Friday, 28 November 2008

Yawn... (From Thog's Blog 28/11/2008)

Just writing this after a hard day playing WoW, back is slowly getting better which is a good sign. I've got three-quarters of a way through level 75, and I'm hoping to get another level or two under my belt this weekend.
Been quite pleased at the response to my first blog on - I've had quite a few comments which keeps the post up the top of the websites front page. Feel free to check it out :)
Tara pointed out a rather good website to me, which has a ridiculously large amount of information available on how to get the most out of your character, and should be handy whether you play in parties, quest in solo, love your pvp, or are thinking of raiding. Why not check it out?

Thursday, 27 November 2008

ThogBlog Number 2... (From Thog's Blog 27/11/08)

Well, I saw my doctor last night, for the first time ever he simply got a sick note and started to write, so I find myself with a week off work, and a bit of a painful back. Having to exercise it a fair bit, at least I'm able to entertain Denkai by crying out in pain every time I sneeze.
I've started writing my new blog on, check it out at
I am planning to keep both blogs running at this time as I am a chatty bloke and on this blog things will be a little more guild orientated.
Which brings me to my next topic...
What are the guild ranks? What do all these names mean? We often get asked for clarification about the ranking system, so I thought I'd help out a little.
The Guild Ranks (from top to bottom) are:
Corvus - this is the Guild Master. Only two people have ever been Corvus, Khat and myself (myself for when we're running a guild auction)
Purser - this is a senior officer within the guild, with a special responsibility for maintaining the guild vault.
Executive - this is a senior officer within the guild, with a special responsibility, such as Guild Purifier, or Raid Organiser (Rhinoboy)
Leader - this is a senior officer within the guild. They can be relied on to guide the guild when the Guild Master is not online (it should be noted that the named Guild Master is often on as an alt)
Revered One - this is an officer within the guild. To reach this level the person must have demonstrated consistently their reliability, maturity, good nature and overall nice-person-ness.
Veteran - this is a junior officer within the guild. People at this rank have demonstrated their reliability, maturity, good nature and so on, and have often been in the guild for a decent period of time.
Wise One - this is the most senior rank before becoming an officer. To reach this the person must be a reliable member of the guild. Many guildies stay at this rank for a long period of time.
Flyer - at this rank are typically those who show some promise within the guild. Again, It is not unusual to spend a fairly long time at this rank.
Youngling - one step up from the lowest rank, this is the first step on the ladder of promotion.
Just Hatched - the initial entry point into the guild, mostly the only people that stay at this rank are those that are not active within the guild. It is also a trial rank - behave if you are at this rank, the only rank below this one is "Kicked!"
It is important to note that ranks are not reached by being a certain level character. Everyone new enters at Just Hatched, and isn't going to go up the ranks unless they are friendly and helpful. Asking for a promote, boosts, or gold, isn't a fast-track to promotion (despite the fact that loads of guildies seem to think it is!)
Hold on. I want to stress that last bit. Over and over and over guildies ask "Can I get a promote" or "Can I have some gold" or "Boost me through Wailing Caverns over and over again" and they can't figure out why they don't get promoted. If I go to my boss at work, and tell him to promote me, I would get told off and I would deserve it.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Man down! (From Thog's Blog 25/11/2008)

