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Hey everyone! So I was thinking to myself, "Man, I haven't been writing lately," and then I thought, "Meh...only 3 people are actually looking at my blog," but then I realized that it doesn't matter if it's 3 people or 1000! There's someone out there who actually wants to know what's going on in this head of mine! Therefore, it's my responsibility to keep on keeping on and I will! See, something you must understand about me is that I'm a quitter. I don't mean to be, I really don't, but it's my nature. I have these wonderful ideas that get me excited and I jump to go do them, (like starting a blog) but then the excitement wears off, as in all things, it does, and I usually lack the fortitude within myself to keep going. So you will be my accountability. The little faces at the bottom of my screen representing people out there listening will be my gas to keep the car driving and we'll see how far we go.
With all that being said, Guilds...WoW guilds. Last week, I was leveling my shaman, Etherael, and was looking for a nice, comfortable guild with people who would be fun to hang out with, yet skilled and disciplined enough to raid effectively. Trade chat was buzzing with the usual fast food garbage sprinkled with a dash of guild recruitment spam...yum right? While questing I was keeping my eye out for the random chance of a interesting recruitment post coming through; and it came. A guild named Treewardens was recruiting. A guild that advertised itself to be enriched with kind, mature, and helpful adults; people that loved lore, and even some light RP. They were recruiting for their Icecrown Citadel team. Hmm, not too bad, being a player who's favorite classes in games are the druid/shaman archetypes, the name was alluring, sounded like the kind of people I wanted, and I had always wanted to do some role-playing.
So I messaged the recruiter, a player by the name of Rainulf, and told him that I would be interested in joining the Wardens and he told me the Wardens would be interested in having me, so I joined. Now, we talked briefly about first impressions a few days ago, they are important. And my first impression of any guild I join is always generated first, by the welcome that I receive. This one was so so; a couple of people paused a moment while grinding long enough to say hello or welcome. At one time, that would have been an absolute turn-off for me, but after having been in guilds where no one even stops the conversation that they are having in guild chat to welcome you, a couple of people saying hi is pretty decent.
Now let me back up and give you some history so you can see where this is going and why. Rewinding 3 months back, I was an active raider in the number 9 or 10 (at that time) Alliance guild on this server called RoA Nightmare Co. We were progressing quite decently in ICC, and I was getting my death knight geared up, but I didn't feel too connected to any of the people in the guild, save my wife. That's a problem for me. See, gaming is more than just a hobby that takes up 97% of my free time. Gaming is my primary social outlet, so playing with people that I don't care about or even like, is not acceptable for me. It absolutely defeats the purpose of playing an MMORPG as a matter of fact.
Considering all of this, I may a bold decision. I had always wanted a shaman but never really sat down and made one because the first 15 levels at least (I had gotten that far quite a few times) are boring beyond belief. In addition to that, having played this game for 5 years, I am no longer a fan of questing. That day though, something in me said, "Quit wishing to have a shaman, go make one," and I listened. Now initially, this was supposed to be a project in my spare time, while I wasn't raiding, but the very next raid night, I told my wife I didn't really feel like going and she didn't either, so we skipped it and I kept on leveling Etherael. Then the next night got skipped and the next. Before I knew it, I realized that I cared much more about getting my shaman to 80 and finding a guild that really fit me than raiding and getting gear.
Okay, back to the Treewardens. During my stay as a gamer, I have been in some casual guilds; and one thing they all seem to have in common is very nice people. People who are cheerful and helpful and just make you feel like you have a second home with them. Another thing they have in common is very unskilled players...usually the two sets are in actuality, one in the same. After time though, you come to know and expect for this to be the case. You join a casual guild guild for the community, not the skill. However, I am bullheaded enough to believe that somewhere out there, there is a casual raiding guild that truly is filled with kind, helpful, skilled, reliable, players.
To my utter surprise, Treewardens was not this fabled guild. Each day for the approximate 4 days I was in the guild, I would say hello to the guild when I logged on and more often than not, no one spoke at all. If anyone spoke, it was my recruiter. So kindness...uncheck. No one even addressed each other by their full character name, let alone, "My lord/lady" or any other role-playish title. RP...uncheck. The day before my fated departure from the Wardens, Rainulf invited me to come farm an instance that his girlfriend wanted gear out of, Trial of the Champion. I was close to 80 and in past experiences, enjoyed the instance, so I agreed to go. As soon as we got to there, someone disconnected and seeing that 2 of the would be 5 players were under 80, it would have made sense for us to wait on the other player to reconnect, but Rainulf insisted that we would be fine by ourselves.
Everything that could possibly go wrong in this instance, happened that evening. The tank (Rainulf) could not hold aggro, the healer (his girlfriend) could not keep the other players grabbing aggro alive, the muscle (the level 80 shaman) was doing less DPS than the low-level DPS (myself). We wiped...and wiped, and wiped, and wiped again. Somewhere in the middle of these failed attempts, I suggested we try to get another player but Rainulf was convinced that he just needed to bring his stronger tanking character to turn this whole thing around. Two of those wipes were after he switched. The level 80 shaman was geared wrong for his spec and repeatedly stated that maybe he should go get some other character he actually knew how to play, yet never changed characters.
Eventually, Rainulf did recruit in guild chat and we got a level 80 hunter with us from the guild who did fairly decent DPS, but died within the first few seconds of engaging the boss. Yet somehow, after around 7 wipes, we pulled through. The loot was sweet for me, my first epic, a chestpiece...but the level 80 enhancement shaman rolled on my elemental chestpiece against me and (typical) won. Now to the credit of the shaman, after I asked him why he rolled on the piece, he ended up giving it to me, but seeing that he rolled on it in the first place, explained to me why he was doing less DPS than me. He didn't know his class. Skill...uncheck.
I gave it some thought, but basically, I had joined a guild that was nothing like what they advertised themselves to be. It was inevitable for me to leave. I waited until the next day when there were not many people online, I'm not one for causing drama in a guild, messaged my recruiter, Rainulf, and simply told him that the guild was not what I was looking for, but I thanked him for the invitation and wished them good luck. After I left the guild, he messaged me and asked me what I was looking for. Now, having been in relationships where I broke up with the other person, I should have known to not even respond; this was a plea to get me back and I knew I was done. Yet I (dumbly) replied back that I initially thought I wanted a casual guild because I was tired of raiding with people I didn't really know or like, but in actuality, at my core, I'm a raider. This response was my try at diplomacy, keeping away from telling him that his guild was a fraud because it wasn't all that kind and welcoming of a guild and his players were unskilled louts. The message I got back was from a place of personal injury caused by any person leaving his guild. It intoned that I was a selfish person that wanted a guild to carry him through raids to get "welfare purples" and I belonged in a raiding guild with that attitude instead his...good riddance. That's what I get for saying that his guild wasn't what I was looking for? Mature adults...uncheck.