Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sand Kitten Bafflement

Kaeya refrained from stabbing the cat. She's a big ole softie inside, and stopped by to check in on it and give it a bowl of milk as she continually passed by on her mithril-farming route for Kotonni. But shhh... don't tell anyone.

Edit: what a horrible wildlife specialist I am! Sand cats are real desert creatures in Africa. Thanks for the comments! Mystery solved!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Druid Shifts and the Law of Conservation of Mass

I walk into these things way too easily.
Also, Alyae has not seen MASSIVETREEOFDOOMSHIFT, yet ;)

RP: Alts and Ore and Angsty Rogues

November 22nd
5:30 pm
Dalaran Streets

Kaeya leaned back against the sun-warmed stone, staring off over the worn walls of Dalaran to the distant, snow-capped mountains. The sun was dipping down through the clouds that shrouded the mountain range, and the rogue had a thoughtful expression on her youthful face as she studied the colors it painted the sky.

“Hello,” a polite voice came from beside her. She turned her green gaze, raising an eyebrow slightly to note the speaker: a young woman, blood elf like herself, with long, curled locks of red hair.

Kaeya tilted her head, wondering what she wanted. The last person who’d attempted to beg coin from her had ended up floating in the Undercity gutter, and Dalaran had a wonderful shark in its sewers here to dispose of corpses. “Lockbox?” she asked mildly, as that would be the only other plausible reason a complete stranger would be questioning her.

The girl smiled gently. “Oh, no. Kaelynn sent me… you’re Kaeya, right?”

Kaelynn. What was that druid up to? The rogue’s eyes narrowed as she studied the other elf: some mail gear, a crossbow slung over the shoulder, a faint smell of engine grease and… animal? A hunter. “Yes, I am Kaeya,” she replied carefully.

“Oh good,” the girl’s smile deepened. “She said you could help me with gathering ore… you see, I am trying to level my professions, engineering and jewelcrafting, and she said you were one of our farmers.”

The rogue grew still, staring hard at the hunter; only her hair moved, blond strands drifting in the faint breeze. “Our…?” She said after a long moment. Her gaze studied the hunter more carefully, eyes moving up and down, noting the battered boots and rusted gauntlets, and… that dagger. With lightening speed, her hand darted down and unsheathed the dagger from the hunter’s belt, flipping it deftly in her hand to study it. The hunter made a face and started to complain, but she held up her other hand to silence the girl while she looked over the blade. Heirloom quality. Agility enchant. Familiar grip. Nock in the blade, 2.3 inches up from the hilt, from…

Kaeya’s eyes narrowed to slits. Turning the blade in her hand to offer the handle back to the hunter, she sniffed. “A fellow alt. I see. So that’s why the cursor hasn’t been doing anything to remedy my weapon situation in recent weeks. Feh.” She looked back to the sunset, a dour mood now souring the view.

Looking over the blade herself with curiosity, the hunter now seemed skittish. “I’m… sorry? Um, well, I will be needing ore… starting with copper, actually. I had originally been an alchemist, but the shaman took over on that front…”

“The shaman, yes,” Kaeya said moodily. “At least she was able to farm for herself. Do you have epic flying?”

“Um, no—“

“Hmph. Suppose you’ll be plundering my hard-earned gold, too?”

There was a snarl to her right, and Kaeya just raised her eyebrows. Of course, a hunter, there would be a pet.

“Kisa!” the hunter chided her pet. A white leopard was just faintly visible, prowling up to Kaeya’s side with its lips curled up around its saber fangs.

Kaeya rolled her eyes: the prowling shadows were HER domain. “Down, kitty, it’s not like I haven’t dealt with feral druids more powerful than you. Hmph.”

“Kisa, come,” the hunter asked, pointing behind her. The cat hissed at Kaeya once more as it padded around her and obediently sat behind the girl, then began licking its paw nonchalantly. “I’m… sorry if I’ve given you the wrong impression… look, I don’t really care about the epic flying. I mean, I have two drakes idling in the bank, but for a hunter, that’s kind of expected, you know? Stables… pets…” she watched the rogue, noting her attempt at humor had failed. “I just need some ore is all, and I thought the alts were supposed to help each other.”

“Great. Well, I guess this means I may actually see some play time,” Kaeya remarked.

The hunter smiled genuinely, “See, there’s always a silver lining!”

“I was being sarcastic. Did you fall and hit your head during the opening character creation cinematic?”

