The Odyssey of Borsk: I’m still here, and I’m recruiting.

17 March, 2011

…I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back. ‘Til things are brighter…I’m the man in black. -Johnny Cash

The brief story of the trials and tribulations of one guild leader, a raid on the edge something great, and his best efforts to push his team over that edge.

It’s been too long

2/21/2011

That was the last time I’ve posted something here, my (somewhat) brief take on the strategy of Al’akir. Why such the long time between posts? This blog has always been more of a raiding journal for me than anything. A little place to collect my thoughts on a raid week or disperse some knowledge or advice for a specific fight. Those little things you only learn after a few kills that trip up everyone.

You can find raid strategies at better places. There are shaman out there that do a far better job of breaking down mechanics than I ever can. I’m not interested in commenting on the ever-changing PTR, or the latest hot-fixes. You can find that news anywhere and reacting to it is the epitome of premature chicken counting.

Most of the content I would normally write here, I end up talking about on the Matticast with my good friends Matt and Kat.

So in a nutshell, that is why you’ve seen no updates here, our raiding progression stalled. Why report when there is nothing to report? I don’t like to complain in print. I voice any issues with my guild before anyone (as it should be).

In the past month I’ve had to take my free time (and not-so free work time) and devote it to my guild 110%. Blood Red Moon is a group that I am incredibly passionate about. It isn’t all about raiding for me and for our members. We’ve had folks in guild for 6 years, this is their home.

Why are you complaining?

Looking at our progression, one would assume I would be elated, thrilled to be in a guild that regularly clears Tier 11 (with some hard modes) on 25 man, every week. And I am. We can get jaded at times and forget the amount of effort and skill that our raiders possess. I’m more guilty of it than most.

Where the frustration creeps up is in unused potential.

You can see it. It’s right there. It’s inside that glass case. The only way you unlock it is a key made of pure confidence. To say our raid group lacks confidence would be to say the Sahara lacks an abundance of lemonade stands.

Confidence is an easy thing to lose, and it’s even harder to get back. You see it in sports. The one guy on a 9 game streak with no goals. He finally pumps in an empty netter and the goals just keep coming.

That is where we are. Through a combination of raiders leaving, raiders lives abruptly changing, and a lack of new blood, we’ve hit a wall. That wall isn’t in gear or untuned mechanics. It’s in the 6 inch space between our ears.

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Perspective, Decisions, Goals: A Raid Leader’s Dilemma

10 August, 2010

“Never write about a place until you’re away from it, because that gives you perspective”-Ernest Hemingway

I’ve been away from the raiding game for exactly4 resets now. I’m a hardcore player that leads a guild with raid bosses left on the table to finish. At 11/12 Heroic Icecrown and normal mode Halion, we decided to go on a pre-Cataclysm raiding vacation.

  • Burn-out
  • Attendance
  • Lack of Skill
  • Frustration

None of those apply, actually. It’s a complicated topic that I decided not to write about until a month after because I felt like I lacked the perspective to really reflect on the decision made by myself and the officer corps just a short month and a half ago.

Decisions

There are so many things that played into it. In many ways, this decision has been six years  in the making.

When it comes to being an officer in a Warcraft Guild, bloggers talk about it, but they don’t really talk about it. If that doesn’t make sense (probably not), let me explain.

We are in one of the oddest positions in gaming. We make decisions that direct how people spend their leisure time. People come home from work or school, sit down at their computer, and then ask me what we’re going to be doing tonight. I remember, in vivid detail, the first time that I ever called a raid. It was Serpentshrine Cavern. We were short 3 or 4 people, and I had to send everyone away for the evening. I sat online for the rest of the night hating myself, and vowed to do everything I can to stop that from happening ever again.

As a person, you feel personally responsible for ruining someone’s fun (which is never fun for you, hopefully). You’re the one that’s in charge of getting people into the raid in the first place. There’s a reason I’ve devoted a lot of time to studying and writing about guild recruitment and roster management. It’s so important and yet so often overlooked that when you get down to it, there’s ~20 real people that are taking time out of their evening to sit down and kick it inside a raid instance. It’s also one of the reasons that I loathed the dependence on badge income for Tier 10: too much undue stress on raid leaders.

But we take it on gladly. Certain people with certain personalities. It all works.

We met as officers, and as friends, on more than one occasion to address the gorilla that weaseled its way into the room. This gorilla was aptly named Arthas, Heroic. While working on getting icebound frost wyrms, we skipped an end-wing boss or two to get achievements. This meant that the Ultimate Encounter was not available for us to try for a reset or two, but we never really sat down and talked about it.

Until we did.

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Banner Day

17 July, 2010

Now that I’ve finally gotten around to finishing them all, it’s time to show them off!

The latest batch of officer banners currently in rotation over at Blood Red Moon.org are displayed below (click to see full-size). Each banner is styled as uniquely as I possibly can, some are inspired by other pieces of art or just takeoffs of what Blizzard has already done. Photoshop and WowModelViewer magic.

Borsk riding Deathwing

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Digging Up Treasure: Sigs and Banners

25 March, 2010

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep–Scott Adams

For a long time when I started raiding in school, my big hobby was messing with Photoshop and the WoW Model viewer. It was a neat creative outlet to really mess with my characters and put them in interesting gear that I hoped to have some day (or didn’t exist!).

That eventually morphed into creating some fancy forum signatures for myself and guild members, and eventually, the random (very outdated) banner-set over at bloodredmoon.org. Recently I opened my photobucket account back up and dug out some of my all time favorites (Sovelis, Borsk, and Viktur are my characters):

Banners

Borsk

Aireoth

Haela 1

Talirrine

Darae

Keiran

Sovelis

Lady Vashj

Ragnaro-O’s

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