What’s going on?

Aily Posted in Guild News
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It’s apparent to anyone who has logged in recently that this guild is fairly inactive.

However, I thought I’d give an official status update to anyone wondering what’s been going on, and if anything will be happening with this guild.

I have retired, permanantly, from guild leading and raid leading. It’s nothing personal, nothing anyone did, its something I enjoyed at the time and I do not regret doing, however at this point in my life, it’s not something I want to do any more. I loved leading this guild and to everyone who wore the Ashen Order colors at one point or another, I deeply thank you and hope you are doing well, whatever raid you’re in, and whatever game you’re playing.

The Ashen Order will not be returning. I feel like a transfer of leadership to anyone who wanted to rebuild it would diminish what we did. Some may disagree, but I want our legacy to remain as it is and have that be that. I’m not going to remove anyone from the guild and if anyone wants to casually remain in and play, that’s fine, however do not feel bad if you want to drop this guild to pick up a new guild in Legion.

I do however, still play WoW. For the last year I’ve been raiding with a team that I really enjoy under a leader who I honestly feel is doing a better job than I ever did. If you’re looking for a new team and are willing to realm/faction transfer, look into “Group 2” http://www.group2draka.com . They’re a great bunch of people.

Thanks for Everything

-Aily

Raid Times

Aily Posted in Guild News
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I want to take a pulse of the guild and see where people stand regarding our raid times.

To that end, I’ve created a survey. Nothing is changing as of yet and odds are things will stay the same but I want to see what the team thinks.

Recruitment Needs

Aily Posted in Guild News
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We’ve gotten a slow start in WoD and are currently 6/7H, 5/10N, but we’re gaining traction as we gain more consistent membership to our raid team. Things are on a definite upswing.

Our Current Needs:

Druid (Balance or Resto)
Hunter
Mage
Monk (WW or MW)
Rogue
Paladin (Holy)
Enhancement Shaman
Warrior

If you’d like to apply click the “join us” link above or contact Aily at aily@ashenorder.com or in game Aily-Whisperwind (aily#1346)

Great Scott!

Aily Posted in Guild News, Raiding, Recruitment
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back-to-the-future

So take me away, I don’t mind. But you’d better promise me, I’ll be back in time.

The time is now January 12th, 2015.

A good time to formally announce our new raid times moving forward into 2015.

We’re going to be raiding Thursdays and Sundays from 6-9P server. That’s 6 hours per week, down from our former 9 hours per week. It’s shifted an hour earlier. The short term plan is for Thursdays to be our farm night and Sunday to be our progression night. So right now we’ll be doing Highmaul normal on Thursday and Highmail heroic on Sunday.

We have no plans for mythic raiding at this time. If the day should come that we’re roflstomping heroic modes and looking for a greater challenge, we’ll revisit the topic. But mostly, this raid is for fun and spending time with friends and family, so we’re not worried about it.

That said, The Ashen Order is recruiting! We need a good tank and some more DPS. We’re kinda full on healers but anything else we should be able to work in the rotation. Even if you aren’t a part of our guild or even our server, if you’d just like to join us on a regular basis please add Aily#1346 to your friends list and lets have a chat.

Good Intentions

Aily Posted in Guild News
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8tS8gxL

 

A lot of times I have ambitious ideas and they turn out great. Sometimes, they end up with me driving down the highway on fire. It’s been awfully hot around here lately, so I want to put the record straight on what happened, and how we move forward.

But first, some context: Toward the end of Siege of Orgrimmar, a lot of things happened in my life that made me realize there was no way I could continue being a 3 night a week raider, let alone a raid leader. To me, leading the raid means I need to be well prepared, not just in my character but mentally prepared to lead people, answer questions, guide the raid, make the things work, everything. My priorities were shifting, and I couldn’t devote the time the raid needed for strong leadership. So I put out the call, and Umehara answered. He was going to step in and lead the raid. We had many discussions and it was very fruitful. He was going to bring in a lot of friends from other guilds, other servers.

These were very capable raiders. They were going to have a hardcore progression philosophy, and I was okay with that. In fact, I encouraged it. I thought it would be good to have a no-nonsense professional progression team in the guild.

The devil, as they say, is in the details.

