Breathing life into Ash

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After many months without a guild, my boyfriend and I decided to blow the dust of old Ash and make it into a social/casual guild. Most people left Ash after we stopped raiding last year, but many still got their alts there. Our mains are still stuck on Tarren Mill and Ash is on Kazzak, so we have our alts there which we play more than our mains at the moment. The game kinda stopped being fun when we stopped raiding in Ash and everyone left and it hasn’t been very fun since then. So we thought it would be a good idea to try to get something going in Ash again. We hope old Ash players who don’t have a lot of time to raid anymore will come back and join us, but we’re also looking for new players who wants to raid more casual flex or just be in a Scandinavian social guild.

Several old Ash players thought it was a great idea but most of them raid with their main in another guild so it’s not easy to find a day which is good for everyone. But we also got some old players who don’t raid anymore interested, so hopefully they’ll come back and join us soon. We’ve invited a few new players none of us know, most of them don’t have good enough gear to do the last part in flex and some of them don’t have a lot of experience, but they’re all really nice people and I hope they want to stay in the guild so we can continue to grow.

Our goal right now is to get more people who like our idea which is a Scandinavian social guild where you can play casual and still see the content through flex raids, called normal in Warlords of Draenor, and find other Scandinavian players to play with. There won’t be any raid attendance requirements, so people don’t have to worry about missing raids or feel like they have to play if they want to do something else. People are free to arrange other raids, PvP and whatever they want and when they want. We still got our website and a ventrilo server which we’ll use, and we’ve fixed the guildbank so people can both give and take a small amount of items each day.

I don’t know if this idea will succeed but I hope so, because we don’t have anything else. But I still don’t feel like putting all of my energy into it, after all the time I’ve spent fixing, thinking and worrying, and then get disappointed and sad when it doesn’t work out the way I hoped. So I hope we’ll find more people who want to help us run this and it’ll become easier for us all.

You’re welcome to join if you got a character on Kazzak. Sadly our requirement is that you understand Norwegian and Swedish, and can communicate in one of those languages as we’re a Scandinavian guild and most of our members are Norwegian or Swedish. I think we got a few Danes, but none of them are very active at the moment.

Anyone of you got experience from running a guild? Maybe a social or casual guild? Would love some tips or just your thoughts.

Throwback Expansion

This week’s shared topic on Blog Azeroth comes from Amerence who writes

I know we heard the word “Throwback” many times around the net, but as part of World of warcraft expansions. I want to know what is the best expansion in game that really highlights a lot of your accomplishments in game especially that the new upcoming expansion is coming its nice to look back it could be the one when you started playing with your main character, getting a cool mount, being in a great guild, or your very first screenshot in game if you still have it or being in PvP battlegrounds or Arenas, even your raiding experiences back in BC or PRE-BC, Cataclysm, etc. You can be creative how you want to do this it could be storyline, poem, screenshots up to you it is pretty much a throwback experiences you can share to everyone.

It’s hard to pick one expansion because I’ve so many great memories from all of them.

The Burning Crusade was when I first started playing this game. I created my first character which was my main for a long time. Everything was new and amazing. I spent hours just exploring and looking at everything. I’m sure I was a complete noob back then, but I had so much fun. TBC was also when I first met my friends from Ash and joined them as social for the first time.

Wrath of the Lich King was when I rerolled moonkin and leveled my shaman. The guild I was in back then wasn’t the friendliest, but it was ok and I still enjoyed raiding with them in Ulduar, one of my favorite raids, and Icecrown Citadel. One of my favorite memories from WotLK was actually late in the expansion when I left my guild and joined Ash, the same guild I was social in back in TBC. It was so great to be back there, catch up, get to know a lot of new people, it was a real community and I’ve never felt more at home in a guild before or after.

Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria were also great expansions, mostly because of Ash and the amazing people in the guild. We weren’t always the best guild with the best progress and best players, but we were still one of the most social and friendly guilds and I’m sure almost everyone who’s ever been in the guild agree with me.

Ash, Big Love <3

The reason I still log in

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WoW Insider wrote a post a few days ago asking

What single thing is most responsible for keeping you logging in regularly? Would you be long gone if not for your WoW buddies? Do guild responsibilities keep you happily busy? Tell us what keeps you coming back for more WoW.

