Streamers that I’ve been enjoying lately

We have been using an amazon fire stick and alexa remote to watch tons of twitch on our living room TV lately.  Here are some streamers that I’ve been watching lately.

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Elspeth – She is a talented voice actor that has been playing a variety of jump/scare games lately and it is hilarious.  I love listening to her slip into different characters while shes playing through her games.

Drjayfisto – Method raider and pro mage who may be streaming from his Gothic style dining room?  Sometimes I watch to learn how to play better and sometime I have him on for his music.

Lirik – He is probably the first streamer that I’ve made a point of watching consistently and have been a fan of his for the past 3 years.  He is honest, humble and will often seek opinions outside of his own on topics that he is curious about.  He plays a variety of games including tons of indie projects, the new latest and greatest game and shooters.

WoW BFA Recruitment

Now is the time to put on your recruiting boots!  The very beginning of any game or game expansion is a great time to recruit players for your guild.  There are lots of people that are coming to a game for the first time or returning after an extended absence.  This all means that they need a social group!

A couple weeks ago I talked about how we were in the beginning stages of recruiting for our guild.  Now that the expansion has launched we are starting to get a flood of potential recruits.  Last time I made a big push to recruit, I did so mostly by seeking out those players that posted to the general forums saying that they were looking for a guild.  I would send each of them a private message that was personalized to respond to what they were looking for.  While this proved very effective in a new game, this method was getting very little responses in WoW.  For one, we were a brand spankin new guild as far as anyone was concerned.  We didn’t have any wowprogress history or any impressive boss kill logs, so the serious players didn’t even consider us since they were getting lots of messages from already established guilds.

I was frustrated that all my hours of finding the perfect recruits were proving unfruitful.  So I made a change and rethought of how we could improve our headcount and be able to step foot into the new raids for BFA and hopefully reduce my load of administrative duties outside of game.  I mean, I wanted to play the game too!  I decided for my own sanity that I needed to cast a wider net and started to spend less time talking to applicants during the first week of the expansion and steering them to the community.

Communities are a new feature which allows you to join a new social group without leaving your current guild or having to pay for a server transfer.  I could see wow eventually making this THE new social experience in the future.  For those long time wow vets, a community is basically a custom chat channel with a member list interface.  I like this idea so much that instead of building up the “guild” we were using the community as our new “guild”  It was so easy to use.  Instead of a potential player having to wait to get an invite from someone, they can just enter a join code and instantly be connected with everyone else that’s online.

Getting people to talk to you is half the battle, and having them join a social group just gives us opportunity to introduce people to our group’s culture.  It takes a lot of work to join a new guild in any of these games, so if I can get them to play with us even just a little bit they may like that experience and want to hang around because of it.  Right now we are getting to know our potential raiders and just having fun.

Handling Criticism as a Guild Leader

Today one of my long time guildmates sent me a whisper.  He didn’t agree with how I was recruiting for our raid groups.  He felt that the players that were in our community were not well vetted, which is true, they are not since I have the link to join posted on public forums.  I’m not looking to create an exclusive club with a whole list of criteria from the get go.  I would find myself saying no to people all day and not growing our ranks.  What if I told a player “no” based on their lack of raiding experience and they ended up being amazing?  A good resume does not mean that the player is going to be great.  People lie all the time and tell us what we want to hear.

This type of criticism is not uncommon for a guild leader.  There is always people that want to tell you how to do things.  I have one time that stood out as a clear, what not to do to keep your guild alive and healthy:

It was the first couple weeks into Wildstar.  We had started strong and were currently sitting at the #5 rank for the entire world for boss kills.  One big problem was that the #1 guild was on our same server and provided extra pressure to catch up to them and surpass them.  This was because we wanted to be the best, and so did the majority of our guild members.

There was a lot of complaining about how we needed to change and improve or people would leave.  The loudest critics came to me and said, we need to do XYZ in order to succeed.  They offered to help, so I promoted them to officers so that they would have the authority to make the changes that they wanted.  Or maybe I promoted them to shut them up, or so they wouldn’t leave.  The later two were the wrong reasons.

