I will soon be heading out for the 2nd annual Arm of Hades guild meet. We had a whole lot of fun at our last meetup and this year we’ve decided to get together for a whole week. Twenty of us have rented a lodge in Indiana, where we’ll be playing Rock Band, board games, golf, drinking a teensy bit and likely doing a whole lot of talking about WoW.
The 10 hour drive begins at 6am. I feel bad for the people I’m travelling with. I am not pleasant in the morning.
So, I’m going to be away from the blog/Twitter for a bit. I do have an awesome guest post lined up and may even squeeze in a post or two of my own depending on the internet situation. It may take me a little longer than normal to approve and respond to comments.
It wasn’t because of drama. It wasn’t because I wanted more progression. It wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy playing with the people there. It all came down to schedule. After three and a half years of raiding Friday and Saturday nights, I decided I couldn’t do it anymore. I’m no social butterfly, but raiding those times did have a definite impact on how much time I got to spend with my friends and family. Over the last several months I had been feeling increasingly bad about the whole situation. I felt guilty when I turned down invites from my friends to go out so I could raid. Likewise I felt like I was letting down my guild the times I declined raids so I could go out. It started to feel like a no-win situation, where I would always have to choose between letting down my friends or my guild.
Just as my feelings of guilt and frustration at trying to balance raiding and real life were reaching a boiling point, I saw a very appealing recruitment ad from a guild looking for a resto Druid. They were at a very similar progression level, had raid times that would work really well for me and as a bonus, I was already somewhat familiar with some of the members through WoW blogs and Twitter. It gave me the push I needed. Though I loved raiding with aus the raid schedule was really stressing me out and I needed a change. I made the decision to leave.
That week was quite the emotional roller coaster for me. The first thing I did was write a message to my raid leader, letting him know I would be leaving soon. I wrote the message then sat in front of my computer sobbing for 20 minutes before I hit send. The next day I sent messages to the rest of the officers which involved more crying. After that, I put in my application to Apotheosis. I was really excited about writing and submitting my app. I’ve always loved tests (yes, I’m a nerd) and I looked at the application process as a big test. Could I avoid the errors that so many applicants make? No spelling mistakes, full answers to all the questions asked and responses that convince people I know what I’m doing? Apparently I could. After some back and forth on the forums and an interview on Mumble, I was offered a trial spot in the guild. I was really pleased things had gone so well. The following weekend I had my final raid with aus, said my goodbyes and server transferred Jasyla. I got a lot of nice messages and replies to my goodbye post on the forums which, of course, induced more crying.
It was a hard decision, but ultimately I think it was the right one. My first raid-free weekend in a long time was a really nice change of pace. I know my fiancé appreciated not being abandoned for a raid on Friday night. I’ll miss raiding with aus – there are many great people and players there that I both like and respect. I’ll miss my healing team, who have been healing together for so long. We avoided healing assignments like the plague, but we still kept people healed somehow and had fun doing it. I’ll miss the chatter about chicken salt and raiding without pants, songs about soft kitties, professor putricide imitations and all the awful, awful puns. I’ve got a lot of great memories and I will keep in touch though.
Now I’m focused on impressing my new guildmates and healing the hell out of them in raids. Everyone has been really welcoming. My first two raids with Apotheosis were fun and successful. I got a couple new boss kills and was fortunate enough to be a part of the guild’s first heroic Maloriak kill. I can’t wait to start working on our next heroic and be part of the learning process from start to finish.
I’m looking for some input from raid leaders out there. How do you deal with people who show up for raids unprepared? People who don’t bring flasks or food. People who are slacking on gems and enchants. People who are raiding with an extremely inferior spec. People who don’t read up on fights in advance. In an ideal world, these people would be benched in favor of someone who is prepared, however not every raid team has access to a bench every raid.
I’ve always been extremely uncomfortable with the idea of scolding grown adults. Unfortunately, when you get into situations like this some people need to be reminded of the importance of being prepared…over…and over again.
