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The fun has left the game!

On July 25th (Sunday), after one last heroic raid, I have announced the very emotional and heart-breaking decision that the <For Fun>-Ragnaros will cease to run organized World of Warcraft activities indefinitely. Thank you all who have been a part of this adventure.

Naturally this is very depressing for me personally. For the past 13 years, with varying degree of engagement, I have been a part of this guild. Ever since the beginning I have had the vision that <For Fun> will be a semi-casual community that will last for years and will continue to bring joy and laughter to all who wish to join us. While it did last quite a while, the last 2 years have been the worst years ever and even despite continuous effort to improve it things just kept going worse and worse. Finally, the last weeks have shown that even after very recent patch 9.1, we are struggling to even make a solid 10 man raid and most of us find the game dull. At this point, stopping is more like euthanasia and just cuts the unnecessary pain. I also have no illusion to hope that World of Warcraft will get any better as at its current state it needs a true revolution.

How did it come to that?

Looking back at previous expansions I feel that the content provided by the game has not changed that much. We still have dungeons, raids and some world stuff to do here and there like daily quests, professions, valor points. I believe it is the “enhancements” and “twists” of these basic elements that brought the in-game community to a state in which fun is secondary and some unhealthy competition is the primary value the game promotes. With the modern WoW community it is impossible to find enough players just to have fun.

Some of the points to think about are the following:

Community indicatorPASTNOW
Trade chatUsed to look for a party or raid. Filled with guild recruitment messages. Occasionally filled with banter.Selling booosts for gold.
In game communityCommunity where realm reputation mattered, and people were more helpful to new players.Concept of a realm reduced to a joke. Insane requirements to join raids and mythic+.
End game approachabilityOnce geared in heroics or via a catch-up mechanic you could easily find a pug group in the chat to start raiding, sometimes you needed an achievement.Unless you have cleared the thing multiple times you should not even try to pug it.
Character upkeepCap your weekly valor points by running few chill dungeons. Maybe do a weekly 2-3 boss raid.Infinite grind of Artifact Power. Exhausting farm of Mythic+ for items. Weekly torghast, daily quests.

Even the most recent utmost effort to revive the guild by building an in-game community shows how bad the community is. Running chill mythic+ dungeons where you ask people to join discord and whisper you with “I am here to have fun!” has proved to be an insane requirement. Despite having a tank and healer, we have had to wait for group for dozens of minutes. Most people cannot read the description and will shove their AotC, raider.io and other bullshit in my face. Others will tell you how retarded this requirement is. Yet others will genuinely force themselves to comply so that they can do their weekly run.

What is next?

While giving up on World of Warcraft, I can only wish that many of the bonds created via our guild will remain strong and active. Ideally we would find another virtual world where we can all play together, however, that does not seem very possible. If you guys are going to try other MMOs like Final Fantasy XIV or New World, let us know in the discord!

Those who choose to continue playing WoW will move on to a new guild to have fun. I definitely do not see much point staying in a dead guild due to some nostalgia feelings!

As for me, I am going to retire as a raid leader. I am probably going to try the New World MMO once its released. Meanwhile I will try playing with some Russian WoW guilds, where I can have relaxed fun while also practising some Russian.

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Preparing for 9.1

This Thursday, on June 17, Blizzard has announced the release date for the 9.1 patch. Surprisingly it is only coming very soon, precisely on the June 30th. It is therefore finally time to wake up from the slumber and gather up again to have some fun and kill some bosses.

Raiding plans & goals

Our raiding schedule will not change. That is we are still raiding on Fridays 19:30-22:30 and Sundays 19:00-22:30. Normal and Heroic difficulty of the new is available since July 7th, therefore our first raid will take place on July 9th (Fri). You can already plan ahead and make sure you have your favorite beverage and snacks.