I write this at half 8 in the morning on Tuesday. This is unusual for me as I should be at work, but I managed to hurt my back after playing football last night. As a result I can't press the pedals in my car. At any rate, I am able to sit at my computer at home and get some work done, plus obviously I can write my blog :)
So levelling on Thog has slowed a little - I'm 74 at the minute, and I've taken some time out to play my DK, which I do love. Denkai dinged 80 last night so she's now ready to go to Naxx along with her guild, I've got a little way to go yet!
How is everyone finding the new expansion? Obviously we were all excited when it was first released, are you loving levelling again or are you a bit stationary at the minute and finding it harder than you expected? Comment my blog with your thoughts.
Right, I wanted to tell you a bit about how you can get free stuff if you're levelling (maybe useful for all you Death Knights out there!)
The group of hardy fighters faced their final enemy deep in the depths of the Mechanar.
"Aconite, you charge in and keep Mr Calculator busy. Mason, blast him from afar. Ravanna sheep anything in the way. Thog, just shoot the bugger and try not to hit the sheep this time!"
Greby slammed down some totems and the group attacked.
"I've been waiting for you," Panthaleon said as he started duelling Aconite.
All too soon Panthaleon the Calculator, tired of the arrows jabbing themselves into his chest, dodged past Aconite and headed for Thog.
"You've got aggro Thog! Run towards the tank!" Greby yelled but all too soon Thog was laid on the ground, a mess of bones and nasty orcness.
"Looks like you lose." Panthaleon observed, before picking his next target.
"He's on me!" Mason yelled. One slice straight through her mana shield and she was on the ground too, hit too hard and too quickly for her to Ice Block.
Ravanna blinked and ran, Greby on his tail as Aconite tried to hold the boss away from the others.
Aconite fell after a couple more blows.
Ravanna tried to blink again but Panthaleon drained his mana and lobbed an elemental at the mage, bringing him down.
All too soon, Greby felt the blow on his back from Panthaleon's sword, and he hit the ground.
As the final blow came towards his face, he yelled out.
Yes folks, as that little story shows, we're short of tanks and healers, especially at the top end.
As a result, we're going to help death knights, warriors, priests, paladins, druids and shamans that little bit more on their levelling way, in the hopes that in return they'll help us in the tougher instances by keeping us alive!
This promotion is open to those of Flyer or higher rank, for them to create a character of that rank and to level it, or to level one that they already have.
When you hit level 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 or 80 with one of those classes, send a mail to Teenraven, who will reply with a stack of free stuff for you!
You must have at least one character in the guild of at least Flyer rank.
The character you want free stuff for must be in the guild.
Only one character per account can get free stuff. We who know you are.
It isn't guaranteed what you'll get - it depends on what is in supply. If there is something in particular you want, please say in your mail and we'll see what we can do.
You are responsible for mailing Teenraven and asking for stuff. Don't expect free stuff without asking.
When the character reaches level 80, if it is not healing or tank-specced there will be an expectation of you to re-spec to healing or tanking.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

4 years of WoW (From Thog's Blog 23/11/2008)

Hi folks and I'll just kick off with "Aren't Death Knights fantastic?!?" - I just started mine last night, and I am seriously loving it, very very cool character.
Right, I'm going to go a little nostalgic today, after all WoW has been going for 4 years (my god, has it really been that long?) so it's a decent opportunity for me to reminisce.
Before WoW I was always of the opinion "Internet gaming? Something you have to pay for EVERY month instead of just up front? No way!!". Then one night, after having a curry with college mates, I went round Shadow's house (you know who you are) to see this game where he ran around killing things with a warlock.
I was absolutely hooked.
At the time, WoW had just come out and there was shortages of the game all over Europe, I guessed (rightly) that no one would try WH Smith for a copy of it, and got the last copy there. Toys R Us was another place to get a copy, I guess none of the 6 year olds trolling round the toy superstore quite got the drift of dancing with a murloc.
At the time we didn't even have broadband, so for the first month or two I played WoW with an average lag of 1200 on a 56k modem. I didn't care.
But after about a year on and off playing it, I quit. After one long LAN party (i20 maybe? i24?) I never played again. And for the next year, I didn't touch it.
Then I went back. And made a Hunter. And the rest is (fairly unimportant) history!
How did you get into WoW? What were your first memories of it? Comment my blog and let me hear from you!

Friday, 21 November 2008

It's a bit different this time isn't it? (From Thog's Blog 21/11/2008)

