I talk about it a lot on Twitter, and its an important part of my gaming experience. My guild, Relentless Aggression, is my second family. Having been a Top US raider in the past, I have hung up my hat and decided that its more fun to kill internet dragons and bad guys with my friends. Instead of re-writing everything that my guild is, or talking about my personal experience I’m just going to show you via our about page. Our guild was created over four years ago, and we are dedicated to success. We will never be a World First Raid Guild, but that doesn’t mean I don’t run a tight ship. Our raider expectations may be viewed as extreme, but if everyone is required to meet them everyone is on the same page. 

If you are interested to find out more about my guild, or want to talk to me. Contact me via Twitter (@Epic_Insanity) or e-mail. epicinsanity @ frozenerdz.com (no spaces).

Basic Information:

  • Guild Level: 25
  • Current Members: 180+
  • Guild Type: Dedicated Raiding
  • Activities: Weekly Raids, random Dungeons/PVP, Guild Lottery/Raffle, etc.
  • Officers: Dracarys
  • Guild Master: Epicinsanity
  • Mumble: Yes.
  • Guild Website: www.RA-Zuljin.com
  • YouTube Recruitment Video: http://youtu.be/46w7Qd1Xp7w

General Information:

Relentless Aggression is a dedicated Horde raiding guild on Zul’jin. We are committed to raiding excellence in a mature and considerate atmosphere. We are currently looking to expand our core of players as we work toward working on progression raids and achievements!

Not satisfied with previous guilds on Uldaman, we decided to start our own guild that was based on organization, structure, and pride. Our guild is desired by the community, for the community. Every member of our guild has a voice, and active say in the day to day business of whats goes on. Even though we have different ranks, and different focuses within the guild, we still are able to come together with a collaborative plan and structure as we build a better individual player, and guild.

Mission Statement:

To pursue content while building a guild in which every member is a productive part of a team of gamers that hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct, both within and outside the guild. Doing all of this, while stilling remembering that there is a life outside of World of Warcraft.

Who is Relentless Aggression??

We are comprised of young adults ages 18 to mid 40’s. We are comprised of students, professionals, husband/wives and kids. We are a group of people who want to have fun in the game, without issues of drama or the need to entertain the members.

What does Relentless Aggression do??

We are a serious progression guild that pushes content, but also takes the time to help others out. We run Progression Raids, and Farm runs if the interest is there. If you enjoy progression raiding, we have a core group that does that. We also have a casual group that fills in from time to time when a spot is open for that progression spot. We think it is great when someone comes to our guild with a clean slate and willing to learn.

Why choose Relentless Aggression??

We are all about being respectful and helping each other, this is the biggest part of our guild. We are looking for people who want to raid and have fun, but keeping a serious attitude . Not being in a hurry to down the first boss for personal gain, but knowing we will get there as a team. Mature, understanding , dedicated players who also can handle being put on a wait listed and not taking it personally. We want dedicated people who may not want to hardcore raid, but want a dedicated group of people to push content with while still creating a respectful atmosphere.

What makes Relentless Aggression different??

If you are tired of hearing the same old “we are raiding guild” and come to find out what they meant was they “raid” once a week, then you might want to check us out. We try to be mature and respectful to fellow guild members and with other players. We take pride in our guild and want others to see that too!

Raiding Information:

Progression Raid Schedule:

Tuesday and Wednesday. @ 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM (Server/EST)

Recruitment:

Open Slots: (We will consider any candidate even if not listed below!)

  • Heals: Open Recruitment
  • Tanks: Open Recruitment
  • DPS: Open Recruitment

Who we recruit:

We are committed to finding and recruiting serious individuals who are progression focused.  We look for mature, team focused raiders who are highly motivated to achieve success as a group instead of the individual.

We are always looking for individuals who know how to correctly play their class, who are prepared with their roles on raid encounters, and know what they can to be prepared for each attempt. We realize that raiding does produce loot, and although this drives us as well, this is NOT our main focus when recruiting additional raiders to our team. Raiding is about creating a cohesion between players that stem out from inside raid, to the entire guild pressing forward through the good and the bad times.

Gear:

The ideal candidates will be highly motivated and mature players who exhibit a high level of skill, a pursuit of excellence, and will be willing to work as a team in order to achieve guild goals. If you are a person who cannot work in a team environment or set individual goals above those of the guild’s this is not the guild for you. However, if you are willing to work with a team of like-minded and mature players, then please consider us as you look for a new guild to call home.

