I Heart Games

I usually try not to flood the blog with posts, but, my pretties, I could not let this one go! If you have been following me any length of time, you have probably surmised I am a gamer. Heck, I belong to a family of gamers. I’m not talking just online games. I am talking board games, card games, social games, and yes the wonderful MMROPGs I am known to play.

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Being part of a family that plays games together on a daily basis has it’s pros and cons. The Pros? We live in Florida and hurricanes just wont phase us. We have games to play! The cons? It can get a wee bit pricey. I love a game? Chances are at least one other person in the household will as well. Now the price is times two! Imagine when we all like a game that requires each person have their own copy or account? We pull from the same income, after all.

So, when I come across a game that I know we would love playing together that is not only quick and fun and still looks to have a challenge to it while only requiring I pay for it one time to be able to include a lot of people… I gotta stand up and get a closer look. Thank goodness for my connections to The Review Crew! I get to learn about new products coming out and I learned about this one. It even has a Kickstarter! Woot! So, what is this game I am gushing about and ready to play right now?!

The 5 Paragraph Blog: The Anatomy of a Guild

Guess what? I’m a gamer! Of course, you might have already figured that one out. What is it about gaming that brings me back time after time, though? Well, I am rarely ever seen in solo games. When I really get into a game, it is because I have connected with a group of people in that game. I happen to like people, but because of “life” I have found I prefer a certain quality of people. And the way people are in a guild affects it’s makeup, or “anatomy” if you will. So, what are the most important things I look for in a guild? How they treat those in the guild, how they treat those not in the guild, and their time table.

It’s not hard to believe I would be attracted to a guild that treats it’s members with patience and respect. Not only that top “uber” tank, healer, or damage dealer, but those that struggle. If I see a struggling player keep trying, work actively on improving, and are reliably available when they say they will be, I won’t care if they are “not the best”. Again, I am here for the people more than anything else. There are many guilds that treat it’s members as simply fodder to toss at game content so they can proclaim they “Beat the Game” and are “The Best”. They don’t care about the actual people in the guild. Only their reputation of being a top guild. My definition of a top guild is the positive relationship I have with those within the guild.

I’ve been in guilds where the inner workings are fabulous. The people are great! They work well together. The respect and camaraderie is amazing! But, then you see their disregard, their utter contempt for anyone not in their guild. I am not talking about disliking a guild known for treating other players badly. I am talking about them being that guild that treat others badly. Things like purposely killing a mob to prevent others from getting a special drop when everyone in your guild already has it. I believe this behavior is appalling and even outright ridiculous. This will not be a guild that keeps my interest if I see it is a regular thing.

Last, but certainly not least: When does the guild play? This is a tough one! This can happen within my own guild, CrossGuard. Activity drops off for various reasons, usually having to do with real life. Then, more and more leave simply because there is not enough on to play on when others log on. The people are great and it can be a really tough time for a guild at this point. I always wish people would stick it out at these times as good long term guilds will always go through these ebbs and flows. I’ve watched this happen so many times over the past 8-10 years I’ve been with the guild. I understand one of the biggest reasons people start playing in a guild is because their time table matches theirs. At the same time, if you are truly here for the people and you can still talk to them most days, then I think you would stay for the people.

I’ve only gone over the very basics of guild anatomy. For those that actively game and tend to play with a certain group of people, you know each guild can have all 3 of those things and still be quite different from one another. A guild has a personality. And while I did not cover that in this little essay, it will be the Philosophy a guild holds onto that determines it’s personality because it will attract certain people that treat it’s members a certain way, how they interact with those outside the guild, and the time of day they tend to play (Though that can be highly affected by time zones, of course!).

 

Until next time.

The 5 Paragraph Blog: The Gamer in Me

I know some of you have only come across my blog for the home-schooling. Maybe you were a friend or family member that came to check it out to be supportive. And then there are those who followed because you are a member of CrossGuard and we game together. I’ve always loved people, so I think it is natural I would have gotten into gaming with people. And because I’ve faced challenges that made gaming difficult for me, it was natural I would eventually make a guild that would be welcoming to all those who struggled, but wanted a place where they could be treated with love and kindness…and still get their gaming goals accomplished.

