Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pox Arcanum Guidelines



=Introduction=


Pox Arcanum is a guild of bloggers (and friends) coming together with a slightly different approach to the game. We're composed of static teams of players that plan to progress through all the game content together.


=The Basics=

- When you join Pox Arcanum, your toon will become part of a team.

- Each team will be composed of 3-5 members.

- By joining a team, you're committing to playing with your team at least once a week. (If the whole team wishes to meet more often, that's great.)

- If your team has not fully formed yet, go ahead and decide what class you'd like to play, add yourself to the spreadsheet, and level up your toon to 10. Our experience so far has been that once a couple people in the group decide what class they want to play, the folks joining later will fill out the remaining roles appropriately. (If you want to try a very specific concept, such as all one class, all one race, etc, it is best to get a commitment from other potential team members before putting time into the toon.)

- As soon as you've reached 12, please stop questing and leveling and wait for the rest of your team to level to 12.

- Once everyone on your team is ready to go... Go! Play and enjoy, and if you have a blog, please post about your adventures. We also set you up with access to the common blog if you'd like to share things there.

=Money=

We made a decision early on to be self-sufficient as a guild. This means that any money that goes toward your Poxer or Pox Arcanum should be made by your Poxer. In other words, no farmer alts, server-transferred sugardaddies, or the like. If you're going to farm, do so with your Poxer. If you choose to have a bank alt, understand that they should be in no way leveling or gaining resources for your Pox toons.

Also, keep in mind that your fellow Poxers are there to help you, so if you find yourself in need of something, don't hesitate to ask. Poxers should never sell items or services to other members of the guild.

=Alts=

As mentioned above, no farmer alts are allowed. If you adore the Anvilmar server and wish to create non-Pox toons on it, that's fine, but please do not transfer any funds or materials (for crafting professions or anything else) from non-Poxers to your Poxer toons. If you feel you need a bank alt, please let Trifendolden know in game and he'll add it to the guild.

If you wish to have more than one leveling toon in the guild, you can petition** to do so, but the new toon must be part of an active team (not leveling individually).

**And by petition, we mean let us know your specific plans for the new toon. Regular guilds allow members to add as many alts as they'd like and do with them whatever they'd like, but we're more focused here. People associated with Pox Arcanum typically only have one actively leveling toon that is part of the guild.

If a new team is forming, and you feel you have time to play regularly with a second group, you can ask to have another alt added to the guild. Such alts will be permitted for folks who have shown to be a reliable member of a stable, existing team. Sometimes teams fall apart due to scheduling circumstances and that can't be helped, but we don't want anyone to be distracted from their primary Poxer team efforts. After all, we're all alt addicts at heart, right? :)

=Loot=

Rolling for loot is simplified quite a bit by the fact that we're not all trying to outfit alts. Also, don't you want your tank to have that really sweet hat that dropped if it will help them tank better?

Most teams go with this set-up (though perhaps with some variation):

Pass (if you don't want to carry it) or Greed for any bind-on-equip (BoE) items.
Need for BoE's that will be an upgrade for you.
Pass and discuss for bind-on-pickup (BoP) items.

The greens that get greeded very often get deposited right into the guild bank after a run, so greed rolling those is mostly to make sure nobody's inventory is overflowing. So far, most teams have one enchanter, too, that can disenchant BoP items that nobody needs. Very likely, that same person will be doing all the enchants for the team, too, so we don't tend to bother with shard rolls.

=Playing Solo, Yay or Nay?=

With few exceptions, the answer is Nay, you should not be out in Azeroth without your group. The point of Pox Arcanum is static group play, so you should question anything you're doing outside of your group, and consider carefully whether you should be doing it.

If you are on your main Pox toon, working on your gathering profession (without gaining any experience, as described above), fishing, or traveling to your group's next destination if it has been determined that you should do this, then this is well in keeping with the spirit of the Pox. Anything else is questionable... feel free to ask questions if you're unsure.



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FAQ.


1. I'm still waiting for my team to form. What should I do?

Go fishing! This is the way that most of us were biding our time until our teammates were ready. It's a great way to make money, though be careful not the flood the markets you're exploiting.

You can also level your professions and do any gathering that won't cause you to level. Be mindful of XP from exploration, try to avoid nodes with mobs around them, and if you're a skinner, be sure the boars that you're killing are gray and not green.

Feel free to recruit a bit to fill out your team, too. Mention it in your blog or to your friends on your main server.


2. The rest of my team isn't on, but I REALLY want to play. Can I pleeeeease level without them?

No! If you want to hang out on Anvilmar, grab your fishing pole and go to Ratchet, go gathering, or check the AH for some nice items to flip.

We know it's all shiny and new and you're anxious to play, but once folks start leveling outside of their teams, Pox Arcanum becomes an ordinary guild. We don't want that, do we? :)


3. We're a team of 5 and only 4 of us are here. Can we go ahead and run without out our 5th person?

This is up to the team. Some teams have decided to play only if all five are present, so if one person can't make it, the run is canceled. Others will go ahead and run without the missing person, but all this should be agreed upon before the team starts playing together. Some people have specifically joined this project to play and level exclusively with a static team, so they'll be very sad to be left behind.