The hunter blushed. “No…”

Kaeya gave her a sidelong glare, silent for a moment. Then she stood, straightening, and dug a whistle out of her pocket. “What’s your name? I have to mail the ore somewhere.”

“Oh! Um, Kotonni.”

“Is that Umkotonni or just Kotonni?” Kaeya said, rolling her eyes.

“Just… Kotonni.”

“Right. Ore. Copper all the way up. What a quest. You want it smelted to bars, or can I just lob chunks of ore at the nearest mailbox and listen to the mailman complain of rock dust and property damage?”

“Oh… half and half, I guess. I need to prospect some for gems.”

The rogue blew on the whistle, and after a moment, a large war-feathered raptor dropped down from its perch on the roof. It bent its head, sniffing predatorily at the hunter’s pet, and warbled to itself as Kaeya caught its reins. “Shinies!” Kaeya mocked, admittedly jealous as she swung up onto the raptor’s back. “Well, Kot, this will take a while. Don’t pressure me or you’ll be getting [Pocket Lint] in the mail.”

Kotonni grimaced. “Please don’t call me that…”

“What, Kot?”


“Fine. Seeya, Kot.” With that, the rogue urged the raptor forth into the busy streets of Dalaran.

Little did she know that that evening, as she pitched her tent under the stars in the red sands of Durotar, that the world was about to change.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Linkage: Fun Times

Between a lack of things to really occupy me in-game and a sudden pull into a co-op NaNo, I haven't had much to write about that is druidy, lately. No, my writing time has been thoroughly engrossed elsewhere, for the time being. For fun, though, I have compiled a list of links to all the wonderful things that have made me seriously LOL over the past couple weeks.


And for just the awesomeness that is this mashup:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wall Feast

The real reason why we got HLK10-strict down:

Wall feasts. This is what happens when you get superstitious with raiding. You spend 30 seconds of buffing time trying to get a fish feast stuck in a wall, and everyone waits patiently without complaint, because IT IS NECESSARY FOR SUCCESS.

Been a busy week. Scythe and I had been working on changing up the guild website and using different, integrated software for its front page, and it's finally up and running. We've had stick-figures in the margins on the forums previously, but now we get to have them on the front page, too. I like the personalization, it gives it more of the guild's character.



Has gotten big.

And likes playing in the bathtub.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Keybinds on Movement Keys

I had a warlock-induced epiphany this week.


4 keys I use to move around.
4 keys that could, potentially, be keybound.
4 keys I can bind using modifiers and tack on abilities I cast only when I am *not* moving.

If I'm moving around using WASD, I can't be using any spell with a cast-time, anyway. If I'm casting a spell that is cancelled by movement, I can't be moving anyway while I press the button to trigger it. So, cast-time spells can be bound to movement keys using modifiers to toggle them (ctrl, alt, shift).

Suddenly, my keyboard doesn't feel so cramped for space anymore.

Druid Spells that require you to stand still:
  • Wrath
  • Starfire
  • Hurricane (though you can target it while moving)
  • Cyclone
  • Entangling Roots
  • Soothe
  • Healing Touch
  • Nourish
  • Regrowth
  • Tranquility
  • Revive
  • Rebirth
  • Warstomp (racial)
Number of these that I did not previously have keybound: 7.

So how do you keybind your movement keys without loosing your movement? By having the actions be bound by the key + ctrl, alt, or shift. For the actual binding, I used Bindpad, though you could use an actionbar mod like Bartender and bind individual action buttons.
  • Ctrl W
  • Alt W
  • Shift W
  • Ctrl A
  • Alt A
  • Shift A
  • Ctrl S
  • Alt S
  • Shift S
  • Ctrl D
  • Alt D
  • Shift D
That's 12 additional keybind spots. If you use one of your modifiers as a push-to-talk button (ie ctrl for ventrilo) that's still 9 button combinations you can bind! Be careful with this, though. If you're running around while pressing modifier keys for other abilities (like shift to swiftmend) it can interrupt your directional movement. Personally, I use quite a few shift-modifier macros, so I'm keeping those as just movement so they don't trip me up while I'm using a shift-cast spell from another key, but alt is one I never use while I'm moving just because it's uncomfortable to hold down... that makes the alt-WASD binds perfect places for me to stick some cast-time spells. I've put Wrath, Soothe, Entangling Roots, and Starfire on them.

