Tonight I received a message from my guild leader. We used to chat fairly often throughout the day, he while working and me while writing, but there was a recent (and awesome!) job change that has reduced our communication to short bursts when one of us has the time or energy to show up early for a raid, or stay up a bit late thereafter. So I wasn’t particularly worried… it’d been awhile since our last chat, but they’ve always been great things.
But today, the news was not so good. He had decided that Production Company would no longer be a raiding guild.
My first reaction was anger, I admit it. Here I was, blithely enjoying a few minutes respite before the start of the raid night, and now I have all these whirling thoughts. I love my guild, with all its warts, because it’s hands-down the best raiding environment I’ve ever been a part of. We raid, and we do it well. Although I’m usually not so fatalistic, about 6 months after joining this team, I made myself one of those promises where you’re almost daring the universe to screw you. I promised myself that this was the last one. If this team didn’t work, that it was just the end of the line for me and raiding in WoW. I’ve seen too many broken guilds, and if this one fell apart, I just didn’t think I’d have the heart to go through the merry-go-round again. And so, almost a year after I told myself that, to find that it was happening…. I was not in a good place.
Fortunately, “no longer raiding” turned into raiding once a week. Still pensive I turned that thought around for a bit. Is raiding once a week enough for me? Will I still feel like I’m playing the game if I’m only raiding once a week? And what will we get done?
Why the decision was made didn’t bother me. We are losing people to real-life. Babies are being born, children are growing older, and people are leaving school to go out for their first jobs. All of these are absolutely great things, and I can’t fault a single person for putting away a game until they work out if and when that leisure activity still fits in their schedule.
Fortunately, everyone was available during raid night tonight, and so we took a few minutes to talk about the decision. As people talked about it, and as I talked some more, I realized that maybe I was looking at this the wrong way. I raid because I love it. I raid with this team because they raid the way I want to raid. Ok, maybe raiding once a week isn’t my absolute ideal, but….
I remembered all the things I would have enjoyed doing in order to raid every time with my team. My husband and I didn’t level our first toons of the expansion together. We still haven’t leveled those Worgen we talked about. I haven’t played as nearly as much as I’d like with my friends, because they all aren’t on my raid team. And alts… what alts? I have 2 characters at 85, my main, and my paladin, whom I leveled specifically to run alt raids with, but which we never had enough people available to keep a team together for.
I know if I’m not raiding, you can pretty much count the days until my subscription gets cancelled. But we’re not talking about zero raiding, we’re talking about cutting our time back. What does that really mean? We won’t clear out all the heroic modes and get all the achievements every tier. Who the hell cares? You know how happy I was the first time I cleared an entire tier of content on time? You know when that was? You got it. This expansion, with this raiding team. The only raiding achievements I’m missing for Cataclysm are the one for killing Sinestra on the first whack, and Heroic Madness of Deathwing. I never, ever, ever expected to be with a raid team that made that kind of progress.
As I think about the next expansion, and a schedule that involved 3-4 hours of raiding once a week, my only real concerns are: will we have enough people that we’ll still be Pro. Co? If it ends up being a half the raid team deal, I know I won’t be happy with that. On the other hand, if we have enough people, and I get to see all the raid fights on normal, with a team I really enjoy? I honestly can’t say that I know it will be enough, but I am willing to think about it some more–percolate through the ol’ noggin. I have friends who have migrated to play on my server, a hubby that has followed me through thick, thin, and the biggest asshole of the universe as I chased after raid team after raid team.
I’m not quite ready to move Production Company over into the previous guild category. I look at Vid’s transition to a weekly raider with hope, and try to rest the nagging worries that accompany such announcements.
There are still dragons to kill, and inappropriate jokes to make with this raid team. My raid team.