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Spectacular Death (A-Llane-US) is the total WOW experience with lots of fun at a casual pace. We see and go to all places in the WOW universe from classic to current content, PvP and arena. This is no-pressure raiding at its finest with friendly, helpful people interested in working through all WOW has to offer together. We will never have a realm first in any endgame, but we will have the most fun when we arrive. Our "race" to see everything is more of a saunter with an emphasis on fun. Our guild motto is "Here. Hold my drink and watch this," so you can see where our emphasis lies.


This guild is not for everyone, however. You must review the Code of Conduct before asking to join. It is also recommended that you read our Raiding and Loot Guidelines as well.


For any questions about the above information, please talk to Gimmlette or any officer. Officers are listed under the "SD Guide" section of the web site menu. If you are interested in hopping on the bus for the ride, please fill out our application. It's under the "Join Us" button at the upper right. You will be contacted by Gimmlette or the membership officer after the application is received.


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A Week and A Day

Gimmlette a posted Sat at 10:52

Basol's Spectacular Amazing Race is a week and a day away. Are you ready? We talked a bit about the race at the guild meet up last Saturday. People tried to shake down poor Basol for information on the race, but all he did was give me the name and a basic idea. He doesn't know what the route is. Those who do know are very, very, very tight-lipped. (How much do you like Undercity?)

Mullingrew and a few others have asked some questions about the race so I will take a moment to answer them here. 

#1 - Can we wear heirlooms?

Yes, you can outfit your level 1 toons in heirlooms. Those heirlooms will...not...save...you in some areas. Trust me on this. Only your wits or how fast you can run or whether there are adventurers killing creatures near the road or whether you can work together will save you. But, if you are going for any of the heirloom achievements, outfitting your level 1 is a way to get them. 

#2 - Can we use mounts?

No. This is a footrace. Mounts are prohibited. 

#3 - Can you rez at the spirit healer?

You will be on a first name basis with some of the spirit healers. A side note, if you don't like dying, repeatedly, often, a lot, frequently, this is not an event you will enjoy. The gnome-tested route is fraught with peril. I tried to buy Peril off but she refused. How you get through some of the sections is what makes this fun. Another side note, your gear does not take durability damage nor do you have rez sickness at this level. 

#4 - Does Day 1 end at Ironforge or Stormwind?

Yes. You can choose to end in Ironforge or you can progress to Stormwind. All teams will start in Stormwind on Day 2, but there is no advantage to moving on to Stormwind on Day 1 if you're tired of dying or need to log off. We will not start Day 2 until all the teams are by the front gate. 

#5 - Can I run this as a solo adventure? Do I have to form a team?

You can run this solo. The route was tested by a solo gnome, although with other guild members so we could discuss options when something seemed to be a huge struggle. (Again, those people will not give you information on the route prior to the race, so don't ask.) If you would like the challenge of running it solo, you certainly can. 

#6 - Do I have to make a new guild? Can't I just join SD? 

You do not have to make a new guild. This is an option and you will be given gold to start the race so you can form a guild if you so desire. This was offered as something to consider should you want to have a team name. The only way to do that so it shows up on the screen, is to form a guild. You have to all be on the same realm to do that. You are welcome to put your level 1 in SD so you don't get inundated wtih guild invite spam. 

With cross-realm availability, you do not need to have a level 1 on Llane/Arygos if all your slots are full. You can form a team with other SD members even if your toon is on, say Aerie Peak. As long as the leader of the team is on Llane/Arygos, you'll be pulled onto the L/A realm and will run with them.

If you are going to form a guild to get a team name, have your name ready BEFORE July 31st. If you are going to design a tabard, do it now. Again, trust me on this. You will spend more time on the name creation or tabard design if you wait to do it on the 31st/August 1st than you will running the race. There will be unguilded low levels in Ironforge and Stormwind specifically to sign your charter and get you up and running. You need 5 names so we can play "Sign the charter" with our low levels bouncing from guild to guild for those wanting a team name. 

#7 - I need some help forming a team. 

Mullingrew has a thread here, looking for more for his team. If you would like to form a team and don't have others, add your name to this thread. No more than 3 people per team. 

#8 - Alliance only?

Well, yeah because you have to go to Ironforge and Stormwind and, at that level, you won't get very far. After you rez, about one step before a guard shoots you. If this goes over well, we can look at doing a race horde side next summer. 

#9 - What are the rules again?

