It has been an insane ride with our free company. It is like the floodgates have opened and folks are now recruiting themselves. More truthfully it seems that when someone gets a foothold in our free company, they tend to recruit their friends to join it as well. As a result some strange stuff is happening, like last night it was pointed out that apparently we are now ranked 15th on our realm and climbing as far as activity goes. That is apparently up from 70th on our realm… which is absolutely insane, needless to say we are a guild on the move apparently. What is awesome about this is just how damned friendly everyone is. Each time a new infusion of people join the guild there is so much happiness in guild chat, with everyone welcoming the new players. My biggest hope is that we can keep this general sense of joy going forward. What is even more awesome is just how many of the new people are perfectly comfortable hanging out with us on voice chat each night. We are now contemplating the very real possibility of being able to field multiple serious 8 man groups at the same time, which a few months ago would have seemed crazy.
As a result of all of this… Tam and I had a discussion yesterday in which we released we were getting far too large to not have any guild infrastructure. When it was just a handful of us that were in constant communication… it worked more or less to not have any semblance of a guild website. However now that we have all of these new people we are having to create something resembling a modern guild. When we came back in July I stubbed out a site on Anook but we never really populated it with anything. As of yesterday this is changing, and I hope that we can get the rest of our guild to sign up and join in the fun there. Largely I am choosing Anook, because a lot of people already have accounts there… and dealing with running a forum is a pain in the ass. Forum software is often one of the largest attack vectors on any site, and if you do not keep a rigorous schedule of constant updates… it is liable to get compromised. I simply don’t want that sort of liability any more, and since Anook offers a fairly robust forum, shared image galleries, an event calendar, and a nifty way to link guild streams together… it seemed like a really nice fit. Not to mention that Lonrem is amazing and has been willing to support damned near any hair brained scheme I have come up with. Folks have already started populating the shared image album, which is awesome.
Another thing to come out of yesterday is something of a recruitment piece. Over the last several weeks I have been giving essentially the same talk to everyone that joins the free company. Not that I mind having this conversations, but I felt like I was spending a lot of time repeating myself just getting the most basic information out there. I got to thinking… if I could condense this talk into a single page I could create something easy to link to new people. It is by no way an attempt to stop questions, but more to give players that are new to our group a quick info dump about who we are and what we are like. After creating this I realized… that I also created a tool to let people entice their friends. So as such I thought I would offer up the link here this morning for any of my Free Company mates that might be reading. You can now go to belghast.com/grey101 and get a quick dump of a bunch of information about our free company and our basic guidelines. So when your buddies ask you about your free company, you now have a quick thing you can link them to explain further. I used it yesterday afternoon and so far people seem to dig it.
While on the topic of propaganda… I had to include the above photo that Rae sent me. She was feeling out of sorts on Monday night, and while the bulk of us were raiding Turn 9… it seems she was up to shenanigans in our housing zone. I am really not sure how this happened but apparently an impromptu pony parade occurred where everyone broke out their favorite pony mounts and rode around our housing zone. I absolutely love that this sort of thing happens. A large number of us idle in the housing zone when not doing anything, and we have developed this awesome community of players that do the same. The night we bought our house, we were welcomed by a bunch of neighbors from the houses around us and over time we have gotten to know several of them. It is awesome logging in and running to the market board, only to get /hugged several times along the way. Cactuar is a truly amazing place, and I am so happy that we apparently chose correctly when we rolled there over a year ago.
Heroic Hans and Franz
Trying to mix things up a bit, and get our folks upgrades… my Raid has been working on some of the Heroic encounters in Blackrock Foundry. Last week we made significant progress on the Hans and Franz encounter, and had some lessons learned that we took into this week. Namely two things really lead us to this victory. Firstly better awareness of who was getting the body slam attack, and for them to move out of the raid making sure the tank did not take the debuff. Secondly better self awareness in trying really hard not to get pinned down by the crushers as they came through. Last night we had some of the worst possible luck as far as RNG goes and the patterns we could potentially get. There is this one pattern that was killing me damned near every time because the boss would be in the center of the room… and the only free space on the far left edge. On the last few tries, including the one when we managed to down them… I started prioritizing my own survival to damage time spent on the boss and I feel like the rest of the raid did essentially the same thing.
We managed to pull out a fairly narrow victory, but I have a feeling that since we now believe we can do this fight… future attempts will be much smoother. From there we moved to work on Beastlord Darmac, and had a few heartbreaking attempts getting him within 2% on our best. That fight… is just madness on heroic with so much shit in the room being on fire during the later phases. There are several things we need to work on, but I feel like we CAN improve and potentially down them next week. Largely the spear maintenance needed to be better, both in folks moving so they do not get pinned and folks breaking out individuals who did get pinned. The amount of time you have is really tight, and this needs to be an all raid effort when someone is gets stuck. Secondly I feel like during the last phases we needed to move the boss more often, because the amount of flame surrounding him made it damned near impossible for melee to dps. If nothing else we made solid progress and I feel like with a bit of polish we can knock this one out as well.
Source: Tales of the Aggronaut