State of the Guild: March 5, 2015
The State of the Guild represents the evolution of our ideas and processes as we work to achieve the vision outlined in our Guild Charter. This monthly newsletter and podcast provides members the latest guild news, events, and discussion topics. You can find archives of previous addresses here.
Before we delve too far into what is coming, it’s worthwhile to remember what we have accomplished. As of today, House of Zug is 7/10N & 4/10H with what I anticipate will be more kills this week. As of now, we plan to continue our Heroic progression in Blackrock Foundry, likely until we are 7/10H before looking onward to the very challenging final three encounters.
Those who are new to the team or may need a refresher on the upcoming strategies should check-out the “2-Minute Boss Tips” by Line of Sight Gaming.
The General Pace of Change
One thing that I want to address is the rate of policy change in House of Zug. Two of our core values are transparency and professionalism, and we firmly believe that all change must be necessary, carefully evaluated, and properly communicated. Many GMs conjure policies seemingly from thin air, and that’s not who we want to be. While I recognize that sometimes change can be slow, I hope you recognize that when change does come, the product you receive in House of Zug will always be the result of careful deliberation.
Moreover, I have been stunned by abundance of excellent feedback and suggestions, especially from the veteran raiders. I really want to emphasize how much I appreciate this. One of our core values on house of zug is collaboration, and I want every member of this team and community to feel comfortable contributing their ideas and opinions of the direction of the guild. As officers, we work incredibly hard crafting what we believe are the best ideas, but there is always room for improvement, rethinking, and revision. All we ask is that you take the time to craft your ideas and professionally present them at appropriate times and through appropriate channels.
Better, Easier Communication
According to your feedback, we are excellent at communication; good for us! We try very hard to always provide a clear and consistent agenda and be available for your direct questions through a variety of media forms. However, for a new player joining the guild today, the volume of communication can be overwhelming.
As you have undoubtedly seen, houseofzug.com has been recieving a makeover. Our primary goal is to make the site easier to use for visitors. We have already condensed most of the literature into smaller, easier to read segments and reformatted the page layout to convey a more professional, distinguished theme. But we aren’t stopping there!
Upcoming projects include:
A short introduction video, hosted by Crusade and Barotar, describing the guild, our values, goals, and application process. This video will provide a 50,000 ft. glance at the House of Zug experience for prospective members that do not want to invest 30 minutes and 100,000 words browsing our site.
A new raid application section (see New Gladiator Application below). Currently, our application process is too cumbersome for someone only interested in joining our community (ie. non-raiders). Consequently, we will be slashing our guild application down to a 5-minute max. process (currently around 20-minutes). Players interested in taking the next step into raiding can apply directly as a Gladiator or join the community first and then request a promotion at a later date. Our ultimate goal is to differentiate ourselves as a Blizzard gaming community--not just a raiding guild.
A short video tutorial on how to perform a short, self-analysis using Warcraft Logs. This video will walk through each of the core metrics raid leaders use to evaluate performance. By the end of this video, raiders will be able to perform a quick, 2-minute performance check to see how you are progressing relative to your teammates.
Introducing Friday Night FlexI am extremely excited to officially announce the introduction of a new event in the House of Zug events calendar. Friday Night Flex (FNF), hosted by Kadre, will take place (you guessed it) every Friday and is aimed at introducing up-and-coming players to the raid scene. The event will begin and end at standard raid times (invites at 5:15 PM Pacific and wrap-up by 9:00 PM).
The goals/intentions of FNF are as follows:
First, the event offers non-Gladiators the opportunity to enjoy current raid content with real structure, leadership, and camaraderie (elements altogether absent in LFR or P.U.G.s). Zuggies of all experience levels and talents will have to opportunity to learn and advance with the help and guidance of experienced veterans.
Second, Friday Night Flex prioritizes player experience over progression. The atmosphere should be fun and exciting. No one should get upset or flustered. Most raids will only kill a handful of introductory normal-mode bosses and there will be a fair amount of encounter explanations for the new players, but that’s okay because we’re all just there to have fun, do our best, and see as much content as we can in a limited window of time.
Third, FNF offers an incredible opportunity for recruitment. The event will be open to the entire Silvermoon/Mok’Nathal community and take place on a high-traffic night which is not typically associated with progression raiding. Our hope is that this event will help increase awareness of our community, introduce new players to the joys of organized raiding, and bolster our roster with a healthy stream of new and Gladiators.
Obviously, this event will have nothing but positive effect on our Tu/Th progression raiding team. Moreover, the success of this event is largely contingent on the participation levels of our veterans. Therefore, we have elected to offer effort points (EP) for attendance. Any Zuggie who attends the event in full and is kind, patient, and respectful will earn 25 EP for their support.
Now, it’s important to remember the following:
FNF is worth only a quarter of the EP earned from a standard raid and is in no way considered mandatory for Gladiators or Kor’Kron.
Raiders can earn EP for their main characters by attending FNF on their alts or off-specializations.
