Monday, August 4, 2008

You are a unique and beautiful snowflake ... just like everyone else

Have I mentioned that I PUG quite a bit? Maybe? I might have brought it up once or twice.

As my Server dropdown list in Ventrillo gets longer and longer, I realize that I am learning something about people: everyone is different.

Yeah, duh.

It may seem like I QQ quite a bit about bad PUGs. I don't mean to QQ — I really just enjoy sharing the horror stories of my bad experiences. Raiding is mostly the same. There are good raid and bad raids. But because there are 5x as many people, you can get a much better sense of the guild.

I want to share some of my insights. Compare and contrast, if you will. Lest I am misinterpreted, let me make one thing perfectly clear before I continue:
I have respect for each of the guilds I mention by name. I wouldn't name them, otherwise. There are plenty of guilds that I do not respect, and they aren't named here.

Got that? Good.

I'll take Origin first. Origin is a very cool bunch of folks. Even though I am not in their guild, most of them treat me like I am. There's a reason I have so many WWS reports with Origin: whenever I need something for a quest, Origin generally steps up and helps out. Even if it's a Heroic Shadow Labs at 3am, Origin is there. That's just cool.

If I had to use one word to describe raiding with Origin, it would be calm. There's a bit of joking around on Vent, but mostly everyone seems willing to STFU and listen to the RL. There are a few people that seem to not like the peace and break it at inopportune times when they should be taking in chat and not Vent, but not many. Everyone is generally respectful to everyone else. I cannot express how much I appreciate this kind of serenity on a raid Vent.

If pressured to say one bad thing about Origin, it would be that they might be too quiet. Because of the low-drama approach to raiding, it seems that some people will occasionally not get it when it is time to listen to a strategy. We'll wipe a few times because people are doing things they were explicitly told not to. Eventually, everyone gets it and comes together, but I doubt Origin will have too many one-shots. In the end, though, that's okay — Origin is also the guild most okay with wiping and trying again. Wipes don't phase Origin in the least. I'd raid with Origin any day.

Raiding with We Raid Naked is the exact opposite of raiding with Origin. It's very high-drama, high-excitement, and noisy. It seems like everyone talks on Vent. Talks, tells lewd jokes, curses other players, etc. Patience is in no way a part of We Raid Naked raiding. If you aren't there 100% or aren't paying attention, you get kicked and replaced within minutes. They are a steamroller, and raids are the road.

But none of that is necessarily a bad thing. We Raid Naked will one-shot many bosses. They have to, as they don't take wipes nearly so well. The RL is strong, and loud, and there can be no doubt when you need to listen. Organization is accomplished with an iron fist, but it is also air-tight and unbreakable.

I've only gone on one raid with Totem Totem Totem, but they seem to be somewhere in the middle of the other two. The Vent chatter is raunchier than Origin, but nowhere near as much as We Raid Naked. Organization and leadership isn't as cutthroat as We Raid Naked, but is still much more heavy-handed than Origin. These guys are more about throwing themselves into the mix and hoping one or two people are still standing at the end. The organization is mostly front-loaded, with the vast majority done before combat and somewhat-controlled mass chaos during combat. They are a "just do it" group.

I've only done a couple of 10-man runs with Gank This, but from what I can see they are no-frills, balls-to-the-wall, get-the-damned-thing-done type people. It is assumed that you know what you are doing and know all of the strategies, so Vent is used mostly for casual chatter. They are cool to raid with, but the speed completely wipes me out for the night. I have to assume that raiding with T6 or late-T5 guilds would be like this.

I guess that's why I don't get all of the turf wars that go on between guilds. Each guild has their own personality, so why don't people get and respect that? Do you want hardcore? N00b-friendly? A Vent to tell raunchy jokes? High or low drama?

I guess that's one more nice thing about being the PUG master that I am: I can choose to run with a guild that suits my mood for the day.

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