Raea, or John (or Jack) as those in the real life realm call him, has been the Guild Master of <Project Icarus> for 2.5 trillion years. We’re sure that at some point during your tenure here you have had the epic pleasure of conversing with him and realized what a swell guy he really is. He may not seem like the most sociable guild member at first, but given the chance he will talk your ear off about a great number of very interesting things like science, game mechanics, Warhammer model building or even dancing. You will quickly notice how dynamic and engaging a conversation with this truly tall drink of water can be.
A few quick Raea facts before we begin:
He is 22, currently our resident prot paladin tank and loves chicken (we’ll get to that later). You can often find him hanging around mumble making obscure puns to everyone within earshot or on Wow, LoL, or some other game owning noobs followed immediately by accurately exclaiming, “WHAT A NOOB!”
So please take a moment and get to know John a little more! ENJOY!
PS. Ask him how tall he is the next time you see him around!
When did you start playing WoW and how did you get into the game?
I started playing Wow during my sophomore year of high school. At that time, I was having a lot of fun playing RPGs and card games with friends but they couldn’t stop talking about how cool WoW was! Eventually I joined up to give it a shot. I had just got a new PC that was capable of running the game at a reasonable level and my newly acquired access to high speed internet definitely helped as well! For the longest time before then I only had a 200MhZ comp. However... there was a catch. My mother didn’t like the idea of me playing the game so we made a deal; if I read one classic novel a month I could play WoW. So I did. I read A Tale of Two Cities in one day! I was then given permission to play Wow and she was so impressed by my dedication that she never required me to read another book to justify my gaming!
What was your first toon?
A rogue! I was a teenage guy and figured, “Hey I’m a ninja, this is gonna be cool!” I liked the idea of a toon that won by preventing his opponent from playing the game. If I attack you before you see me, then I win! Patch
.0 had just come out and they were revamping the talent trees. I read through every one of them and respeced a few times but I always stuck with assassination as my main spec. It just felt like the best way to defeat an opponent!
When did you join <PI> and how did you discover the guild?
This is the longest story of them all... It all started back in BC when I joined a friends guild for leveling. Shortly after I hit 70, Tividar was raiding and he told me I should join a guild that was progressing through Karazhan in order to get entry tier gear so that I could work with that guild and not simply be carried into the 25 man raids. A guild called Celeritas seemed like it would fit the bill! I spent a lot of time filling out my application and then when an officer responded, she simply said, “talk to me in game... (happy face)” and I didn’t know what that meant! Of course self esteem is my own worst enemy. We ran one heroic, Black Morass, and I was in! We stayed together until the end of BC and I eventually became an officer then the GM. Maladaptive was part of the guild and one day he said to me, “I know you’re the GM and I don’t want to leave you, but I’m joining an old guild with the xpac.” I stuck with Celeritas for a while but I ended up joining his guild, Malicious, and that’s where I met all of the founding members of <PI> (Tauntworth, Darkreaver, Killahherb, Martyrdom, Frrenchtoast, Popahot and Bubblewrap).
With people on both coasts and in Hawaii, we had an interesting raiding style. Because of the time zones, we could only get everyone together once a week for a 7PST raid so we did 10 mans separately whenever we could. East vs West became a 10 man competition! West coast almost always won though, of course. Eru was in the East coast group along with Bulltara and Changaiz. Around the time Ulduar was coming out, the guild split (which was somewhat dramatic - problems with the gbank ...etc) and a lot of the <PI> founding members split too. I was left with the choice of either progressing “not so well” with my friends, or joining Unholy Legion and making large strides. I talked to an old friend from Celeritas and he said, “If they’re your friends they’ll understand.” So I took his advice! I ran 25s with Unholy Legion and made some more friends but I always missed my West coast group. After a while that gang of West coasters that I missed so much ended up back together again and we started doing 10 mans on the side just like we used to. This is around the time I started my paladin. I did 25s on my rogue, 10s on my pally. When our 10 man group made it to heroics there was one week when I brought my main (my rogue) to 10s and Unholy Legion was not so happy about that. A couple weeks before we had toyed around with the idea of server transferring, and I mentioned it to a mutual friend, a rogue named Sickiss. Unholy Legion mistakenly thought I was attempting to recruit their members for a new guild (which I obviously wasn’t) and they flat out gkicked me! I talked to the GM and said, “Look, I would have liked to continue with you guys but at some point I would have left to join PI in 10 mans anyway so there’s no point in inviting me back. I’m very sorry it ended this way.” Then I joined PI full time as a rogue and I played him for quite some time until TOC came out and we needed a shaman for buffs. I rerolled a Shaman and played that through ICC but then unfortunately the guild started to fall apart again. 10s became difficult to manage with such a tight roster and we found ourselves down a tank. It was then I switched back to my pally and became the tank we needed! At that time the group contained Hovah, Crogdor and T. Crogdor and I were talking about how we were interested in doing 25s because they were much more fun and would likely be easier to roster manage. We needed leadership and, naturally, that became Crogdor and I. He was better at the administration side of things and I was better at technical aspects of game so he became GM and I became the raid leader. We somehow managed to acquire many high quality recruits like Kethios, Nosfertus, Cloak, Rev, Lykewoah, Weksos (and some others I’m sure I’m forgetting) in addition to our old friends Bulltara, Eru, and Changaiz and were able to jump right into 25s. We started off far behind the top guilds on the server but we progressed quickly and cleared 11/12 heroic before Cata! It was great! Soooo thats the long story of how I found <PI> and how we became a 25 man guild!
