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Death Knight Realm Restriction Lifted

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Before coming back to World of Warcraft, I had to come to terms with some hard realizations. One of which was that I was not going to have the playtime I had before I left WoW. My free time isn’t quite as free as it used to be these days. That meant I wasn’t going to have time to play around with a bunch of alts. I wasn’t going to be hopping between realms to play different factions, in different guilds. The focus would be on one or two characters, on one server. Time optimization was key here.

My first step was to decide which realm I was going to play on. Earthen Ring was the easiest choice, since I could rejoin the Alea Iacta Est guild and community. I also decided that I was going to have to change my playstyle and get involved with the guild a bit more than I had previously. Social interaction would have to keep me involved in the game, both in and out of WoW, if this was going to work. From what I’d been able to pick up from podcasts, there hadn’t been anything really new going on in Mists of Pandaria during the year I had been away. It was going to have to be more than the pixels that would keep me interested.

Step two was to decide which characters would be the focus of my love and affection. Since I first started playing WoW all those years ago, my interest had shifted from Hunter, to Warrior, to Death Knight. I was still down with the DKs, and given that when I left WoW my DK’s outnumbered Hunters, I decided that Death Knight would be my primary class.

Now, which DK character would get called up to the Big Leagues? I settled on an orc DK on Kul Tiras because, unlike the DK already on Earthen Ring, he was already level capped. He also had maxed out his primary professions, and many of his secondary professions. His gear was adequate, and his transmog set was pretty sweet. I guess when it came down to it, numbers and stats aside, I picked him because he looked cool. So superficial.

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This brought up a new dilemma. Where was I going to transfer my non-90 DK? When I left WoW a year ago, only one Death Knight was allowed per server. This meant I was going to have to transfer one DK off Earthen Ring, then transfer another one ONTO Earthen Ring. Fifty bones! Just for a snappy dresser! Vanity can be so expensive!

Then it hit me. I knew there’d been a few changes since I’d left WoW. One DK per server had seemed pretty silly, and we’re talking about a class that was now two expansions old here. Maybe Blizzard had come to their senses and lifted the prohibition. A quick Google search later, and I found that they had, ironically about a week or so after I left the game.

Figures.

So my new DK main was transferred to Earthen Ring. A name change later, some shuffling of the roster, and Herculano had found a new home, and I had found a new main.

Then I made another DK on the server, just because I could.

Alea Iacta Est Rolls Snake Eyes

We will be introducing a new, hard cap of 600 members in a single guild for Cataclysm. This function will go live with patch 4.0.1 and is already live on the beta and PTR’s.

As most of you already know, we have supported a soft cap of 500 members in a guild since World of Warcraft launched. We have allowed guilds to exceed the 500 limit up until now since being in a guild really just amounted to ranks and chat channels. With the advent of the new guild system in Cataclysm we are tracking many more things on each individual player in a guild and in order to support that, we need to limit the amount of members to a reasonable level.

The new cap of 600 members is fully supported in the new guild system and that means that everyone will be visible in the ui and able to contribute to all guild functions like experience and reputation gain. We have pulled a large number of statistics to get to the 600 member cap for guilds and we are happy to say that this value covers more than 99.9% of all the active guilds in World of Warcraft.

The small number of guilds that are over the 600 person cap will be able to keep their guilds intact (and fully supported in the new guild system), but they will not be able to add new members until they fall below the 600 member cap.

This was a blue post that came out yesterday.  Needless to say, it’s had quite an impact.

Actually, it hasn’t.  This cap doesn’t affect most people.  It does, however, affect the largest guilds in the game.  At the top of the heap is the fan guild of The Instance, Alea Iacta Est.

I happen to be a member of AIE.  I’ve been a member for a number of years.  It’s hard to explain to someone what it’s like being in a guild that large.  It’s not so much a guild as it is a community unto itself.  With almost seven thousand characters in it, AIE is huge.  Watching Guild Chat is like watching code in the Matrix scroll by.

Just watch for your name and hope for the best.

It’s been a unique entity.  It should not work as well as it does.  But it has – helpful and cooperative, very little guild drama, and very little asshat behavior between guildmates.  However, it bothers me that there are some who think they’re something special or important because they wear the AIE Guild Tag, and act like some kind of online diva to those outside the guild.  These people need to be throat punched, as does anyone who thinks they’re some unique snowflake because of a guild tag.  Seriously people.  Get some self-worth on the other side of the keyboard.

It now appears that AIE, as well as guilds like Goon Squad (the Something Awful guild) and It Came From The Blog (the WoW Insider guild) are being forced to break up, most likely into smaller units.  I’ve heard the panic chatter on various boards, crying out that separating into smaller guilds is a death sentence.  Many have seen it before in their guilds, and they just know it’ll happen again.

Look at me.  This is me calling bullshit on that.

There’s a big difference between the segmenting of a fan guild and the segmenting of any other type of guild.  There is a uniting thread that binds the people in fan guilds, one that extends beyond Azeroth.   Game content only strengthens that bond.  This is why I’m not overly concerned about the future of AIE, and neither should those in other fan guilds that are being forced to segment.  You are all still fans of whatever it was that united you.  That devotion will keep you all united.  You will find a way to continue in some fashion.

The negative talk from AIE guildmates makes me shake my head.  This is the same guild that once held every Alliance bank and Auction House, after slaying the Alliance leaders, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  For a guild that large, to coordinate the attack, it takes some skilled people.  Those same skilled people are working to come to a resolution on the issue.

Some people have tried to form some kind of protest to Blizzard.  Spin your wheels if you enjoy wasting your time, but Blizzard is not going to budge on an issue (the cap) that affects less than one percent of the guilds in the game.  The reason for the cap is due to a bug in the new Guild UI, where it tries to draw all the achievements and data for each person and causes the system to crash in guilds with rosters over one thousand.  There’s no way they’re going to alter the cap to please a small number of players, no matter how sad and vocal they are.

Still, these Mega Guilds will survive.  They will be more of a conglomeration rather than one huge guild, but they will survive.  The community will continue on, and with smaller guilds to deal with folks just might get to know each other a little better.

Getting together with 599 of your closest friends.

This is Herculano.  The sky is not falling, it’s just raining.  It’ll pass.