Note 1: I don't suggest putting HT on one of these as it's usually macroed to NS anyway, thus making it sometimes insta-cast :)

Note 2: If you unbound your strafe from q and e like I did, I do suggest keeping strafe left and strafe right bound somewhere in these keys, like as Shift A and Shift D, (Edit: or just as A and D) or even on mousebuttons. Strafe does come in handy from time to time.

Note 3: If you are a feral who uses ctrl/shift/alt macros for lots of abilities, like I do, and want to use them while moving, then I really *really* suggest making sure these movement-key binds are form-dependent. Otherwise you'll find yourself suddenly casting wrath in cow form when you should be tanking or clawing. /stopmacro [form:1/3] is your friend. So is [nostance].

Thank you, Naz :) Please don't incinerate me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Surviving HLK: Beyond the Pixels

While these tips are directly from my experience working for 3-4 months with my guild to down 10-strict HLK, these also apply to any long-term, multi-aspect team encounter that is pushing the envelope and comfort zone of your raid.

There is more to killing hardmode Lich King (HLK) than what the game presents to you. The fight's difficulty tests your cohesion and teamwork as a guild: your ability to adapt, learn together, and not fall apart as your guild pushes the envelope in what it can do. HLK is a fight with many moving parts, and every player present is important and could easily wipe the raid with their own small mistake.

We lost one raider specifically over the stress induced by the fight in the five months we were working on it; other guilds lost far more, sadly. It is the unfortunate circumstance of a high-stress boss fight, and the most difficult part of overcoming a pinnacle encounter like HLK.

You must be able to own up to your own mistakes. If you and your fellow raiders are incapable or unwilling to recognize they made a mistake, your guild will not get very far on fights like this. I suggest this mentality:
  • You will, inevitably, make a mistake. Don't be ashamed of it: just learn from your mistake, and figure out ways to prevent it next time.
  • Admit to your mistake. It will keep others from grumbling behind your back or thinking that you don't know you messed up. Whether it's an apology, a curse, a simple admittance, a groan, or just a /facepalm, some recognition that you know you messed up will keep others off your back.
  • Even if someone else admits "blame," if you were a part of it or could have helped prevent it, speak up. Were you lax on casting a cooldown? Or a heal? Were the cooldowns not up, from casting them too soon? Were you out of range due to bad positioning? Did you zig when you should have zagged around that defile? Turn your back to the mob you were tanking? Misunderstand a vocal call? These things help prevent the mistake from happening again. Progress in teamwork development.
  • Someone else will also, inevitably, make a mistake. Don't corner them too often about it, if they know of the problem and are attempting to resolve it already. If it must be brought up in order to help them fix a repetitive mistake, avoid getting frustrated about it: defensiveness and frustration is stress your raid doesn't need. Focus on getting the problem resolved, and be sure to applaud when it's finally fixed.
  • Apologize when necessary. Recognize when it's needed, and make use of it to keep the group working as a cohesive unit. Your raid MUST be a team.


The strategy will change. Group makeups and individual player strengths will force your guild to approach the fight in, likely, different ways than others have, especially if few other strategy guides have been posted for the fight you are attempting.

Vortex's primary HLK discussion thread reached 11 forum pages. There were a few multi-page side discussions, as well, nevermind all of the vocal planning done in ventrilo or over whispers. Our tanks switched around, our healers switched around, our offspecs were tried and tested, melee were given an unfortunate shaft in favor of ranged dps, and we all had to smile and nod and try not to take things personally. I was shocked we ended up needing a resto druid: I was originally arguing that I should be sat out, feeling incapable of keeping the tanks alive by myself. We made it work, though.
  • Your strats will change, sometimes drastically. Be ready to try new things.
  • Trail and error. Don't just ram the brick wall hoping you'll eventually break through: there is more than one way to get to the other side, you just have to find the one that works best for your guild.
  • Keep up your spacial awareness. HLK has a lot of moving parts to it, so you will be shifting location from moment to moment and attempt to attempt.
  • Keep an open mind about others' ideas.