What is your favorite boss encounter?
Since creative tank mechanics are the coolest aspects of boss encounters to me, I would have to say that Will of the Emperor is my favorite for this tier. Of all time, I’d have to say Yogg-Saron was the most fun! I would go back and do it repeatedly for fun whenever anyone expressed an interest. The reason I like it so much is because it has three distinct phases that all work quite differently. Every raider has specific responsibilities and there is a real sense of urgency throughout the encounter. There is also a high level of complexity due to the sheer number of things going on and there are a lot of ways to approach and deal with all of the mechanics, which I really like. But most of all its a fight where individual skill can really shine! AND its got good lore!
What is your favorite raid instance?
Ulduar by far! It had the first implementation of heroics and in a very unique way at that. There were several different passages you could take all with variable difficulties ( 2 light 3 light etc) which was cool if you wanted to explore those new options. The fights introduced a lot of very cool new mechanics and had a really cool “key” system as well with Algalon being the very first heroic key boss. The way that tied into the lore was awesome! It made it very suspenseful but also frustrating at times.
Malygos! ( go find it on wowhead, its a long one) - I like it because its a WALL OF TEXT for a boss pull! I thought it was funny the way he got SO MAD when you pulled “You guys are beneath me, but I guess I have to TRY NOW” then he loses anyway. Haha! XT also has a great one “I guess it doesn’t bend that way!”, “Toys for me? I'll try not to break them this time!”
If given the opportunity, what ability would you add to your class? (feel free to be as nonsensical as your heart desires)
Well, in BC our level 70 ability was going to be Mass Resurrection... then they said it was too good. Then in WOTLK our level 80 ability was going to be Blinding Light... but then that was also too good... And now we have BOTH! But I would definitely PUT BACK Divine Intervention if ever I had the chance. Kethios and I would always have a deal in raid that if we were about to wipe during an attempt I would DI him and then he would res me.
Who is your favorite guildie?
T! He has been here with me from the beginning. Through all trials and tribulations he was always there to make sure things run smoothly and to hype us up when we needed it. We have been officers together for three xpacs and its really just been a lot of fun! We play quite a few different games outside of Wow as well which does a lot for building a good community within the guild. Simply put, everything he’s done has been invaluable.
Best and worst things about being a GM?
The best thing about being a GM is that if you think something should be a certain way, you can just MAKE it that way! There have been many times where I’ve thought “If I was in charge it would be like this” and now I am! But its not always easy.
The worst thing I have to deal with is loot. I said last week in Ochat that loot should be removed from the game and we should just get +1% stats every time we kill a boss. Its cool to get loot, but the headaches involved with distributing it are just not worth it in my opinion. This also goes along with managing raider’s egos in regards to self loot counseling, etc. It can be very troublesome to investigate every situation but its a problem that exists in any managerial position.
Where does your toon name come from?
I basically just tried letters that I thought sounded cool. I spent quite some time making a lot of different names, making different sounds, letter combinations etc, but I ended up with Raea (Raethia) and it has been my gamer tag since high school. It ended up being a big time investment because it was important to me, haha. I picked this name specifically for the vowel sounds but I soon noticed thats it holds a lot of
Latin characteristics. I’ve evolved the concept of “Raea” beyond the gamertag to be something that is ultimately what I want to be in game and in RL. To me it means someone who is strategic, smart, and hard working.
Tell us about one great WoW memory you have.
Asking me to pick my favorite WoW memory is like asking me to pick my favorite dollar; I have so many great “ones!” I try to capture most of these memories with screenshots and quotes but I think my most memorable experience in WoW was during WOTLK in ICC while battling Sindragosa. We were doing the “All You Can Eat” achievement but we brought Samantha, who was a friend of a raider and had no idea what was going on. I told her to move with the group and not to stand in anything that looks like its gonna kill you... and she nailed it! We one shotted the achievement!
What is one thing you want the guild to understand about you or how you operate?
