This is dedicated to some of the greatest people that I would probably never meet in real, but whom I know much better then many people around.
To get into great PvP guild in World of Warcraft – it’s a very hard job, for which you need to invest a lot of time and dedication. In addition, as in that famous cartoon – Once when you start to play golf, there is no better game – it is rather similar with WoW (World of Warcraft). WoW and then you die. =) And when you try to play it as it is made to play, then one of your first goals should be to enter really good guild. This is the story of The Nephilim.
About the game itself
I can say a lot about concepts around this game or what are massive multi player games, but I will keep it short - real concept of this game is to progres with a character that you made at the start of the game through interaction with the environment (PvE – player vs environment) and through interaction with other players. So, you go around, finishing quests and tasks and trying to find a place under the sun inbetween around 6000-10000 other players on your server (the game is so massive that it is divided to be played on I-don’t-know-how-many different servers of which each server have tottaly same environment but not more then 10000 players. I really don’t know how many servers are there in the world but there are around 8 million people playing this game.)
So what do you do in this game, you may ask yourself? You have fun. That’s all there is. We don’t play games for anything else then to have fun.
But, what do you do in the game? You go around different areas, starting as a nobody, killing vicious enemies with your capabilities (the playing time of the game mostly is that – going through areas killing enemies and collecting treasure), gathering stuff and gold, rising up in levels, getting new capabilities, items and skills, so that at the end of the game, you can play the, so called, END GAME – full 25 man raid instance (read below for explanation what instance is). Most of the enemies you can kill yourself. The ones you cannot – you’ll have to find someone who can help you.
The start of the game divides all players in one server on two fractions – Alliance and Horde. Once when you chose side, by choosing your character, you cannot change it. Those two sides are enemies, of course. So, good old rule says – be always prepared. Very interesting thing is that you can communicate with all players from your fraction, no matter who he/she is while he/she is an Alliance (for example that you choose a Alliance character at the start), but you cannot, and when I say cannot I mean No Way, communicate with the players who chose the character of the opposite fraction. The programers of the game coded the language of the opposite side, so that when you say something when other players of the opposite side are near you they only see some unknown, not understandable, language. Very nice.
There are two general modes in which this game is normally played – solo mode, where you go around the world doing stuff on your own (in other words it is the mode when you are in outer world, walking through different areas, fighting with monsters and opposing players, doing what you need to do), and team mode in which players of different characters group up in teams of 5, 10, 25, or even 40 doing some stuff that can only be done in those numbers (in other words it is the mode when you enter some, in game called, INSTANCE, as a big castle, cave, or dungeon where you alone cannot stand up more then 3 seconds alive, but if you have enough other players with you then you can move through it and eventually finish it). Because of that second concept of the game – team mode – players gather around in guilds. Guilds are formal way of grouping up players in a single team with one name for getting to the next level of the game. About that I want to talk about.
The numbers (you’ll see why are the numbers important later)
There are 9 different characters in each fraction that you can choose from at the start of the game. Each character has around 50-60 different capabilities that a player can choose from to play during each situation. Tottaly different. Not each of the capabilities are usefull in every situation, but each has it’s situation in which you use it. Around 20-30 are used normally. Per character. Times 9, that’s around 200 normally used capabilities. For all the characters. And around 500 in total. That’s how big the complexity of the game is.
Means of communication between players
The chat is a normal way of communication. But you can ask – how you can communicate with 6000 – 10000 players at the same time? There are differen channels, in which you communicate separately with – one single player, with your temporary team (up to 5 players), with your raid team (up to 25 players), with guild (up to how many players in the guild is at the time – 40-60 or more), with all players of your fraction who are at that moment in general towns (up to I don’t know how many), and two more ways – Say channel (only can be seen by players who are standing near you) and Yell channel (seen by all the players in that specific area). Maybe I forgot something, but you got the picture.
The Vent (Ventrilo is the name) is the second way of communication. Ventrilo is program which allows a massive number of people to be heard and to hear each other in real time. For that you’ll nead microphone. That is the prerequisite for achieving the most usefull communication between players.
So, my guild, all 60 people in it, could hear and speak each other in real time.
I see them, I speak to them, I hear them. What do you need more for a good time? =)
My guild name is The Nephilim. There were around 50-60 players in our guild. That means 50-60 people all around Europe gathered with a single target – to finish all the instances (places were only teams can enter – read above) that are made for 25 players playing at same time. For that you’ll need a lot of team work, skill and patience. Being the part of that team is something that is greatly respected in WoW world. I know, it sounds weird, but it is like that.