In general our raiding goals for this patch are the usual:

  1. Clear the normal difficulty
  2. Clear the heroic difficulty
  3. Consider killing few mythic bosses before getting bored

I suspect we might have many new faces joining the raids. As always, I am happy to take as many guild members as possible. However, some minimal requirements to join should be met by all members:

  • average item level of 215 or higher
  • fully enchanted gear
  • having all consumables: oils/sharpening stones, flasks, desolate armor kit, food.

If you need help gearing up, I will personally play every evening before and after patch release so you may tag along for some mythic+ fun! In fact, me and Payo have been doing it for past months and we have had some fun and promising results…

Join our in-game community!

In the previous post on this blog I have posted that Professor Koksio will attempt some more unconventional recruitment methods and lead the charge through numerous Mythic+ dungeons. Me and Payo were logging every evening and looking for DPS souls to clear some keys. We have been very picky and had some very precise requirements that you can see below. Sometimes sometimes not even 2,000 raider.io score is enough if you cannot read descriptions.

If we were joined by some nice people, we invited them to the in-game community. After few weeks, we have over 50 members, which very heartwarming. It does in a way remind me recruitment from old-days, when cross-server boundaries were not an issue.

I would love to see all of our guild members join the community and share some banter and find some playmates in there. You can join by using this link, or by applying directly to the “For Fun” community within game via search functionality.

I sincerely believe that by making this community grow we can grow a little bit and possibly introduce more raiding teams! Let us make this patch great.

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Unconventional recruitment methods

With the Easter behind us I am back in full force focusing on bringing our guild to the best shape since Cataclysm. Some of you might remember these glorious days when our guild had 3 full fledged 10-man raiding teams, each with its own raid leader and unique raiding schedule. Whilst this has been nearly 10 years since then, it is now that I feel more motivated than ever to make us the best casual gaming community on our server!

In order to achieve that however, some unconventional recruitment methods are needed. Back in Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm expansions you could get plenty of new members by simply spamming trade chat and running pug raids. These days, trade chat is overwhelmed with boosters and other illicit services and pugging raids has become cross-realm so that it is hard to make people join your guild afterwards. For these reasons, some alternative recruitment methods are needed.

I have thought about this for a while and over the past few weeks have tried the following:

Some of them had decent results and might bring some good results in soon future. Running PUG raids has been a complete waste of time at this point in the patch, but we might try that again some time later. Online recruitment results are hard to judge without metrics but they take very little effort so I will just keep refreshing them.

Finally the latest idea is to keep running Mythic+ groups. For this I have refreshed my old toon Koksio: not the hero we need, but the hero we deserve. Starting today you will see me running Mythic+ almost every day, so if you feel like running some feel free to join!

This is our new hero. As seen on my screen with my graphics settings.
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Raiding plans until 9.1.0!

The heroic Castle Nathria is no more a threat to our guild and we do not currently have the numbers to go mythic Castle Nathria progression on our own. The new patch is rumored to go live in June/July/August so it is still a tad too early to take a break and go dormant.

Influenced by the results of our poll, I have came up with the following guild-activity schedule for the following months. Further commentary below the picture.

First of all, none of these obligatory. We are <For Fun> so you can join if you want some entertainment.

The schedule includes a heroic full clear run every second week. This is because there is still a lot of you who really love the current raid. You are welcome to join with your 190+ ilvl alts, but beware that if we begin to struggle to much with getting kills, I will ask you to relog your main!

Every Sunday — which is also the preferred day for activities — we will do something unusual! From 19:00-19:15 there will be assembling groups, if you want to log in late, try not to be late more than 15 minutes. During these 15 minutes we will sort out groups in an undefined fashion. Beware that even M+ teams, will not necessarily be groups of 5 guildies, but may be groups of 3 or 4 players if there is not enough tanks or healers. Some pugging may be inevitable, but that is only an opportunity to taint more souls to join us!

Hope you guys enjoy these weeks of chilling and build up some progression hunger for the next raid tier!

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Guild merge trial is on!