I’ll admit that I’m not the best at networking. I find I work well with the people I spend the most time with in games. I play with a variety of people in different games besides WoW but those particular groups of friends do not tend to overlap unfortunately. Because of these various circles of friends it may seem like I’m distant, but I want the guild to know that if they ever want to play anything with me all they have to do it ask! LoLis the best example; we play it but we don’t necessarily go around telling everyone so if someone has the game and wants to join in,we’re more than willing! It helps foster the community!
What is your favorite things to do outside of game?
Well, it used to be MTG but now its Warhammer 40k. WH40k is an awesome strategy game that involves math, modeling, and collecting. Its fun for me to take the math of the dice, calculate what I can get out of the rolls, and plan my strategy based on the best and worst case scenarios. It allows for a lot of customization and you can really play the numbers to gain advantage.
I also like to dance, though I don’t do that very often, haha. Thats more of a dating event. I like to paint models for WH40k, and play games like LoL and MTG with friends. I’ve actually gone to some tournaments for MTG and did pretty well for my level of commitment. I also like to study History, especially Science History because if we don’t think about the world and figure out how it got this way, then there isn’t much point in living. I feel that we need to pay respect to our elders because every generation has played its part and had a big hand in the development of society. I think its important to respect that and learn about the achievements and contributions of those who came before us. For example, Kleenex! Everyone uses them but who thinks about it how revolutionary the invention of that box was!
Do you ever think about other inventions like the shake weight?
What do you do for a living and/or what do you study in school?
I am currently a full time student in my Junior year as a mechanical engineering major at UC Riverside. For a living, I work as a supplemental instructor to help other mechanical engineering students! The most common thing I do with my students to help them with their self confidence is ask, “Is this hard?” when I know the material is easy for them. They say “no” then I reply “then don’t worry!” Its all about just spending enough time to understand the concepts, and if you do that, you’ll succeed! I also tend to give them practice questions that are more difficult than the tests!
What is your favorite food? Favorite drink?
My favorite food is fried chicken, bar none! Chicken is my favorite meat! Its easy to cook, you don’t have to worry about a particular cut, and there isn’t a huge variation in cooking durations. Its good to get anywhere because its not hard to make and “fried” means its a finger food thus its easier and more fun to eat! Its the all around best for me. I’m very big on efficiency! If you can eat it while you raid then its a good thing!
I don’t drink alcohol really, I just don’t like the taste very much. My favorite drink is probably fruit punch or soda, I’m pretty open. I don’t really have a favorite soda; I’ll pretty much just drink what I have around the house and if i go to the store, I’ll try to find something new. If i had to pick a favorite soda it would have to be Mountain Dew: Pitch Black, but you can’t get it anymore :(
Tell us about one great RL memory you have.
Outside of game my day to day is pretty routine, and while I do have things that are certainly eventful in my life, I try to avoid “extra memorable” things because they are generally bad, haha. One time a while ago I was at a friend’s birthday party, which I don’t typically go to, a group of us went outside walking around town and we went down into a less populated area. Down there we found an aqueduct and we called it a cave. One friend said, “WE HAVE TO GO IN!” and so we did. While we were walking through the cave, someone else from the party followed us and started dropping sand bags down into the aqueduct. The sounds the bags made was like gunshots, and one of my friends yelled, “WOAH THE COPS ARE SHOOTING AT US!” so we started running through the pipe in fear. I’m kind of tall so I kept hitting my head on the ceiling of the aqueduct so I had to hunch over and I got sand all over my back, which really sucked. We ran nearly a mile to exit the pipe and then another two miles to get back to the party. While trivial in the grand scheme of things, it was pretty eventful for me. Needless to say I stopped partying with those people. My mom called the house, because I was late, and I had to convince her that I had NOT done all of the things.....that I had just done. Getting home was the most scary part of the whole night. My mom is not a task master or anything, but she looks out for my safety and I don’t want to disappoint her.
Two truths and a lie.
I was an extra in a Sum41 music video.
I've never eaten pizza.
I once used orange juice as a weapon in a fight.
Anything you’d like to add?
I’d like to share my raiding philosophy. I come from the “old guard” when raiding was a big deal! You always had all your bonuses, everything had to be farmed and it was critical! You expected everyone to do their absolute best! We still do expect people to do their best, but I have found that in the current raiding generation people don’t take the farming and extra work as seriously as they used to. The way I see it, I still expect it from everyone because that’s just how I got into it. When I notice people that don’t take it that seriously I’m sort of taken aback. If someone messes up and they go “Whatever” it shocks me a little bit. That's just how I perceive things. Everyone likes to be nostalgic and say things like “back in my day it was harder!” but things are still hard and I hope people take everything seriously!