A lot has changed for me since summer last year when the guild I had been in for many years disbanded. For a long time that guild and my friends there had been the reasons I logged in regularly. I was always looking forward to raids, to talking with my friends and guildies, and progressing on a new boss. But when it all started to go down it became less and less fun to log in, because every day I dreaded logging in to see who had left the guild that day and I stopped looking forward to raids because we never had enough people and if we did I knew we were just going to clear normal modes or get stuck on an easy heroic boss for the rest of the evening.

After the disband I no longer dreaded logging in but I didn’t really have any reason to log in either. I tried joining a new guild later on and I played with them for a while but it didn’t feel right, so I asked to be demoted to social. A while after they disbanded.

I’m now guildless, or well, I’m actually in a guild, a random guild I got invited to without even asking, so I don’t know anything about them and I doubt it’ll be my new home. It feels weird not having a guild which makes you want to log on, because my guild and friends there used to be the reason I played. I’m not actually searching for a new guild, but I’d love to find one which gives me reasons to log in. A place I can call home, where I got friends, where people talk to each other and help, where there is an interest for battlegrounds, maybe even rated, raids both flex and normal because I don’t think I’m going back to heroic raiding. But a new guild would most likely make me enjoy the game much more and make me log in more regularly.

Now I don’t really have a main thing which makes me log in, no big project or anything, just a bunch of small things I like to do when I’m bored. Like sometimes I just log in to put up some enchants on the auction house or empty my mailboxes. If I had to pick one reason which makes me log in, it would have to be my boyfriend. We’ve been playing together for many years and even before we got to know each other we were in the same guild. Now we live together and we often spend our evenings playing WoW together. As we don’t raid anymore we usually just do battlegrounds or level some alts. Last week we decided to start some new characters on Shadowsong and join the guild Druids of the Beast which is a 100% druid guild, it’s a fun side project but I don’t think we’ll play them every day. Sometimes he plays without me when I do blog stuff or play other games, but when I play it’s almost always with him.

Who or what makes you log in?

 

“……. has left the guild”

How much more can we take? Will we give up?  For how much longer can this go on? How many more players have to leave the guild for us to set a record for most players ever left a guild during one patch? What did we do wrong? Why would people want to join us now? Will there be a guild to come back to after my two weeks away on holiday? What should I do if not? 

There are so many questions in my head, so many thoughts and almost no answers. So much has happened in the guild lately and this summer. I think about it a lot because I care about the guild but it makes me feel sad and worried. I’ve done what I could with recruitment and motivating, but I’m all out of energy now, I don’t feel like it’s worth it, like it’s possible to make it better again, maybe it’s time to let go and find something new. Most of the leaders and those who care have done a lot to keep it going, to set up raids, lead them, find new players and everything else. It’s not like we didn’t try hard enough, because we all did our best.

I wish I understood why all this had to happen at the same time. Is it just bad luck, a coincidence, the domino effect or was it something we did or didn’t do? I don’t understand. Because there hasn’t been any drama, a lot of wipes, we haven’t been stuck on the same boss and phase for months, we’ve just lost a lot of players and at very bad times. Most just thought the grass looked greener and left for a better guild with better progress, some followed because their friends left, some quit the game because of work or family, some wanted to raid more hardcore, some wanted to start their own guild and I guess some just didn’t like it here. But we’re not that bad. Of course things aren’t perfect, we might not all be the best players in the world, or as serious and hardcore as some might want us to be. We’re just a group of normal people who want to kill some bosses. Of course we wipe, we fail, some might get angry, we do mistakes, but we go again, we get better, we apologize and we keep going. But it’s not very motivating when you know you do your best but still nothing goes your way, people are still unhappy and ungrateful, people still leave and with them follows more and more, it’s like a disease which slowly makes people give up. What should you do when what before was a tight core of good players and good friends suddenly falls apart and people go their separate ways and what’s left is ten people, some were part of that core, but they’re all in doubt wondering what will happen next, and fifteen new people who are confused and don’t really know what’s going on? I understand why some people leave, the new people, they don’t wanna go down with the sinking ship, they wanna jump into the life boat and find a new ship which is more stable and secure. I get it.

A few months ago I thought this would be a good summer, we had a team of really good players and we progressed through Throne of Thunder heroic with a nice speed. Summer came and we still managed to get enough people to raid and clear all farm bosses and progress on those we hadn’t cleared. The first wave of people left but we managed to survive it and went on, but it happened again and again, all through the summer we lost way too many.

