The Post I Didn’t Know How to Write
Sometimes things happen that I’m not sure how to write about, or even if I should write about them at all. I’m somewhat cautious about what I say in a public place like this blog. However, sometimes if I don’t write about something important it prevents me from writing about other things, because the thing that I’m not writing about affects so many aspects of my WoW life. So if I suddenly go quiet and stop posting it might be because I’m struggling to figure out what to say about something.
About two months ago, I changed guilds. Eagle-eyed readers will have already noticed that my guild tag changed in the screenshots I’ve posted. Long-time readers might be surprised, because I’ve posted many times before about my old guild, Electric Mayhem, talking about our many successes and about being their recruiting officer.
The thing is, I love Electric Mayhem, and I’m very proud of what I helped build there. It’s a great guild, run by awesome people, and I believe it fills an important niche on our server: a raiding guild with a good social atmosphere that manages solid progression on a two night per week schedule. (All the other raiding guilds on our server raid at least three nights per week last I checked.) It was really difficult to leave them.
So then why did I leave? Well, I play WoW for two primary reasons: to play with friends and to raid. Specifically, I love progression raiding. Sometimes those two motivations for playing are at odds with each other… Do I play with friends knowing that I won’t be able to push progression, or do I play for progression even if it means playing with people I barely know?
At the end of the Firelands tier, four of my best friends left Electric Mayhem because one of their old friends (who I didn’t know) had transferred his guild to our server. They didn’t leave because there was anything wrong with EM — in fact they left on good terms and are still friends with many EM people — but they had been four of our best players and their departure left the EM raid team in a bad state. Personally, their departure upset me pretty severely, causing me to consider leaving the game entirely, and it took a while for my friendship with them to recover… but that’s a long story. Suffice to say that in the end it meant that I had about half my best friends in EM and half in That Guild.
The EM raid team struggled through Dragon Soul. It was difficult to replace those who had left, and even combining both our raid teams didn’t result in a solid roster. We went from having the same 10 people every week to having a completely different team from day to day, sometimes having to train new people up from scratch, resetting our progression. We were especially short on quality healers, and it sometimes felt like I was trying to single-handedly keep everyone alive. It didn’t help that my heart just wasn’t into recruiting at the time. I didn’t feel like there was much point when everything I’d spent months to build could be wiped out in a day.
Dragon Soul was a terrible tier for me. There was the stress of keeping the raid team going. I was not impressed with the design of the encounters themselves. I was personally finding the fights too easy, but we weren’t making any progress, so I started becoming frustrated, negative and resentful, which certainly wasn’t helping the team. (Sorry guys!) And when we got to the point of working on heroics it turned out that my expectations for progression were different from the expectations of those around me.
You see, over the years I have become increasingly “hard core” (for lack of a better term). What I enjoy most about raiding at the moment is pushing myself to become as good as I can be. I want to see how far I can go. I want to find out where my limits are. If a boss exists, I want to kill it (preferably before it’s nerfed). I don’t know if I’m good enough to do serious progression raiding, but I’d like to find out.
But that’s not what most people want out of raiding. Which is perfectly legitimate. There are many ways to play this game, none of which are “wrong”, despite what the elitists may tell you. It turns out that what I want out of raiding isn’t what my friends in EM want out of raiding, and by pushing for better progression I was causing tension. I was asking people to do something they didn’t want to do. While I was bored out of my skull and feeling horribly frustrated farming normal Deathwing each week, they were perfectly content with normal, and were maybe even ready to take a break from raiding entirely.
EM is never going to be a “hard core” guild. It was never intended to be one. I knew that when I joined. I was, in fact, warned specifically by the guild leader (who is also one of my best friends) that I would probably not get the progression I wanted there. And I told myself I was ok with that because I’d be raiding with friends. I was choosing friends over progression.
But half of my best friends were now in That Guild. And TG may not be going for world or server firsts, but they were experiencing much better progression than EM. In fact, they were 8/8 Heroic Dragon Soul. And they were considering adding a Resto/Boomkin Druid to their roster. In retrospect… maybe I should have made the move sooner.
The move was made easier by the fact that when I talked to the EM guild leaders about it they told me that they already knew that I would be happier in a more progression oriented guild, and joked that they had been taking bets on when I would leave, and that I had stayed a lot longer than they had thought I would. Also, it turns out that one of them plans to stop raiding pretty much entirely in MoP, so if I stayed I wouldn’t be raiding with him anyway. I still feel bad and a little guilty for leaving… but I think I made the right decision.
And since joining TG I have been a lot happier. I’m raiding with old friends. We’re fired up with plans for MoP. And let me just say that farming Heroic Deathwing feels a lot more satisfying than farming him on normal.
But I still really love EM, and I hope that they continue to grow and have success in MoP as well.
Anyway, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, here’s a shot of me on my heroic Deathwing mount!
Still not sure if I should actually hit the submit button… Oh well.