The stucture of the guild is very defined. Each guild have one Guild Master (guild leader), some number of Officers (people with special all-around privileges), 9 Class Masters (for each of the different characters that you can play), regular memebers and members on trial period (players which just entered the guild, and on a probe period in which they have to prove themselves worthy to be a part of the guild). It is a great pride and privilege to have a name of a great guild written below your character’s name. That you cannot buy – that you’ll have to earn. 100% true.
So, you started the game like 2 months ago, leveled up to 70 (every character can go up to level 70, which is the max level), played some more to get some more playing experience, and had a lot of luck to get in the really good guild (you just don’t know how much you are weighted and measured before you get the invitation to really good guild) - how does one raid fight looks like? Well, you gather up 25 people for starters (there are instances made for 5, 10 and 25 people – all players play first two – it is pretty easy to find 4 more people and to play something small, but I will talk here about the 25 man raid fights – fights that are made only for the best skilled guilds). The basics are the same for all instance fights.
So, you gather up 25 people. Each raid group has 2-4 characters of the same class – warriors, rouges, mages, palladins, priests, warlocks, hunters, druids and shamans. Each subgroup, I mean each class (for example all warriors) has a special task during the fight. Each fight lasts up to 10 minutes. And when I say up to 10 minutes, I mean it lasts up to 10 minutes when we are victorious. If anyone makes a crucial mistake, anyone at all, fight can last 30 seconds.
So, each subgroup has a special task. For example, there is always one warrior in each raid group which task is to hold the BIG monster we are fighting with. It is his the one and only task – to force the monster to hit him and only him, and noone else. That’s it. It looks easy enough, right? Using all of his capabilities to hold the monster on him. He is not there to make damage, someone else will do that, he is there just to provoke the monster to hit him instead all other players. Only he is capable of taking the punches and not dying after the first one. Most of the fights, monsters are made that if main warrior losses focus and monster goes away just for a second, we can expect 2-5 people dead. And then you can just start again, or if you are very lucky finish up good. A margin for error is really small.
All other players can make damage and slowly killing the monster. It is important to acknowledge that too much damage is turning monster to you instead to warrior, and we just concluded that that isn’t good, right? So too much damage is not acceptable. To low of course not. You’ll have to measure that line of safe damage that you can apply, and to still be fully safe.
And healers are there to heal the party members so that we don’t die out of some damage. Main warriors ussualy don’t die after first blow (all other of the players can call themsleves lucky to survive the punch of the monster), but after 2 or 3 they will. That’s the part of the healers. They are there so that monster never comes up to that 3rd blow.
That is the basics. All other things are variations. During the fight, there are too much little things that one should look upon. Some of the players have some special tasks, like killing some small monsters from time to time. Some other have to stun, poison, kick, blind, summon, banish, silent something. This is where the numbers from before come into play.
I’ll repeat. Each of 9 characters has around 60 different capabilities (around 500 in all). Each of them has a different function in different situation. Each thing that it is done – should be done perfectly so that we win. That’s how big the complexity of the game is.
If you don’t believe – look at my game screen – all the boxes around the screen are different capabilities.
Players in team mode depend on one another 100%. That means that if one of the players misses something that he/she should do, probably the whole task for that try for the whole team of 25 people will fall apart. Yes, mistakes are acceptable, but only if you got out of them without putting any other player in danger or jeopardising the success of the fight.
We were 3rd ranked Alliance guild on our server (8th of all guilds from both fractions) by official ranking at one longer period of time (around 8 months). Considering that there are more then 100 guild in each fraction on one server, you get the point right…
So what is making this game really one of the greates game ever? What is really making more then 8 million people in world so addicted to it?
Answer lies in one very simple thing – capability of solving the hardest tasks in team of 25 people who must play every step of the game correctly for the most of the time. The ability to do that lies in the skill of each player alone, but also in the synergy of the team.
These are the basics of any good guild. As in real life there are some basic rules how to make a winning team. I’ll try to link this with something which is much more known to all of us – our working teams, and how they do business. I’ll try to connect most important points of work and pleasure, and to show how they can be more closer then you think.
1. Have skilled players. As in any team, members have to know what to do and how to do it to achieve the most desiralbe effect. It is widely known that most of the teams are made of people which are not as good as they sholud be. Also, noone is trying to help them become better. They just linger around, waiting for someone else to do their job. Slow or unefficient, they lower the final result of the team.
