What raiding does to people.

I was doing my usual blog reading and I happened onto Unbearable HoT. The latest post there made me relive everything that led to me quiting my raiding guild and even the server that housed said guild.

Obviously I wasnt a tank, but I was both a founding member and an Officer for most of my time there (from raiding Karazhan to killing Illidan). Everything started out great, there werent many of us but we all enjoyed playing together, helping each other out and just chatting about stuff.

Then we progressed into 25 mans and the trouble started. Im sure anyone who has ever formed a guild will sympathise, but the weeding out of players, finding out who can avoid the fire and who is guarenteed to be dancing in it as their health ticks down was stressful. We lost good players who despite saying they understood what we were doing would only put up with so much as the 5th trial healer in row alt f4ed from a raid. Tempers on all sides got frayed, guildchat started to be full of people whining about stuff, complaining about our loot distribution and bitching about our lack of progress.

Just as everything seemed hopeless, that the naysayers on the forum were right and we were destinied to be just another Kara guild who disbanded after a few weeks, we suddently started to make progress and fast progress at that. Magtheridon died, quickly followed by most of tk and ssc and the negative stuff in guildchat died down. People started to bond, to have fun again.

Unfortunately that didnt last. We hit Lady Vashj and Kael at the same time as 2 other guilds from our server, and we hit a brick wall. People couldnt kite, people were pulling aggro on Capurnian… everything that could go wrong did and to make matters worse, our spies in the 2 other camps kept telling us how great everything was going for them. So naturally all the poisonous stuff we thought we had left behind resurfaced, people whispering plain old nasty stuff to those they felt were letting the side down, people whispering the officers every 2 seconds to complain about something.

Again stress levels rose and tempers frayed. I admit I almost lost it when one of our paladins needed me to explain in great detail what blessing of freedom was and where he could find it in his spell book. I mean, how can you get to lv 70 as a paladin on a pvp server and not know that.

Somehow, with much emoness, yelling and general hatefulness, telling ourselves it would all be ok on the flipside we struggled through those fights. We burnt out and/or kicked around 4 tanks in the process, lost the paladin who didnt know what freedom was and got ourselves some casters who could kite.

In officerchat, just after the Kael kill when all the glee had burnt itself out, we discussed how much better things were going to be now. After all, the first fights in the Black Temple and Mount Hjyal are easy right.

Our main problems were tanks, low activity from the best geared ones who had a tendancy to only show up for farm raids, not necessarily the stuff we needed them on. Our tanks were also one of the biggest causes of conflict in raidchat, they felt their status as tanks allowed them to freely critiscise the performance of everyone else and thus managed to create more drama than everyone else added together.

Then we had the lazy people, the ones who are friends with all the right people so kicking them was hard, but they consistently were late, unprepared and didnt have consumables/food buffs and in some cases repair money.

We also had some bad officers, who werent willing to lead raids, werent willing to enforce discipline and spend more time causing problems in Officerchat than they did fixing them, usually being more vocal about how we should change the loot system so it was balanced in the officers favour. Its amazing how you think you know someone, then they become an officer and it turns out you were so wrong about everything.

My other big issue was “not all guildmates are created equal”. Ive always believed in fair play, if you introduce a dkp penalty for causing stupid wipes, than that penalty applies to everyone from the GM to the trials. Those penalties should also be in the guild rules, not just produced when the 14th wipe occurs and the guy responsible is someone who most of the officers find annoying. Our Gm’s failure to see this, was always a bone of contention between us.

All this combined as we progressed through MH and BT. I felt i didnt want to log, i didnt want to raid because every single raid that didnt go perfectly turned into a rantfest. I still have nightmares about Teron, where 70 percent of the raid turned inward and almost ate each other. But on the other hand, whilst raids were made so unpleasant for me, and whilst i tried to make people stop fighting i wasnt backupped by the raidleader/guildleader who was often responsible for some of the worst incorrect blame apportioning, i was also given a guilt trip everytime i didnt log for raids. It wasnt that they couldnt kill boss X without me, it wasnt that we were short of healers, it just happened. Sure its great to be loved, but at the end of the day, this is meant to be fun, and listening to 24 people who individually I like for the most part, ripping each other up because of tiny mistakes in an online game

Raiding basically became an unpleasant, unpaid job, akin to teaching kindergarten to a bunch of hormonal teenagers.

The final straw for me basically came when the Sunwell came out. During the farm period before hand, i managed to distract myself with alts, only doing the odd raid when i was actually needed or i felt like it. But then came the patch and as one of only 2 resto shamans, i was “needed” 6 nights a week.I was actually looking forward to it, for me the best part of raiding is always the new content and to be honest i had managed to shove all the negative stuff out of my mind. Well that didnt last long, 30 minutes into the first raid in fact it all came flooding back as the namecalling resurfaced. The raidleader asking why hes “raiding and wasting his time with 24 complete and utter retards” when 1 person accidently pulled in an instance hes been in for a whole 30 minutes got us off to a good start. There was silence for a few seconds and then the angry rebuttals began, from that point onwards people were tense, spending more time whispering each other than paying attention.

I lasted a few days longer, but the writing was on the wall. I didnt enjoy it anymore, i felt i didnt know the people i had been playing with for months.I was on tenderhooks the whole time, waiting for the next row i might have to try and defuse. People told me to ignore it, play on your combat log they said, then you wont see the fact that half the guild hates the other half. But i didnt have to see it to know it, i had people whispering me to say that X was bullying them or that Y should be kicked because hes a moron.As an officer, i couldnt ignore it.

So I quit. It was hard at first, especially whilst we remained on the same server. The whispers were quite something, especially from the GM who it seemed i had personally let down, spat in the face of and other such things.

Maybe im just unlucky or i have too high a standard, but all my guild experiences have been interesting to say the least. In fact looking back, this was perhaps my most boring brush with being a raider.

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