As you may know I have been looking for a guild to merge with for a while. Yesterday I have joined a guild progression run with <Its probably okay>, made some heroic progress, had some fun and piqued their interest in the idea of merging guilds.

Meet <Its Probably Ok>

The <Its Probably Ok> is an international guild with people from all around the Europe. The guild has been around ever since early Wrath of the Lich King. Similarly like <For Fun> the guild has prevailed through many hard times, including faction changes and multiple realm changes. Currently the guild is predominantly focused on having fun so we should be a great match.

Currently the guild master of <Its Probably Ok> is Itsashambles! Their guild mascot is Bootydaddy. They have one raiding team lead by Gingiê which raids on Mondays and Fridays from 19-23, currently at 4/10HC.

Trial by in-game community

Before we make any drastic moves of merging guilds one way or another, we are having a “trial run” with an in-game community. You can join the community right now by copying the invite code from this link.

The in-game community works very similar to a guild. Once you joined you will see the community in the same UI where you see the guild, as shown below. You will be able to see who is online, see chat history, and member notes. The community is also tightly integrated with in-game chat.

At last, the in-game calendar events will be changed to “Community Events” so that all community members will see them.

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Castle Nathria cleared

On February 26th, the worlds press gathered in an anticipatory huddle outside Castle Nathria, eagerly awaiting news of For Fun finally downing Sire Denathrius and earning the prized [Ahead of the Curve] achievement. After numerous wipes, and the hunters arguing over who got to use their shared braincell the tactics clicked for the raid group, as everyone boogied left, sashayed right and pranced forward to avoid every mechanic after much trial and error. As arrows, spells and blades flashed toward the raid boss, backed by the sound of ‘RAMPING’ and a chorus of squawking birds Denathrius finally went down.

Many thanks to those who stayed, and especially those who have raided with us from the beginning. For the remainder of the patch, we will focus on Heroic re-clears, achievement runs and as always, having fun. We will probably go down to one raid day per week and try to take it slow as we recruit more members, establish new raid groups and prepare for another successful patch having fun and downing bosses.

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For Fun enters the Internet

I am pleased to say that from today onwards this website is our guild’s official website. On top of that, it is not some poor-man’s website where we have no control of the features we can add or code we can write. We have full control. The only sad part is that some of the more direct and “fun” domain names were unavailable.

There are many reasons for why I felt we need a website and here are some ideas on what this website will be used for 🙂

Getting to know our members

The guild has been going for so long that we have had hundreds of members and great anecdotes. This website allows us to post these stories and brief member introductions so that those who are new or recently coming back can read a thing or two and get more familiar.

To start with this, I am building a “Hall of Fame” section which will have pages introducing some of the most recognisable names. This is just the beginning, we may later start doing some post-series about past-dramas, anecdotes and maybe even some face reveals (wink wink Ornek).

Guild plans announcements

As a dedicated guild master I always have some idea for where we are heading. I realize that so far I have been doing poorly communicating these plans with the rest of the guild members. Even if I do share it publicly it is easy to miss if you happen to be offline at the moment. This site will be a great medium for publishing such “strategy” posts.

Also, this will be a good place for a discussion. You will be able to comment on posts and influence the strategy! Do remember however that we are a not democratic organization 🙂

Recruitment

With the website up and running we can have an application form for guests to apply to our guild. Thus far our recruitment has been primarily driven by spamming Trade chat, but recently people hardly read trade chat (they use LFG now) and furthermore it is full of annoying spammers and scammers, so my messages get lost quickly.

With the website up and running it is now also easier for people to apply. Instead of referring them to contact me by battle-tag, I will simply give an URL.

With this being said, we will begin our recruitment campaign on forums such as MMO-Champion, Wowhead, Reddit. I will also update the trade chat spam and our guild profile on WowProgress.

Endless possibilities

The earlier usages are very basic, but there is a lot of place for creativity. You may see some polls and contests, various post-series, guides and so on. Sky is the limit and I am on the cloud nine.

It is time I shape up and make For Fun better than it has ever been!