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Being a guild leader has it’s pros and cons, of course. How does one meet the needs and wants of their people while maintaining the initial vision of the guild that prompted me to create it in the first place? You get differing personalities, conflicts of interest, and the occasional jerk whose sole enjoyment is to ruin other’s enjoyment. But, the biggest challenge of all is maintaining a healthy balance in my own life while struggling with a chronic health condition. This is further complicated by the fact: I must now work an outside job.

Running a guild with more than 5-10 people means I need help to keep it running. Especially during times in my life where I need to take a step back and tend to my personal and family needs. In fact, that is the entire precept of CrossGuard: “CrossGuard was created to encourage reasonable, but well organized, game-play that should not infringe upon one’s ability to live, work, and take care of family and/or other life’s obligations.” However, when a time comes where I must step back, I don’t always have others available who are willing and/or able to take up the responsibilities such a group entails. Those left in the dust can be quite unforgiving of this and seem to forget I am a real person. With a real body that gets sick and a real family that needs me.

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There is one thing I’ve learned after running this guild for several years. You learn which ones really appreciate your efforts. Who uphold the same vision. who are here for the people and not just themselves. And when their time comes when they need to step away to tend to their own personal and family needs, they know I will support them and that CrossGuard will accept their return with open arms. It is for them I keep doing it even after suffering through hatefulness during some of the hardest times of my life.

Perhaps you are a gamer. You might even like the thought of a gaming community that puts real life first. That attempts to play and communicate together no matter what game one of the individuals happens to be playing at the time. CrossGuard is that community. Sure, we tend to have a main game (Such as EQ currently), but we also look to the future into other games such as Ashes of Creation and Pantheon and fully support our community playing different games together. To achieve that, we use Discord for our main communication hub, though we still maintain the website. So, come say hello to a fellow gamer 🙂

 

Until next time.

Finding that Game: The Frustrations of current MMORPGs and a Solution

(From my guild page!)

We all remember those glory days. How much work it took to accomplish something in a game like Ever Quest. That feeling of accomplishment one got. Not because it was given to us, but because we took risks and won it for ourselves! It was thoughts such as this that drew us back to that Old School world of EverQuest and to bring CrossGuard to RageFire. We wanted that feeling of accomplishment and growth we had been unable to find anywhere else for a long time.

(*Note* If you are not a big reader, skip to the end for handy bullet points)

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It was quite an enjoyable time on RageFire. Then, Phinigel came on the horizon. A server that promised so much, created a ton of excitement, and then left us with the crumbled remains of a great idea that failed to come to fruition. While one can not blame DB games for every single failing we had to deal with as a guild, it was something that affected us greatly.

I, for one, lost much of my drive when they announced EQ Next was canceled. Why? because so many of us had been drawn back to the original EQ just because we were actually waiting for EQ Next. Now, we all know real life always adds to the stress of running a guild and keeping things positive, fresh, and a good experience for its members. The disappointment people felt in the game along with the usual real life turmoils that can occur led to our guild coasting for quite awhile. No direction. Just a vague wish and thought “I really liked it here. I wish we could get that back!”

Well, I am tired of coasting. Tired of wishing for that next great game to get lost in. To experience this great community as we play and grow. Guys, I freaking miss you. I know we chit chat here and there in texts, private messages, FB, and even on Discord. But, I want to play with you. I want to argue over strats, how to handle loot (reasonably!), and I want to do it in a game that will challenge us.

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Because of this, I’ve been talking with some of my officers: Ecksesive, Maverix, Ruez, and a few people I’ve gotten to know well since this past summer. While we can not choose a game that will make everyone happy, there does seem a general interest in the upcoming Crow Fall. I’ve looked it over. Watched my videos. Been a good little GL and tried to see how this game can bring us back from our scattered gaming into a team that can laugh, play, and be a little crazy together again.

