Our (Molten) Core Values

Salvaged from the Way Back Machine, hailing all the way from 2005, preserved here for posterity – the original statement of The Anvil’s values:

First of all, allow me to express my gratitude to everyone who has shown interest in this Molten Core raid and especially to my co-conspirators, Jimmy, Tahin, Renshank and Gzarneth. We’ve all been mutually frustrated in the past by things like lack of access, immature behavior, and needless drama in the various raids we’ve been on. As a more cynical man would quip, “If you don’t like it, start your own raid.” And so we do.

To be perfectly honest, this is a step I’ve been very reluctant to take. The Thundering Hammer Clan has been, and will remain, a small guild primarily because we want our undertakings to be dominated by a sense of camaraderie and family. We do not care for the large guild drama, or the sorts of characters who larger guilds feel they must accept and admit in order to remain viable in end-game raiding. We prefer to enjoy our time in Azeroth with friends who we know will behave in a mature fashion. And so as a result we have sort of been dragging our feet in regards to the Core, hoping for a time when there would be enough of those sorts of folks (you know – the kind, generous, fun to be with sort…. the sort we enjoy raiding with… the sort who came out and registered on these forums and expressed interest in raiding with us…) that we could endeavor to raid in the end-game without the needless drama. Now we believe that we finally have a large enough population to draw from that we can fill a raid with precisely that goal in mind.

I have also been reluctant because of the administrative burden that one has to assume when you endeavor to organize a regular 40 man raid. It’s not enough to have forty people, as you all well know. There are class balance needs, personalities to consider, loot distribution, communication, organization, information distribution, contingency planning for when people can’t make it or elect to leave the raid, and a host of other concerns. It really is quite a lot of work, and you’ll forgive me I hope for being just a little skittish about assuming that role. Again though, if you want something done… and you know the rest. So I hope that you will all bear with me, and with the rest of the officers of this MC raid, as we get our feet under us and get used to the administrivia inherent in this sort of thing.

So having said all that, allow me to go over what we like to call our Core Values. These are the fundamental ethics that we want to see demonstrated in our raid group, and the behaviors and attitudes that will make MC more fun for all of us, and which will allow us to avoid a lot of the issues we dislike in other raids.