4. We're a team of 5 and only 4 of us are here. Can we ask another available Poxer to join us for the session?

Please don't. The other Poxer may be tempted and this could put them in an awkward position with the rest of their team. Again, mixing and matching with random folks would make us not much different than a regular guild. It will be better to run one man short than to ask for a replacement.

5. We are a partially formed team. We have 4 people and are waiting for a 5th to join. Can we go ahead and get started, and the 5th person can just catch up with us?

If your plan is to have a team of 5, then please wait for a 5th person to join. Otherwise, the new member of the team will have to spend extra time solo-leveling to catch up with you, the rest of the group will have to stop what they're doing to wait for the 5th person to catch up, and all this is frustrating for everyone. If you would prefer to proceed as a team of 4, you may go ahead and get started, but please don't plan on recruiting a 5th person.

6. We'll level much more efficiently if we solo. Can I play my Pox character solo?

Again, please don't. This defeats the purpose of Pox Arcanum. The goal here is not to level speedily through the game or create an uber-character outfitted with all the phattest gear. (That's what we do on our main realms with our main toons.) We're here to enjoy the game in a different way: playing through the content with an unchanging (and possibly experimental) team composition and progressing together. Any Pox Arcanum-associated toon should be part of a single, stable leveling group, and not be leveling independently outside their group.

7. It's an in-game holiday. Can I take my Pox toon out to do the holiday quests while my group isn't there?

This depends both on the holiday and on your team. Many of the holiday events involve quests that give you experience upon completion. Any of these should only be completed either with your team present, or, at the very least, with their blessing. Some holiday quests also just give you money. Please chat with your team about these holidays, and if everyone agrees, team members can complete these quests at their leisure. Again, we ask that bank alts not do any questing, leveling, or gain resources in any way, so they should not be participating in holiday events period.

8. I love the battlegrounds. Can I also take my Pox toon into the BGs to kill Alliance?

If your whole Pox team wishes to take to the battlegrounds to kill the Alliance, then charrrge! For the Horde!!

If you want to take your Pox toon into the BGs when the rest of your team isn't on ... this is a bit of a gray area. In keeping with the original vision of Pox Arcanum, I would say no, first because BGs are essentially pick-up groups (and Pox Arcanum is the anti-pug, right?), and second because this would be playing and developing your character in the absence of the rest of your team. Technically, you would be doing this without gaining levels, however, if you didn't do any BG-specific quests for experience. So, we will leave this decision to the individual teams as to whether their members can participate in the battlegrounds when the rest of the team isn't on. Please read #9 before you queue for the BGs though...

9. Boy, you guys sure have a lot of rules. Why so restrictive?

The idea behind Pox Arcanum was really simple: level up a single toon, playing through the content exclusively with a static group of friends. This is the vision the founders had for Pox Arcanum, and we try to keep everything working within the spirit of this. Because many of the things players are accustomed to doing with their other toons naturally fall outside of this, we find ourselves telling people "no, please don't do that" a lot.

It's the restrictiveness, however, that's potentially going to offer you a very different experience than you'll have on a regular server with a regular guild. Your toons, working together from wee level 10's, will spend their first talent points together and help each other kill their first elites. You'll watch each teammate learn their class, see their skills grow stronger as they level, and together celebrate the benchmark levels where you'll all get your class-defining skills. You'll look back fondly at the time one of you fell into the lava in RFC or had a pet run astray and pull the entire room upon your party's heads. You'll get your mounts together, and maybe even some day walk through the Dark Portal together.

Our best advice is to approach Pox Arcanum thinking about this group experience you can potentially have. Always consider your group before your individual toon. Set aside the desire to play right this very moment, and instead, look forward to what your entire group will do next time you meet and make plans. Forget any preconceived notions you have about the speed with which you should level, or the frequency with which you normally like to play a character. Someone remarked in a response to a Pox-related blog post that this kind of grouping experience is probably the closest thing to a pen and paper game that you can have in WoW. If you talk to old school D&D players, they'll tell you about campaigns that went on for years, their play groups only meeting once a week or once a month, at times. Their adventures still felt epic, however, moreso because they were experienced as a group that was, in essence, creating a history for itself. THAT is what we're going for here. :)

10. Is it fun?

Heck yeah. Our roster lists our active members, with links to their blogs. We often post about our adventures if you'd like to see what we're up to.


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(Sorry for the business post in the middle of all the fun stuff, but I wanted to get this down somewhere, all in one place. This was hammered out with the assistance of some of the other founding folk. Please let me know if you see any glaring errors up there, or if you think of other issues that should be clarified.)

[27-Mar-08: originally posted]
[02-July-08: modified rules, added to FAQ]

2 comments:

Lazz said...

Thanks for taking the time to do this, Ess. Looks like you've covered all the basics, and hopefully it will make things a little easier for our newest Poxers.

For the Horde!!

Daxenos said...

/clap

Very nice post. I'm glad that this little bit of business is in writing, so we're all on the same page.

I also whole heartedly agree with the firm rules of leveling only in group. I, for one, don't want Pox Arcanum to be just another guild and for Daxe to be just another alt. What I love about this experiment is that we are committed to leveling as a team and we always have a group to run with, even if it is only once a week.

So, LONG LIVE POX ARCANUM!!

FOR THE HORDE!!!