So, without further ado…I need YOU to join with us! If you are reading this, then it is likely you already know enough about our philosophy to know…we are your guild home. Let’s show Crow Fall what we are made of. Whether you just want to “do your job” and stick to the outer realms of this game, engage in guild v/s guild PVP, or go all the way to player run monarchies, we will welcome you. Be it player, raider, hardcore PVPer, or a person interested in being a part of the leadership, you will have no problem finding your place among us. Because we are CrossGuard and we are your guild.

Bullet Points

1. The Glory days are great to think about, but not always so easy to relive.

2. EQ Progression servers were fun for over a year, but mistakes were made and interest lost when DB Games announced the cancellation of EQ Next

3. Guild has been coasting since the summer and the community has been missing vital and necessary interaction and activities in order to help tie them together again.

4. Problem-solving mode engaged and “Call to arms” with the leadership knowing it’s time to get back up again

5. Games to look towards; Hero Song (Stepping Stone), Crow Fall (Major Upcoming game), and COE (Long term 2+ years)

6. While not specified above, CrossGuard has a set activity schedule with others playing various times of the night and day. These times are as follows:

Tuesday 8PM EST Time – End 11PM EST

Thursday 8PM EST Time – END 11PM EST

Saturday 7PM EST Time – END no earlier than 11PM EST.

(Credit for bullet point idea given to Ecksesive)

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5 Paragraphs: Excerpts from the Dungeon (Fiction Based on the Secret World)

It was an easy run from the rusty, packed sands of the Wabanaki camp as we followed our guide, Zenoren. It only took a few moments before we found another sandy clearing with just a smattering of wilting bushes. I eyed the area carefully while our guide explained this is where Batab Crusher, the Dark House sorcerer, held sway and that in order to achieve our goal of freeing the Wabanaki tribe from the terrors of Wayeb-xul we had to kill him first.

I shuffled in my new armor, a bit uncomfortable with my recent role as the tank. Our guide was well seasoned and had already ran us through several training exercises and was now insisting I begin the actual job of distracting enemies so our damage dealers could safely dispatch them without overtaxing our poor healer, who looked barely old enough to be out of high school. But, I knew this fight thanks to Zen and thudded my way inelegantly to the waiting bushes where I knew Batab was sure to appear.

I expected this to go as smoothly as the training exercises and even Zen had assured, “This will be easy, you got this. Stop worrying so damn much!” With a shrug,  I bellowed out my challenge and Batab dutifully responded. I blinked up, surprised at how big this guy was close up. So much for being some regular human with too much power on their hands- rather like myself – distracted by the stray thought, I fumbled my attack only to find our esteemed Zen on his back. Dead. Just like that, our most experienced comrade had been dispatched with ease and I found myself shouting “What the hell happened?!” because, despite my distraction, he should have easily side-stepped this guy. “My bad!” came his echoing reply. Damn, he is lucky the bees keep bringing us back -Still, have not figured out how that occurred- “I was trying to misdirect him back to you and accidently directed it onto myself”.

To be honest, I did not really understand what he was talking about. I just knew it had not happened before and now he was useless to me until Batab was defeated because the bees had this rule – No coming back until a bad guy was defeated if it had a certain amount of power – I could not tell you if this was because the level of power disrupted their ability on us, but it amounted to the same thing. We had to kill this guy, or die trying, before Zen could reincorporate. With a grunt, I slammed my hammer to the ground and Batab jerked his head back towards me. He was eerily silent as he began to cast a spell in my direction and I flicked on a shield to protect me just enough that Miez could heal me through the attack. My mind filled with what could only be termed as a chaotic rumble, but a part of me somehow knew what to do with it, and the silent Batab was no longer quite so silent as the two damage dealers still alive, Tandora and Song, tore into him with vigor and quickly ended his rage in a flurry of motion as I held him pinned to the ground with only the focus of my thoughts channeled through a chaos charm.

It was only a matter of minutes before the entire fight was over, even from the time I first issued my challenge. Zen was back, dusting off his white suit, looking for all the world as if he stepped off the streets of London from a dance club. I shook my head as I looked around to take in my motley group, but Zen was already halfway to our next destination and I slapped my over-sized hammer to my back and yelled “Come on you guys!” and took off for the next battle.