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Over the course of the last expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard has made a point to focus on simplifying content to the extent that you don’t have to have x amount of paladins, y amount of druids, etc to down boss z. This is a huge positive! This mens that casual guilds can do alot of the content they couldn’t reach in previous iterations of the game. Beyond this, the thought of group dynamics hasn’t gotten much attention.
I want to step back and take a look at the people I game with. I’m not going to lie, this thought pattern I am having right now stems from a post I did at World of Sylus, my other personal blog(I’m not purposely pimping this one all the time, I swear!!!). That post was about a personality test I had to take for a class. I asked some of my guildies in Ashes of Tirisfal to take this test, and a few followed through. Some were close to my personality type, others the exact opposite. That’s fine, it takes all kinds of people to make the world run smooth and such. I then began thinking about how this affects us as a collective of diverse and dynamic personalities. What makes us click as a group? What is the driving force to make me want to log into a virtual world and play with people who in most cases, I have never met(and most likely won’t meet most of them)?
As I was driving home today, listening to the final episode of How I Wow with Shawn Basic and Patric Beja, they were talking about how this show spun out from their friendships and ties to The Instance podcast. The episode was interesting from the standpoint that their guest, Scott Johnson, went into the make up of the guild Alea Iacta Est. It’s the largest guild in North America, and very rarely has problems. How is this? Yes, they get the occasional idiot, and that idiot gets dealt with. As a whole however, the guild attracts like minded individuals that share common goals, thus avoiding the problems in the first place.
Back to Ashes of Tirisfal. Lets face it, the majority of the guildies, and friends I have run around with online have either A, come from real life: Nimrock, Spiffie, Rayha, Thorarin , or B, come from contacts through world of warcraft or the community of bloggers and internet persons: Fikkle, Thibor, Slig, Grubs, Pie, Rozjin, Jaarka, and most recently the gang at Crits and Giggles. If you know several of the listed people, you know we are a very eclectic bunch. Our personalities can be far from compatable at times, and even hostile at times. We know that there are times when we just need our space. We know some people can’t handle PVP, and so when they are on vent you avoid them if you don’t want to hear the F-bomb! (I’m looking at you Fik and Roz!) Yet, in the end, this group somehow manages to work well together on many levels. We may never be a top end raiding guild, heck, we may never be a raiding guild! One thing has always held through to the end, we have fun together. One week we may be gearing up twinks we may never play, the next talking about trying to get ten people together on any given night to try out nax. We, for the most part, live lives filled to the brim with jobs, family, hobbies, school, even other games, and yet we can all log into vent, even if for twenty minutes and exchange a quick story and move on. The majority of our daily interaction rarely takes place in game, but rather in our daily emails, or as we prefer to call them, “daily Shenanigans.” They are awesome little distractions throughout our crazy days.
Looking back through this post, I’m trying to find a way to sum it all up, give you, the loyal readers, a point to this madness. I guess if I had to say one thing it would be directed at you, the guildies and internet people I have come to think of as a family at times, and as royal pains in my butt at others. That point would be this: I don’t care what personality type you are, I don’t care that you’ve had a bad day and want to yell at someone on vent, or had a great day and want to share it with others! Know that Uncle Sy is always here for you. I know we goof around alot, I know we shenanigans around, that is great, but lets not forget that we are here to have fun and play a game. If someone wants to run around naked for twenty levels, fine, but remember to not ride that other guy for doing less. We have an effect on those around us, virtually, or in real life. You guys are great.
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Shenanigans and tomfoolery,