So What Now?

This post will have no beginning, middle, or end. This is truly me pondering the hands that I’ve seen dealt over the past month as I try to find my own way. There may be feelings, there may be frustration, there may  be an awareness as to why I haven’t been able to sleep for a week and still cling to memories and my own what ifs. –Miri

I internalize. People see me get annoyed, people hear me lose my temper. But people never understand the sea of anger that I keep within me, that I work to balance each and every day. While I am not the most patient person in the world, I realize that if I truly let my rage loose, there would be a lot of stunned people. The same goes for my sadness. There are days where it slips out, unable to be contained, unable to be controlled. And yet it’s still only a small glimpse into me as a person. For me to admit to lack of control, would be the defeat of who I am. And so I internalize.

I won’t lie. The past month has been absolutely horrific for raiders. Every time I load a blog or glance at Twitter someone else is stepping back from raiding, someone else is quitting. My own guild has been plagued with such a loss of players that we’ve had to downsize from a 25 to a 10. And each night I sign in, wondering who’s going to stay and who’s going to go. How we’re going to make it work. And then I long for the ability to rebuild the 25 so we can all remain together.

Kirian, Raz, and mini-Sel

But it doesn’t work that way. 10s are easier to wrangle, easier for progression purposes. And that’s why I raid. I raid to progress. I raid to down the bosses. I raid to be the best I can at slaying internet dragons. Raiding is fun, but raiding is why I play WoW. I want to play with other people who have as narrow of a mindset that I do. And then I deal with the war of the “casual” player. As much as I would love to, I can’t sustain 4 nights a week of raiding. I get that.  2-3 I could do, and even on a diminished schedule, I think as long as I ran with people of a like mindset, then I’m fine. But I’m considered too “focused” for some. I’m that good player with an aggressive attitude. I’m not here for fun. I’m here for control and power. My highs come from racking up those kills. In BC it was just the ability to support a core 25 team. Being on a raid of that size already set you head and shoulders above a large majority of the players. You were raiding at a different level than people in Kara or ZA. This worked for me. This was a perfect fit to my play style.

And then Wrath came along. And suddenly, there were 10s and 25s alike. You got better loot to run a 25, and you could run both raid sizes each week. And I did. 2 days in 10s, 2 days in 25s. I ran so much Tier 7 that I could scream. And then the guild imploded and I bailed. I bounced into a casual guild for Tier 8 and ran screaming after 2 weeks. I stepped into ICC with another team and threw in the towel, once again after 2 weeks. Sloppy raiders, clueless raid leaders, and I just couldn’t take it. And so I closed the book on my Wrath raiding, netting my Lich King kills with PuGs on my realm and spending my down time leveling a pack of alts.

And now we enter Cata. PuGging on my old realm was a joke–you had to have the gear before you could even get into a raid. And T11 became a distant goal. And then I decided to realm transfer and start fresh elsewhere. T11 became T12, where I went into full main tank mode, seeing Rag’s defeat multiple times. But the hours weren’t working, and so I made preparations to move yet again for Dragon Soul. And we saw 3 weeks of Dragon Soul, making good progress, pushing forward on and working to master Spine.

Then the shoe dropped with the departure of a good friend. That departure was soon followed by the resignation of another. And then we were down a DPS. And then 2 healers. And then we watched the team dissolve before my eyes.

And then I look to Twitter, where another has stepped down as a raid leader and MT for his team, official last night. I read blog posts of players tossing in the towel.

And yesterday, a question was posed to me: “Is this normal for the end of an expansion?”

And I paused. And my honest answer was “I don’t know.”

Wrath saw the merging of 2 raid IDs into 1, Cata saw the introduction of LFR. And as was highlighted in a blog post by Vidyala, why join a raiding guild if you can see the content in LFR? And for some, like Cyn, closure in an expansion is done by killing the  big bad. Cyn has done this, thanks to LFR. Why should he remain in game?

I’ve killed Deathwing. I’ve watched the flood of people who I love and respect share that they are leaving the game.

Raz and Ursal

So what now?

Where do I go from here? I don’t know if I’ll honestly be able to accomplish my goals this Tier–my mind doesn’t mesh well with the goals of the leadership. So do I toss in the towel too? Do I take my break until MoP? Or do I keep going, because deep down, I don’t want to let my ragtag (and still unknown) team down?

I have no answers for myself. Just a lot of conflicting emotions and a lot of unanswered questions.

I tell everyone that they have to make the decision for themselves. Sadly, I can’t abide by even my own advice. While I may be a self-centered asshole to many, I don’t want my decisions to impact the rest of my team. The loss of another tank could either close out our progression, or it could enable another to step up. I don’t want that resting on my shoulders.

So what now?

  1. aralosseien
    January 7, 2012 at 7:26 pm | #1

    I wish you luck finding your path, Miri. Do what is best for you and remember that you are number 1 priority. /hugs

  2. January 7, 2012 at 7:34 pm | #2

    It isn’t coincidence that I’m here reading this. I’ve been wondering the same thing after seeing other raiders and bloggers step down too.

    I don’t have the answers either, and I want to continue raiding with people who is also like-minded like you. But at what cost? I just wrote about the same topic on my blog musing over this, but it’s a topic that deserves a post in its own right.

    Hopefully you’ll figure something out, Miri. It’s heart wrenching losing good people, and I know your team would really feel the loss if you stepped down too.

  3. January 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm | #3

    I began raiding in later LK (really TotC and Ulduar are where I learned the ropes).

    However, I dove in and just took whatever I was offered. I loved the challenge, I loved being able to get those boss kills and I loved helping the guild do it. For me, earning a boss kill when it’s relevant is just so much fun.

    I look back then, and I was probably raiding 20+ hours a week, between 10s, 25s, alt runs… it was truly a joy. I’m also a similar personality where I internalize stress, rage or depression.

    One thing that I found was that I was able to dive in and help the guild, and that helped. However, as I grew into a leadership role, I started to have an attitude that if you were not coming prepared, and didn’t contribute, you just were not showing respect to the rest of the raid team.

    That was the interesting thing with me, at the end of my run at Bloodscalp, and being second in command of my guild, I found my raiding was no longer the release I enjoyed. I still loved the challenge, but I found that it was harder and harder to internalize my feelings, and I was getting downright ornery at the end towards people that did not deserve it, and downright brutal to people that did.

    That’s not me, though. So, when I started to level a druid on Medivh as a break, I enjoyed the people so much that it made me think about what was important for me. At that time, what was important was to enjoy the game, and just do what was best for me. If I had stayed on Bloodscalp, the pressure I would’ve had to keep things going would’ve broken me. That decision saved my love of playing, and still being around people that I’ve truly came to feel a close brotherhood with — not only at Medivh, but my ex-guildies on Bloodscalp as well.

    So, just do what’s best for you. I think your personality will want you to keep driving forward. It’s a tough thing, and some people may say it’s selfish, but the only one that’ll notice if you’re making a big sacrifice is you. Loyalty is huge for me, but I’ve found taking care of myself is damn important as well.

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