Warlords of Draenor started out awesome. The guild was lively and we were all having a great time I think. We welcomed the newcomers, old members came back, the game was fresh and new. We leveled, we geared. Things were moving along in much the fashion we had planned. Then the raid opened.

The first raid week was a bit rough to be sure, but I chalked that up to new expansion, new raid team, new chaos. It wasn’t helped by the fact that the loot plugin we had planned to use wasn’t updated for the new expansion. Then there was the voting, and people had different philosophies about how loot should be distributed. I’m not going to say that one way was right and another way was wrong, they were just differing philosophies and perhaps suffered from the fact that I had promoted many new officers to help with the influx of people so many people thought their voice should be heard, and they were not wrong, but all that did nothing but build friction.

The friction caused a spark, and other things came into play. Some of the newer people didn’t like my philosophy on guild chat and thought I was too strict about what I thought was appropriate content for the guild. To be clear on that, I don’t care about profanity, but take umbrage when hate speech or certain derogatory terms are used, even if the intent is not malicious. To me, certain words that are used more often to injure are best left unsaid, even in a joking manner. Others have the philosophy that if these words are used in a joyful context the sting they have is muted, and that we should celebrate taking hateful words and spinning them into harmless things.

I honestly can’t say that my way is right and their way is wrong. But that is one of the original philosophies of this guild, and maybe it wasn’t spelled out clearly enough in the beginning, and that is my fault, but its something I want to stick to because I feel like it makes the guild a friendlier, warmer place. However, some of the new people felt this was too constrictive of the guild. They would rather have good solid progression raiders and didn’t care if they used that kind of language. That was their philosophy, mine differed.

On top of all this, there were respect issues. I think a lot were caused just because Umehara was not me. Some weren’t giving him the respect that a raid leader needs to command a raid because it still felt like “Aily’s Raid”, despite the fact that I didn’t have much to do with it other than showing up for a few of the fights. But it still ran on my raid times, with a large amount of the same crew. Ultimately, a successful raid leader needs the respect and authority from the team to operate smoothly and efficiently.

 

I felt like there were two choices: either I was going to turn over the guild in whole and spirit to the new team, or the new team was going to have to make its own guild to exist in with its own authority. I did a lot of soul searching, I reached out to people, I consulted with Umehara on his opinion. I didn’t mandate they leave the guild I asked them if they saw a better way through this. The original founder of this guild, my wife, Zelarosa and I thought deeply on what is the best way to a resolution. I sent Umehara an email. “to lead a successful raid I think you need to be empowered to have clear leadership, clear focus, and a singular voice. I think I’m holding you back because I can’t make you the GM of this guild.” And that was the crux of it, I couldn’t make him GM of the Ashen Order because I owe it to my friends, my family, the members of this guild who have been with us for over two years, the folks who built this guild and made it what it is, to maintain our original philosophy and atmosphere.

If you weren’t there, here’s what happened: A new guild was formed. Some heated words were spoken, and unfortunately due to real life prior commitments I wasn’t around to help keep this regrettable situation from escalating. I want people on both sides to realize that this ultimately falls on me. I am the one who asked Umehara to lead a raid in the Ashen Order, and I am the one who asked him later to leave. I wish the new guild “Enraged” nothing but success in their new venture and I’m sorry it just didn’t work out. I’m hoping that the new freedom of vision and clearer roles of responsibility in the new guild empowers them to accomplish their goals. They have talented, passionate leadership with a different perspective and with perseverance should certainly be able to challenge for the top raiding guild on the server. They felt like my rules were going to hold them back, and I agreed with them, but I was unwilling to change my rules for what I thought was the good of the guild.

I have no ill feelings toward the new guild or their membership. If anyone from The Ashen Order wishes to join that new raid, or any raid, I am not going to hold a grudge against you in any way, in fact I hope we’ll remain friends and you’ll keep me on your friends list. My biggest complaint about battle.net has always been the limitation of 100 friends, but anyone from the Ashen Order who wishes to leave will certainly get precedence on my list.

And now we move forward.

The Ashen Order will continue to exist as a friends and family guild. I don’t see that changing, even if its roster retreats to just me and Zelarosa, we’ll be here. However, we are blessed with having many friends and family, and we make new friends every day.