Rules

  1. Everyone is treated with respect, regardless of rank, regardless of their membership in this guild or outside this guild. (Absolutely no trolling trade, causing issues with other guilds/raid members)
  2. We are an adult guild, therefore cursing is allowed, however not to disrespect another player for any reason.  Overuse of extreme or severe vulgarity that is intended to offend others will be addressed, and if the individual does not comply, their membership will be terminated.
  3. Value the integrity of the game.  There will be, under no circumstance, any exploiting, any cheating, or anything that willfully breaks the rules of the game.  If you are caught cheating, duping items, even if it does not directly affect the guild, you will be removed from the guild immediately.  The guild will not participate in any exploits on raid encounters. This includes, but is not limited to any form of account sharing.
  4. We value keeping a positive community for our members.  This means that although the game can be frustrating, we expect members to keep their attitudes in check.  By no means does this mean someone cannot complain, however a constant negative attitude that is continuously being portrayed by an individual will be cause for the officers or GM to send that person a warning via the guild website, so that they may correct their issues.  If issues are not corrected and the individual continues to bring down the community that we strive to uphold, their membership will be terminated.  
  5. We reserve the right to remove anyone from the guild at anytime, with or without cause if we feel their membership is detrimental to the overall health of the guild.

Expectations for Raiders and Officers

  1. Raiders are expected to be on time.  2 unexcused absences in any given 4 week period will be terms for removal from the raid group.  
  2. Raiders are expected to notify of their absence.  There are several avenues to accomplish this.  You may send in game mail to the raid leader of your group or the guild master.  You may post your absence on the subforum titled “Raiding Scheduled Absences”, in the raiding forum on the guild website. You may email the Epicinsanity  directly at Epicinsanity1952@gmail.com, or via mobile text message, the number is in the guild info tab in game.  Failure to notify of an absence, unless in extreme conditions (emergency, etc) will be cause for review to consider removal from the raid group.
  3. Raiders are expected to be familiar with fights prior to attempts. We will NOT be holding people’s hands.
  4. Raiders are expected to have main professions to max level.  Secondary professions are not required.
  5. Raiders must have and use Mumble for raiding.
  6. Raiders must used Deadly Boss Mods (or Bigwigs)
  7. Raiders must use raid frames.
  8. Raiders are expected to have all gear gemmed and enchanted (reforged if needed) for raiding.  Audits of WoW characters in the armory will take place randomly to ensure this is being followed.
  9. Raiders are required to bring their own flasks
  10. Raiders and officers must use the website.  We will begin using the website for updates on more important information, and will refer you to the website to obtain that information if you have questions.
  11. All raiders must fill out a raid application, which ensures their agreement with our Guild Charter/Codes of Conduct.  This can take place prior or after being invited to the guild, but before beginning raiding with the guild.  This rule is waived for non-guild sponsored raid groups.
  12. Core raiders that are benched for a specific day or raid will refrain from pugging any current raid until our second raid day has been completed, in case they are needed.
  13. Officers and raiders both are required to help farm materials that will benefit us all while raiding.
  14. Officers will have a higher presence in the guild and will make themselves available to help others.
  15. Officers will be required to attend scheduled officer meetings.

Conflict/Resolution:

It is important that everyone in this guild feel that they can discuss issues with the GM or an officer and know that their issue will be held in confidence and discussed.  Officer meetings take place at least once a month, but can happen more frequently when needed.  The guild officers will discuss important matters regarding raid spots, behavior and other matters as a collective mind.  Collaboration is key, everyone has different perspective of each situation. In order to make the best decisions, it is important for us to be able to communicate as a group, and take input from different sources.  Guild meetings are also held in order to facilitate open communication with members, in order for us to make this guild something that everyone feels that they have a part of.

Officers will approach situations with an intelligent matter, and if unable to resolve will bring to the GM if needed.  Decisions to remove someone from the guild falls on a vote from all officers and the GM, unless the following situations occur:

  1. Sexual harassment
  2. Disrespect of another member
  3. Distribution of another member’s personal information without their consent (address, phone number, email, etc)
  4. Threats of violence
  5. Gross misbehavior that calls for immediate termination.  This falls on the officer to make this call.

