Every time I consider raiding with a casual group, all I can think of is George Carlin’s driving dialogue.
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?
I can be a patient person. Really. If you want to learn, I’ll be happy to spend a countless amount of time and energy into helping things click. I thought this made me a perfect fit for a casual guild. I mean, I love the choices that come with the casual life, and the often more free and chatty guild environment.
I was wrong.
I discovered as much as I loved the people and general chat environment, the raiding environments that I personally met were beyond frustrating. It’s not that players didn’t invest countless hours in their raid environment. It just seemed like there were always these people who never got it. That never figured out why 71 points in a talent tree was not a performance spec, forget ideal.
And while I thought: that’s ok, people can do whatever they want, in my heart of hearts, I just wanted to gank certain members of my raid time every single time I saw their pixels. I understand that people might not have time to do their own research or even want to, but I could not understand these same people not making any effort whatsoever to take the loving advice of their team-mates.
In my experience, these lovely, yet misguided individuals, refused to accept that what they were doing was not working. Deaths didn’t matter. Poor damage/healing output didn’t matter. The infrequent but helpless pleading of their officers to please for the love of Elune consider a different strategy didn’t matter either.
So while I support the “we raid to have fun, and we embrace special snowflakes” I just cannot make myself pursue that path. I recognize that I actually disrupt the goodwill and happiness that can permeate this type of guild. Nothing is worse than a rift caused by different visions and goals embraced by different segments of your guild.
I actually enjoy being the ‘idiot’ of a guild. That means I have places to go and challenges to meet. Making myself push forward, to meet new goals and improve my performance is part of the fun for raiding for me, so having a bunch of maniacs who are more awesome than I am makes me feel great.
As a personal update, I had the chance to speak with the other half of the challenge team I was hoping to start in MoP. I’m happy to report that we are still ALL on board for our team, and I’m thrilled. While I love raiding, I think the challenges will be able to fill the gap, to satisfy my need to push myself and work with a team, the main qualities that I enjoy from raiding. Do I still want to raid? You bet. Just as 25 man raiders are disappointed in a 10-man setting, the 5-man setting won’t be a raid. On the other hand, I think this will fill the gap between my wants as a solo player (alts anyone?) and my wants as a raider/group player. Now to just fill in that last little slot and get my tank leveled and ready to go!