I was browsing through my WoW blogroll on google reader and stumbled across Gazimoff’s dilemma and it got me thinking about my own situation currently. I’m in a bit of an odd position and with inspiration from Gazimoff’s post I thought it might be good to write out my issues and try to sort it out. (There’s a lot of history after the cut that you may not be interested in, though if you scroll down after the cut you’ll see my little note saying where I get to the point, and can read from there for the relevant information)
When I started playing World of Warcraft 2.5 years ago, I joined the server that all of my friends were on, and played in their guild. I had started playing to be with them, so it made sense to group up. The server is a low population RP server that they transferred to as a guild from Shadow Council once vanilla was over. They love bragging about how they’re one of the oldest guilds on the server etc. I wasn’t with them when they transferred because I hadn’t started playing yet, and I dislike this sort of asinine bragging and the quibbling that often ensues. I leveled my warlock through that summer at an unhealthy rate and then began raiding Karazhan with them. These raids were really the only good memories I have from the guild. We went in to have fun but we also wanted to get things done. Everyone was light-hearted and happy to joke around, and we had a blast. This is what raiding is supposed to be for the non-hardcores, in my opinion. The problem really came when Lich King came out. We got a whole bunch of new players in the guild and I made a terrible choice to roll a blood elf bimbo death knight instead of taking my warlock up to 80. For the most part, the new people either flaked out after a couple of weeks, left for other hardcore guilds, or stayed and were complete douchecocks.
This didn’t bode too well with me. During Burning Crusade, when I was still relatively new to the guild, I was loud and blunt, as I was in person at the time, and apparently I rubbed one of the players the wrong way. I tried to tone it down, but I wasn’t told who it was that I had annoyed, and so I couldn’t take the necessary mental steps to solve the problem for myself, as well as outwardly. So I was a bit tipsy with caution anyway when we got all of these unintelligent 3 year olds in the guild. I did my best to stay quiet, and only really socialized with my real life friends through whispers or the occasional guild chat when it was late at night and not many people were around. This wasn’t the way I wanted to play. I had joined the guild to socialize with my friends and play with them, but in the context of our guild at the time, this wasn’t happening, so I may as well have been playing on some other server where I didn’t know anybody. While Lich King was still new and I was leveling my death knight, I pointed out (in my brash, blunt nature at the time) that I had done a lot for the guild since I had joined and started raiding and that they should make me an officer. It’s no good if you ask for this sort of thing, but I felt like i deserved the privilege of helping to lead the guild, and after a debasing and relatively offensive meeting with the other officers, I was promoted. As time went on as an officer, there were a few people who complained that they didn’t like me in the officer position and they thought that I was on a power trip. Even if that were the case, they didn’t approach the subject correctly with me, and so I didn’t understand how to solve the issue as a whole. I’m a good leader in person and have accolades and awards to prove it, but there’s something about leading things from a graphical point of view that I’m just no good at, apparently. At this point I was fed up enough with the guild that I decided to leave for greener pastures, and so I went to the top guild on the server and managed to pass my application. When I left I made the stupid decision of bringing it up in guild chat, and we went on for about 20 minutes, specifically me and one of the senior officers who wasn’t one of my real life friends, about how he felt that I was betraying the guild and stepping on the feet of the people who had helped to gear me up.
The raids were sub par – a huge decrease in quality and fun from when we ran Karazhan and Zul’Aman back in BC. I felt that I was gaining when I went to the new guild, as they had consistent 25 man raids (when that actually meant something) and multiple 10 man groups that forayed into the same content as a way to get more emblems. The old guild had hardly helped me to gear up, and I didn’t have any fun doing it. What’s the point of a game if it isn’t fun? After awhile in this new guild I took a couple of month long break from WoW in favor of passing classes and having a social life, and returned with the desire to leave the hardcore scene and return to the old guild, where I was accepted. I forgot to note that when I left, all of my officer status was revoked. This is completely understandable, and I have no qualm with that choice. The thing that bugged me is that the people who followed me to the new guild, and there were quite a few, were allowed to keep their officer status on their alts. I had been the victim of a nerdrage by the senior officer that had argued with me. This was the first, and definitely not the last time that this sort of nerdrage occurred.