Along with flexibility, I firmly believe that all raiders need to have input on your guild's strategy development. One single person coming up with all of the ideas will make your progress move more slowly. Every raider should be responsible for looking at the strategy and finding ways to adapt it to your group's skills and makeup, both for the part that they themselves play as well as the parts they could potentially aid with, or have class knowledge of. That many more eyes with different perspectives of the fight provides that much more insight into how things work.
  • Think out of the box. Know your class' spells in and out, know your abilities, and find ways to make them work to the raid's advantage: this includes tank-saving cooldowns, stuns, knock-backs, and other CC.
  • Speak up if you have an idea.
  • Don't take it personally when your idea is found to be flawed, or if your idea just doesn't seem to work with the guild's composition. Focus on what's important for the raid to succeed, and not just your own personal bubble.
  • Don't read against the grain.
  • Judge your strategies not by how far you got with them, but how effective they were at solving the problem they were supposed to remedy. Can it be improved upon? Was it the fault of the wipe? Can it be incorporated into other ideas? Don't throw out a strategy or idea unless you really find a better method.
  • Mock up a quick sketch in MSPaint or a similar program if you need to show a diagram. "Picture is worth a thousand words," etc. Don't spend hours on it, though: spend less time explaining your idea and more time finding holes in it before you waste time wiping to it. For example, one from Halion is here. Our LK ones ended up not being used for the final strat ;)

If you refuse to believe the fight is possible for your guild, then your heart will not be in it, and you will make more mistakes and not even bother trying to fix them. You and the rest of your raid team need to be dedicated to overcoming a difficult boss in order to make it happen.
  • Don't panic.
  • Take breaks as a group periodically through the raid night for a breather, to keep your mind sharp and remove distractions like the need to bio or just stretch. Just don't waste others' time with unannounced AFKs or very extended ones, of course.
  • Remember that there is always something you and your raid can improve upon for the next attempt.
  • If you have a rough night, leave it at that: a rough night. Come to the next raid ready to rip the boss apart. That extra out-of-raid time is spent resting and reviewing what can be fixed.
  • Encourage each other. Even if it's jokes of ritualistic head-shaving and application of warpaint prior to attending the raid. At least, I think he was joking about that........
  • Find ways to make each other laugh: wall feasts, mini pets, fear ward on the tree to keep her from fleeing in terror. This is supposed to be fun. As long as these jokes do not get in the way of the raid itself (throw them when waiting for the RP to finish) or actual discussion of strategy adjustments, they're great for loosening you up.
  • Believe in your fellow raiders' ability to improve. Stay positive.


Ultimately, maintaining respect for each other in the face of mistakes and months of wipes will keep your raid going. Avoid belittling each other, and avoid reading against the grain as much as possible. More bluntly, just stick to the mechanics facts and try not to sound like an ass to others. If you're at each others' throats, your guild is more likely to fall apart or quit raiding than it is to overcome the boss. Don't let the Lich King win... and don't let Yogg's whispers come true.

...your friends will abandon you...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

About Vortex: The Structure of a 10-man Guild

Along the vein of guild management, there've been a few questions about how Vortex is run. As many players look to create 10-man guilds in Cataclysm, knowing what worked and what didn't for a 10-man guild is pretty useful information, so I'd like to share what we've done.

As a caveat, the format used for Vortex isn't for everyone: it's just what we have found to work for us. To better understand what it's like to be a 10-man guild, I will point back to my April post about what 10-strict is like, and how the raiding changes in Cataclysm will impact 10 man guilds.


Vortex formed shortly before WotLK's release by a group of gaming buddies who'd raided with each other before. Most of the founding raiders had had their hand at raid leading and, in many cases, officership and guild leadership before, stretching back into 40 man raids and across other games. Our decision for 10-strict was based dominantly on the smaller number of raiders we would have to manage, as we were rather burnt out from leading larger guilds.

We compiled what we liked and didn't like about our past guilds and looked to guilds we respected to see what we could take away from them for our own charter. Very little of our guild policy has altered since its inception two years ago, and we've steadily kept raiding from Naxx to Ulduar to ToC to ICC, until we ran out of content with our kill of hardmode Lich King, a rare kill for a purely ten-man guild. Our raiders are now preparing for Cataclysm, eager to see Vortex enter a new expansion.


The guild leader and two officers form a system of checks and balances with each other. We three have equal footing and yell and scream at each other when necessary. If we're torn on an issue, we use a majority two-on-one vote to deal with major decisions, including whether one of us was out of line on something (and to get after each other). These three leaders handle the bulk of running the guild, and together discuss any major changes to guild policies or personnel conflicts that need mediation. They also keep a finger on the pulse of the guild, both current and looking to the near future as raiders may have conflicts of interest that may require eventual recruitment and roster changes. And, so far, we've survived each other for 2 years :)

Officer duties include website/ventrilo administration, scheduling, raid leading, PR (news, forums, videos, blogs... *cough*), recruitment organization, bank maintenance, conflict mitigation (including both head-knocking and more delicate intervention), strategy research and discussion prompts, log hosting and review, policy review, attendance tracking, and more that I can't think of right now.