Ranks:

  • Guild Master: Epicinsanity
  • Co-GM: Epicinsanity’s alts.
  • Officer: Member of leadership within the guild.
  • Raider: Must hold a current raid spot, or be on the list for a raid spot/bench spot etc.
  • Recruit Raider: Member who has applied to the guild seeking a core raid spot.
  • Veteran Member: A member who has been with the guild for an extented portion of time, and is trustworthy.
  • Member: Casual member of the guild.  Limited access provided to the guild bank.
  • Social Member: New to the guild, or a member who has friends or family within the guild and not seeking membership.

Why Do You Make Content?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about that question right there. Why do I make content? Being a podcaster, I’ve been asked that question a lot , and each time I believe that I answer it in different ways depending on when and where I’m asked the question.

But that question brings up more questions. Why do I do what I do in the community? Why do you make YouTube videos? Why do you stream? Why do you podcast? Why do you do what you do?

For each person the answer to that question is different. For me, I make content to attempt to entertain the community with either bad jokes, saying something silly, or giving them a perspective they have never thought of before. Entertaining their mind, and maybe even getting them to giggle at work in their cubical.

My focus since the beginning has always been the community. I’ve written about it before, talking about how even as a podcaster I put my pants on one leg at a time. I can walk down the street and no one has a clue who I am. I’m ok with that. I never got into content creation in order to become internet famous, or to be idolized by the gaming community for some large feet of awesome.

People judge. People attack. People are down right rude to people on the internet who create content. But its a risk you take when you start out. If your YouTube videos get negative ratings, and hardly any views, it hurts. But you have to grow some tough skin and don’t look at it from a perspective of failure. You have to look deep within yourself and ask yourself, “What can I do better to reach my audience?”

Some people quit. Some people press on. And some other people focus less on their content and more on making a name for themselves. I see it happen time and time again. I’ve been around the WoW Community for 3 years, either on Twitter or in podcast/streamer chat rooms. I see people who want to be part of the community so bad that they will do whatever it takes to be part of it. They start a project, either a podcast, or attempt to stream, and give up as soon as they hit some turbulence. The community doesn’t accept them right away and they give up.

The thought that comes to mind for me is, “Why did they want to make content in the first place?” Were they set on becoming internet famous, the next big content creator with millions of fans world-wide chanting their name when they walk into a room. Or were they doing it for themselves, or the community?

When I first started podcasting, I received a phone call from a veteran in the community. The words they told me that day have always been in the back of my mind. They told me to never forget where I came from no matter how big I may become. And to always do it for me, not for something else like fame or fortune, and as long as I am happy with the content I am producing then my job is done.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to live your life when it comes to content creation, but I will give you the same advice that has helped me this whole time.

Haters are going to hate. People are NOT going to like you, your content, or whatever you may say, but you have the same choice to not like them, their content, or whatever they may say. If you don’t listen to my podcast, that’s your choice. If you don’t like me, that’s your choice. I can’t make you like me, or be my friend. But you have to understand that it’s a two-way street.

In life people are going to come and go. They are going to unfollow me, they are going to block me, they are going to attack me for supporting or saying something they don’t like. I’m not going to sit here and say it doesn’t hurt, but I have to understand that it’s their choice, just like I have a choice to do the same thing back.

So let me refocus this post before I get too carried away. And say this… Create content for whatever reason you want, but be up front about those reasons and your intentions to your audience. But remember if you’re trying to become the next big thing, you have to work hard at it.

Did you know that every week Kilroy and myself sit down for 1 to 1.5 hrs before we record each podcast? Each episode is 1 to 1.5 hrs long. But most are 2 hrs of actual recording. Thats 3 to 3.5 hrs of our time put into it. Because we play two games each week (Starcade and Steamroom), it’s probably another 1 to 2 hrs we spend playing those games. A total of 4 to 5.5 hrs of pre-edit work in order to make a 1 to 1.5 hr long show. Post production is 3 to 5 hrs of work, plus 30 mins for our blog article. So for a 1 to 1.5 hr show, we put in 7 to 10.5 hrs of time. So if you want to make content, no matter how big or small, make sure you are ready to put in the time.