Hey folks, the weekend is here at last! Give me a woo and a hoo!!
I've been on the move today, from one side of the county to half way back across it before going back to my work base. Been quite a decent day actually, just there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done.
Made omelette for tea following Denkai's instructions, actually turned out okay except for having to eat mushroom omelette - I'm not a mushroom fan but I chopped up way too much so I ended up having mushroom instead of ham omelette to make sure it didn't go to waste. At least it was edible, which is a plus for me.
Thinking about the expansion, I do listen to WoW Radio (it's great! Check and one of their presenters, TotalBiscuit, was saying how there is such a better story in WoTLK compared to original WoW and TBC, which I have to agree. Everything is linked to the Lich King and his nastiness, you see you fiddling with things and post-quests you get letters in the mail from old quest givers telling you stuff, it really makes you feel more like you're playing a Role Playing Game than just an Action Adventure game, which to me is a good thing, and is a win-lose situation - if you like the role playing stuff, you get that stuff extra, and if you just want to grind up to 80 and get raiding you can ignore it like you always did before.
As a side note, if anyone does have any topics you'd like me to write about by all means let me know.
I'm enjoying the Grizzly Hills at the minute, I first came here at level 72, but didn't really have any quests, but now at 73 all the quests seem to have opened up and I'm having a great time!
As part of my regular rants about raiding, I'm going to go indepth about Ventrilo, and how it works, and why you need it if you want to raid.
So what is Ventrilo? It's a chat program that lets you talk with other people over the net. It is free for guildies to use (I pay for it for the guild) and is great for general talking, as well as for parties and raids.
We have it for raiding (reminder - if you want to raid, use Ventrilo!) but it's also available for guildies for general chatting or when doing instances. As long as guildies are using Ventrilo, it's fine by me.
You might say, "But I don't have a microphone!". Nevertheless, if you want to raid get Ventrilo. If everyone is on Ventrilo for a raid it makes things a lot easier than if some are and some aren't. It lets the raid leader give out instructions quickly. It is great if you have a microphone but not essential.
You can download it free from - I think linux people might have problems though, unless you can get some sort of emulator to run the windows version. Then you need to set it up.
Install Ventrilo, and then open it.
Pick a username (generally the name of your main character) by clicking the top button with an arrow on it, click new and enter your chars main in the first two boxes, then click ok.
Then click on the second button with an arrow on it, and select New. Enter Ravenswing as the name. The Hostname/IP, port and password are available in the Guild Information. Enter this and click ok.
Then click connect. It should now connect you to the Ravenswing Ventrilo server.
Couple of common questions:
Q: I'm having problems with Ventrilo!
A: There is a good FAQ page on the Ventrilo website at
Q: Why don't you use Teamspeak / MSN / ICQ etc.
A: Because we don't. Live with it :)
Hope this helps. We've had Ventrilo for a while and only ever really had 70% people on Ventrilo when raiding, but when we go back to raiding, as normal we do want everyone on it, because it really does help. Plus it means you get to hear me sing!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

I want cake!!! Really!!! (From Thog's Blog 20/11/2008)

Denkai's making cake tonight, albeit with chickpeas so it's "healthy", nevertheless there should be a decent bit of lemon curd to give it some flavour.
This cake has been made despite the fact that it took me an hour to get some baking powder, going to two corner shops, and two Asdas before finding some at Tescos. I bought two tubs in case one wasn't enough because there was NO WAY I was going out again! As it turns out Denkai only needed two teaspoons of baking powder so we now have enough baking powder to make around 50 cakes, something which I don't mind at all.
Have you folks been on the guild website by the way?
All good guilds have a website. And so does Guild Ravenswing! Find it
It's got loads of good stuff on it, like articles, questions, a decent forum... the list goes on and on.
Yes, you do need to register on the website. That's just so we know its guildies on the site, not just anyone.
The website is used for guild announcements, because it's a good way of a message being available. Guildies come on and offline all the time and there's no chance of getting all 170-odd accounts which are in the guild online at the same time. And it's handy if anyone wants to ask a question, other people can log on and answer it another day.
Why not pop on the forum and say hi - I'll be looking for you! :)

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The Tundra (From Thog's Blog 19/11/2008)