Right now it feels like everything is falling apart, one after one they’re giving up, they don’t have much energy left to keep fighting, most have given everything they had for so long and it’s not getting better. It’s not good when you don’t feel like logging on, you don’t feel happy while raiding and you don’t wanna check the forum or the guild log because you fear that more people have left. It’s not supposed to be like this, not for so long. I play this game because it’s fun, or it used to be fun and it’s supposed to be fun. I want that back. I want to be able to log on and look forward to raids, I want the game to make me happy, and I want to play with people I like and enjoy playing with, I want to kill new bosses, do battlegrounds and play on my alts, all this without having to worry about who’s going to leave and what’s going to happen.

I feel like giving up this, but I don’t really want to because I care and want everything to be good again. Right now I’m not sure what I should do.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Guild ups and downs

Guild drama, guild problems, no applications, people quit, it happens to all guilds and it’s not always easy to survive it.

I joined Ash in 2010. They were struggling on Sindragosa in Icecrown Citadel, but we got her down and went on to Lich King heroic which I had already killed on 10 man, but it was much harder on 25 man. I don’t remember everything but I’m pretty sure the defile was the biggest problem. That’s when I experienced the first “down” in Ash. After spending weeks trying the same boss with almost no progress, people grew tired of it, they gave up, wanted to leave and some wanted to quit the game. I had already then started to care a lot about the guild and my fellow guild mates, especially some who I had known for a few years and played with earlier. We lost many good players in the end of Wrath of the Lich King, and it wasn’t easy to find new ones.

Cataclysm was released but we were still missing people and didn’t always have enough players for 25 man raiding. We did everything we could to find new recruits. That was again a time when some people wanted to leave because it seemed impossible to find new recruits and because we did some 10 man runs and people got bored with never getting to raid. I understand them. But it got better. When Firelands was released we had finally got together a team of 25 players and we cleared all bosses on heroic except Ragnaros, but we had some good tries on him but decided to prioritize Dragon Soul when it was released. We entered Dragon Soul and it went very well. I think we ranked 6th in 25 man on the realm in both Firelands and Dragon Soul which we thought was pretty good. I guess there were some small downs in Cataclysm, nothing major.

Mists of Pandaria was released and we were a bit slow on leveling and gearing, so we went into Mogu’shan Vaults newly dinged with greens and blues and it took us way too long to down the first boss. It was a bump in the road when some of our core raiders decided to quit the game, so we started looking for new recruits and we were lucky enough to find some fast enough to keep up with other guilds’ progress and we managed to get rank 7th on the realm on most bosses.

But we’ve had two big bumps in the road recently. First when we were progressing on Dark Animus heroic six of our best players decided to leave us for a 13/13 heroic guild with a more hardcore raiding schedule, they had already showed signs of being unhappy with our progress and the way things were done in the guild so it wasn’t exactly a surprise. They informed us about it and most people understood them and thought it was ok but some were really disappointed and got a bit angry, because the timing of their leave was very unfortunate. One thing I didn’t agree with them on was that they claimed that our progress had been really bad for weeks and that we had been stuck on Dark Animus for weeks without any progress. But we had progress, we were close to a kill when they left, but some of them were kind enough to stay for one more raid and that’s when we killed the boss.

Then they left and we stood there missing six good players. We had to mass recruit again, and as we needed players fast we had to lower our requirements. We got a few recruits but they were undergeared and with almost no experience with in Throne of Thunder heroic. We spent a few weeks gearing them up but still trying to clear as many bosses as possible in one night so we could get at least one night on Lei Shen heroic. At first Lei Shen seemed very hard, it took a while to learn, but we had some good tries when we finally found the tactic which best suited us. Then summer came. People started missing raids for exams, then holidays, travels, sunny weather and barbecue. Some people started to complain because of many signs offs and not good enough setup for progress, but most of us knew it was only because of the summer holidays and it would become better in a while. Most people came back from their holidays and we could finally progress on Lei Shen again and for the first time we decided it was time to extend the lockout. That’s when it happened again: the second bump. First three tryouts left which was sad because I really liked them and they left without any warning, but we thought we could survive it. But.. It’s like domino, or when the ball starts to roll or whatever you might call it, and one of our best healers decided to leave as well, and with him followed almost all of his buddies, which he had asked to apply and join the guild, because they didn’t want to be here without him. So that was a total of ten players just gone, and more might leave because some have said they’re thinking about it.