By no means is our podcast the biggest podcast ever made, but I will say that we have listeners and we are having a blast making content. If we weren’t having a blast, we wouldn’t put in that time each week. Neither of us have ever wanted to become internet famous, we just want to entertain. Sure we have been given a chance to get to know tons of people, work with awesome community members, and have had a blast doing it.

I support the content creators that are passionate about their work, and their work shows me that. They put a ton of time into coming up with ideas, preparing and working hard for to see those ideas come to life.

This whole blog article is not to discourage you from chasing after a dream or idea. Or to prevent you from making content, but just to make you think about why you want to create content in the first place. Trust me, I would love to quit my job and create content full-time. But without a job, I couldn’t fund the projects I want to do, or make the projects I’m doing better.

So content creators that may be reading this, why do you create content? Blog, tweet, or e-mail me.

If you don’t read anything else, just read this… Be true to yourself and your audience, and they will be true to you. Truth always has a way of finding its way to the surface.

But no matter what, I will always see you on the other side of the log in screen.

Because I’m dumb and wanted to do something different for #FollowFriday on Twitter. Here are some voice over tracks of me doing my movie trailer announcer voice. I hope you all enjoy my stupidity and make sure to follow these fine folks if your not already!

#FF to Metalskies. Follow her here: Twitter

#FF to Zack! Follw him here: Twitter

#FF to Ghemit! Follow him here: Twitter

#FF to Nicole! Follw her here: Twitter

Because this took longer than I expected, I still have one for @AlternativeChat, @Manabrownies, @ChaoticTimelord and @Gnoodles to create. They will be coming soon!

Proving Grounds: Going for Gold

Posted: March 7, 2014 in General

Proving Grounds is a feature that was added with Patch 5.4, which released on September 10, 2013. This feature was created for individual players to test and improve their Player verses Environment (PvE) combat skills. Here is the basic overview of Proving Grounds for Wowwiki.com:

  • At the Proving Grounds, players may undertake trials, designed for Damage, Tank, or Healer roles.
  • It provides a great opportunity to learn how to Tank or Heal, without the need of a group.
  • Each trial is available in four separate difficulties: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Endless. Harder difficulties include more difficult and varied enemies.
  • Endless mode allows you to test your mettle against increasingly difficult enemies. Compare your best scores to friends and guildmates!

Now that I dropped my cut and paste skills on you, it’s time to dive into what this whole blog post is about. In a recent Warlords of Draenor developer interview, Ion Hazzikostas said this interesting sentence. “Proving Grounds will be updated and expanded, making it a requirement to queue for random heroic dungeons.”  [Source] This one sentence has sent most of the World of Warcraft community into a frenzy. I wasn’t going to take the time to write my opinion on the topic because I thought that it wasn’t a very big problem.

Boy was I wrong. I keep seeing Tweets about it on Twitter, and even people talking about it on Facebook. The forums are over run with rage, and people crying out for change. But I’m here to voice a less than popular opinion that will probably get me flagged as an elitist.

Proving grounds were put into the game in order for players to have a chance to learn how to play a spec or class in a closed environment. This environment is NOT what normal scenarios, or dungeons are like, but its a good understanding of how your class works out. You can learn about to play that new class or spec without people telling you that your bad, or don’t know how to play the game. And you can do it on your own time.

Having problems with Proving Grounds? The good news is, just like challenge modes, your gear is scaled to an item level of 463. So if you are a 496 or a 567, you become a 463 with no benefits from the legendary meta, or legendary cloak.

The proving grounds are a place for you to prove yourself against the mechanics where you are the only person to blame. RNG (Random Number Generator) is not to blame, since RNG is the same for everyone. It doesn’t make you a bad player because you can’t do it the first time. The first time I ran the damage proving ground silver on my Death Knight, I didn’t get it. I tried again, and made it a little bit further, and then I finally got Silver.

The reason I like this change is it proves that the people you are randomly grouped with in a dungeon or Looking for Raid have a basic understanding of their class. Proving Grounds teach you to move out of bad, maximize your offensive/defensive cool downs, and how to execute them quickly.

This doesn’t effect pre-made groups, such as guild runs, but it only affects the Random Looking for Dungeon que’ed groups. So if you are running with guild mates, or trade chat groups, this is not an issue.

