Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Unrest (not the zone!)

Been a little while since I’ve posted, I have my mother staying for the week and a few days off work seemed in order. Whilst I’ve been off I’ve started to explore DoV content a bit more and it’s not bad, but to be honest, I’m not getting the same interested buzz that I usually do when exploring new content. The quest lines are OK, I’m now running the Eastern Wastes solo timeline and am also looking at picking up the new faction quests that were added in the latest GU61. I’ve also been on my first DoV raid. It was only the x2 in ToFS, but it was quite a bit of fun and I don’t think Volt embarrassed himself too much.

I mentioned GU61 above and that deserves a mention. As usual SoE had some issues with the update, especially the unattuning and unadorning of items following the itemisation revamp. In fact they got it wrong and had to do it twice, which annoyed a lot of folks, especially those who have many alts. Not only did they have to spend an age sorting out their AA and equipment on all their toons, they had to do it again the day after. There was quite a few pee’d off folks, as the second time it was not very well publicised that they were going to do a re-run. As such quite a few didn’t un-equip their stuff and all the adornments popped off.

Luckily I did know about it and didn’t fall foul of the second load of unequips. There was obviously some who were still having problems with this as they had to offer a free option unattune yesterday. I do know that following the ‘failure’ there were a lot of upset folks. A few in my guild had already planned what kit they were sending down to their alts only to find that when they logged in, everything was lovely and unattuned, yet when they switched, everything had attuned itself again. I know some of them are still having trouble with this and are pretty upset about it. As for Volts stuff, all of his equipment he is wearing is fine. His Rune Scraped Turban is now adorned with my red adornment following a quick fix, and to be honest, since the original drama, things seem to have settled down a fair bit.

The other thing in game I have been interesting myself with is the new house rating system. I must say, some of the houses are impressive to the extreme. One thing I will say though, it’s quite apparent who has used the editor and who has not. I use the editor when designing to simply alter the angle of an item. The actual placing is always done free-hand so to speak. But some of them, wow. One had a roof design so complex and perfectly executed that it couldn’t have been done by hand. They looked very impressive, but I really do like the personal touch. To me, it’s like having one of those prefabricated houses put up in like 30 minutes. They look good, but have no soul. I’m yet to finish looking around. I may put Casa Volt up at some point into the limelight, although I do the designing for personal pleasure, not for the plaudits.

So, on to other ‘news’. There has been some rather unfortunate drama in an old raiding syndicate I used to be affiliated to and it’s had some knock on effects. Some folks have got pissy, some indignant, some just don’t seem to care. But without naming names, I’m going to try and summarise. Oh, before I do, I know some may say, let’s not ‘air’ our dirty laundry in public, but I’m not naming names and this blog has a long history of evaluating the reasoning and psychological interaction of those in game. I look at how folks act both in and out of game quite frequently here. So, on to it. The old raid leader left. Made it quite clear in a post that they were going. They had been the driving force behind this particular raid force for a long time and had done a good job under stressful circumstances. For those who have never been raid leader, it’s not so easy. No one had an issue with this. Of course it would be suitable to wish that person the best, thank them for all their hard work. But, just because one is leaving, does not mean the rest of the raid force has no future.

For me to address this next bit, I need to address raiding itself. I see that there are three different types of raid force. Those that dabble and just have the ‘fun’ factor. Those that wish to progress, but the raid force is not focussed enough so you get a mixture of “I’m happy being casual” against the “Let’s get harder content done, which means commitment and time..and talented players”. Finally of course you get the raid force that all wishes to be hardcore, meaning they wish to raid without compromise and that means skilful, dedicated players to the ‘nth degree.

So, I would categorise this particular raid force as a casual one with some serious raiders involved. Now when this current situation occurred, it is only natural as the raid leader left that some would see this as an opportunity to get what they wish from the raid force. A time for change so to speak. So a few folks decided to move forward and start a new Euro timezone raid force. Yes utilising ‘some’ of the players form the old force, but essentially removing those who it was felt fell more on the casual or untalented side, in favour of developing a raid force leaning more towards hardcore than casual. By this I don’t mean ‘full hardcore’, just some of the facets of this. Very talented players, no dead wood or carrying those who don’t perform as the main or can’t because of various valid reasons spend the time developing their toons sufficiently. I know this is an area some wish to address and there are some who are not pleased that there is a member of the force running around without their mythical clicky yet completed. I can kind of see this reasoning. It wouldn’t have been acceptable in SF, let alone DoV raidning.

This has effectively split the raid force. Understandably, when this news broke some wasted no time in moving forward with their new agenda, and in my opinion there is no issue with that. Time is of the essence if you are trying to get something you wish to come to fruition. If you leave it folks will become involved with other stuff and become committed to that. So, a few went and started a new website and effectively started to build their new raid force from some of those in the existing one. A short time passes then posts start to appear on the old raid webby stating the raid force is not dead and a raid appeared on the calendar. The latest stance with the old raid is “nothing’s changed and we’re carrying on”. This has left a bit of a problem. Because some used this situation and initial apparent folding of the original force as their golden opportunity to get away from some folks who although really nice folks, have an issue playing their toons well. It was an escape heading to further progression, not stagnation as it was seen that to carry on with the old setup would lead to this and not to moving forward.