After I got myself geared up for the current content at the time, I jumped into raiding again with them, and experienced the whining and complaining that I had hoped would be gone. Not only was this senior officer still around, he was the raid leader, and he was still not happy with me. We were on friendly speaking terms, but when this guy gets mad, he loses his shit, hardcore. It didn’t help that in my absence they had picked up another officer who had a similar temper to this other guy, and he was one of the tanks, so he was in every time with the raid leader. I never heard the end of the bitching. It was generally a really bad experience. I managed to get myself elevated to officer again after getting my real life friends, who are also officers, to admit and agree that I had been mistreated. I spent only a small amount of time in this position, dealing with a the guild growing and attempting to take control of the raiding situation in the hopes of purging out the whiners and getting people who actually wanted to progress. I tried to recruit enough so that we could run a 25 man in ICC and pulled off a couple of groups, though we never made it past Marrowgar (which wasn’t too uncommon at the time). The constant argument and discussion that occurred between the officers was that a few of them didn’t think of us as hardcore raiders, despite the fact that we raid 3-4 nights a week for at least 3 or 4 hours, and we all love raiding. I threw my hands up and gave up on even trying, and manually stepped down from the officer position because I felt like again, I wasn’t being listened to. All of this built up to my realization of a hidden feeling that had been lurking right below my conscious for the longest time, that the guild leadership was wholly ineffective because our GM was mostly absent, and when he finally stepped down, he passed leadership off to the asshole raid leader that hated me instead of one of his real life friends that had been in the guild longer than I had played. With this realization in hand, and the knowledge that we weren’t accomplishing anything except gearing the raid leader, his girlfriend and his best friends, I took a break from WoW again. This one was much shorter, and when I returned, things hadn’t changed at all.
A few others started to leave, and then we lost almost all of our raiders that hadn’t been in the guild since BC, and they all went to form a separate guild with a no BS policy and a plan to raid. It didn’t take long for me to quit my guild again (this time thankfully to no abuse) and join up with them, though I was cautioned that some [the new guild's leader's wife] people had left our old guild because of the way that I acted when I was an officer and blah blah blah, it’s just more drama etc. They barred me from ever taking an officer position in the guild which, while a little peeved at the restriction, didn’t bother me and I was content to simmer. I took more breaks and raided on and off with the new guild to more success, but the issue still stands that I’m on an rp server that is dangerously close to the bottom of the progression list.
(Here is where I get to the point of the post!!)
So here I sit, unsure of what to do. I’m playing in a guild that doesn’t have any of my close real life friends in it (at least that are active) and while the raiding scene is better in this guild than before, and I enjoy myself again a little bit while raiding, I’m stuck on this really, really bad rp server with lots of stupid people and ridiculous guilds. The server is so bad that we get progression guilds that aren’t on top switching to our server for server firsts. It’s that bad. I have friends on other servers where various imbalances occur, like one server I’d have to switch to alliance and the ally population there is incredibly low compared to the massive horde population, or I could switch to another friend’s server though they aren’t really interested in raiding, so I find myself at an impasse. The best option that I probably have is to switch faction and server to my friend’s who are leading a progression guild and get some hardcore raiding experience, which I think I would enjoy. Raid times would need to fit etc. but I had already expressed interest to them early in Lich King and they said I’d probably be welcomed if I applied. The other option is to sit tight here and stay horde (which I love dearly) playing with my old guildies in a new context, and maybe seeing all of the content and a decent pace, though an easy difficulty.
What do you think I should?
As a going away present, I present you with this beautiful little piece of work on the RealID discussion.