I like to share the story of my guild’s Garrosh 10 man normal kill. We attempted him over 104 times before we got the kill. Every person on our raid team had to have perfect execution of their raid assignments in order for us to be successful. I believe our first kill took us 13 mins to kill him, and most of our attempts were at least 10 minutes long. We spent week after week just wiping on him over and over again for 3 hours a night. It took time, patience, and practice in order to kill him. And when he finally died we had a great sense of accomplishment. Can you imagine wiping on the same boss for 3 hours straight and then logging in the next night to do it all over again? The 9 other people on my raid team didn’t have a problem with it, even though it crushes the spirit more and more every pull.

We put our time in, and we finally got to see him fall to his knees. Only to turn around the next week to start wiping on Heroic Immerius. But we did it.

In order to see the content, players need to put in the time. Right now players aren’t required to know what’s going on during the fight before the fight starts. They go into the fight blind, and just go with the flow and get made when the group doesn’t go as well as they expected. With Blizzard requiring a Proving Ground Silver Medal in order to use the system, it eliminates the argument that the person doesn’t understand the basic mechanics of their class/spec. It also shows that they put their time in the Proving Grounds, just like I did, in order to be inside the dungeon/raid. But it doesn’t solve the issue of griefers, afk’ers and jerks.

I have always been a fan of gating content, not to prevent people to see it, but to make it so the content doesn’t get eaten up so fast that its boring the next week. If raiders could just jump right into heroic raiding, who would do normals? If you could magically get to max level without questing, who would actually quest anymore? If you could have the best set of PVP gear for a arenas without doing some Battlegrounds, who would do BGs?

Adding this requirement to the random que feature just means if you don’t like it, find a guild or a group of friends that doesn’t require the achievement to continue. When I was running Flex Raids at the start of this tier, I didn’t require that people had cleared Throne of Thunder in order to come along. I said bring a good attitude, have a 496 item level, and stick with me for 3 hours and we will kill bosses. And guess what? We killed bosses with people who had never raided before, who never did a single Looking for Raid, etc. Just last week I brought a warrior who had a 556 item level along for our raid because we were short a DPS. He had 4-5 normal bosses kills, but had done the fights on Flex difficulty. Needless to say he stuck it out with us for two nights, and we ended up getting him his Garrosh kill, title and new mount.

If having an achievement, or an item level prevents you from finding a group for the content you want to do, find another group that’s willing to take you. But know that you will have to put the time in order to progress with the content. Don’t expect a carry. Don’t expect them to keep you around if you are not doing your job.

Just like in real life, if you want something, work hard for it. Some have to work harder than others, but it doesn’t make you a bad person. It just means you have to work harder!

I’m Alive…. I Think?

Posted: February 16, 2014 in Real Life (Out of Game)

Hello Internet.

I’ve been pretty silent lately on here. So I just wanted to do an update post about everything that’s going on. I know my New Year’s resolution was to produce more content on a more regular basis. As of late, Real Life has been too busy to actually even take the time to write.

For those that aren’t stalking, or creeping on me hardcore, I am in the process of moving out of the house I have lived in for the last three years. I was given a 30 day notice I had to move because my roommate (owner of the house) decided to sell the house. I have until March 1st in order to find a place to live. The problem with this is finding a place that I can afford 6 months from now. So I am extremely stressed, and freaking out because I have less than 2 weeks now to find a place and move. Nothing like crunch time huh?

Because of this unplanned move, all of my free time is spent packing, cleaning and trying to find a place to live. So I haven’t had much time to even get things off the ground like I have planned and some things I should be focused on aren’t getting the attention they deserve or need.

Hopefully within the next two weeks I will have a place to live and finally my life will be free of dumb roommates and I can just function on my own schedule and do my own thing. Not being confined to a 8×10 bedroom, or jail cell like I like to call it, I will be have more productivity time.

I will try very hard to keep blogging to keep you guys updated.

Besides with moving, the podcast I hosted before Epic Questions is done, and Kilroy and myself are actually doing a new podcast called Frozen Nerdz. It’s a podcast about all Blizzard games with our main focus still being World of Warcraft, but it gives us a chance to be able to talk about different parts of Blizzard games that we didn’t feel like we could previously. We are also featuring Free to Play Steam games, as well as talking about Indie games that we find interesting. Each episode we play games in the Starcraft arcade, highlight Diablo community creations, and random Heartstone combo plays. You can find the show over at www.FrozeNerdz.com.

