And the Wheel Keeps Turning (Guild recruiters, please scroll to the bottom)
I joined Team Sport as a temporary fill-in between progression raiding guilds. They were aware of this and accepted it. But as I was starting to consider moving on, I decided I kinda liked these people. After I wrote “The 5 Traits I Want in a Leader“, I realized I described Team Sport’s leadership. And when several of my guildies decided they wanted to raid more progressively, I was excited about the project and jumped on board.
So now, nearly a year after I joined, I think we’ve made good progress as a raid team. Raids start on time, or very close to on time. Our pace is much faster (though not completely to my liking). Raid discussions occasionally interrupt the tumbleweed on the forums. And we have a few players who’ve discovered a love of raiding within themselves.
But a bit over a week ago, I realized that we’d gotten as good as we’re going to get. We have a team of good players, as in players who show up and do a good job. Their characters are gemmed and enchanted and we rarely have deaths due to standing in the fire. But for most of them, raiding isn’t a passion.
When I raid, I turn off my phone (unless I’m waiting for an important call, in which case I warn the team ahead of time). I tell friends/guys I’m dating/etc that I’m not available during raid hours. I want 100% of my focus to be on what I’m doing. Then after raids, I review logs and I want to talk about the night.
On Tuesday night, as we were waiting on some afkers in between wipes on Ozz’nozz, I wiped away my tears of frustration and gave my raid leader my two weeks notice.
It’s not about “good” style or “bad” style, it’s about “different” styles
Talking about our guild situation with black-and-white thinkers can be quite amusing. Going afk mid raid? That’s “bad”. Oh, but baby aggro involved? Then that’s “good”. Spouse aggro? Some say “good”, some say “bad”.
Me, I say I don’t have a spouse and I don’t have kids. I totally understand those who have to put their spouses and their kids before the raid. If I had a spouse and/or kids, I’d put them before my raid too. In fact, I would judge someone negatively if they were jerks to their families while playing a video game.
But I don’t have a spouse or kids. I‘m not ready to put other people in front of myself, thus I choose to be single and childless at this point in my life. It’s all about the social contract and I find myself wanting a social contract for other single and childless people.
It’s All About Soul
I love raiding. I had to put up a big fight at my job and negotiate to have raid nights off.
I look forward to my raids all day. I can’t wait to jump on the computer and get ready to go. I eagerly await my raid invite and let everybody know if I find it doesn’t come fast enough.
During raids, any interruption is a tragedy and, while necessary, breaks kind of annoy me. I pee before the raid, why doesn’t everyone else?
After a raid, I want to talk about it. I want to comb through the logs and find all the nitty gritties that’ll help me perform better next time.
If you suspect that I become impatient with those who don’t share my enthusiasm, you would be correct.
Now, that passion does waver. It’s usually dependent on what’s going on in my real life. When my real life was overloaded, I was so grateful to have a team who understood irregular schedules. I loved having a team that wouldn’t notice if I didn’t have time to study the boss fights before the raid. It was a relief to have frequent breaks to take care of real life stuff mid raid.
But, as soon as my real life stabilized, I found myself being deeply jealous of guild working hard modes. And of 25 man guilds. That’s when the cravings for something more took over.
I’ll miss the people
I’m so afraid that my guildies will read this post the wrong way. I really hope they don’t, because this is the first time I decide to move on from a guild with zero hard feelings towards anyone.
They were (are?) fantastic to be around. I couldn’t even say how often I’ve spit beer all over my keyboard from laughing too hard. The sports talk (and the subsequent discussions of the appropriateness of sports talk during raids), the serenades on vent, the guild cheers… I don’t think I’ll ever find a guild that comes close in term of atmosphere.
You can tell they really enjoy each others company, and care about each other as people. I remember one night, one of our players was having a really rough go. He asked to be sat, but the team refused. They wanted to be there for him and cheer him up, even if it meant wiping all night. It was terrible for progression, but so heartwarming that even I was moved.
Another memory… At Blizzcon I got cornered by The Feminists. (I describe myself as a feminist but I’m not well versed in the more scientific side of the movement and The Privilege still confuses me.) We got into a talk about guilds, they were telling me about how they had to reform their guilds to be more respectful toward women. I so proud to be able to tell them that my guild was already great when I joined and totally didn’t need any reforming. So proud.
All joking aside, I did really appreciate being treated as “one of the team”. Despite being the only girl in the guild at the time (over the course of the year, there have been a couple of wives/girlfriends and another girl who’ve logged in a few times and maybe did one raid with us; and Valithria who comments here sometimes logs in and says hi as well, but I’m the only regular, and the only raider), I’ve always been treated with respect. There’s even never been issues with hatespeach, and girlfriend-ranting has been kept to a minimum without any input from me.
It’s actually pretty cute that the rare times I say/do anything remotely girly or sexual, my teammates get all confused, as in “it…it can do that?”.
I had left my previous guild for a myriad of reasons, but the one that cut the deepest and still hurts today was gender discrimination-related. So being valued as a player and as a member of the raid team, without gender interfering, has become something that I don’t take for granted.
Toward the future (or If you are a guild recruiter…)
When I announced I was leaving, everyone was super nice and supportive. A few people even asked to come with me (this is how great the team is, it’s hard to keep us apart!).
Of those who wanted to come along, one, I think, has pretty much the same goals I do. So here, it is, Holy Pally and Mage/Warlock (he says he’ll play either character, but I think he secretly prefers to be a warlock) looking for guild!
Demographics: I have a strong preference for 25 man Alliance (I prefer 25s, and I don’t want to loose my achievement points…), my friend doesn’t have a preference as long as the raiding and the people are good.
Schedule: I’m West Coast and often work evenings so schedule is usually the limiting factor for me. I can raid after 9pm PACIFIC any night, and after 6 pm PACIFIC on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. I believe my friend is available after 5pm pacific any day, and would prefer a team that doesn’t raid too late. 2 or 3 raids/week seems to be ideal to both of us.
Progression: As two people coming from a 5/8 normal Dragon Soul, 1/7H Firelands guild, we’re obviously not the most geared people in the game. But we’re both fast learners and dedicated players. We run the LFR, cap out our valor points and read our boss fights. We’re disciplined during raids, communicate well and drink up constructive criticism like it’s lifewater.
Environment: We’re coming from a very tight knit guild, so we’d both feel happiest in a guild where the teammates are also friends. Both of us being about 30, we’d like to play with people about our age and maturity level.
Ideally, we’d like to find a home together, but if our dream guilds end up being separate, that’s ok too. Bonus: a guild who takes both of us, may also get a kickass resto shammy bench-warmer.