It has been too long since I last posted, for that I apologize! I have been focused on three other projects which have taken my priority. The first is a podcast that I do with my buddy Matt, called incredibly enough The Matt and Pat Show! Our motto is “Don’t Listen!”, which makes sense if you actually were to listen to us! It is just two buddies rambling on about nothing in particular for an hour each week.
The second is an internet news aggregate page, called Bold Boars Ledger. With the major news outlets becoming more controlling and dictating what actual news the public has access to, I like many others have turned to the internet which has a whole host of independent news sites, which provides a lot of the “other” news stories which are not being told. So with that in mind, I created a simple news blog site where I link ten articles that I think are most pertinent and interesting.
Lastly, is my personal blog site called pmpax. Basically, it is in response to how much I have grown to despise Facebook. So long rant short, I created my own blog site where I don’t have to worry about anyone “owning” my content, or selling my personal information, or having numerous “changes” to ones page without any sense of awareness that it was going to be changed to being with. Worst of all, like has happened with other such “social media” sites, if they decide to pull the plug, all of your content which was posted goes poof!
So there you go! Trying to be a busy little bee! In the midst of all of that I have been playing WoW…though there were some storm clouds forming within the guild….
One reason why I enjoy having my own guild is that I have a certain amount of control as to the course and direction it goes. I can have the final say in the players within the guild, as well as create the type of atmosphere that I want it to have. That is not to say that I am into the whole “I Have da POWA!!!!” trip that often is the case with certain individuals who are under the mistaken grandiose notion that being a guild leader is the be-all and end-all of total and utter dominance. It just does not work that way. It is about setting an example of how I wish my guildies to act and treat one another with respect, kindness and dare I say endearment for all, regardless of level, gear and playing experience.
The best and most appropriate analogy of being a guild leader is akin to herding cats. Now, don’t get me wrong for I love cats and of course kittens! Realistically, unless the guild is run in true militaristic fashion, getting every single guildie on board is a pretty daunting task. When you have a whole host of players that all have their own focus and desires for what they want to accomplish in the game, let alone what makes Warcraft fun for them, it’s all over the board.
There are various approaches to how best to arrive at the same goals and aspirations, so as to have a unified guild modus operandi. There are raid specific guilds and PvP specific, RP guilds and everything in between. A guild works best when the guildies are behind what the specific focus of the guild is based upon. It is the role of the guild leader to try to instill that vision of the guild to his guildies.
Having played WoW now for all eight years, I have been in quite a number of guilds before I eventually decided to give it a go with being having my own. At this point in my WoW span, I very much feel like Quint in the film Jaws. A grizzled, seen it all, done it all veteran. Nothing really phasing me in terms of transpiring with in the game, for the old adage very much is true, “there is nothing new under the sun”. Just because I may be seasoned per se, does not imply that I have lost the joy and pluck when I play. My approach as a guild leader is one that tries to establish a warm, friendly cozy home for players, where they can go about and do whatever it is one wants to do. There are obvious pros and cons to such an approach. While it can be very liberating having a sense of freedom, dare I use the analogy of Captain Jack Sparrow and his relationship to his much cherished ship the Black Pear, it can also feel very shambolic and scattered to some. Brigands is very much my Black Pearl in a very real sense.
A key example is of how I spent the last several months fully engaged and emerged within pet collecting and pet battles. I simply love my non-combat pets, I have since the first day I entered the game with my little collectors edition panda pal. I did not do any PvP, nor engage in any guild runs whatsoever. I have always made it a point to not take on the added responsibility (dare I say burden) of raid leading, which is all about organizing the players, as well as coordinating the whole kit and kaboodle, along with being the “coach” of sorts. Leading a guild takes enough energy. Realistically and practically, running a weekly raid is just not something that I really want to put my time into.
With it being at the “mid expansion” point of Mist of Pandaria, there have been quite a few guildies that have taken a leave of absence, due to burn out or whatever particular personal reason. One of the top Horde raid guilds on the server just went “KaBoom!”, where the guild leader kicked out every member and left the game. Talk about meltdown! My sense of things is that there seems to be a general sense of unease within most guilds, so I don’t believe that what has transpired in a more minor fashion is limited to just us. Without going into details, I could read the signs of drama brewing within the guild from a few who were unhappy for this or that particular reason. They have since left, to greener pastures they hope. What I have learned over the years is that oftentimes there are no greener pastures per se, it is all about your attitude, how you treat those around you, as well as your approach to the game.
It certainly seems the case that when there is drama emanating from a particular individual from the guild, more often that not, it stems from the issues within that persons “real life”. The stresses, conflicts, heartbreaks and general life smack-down that happens to all of us has a way of making it sting even more within WoW. Why is that? Well, my theory is quite simple. Many play to escape from the trails and tribulations of their life, so when their perfect WoW world goes array, it becomes a time of bitterness and anger directed at the one or ones who are merely scapegoats.
My advice, if I were to impart any is to deal with the issues going on within your life and step away from the game if your finding yourself within this particular mindset. Take a break from the game and cope with and take charge of what needs to be done, and to really approach life with a sense of inner serenity. One Catholic mystic that I think best exemplify this notion is Padre Pio who said, “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry!”. Go watch Kung Fu Panda 2, a great movie about inner serenity and peace. You can either be the panda or you can be the peacock. The choice is yours. Drama never accomplished anything good or beneficial for anyone, let alone the individual who is stirring up the pot. Unfortunately, the only type of guild to not have drama is a guild of one. So the trick is how to deal with it when it raises its ugly head.
My approach is to let it flow, as water does upon the rocks. That is not to say to not care do, just that drama is oftentimes a result of something that one has no actual influence or change as to the real reason why a particular person is all wound up. Listen and be a shoulder to lean on, but also realize that there are times when it is best if a person just moves on and let it go.
I never thought how much experience and interpersonal insights would be gained by playing Warcraft. Trippy indeed! The best thing a friend of mine said once about the game were the people and the worst thing about the game were the people. True dat!
When drama hits, as it inevitably will, just hang on and let it wash over you. These things will pass as all life does. They key is to not let it suck you in and leech you of your spirit. Ultimately, it is jsut a game, one that is meant to be wondrous and adventurous and fun. If it is no longer fun, then don’t play. It is that simple really. For me, Warcraft is still very much a fun and truly enjoyable game, one that I hope continues for years to come!
For the Horde and for my beloved guild the Bloodhoof Brigands!