Make a level 1 toon of any Alliance race. DO NOT LEAVE THE STARTING ZONE. Do not quest. Go stand by the mailbox. Form a team of no more than 3 level 1s. Be online on Saturday, July 31st by 8:30 p.m. Take your summon and hang out at the starting line. You will want to form a party with your team so you can talk amongst yourselves. Level 1s cannot be in a raid so it will take us a bit to get everyone to the starting zone. You will receive a letter with Day 1's route AND a shopping list and some gold. You MUST stop at each location and buy the item listed on the shopping list. These items MUST be turned in to me in Booty Bay on Day 2 to prove you completed the route. 

We have wonderful prizes to give away; lots of prizes, including mounts.

If you have a question I haven't answered, please ask. 

--Gimm

#10 - Originally, we were going to be on Ghostlands server. What gives?

It was pointed out to me that people don't need to be on Ghostlands to run this. I address this in question 6 but it's worth answering separately. If your team is on Ghostlands, we have people who are acting as helps who can make a party with you to pull you into the Llane/Arygos server. The initial reason was that a number of people have maxed out their available slots on Llane/Argyos so we'd just move to a server where we had another affiliated guild. Some people were irritated at not being on Llane/Arygos. We'll make it work regardless of where your level 1 ultimately is. 

If you've got members of a team and your level 1s all prepared, you can send names to me now. That will help with my sending you what you need on Friday. 

Thanks. 

Special Feature

Gimmlette a posted Sun at 13:03

Guild web sites can be a fickle thing. As the guild leader, I put a lot of time into the content we have here. Admittedly, I was not as vigilant as in the past with posting patch notes or changes which came from patches 6.1 and 6.2. But when I do stick stuff up on the front or into the forums, it's with the hope that guild members will actually see it. And that can be something of a sore point.

Some guild members, like you who are reading this, care what's in our site. (Just a note: guild members are welcome to post to the forum. We think the categories are fairly clear about where things go. You're welcome to copy and past patch notes, toon/class helps, videos, photos, anything you think would be of interest to members. If you have questions, just ask.) Many guild members will never be back here after their application is approved. It just doesn't matter to them what's here. I've been told, "I don't do web sites" by some guild members. It's just the way they are. 

SD has had a presence on the web since, I think, 2008, maybe 2009. I don't remember what guild hosting site we used, but, like all sites of that nature back then, it was bare bones. It met our needs. There were a lot of things I could do, however, that I'd love to do now, like mess around with color and fonts. But it's probably best I don't do that, lest the web site look like the contents of a Sherwin Williams store exploded. We went from the bare bones site to a custom site. But there were huge management issues and we left that site for another guild hosting site. It was a step up from what we'd started with, but customization and what we could see we'd need in the long term were not available. Squidchin took it upon himself to research guild hosting sites and we came to Enjin over 4 years ago. Enjin meets our needs and has grown, along with us. 

If you've logged into the forum at any point and read comments, you might notice badges by some people's names. 

These are customizable awards which we officers dreamed up. Enjin added the ability to make guild awards last year and I've been applying them as people earn them. Ironically, a year before Enjin created these, we'd been talking about figuring out how to give people special recognition for things they have done which are truly spectacular. We didn't have any idea how to apply something and, boom, Enjin creates it. All that was left for us was to create the awards. 

This is what an award looks like. 

We come up with something we'd like to make an award for. Then we come up with a name, usually a title that references the award. Then, Squid and I pick an icon or we could create our own, and apply the icon to award. 

We currently have 23 available awards. These are only part of them.

Via the awards panel, we can see how many guild members have received each award. On the roster panel, we click on your toon name and apply our custom award. For instance, last night, in the Highmaul raid, Parzekial rolled a "1" for Battle Cry. That means he had to sing his battle cry. We have an award for that; "You Have a Lovely Singing Voice". That award has been applied to his toon so the next time he logs in and posts something, the badge for this award will be by his toon. When you mouse over a badge, you see the name. 

Here is the list of awards and what they mean:

Thank you for your service -- Be an officer.
Old Timer -- Be in SD for over two years.
You're So Smart -- Come up with an idea we actually use. 
It Was on Sale -- Send Gimm 150 of some material we use for crafting.
It's Just Pocket Change -- Donate at least 1,000 gold to the guild bank in one lump sum. 
Using the Change from the Sofa -- Donate 90 days of website plan time. 
Going Postal -- Reach 100 forum posts.
My Fingers Hurt -- Reach 500 forum posts. 
I'VE GOT BLISTERS ON ME FINGERS! -- Reach 1,000 forum posts. 
Chill Out -- Kill a raid boss after he enrages.
Delusions of Grandeur -- Kill a raid boss after the tanks have died. 
Field Goal -- Get punted to the rafters or next level in Blackwing Lair.
I Think We Broke It -- Be in a raid or 5-man where it does not work as intended. 
Now THAT'S a Spectacular Death - Participate in a 1% current content boss wipe.
Spectacular Death -- Die in a manner worthy of Spectacular Death. 
He Does Exist -- Participate in the Terrapin 500.
I Saw This in a Cartoon Once -- Get revived in a scheduled raid via the XL Jumper Cables.
Benedict Arnold -- Killed or defeated our guild leader.
Deux Ex Machina -- Kill a boss with everyone else in the raid dead. 
Iron Maiden -- Following the guild guidlines, raise a toon to max level without dying. 
You Have a Lovely Singing Voice -- Roll a "1" and sing the battle cry.
So THAT'S Your Excuse -- Roll a "1" and sing the reason why you wiped the raid.
I Saw the Whole Thing -- Have a toon in both Spectacular Death and Deathtacular. 

Some of these have not been awarded and could be, but, at the time they happened, like the 1% raid wipe, I didn't keep notes on who was in the raid. We're always talking about awards we could create, too. You don't get any real in-game achievement points for these. They are just a fun way to demonstrate our appreciation for your being in Spectacular Death. 

--Gimm

Lasts The badges are too cool!

We Had a Party

Gimmlette a posted Sat at 13:27

It involved minions. 

I had everyone sign my minion poster. Inside, you'll see the full report. Next week, I'm taking this to be framed. I know exactly where I'm going to put it. 

We had a great time. Check out the few photos I took. I should have taken more, but you get talking and laughing and who remembers the camera. 

--Gimm

Tropes VS. Women

Gimmlette a posted Jul 14, 15

I'm gonna jump into the deep end with this. It will probably be, for some people a TL:DR, but so be it. I'm the guild leader. I get to say, on rare occasions, what's on my mind.

I've been thinking about this whole tropes vs women thing for a long time; long before GamerGate. I really didn't pay too much attention to the costumes, the unwanted sexual attacks of cosplayers at conventions, the whole depiction of women gamers in general. I was aware of it because I read a lot but I play a female dwarf hunter. A lot of the skimpy costumes just don't look good on dwarven women. Personally, I don't like the most common thong armor. The question was, who wears this stuff? It doesn't cover your body. For me and my toon, the need to wear armor that looked like armor was important. I get that's not what some people want.

I was fortunate in that I fell into a guild where the GL had strict rules for how people treated each other. It was based on respect. When I started SD, to see content I wasn't going to experience any other way, I brought that rule with me. But that's how I try to treat everyone in real life. I see no difference between the human you are and the toon you play. I insist, no, demand, that we be respectful to each other in this guild. Your religion, race, gender, political leanings etc. mean absolutely nothing if you're standing in fire when you shouldn't be.

I was naive to think this was accepted behavior everywhere throughout the WOW-verse. Particularly during Wrath and Cataclysm, I saw the dark side; not so much in SD, although we have had a handful of people with views that don't work here, but in the general population. I have never been harassed because I am a woman playing a computer game, but I know people who have been. These actions weighed on me. Why would you harass someone who is totally capable of playing, simply because of their gender? Did people really feel that because someone was female or [insert category] they were not a good gamer or even allowed to play video games in the first place? Wait...what? I admit I was blind.

Then came GamerGate. If you don't know anything about it, watch this 5 minute discussion between Anita Sarkeesian and Stephen Colbert. http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/wr7hqq/gamergate---anita-sarkeesian . This is really all you need to know. There are ample discussions in other places. I'm grateful to Faience and Lethia and a few other friends who sent me links to other discussions in response to my questions. Some of the vitriol spewed in this is horrifying and opened my eyes to the treatment of female gamers in general. Again, I admit I was blind. I have been living in a cave, probably in Dun Morough.

Now, we have this crap, and if it smells, it's crap, coming in advent of the most highly anticipated movie made from any video game. From a Time magazine interview with Duncan Jones, director of the Warcraft movie...

There’s been an ongoing debate about how women are treated in the gaming world—how they’re portrayed in video games, misogynist attacks on female players. How do you address those problems of sexism in this film?

You have to be as proactive as you can. Warcraft has always had a far higher percentage of women players than a lot of other games. It has always been a very welcoming environment for women. I know that the ladies and men who work at Blizzard have always tried to make sure that everyone feels welcome. You can dress however you want in the game world. You don’t have to be in slutty costumes. You can dress like the character that you see in your head.

When we were writing the film, it was also really important to me that we maintain the balance that they got so right in that game. Multiple key characters in our film are women and are not love interests. They stand up and work in the film in their own right.