  • Come to Have Fun
    This should go without saying, but as we’ve all learned by now, in an MMO it really can’t be stressed enough: If you’re not having fun, it’s time to unplug for a bit. So many people get tied into the end-game just holding out for that one item, or that one achievement. As a result their time in game can become less and less enjoyable because it ceases to be about fun with friends and is instead consumed with the acquisition of that one long-term goal. The point at which you log in because you ‘have to’ instead of because you ‘want to’ is precisely the point at which you should step back and take a break. Otherwise you’re going to be playing for the wrong reasons, and the decisions you make are going to hurt your friends, guild mates, and fellow raiders. So don’t come to the Core because you have to – come because you want to have fun with like minded friends.
  • People Are More Important Than Items
    All of us understand and accept that at level 60 (70 when the expansion arrives) the only means of character advancement is through itemization. For that reason, items really are important. We have to comprehend and admit that. That reality does not however give anyone license to place more importance on an item than on their fellow raid members. Saying that having Item X is what you need to make the game fun for you, and pointing to the level cap is no excuse. The plain fact is that the moment you take an item without any consideration to the other thirty-nine people in the raid, regardless of your justification, you’ve exercised your rights in a selfish manner – and we do not intend to raid with habitually selfish people. Generosity, thoughtfulness, and positive attitudes are what are encouraged and welcomed in our raid. Those who repeatedly make it clear through their actions that they are just ‘looking out for Number 1’ and not putting the good of the raid ahead of their own self-interest will find out that there are others who would be better suited to take their place in Molten Core with us.
  • Drama Belongs in Roleplay, Not Raids.
    One day, a guy walked into MC with thirty-nine other people. Drama ensues.Let’s face it, anytime you get together with a group of forty individuals there will be disagreements. Personalities will clash, people will bicker, and if we don’t all endeavor to face the realities of large group dynamics like adults, chaos will ensue. Sooner or later – drama always breaks raids. The solution is not to eliminate the problems. You can’t. You can decrease the likelihood of occurrence by weeding out bad personalities, but regardless sooner or later group dynamics has its way with your raid and people will disagree. The answer is not in prevention, but in response: Just grow up and act like adults.Yes, it is just a game, but it is also a social event and that means that like it or not, yes, we all have to behave like civilized human beings. If you’re looking for a cathartic escape from the social realities of life, an MMO is not the answer. Might I instead suggest some Halo Deathmatch, or Grand Theft Auto? Both of those venues will offer you exactly the right tonic for venting frustration at a life filled with stupid people. While you are with our raid however, you will be expected to behave in a mature and forgiving fashion. Remember: Drama doesn’t start when someone makes a bad or selfish decision. It starts when people begin to complain loudly and publicly about said bad or selfish decision. So stop before you vent and ask yourself – “Is this (item, event, decision, conversation) really worth getting worked up over?” The answer is usually, No.So don’t worry about it. Have some faith in your raid officers and friends. If someone is habitually selfish, continually puts their own interests above that of the raid, is rude, or disruptive to the friendly and fun atmosphere we want to cultivate in our raids, they will find themselves replaced. (See: Rule #2, People > Items) It is as simple as that. So trust your friends and raid leaders to be intelligent and observant. They want the raid to be fun just as much as you do. And if you absolutely MUST say something, do it privately. Find an officer of the raid and speak to them, but don’t go talking trash in raid, or guild chat, or in a dozen whispers to everyone who you think should be just as offended as you are. That’s counter-productive, and is really just another form of selfish behavior – thinking that everyone should (or even cares to) hear you complain.
  • People Make Mistakes
    Lets all share a Zen moment as we internalize some deep wisdom:No one is perfect.OOOOOHMMMMMM.Seriously though, people in this raid are going to make mistakes. Healers are going to drop the ball, DPS are going to draw aggro, Tanks are going to mess up pulls, and someone is going to bid on that item that would SO totally upgrade you and is better for your class anyways… and the best thing that you as a friend and fellow raid member can do is forgive and forget. When things go badly, we always want to analyze what went wrong and try to correct it. This is appropriate. If you do so in an accusatory or angry way however, you’re not likely to come away with positive results. So stop and think about your friends in the raid before you speak up. Think about the human beings on the other end of the line (well… except for the Alliance. They can all die in a fire…) and lets all try to address our mistakes in a redemptive manner that is aimed not at blaming anyone, but rather at improving our performance as a group and ‘getting it right.’ This goes for your raid leaders as well. Just because they have the burden of greater responsibility does not mean that they are less prone to the infirmities of our shared human condition.
  • We Can Always Do Better
    Which brings us neatly to our last Core Ethic: Excellence. Excellence is never settling for last week’s performance. It’s never saying, ‘That’s good enough.’ The truth of the matter is that even when we have the Core down to a four hour farm status, we can still do better. It isn’t about having a perfect raid, or about doing some silly speed run. It’s about personal self improvement. You can always do better. We all can. Now that’s not to say we should try so hard that MC becomes work rather than play. There is a reason that Rule #1 is all about having fun, and having an excellent performance in-game is last on the list. Because that really is the order of priority. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive however, and we can have both if we keep them in the right order.

Therein lies the key to the success of our raid: Keeping our priorities in order. If people are more important than the loot we receive, if a fun environment is more important than a well oiled machine, if being the bigger person is more important than being right… then we will have an excellent raid, and will have a lot of fun each week. That is the path to freedom from the back-biting and vicious drama that plagues too many other groups not just on our server, but across all varieties of raid-oriented online games.

You’ll notice that really these Core Values are all about balance. Putting people above the loot means not just being generous with your own acquisition of MC items, but also with your response to those who perhaps are less generous than you. Having fun means not coming to the Core for work, but also includes making sure you come prepared and ready to present your best effort so that the rest of the raid can have fun too. Too often raid leaders and raid members become obsessed with just one area, to the exclusion of the others, and things break down because of a lack of balance. So let’s strive to be mature adults, coming together to have fun in a raid setting. Together we can set an example that the entire Horde on Feathermoon can look to as the model of a good raid group. Dozens of different people, from different guilds, with different levels of raid experience, coming together and putting the raid ahead of themselves – giving selflessly to a group effort. It’s exactly the sort of example our server needs.

And while we’re at it we’re going to beat the living shit out of that Ragnaros guy and kill his mans. Which is like, total bonus.