Once major policy topics have been discussed by the officers, they are tossed out to the rest of the guild (if necessary) for further discussion and ideas. We prefer having a transparent leadership and make efforts to hear out everyone's perspective on something, and explain our decisions and reasoning.

Vortex Code of Conduct:

We'd seen enough drama eat away at other guilds and our own sanity; drama drove our leadership to all quit the game at the end of BC before we formed Vortex. The very first thing we wrote up, beyond our raid roster outline, was a code of conduct we would expect every member of the guild to adhere themselves to while wearing our tag. It has resulted in a very good public image for our guild, though we have had to part ways with a few former members due to their odd wish to troll trade chat.

The gist of our code of conduct is such:
  1. If you have our tag, you are representing our guild. Please act as a representative when in pugs, public chat, forums, etc. This means no trolling trade chat or general ass-hattery that would reflect back on the rest of the guild.
  2. You are required to attend raids with the best possible enchants, gems, potions, and food that you can. This is expected of offspec, as well; alts and casuals get some leniency when they fill in, but we do push towards proper gear maintenance.
  3. You are expected to help other guild members in farming mats for resist gear and contribute to the guild bank when possible. With a small guild, everyone needs to pitch in. In return, we are able to offer guild repairs on progression fights, as well as stockpile consumables and materials for the whole guild to use (including alts and casuals).
  4. You are expected to treat guild members with respect. Even those that you do not particularly like. I hate that Scythe guy ;) On a real note, though, this is an important part of surviving a small guild community. We have had guild members who did not get along (or have simply butted heads over something) and it is so easy to read against the grain in text. Maintaining civility is a huge help in solving conflicts.
  5. You are required to adhere to the guilds "no drama" policy. See below.

No-Drama Policy:

Few people will argue that drama kills guilds, so we have instituted a no-drama policy. Anyone found to be causing drama that creates rifts within the guild or damages our reputation will be warned and potentially removed from the guild at the discretion of the officers. This does not mean you cannot disagree with each other nor does everyone need to get along all the time. What this means is that you must be conscious of your actions and be responsible for them. This does not mean you cannot discuss heated topics on the forums but there are right ways to go about things. We are adults. Please try to resolve problems with the person you are having a problem with. If that fails or is too uncomfortable, speak to an officer; if that fails then perhaps it would be time to take it to the forums. Think with your brain, not with your anger.

This is our take-a-chill-pill policy. Also, we consider our under-18's to be adults: it's a matter of maturity, not age :) This policy has given us a good outline for handling conflicts in the guild.

Raid Roster

Now we're getting into the more functional aspects of 10man raiding. Vortex has run with a 13-14 person roster, fluctuating based on class needs and current raiders' available attendance, as well as the presence of exceptional applicants we just couldn't turn away.
  • 2 main tanks. 2 offspec tanks.
  • 3-4 main healers. 2+ offspec healers.
  • 8 DPS, with a gamut of offspecs.
We have required all of our raiders, even pure DPS classes, to keep up an offspec for the purposes of composition flexibility. In cases of hybrids, we highly prefer that each spec fill a different role, rather than dps/dps or healer/healer, though some fights have required exceptions (particularly in the case of holy vs disc).

For the most part, each of our raiders fills a main, unique spec, with some overlap of dualspecs. This gives our raids a necessary flexibility to adapt to fights, and we have certainly made use of it: as recent examples, our first Sindragosa kill had the usually-resto druid as an offtank in cat spec, and our holy priest was shadow for our HLK kill. Whenever we received an application for a class/spec we already had, it took some intense discussion to determine if we could feasibly accept the player in their chosen class/role. Of course, our roster space also meant we did not have every class present: rogues in particular are something we've run without, as well as enhancement shaman and DPS warriors, in spite of past attempts to recruit them.

Rotations are used to allow everyone a chance to play. Rotation applies to everyone, though our two tanks are rotated relatively infrequently. Rotation is based on fight need (best group composition to get a new kill), gear/achievement need, showing up on time, and, when on a farm run and all else is equal, just rotating between wings/bosses to give everyone a chance to play.