Hi everyone,
Just a short one today, been busy and even though it's not 10pm yet I'm already really tired, which could be demonstrated by how I ran off a cliff earlier tonight. Had to run for my corpse then!
Dinged today to level 73, doing a few quests in Borean Tundra. Not a huge fan of the Tundra to be honest, I prefer Howling Fjord, but I've done most of the quests there, and I've had enough of Dragonblight as well for the moment. It's good to level again for once, raiding is ace but going up to 80 is fun too.
So, I thought it was time I let you in on a secret.
Okay, I love Ravenswing. You love Ravenswing. We all love Ravenswing!
But we've all experienced a realm being down. All your friends scattered all around the servers. And we just keep on looking for when Wildhammer comes back.
So what we've done is set up an alternative guild. Ravensclaw on Burning Steppes is another guild for Ravenswing guildies. If you'd like to create a character on that server and join us, you're more than welcome. That way when the servers go down again - you've still got a home! Just have a word with me or Khat and ask us to sort you out on the server.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Yawnipops! (From Thog's Blog 18/11/2008)

ooo I'm tired today. First day back at work since last Friday lunchtime meant that I had 36 emails waiting for me, and by the time I narrowed them down to the half a dozen that I had to deal with there was another 7 awaiting me!
For anyone who doesn't know (and probably doesn't care!), I work for the local council in Construction Management. Roughly, when you want something building (a school, a road, a hospital, that kind of thing) you can't just ring up a building company and say "I want a school - go build me one!" - you need to tell them where you want it, how many kids you want to fit in the school, you need to ensure you've got the best company doing the work for the price you're paying out, and that on the opening day of the school it's all finished. I work in a team which helps the council do all of these sorts of things. It tends to be a job with one or two really important things that I have to keep an eye on to make sure nothing is going wrong, loads of urgent things that can be dealt with quickly (if I'm lucky) and masses of things that I ought to do but are less urgent than the rest. I do love getting all these different things done, it's just sometimes it's a bit of a shock to the system when you've had a few days off, especially when all you've done in those days off is focus on one thing (WoW) and then suddenly at work you've got to juggle half a dozen different tasks at the same time.
Anyway - work's over until the morning, and tonight will be taken up with two things: Ironing and Slimming.
Ironing is basically the one household chore which is mine, Denkai just about does everything else so I really ought to do this one. That didn't stop me this morning putting on a purple and black striped shirt for work because I had no other ironed shirts to wear, but it is my chore to do so I need to get it done.
Slimming is a long battle of mine to get down to a reasonable weight. Every Tuesday night I get weighed to see how I've done. The last 3 weeks I've got 6 pounds off (about 2.7 kilos?) but I've not done very well this last week so I'm wondering if I might have actually put weight on this week.
Anyhow, I'm going to write now a little bit about WoW, and my topic for tonight is mods.
I sometimes forget on guild channel that when I go on about mods, some players don't use them, maybe don't even know what they are.
What mods are is an addon to WoW that enhance the game in some way, helping the player. Here are some of the common mods:
Cartographer - gives a full map of all of the areas in World of Warcraft, and adds a co-ordinate system so that you can specify exactly where something is.
QuestHelper - puts an arrow on the minimap showing where you need to go to do your next quest.
Auctioneer - tells you how much items are worth so you know how much to auction it for.
Omen - a threat meter. It shows who in the party is pulling aggro on a mob, so that a tank knows if they are holding enough aggro, or if a DPS is causing too much threat they hold to hold back so they don't pull a mob off the tank.
Deadly Boss Mods - a mod that gives useful information about bosses and timings on battlegrounds, difficult to describe but very very useful.
GroupCalendar - an essential one for Ravenswing guildies, guild events are tracked on this mod. You can see what events are planned and sign up to them in-game.
If you want to get any mods, is a good place to try. Curse has a program called CurseClient which easily installs and updates mods so it makes things a lot easier.
I would warn that sometime mods can mess up your WoW interface. I've often had problems with Cartographer and Auctioneer, although the latter I've resolved by using a different mod called Auction Master. That said, for raiding there are 3 essential mods - Omen (so you know that your aggro is okay), Deadly Boss Mods (tells you when bosses are casting spells), and GroupCalendar (so you can sign up for the raid in the first place!), without them raiding is a no-no.
I guess I'm going to sign off for now, it's been a busy day and I just want a little bit of a chill out before I crack on with the ironing. If I've got on well with my chores tonight tomorrow night I can get levelling again! :)

Monday, 17 November 2008

The Guild That Is Ravenswing (From Thog's Blog 17/11/2008)

Hey hey!! It's another fascinating blog from Thog!

