Being an Experimental Subject, Oh My!

I’ve debated writing on this topic for the last couple of weeks, but I figured since my entire WoW life is currently wrapped up in the process, I should probably come clean. I am being used, with my consent, as the test subject for the great Wrath / Cataclysm mantra:

Bring the player!

How It All Started

I’ve been ineffectively wringing my hands over here for the past month or two, bemoaning the fact that while I like my guild mates, its not the right home for me in terms of raiding. While I’ve tried to just sitting it out and waiting, I realized that I don’t ever log in when I’m not raiding — raid time is for mains, non-raid time is for achievements and leveling alts, which I tend to guild with my bank alt to make all that mat switching easy.

Friends and family members offered advice: make a guild, start applying, wait until Cataclysm and then guild shop, and even a few offers to check out specific guilds. I tentatively looked around, but I had two major obstacles: my availability, and my desire not to carry Windsoar into another cycle of raiding. For the right guild, I would consider it, but it’d have to be perfect in every way. The second causes a rather singular problem when applying, as guilds need something to look at, and for progression oriented guilds, things like parses are standard.

Into this conundrum, I received an e-mail from Gaia, a new blogger running Dedicated Insanity with Roksi, and I must say it peeked my interest. I was being recruited… sort of.

The Experiment

Gaia & Roski run a progression oriented 10-man raiding guild. Their guild is winding down for the end of the expansion after their heroic Lich King kill, and the guild is working on finishing up a few achievements that they missed along the way. From crawling through my thoughts on WoW and raiding that I’ve shared here on my blog, they think I’d make a good fit in personality for their guild, although my skill in a dungeon is questionable.

Still, despite that, they’ve issued an invitation to apply to their home. What they needed was either a dps/tank or healer/dps combo to fill out their ranks. Talking to Gaia, I learned that if they had their pick, a restoration/balance druid would fill their needs perfectly. The problem: I don’t have a druid. While I could have fit either Windsoar or Nightfall into the criteria of what they’re seeking, for a small 10-man team, meeting the exact need would be the best. Instead, I did the next best thing, and rolled an entirely new character in order to apply.

The Concerns

Of course, there are concerns on both sides about whether I will actually be a good fit once I am in a position to raid with my druid.

I have little to no proof of my ability to raid at the level in which this guild has performed throughout the expansion. Throughout my WoW career, I have had 4 different raiding mains. Listing out my guilds and progress was fairly depressing as I noted the littering of failed guilds that followed my name. My current characters that *could* potentially be considered raiding fit have not been touched since 4.0 came out. They’re missing glyphs, gems, and enchants, all of which doesn’t bespeak someone who takes good care of their character’s gear, a bad sign for a progression guild. They’ve expressed concern about my being an “alt-person” which apparently is synonymous with upsetting the roster on a semi-permanent basis.

My concerns are a bit different, but still there. While I have sat in on vent during a raid, it wasn’t progression–personalities seem to fit together rather seamlessly, however, which is a good sign. Where I will fit in is not exactly clear either. I may end up being in a second-string position, a fall-back for people who have longer ties and excellent records for showing up and doing things right. Since the guild is firmly established, it is not somewhere I can suggest that my friends apply on a whim, which can be good or bad–good because we rarely have the same schedules anyway, but bad, because for the first time in years I know that if accepted I will not be raiding with people who I know and know me and the way I twitch intimately. Even more embarrassing to think about is, what if I don’t measure up. I’ve never played a druid at end-game–although I feel confident that I can play anything well, that doesn’t mean it will be so. What would be worse than taking the effort to level up, feel all good about being a part of the team, and then getting a very polite rejection that I would then feel compelled to tell the rest of the community about. Yikes!

The Potential Gain

I can’t speak for what Production Company feels they’ve receive from the process, other than another applicant who may or may not work out. From my end, I am looking at a guild that matches exactly what I consider a raiding guild to be. The guild is a dedicated 10-man, I can meet all current raiding times, raid rules are set up to maximize time and limit distractions, such as /afk’s, needless buff asking and the like. Expectations for out of raid are what I’d expect: getting your stuff together and being prepped for raids. From my end, it’s very easy to see what I’d be getting–the raid experiences I’ve been lacking since the beginning of this expansion, and I must say, the idea of having a home again is appealing.

