Where I Miss the Tang of Tempered Steel

I miss The Old Days.  I miss being in my first raiding guild, Unified, and being there for all the glass chewing.  I joined when they were partway through Blackwing Lair, and had managed to down the third boss, the Broodlord. 

I was there for the first kill of Firemaw.  I was there for the first kill of Ebonroc, and Flamegore, and Chromaggus, and Nefarian.  I was also present for the first deaths of Skeram, the bug trio, Sartura, and Fankriss.  We raided four nights a week and still didn’t mow through things quickly, or easily.  It required effort and teamwork, and we bonded over it.  The only reason I missed Huhu and the Twin Emps is because I was forcibly dragged out of the country and stuck at my parents house for a month.  And you know what? 

I didn’t like that.  I felt like I was missing out on the experience of figuring things out with my guildmates, like I was being cheated of the ah-ha! moment and the rush of excitement that comes when you figure it out for the first time.   When I then missed out on every…single…first downing of a boss in Kara, I felt…disenchanted.  Disillusioned.  Cut off from a bonding process with my guild mates. 

So how do I feel in BoO Ulduar Group 2, the group that only downed the Loot Mobile?  Was I happy that Group 1 downed Razorscale in one shot, XT in 2, and also got Ignis down?  Did I rejoice at seeing Hot Pocket achievements pop on my screen as I sat in a Naxx25 pug after G2’s raid last night failed to happen? 

Honestly?  No.  I felt hurt, and jealous.  I don’t give a shit about loot.  I want purples only because they help me help the group.  I raid to raid with friends, to joke around, to work on things with them.  So when my raid crumbles and I’m bored and I can’t go console myself with cuddles because my boyfriend is in Ulduar I sit there and stew a little.   I’m upset because a few errors in judgement on other officer’s parts ended up with group 2 having a less than optimal set up, errors I could not compensate for.  I can’t force myself to suddenly know how to tweak strats just so for our raids.  I can’t suddenly make everyone pay attention to Warla and myself.  I’ve never had the backbone to be a truly effective raid leader, which is why I always kept around someone to be my enforcer for a reason.   So not only am I saddled with disappointment,  but I’m weighed down with a sense of personal failure as well.  Steve tried to balance it, but he unwittingly robbed me of the support structure I need to be truly effective by separating me from both Josh and Ron. 

“Don’t worry, I’ll be there next week and since I’ve seen the stuff already I’ll walk you all through it!” says my marvelous and wondrous Josh.

But…that’s…not what I want.

I don’t want to be walked through it.   I wanted to be there the first time.  There’s a distinct lack of glass in my diet, and I miss it.   Naxx was…fun, in its own right, but that was more like gnawing on Styrofoam.

Am I destined to be in the trailing group now?  Will Ulduar Group 2 be the same as Naxx Group 2, which always limped along in the shadow of the first, never even clearing the instance before we tackled 25s?

If so, why the hell am I here?

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  1. #1 by Khaeli on April 28, 2009 - 11:34 am

    I’m really sorry, Amber. That sucks.

    And it’s often a vicious cycle, where the A-Team progresses and gears faster and the B-Team feel demoralized and seem to go slower as a result. :(

  2. #2 by Rohan on April 28, 2009 - 12:40 pm

    In my opinion, officially doing 10-man raids in a 25-man guild are a bad idea. If you have enough raiders, you should go after the 25-man and leave the 10-mans for unofficial runs.

  3. #3 by Lewis on April 28, 2009 - 1:05 pm

    My raid did what Rohan’s suggested. 10-mans are not “official” raids, our multi-guild group’s only “official” raids were 25-man Naxx and now 25-man Ulduar. We do have two 10-mans made up of all or mostly people from inside our 25-man pool, and the leading 10-man is flying through content (four bosses down in Ulduar after two weeks) and the trailing 10-man is still gearing people up in Naxx.

    But, those 10-mans are not run by existing raid officers, the people who run them are not 25-man raid officers, they’re just fellow raiders who wanted to put something together and have fun, and the two raids have different personalities. One 10-man is very driven and cutting-edge oriented (it’s even informally named “No Bads”), the other is much more laid back and casual and exists primarily to gear alts and have fun.

    I do feel where you’re coming from, Amber. It’s not easy.

  4. #4 by kyrilean on April 28, 2009 - 1:29 pm

    Ouch! Have to say though, I felt the same way. You know I don’t care about loot, except as it helps the group as a whole. Sure I want my purples like the next guy, but I won’t cry when I don’t get it. And besides I know that ther…ooh a penny!

    I do however want to be part of the firsts. That I care about.

    I have to agree with the other comments that 25 mans are where we should be. I won’t argue that with Steve. I’ll leave that up to you. My old guild jumped in on a 10-man Ulduar the first night because that’s all they had, but the next night they were in 25 man.

    25 mans (this go ’round) may be harder than the 10s, but I think it’s better for overall morale to hit those when we have 25 people rather than have 5 people sit. Plus I don’t think our current gear prevents us from being successful in Ulduar-25. In that I disagree with Steve.

    You might not think you’re a raid leader, I never thought I was, but like me I think you definitely are capable of taking the reins when necessary. You and Warla did a great job the other night!

