And take those mucky boots off! I don’t want you tracking spider guts into the house!
It took hours. It took days. It took blood, sweat and rage. It took getting overrun by tiny little bugs. And it took falling down from webs when we stepped in the bad stuff. But, in the end, we made a boss dead. Be proud United Defense. We are now officially exterminators of the arachnid variety. Tales will be told of this day for ages to come. When you’re regaling your grandchildren with stories from the good old days of sitting in front of your computer on a video game with your internet friends, you will tell them that you killed the biggest spider you had ever seen. And it was on fire. And you did all walking uphill. In the snow. Wearing your oldest, dingiest sweatpants. AND YEH DERN RITE LIKED IT THAT WAY!
Take in the glory.
Next up...a big rock dude. Which should be weak against my Vaporeon.
After several >5% wipes, we finally downed our first boss in Firelands. " Just our first boss?" you say, "after all this time?" Valid question - but remember this was only our third real trip into Firelands together as a group, and only our second night of solid attempts on Shannox. Our first night of attempts saw several >5% wipes as well, primarily due to the fact that neither night were we able to bring a heroism. On our kill, an epic one last man standing nail-biter, we survived five magma ruptures - you're really not supposed to be able to do that.
Additionally, and more importantly, I thoroughly believe that this kill is a harbinger of great things to come. Recently United Defense has been bolstered by the return of some old friends like Servet and Vahlanos (and some silly warlock who just hit 85!) as well as seen some solid new additions arrive like Cupquake. We've spent the time necessary farming old content to get geared up, we've been running Firelands dailies like mad, we've been crafting the new epic gear, we've been farming our valor and justice points. We also have a stable roster that provides Miracleblade with some options, multiple heals, tanks and dps. In short, we are ready.
As such, we intend to make both Monday and Wednesday night raid nights = Firelands raid nights. We've seen enough of BWD, BOT, and To4W. We'll go back there and romp through from time to time to gear up folks who need it, but our progression focus is now solidly fixed on the elemental plane of fire. As such, it's time to educate yourselves. Look to these message boards this week for thorough boss strategies and tactics. Fill out those empty slots and be sure you've done everything you can to maximize your dps/hps. Free up your commitments for Monday and Wednesday night. It's on.
We must enter the elemental plain to defeat Ragnaros yet again. But don't you fear fellow guild members - remember we've been there, done that, have the t-shirt and another excuse to post the youtube clip:
The past several months have been a tremendous period of change for United Defense.
We have successfully transitioned leadership, not only of the GM, but also with our Raid Program. Supershock has gracefully accepted the yoke that is leadership of our raiding exploits, and despite lagging interest in raids, busy schedules and variable attendance, through his leadership we have been able to progress. Many thanks to those who have been showing up and demonstrating the commitment that is necessary to help us achieve our goals. Moving forward into 4.2 we plan to step-up our raid program another notch. In order to progress even further and to achieve the goal of downing Ragnaros -- we need a renewed commitment. We need to maintain two dedicated raid nights (Wednesday and Monday) as we must strive to achieve more balanced and consistent raid attendance. Supershock will be working on providing clear incentives engineered to meet these goals and Rahnir and the recruitment program will be tasked with finding adequate reinforcements when necessary.
Additionally, 4.1 saw United Defense's first foray into the world of Rated BGs. Thanks to PvP Executive Quessir and the leadership of Riley and Wimper, we were able to make our Thursday Rated BG nights a success. Moving forward into 4.2 we plan on hitting the ground running. Those interested must be prepared to farm honor and do the requisite amount arenas to get the gear. We have a legion of crafters ready to assemble the baseline starter sets, but those are not sufficient for Rateds - we need purples! Again, Rahnir is going to be tasked with looking for recruits to fill out our PvP ranks as well.
So, as 4.2 hits us - United Defense is in a pretty strong position. We have a large roster of friends enjoying the game for the camaraderie it brings. We are about to ding Guild Level 25 and soon will have the full allotment of available perks. Our guild finances are solid and will easily support the repairs of 2 raid nights and 1 battleground night. The ranks of leadership are full with people willing to step up and help newer members get trained and geared. We are going to hit the ground running in 4.2.....
Ragnaros beware the rampaging Furbolg army...