Sometime in January I plan to pick up the mantle of Raid leader again, only in a more casual limited fashion as my time will allow. We will start out raiding one night a week, and may even add a second night if we can find a good time for it. We will be targeting the Normal/Heroic raids which allow us the flexible roster. We will be inviting all our friends and family who are reasonably geared and ready for these raids and we will go in as a relaxed, non-competitive raid that is just there for fun with our friends. Because the flexible roster allows us to go with as few as 10 and as many as 30, there will be no attendance requirements, we’ll just ask that you’re appropriately geared and ready to go, and that even though we’re not progression, we raid with the respect and honor for our teammates that goes along with carrying our guild tag.

Right now I’m thinking a 4 hour Sunday night raid that goes from 5-9PM server time. Probably starting on January 10th at this point. But I’ll keep you all informed.

I sincerely apologize for all the drama and angst this has caused. I can promise you this, when we’re ready to raid again … he’ll be ready:

The official mascot of the Ashen Order raid team

The official mascot of the Ashen Order raid team

 

<3 you all.

 

– Aily

Ding! Gratz! Over 30 Level 100s!

Aily Posted in Guild News
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garrison

Where is the garrison mission to make my followers do a blog post for me?

31 of you in the Ashen Order have hit level 100! We’re well on our way to being ready for raiding when those doors open, but this week, the 10th year anniversary hits. Hope you’re all ready for some Molten Core!

The end of the long Siege

Aily Posted in Guild News
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Goodbye Mists of Pandaria.

Goodbye Jade Forest, with your lush green foliage and Cloud Serpent racing.

Goodbye Valley of the Four Winds, you had a great brewery and I’ll miss farming rocks and annoying the Hozen, but I think the Vermin are really just trying to find their place in this world.

Goodbye Kun-Lai summit, I’m still not sure what my lucky-do is, to be honest.

Goodbye Krasarang Wilds, if it weren’t for dailies I probably never would have been here.

Goodbye Townlong Steppes, the Shado-Pan will take good care.

Goodbye Dread Wastes, hopefully I put a big dent in that bug infestation problem you had.

Goodbye Thunder Isle, we all stomped on the thunder king for you, so maybe it’ll settle down a bit.

Goodbye Timeless Isle, how long till Huo spawns?

Goodbye Siege of Ogrimmar, and good riddance. Nah you were a great raid and a good example of what is great about WoW, you just overstayed your welcome.

Goodbye Black Prince, well, you’ll probably keep following us around eh?

Goodbye Lorewalker Cho, you were a heck of a guide and never messed up your lines.

Goodbye Shrine of the Seven Stars, you were a good home, but I still lived in Dalaran most of the time.

Goodbye, Pandaria … Hello Draenor!

The Road So Far

Aily Posted in Guild News
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maxresdefault

Patch 6.0.2 Releases Tuesday, October 14th

We accomplished a lot in Mists of Pandaria. We started with 3 people, found some new friends, had some great success, downed some bosses, and despite some hiccups we had some great times.

Now is the dawn of a new expansion, and we’re making preparations to hit the ground running in 6.0, but, there are some important changes.

Passing the Torch

Many of you know that apart from being a guild leader, I also have a full time job, I’m a father of a teenager, and I am finishing my degree at college. As such, my time has become much more scarce as far as being able to reliably schedule any time for any kind of regular weekly activity. As such, I am stepping down from raid leader and am passing the torch to Umahara/Castemere.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be working with him to give him the tools he needs, access to the site, to help keep the ball rolling. He’ll need a lot of support from the guild as well but I think this can be a successful transition. I will still be the guild leader and ultimately responsible for the content of our website, but as far as raiding I will fill in when I can to keep the raid going but won’t be able to commit to the 3 day/week schedule.

I ask that everyone give Umehara a shot, he’s going to be bringing in some fresh perspectives as well as plans to work hard to keep the team rolling. We’ll continue with our raiding schedule on in to Warlords of Draenor, and hopefully become stronger than ever. I very much appreciate Umehara stepping up and taking this opportunity because I think this is a great guild with great people and want to see it prosper.

If you have any questions, see me in game!

Doing what we can

Aily Posted in Guild News
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Sometimes, a guild is more than just a bunch of people playing a game together. It’s almost like, a second family. Friends that come together to spend evenings conquering internet dragons while relaxing and having fun in guild chat.