In this game you will be kicked out of the guild if you don’t show your best all the time. Of course, everyone can have bad day or two, but the most important rule is that if you don’t improve and give all you have, at the end of the day, guild is worth as much as the players of the guild.
2. Take your time. Everyone has a same chance to show what they can offer. If you played bad first two or three times, people around have enough understanding to give you more trys before they give a final decision if you are good enough. Because of that I saw more then one example of players who improved their play greatly over very short period of time.
In our working teams, people don’t show that much understanding for each other. You can feel unsupported, without help of other coworkers. And that can be very frustrating. And I will not talk about backstabbing or other things that may occur.
3. Mark the mistakes. One of the most important things is to say aloud when you made a mistake. It is not something unnatural that you make one, really. We are not machines, and when we behave like ones, we interact like machines too. It is very spread opinion that when you make a mistake on job it is the best thing to cover it somehow. And, sadly, lot of people don’t understand importance of marking the mistake – so that all the people around know what they have to watch out to. Not marking the mistake improves the probability of stumbling on it again, and that is something that you don’t want to happen, right?
During the game, we constantly try out different things and different combinations. It is part of the process to make mistakes, and to mark them all the time. In that manner everyone around can improve on the behalf of the single mistake taken.
To give an example – one programmer made a mistake in one program that costed his compamy 2 million dollars. When some people asked his boss why he didn’t fire him, he answered:”Why to do that? He now worths 2 million dollars, and you don’t toss 2 million dollars just like that.”
4. Open communication inbetween the teammates. This is probably the sentence that I used the most in all my trainings – but what does it, really, mean? The thing is that you don’t reject any idea from any source – no matter how strange it looks like. The problem is that people on job see themselves, and here in game, we had to listen each other much closer (it was the only direct mean of communication for 25 people in real time) – and it gave us that edge we needed – everyone was listened to.
Bare with me on this one – The problem is that in working teams communication is enriched with vision (I can see all the other people), and that somehow “blocks” the verbal component. We can think that when we see each other we also hear each other – which is not really the case. When you only have verbal component, you focus much more on listening to each other, which gives you 100% more understanding of what other people really say.
As someone once said – Winners really listen to other people; losers just wait their turn to speak.
5. Give rewards. Point out all the good behaviours among the members. By that way you point out what people are ought to do. Two most common things why people change jobs (around 90% of the people say one of those two) are not knowing what they really needed to do – it wasn’t clearly said, the tasks are not clearly stated, and the other…
6. Make positive relations with members. Every organization is made out of the people. If you don’t have good relations in between them, it is just the matter of time when the hell is going to burst out. This is probably the easiest part of the team tasks when you play the game, but that is tottaly connected to one thing that our work has the least…
7. HAVE FUN. The point is very simple – if you don’t do something that makes you happy, it is important that you make it that way. Change everything to the point where nothing, no matter what, can put you out of the state that you want to be – happy for the job that you are working. Because if that is not the case, you will need to rethink what you are doing.
To all the people who made this experience so good for me…
Vicvic, Dillislarsen, Laurathansal, Denbuteo, Senta, Olsson, Fakeon, Denise, Machmud, Tragopapas, Alkiviadis, Zmirnoff, Lighter, Kazzie, Marsapio, Aeon, Daslider, Panoramyx, Welanor, Soopalicious, Atlsa, Firrhos, Meerlin, Redemptor, Ainia, King Richard, Nightcaster, Hema, Kraal, Spurgu, Khalispure, Ayachan, Templeton, Akatora, Jsanko, Licet, Dujith, Hinoiri, Kidner, Ubica, Tinydwarf, Eddius, Fadia, Dreamflower, Arghos, Deepsky, Ramirez, Thakami, Flazz, Aravir, Denpsycho, Cicini, Numbee, Balder, Shumari, Dramic, Zezterer, Lindarkblade, Moonwhisper, Mastiff, Azurnina, Aragwen, Promise, … and also to all the others before and after… I probably missed someone, but it was some time ago, sorry about that…
Special hug for the masters of the dark side…
Danielle, Gibbs, Kaninen, Ylock and Manticora – ty gurls and guys for the best team ever
And special hello for the home boys and gurls
Glendhul, Rabriel, Gutts, Raha, Dri
Cinic, lvl 70 lock, The Nephilim, Talnivarr
For the most stubborn ones – This is the best explanation of the one (probably the hardest one) 10 min fight that one 25 men team should accomplish. Should I say that we did it?
Lady Vashj Fight