Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Guild is More Than its Progression Ranking

My latest hiatus was unintentionally one of my longest, and it was rather recent. I had little control over my work schedule and had just moved. I had been having to post out of raids to cover shifts at work and finally decided to stop posting out every raid night and just post out of raiding. The same night that I decided to make that post, I got called into work.

After deciding I needed time to organize my life, I literally didn't even log on for at least a month. My instant detachment from the game after making the decision to stop was the first time I had felt that way. I played other video games and everything felt normal - like I hadn't even been playing this game for the past eight years. As quickly as I had detached from it was as quickly as I began playing again when I finally logged on again - months later. I had felt awful about leaving my guild, and what I found out after I came back made me feel even worse.

We had just gotten enough people to transition to a 25 man guild back during Throne of Thunder. When I came back, they were a 10 man again, recruiting various classes, including a balance druid. Some people I had liked a lot had stopped raiding or parted ways. I didn't feel I deserved my raid spot back, but I was playing every day and one day happened to be on during raid invites when I got invited. "Was that an accident?" I asked in guild chat.

"Are you available to join us? We're missing someone."

I went into that raid, having once been one of the best geared dps in my guild, placing rock bottom on the meter. They were waist deep in heroic progression and I did H Immerseus for the first time without even planning on it, and honestly kind of winging it. We went heroic for the rest of the night - I got a preliminary explanation for each one and just tried not to get in the way. I didn't even feel I deserved to roll on any gear, and yet when a piece of gear I could use went unclaimed, an officer asked if I needed it. I was grateful just to be able to raid with them that night, expecting it to be just a fluke - filling in a missing spot. I was on again the next day, our next raid day, and got another invite.

I continued to just log on during raid nights, not expecting an invite but always getting one. They were even making a conscious effort to make space for me, only sitting me when they got to progression fights where they needed their main team. I started to accumulate some gear, got promoted back to 'raider' status, I was earning EPGP again - and I wasn't even on their official raider roster. I wasn't sure what to make of it, but it made me happy that I was looked upon with such favor that they would make an effort to let me raid with them. They even made sure to have a full clear night so that I could get my Garrosh kill, which I had missed out on as I had quit when we had begun progression on normal Thok. I donated a hefty amount of mats and gold to the guild bank that night as a thank you - I didn't know why they were so gung-ho about helping me out and there wasn't much else I could think of to do in appreciation.

After raiding for three weeks, one of the officers asked if I was interested in having my spot back - officially. I was more than happy to accept, and since then I've geared up and am finally not embarrassed by my dps once again. My EPGP has been obliterated, of course, but there are only a few pieces of gear that I'm still after - a rare, elusive [Purified Bindings of Immerseus] being one of them.

Since being welcomed back as an official raider, things became pretty normal pretty quickly. Other than my gear gap and meeting some new people, it was like I never left. We're currently working on H Thok - our H Spoils kill was exactly a month and one day ago, so we're past due for it. I spent all of Vanilla and half of TBC with a guild that I never would have left if they hadn't split up. From then I was in the same guild until Firelands - which I also never would have left if they hadn't split up. There was a guild after them, but we can leave that for another day. I've only been in my current guild for one year and one month, but it feels like my home. They have their good and bad days, but we're a guild that raids two nights a week, still has a serious mindset about progression raiding, and has fun doing it. Having a good group of people to enjoy the game with is important and I'm happy to have lucked out for the third time in finding a great group of people to play my favorite game with.

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