I don’t think this post will come as much as a surprise to anyone. A couple of months ago I tried to evaluate how I felt about my guild, and came up with the answer that flexibility was more important than killing bosses. Oh, how we delude ourselves.
Previous to that post I had a rather long chat with my GM about my frustrations with the raiding side of our guild. I moaned, and whined, and generally said everything nasty I could think of to justify my need to not raid with the guild anymore. I fell for the line that kicks a gut for everyone who really cares about the health of their guild “If you stay, you can make it better.”
Since that talk, I’ve realized that my better and her better are probably very different things. My better would have people removed from raids for making horrible mistakes. My better would reward people who learn the steps over people who arrive every night. My better would have a consistent time schedule. I’d like to think I’ve nudged a couple of players into better raiders overall. I honestly enjoy helping new players learn the ropes and become more skilled at their class. I don’t mind people making mistakes on new fights (for them or for us).
I seriously mind seeing the same mistakes from the same people recurring month after month. When I left for vacation with my brother, I took a raiding hiatus as well. I thought the break would help loosen up my negative attitude about our raiding and let me get back that “I don’t care, I’m just happy to raid” attitude. I’ve probably been to 3 raids in the last 6-8 weeks. Last night, I knew I’d actually have some time, so I checked myself at the door as available.
I flew over to ICC at 7:24. I stepped into the dungeon at 7:40. They were 7/12, leading me to think we’d get some Sindragosa work in, our current progression point. We didn’t kill a piece of trash until after 8. We lost at least 7 players on Blood Prince Council. We had a wipe on the first trash pull to BQ. And we spent the next hour working on her. I could say, oh we had new people in the raid, they were learning the fight…. but, it wasn’t the new people who were dying in fires. It wasn’t the new people who got MC’d. It wasn’t even the new people who ran their red beams together (where people aren’t supposed to stand) and not only blew themselves to smithereens in failing to retract the beams, but took down another raider with them. We finally got her down around 10, made a quick soiree to down Dreamwalker and did a beautiful coordinated job. But I knew it was the end for me.
Our first 25-man kill of Blood Queen was in the beginning of July. I won’t even mention how much earlier than that we’d managed to get BPC down. Yes, we had some raiders who needed to be bringing a higher round of dps to the table. Yes, our healing team was not the best consisting of 1 resto shaman, 2 holy paladins and 2 discipline priests. However, the real issue was laziness. People being too lazy to get out of the fire. People being too lazy to run the beams center and instead blowing them up on the melee. I spent most of the raid last night silently fuming while the raid went on with not a cross word said. At 10:26 we did a ready check to see if we wanted to get in on an attempt to Sindragosa. She’s actually our progression. However, our raid ends at 10:30. What was the point? I declined and hearthed myself back to Dalaran.
I sat around for a bit arguing with myself.
How can I do this to people I really like? But it’s not like you’ve been raiding anyway…. besides, what’s the point of doing raiding occasionally if you’re just grinding your teeth the entire dungeon? I could probably find a pug at this stage and do better. I join guilds to raid.
And on and on. I finally just bit the bullet, sent a whisper to my GM, and broke the news that I would no longer be a raiding member of PK. This is the second time I’ve made such an announcement, and this time, there were no attempts to change my stance. I think I’ve honestly tried to enjoy raiding with this group. I tried to be more hands-on and helpful to our newer folks. I tried raiding every available chance. I tried not raiding at all. The only time I’d tried being vocal, I had an officer tell me I was out of line. The only raiding I’ve enjoyed lately with this guild has been the alt runs, and you know what they say about that: If you’re having more fun playing your alts than raiding with your main, you’re about to leave.
I haven’t yet left the guild. I dread even thinking about going guild shopping–I don’t seem to have the best of luck finding a compatible guild. If my guild chooses to break into 10-man teams, I may consider slotting a raid character with them, but I seriously doubt we’ll have enough committed raid leaders to make that a reality. I am stepping into a new expansion somewhat adrift having just sacrificed the thing I most enjoy in the game-world–raiding. I found a guild that matched me almost completely-in schedule, in personalities, in age and interests-but fails me in one specific area. It’s actually such a shame because I’ve been involved in guilds that I despised almost every member and yet I stayed because the raiding was good.
However, when I joined PK, it was the promise to myself that I would not allow myself to be miserable every time I logged in to raid. Raiding, right now, is more than a duty, worse than a chore, it’s almost a stone around my neck. I feel bad when I don’t show up because I know I”m one of the better players (does that sound conceited or what? ^^). I almost immediately get off on the wrong foot when I do raid because there doesn’t seem to be a high amount of respect for people’s time. Since we’ve committed the time to raiding, it doesn’t really matter when we start, or how long breaks are, or even if people drop with only 30 minutes to go. The simmer slowly moves to a boil as we struggle on this boss or that. On “cleared” content because we continue to make the same mistakes; on progression bosses because we rarely have a set plan or strategy that doesn’t take 10-15 every pull to discuss and re-engineer.
All I can say, is that this was a definite learning experience. It’s so hard to judge a guild from the outside, very difficult to appraise those determiners that will meet personal demands. I wanted to move away from adolescents and the e-peen victory and wanted to find a guild that was polished enough to get content down and relaxed enough not to have tiff wars every few weeks between preening members. In some respects, I received that. Content gets cleared. No one gets angry, upset, or catty. This is definitely a family-fun guild, and raiding is not seen as a pressure point. However, I don’t make a good fit.
I’d just like to finish by sending some love to my guild. They took me in, and my GM especially, put up with a good deal of angsty whining on my part as I tried to fit in with the guild culture. I never quite melded, but I do enjoy the company of a number of raiders. There are a number of good players, and I think the attitude and focus is just different enough from what I’m used to, that I’m unable to embrace and enjoy their victories.
Set adrift, once more, on a sea of insanity. It’s going to be a lonely time until Cataclysm.