The plot thickens. The latest summary of where the situation is at from an influential member states pretty much as I have said, that nothing has changed apart from who the raid leader is and possibly the raid days. Now this is where it gets complicated. The reason for this is that the post suggests everyone get on the new webby and raids are posted through there until it is known what is going on. But I pretty sure that there are some that the new holders of the new webby would not wish to move across because they are using this opportunity to progress how they wish with the game and of course there is no problem with that. But it will cause problems. We have older members of the original force who perhaps don’t understand the thinking behind the new venture and the fact is that it is designed to change how those folk raid and how the raid force is built. Effectively it will end up with some quitting raiding altogether with either force as they will have divided loyalties and will not wish to upset either party. Some will hedge their bets and sit on the fence, others will fall back in to the raid force that more suits them.

This of course assumes that the new and old raid forces will continue. It may be that one of those dies. My personal opinon? I think that those involved need to decide what is going on. For themselves. What do they want? Do they continue with building a new raid force, or do they just meld back with the old force and the issues it had? (discontented members because of different goals and approach to what the raid should be). I know in particular because of personality clashes that there are those involved that will never wish to be in the same zone let alone the same raid. So some seem to think all will move ahead all hunky-dorey as was with a different leader, and there are those who will be very frustrated with that and the ‘no changes’ approach, indeed some have already begun to make changes as I have mentioned.

It’s all a mess. I really don’t know what will happen or be the result of the situation, but I do know that it’s a shame. There are a lot of great folks in that syndicate and they all seem to be falling foul of the current unrest and divides seem to be getting bigger and more prominent. So, I’ve kind of given you a glimpse in to the current situation. But why? Don’t I risk upsetting people who are involved? Well, of course, but emotion is a fickle thing anyhow and with the written word there is always the risk of upsetting folks, as they may not read the words with the intent with which they were written (one of the problems in the first place! A badly worded post led to the rest of the force thinking ‘well that’s it. It’s over in this guise’). No, I hope I don’t upset anyone but I will never refrain in this blog from assessing the thought processes behind decisions, or how the human condition reacts with each other in such an environment. It’s one of the most interesting aspects of the game to me. How those who play interact with each other, and evaluating that against how they would normally act should they be standing face to face. If you read my blog you know I do this. So, I hope don’t upset anyone, but if I do, I do. Apologies for that, I cannot control their emotions. All those involved know I had immensely enjoyed my time raiding with this syndicate and even if I don’t understand how all deal with a situation, I still very much like and respect a lot of those involved.

My opinions and thoughts in a nutshell.

The original post should have been more explicit. By not being so, it invited those who were left to make their own assumptions on how things were to move forward. No one should be surprised or offended that someone actually acted on that post and did make a move and tried to move things forward how they wish it to be. It’s worth noting that the written word often gets misunderstood. Explicit indication of what is meant and reiteration is the only way to go if you wish to guarantee 100% understanding. Miscommunication is the conduit to misunderstandings.

Those who decided to create the new force should have started from fresh. Using some of the old folks now has led to an ‘either / or’ decision for those raiders involved now that it has become apparent that the ‘old’ force is not dead and some wish it to continue. Not a bad thing, but there is going to be upset and accusations of poaching. A secondary reasoning for this is that by starting from fresh, they would have been able to build the exact raid force of their choice to their specifications without historical hang ups or expectations.

Now that some have ‘seen the light’ they will not return or will not tolerate raiding with some they feel do not pull their weight or have no idea how to properly play their toons. They have had a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m not so sure they will go back in to the dark. Don’t be so surprised by this, we all know players have opinions on how skilfully other players command their toons. EQ2 is a place not short of opinion.

Consistency. Without this raids cannot function properly and discontent starts to brew. For example, it is not OK to use abusive language, then tell someone to watch what comes out of their mouth, especially when it is known that during raids a different person has more than once used derogatory terms and attitude to others and appear to have not been pulled up about it. This fuels unrest as those involved can see double standards, even if they were not meant to be there and were the last thing the people involved wished to see. This is how it seems to those involved on one side of the fence and fuels the kind of reaction that happened when the raid leader said they were moving on. The raid splits the second it is given the chance to do so.

It is a game. A game where you get to interact with others albeit behind a screen, which sadly can lead to all of these kind of misunderstandings and sadly, conflict. It seems such a shame that drama like this can rise up out of a game and real folks end up getting hurt.

I really do hope they get their issues resolved. There is a lot of lovely folks in this circumstance and it’s a shame that such issues can come between people.

Finally, it is very much worth noting that someone I am very close to, someone who knows a lot of these folks is involved. Not one bit of the information here has come from this person and they are the first to energetically defend their friends, even when I ask questions trying to be an objective reporter, so to speak. None of the opinions here are theirs. They are mine. From an outsider looking in from the point of view of interest in how the human condition interacts with itself, through a very narrow social window. In fact I know this person disagrees with me about some of my evaluations. They’ll probably not be happy that I have posted this and voiced my opinion, but for someone who loves studying things like this and the many intricacies behind it, such an opportunity to evaluate cannot be missed. Oh, and I didn’t mention any names.

Be well.


  1. Candid, honest, & spot on.

  2. Wow, never been a hardcore raider, but raid politics seem to put guild politics to shame sometimes! Hope it gets sorted!

    Should be back on EQ2 tonight, kids allowing :)

  3. Thanks for your comments guys. Yeah, stressful times for some. I think all involved hope it will be sorted soon. Of course, likelihood is it won't be sorted to everyones satisfaction, and then the seeds of discontent can start to grow and we can look in to the cycle once more. Sounds cynical and I hope I am wrong. Not sure I'm going to be though.