The Way I Are

Categories: focused, rambling, wangst, WoW
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: November 15, 2011

I’m not entirely sure how coherent this is going to be, but this is a story that has to be told, and I’m going to do my damnedest to do so. But before I do, welcome to the new site for Focused Divergence. This is the last time that I’ll be moving my site, I swear. So please update your rss feeds and bookmarks accordingly =)

Now, on to story-time with the Reverend…

This is a story that I’ve mentioned briefly in conversations with a few people here and there, and I’ve referred to it in previous posts, but I think I’ve only actually told the story in full to one person.

The setting is World of Warcraft, shortly after the announcement that raid sizes would be scaled down to 10 & 25-mans from 20 & 40-mans. I was in a guild called Iniquitous at the time. We weren’t on the level of Paragon or anything like that, but we were a so-called “hardcore” raiding guild, at the high end of server progression.

Molten Core was only being done in hopes of a binding drop. Blackwing Lair, while still consistently giving us problems on Razorgore, was on farm. Onyxia & Nefarian’s heads had been put on big sticks in Orgrimmar in our name. Hakkar and Jin’do had felt our wrath. Ossirian was scarred. Rhok’s had been delar’ed. And I was the class commander for Hunters (after time zone differences eventually forced our original class commander to step down from his role).

With Burning Crusade so close on the horizon, we had however stopped raiding. A consensus had been reached that with how quickly gear pieces were supposedly being replaced, there wasn’t any real point in hitting up the raids we had on farm. One night, I logged in to a fairly empty gchat. There was only two or three other people one. Not too surprising, since a lot of people had gone on temporary hiatuses. We weren’t raiding; there wasn’t any real point in logging on any more. And then I received a whisper from a guildmate. Except he wasn’t a guildmate any more.

Either during the night while I was asleep, or during the day while I was at work, a guild purge had occured. My guild had “trimmed the fat” so that our raiding team was comprised of our best raiders. And I’d survived the culling of the herd. I think on some level a lot of us were expecting it to happen. The idea of having multiple raid teams hadn’t occurred to many people, and we all knew that we were going to have to reduce our raid teams. We wouldn’t have been the first raiding guild to do so.

But we’d thought that when it would happen it would be more of a “You’re welcome to stay in the guild, but you’re no longer on the raid team” fashion. Gkicks were very much not expected. And they were sneaky ones. All the people that had been removed had been gkicked while offline. And while I’m sure it was discussed within the core officer group, it hadn’t been discussed with the class leads at all. I was hunter class commander, and I was the only hunter in the guild that survived the purge. And I found out about it from somebody who hadn’t.

I was very unhappy with the entire situation. I no longer felt comfortable in a guild that i had called home for quite some time now. I wasn’t happy with the removal of people from the guild, and the fact that it was done in such an underhanded way didn’t sit well with me either. All the people that had been removed, formed together into a new guild that one of them had made on an alt months prior called “Enemy”. I did eventually leave Iniquitous, and join Enemy as all my friends were there, but I never liked the name.

I still liked a lot of the people in Iniquitous, and I’d enjoyed my time there. While I found their recent actions fairly reprehensible, I wasn’t happy being in a guild named “Enemy”. It seemed too much like a jab at Iniq. This whole situation and all the drama that circled it left me incredibly burnt out on the game, and one month into Burning Crusade, I quit the game.

In my time away from the game I came to realize what an unhealthy mindset I had while I was raiding. Granted, near the end, I wasn’t exactly in social environments conducive to a healthy mindset, but the way I thought about things when I was a full-time raider wasn’t a way that I wanted to be thinking about things now that I’d taken a step back from the game. I vowed that should I ever return to the game, I wouldn’t allow myself to get into that frame of mind again.