I'm so glad I picked the name Thog for my character - it rhymes with blog woohoo!

Sorry if I'm hyper but I write this while under the influence of diet Vimto, I've currently got 7 empty cans dotted around my desk - this is after the 5 or so that were removed at the start of the weekend. While my partner Denkai loves Diet Coke, I prefer something with a little more fruity flavour, hence the diet Vimto.

I've also bought her some Christmas presents which are currently sat out in the car because I can't think where to store them, except possibly at Khat & Rav's (Ravanna) house. It's a new dilemma for me in that this is the first time I'm going to be living with someone for Christmas, it is fantastic but it does raise some issues, like where to hide presents so she won't find them.

I'm not looking forward to when we decorate the house for Christmas either. Myself and Denkai have slightly differing tastes, in that she is tasteful, and likes nice ornaments dotted here and there, while I, having been brought up by Khat & Rav, am more used to jamming as much decoration everywhere as I can. I remember the year that Khat hung a huge decoration directly above the toilet, so anyone wanting to use the toilet over Christmas had a decoration in their face. Unless you pushed it onto your head, in which case it made a hat even more embarrassing than those little paper ones you get in crackers. Anyway I'd best get onto my subject of the day, which is WoW and today the Guild.

I do feel that this is slightly ironic, writing about WoW when I haven't played it all day (I've been out shopping) but nevertheless I wanted to go into a bit of detail about the guild we all belong to.


I started playing WoW when it first came out, back in... 2004? Let me check Wikipedia, the font of all knowledge. Yes, 2004. I played it for about 6 or 7 months, and took a years break, before getting back into it. This time, I got Rav, and then Khat, addicted to the game, and before long we had 3 PCs set up in the house purely for WoW!

Me and Khat were in a number of guilds (Chaos Legion and Legions of Archimonde if anyone remembers - hi Boomstar from the former and Rouper, Abruzzi and Thevoid from the latter) which we really enjoyed, but after so long for whatever reason the guilds collapsed. So Khat, possibly the least technical of all of us, decided to take on the task of creating a guild, and Ravenswing was set up by Khat on 17th March 2006.

For a long long time, we were purely social, with guild parties, with drinking, eating and raiding the alliance. Plus we've played games like Hunt the Rogue (a couple of our characters had high-level alliance rogues, so while we ran around Tirisfal Glades trying to find them, they snuck around and sapped our guildies randomly!), Murloc Hunt (the most Murloc Eyes returned to me in an hour won!), and an elite SM Cathedral run - ten Level 70s charged straight for the cathedral boss, and AOE'd the hell out of the entire instance! I've never seen Cathedral cleared in 3 minutes before.

Now we've gone from purely social to a social-raiding guild. The problem with being purely social is that some of our favourite people leave because they want to go raiding, so we try to cater for everyone.

When it comes to people joining the guild, we don’t care what level you are, as long as you’re nice. And you don’t ask us to run you through Wailing Caverns. Or ask for money.

I do admit that a pet hate of mine is begging. People who ask for gold... not good. That and BOOSTING!! If guildies want to group up and do something, that’s cool. But what a lot of people in the guild want is to be away from those whingey people that just want to be run through instance after instance after instance without even a thank you.

We've sometimes taken a bit of critisicm (I've spelt that wrong - criticsism? I can't spell it!) because we don't do ranks by level, people get a promote because they’re online, chatty, nice people. People have been promoted because of a good joke. And demoted because of a bad one (only kidding!)

We aren't against raiding, we raid several times a week, but if you do want to raid, you need to be kitted out for it. I have in the past talked (and will talk again) about how to raid.

We don’t automatically hate people that leave the guild either. Some of our best people join and leave the guild several times, to try different things, to help someone else starting up a guild we don't mind. And if they were nice people, they're welcome to join us again when they want to. Plus sometimes it's really handy to have friends in other guilds when you're trying to fill a raid up!

Some of the questions that we get from people:

Q: Can you boost me?

A: No. We don’t boost. If you want to ask a guildie for help in an instance go for it, but not moan if they say no. You’re better off getting a group together and going for it – in fact a high level may be more likely to help 3 or 4 people in one go.

