent that would be set by letting one person in a guild of a thousand borrow gold, then there is little we can do to explain it. The gold is a community asset to be shared by the members on a rank and tenure proportional level and is not there to buy your “epic flying” or “mechano-hog”

7. Then what is all that gold for?
The gold exists to allow for member repairs, raid night repairs and purchasing of guild perks in addition to any new and unannounced needs in the future. Keep in mind that with a guild of 1000 members that sees something north of 200 players on in a given day, the repair gold alone amounts to hundreds per day.

8. How do I get noticed in such a large guild?
Large guilds sometimes get an unfair label as impersonal or “too large”. While HFL is certainly not the small or intimate guild of 10 that some are used to, our experience has been that the community and family atmosphere is just as strong in HFL as any guild and at times even more so. HFL strives to be very community oriented and takes note of individuals who make their quality presence felt. From simple and consistent player achievement “grats” to answering questions and just generally being friendly in guild chat, your actions are noticed. Officers monitor every day the contributions and removals from the bank, calendar and vent usage and general leadership qualities that some exhibit. It should be noted that HFL is almost always looking for quality leaders so if that is your goal and focus, opportunities abound.

9. You say HFL has zero drama tolerance, does that mean you do not give warnings?
Like all things in life, violations have varying degrees of seriousness. Zero Drama Tolerance does not mean that we instantly remove upon any infraction and warnings can be given for mistakes and violations. That said, there are certainly a number of violations that will result in instant removal. It should also be noted that if you are removed from HFL, you will not be welcomed back at a later date. Removal in all but the most conditional of circumstances is permanent.

10. What if I leave the guild, can I never return?
Unlike being removed, players leave guilds for a number of altruistic, noble and differing reasons many of which do not in any way taint your future prospects within HFL. Those players who take the time to let the guild and an officer know the reasons for leaving are welcome back if scenarios change. We understand that HFL, like any guild, cannot be and should not try to be all things to all players. For instance we will never become a hardcore progression raid guild, but a member in good standing might find that as they level they want to try that play style. We welcome that change and encourage players to find the part of the game that is most enjoyable to them and follow it.

D – Dedication
E – Equality

Overview
——–

Horde For Life (H4L) is a casual Horde Guild on the Wyrmrest Accord US-RP Realm of World of