I’ve been UD’s GM for the better part of the past five years—and I’ve enjoyed the heck out of it. Hiero’s /played reads just under one full waking year out of the 80 some years I expect to spend on this planet—and the vast majority of that time played has been as GM. At times, the job has been challenging and rather stressful: I remember spending sleepless nights, starting at the ceiling in bed, trying to solve some of the guild’s more difficult developmental problems (*cough* 40-man loot system *cough*). At other times, the job has been filled with excitement and accomplishment: I’ll never forget the wild furbolg reverie through Stormwind and Ironforge after UD first killed Ragnaros. On the whole, the experience has been a deeply rewarding one for me.
As you know, there have been periods of time when I’ve spent pretty much all my waking hours online, and during which (I believe) I’ve done a pretty decent job of leading the guild. There have also been periods during which I haven’t had as much time and energy to invest in leadership as I would have liked. The past few months have been such a period: I’ve been unable to provide the guild with the leadership that it deserves.
UD means a hell of a lot to me. By that I mean you, the people in UD, mean a hell of a lot to me. You deserve a more active, more energetic GM to lead the guild forward into this expansion.
We’ve discussed succession planning in past at officer meetings. There’s a reason why politicians have term limits and corporate directors have mandatory retirement ages: it’s good for organizations to bring in new leaders from time to time. New leaders bring new ideas, new perspectives, new enthusiasm, and new direction. Fresh leadership can represent an enormous step forward for an organization.
And so, the time has come for me to pass the torch.
Ben (Resj) will be United Defense’s next Guild Leader. It’s hard for me to imagine anyone with whom I’d feel more comfortable entrusting UD. He’s been my confidant and friend. He’s been an active officer for a very, very long time. He knows everyone in the guild—most of us on a first-name basis—and we know him. He understands UD’s core values and philosophy. He has a great deal of experience leading the guild through raids and other events. In short, he’s both competent and willing to take on the weighty responsibility that leadership entails--and I know he’ll be an excellent trustee for our guild and the United Defense name.
I believe the leadership transition will be fairly seamless. Ideal succession involves a time period in which the former leader’s powers and responsibilities diminish and the new leader’s powers and responsibilities increase… only then should the actual transfer of title take place. This has occurred somewhat organically over the past months: Ben has arrived at a point where he is operating as a sort of de facto guild leader. Accordingly, I expect that the transfer of leadership won’t be a jarring threshold, but will rather prove to be more of a smooth continuation of the guild’s current state.
As for the actual passing of the metaphorical torch, that will happen next Monday, March 14th. At 7pm on that day, there will be an informal party in Stormwind. We’ll meet up at the Blue Recluse and throw back a few drinks. I’ll pass GM on… and Ben will take it from there!
So what’s gonna happen to Hiero afterward? I’m not going anywhere. If Ben thinks I’d be of use as an officer emeritus going forward, I’d be happy to serve in that capacity. If such an arrangement doesn’t fit his guild leadership vision, then I’ll be more than happy as a member. In fact, I intend to remain a part of United Defense for as long as Daggerspine’s cooling fans continue to whir away… and perhaps even longer if the guild continues to live on in some other form! Though I may not be able to be online 16 hours a day, 7 days a week like I once was, I WILL be around.
Thank you, Ben, for offering to lead United Defense forward. You know how much this transition means to me, as a person—how much of myself I have invested in this guild. And I know for certain that UD will be in good hands.
Above all, thank YOU, my fellow members, for all of the time, energy, dedication, and devotion that you have given to the guild over the years. UD may be, taken in a literal sense, just a collection of bits on a server in a lifeless, air-conditioned room somewhere; but to me it means infinitely more. UD is a collection of very real people—people whom I’ve come to call friends. It is these friendships and shared experiences that make United Defense worthwhile and such a meaningful element in my life. I know that I’m not alone in these sentiments.
It’s truly been an honor serving as your GM. Thank you all for your trust, faith, patience, and support. And above all, thank you for your friendships. I have no doubt that, many years from now, when World of Warcraft has long since faded into an antique video game, I will still remember all of the good times and all of you who’ve made the UD journey with me.
In the mean time, I look forward to watching the guild grow and evolve, to sharing life’s daily twists and turns via green text, and to perpetrating evenings of drunken, late-night, furbolg-ridden shenanigans with you in the days yet to come!