I Cried Inside, and Then…

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.

7 thoughts on “I Cried Inside, and Then…

  1. So hard to change sometimes but change can be good. I think if everyone is happy to raid once a week it will work out great. Your story is heartwarming though, Windsoar.

  2. I’m truly sorry to hear this, Windsoar, for a number of reasons – the first of which is, you weren’t looking to ‘downsize’ so I imagine it’s harder on you. My circumstances were pretty different, in that I basically sat the guild down and said look, I can’t do this anymore, if someone wants to do it in my place then I wish you the best but I need to do this. Then they somehow finagled me into staying GL anyhow.

    So our circumstances are definitely different, and it really depends on you. I can tell you it IS an adjustment, especially when you’re reading about other people working on heroics and you don’t anymore (but by choice). I had to keep reminding myself, “You CAN do this, but you’re choosing not to, and it’s better for you.” I don’t know where the rest of your raid team is at but perhaps they feel similarly.

    I love raiding once a week (plus Firelands alt runs on Saturdays). Love, love, love it. In an odd way, BT actually became MORE busy after we went casual, as I started Firelands runs, other folks do MMLA (Mounts, Mogging, Legendary, Achievement) runs on other days, an arena team started up and more people ran BGs together. I found that the lack of organized/assumed activity opened the door for other activities because our schedule wasn’t so booked. I think also that people who never thought they needed a break really found themselves enjoying it. I certainly hope that will be the case for you, or at least that it will be a livable change, because I know how you love your guild.

    Meantime, I can’t help but wonder what this means in a way for the big picture and the raiding scene. I’ve admired you all for your success this expansion, and always felt like great raid progression must be a panacea for guild burnout or ills. But if that’s not so, then what does the future look like for raiding? If downing all the hard-modes and achieving all the things can’t keep everyone in-game (or recruit people to replace those lost) then what will?

  3. Pingback: Hiatus « Bubbles of Mischief

  4. Sorry to hear. I went through this myself at the end of Firelands, and it’s definitely tough. I’m keen to hear what happens for you about 3 or 4 weeks down the road. Myself, I took a break from the game and have just come back, reinvigorated for WoW by the beta release. I hope you can find something to keep you playing 🙂

  5. Hi Windsoar,

    I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this! I had similar feelings but at the same time, I also didn’t play WoW much other than to raid. So I really only logged on to raid, and when I found out my raiding team might be folding after losing some players to RL obligations or people just wanting to quit WoW outright, I was sad. I *didn’t* want to stop raiding, and wondered what would become of me if my team disbanded. I knew that I wasn’t likely to go looking for another raid team because I just didn’t have the energy to go through the recruitment process and trying to fit in with a new team again. I imagined that I’d eventually stop writing then it’d be followed by a cancelled subscription for WoW simply because I no longer would have a reason to continue playing.

    The worst part of it was that it wasn’t happening on my terms, so I can definitely understand your feelings. But we ended up scaling back to two days, and this is certainly to my relief. I hope it works out for you down the road, Windsoar!

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