So the loud critics didn’t make any changes and continued to complain and now when they were complaining, they were doing so with the Officer title.  OF course maybe part of this was because they realized how much work is involved with leading a successful guild.  The continued complaining created massive problems with moral for a large chunk of our members.

It all reached a boiling point when one of our long time officers sent me a message that they were done with all the stress of trying to be a leader in the guild and that they were going to join the #1 guild in the game.  When they left, so did 30% of our members.  We were a broken group that lacked the ability to complete the content that we were clearing just the day before.  All of the venomous talk of how bad everything really got in my head and stressed me out.  I didn’t even want to play the game anymore.  This experience had sucked all of the fun right out of it for me.

Cancerous members like these may have good intentions, but when they start stirring up crap with rumors and complaining all the time, it’s time for them to go.  You may end up losing a player or two in this process but most likely your guild will remain intact.  Don’t promote your biggest critics to officers in your guild.  If they already don’t agree with you, its more likely that they’ll work against you than with you in the future.

After the experience of trying to allow people to do more and help out and having it backfire so badly, I am leaning towards trusting my gut.  I’m not going to create a perfect place for everyone, its just not possible.  Since I’m doing the bulk of the work getting this thing off the ground my instincts tell me to just keep doing what I’m doing and know that I won’t be pleasing everyone and they’ll move on to green pastures.  The goal is to create a place where I’m still having fun and not burning out form all the stress of trying to please people.

To Stream or not to Stream

I have the basic streaming set up and have occasionally streamed our raids, mostly just so other people in my guild can see what the heck is going on.  Lately I’ve debating putting more time into streaming…start using a camera and get some art on my twitch page.  One thing that holds me back is the amount of trolling that female gamers seem to get.  I would not be your typical popular female streamer with loads of make up and pink hair (although I am a big fan of Pokket) it’s just not my style.  I look like…well a mom!  And I’m proud of who I am.  Is being a streamer really for people like me?  Would anyone want to watch someone with no makeup?

I’ve been thinking about what I, personally, would get out of streaming.  Streaming is mainly thought of a way to create entertainment and make some money.  What if I don’t care if I make a dime and don’t want to put out anything that is not authentically me?  What would I get out of it then?

My dad is a creative streamer and has been doing it since earlier this year.  He really  enjoys the social aspect of streaming and has an active chat room most nights that he’s on and will talk about the projects that he’s working on.  He loves to educate and make recommendations for what type of projects that he’s been using.

I think what draws me to it is learning how the whole thing works.  I find a lot of joy in learning new things and being able to use what I learn to do some cool things.  Maybe I’ll go through the motions of setting everything up and making it look nice.  I’m so curious about this whole world of streaming and I want to know more about it from all angles.

 

 

WoW’s broken recruitment tools and how to fix it

World of Warcraft has an in game guild search/recruitment tool.  To use this tool you need to not be part of a guild.  Open the guild interface (default hotkey is “I”)  and you will be prompted to search for a guild.  Click the “Find a Guild” button and that will open up a basic search function.

Find Guild

What we are offered is a simplistic compartmentalizing of our potential new social groups.  We check the type of play that we are interested in, our availability and role.  Then we click the Browse Guilds button and are faced with a list of hundreds of guilds to sort through.  Honestly, who has time for that?

Browse Guilds

While this may be an adequate system for those not looking to get invested in their guild (or this game for that matter), this is not a great way to narrow down your pool of potential guilds.  I really hope Blizzard makes this a focus in the future since I know if I have a hard time finding a guild that fits how I like to play, I typically leave a game after a month or so.