Warcraft. We strive for and will always be a community guild where maturity, equality, respect
and friendship are valued above all else.
Our members realize that most of us receive enough stress and drama in our normal lives that
we look to our online in game experiences to provide an insulation from those negative
energies. The World of Warcraft in H4L is and never will be a job. To that end, Hord For Life
provides a home for only those that check attitudes, demands and any form of drama at the
door.
While H4L certainly strives to reach all end game milestones, we will never do so in any way
that would demand forced participation of any kind (raid, PvP, RP, et al) or otherwise take
away from the “gaming” nature of this virtual world. We only ask that our members remain
active, friendly and supportive of all drama free play styles.
Conversely the very nature of our focus and culture to accommdate a freedom of play style does
not limit or label our guild to only casual non raiding or non PvP type play styles. In fact,
we have and will always support raid and PvP initatives and even work towards end game
progression. The key however is that each raid or PvP team is self contained and lead by a
member who echos the same level of committment exhibited from his or her team and that these
initiatives never involve drama, stress or any expectation that falls out of our guild focus.
The H.O.R.D.E. Code
——————
The H.O.R.D.E. Code is a summary, at the most basic level, of our core beliefs and tenants. We
expect every member of Horde for Life from the Guild Leader down to the trial member to treat
this code equally as a guiding principal for behavior expectations in Horde for Life.
H – Honor:
We demand our members be honorable and fair in their actions. Show integrity for yourself, the
guild and our members. Nefarious and thus dishonorable activities such as ninja looting,
harassment, vulgarity and dishonesty are not welcome in Horde for Life and will be dealt with
swiftly and severely.
O – Opportunity:
We believe that guilds should enchance, not limit a players opportunity to enjoy the game and
the many various play styles that are available in any manner that they wish, provided it is
done so in a stress and drama free environment and while not breaking our simple but zero
tolerant guild rules.
R – Respect:
As a guild that strives to accommodate many play styles and dedications, we believe strongly
that respect for one another is of paramount importance to the cohesion of the guild and it’s
community. To maintain this level of respect we ask that members do not cross boundaries that
include but are limited to off color or uncomfortable topics like vulgarity or racism or
controversial topics such as politics or religion. Many people know the word respect but do
not always understand the true meaning, we expect all our members to understand this fully.
D – Dedication:
Horde for Life members are expected to maintain certain activity levels within the guild and
to advance our exposure and good name on the server and within the community. Every member can
and should contribute even in the smallest of ways, including but certainly not limited to
welcoming new members, being helpful in guild chat to answer a question, providing your trade
skills to others in guild amd participating in those guild events that fit your play style.
These activites are crucial to our growth and sustainability.
E – Equality
While it is technically impossible to create a true and literal flat guild heirarchy, Horde
for Life strives to provide a eqalatarian and democratic structure where every member has a
voice. Just like any organization from governments to charities, leadership must be
maintained, but prvilieges, ranks and authority in Horde for Life are based, in their
entirety, on merit, necessity and attitude as opposed to gear or level.
The H4L Member Profile
———————-
We often are asked to outline our guild’s focus and the type of player who would make an ideal
member in Horde for Life. Are we a raiding guild? PvP? Role Playing? Leveling? Hardcore?
Casual?
The truest answer is that we are a collection of dedicated players who immensely enjoy the
game and the people who populate the server we call home. To label yourself into only one or
two of the categories above is missing the point with Horde For Life. Some of our members can
and do fit into all the above categories and that is perfectly acceptable.
The expectations of our members are:
1. Following of the H.O.R.D.E. code
2. You do not bring drama into our guild… ever
3. You follow our simple but zero tolerance rules (more on that below)
4. You understand that we allow and support all drama/stress free play styles
5. You are a mature and friendly individual
A note about maturity:
If forced to wear a label, Horde for Life would be categorized as a mature run guild. The
mjority of our members are over 30 and the bulk of our officer core have kids now playing the
game. It is important to note here that maturity refers only to the average age, attitude and
mindset of our members and not the language or ESRB rating of our guild.
Horde for Life clearly recognizes that age and maturity are mutually exclusive and as such, an
immature acting 35 year old is just as unwelcome in our guild as a typical 12 year old. Drama
and Nerdrage are the same, regardless of your birthdate. While H4L has no intention of
discriminating against younger players who follow our code and rules, and in fact have some
supreme examples of exceptional younger players, the fact remains that our guild is probably
best suited for those players who are in the adult age bracket.
In the end, we encourage our members to ask themselves… “Am I having fun first and can I do
so within the confines of the rules and code of the guild without stress or drama?” If the
answer is yes, then Horde For Life is the community for you.
To best determine if you are a good for Horde for Life, take the H.O.R.D.E test at the bottom
of this charter.
What is Casual
————–
Guilds such as our are often labeled as casual because we do not support and in fact avoid at
all costs, the militant and stressful nature of progression raid guilds. While those
individuals and guilds who chase world firsts and are fueled by the color purple are certainly
hardcore. We would argue that our focus, while accommodating to the casual player, is in fact
not casual.
Why?
Horde For Life will raid all cotent
Horde For Life will support serious raid teams
Horde For Life will support arena teams
Horde For Life will create rated and pre-made BG teams
Horde For Life has dedicated players who match the most hardcore in terms of “hours online”
The difference is that the Horde For Life member understands it is a game first and foremost.
The Horde For Life member will not introduce stress or drama over a game. And finally the
Horde For Life is not selfish and embraces a community focus and healthy respect for his or
her guild brethren.
Role Playing
————
Horde For Life while not a defacto RP guild, respects and supports all drama free RP elements
and will in fact create RP related events and provide RP leadership. The lore of Warcraft is
amazing and we believe adds to the in game experience.
Raiding
——-
Horde for Life will raid any and all content in the game from Classic to Cataclysm and beyond.
However we will do so at various levels depending upon the raid team composition and we will
never become or support militant raid progression teams. Our goal is to provide a raid home
for the casual to serious player. However we do require that even our serious teams understand
that this is a game and we will never threaten a player with a “raid or die” mentality.
Raiding in H4L will always be done on a friendly and amicable basis, and those that raid do
not have any preferential status over those that concentrate on other in game pursuits.It is very important to note that H4L relys heavily on individual raid teams as opposed to a
single guild raid team. We will encourage and support our members to create or join existing
raid teams and support their endeavors with site updates, recruiting, vent access and repair
gold. Raiders and Raid Leaders will be designated as such within our guild and will be
expected to treat every member in the raid group as well as the guild with respect and to
conduct yourself in a civil manner.
While raiding in Horde For Life is strictly voluntary and not a pre-requisite to join our
ranks, we do expect those who choose to raid to be prompt and reliable. The key here is and
always will be that we will not support, tolerate or allow any team, raid or member that
becomes militaristic, drama fueled or stressful. In the end, respect, enjoyment and community
must be the undercurrent of everything we do.
Player vs. Player
—————–
H4L is not a primary PvP guild. Most members of H4L will PvP in small, impromptu groups.
However, some members will form arena teams and organized battleground groups. Occasionally,
as a guild, we coordinate World PvP events as well as PvP Initiation events in order to
jump-start PvP among those who may have not experienced it yet. Like all other play styles
within our guild, PvP is voluntariy and never forced.
Guild Policies
————–
Horde for Life employs simple common sense rules that for most mature game players who are
part of our target demographic, will be easy to understand and follow. These rules are in
addition to abiding by our H.O.R.D.E code as detailed at the beginning of this charter.
1. Drama – No player/member is above the guild and we have a simple one warning system in
place. If you cause drama you will be asked to stop one time, if it continues you will be
demoted to a rank with no guild privileges pending a discussion with an officer. At that time
you will either be re-instated or removed with all due haste. If you are not sure what drama
is or if you are doing it, you are not someone that should be part of our guild anyway.
2. Guild Rating – H4L is a mature guild. This means that cursing and some behavior that is not
intended for young players is to be expected. That said, we are NOT an “X” rated guild and
extreme vulgarity or graphic language for the sack of just being vulgar will not be tolerated.
Any violation of this policy will be treated the same as drama.
3. Participation – As stated H4L does not require any member to raid or PvP. If however you
join a raid or PvP team, then we do expect you to attend those raids you have commited to in a
reliable and prompt fashion. Violation of this policy will result in raid leader action that
is comensurate with the degree of the violation and the individual raid leader and raid team
expectations.
4. Representation – Since an H4L member represents our guild in whatever he or she is doing in
game, any and all actions that reflect negatively on our guild will be dealt with swiftly and
correctively.
H4L Ranks
———
The guilds ranks are designed to be simple and informative. A brief description of these ranks
are as follows:
Trial – A trial member that will be reviewed and promoted with rights and privileges as an
officer deems timely. No timetable here but feel free to contact an officer if you have been
an active trial player for more than 2 weeks.
Core – Our core member rank with basic guild rights and privileges. Core members generally
consist of either new players still leveling to cap or gearing at cap, very casual or only
semi active members or just a player who has not yet decided on which primary role they want
in guild (PVE, PVP or Raiding).
Crusader – A player who has reached max level with their “primary” or “main” character and has
chosen the path of a non raiding and non PvP player. This would include players who run 5 man
instances and questing, farming, trading or just enjoying the social nature of the game. This
rank certainly does not limit the Crusader from any of these endeavors, it just most
accurately describes their play style to the rest of our guild.
Conqueror – A player who has reached max level with their “primary” or “main” character and
has chosen the path of a PvP player (World, BG or Arena). This rank certainly does not limit
the Conqueror from any of other in game endeavors including raiding, it just most accurately
describes their perferred play style to the rest of our guild.
Raider – A player who has reached max level with their “primary” or “main” character and has
chosen the path of an end game Raider. This rank certainly does not limit the Raider from any
of other in game endeavors, it just most accurately describes their play style to the rest of
our guild.
Officer L1 – A level one officer with guild rights comensurate with his or her leadership
responsibilities. Most often L1 Officers are raid or class leaders who can assist with guild
invites, promotions and demotions and other general guild questions.
Officer L2 – A level two officer has all of the rights of an L1 officer with the additional
ability to assist with bank needs, guild removals and higher level promotions.
A Note on Crusaders, Conquerors and Raiders
These three ranks are for the most part, equal in rights, status and privileges of the guild.
They are simply a rank/label that best and most accurately desribes their primary playstyle or
game intentions. These ranks do not in any way limit the player from any gameplay but are used
by other members to get a first glance general idea of what play style most interests you.
For example if a member is looking to add a few players to a guild or PUG raid team, he might
look in the guild window to see who is online and will have the ability to sort by rank,
looking for others who have the “Raider” rank. This player will in all probability ask the
“Raider” if he would like to join before asking a “Conquerer”, “Crusader” or “Core” member.