In such a small guild, recruitment is weighed in on by all of the raiders. All of our raiders will read through applications and put their 2 cents in (or more) in a private guild forum, and based on the discussion and general yay/nay will an applicant be able to continue on to interviews and possible test runs. We have some very well-read guild members who will write essays on an applicant; we also have a very blunt interrogation squad who will question gear choices and talents and guild history. We take our recruitment very seriously, because once you're in, you're in, and we're relying on you to then uphold our guild tag and coordinate with the rest of us in our raids.

You can check out our application here. It is long, and we expect good answers from our applicants. It covers everything from gear maintenance, spec, interface care, personality, where you're coming from, goals, hopes, dreams, and general fit into the guild's community. As a note: we do not recruit for "the bench," nor do we accept applications for casual ranks. All of our casuals are of the "friends and family" variety and follow no formal recruitment process; they are simply reliant upon officer approval.

During all parts of the process, every raider has an opportunity to speak their opinion. Final votes on applications are done among all the raiders; they don't always choose to exercise that right, but they have it if they wish to use it. All applications are archived in a hidden underground bunker so no one has to see the trauma their application went through before being accepted. ;)


We choose to raid 3 nights per week, with a 66% attendance requirement (2 out of 3 raids). Most of our raiders are available all 3 nights, though we all enjoy or need a break every now and again, and some have class or work; we also allow exceptions for short vacations.

We expect all raiders to show up to every raid, unless they inform us otherwise. This is contrary to "sign up sheets" used by other guilds, where you don't have to show up unless you say you'll be there, which often caused problems when the "slackers" didn't want to go on a progression wipe-night or they finished getting all the gear they wanted. Instead, our raiders post if they CAN'T make it, as it's assumed they will be present otherwise. This has its obvious difficulties if a member looses power or internet, but that's no different than the sign-up method, and many of our raiders have exchanged phone numbers to combat this.

Those who dip below this attendance requirement for an extended period of time are called into question. We have had to ask others to either step it up, or step back from being a raider.

Loot Council

We officially use a loot council as our loot system. We have NEVER used it, though: there has never been a time when we've had to put together a tribunal of some sort to decide which raider should get a piece of loot. This is due to a couple things:
  • Small raid size. There are fewer people to compete with for drops.
  • Lack of greed. "It will drop again." In general, our raiders view loot as a means to an end, rather than the goal: they wouldn't've chosen 10-strict in WotLK otherwise, where the best loot they can get is iLevel 264 (compared to the 277 in 25mans).
Usually a quick discussion will settle things, if not a random /roll. "It's a huge upgrade for me," or "Eh, it's a sidegrade," or "Eh, I don't really care" are the most common phrases we toss around during loot time, along with "She's pulling trash, let's go," "Oops, I moonfired the trash," and "OMG I'm just going to shove this in your bag!" (aka "BLATANT ML POWER ABUSE!") or "If you want it, get it from [the disenchanter]" from the master looter.

The majority of our loot disagreements take the form of "You take it." "No, you take it." "It's better for you, you should have it." "Nah, it's not that big an upgrade, you can have it."


Rankings are not something we actively strive to achieve. We are proud of our accomplishments, but getting there first is not our driving goal. Just getting there, downing the content and overcoming the challenge it presents us (without beating our heads against the wall blindly): that is our goal.

For most of the expansion, we bounced around world ranks 30-15, but caught up in the last year of the expansion as other guilds began to fall apart and give up on HLK and his understudies, H-Sindy and H-Put. We won our spot more through persistence and strategical flexibility than speed. We also chose to play to the ideal of 10-strict: we disallowed all members from raiding any 25 mans once they joined us, even if they already had the achievements from their previous guilds. This did mean that our members' alts were often forced into side guilds for pugging, but it kept us on the strict charts.

We never expected to end up in the top 2 in the world for progression. I think it would be folly for us to think we can hold onto it in Cataclysm without making some severe changes to our raiding schedule, however: we just don't raid often enough. We have our pride and we push ourselves to be our best, but we aren't insane :)


This is the first expansion change we'll be riding as Vortex, but I'm not overly concerned about it. We've been discussing what each member is interested in doing, as some have been considering character swaps, and laying on the expectation that everyone put effort into leveling and playing together as a guild until we are raiding again at 85. It is, however, the first time many of us have run out of content in an expansion, so we've been trying to find things to do to keep us occupied without stretching our sanity.

I look forward to seeing the 10-man raiding scene adapt to the changes Cataclysm is bringing. To everyone that is working now to build their own 10-man guild, I wish you luck, and I hope that our policies, experiences, and ideas may be of benefit to you as you build your own guild.