Fix #1: Allow characters currently in a guild to use the recruitment tool.  If I’m browsing for a new guild, I’m not usually going to leave my current one before I have a new one lined up.  Compare this to job hunting.  Does everyone only look for a new job when they don’t currently have one?  Of course not.  That would be an absurd criteria to fulfill in order to interview for a new company (sorry we only are considering unemployed applicants), so why is being unguided a requirement to use the guild finder interface in our game?

Fix #2: Add more robust search criteria.  The search criteria is entirely too broad and on my server if I select one interest it narrows down my search to at least several hundred guilds to scroll through.  I would probably guess that most people that use this tool wind up not finding a great fit due to the large volume of guilds they have to spend time sorting through and end up finding a guild through other methods, be it the forums or the dozens of other sites that try to create a solution for this problem in the game.

  • Schedules:  Allow for guilds to put in their exact schedule via a drop down for each day of the week.  And also allow players to do the same with their availability.  For ease of use, include timezone so that players don’t need to try to figure out what time a guild plays in their own local time zone.
  • Search Key Words:  If you want a guild that is currently raiding or new player friendly that should be an option to search in this interface.  We shouldn’t be limited by 5 check boxes, the results end up being overwhelming to search through.
  • Location:  Allow a checkbox to include different realms, a specific realm or any realms and also the option to include different factions.  A lot of players are willing to pay blizzard to transfer a character.  Why not make it easy for them to do so!?

Fix #3: Allow players to be contacted by guilds. I see so many posts on the guild recruitment forums from players that say “this is what I’m looking for, post your guild info in the thread”. Wouldn’t it be a great option if a player can flag themselves in game as “looking for guild”?  In my experience a player doesn’t like doing a ton of work to play a game.  Make it easier for them!

Fix #4: Request to Talk…in addition to request to join  So many of us out there want to speak to someone who would be a future member.  I remember before joining my raiding guild in Cataclysm times, I spent over 2 hours chatting with the GM before I was extended an invite.  And while that was a bit excessive, I want to be able to say to recruits – “Hey! This is our plan for the guild, this is what we expect of you, and do you have any questions for me?”

  • Discussion Interface:  Attach a chat interface specific to each potential recruit tied to their request for more information.  Allow all of the officer rank members in guild to view these questions and respond to create a sort of chat log that can be checked on and responded too – even if the player is offline.

As a guild leader, I spend more time than I would like trying to find and communicate with potential recruits for my guild.  I would rather be spending my time actually playing the game instead of working extra hard due to having poor tools that are supposed to help me.  I spent 5 hours last weekend posting to player’s recruitment forum posts, adding their battle tags only to have none of them add me back and it felt like a whole lot of wasted time with no progress made towards finding people for my guild.

There are a lot of players out there that play MMOs and crave that social aspect of existing in a virtual world.  I know that this is very much a quality of life improvement but it is my belief that as WoWs player get older and as we have jobs, kids and other real life obligations in our life, we will gravitate towards games with systems that make the overwhelming task of finding people to play with less time consuming.  I know that I personally want to play games with cool people, help me find them!

Dealing with drama as a Guild Leader

As humans, we love to gossip, spread rumors and tell secrets.  It creates a social bond that we enjoy belonging to a group and the endorphin rush from being included.  Of course there is a negative side to gossiping, especially when you are a group that spends a lot of time together.  A guild is just like any other social group where drama can be a real rock in the shoe.  Sometimes you gotta take off your shoe and get rid of that pesky rock.

Magz was a tank, which was an important role to fill in our guild.  There are usually only 2 tanks in a group of 30 people.  Normally a chill guy, one night Magz had a change in attitude.  I can only speculate what caused the change.  Maybe something traumatic happen in his life that we didn’t know about?  Did he get bored and start picking fights with people to spice up his day?  Whatever was going on, he was pissing people off.  If I have one rule in my guild, it is you can’t make everyone hate you.  Several members of the guild began to come to me with stories complaining about him.

It hasn’t happened very often where a longtime member was causing issues.  I’m very direct and to the point when I need to communicate an expectation.  I talked to him and told him how it was going to be.  He had to get along or move along.