They never told us why they’re leaving, but I’d like to know if it’s something we could work out and become better at, we deserve to know. It’s not like our progress has been that bad just because we’re stuck on the hardest boss in this tier, we’re not really stuck either because we’ve had progress, and with all these bumps it’s not too bad. I wish people knew that summer can be a guild killer, we might not get enough people for a 25 man raid, at least not a progress raid, we might not get a raid up at all, maybe we’ll take a break until summer is over, it has happened before, so why are some so surprised. I think this summer went pretty well, not bad at all.. I do agree that we should expect raiders to keep a better attendance overall, especially now when summer is over, and officers are trying to keep better track of it. We should also expect players to perform better and learn of their fails because we can’t afford to have the same people fail over and over again on a boss which is on farm status, but what should we say to them?

It feels like we’ve had so many different players in the guild that I can’t even remember half of them. It’s strange how so many people join the guild, become raiders, seem happy and satisfied then they suddenly just leave or quit without any warning, it happens to so many. Like they suddenly realise that they don’t have time for games anymore or they want to raid more hardcore, do more PvP or whatever. There are very few members who have been here for many years, only a few of those who were in the guild when I joined are still here, and even less who have been in the guild since the start in early Wrath of the Lich King when Ash was reformed, or earlier than that when it first was created which I think was in the Burning Crusade or maybe even in Vanilla… Only a fraction stays, we lose so many along the way, I wish more would have stayed.

What I’ve learned from all this is that we should never close recruitment, never say no to a good apply from a player with gear and experience. I’d rather we have a bit too many players and be standby once in a while than too few and not getting to raid at all. It might be a good idea to invite a group of players but if they suddenly leave, you’re most likely doomed. Well, maybe not doomed but it might be hard to find new ones fast and other players might react to why so many leave at once and it might trigger some drama.

We got some new officers recently who bring some new ideas to the guild, hopefully we’ve or they’ve learned from what has happened now and before, and are able to figure out a solution which might help us find new players, keep them and solve problems that might occur.  Right now we’re on the way up, or at least I hope so, we got a few applications the last week and we’re doing what we can with recruitment posts and macros. Our last raid didn’t go that well because we didn’t have the setup to extend the raid and go for Lei Shen heroic, but I hope we’ll do it next week. 5.4 is close and it’s hard to find players with gear and experience enough to continue to progress with us until 5.4 is released even though it’s our goal it might be hard to achieve and we might be better of just recruiting for 5.4 and lower our requirements a bit. It’s also quite a challenge to find new recruits sometimes as we’re a Scandinavian guild and only accept people who speak and understand the Scandinavian languages because those are the languages we use to communicate.

I’ve always just been a member of Ash, never officer, but I’ve still put a lot of time into the guild. I’ve always wanted the best for the guild and always wanted to help and you don’t need to be an officer to help out your guild.  I’ll continue to do what I can to help out because I’m not giving up yet and hopefully everything will become better after a while.

If you have experience with problems like this in your guild or have any tips on what we should do to get more applications, please comment below.

Progressing through Throne of Thunder

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My guild, Ash, has been doing very well this patch and especially after we started on heroic modes. It surprised me that we got this far so fast cause we usually get stuck on some boss or have trouble with getting a full raid, but not this time. We only raid three days a week but we still try to do our best and get as far as we can cause we all want to progress and see all heroic content.

We started out in Throne of Thunder heroic and killed Jin’rokh March 21th, Horridon April 7th, Tortos April 14th, Megaera April 28th, Ji-Kun May 5th, Iron Qon May 19th, Council of Elders May 23th, Primordius May 28th, Durumu June 2nd and Twin Consorts June 4th. So our kills have been continuous till now, but we might be a bit stuck on Dark Animus which I’ve heard is one of the hardest bosses, so much RNG and things that annoy the shit out of us, but we almost had him last week, or well, we had a few very good tries so hopefully we will get him down this week and face Lei Shen next week!

I think all bosses are very well made but some are really annoying like Tortos with all those spinning turtles which knockback you if they get close, Megaera with the frost beams you have to kite across the room, and Iron Qon with the tornadoes… I’m not sure if I have a favorite boss yet, cause there is something annoying with every one of them and I’m starting to get a bit bored of farming the same bosses over and over again, I’m more into progressing, but Ji-Kun is kinda fun when I’m in the fly group and Primordius cause I’m mostly on the small adds.

I’m really looking forward to Lei Shen cause it’s supposed to be very hard and it’s a fun fight on normal so it can only be better on heroic, or that’s what I hope.

Check out our guild website http://www.ash-guild.com for more screenshots and videos, content is on Swedish as we’re a Scandinavian guild.