Sometimes you have an opportunity to make a difference in the real world. Maybe its small, but it’s something. Today I am proud to announce that The Ashen Order gift shop was finally able to make good on our promise. Because of the way Cafepress works, we don’t receive the money until there is enough to cut a check. Today our profits are $50. As promised, every penny is going to Doctors Without Borders (www.doctorswithoutborders.org)

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In truth, I donated 200% of our profits to Doctors Without Borders, and my employer will match my donation, so effectively, the Ashen Order is contributing $200 to the charity. When I had the idea to start the gift shop to support the organization, I had no idea just how badly our funds would be needed. With the Ebola outbreaks in Liberia and other African nations, the work that DWB is doing is crucial. Not only do they provide medical care for the ill, but they are doing what they can to help stop the spread of the disease as well as assisting research into cures. Also, they are one of the few organizations providing grief assistance to families who have lost loved ones.

Today I’m really proud to be your GM. I know things have been slow lately because of the hiatus, and who really knows what the future will bring, but today, this guild did some good for the world.

 

The State of the Order

Aily Posted in Guild News, Recruitment
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Order of the State?

My fellow guildmates,

This week marks the 32nd week of the Siege of Orgrimmar. In 32 raid lockouts, the Ashen Order has faced many challenges. We started as a small 10 man group, then expanded to 11. We managed to quickly clear the instance, and push about 5 heroics before the holidays. Some of our former members, who we would like to think of as dear friends, left the raid for various reasons, but we made new friends and continued on.

On March 25th, after much preparation, the raid team expanded to 25, and a new phase for the Ashen Order was started. After only 5 raid lockouts, our team pressed far into Siege of Orgrimmar heroics, besting our previous high water mark, claiming 7/14H, Ranked #6 for 25 man teams on Whisperwind.

Not bad, for a late start.

However, there are many challenges in front of us. First of all, we still do not have a stable 25 man team. The current roster stands at 22. A few of those 22 cannot make every raid, not to mention incidental things that come up here and there. Our goal is to be 30 strong for the 25 team. So, we’re recruiting.

Since the inception of the Ashen Order, I have been pretty much solely responsible for recruiting. I welcomed this challenge, and enjoy meeting new people. Its hard to turn people down when they don’t meet the requirements, but its been encouraging the amount of people we have found that are a good fit for this style of guild.

I think however, now is the time to ask for help. I think it’s more difficult to recruit right now than ever before, because moving from 10 to 25 now was a good idea, and many other great guilds had the same idea and are currently converting. Lots of guilds looking. So its a tough gig.

Thankfully, Soylentgreen has stepped up and offered to help with recruiting. I welcome his help and also anyone else who can direct people to our website.

Another way we are gaining new raiders is by gearing up current members of the guild who want to raid with us but are not quite there yet. Last night, instead of pushing heroics, we were shorthanded. We decided to make good use of our time by inviting as many lower geared members as we could and clearing Normal bosses, funneling gear to our guildmates. Making the guild stronger.

The weeks ahead will have many more challenges. As many of you know, I am going to be out starting at around 5/9. I’m having surgery. I don’t know how long I’ll be out, but I expect I won’t be back raiding until about 2 weeks. I will however be accessible probably as soon as a few days out. I may even log in to play, but I don’t want to make a 3 hour commitment to sitting in a chair until I’m comfortable that it’ll be alright.

During my absence, Basher and Blersina (Brandon) are stepping up to lead the raids. They both have my cell phone number and can contact me if there’s any kind of emergency, but I expect everything will run smoothly.

The plan for the next two weeks is to clear the easy heroics, then flip to normal and get our new guildmates as much gear as possible. For the next two weeks, we will go back to a 2 day raiding schedule and just raid Tuesdays and Thursdays with the goal of clearing as much as possible by Thursday night. This will also allow people to honor their mothers on Sunday, May 11th (just a friendly reminder if you haven’t gotten her anything yet 😉 ).

I want to remind everyone that as raiders our goal is still to kill the next heroic boss on our progression table, but to get there, we need to get better top to bottom. We need to be able to farm the heroics we’ve killed, and to do that, we have to have a more solid roster.

I’m writing this blog post to let everyone know that this is still my goal. We’re still recruiting. We’re still building. Pardon our dust, because it can be a bumpy ride. But at the end of the day, I hope everyone is proud of what we’ve accomplished together. I know I am.

Thank you,

-Aily