The next raid he began to give me sass when I gave him normal raid instructions.  He seemed to think that he was too important to lose and that I would just suck it up and put up with his crap.  I held me temper through the rest of the raid, so I wouldn’t disrupt our planned group play.  Through the 4 hour raid I simmered below the surface and by the end of the night I had reached full boil.

After that raid ended I spoke to him in voice chat, “Magz, your behavior tonight was unacceptable and you don’t seem to care about making things right with the players that have been having disagreements with you.”  He seemed to be indignant, indifferent and perhaps a little irritable.  We talked and when it was clear that I was going to get no where with him and his poor attitude I gave him the boot  “I guess you will no longer be playing with us.”

If you want to continue to play with the group, you can’t make everyone hate you.  Had I chosen to keep him in our guild it would have effected moral and I would have lost some great friends and raiders in the process.  The guy was complaining all the time, being disrespectful towards the leadership (including me) and didn’t seem to want to be there.

I’ve seen players deteriorate into non-productive members and have found that they usually have some warning signs:

  1. They become less responsive to communications.
  2. They start acting weird – acting out or starting fights.
  3. They do something immoral such as scamming a guild member, stealing guild resources or doing other things to harm the guild.
  4. They start having poor attendance.

Of course poor attendance by itself isn’t cause for the boot.  They could have legitimate reasons for missing your scheduled play time, but when a member exhibits the above warnings signs and then has a family emergency of some sort that takes them away from the game for a week – I consider them gone, and I’m usually right.  I’ll make the call every once in a while “That guy is going to quit soon”  I’ll say to my officers.  If I were a gambling woman I would make some serious money with how often I’m right.

If your guild is participating in organized group play, try to always have a contingency plan.  Whether it is someone else in your guild that can fill the role or if you have a potential recruit in the pipeline.  I try to always be prepared.  This way if someone starts causing problems with other guildies, I don’t have to suck it up and deal with the drama.  I always give people the benefit of a doubt and communicate expectations.  To this date I’ve only had to kick a handful of people.  Its not the part of the job that I like, but I need to keep the wheels turning, the bosses dying, and my members happy.

I do love a good gaming drama story.  Anyone have a good one to share?

Navigating the New Guild Management Panel in WoW (World of Warcraft) 8.0.1

A lot has changed in patch 8.0.1 one of which is the shiny new guild panel.  Here is a walk through of how to use your new guild panel.  Your access will vary based on your permissions in your guild.  I will be showing you the Guild Leader level of permissions.

Guild Panel Navigation

Along the right side of the guild interface are the Chat, Roster, Perks, and Info tabs.  This is how we switch between the different pages shown below.


Here is what the Chat Panel looks like.  You can join the in-game chat channel for your guild or community here.  You can also join the voice chat for your guild or community by clicking on the headset icon.  As far as I can tell you must be logged in to use this feature which is very limiting for guilds that like to use voice chat to socialize both while they’re playing wow and while they’re playing other games.

Guild Panel Chat

  1. Community Summary – This shows your current guild and communities.
  2. Join or Create Community – You can use this button to join or create a new community.  This is a new feature and offers a great alternative to custom chat channels.  If you want to join an existing community you need to copy paste the invite link or be invited by a member of the community.
  3. Chat Channel – Here you can view the chat history for your guild or community.  This will save all chat history including when your character is offline.  Watch what you say about the Guild Leader!
  4. Online members – here you can see who is online.  You can right click the member’s name to whisper, request to join group, or ignore from here.
  5. Add to chat window – this is a quick button to add the chat channel to a new or existing tab in your chat interface.
  6. Invite Member – From here you can invite members to your guild or community.  This works the same as typing out /ginvite [MemberName].

This is the Guild Roster panel where you can view a lot of information about the members of your guild.  Want to know who can craft that item you need?  Or when they were last online?  Here is where you would find out.