It’s An MMO Stupid!

Posted in World of Warcraft on November 3, 2010 by Armada

With the understanding that virtually all MMO’s are designed from the ground up to be Massively Multiplayer and Online, why do I more often that not, find myself wanting to perform solo activities in game and thus avoid the “multiplayer” aspects? Now do not take this wrong, I am a social creature by habit. For the vast majority of my virtual life in Azeroth, I have been an officer or guild leader of sizeable and active guilds. I enjoy seeing the green text fly across my chatter panel and have raided every piece of content the game has to offer. In fact, some of the best embedded memories I have made in game were in the company of friends, new and old alike and even strangers taking on the various denizens of this incredible world.

However after more than 6 years, perhaps my tastes have aged just as I have. I used to live for PvP, Raided primarily for gear and, to be honest, knew nothing of nor cared anything for, the lore of the game. As a player who generally heals in raids I find that my personal raiding experience consists of looking at grid or healbot bars for hours while rarely actually enjoying the content. Even removing the healing or tanking responsibilities out of the game still leaves you beholden to 9 or 24 other players who are usually in a rush to down the boss, get gear and move on with little time or respect for taking in the experience and game encounters.

While I have a healthy respect and appreciation for the theory crafters and game strategists, I now find myself wanting to slow down the treadmill… at least for a time. Indeed my priorities for what gives me the most enjoyment now revolve around a very different set of game facets. I find that at least half of my in game time is now spent doing activities best enjoyed solo and my experience is vastly different and very satisfying.

One of my most recent passions is going back to old Vanilla and TBC raids with one of my level 80s and becoming a content tourist. I obviously do not do it for the gear, or experience. No the satisfaction I receive is really taking in the art, story and encounters of this old world stomping grounds. This week alone I have done Black Temple and Karazhan and was amazed at how much I really missed in the 50-100 raids I had done previously.

Look, perhaps this is just a phase… a break from the purple colored treadmill of this gearscore-centric world. But I encourage everyone to try it, you might be amazed to see or experience something you never have before despite your belief that you have seen it all.

Next up for me? Sunwell… again!