(Sigh) First of all, you can't address this issue in a 2 hour movie that is not solely about women. (Another issue.) Secondly, he's right in that WOW does have a high percentage of women players. Look at the composition of Spectacular Death. But, third and most important, Jones is WRONG, very wrong on one issue. Blizzard has NOT gotten women right. There is not a balance. Women do not feel safe within WOW. Faience can better address the side issue of Rob Kazinsky and his comments. I'm not going to go there other than to say, I really wish I was his momma because I would "whup his ass so hard".

One of the big, big, big problems is the whole gaming culture. I play DnD. When it was 8 of us sitting around a table with paper and pencil and dice, it didn't matter if you were male or female. If you could roll dice and calculate hits, you could play. In the nearly 40 years that I've been playing that game, sexualization of characters and denigration of who ran them was not a part of what I experienced. There probably were "no gurls allowed" groups, but, for the most part, they were a small sub-set of the gaming community. I was a nerd back then (still identify as such), but I was welcomed on equal footing by other nerds. 

What has changed? I think one of the primary problems, and this is simplistic because there are many tentacles of this monster, lies with who develops games. White guys are the primary game developers. The people who run Blizzard are white guys. Their first designers were white guys. Marketing in the early days of video games was to white guys. (I remember buying the collector's edition of Wrath of the Lich King and having the clerk say, "You're a great mom to buy this for your son." He turned beet red when I said, "Son? 1) I don't have a son and 2) if I did, he'd buy his own game. Not all the people who play this are white teenagers.") If you are female or any race other than white, it is very hard to find yourself represented positively within a video game that features humans.

One of the tropes within Cosplay is that women model their costumes on what they see within video games, movies, comic books. White men have put women in bikinis. (Classic example and I remember the comments when this came out, Princess Leia's costume as a slave of Jabba the Hut.) That's what women have to go on. That does not excuse the treatment of women cosplayers at conventions. That's another tentacle of the monster. If women are only given scantily clad heroes, there's not much for them to model costumes on and why is that? It's because white guys are designing the armor and the women in these games. (I won't comment on the design of the female body. That's yet another tentacle.)

Blizzard touts how inclusive they are as a company. Watch the 10 year anniversary video. The "lightness" of the company is still an issue, but they are quick to show all kinds of employees. One woman said, "I love it here because I can be myself". That's great, but there are miles to go. I won't comment on the tentacle of women as evil NPC's or as heroes within Blizzard-branded games. They have made strides with Overwatch but, again, there are miles.

Blizzard is trying to reach out to women and minorities in Southern California schools by going into classrooms and talking about coding and game design. It's not just on Blizzard to single-handedly change the culture, all gaming companies need to look at their work force and push to have women, minorities, seniors, not just white guys sit behind desks and add trees to pixel mountains. Funding needs to be available for women and minority designed games. And when they do get funded and produced, they need to be publicized so people can find them. This is another tentacle, but having more women and minority game creators will go a long way to erasing the "gurls don't/shouldn't play video games" mentality we've seen over the past few days. 

So, here's my take away from the firestorm that has erupted. I don't want the firestorm to die down. I want us to continually assault the issues which have come forward. One thing I think needs to happen is Blizzard needs a woman in upper management. She needs to have veto power and a voice in the direction of the company. She needs to walk onto the stage on the opening day of BlizzCon instead of Chris Metzen and say,"Look what we have for you!" (Hey, for probably half what they are paying Metzen, moving expenses, help buying a condo out there and time to run with my guild, I'll do it.) The boys who run the company are out of touch with women gamers in 2015. There is a 2008 mind-set there and that ain't a-gonna work.

SD is full of very strong women and I want you to continue to be strong and play this game as you want to play it. If you are harassed, report, report, report. I will stand with any of my guild members who find themselves harassed because of race, creed, color, gender or anything else, for that matter. You cannot harass anyone in this guild because their point of view is different from yours. I will dump your ass on the curb faster than last week's meatloaf. I am intolerant of intolerance.

I believe in leading by example. We are not the best casual raiding guild in WOW because we look good, well, we do look good, but we're best because we treat each other with respect. It's something woefully lacking in the video game culture. Let's work to change the mindset.

 --Gimm

Dorelei I have experienced reactions as mild as commentary on my appearance at a former guild and random people giving me money ...
Ilrisse I wish I had something awesome and insightful to say out of the gate that other people haven't already, but I don't. ( I ...
Worandpaws Great post (good points and good writing go together like chocolate and peanut butter). Any thoughts on the best way to ...

Time to send in another screenshot.

--Gimm

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