But hopefully once things settle down a little bit for me I will be able to start streaming my game play, between things for the show, and streaming my guilds raids. And also focusing more on recruiting for my guild and increasing our social members and casual raiders.

But thanks for hanging in there with me while I make this transition in life, and like always I will see you on the other side of the log in screen!

There has been some buzz lately on the Blizzard forums about Blizzard having a Loyalty Program. Previously, they did have the Annual Pass where if you committed to pay for World of Warcraft for 12 months, you would get in-game exclusives like a mount, pet and even Diablo 3 Digital download for free. I know for myself that main reason for signing up for the Annual Pass was to get instant beta access to Mists of Pandaria.

So today, I want to talk about loyalty programs and my thoughts on what I think Blizzard could do in order to set up a loyalty program. Loyalty programs come in all shapes and sizes from going to the grocery store, to Starbucks, to even GameStop. Each place wants to give you a plastic card to carry around so that you can use this magical card to get special discounts the whole time it’s taking up space in your wallet.

Since Blizzard is an online company, they can easily look into how long we have been paying customers of their products. I’ve had an active World of Warcraft account since March 2006. Even though I don’t feel entitled to them giving me special treatment, I do believe that they should do something for people who have been paying customers for so long.

It costs a company 5-10 times more in marketing in order to get a new customer. A lot of companies do a reward systems where if you spend X many of dollars at their establishment, you get X many dollars back in free “money” to use that their locations.

The reason most of these companies do this type of Loyalty Program is because if you have a $5 reward coupon, you are going to spend twice as much in their store than if you didn’t have it at all. So if you are going to spend $25 bucks on a new release movie, you might end up also picking up something else while you are there. And because you had that coupon, you had to go to their business to get that $5 discount. Once they have you inside the store, you are more aped to spend money then going somewhere else to get products they already sell.

Blizzard could use a point system in order to encourage purchases of game time, in-game pets, mounts, and on services. They could also use a Tier System (play on words) to encourage more purchases from them. You could have a Copper, Silver and Gold Tier of paying customers. Each tier offers a different exclusive for being on that Tier Level, and it drives customers to want to get to the next tier of rewards in order to receive the benefits. The tiers could be set up based on current purchase history on the Blizzard Store, game time purchases, services or even the length you’ve had an active account. If you are a Copper Tier member, you get an exclusive discount 4 times a year on the Blizzard Store. If you are a Silver Tier Member, you get the Copper Tier benefits, plus you get a 10% discount on all subscriptions, games, and services offered by Blizzard. And the Gold Tier get’s all that and exclusive access to upcoming game content such as Early Beta Access, and an in-game vanity item like a Diablo Treasure Goblin.

Blizzard could also implement a VIP program that requires an upfront fee in order to get exclusive deals and discounts. Say you pay $75 a year and you get all of the Gold Tier member values. But it has a large start-up cost. The customer has to pay money that then gives Blizzard money to fund future products, or to create exclusives for those members. But in order to get customers to pay a large start-up cost, you have to really offer something that people feel matches the price of the VIP access. I believe one thing Blizzard can learn from the release of the Hearthstone Beta is that people are willing to jump through hoops to get their hands on a Beta Key.

Another option would be to do something similar to their Annual pass, but something that benefits ALL of the games under the Blizzard Universe. Not everyone plays World of Warcraft, or even Diablo 3 that they were given to for free. Bundle those games together and offer a discount if you purchase services or products across different Universes. So if I buy Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls from the Blizzard Store, I also get my choice of an exclusive Hearthstone card, or World of Warcraft in-game pet, or Starcraft 2 unit. Loyalty programs benefit both the customer and the business.

If I’m a Blizzard addict, like I am, and I must have all the amazing stuff they sell, then dangle a carrot on a stick in front of me and offer a VIP access program. If I invest $75 up front and can see the obvious benefits to spending the money then you are getting my money right away. If I’m going to save 25% on my purchases on the digital store, I know that I’m going to spend at least $100 a year on pets, mounts, Hearthstone Cards, etc. So its going to pay for its self.

I honestly do think that Blizzard needs to also do something for the people who have been faithfully paying for their product for years. No smart company wants to lose the $180 in subscription costs that I’m paying each year. And since I have been loyalty paying that cost on each account I have had for years, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add more offers or benefits to keep me around.