  5. #5 by Ambrosyne on April 28, 2009 - 1:37 pm

    @Kyr: I don’t consider leading us to multiple wipes on Razor to be good when the others one shot it and they’re all LAWL ITS EASY IF YOU DO IT RIGHT. :(

    I’m not sure if it’s the group morale that’s down…or just mine.

  6. #6 by HP on April 28, 2009 - 2:00 pm

    That is the problem when 25 man raid guilds do 10 mans, there’s always the mindset that there is an A and B team and everyone wants to be in the A team but not in the B team. That’s part of the reason why I left 2 guilds actually.

  7. #7 by kyrilean on April 28, 2009 - 2:46 pm

    @ Amber – OK, so we wiped a few times on Razor. And?

    Point is, who knows why we really kept wiping when the others didn’t?
    Was it leadership? I highly doubt it and you’d be hard-pressed to make me believe that.
    Was it tanking? I doubt that. Even if Warla and Wreckz aren’t the most experienced tanks in guild, they did a great job.
    Was it the healing? Again, we had three of the best healers in guild, but then again all the healers are great.
    Was it the dps? I wasn’t looking close enough, but it seemed sufficient.
    Was it cause I died in a fire? Wait, that didn’t happen! I swear! OK, maybe the one time, but that’s what I get for standing under his wing and couldn’t see.
    Bottom line is it was probably a small contribution of everything possible that caused us to wipe, but remember we got progressively better. :)

    No one has said anything to me, but my morale wasn’t down. I got to go to freaking Ulduar!!! :D

    /cough Push for 25s! lol

  8. #8 by Melissa on April 29, 2009 - 8:56 am

    I have a friend who is having the same issue in his guild (heck, it may be the same guild). “Group 1” is the raid council and doing 10-mans together. They are also the loot council and are better geared (go figure). Group 2 has been told they aren’t geared enough. Group 1 doesn’t want to run Naxx 25 with group 2 to help them get geared because they want to do Ulduar. Horrible cycle here especially when the less geared people just want to see the content and be a part of the “discovery” and progression.

  9. #9 by Ambrosyne on April 29, 2009 - 9:27 am

    @Kyr – I’ve never really LED a raid by myself, mostly because I tended to be around people who would forcibly take over. Thus I landed myself in the habit of forming raids and then handing them over to someone else, so when someone goes “here have a raid” I’m all WTF DO I DO WITH THIS. And maybe I just haven’t seen Warla in action to really have much of a grasp on his leading-after all, when Mach’s around, Mach Leads The Raid.

    @Melissa – see the thing is, group 2 wasn’t exactly the scrub group. While it’s true that some of the best geared people in the guild were in group 1, the only people in 2 who I’d say were ‘undergeared’ were the OT and a hunter. It’s…I don’t know what our problem was, to be honest.

  10. #10 by Artemia on April 29, 2009 - 11:04 am

    I’m someone who stepped into a raid leading role (and continue to do so at times) because everyone around me took a giant step back when I wasn’t looking – old Army trick, I hear.

    I’ve found that, instead of diagnosing a problem myself, I get good results asking for feedback: “MT, you were set up to do X, and it looks like that didn’t quite work out. What went wrong? How can we help you do X more/better/for the first time successfully?” “Healers, I saw some raid members go down before the enrage. What’s killing them? Can we adjust position, is it a button-pushing issue, what do you think is going on?”

    It’s rare that _everybody_ in the raid can’t articulate their frustrations. I also see a more teamwork-oriented let’s-get-this mentality when I ask questions like that. It’s true, trying to keep everything in your head and adjust strats is seriously hard. I try to rely on the distributed nature of the raid’s knowledge to get me the information I need.

    It also turns out that I lead raids a _lot_ differently from our guild’s regular RL & GL, and it took me a while to get comfortable with that. It’s not either bad, worse, nor better, just very different. And it keeps my head from spinning.

  11. #11 by Hatch on April 30, 2009 - 9:46 am

    I used to be in a guild like that. I was even on the A team, even leading the A team. But no one ends up happy in a situation like that. Because, as a guild leader as well, I constantly had to deal with everyone being (understandably) unhappy about not being on the A team.

    That guild, which I thought was indestructibly strong, was destroyed by some people angry about not being on the A team, and whipping up the other second-stringers.

    So the A team formed their own 10-man guild with only 12 members. I cannot. describe. how. much. HAPPIER. we are.

    I was also on a B team once. My performance was great (and I was always the 11th person invited to 25 mans) but I wasn’t part of the officers’ social clique, so I got sat through Kara for literally 3 months. Leaving that guild was awesome for me too.

    Maybe this isn’t an option for you, but for me it’s always worked out better to not sit back and just get through those situations. Instead, I go where I am part of the A-team.

    Having an A and B team dichotomy AT ALL is DEADLY to guilds. Since it seems like you are a 25-man guild doing optional 10-mans, just save yourselves the trouble and MIX THE TEAMS from week to week. Do yourself a big favor and don’t allow the situation to engender bitterness and envy. Cut that stuff off at the pass.

    Sure, it sucks for the A team to have to mix. But your main focus is 25-mans anyway. You will be hurting your 25 man progress if your “optional” 10-mans engender bitterness just so the A team can have their A team.

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