I’d love to hear how you handle the people who are not prepared. Also, what do you do with people who no-show?
Sorry for the lack of posts, I’ve been a little busy lately plus I haven’t played WoW in almost 2 weeks so I haven’t had much to write about. Except of course, my guild meetup.
The meetup went so well. We had 16 people, many of whom had never met before all staying together in a lodge out in the middle of nowhere for 3 days. It could have been a recipe for disaster (a couple of our guildies drew comparisons to the house from Evil Dead after the 2.5 mile drive through the forest to get there), but everyone got along really well and we had a lot of fun. We played a whole bunch of board games, Rock Band, played with the horses on the property, had a campfire, imbibed a drink or two and generally just hung out and had a good time. It was worth the 30 hours spent in the car getting there and back.
Some things I learned on the trip:
There are a lot of corn fields between Ontario and Missouri
So much corn
Strawberry Cheesecake pancakes from IHOP are delicious
American iced tea kicks Canadian iced tea’s ass (as long as it’s sweet tea)
The liquor store we stocked up at sold guns! That was different.
Drinking too much leads to drunken nighttime kayaking (not by me though)
I ate grits for the first time. They were good.
Sitting on a porch with a view, reading a good book and drinking and a cup of coffee is one of the best things in the world
My morning ritual - I wish I had a porch like this at home
I suck at chess
I’m very adept at making sangria. I’m even more adept at drinking it.
I’m going to be away from the blog for a few days.
My guild meet is this weekend. Tonight me and 7 of my local guildies are heading out to Missouri to meet up with some of our American members. We’ve rented a cabin for the long weekend and I am super-excited to meet everyone.
Whee, road trip!
See y’all next week. (I’m practicing my southern drawl )
It’s been a while since I did an update post and a lot has been going on. My Horde guild has had a miraculous turnaround. After recruiting some great new players we are now filling raids (we even have a bench!), and making progress. Last week we got our second Halion kill, completed three ICC hard modes thanks to a Kingslayer that joined us and got our first Sindragosa kill. Unfortunately, I missed the Sindy and Halion kills (the downside to having a bench), but I’m very excited that they happened.
We’ve also had a number of local people join the guild after our first local meetup. I was a little wary of meeting strangers, but everyone was super-friendly and we’ll hopefully make it a monthly occurrence.
In other meet-up news, Arm of Hades is having our first international guild meet! We’ve rented a cabin outside of St. Louis for the long weekend. I’m excited to finally meet some of the people I’ve been playing with for the last 2 and a half years. I’m sure I’ll write some more about this later.
Over on the Alliance side, things are slowing down.
We don’t always manage to scrape together 25 people for raids and our progress has stalled. We killed our last hard mode (Lady Deathwhisper) 6 weeks ago and since then we’ve spent maybe 3 hours on heroic Sindragosa and 1 hour on heroic Putricide. I don’t expect to be able to kill them anytime soon at that rate. It seems to be really difficult to recruit on our server, it’s huge and it is very competitive. Our 9/12 hard mode progression puts us at #17 in terms of server progression which I’m sure isn’t a big draw. On most other servers we’d be in the top 10, but there are just so many other raiding guilds to compete with. Hopefully things will turn around a bit or maybe we’ll take a break from raiding until the expansion.
I’ve been entertaining myself with non-WoW things a lot lately. Reading a lot of books, watching DVDs, playing on Xbox. I’m currently reading Feed, which I first heard about from Professor Beej, and I’m playing Lost Odyssey. I’m thinking of starting up a second blog to talk about books and movies. I just joined Goodreads and I’ve been having fun inputting and rating all the books I’ve read over the last 10 years. The site seems like a much better way to keep track of what I’ve read than the crumpled notebook I’ve been using.
Hopefully I’ll be able to pull myself away from Goodreads long enough to put up a couple more Healing ICC posts this week.