With the expansion coming to a standstill, and Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls coming out in March, there isn’t a whole lot keeping my attention in the gaming world right now. So when I get bored I start looking at other places to spend my money such as on Steam, or on League of Legends champions.

So what do you think Blizzard should do as a loyalty program? Give back to those that have been faithful, or make it so that you can buy your access? Let the rich get richer, or benefit those that have never left their side?

Let me know your thoughts. And like always, I will see you on the other side of the log in screen.

Real Life: Ice Fishing 101

Posted: January 13, 2014 in General

If you follow me on Twitter you probably see me talking about it all the time, but I figured I’d take some time to give you all a little run down of what Ice Fishing actually is.

Here in Wisconsin during the winter months, we are almost always below freezing (32 F/0 C). Just last week when we got hit by the cold air from Canada, we were below zero spending most of our time in -20+F.

Since “Winter” in Wisconsin started in November this year, when we had snow on the ground before Thanksgiving and it hasn’t gone anywhere since then. Right now we have about 8 inches of snow in our yards even after freak rain storm this past weekend. Our Winters usually run until April when it finally starts warming up enough that the snow is completely melted.

Because of the long winters, and cold temperatures we have to find things to do. From snowmobiling to indoor sports, but there are a few of us that like to venture out onto a frozen lake and rivers to fish.

Once the lakes have a solid 7 inches of ice on it, I feel comfortable enough to walk out on them with. Anything over that is safe enough to drive a vehicle out onto the ice.

The largest lake in Wisconsin is Lake Winnebago, this Lake is literally a 20 minute drive from my house.  Right now as I am typing this, Lake Winnebago has about 18 inches of ice about a mile off shore. The lake is about 10 miles across, and about 30 miles long. Due to the large size of the lake, it doesn’t freeze completely over during the winter months. Because of this the lake will shift and push ice shoves up on the points of the cracks.

This is an ice shove onto the shoreline and onto the road. This picture was probably taken in the Spring when the lake is melting. But you will actually see these out on the lake where the ice cracks. If you follow me on Twitter, I posted a picture of a crack forming a few feet from where I was fishing.

Ice Fishing is a lot like regular boat fishing. The main difference is that you drill holes into the ice with an ice auger. An ice auger is basically a large either gas, or hand powered drill that is designed to cut through the ice.

This is a picture of someone drilling through the ice with a gas-powered ice auger. They are probably 18 inches into the ice already. After the hole is drilled, you clean the hole out from ice and slush, and it’s ready to fish!

Ice fishing can be done in many different fashions, but I personally only fish using tip ups, and jig poles. Jig poles are short fishing poles, usually about 2 – 3 feet long with a small fishing reel on them. They are called jig poles because you will use a small lure and use a “jigging” technique to attract fish. Jigging is basically moving the tip of the pole up and down to bounce the lure either off the bottom, or somewhere in the water column you are fishing.

When fishing with a jig pole, you are going to be sitting/kneeling by one of the holes in the ice. You will be just focusing on fishing in that one hole and are usually going to catch smaller panfish such as perch, crappie, and blue gills. Lake Winnebago is known for its walleye/sauger fishing, and also for its large abundance of White Bass.

The other type of ice fishing that I do involves using a tip up. When looking at the picture below, you will see a bright orange flag. That flag is set up on a swivel mechanism that spins when a fish pulls on your bait. When it pulls line out, the flag pops up showing that your bait as moved. Just because the flag “tip’s up” doesn’t actually mean you have a fish, but its a pretty good indication. Tip ups are nice because you set it and forget it, and just watch for the flag. They are normally baited with a minnow or shad, and are great for covering a large area of ice looking for fish. With my friends and family, whenever we use tip ups, it’s who ever gets to the tip up first, gets the reel in the fish by pulling on the string. This results in full-grown men running as fast as they can across the ice to be the first one there.

For me, ice fishing is a great way to get outside in the winter and do something I enjoy. I love eating fish, so being able to go out and catch my own all winter long is always a great feeling.

For me there is nothing else more enjoyable than sitting out on a 5 gallon bucket on a frozen lake relaxing. I will try to get some pictures the next time I go out ice fishing. I have a pretty elaborate collection of gear. It’s easier to show you what it looks like then trying to describe it.

If you enjoyed this post about ice fishing, there may be more to come. But thanks for giving me a chance to teach you a little bit about what us crazy northerners do during the winter.