Time passed and near the tail end of TBC, I decided to give WoW another shot. I got into the beta for Wrath of the Lich King, and I was reminded of why I played the game in the first place; it’s fun. After Wrath launched I spent a long time being unguilded. Longer than I need to, actually. I’d met some great people along the way (some of whom I’ve now met irl, and am honoured to call my friends), and I’d long had a standing invite to their guild should I choose to accept it. I held off on accepting that guild invite for longer than I should have because I still hadn’t fully come to terms with the whole Iniquitous/Enemy situation. Eventually, after being invited to fill a slot in Naxx with them a couple times, and actually winning their first tier helm off Kel’Thuzad, I joined The Zug Initiative. The guild that I now consider home.

I’ve had a damn lot of fun with TZI, and made a lot of great friends within the guild. People that I’m all the better just for knowing. But near the end of Wrath, I caught myself falling into my “raider’s mindset” again, and it wasn’t even in the raid instances, which I was for the most part steadfastly refusing to come to. I’d come do ICC with them if they absolutely needed me, but those times were few and far between. No, the mindset was coming into play in heroics. And in that mindset, I’m incredibly intolerant and impatient. To be blunt about it, I become a giant fucking asshole.

These are my friends. I don’t want to be an asshole to them. I’ve legitimately had my life saved by some of them. I don’t have so many friends that I can afford to alienate them, especially not friends of their caliber. So once again I’ve distanced myself from the game. Granted, I’m playing a lot more now than I had been in the previous months, but I’m still keeping busy with working on my blog, or videos, or a myriad of other things.

I still maintain a policy of “if you really need me, I’ll come” for modern content whether it be cata heroics or raids. I don’t mind hitting up older content, because it’s pretty much easily facerolled (Please don’t misinterpret this) now. But if you give me an excuse to back out of something current, I’m going to ride it until the T-Bird gets taken away. Unfortunately, as I hadn’t laid everything out before, and I couldn’t easily explain all this stuff, I’m afraid that I’m coming across as incredibly wishy-washy. I do tend to be fairly indecisive (and impulsive when I’m not indecisive), but this is why – at least why I’m indecisive about guild runs in WoW.

But recently, I’ve rediscovered just how much I like pvp. I’m absolutely terrible at it, but I have fun. And it’s something I can do with my guildmates without worrying about coming off as an asshole – whether they be with my main in TZI, or with alts in BROGROUNDS on Bonechewer.

Hopefully this helps explains some of my misgivings, indecisiveness, and general bullshit. Here’s hoping for a Keri Hilson-esque reaction. =)


(I was torn between referencing the Timbaland song or the Cranius/Summergale parody {especially given some of my views} in this post, so… How about both? Enjoy.)

1 Comment
  1. Seb says:

    Sounds like that raid guild leader was a real passive-aggressive asshole. As well as stupid. 20 and 40 man raids become 2x 10 man and 4x 10 man raids. Even if they didn’t have the solid tank/healer numbers to fill out multiple raids, he could have recruited. Even alli figured that one out ffs – when I was trying alli side for a while in BC I was in a raid guild which was filling out multiple raid groups to be run simultaneously where they’d split a group and merge with other teams for the oddly numbered 25 man content. So what was this guy doing I wonder. Even if he didn’t have the solid tank/heal members to fill multiple raids, he could have recruited. Even on my old RP server there was an abundance of warrior tanks at that time – you’d often see “tank LFG heroic” going unanswered there were so many.

    As for the asshole nature, that seems to be inherent to raid guilds in general. They almost train people to run/act like that. It can be a difficult mindset to throw off, which is probably why people burn out of raid guilds or wow entirely. But I’d like to think it’s doable, especially when not in that cutthroat raid guild environment anymore. It is a fun game, not a job and ultimately the winning or losing or anything else of the character is a personal experience. I think I’ve somehow gotten onto a soapbox and forget what my point was. XD I guess when you find yourself reverting to raid guild mentality, remember that it is a fun game and as long as people are having fun, their gear score and their dkp and whatever else… don’t actually exist.

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