Q: Can you give me money?

A: No. Why should I? Just because I might be a high level and have a lot of money (to you), why should I give my cash to you? I want my elite flying mount!

Q: Can we go raiding?

Maybe. Chat to the guildmaster (Khat) or one of the officers and see what they think. The Raid Organiser, Rhinoboy, is often a good place to start.

Q: Can I run an event!

A: Sure! Remember that the guild uses the GroupCalendar mod to keep track of raids, parties, pvp nights and other events. So if you want to run an event, make sure it is on GroupCalendar, make sure people are told about it (over and over again if need be) and make sure it isn't at the same time as another event.

Q: Do we have a guild bank?

A: We have a guild vault, plus two NPCs with stuff like bags, potions, food, drink and gear - Babe and Teenraven. If you want something just shout and we’ll have a look. And please feel free to send anything you don’t want in to us.

Q: Why won’t you promote me?

A: Can be a number of reasons. What have you done to be promoted? Do we have room for another person at that rank? Have you annoyed the guildmaster or one of the officers? Talk about it to us, don’t moan, and we’ll discuss. Be aware that some people don’t get promoted as quickly simply because we might not have seen much of you (if you are online at times when we are not). One big thing, which I cannot stress enough. I SAID I CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH... Please do not say "Can I get a promote" because that is the one sure way of not getting promotion!

Q: Will I get kicked if I'm not online for a while?

A: If you have not been online for a month then yes, unless there is a reason. For example, if you are going on holiday, let us know beforehand and we won't kick you. Plus if you've been active in the guild and worked your way up a few levels then you'll probably get a longer breathing space before being kicked.

Okay folks, that's me for another day - time for some WoW!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Hello! (From Thog's Blog 16/11/2008)

Hi there!

Ok, welcome to my new blog. I've resisted writing a blog for a while, basically because everyone seemed to be doing it and no one read any of them. But I've always had a streak of the mediocre writer within me so I decided to give in and write about something I love.

So why have I got this blog? Well I'm going to talk about the guild, about me (because I like talking about me!) and about anything else I feel like. I will be talking about raiding and what you need to do to raid in future posts, so it'd be really cool if people that do want to raid check in

For anyone who doesn't already know, I am Thog of Guild Ravenswing on Wildhammer-EU (World of Warcraft for the unafficted!). I've been a senior officer within the guild for about 2 and a half years now (except for brief intervals where I tried different guilds!) and I do thoroughly enjoy playing my char and being in the guild.

The guild has gone through massive expansion, which is great - I remember when we had about 80 players for ages and just couldn't recruit anyone, if an officer left it was massively difficult finding someone to replace them, yet we always had a sort of community spirit, with our love of parties, games, drinking, eating, and attacking the alliance.

One very cool thing we did earlier in the year was organise a massive raid on Stormwind - about 20 guilds grouped at Stonard and charged on Stormwind, while another group came right from Orgrimmar to hit them as well. Lag and a load of allies wasted us, but we still had a great time! Plus it was really good for getting to know other guilds. Have a look at the raid on YouTube at

So what am I doing now? I'm currently level 72, levelling my hunter in the new Northrend continent, and having a great time. I'm also really enjoying questing with my first, and favourite pet, Damon. Damon is a boar and is geared up to be a tank, so when I solo he can tank mobs and I can heal him and dps the mob down. I haven't used him much lately because for pvp and raiding he isn't the best, but he's so useful for soloing.

I've done two of the instances so far in Lich King, Nexus and Utgarde Keep. UK is short and quite fun, Nexus is okay but can be frustrating at times - in one section these little plants keep smacking you, and if you kill it the plant just curls up, and then comes back to life a couple of minutes later! Very annoying.

Anyway, I'll sign off here for today - I have a long list of favourite topics - the TANK MEDIC programme and how guildies can get free stuff, raiding, Ventrilo, mods, boosting, begging, guild ranks, speaking Polish... the list goes on and on. But I'll save them for future blogs (but if anyone does want to know more just /w me in game!)

Cheers, Thog
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