Despite the potential for a bruised ego, I’ve decided to talk about this application process. It’s interesting to be recruited from the pages of a blog, and even more so, to see what challenges arise from something a little out of the ordinary. If it doesn’t work out, I won’t bat an eye over the leveling process–leveling a druid with the new talent trees has been a blast so far, and deserves a post of it’s very own!

I’m also curious what others think about such a different take on the application process. Here I am, a virtual unknown to the people recruiting me, yet offering a chance to someone starting a brand-new character on a brand-new server to apply with them. Would it be something you’d ever consider, as an applicant or a guild leader?

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3 thoughts on “Being an Experimental Subject, Oh My!

  1. Sounds like an interesting proposition! I'd be interested to hear how it works out… for some reason it doesn't seem that strange. I think it's because it sounds like they're just the sort of set up and team you're looking for. Keep us posted.

  2. I would never inflict myself on another guild again, regardless of whether they read my blog or not, but I honestly think you'd be an absolute asset to their team. You'd be an asset to any guild. However, I think, as you say in your post, it's a proposition not without risks – but then perhaps those risks are true in applying to any new guild, at least if you're applying "properly" with commitment and investment, rather than just blasting out an application by sitting on your keyboard.

    Also I think it bears recognition that they are asking a lot from *you*, rather more effort and commitment than any guild, regardless of whether you're in it or not, has a right to ask – obviously I'm not trying to say they're evil or asking too much or anything like that, but I do think it's important to remember that as much as they're doing things for you, in inviting them to join them, you are doing things for them in agreeing to join, or rather think about joining. I suppose what I'd want to know, if I were in your hooves, is that they realised the fragility of the position they were asking you to put yourself in: I mean not just moving to an entirely new server, but an entirely new guild *on an entirely new character*. I mean usually only 1 or 2 of those are different, so that even if you are in an unfamiliar situation you can rely on your knowledge of your class and your raiding experience to get you through. For the record, I think you could totally do it: I mean rock a new druid, join a new team, and forge a place for youself in the team. But it just depends whether they can make it worth if for you.

    I suspect the publicity angle doesn't help either – I mean you could simply refuse to blog about it until the situation was resolved (either way), you owe your readers no no-holds barred honesty, but of course we'd be interested in following your progress. Regardless, I think if it didn't work out, for whatever reason, you wouldn't have to worry about your readers suddenly thinking you suck at WoW – your enthusiasm for the game, and your dedication to your class are obvious from everything you write, and it would be far more likely (says Tam, from a position of total ignorance) to be some othe matter of compatability or approach, not your ability to play to their standard.

    Sorry, epic comment is epic. And I realise this guild probably read your blog so I probably look like some miserable nay-sayer, which is not the case at all. I just wanted to say, in a very long winded way, good luck and you're awesome, and they should feel damn lucky to have you.

  3. I think you've backpedaled slightly. Ive never been a hardcore raider. (Hell, I haven't even played the game in 4 months) But I do remember every time ive ever stepped into an established guild and looked around at the flawless artistry that was there group and said. "F*** me, do i belong here?*. You are having the same fears and worries that any middle/low class raider feels every time they step through that gateway. I realize the game is fairly straight forward and teaching yourself to push the right buttons in the right sequence is fairly simple, but some of us were just never meant to be hardcore raiders and when were put in situations like that we tend to ask ourselves the same questions you are.

    I think leveling up the druid, as you seem to be enjoying it, is not one of your main concerns. Saying that you did it "Only to raid with these people" is probably not entirely true, you most likely are enjoying the playing of the druid itself as well. I would focus on that for now. Enjoy the leveling process with a new class. The quests may be stale but the way your completing them is not.

    Fear of rejection for performing sub par? How are you going to feel if someone tells you "you know….that guy whose been playing a druid for 4 years is better than you who have been playing for 2 months" If i know you at all your response is going to be "…um….duh?". Do the best you can, look into the class as much as you can and push those buttons like a rockstar! Any shortcomings you have in the class you'll quickly overcome because you know how to learn and adapt. Thats all most guilds are looking for, the ability to look at a new situation and not completely spazz out, but perform your duties. If you can do that on a paladin, you can do that on a doo-dad. (druid for you non salvatore fans)

    I think its rather interesting to see you in the roll that I have so frequently filled. The "what if" fears are always going to be there, but im sure your going to overcome any obstacle with greater ease than anyone else ive ever met. Its really not in you to fail.

    And keep us updated on your druid progress.

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