There comes a point in ever persons life where the thing you love (your hobby/sport/significant other) becomes a stressfest, and you begin to wonder why you still take part in said activity. This is a little rambling, so I apologize, but it’s things I need to say.
In my freshman year I was on my high schools winterguard team, and in tenth and eleventh grade I was also on our marching band’s Color guard. A group of between ten and twenty girls(depending on what season it was) would get together after school everyday and practice, in very cramped quarters, our flag tosses (Which later caused the cafeteria ceiling to be littered with holes and pockmarks), rifle spins, and dance routines.
I loved it to death. Every day was like a party my freshman year. We got to jam out to the awesome music to our routine, laugh when we dropped the flag, or someone smacked the ceiling again, and we made progress with our routine. We may not have been the best guard, or the most experienced, but we always went into our saturday competitions with hope that we would win. Sometimes we got that first place trophy and knew we deserved it.
But, alas, as people get more comfortable with each other, true feelings and insecurities come out, and we move apart from something we were once so close to. At the end of the Summer season my Junior year, I had been removed from the colorguard, and choose not to come back for winter season to what had become a vicious, cut throat business, rather than the relaxed party it had once been. My “removal” was brought about by me taking a vacation that I received for my birthday from my boyfriend to Disney world. He offered to have me come along with his family for my present because I was not able to come along with the marching bands spring trip due to it simply being overly costly. I do not regret the choice I made, Disney world was a wonderful experience (this was the second time I had ever gone), and it gave me many more happy memories that I would not trade for anything that could have happened under the scorching sun at band camp. Something I had once loved so much, had become a trial, and a daily pain.
This story of my life does have a point. Once you become so drastically involved with something, and you begin to pull away, resentment often opens the flood gates to negative feelings that were always brewing. Lately my raiding group has become a lot of things, none of them very good. A few months before ToC came out we lost about half of our Ulduar raiding team. Those of us who were in the guild tried to pick up the pieces and stick it out through not having either of our Guild leaders, barely any tanks, and having to pull in undergeared and underskilled players to fill the holes. We never killed Yogg. We still have not. It was not a fun time.
I don’t think we’ve ever fully recovered from this. Slowly we’re gaining new, skilled players, but often times we’re having to make do with those unskilled players who now have the gear, but lack the reflexes, situational awareness, and ability to know their classes that our former team had.
For example, we spent a four miserable hours wiping in the Plagueworks on saturday night, not downing a single boss because people had failed to watch the videos, or understand the mechanics of the fight. When some one, after the fifth wipe, asks why the slime is following her and what the disease debuff does, it’s time to hang up the hat. We’ve got DPS that does 3k DPS with a gearscore of 5.4k. We’ve got people who don’t watch videos, or come prepared, are incorrectly gemed, or have to be told when to bubble/ice block/disperse/ feign death/ use anti-magic shield. The five (possibly six) of us who know what we’re doing sit back and explain over and over about the fights, and why this does this and blah blah blah. The most disconcerting aspect of the night? It wasn’t that we spent four hours wiping on content PuGs were clearing. It was that we PuGed ToGC10 the next night, something we had wiped on for three hours for last thursday night with a guild run, and we one shot beasts. And one to two shot everything else, except Anub. Heck, if most of us hadn’t had to leave early I’m confident that we would have gotten the Tribute to Skill.
This caused me to pause.
I had never thought how frustrating it was to wipe all night (well, not truly thought), because I just thought that was how it always was and was ment to be. This was new hard content, our raiders had gear, it may just take a few weeks to sort out coördination, and then we’ll be fine. I had never lost hope that my guild was able to actually able to do this stuff, and we were par for the course of everything out side of The Forgotten.
But a PuG (consisting of 5 players from our guild and 5 from another guild on our server) was able to rip through content that we had never been able to clear? That we hadn’t been able to guild clear a week before?
My hope in our ability to complete the ICC content plummeted as fast as a mage’s health when they’re standing in fire.
Which frequently happens.
Tonight, I’m introducing my first article series: Run Back, a series about my guilds attempts to turn around our raiding streak , improve our raiders (or replace them),and how you can take our failures and learn from them. However, I don’t want to stop at my experiences alone. I’m sure you’ve all been there through the times I’m going through now, and I’d like to hear from you. I want to hear what you did (or didn’t do) that changed how you raid, and how much you enjoyed raiding. I know that everyone’s raiding likes and dislikes will be different, but if I (we) can compile something that allows people like myself to change their situation, and examples with how you can do that, I feel there will be many less /facepalms and broken key boards.
You can send me your stories to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can post it in the comments below.