Guild Panel Roster

  1. Show Offline Members – You can select to show or not show offline members with this check box.
  2. View Drop-down – Here you can show your members Achievement Points (this is really just the general list of your members as shown above)  the other option in this drop down will show all of your members grouped by their Profession.
  3. Member Roster – Here is some general information about your guild members such as level, class, online status, rank and any notes that you have added.  In my guild we label which characters belong to which main player.
  4. Recruitment – is an in game method that players can use to find a guild.  This button opens the recruitment interface.
  5. Guild Settings – This will open up another panel that allows you to edit ranks permissions for changing things in the guild interface and also for the guild bank.

If you need something crafted the easiest way to find out if anyone has the recipe that you need is by checking the professions view of the Guild Roster panel.

Guild Panel Roster Professions

Click View All will open up a crafting interface similar to what you see in your own crafting.

Guild Crafters

  1. Search will allow you to find the pattern that you want
  2. View Crafters will show you who can craft the item that is selected in the recipe list

The Recruitment panel in WoW allows you to post a summary of your guild and allows an easy way for members to contact you.  You get here by click on the Roster button on the side bar then clicking Recruitment at the bottom of this screen.

Guild Panel Recruitment

I’m not sure how well this works, to this date I have not received a single inquiry based on our posting to the in game system.  This may be due to the type of player that I am targeting.  Systems like these may be more successfully used by larger guilds with more general recruitment.


Guild Settings is where you make changes to what a member can do in your guild inteface and what they can view and withdrawal from the guild bank.  To get to Guild Control open the Guild Panel and click the Roster or Info tab on the right side.  From here click the Guild Settings button which will be near the bottom of the screen.  The drop down at the top of the Guild Control panel will let you view Rank Permission and Bank Permissions.

Guild Settings Rank Permission


Guild Settings is where you make changes to what a member can change in your guild interface and what they can view and withdrawal from the guild bank.  To get to your Guild Control open the Guild Panel and click the Roster or Info tab on the right side.  From here click the Guild Settings button which will be near the bottom of the screen.  The drop down at the top of the Guild Control panel will let you view Rank Permission and Bank Permissions.  Click the drop down and change to Bank Tab Permissions.

Guild Settings Bank Permissions

Select the rank that you would like to modify and you can allow the member to view, deposit and withdrawal items based on their rank.  Keep in mind that items can be split up into single stacks in the bank and cannot be restacked without counting as a daily withdrawal.  This allows for most strict management of consumables for your players.  So if you would like to allow players to receive 20 food, this will count as 1 withdraw item per day if it is a stack of 20.  If you would like to limit the daily withdrawal to 1 food you can split the stack of food into stacks of 1.


The Perks tab shows you all of the benefits that you currently get as a guild member.

Guild Panel Perks

  1.  Guild Perks – These are all of the benefits that you currently have by being a member of the guild.
  2. Guild Rewards – These are the rewards that you have unlocked and the amount of gold that your guild receives for each achievement unlocked
  3. Guild Reputation – this is your personal reputation for the guild.  You can raise your reputation in the guild by doing certain activities in the game.

This is the Info panel of your guild interface.  Here you can view a summary of what is going on for guild activities.

Guild Panel Info

  1. Info – This shows your weekly Guild Challenges.  These must be done in a guild group in order to get credit
  2. Message of the Day – This is where you would put a quick communication to your members.  This shows up for a member when they log in.
  3. Guild Information – Here you can include more information about your guild without the small text limit of the GMOTD (Guild Message of the Day).  Usually You will find information on the general schedule, links to voice chat or websites and any other important information.
  4. Guild News – Here you can view milestones that your members have achieved and you are able to adjust your filters to show different types of milestones.
  5. View Log – This shows you all members joining, leaving, and rank changes

Guild Panel View Log


I hope that you found this guide helpful.  The new layout takes some getting used to but is much more visually appealing that the previous interface.

Having trouble finding a function in your guild interface?  Leave a comment and I’ll help you out!  Happy gaming!

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