The loot you acquire in FNF does not cost gear points (GP).
FNF uses Personal Loot system to avoid drama and distribution delays.
Although you may ask to join the raid at anytime, only players who attend the full event will earn EP.
FNF is meant to be lighthearted. Don’t go if you can’t have fun!
Building a Better CommunityHouse of Zug is more than a raiding guild, we are a broad and diverse group of gamers with evolving interests, goals, responsibilities, and schedules. Blizzard Entertainment offers so much more to explore and enjoy than just progression raiding, and it is a priority of this guild to sponsor a diverse calendar of events.
The House of Zug officers are looking for more players interested in hosting and managing guild events. Moreover, we are seeking a community member to produce a weekly Guild Event’s Calendar to be posted on houseofzug.com and emailed out as a newsletter. (No web experience is necessary; the website admin page is super easy to use. We’re really just looking for a person with excellent writing and organizational skills and a strong commitment to the guild.)
Please contact Barotar if you are interested in applying for the Guild Events Manager position.
I would also like to add a note on attendance and signups. Organizing and running events is a lot of work. The people who volunteer their time, energy, and knowledge for no pay and for your entertainment deserve your utmost respect and courtesy. It is very disheartening to schedule and event, get signups, only to have no one attend. Remember, one of the member pledges in the Guild Charter is to “clearly communicate schedules and alert organizers of last-minute changes to availability.” Please show these organizers the respect they deserve by updating your calendar status and using GroupMe private messages to convey last minute scheduling changes.
Updated Raid Team ApplicationAs we mentioned earlier, one of our core goals for houseofzug.com is to make the new/prospective member experience as navigatable as possible. One of the ways we are accomplishing this is by consolidating the member application process into only a few short questions and creating a separate Raid Team (Gladiator) Application on the forums for those who want to move up the ranks and join the progression team.
Contained within the new raiding application are several noteworthy changes to the current raiding requirements:
The requirement for Gold Proving Grounds has (finally) been lifted.
Initially, this requirement served to help ensure applicants had the baseline skills necessary for heroic raiding. Later, we introduced the combat logs alternative. As raid leaders, we always prefer combat logs because they provide us much more information and specific insight into where an applicant may be struggling. Therefore, with the introduction of Friday Night Flex, which raiders can attend to record their logs, we can now safely dissolve the need for the PG: Gold achievement and simply require combat logs for all applicants.
The item level requirement for Gladiator has been lifted to 665 or greater.
This is the standard accepted item level for Heroic: Blackrock Foundry.
And all Gladiators are now required to maintain 400 effort points (EP) to retain their rank.
This new clause is intended to automatically demote anyone who has not raided with us for a long period of time. To put in perspective this requirement, you only need to attend one in every five raids to maintain 400 EP (20% attendance). Gladiators who fail to maintain minimum effort point will simply be demoted to member status and may reapply for the raid team at any time.
All Gladiators will now be elevated to 400 effort points (EP), simply for earning their promotion.
Yes, this means that EVERYONE who is already on the team will be earning 400 effort points for doing absolutely nothing! This change is necessary because we are now requiring Gladiators to maintain 400 EP. Obviously, they cannot start at zero, or they would be demoted as fast as they were promoted.
Minimum EP requirements have been removed.
The new 400 EP requirement already prevents inactive raiders from unfairly taking loot away from active ones. Therefore, we feel confident that loot restrictions for new Gladiators is no longer necessary.
We have added a Base GP of 400.
Obviously, if we started all Gladiators off at 400 EP and 1 GP, then their PR would be astronomical! According to the EPGP philosophy, we want new raiders to start right in the middle of the pack. Therefore, by adding a Base GP of 400, all raiders will not start at a PR of 1.
The effort point requirement for Kor'Kron has been lifted from 1200 to 1400.
This is obviously to compensate for the increase to 400 base effort points for new Gladiators.
Weekly Logs AnalysisAs much as I would love to think that every idea presented in the State of the Guild is a good one, some just seem better on paper than they do in practice. Unfortunately, the weekly logs analysis ended up feeling more like homework than an opportunity. I was incredibly impressed at the feedback given for the Highmaul Responses, but I think it just asks too much of players to draft a weekly reflection. As such, we have scrapped this project and will no longer be presenting new questions for effort points (EP). Not to worry, there will be plenty of other (hopefully more fun) options to earn bonus EP in the future.
You Are Your ClassFolks, let's face it: you are your class, not your specialization. Attending a raid with only one optimized specialization is like trying to play football without special teams; you're denying the team the full range of your talents. The choice of what to main is yours, but when you sign up to play on a raid team, you are agreeing to lend your entire skill set to the team: not just a fraction of it.
This argument has five bullets:
All of this said, I am extremely excited for the months ahead and confident in our goals and progress. Thank you for your dedication and passion. Zug Zug,
BarotarGuild Master / President
The guild news blog represents the evolution of our ideas, processes, and achievements as we work to achieve the vision for our community.