It's really very weird, suddenly not raiding, after doing it for so long.
I don't know whether I feel happy, or sad. Both, I think. Sad because I feel a little robbed, after working so hard... and because I've lost a big chunk of what I've been doing for the past couple of years. Happy because now I am actually sleeping well, looking after myself, and I don't dread logging on to face a bunch of stress that has to be dealt with before 7:30pm.
I know I could find another raiding guild easily. I could be raiding again this week if I wanted to.
The fors and againsts for going back
Part of me wants to, for a few reasons:
- I've raided so long, I feel lost without it
- I'm very big on having a sense of completion. Not killing Yogg is very irritating
- My character now feels "incomplete"
- I play to heal, and excel; there's very little healing to do when you're farming!
- I find it hard to spend time playing if I have no goal; I could research upgrades, but why bother if I won't be raiding anymore?
Part of me wants to stay down, though:
- I'm sleeping better and for longer (no more nightmares)
- I have more time for friends and family
- I have more time to get things done around the house
- I have more time to look after myself
- I can log on when I want, and log off when I want
- I can watch my favourite TV shows
- I can decide to have an early night
- I can go away for the weekend or for short trips without letting anyone down
So I still feel very torn.
For the time being though, I really don't feel like raiding anything - not even 10s. I thought I would.. I thought I would want to jump into 10s to at least be raiding a little. But I didn't realise how badly I needed a break from it all, and I'm enjoying it.
.. but part of me hates that my character is unfinished, Yogg is alive, and others are raiding while I have nobody to heal. I hate loose ends. I know that when Warcraft is taken down our characters will disappear... so ultimately we are pouring our time into characters that will be deleted - but I still feel compelled to "finish" Keeva. To cap out her reps, to have her kill all of the bosses, and to collect the best gear she can. I don't like leaving things unfinished.
My biggest, perpetual frustration
For as long as I can remember, my biggest frustration in Warcraft has been playing with people whose goals, standards and expectations do not match my own. Whether something simple like pairing up with someone who wants to do quests in a different order, or they want to quest while you want to farm... to the biggie - raiders who don't have your same level of commitment - it all just drives me nuts.
Of course, this is just the double-edged nature of MMOs. You're not playing with thousands of people who are you. I can't expect everyone to want what I want.
...but it still drives me crazy.
In my experience, there will always be a handful of extremely committed raiders who are there to get the job done. They have top attendance, they're at the instance early (no summons), and never have to be told to buff or move out of AoE.
But then there will always be people who drag their feet and drive me around the bend. The random AFKers, people who want to be summoned to the instance. The ones who ask for a repair mount despite the fact that I put one up last attempt. The ones who mess up and then say "lol my bad". The ones who feel like doing something else so they don't turn up at all. The ones who are either only there for loot, or just there "for something to do" - and don't really care what happens. And the worst of the lot: the ones who think they are awesome and/or extremely "pro" but are either bad players, or let us down in the ways listed above.
Plus there are the unexpected real life interruptions that can wreak havoc with your team, too - school, illness, family, work. These can't be helped, but do add to the frustration.
The handful of skilled, committed and dedicated players - I love them. I wish I could find 24 of those and mash them together. 24 people who are just as committed, can make all of the raids, don't need someone to hold their hand, and want to win. But in my experience, it is nigh impossible to get those 25 people in the same guild and on the same team at the same time.
So call me defeatist, or pessimistic.. or just call me a plain old whiner. I honestly feel that no matter where I go, which guild I join, or the content I choose to enjoy - (some) people will always let me down because the majority do not have the same standards that I do.
I'm tired of pushing people uphill. People who really only care about themselves, their loot, their personal goals - and are using the group to facilitate that. Some people might say, "that's the point.. you team up to raid and improve your character" - but I play for more than that. I play for team achievements, for group goals. So when I'm playing with 15 or so people who clearly don't care about the team, but only about themselves, it drives me nuts.
Yeah, I'm STILL annoyed about easy content
And on top of all of that, there's the fact that content is getting easier, which is making raiders lazier and lazier (this is more pronounced in raiders who did not do "vanilla" raids). They have come to expect fast clears and little work to be able to conquer new content (and I use the term conquer VERY loosely). There's no challenge anymore. Hard modes... sorry, but to me, they're just gimmicks. You kill the boss normally... now come back next week and kill him again with more raid damage and 50 elite Smurf adds that bite your ankles while you dodge pools of lava and periodic lasers that turn your healers to stone and make the MT take 250% damage. Zzz.
I don't want to detract from the people working on these hard modes, good on you, but I still see them as a bit of a bandaid fix to keep the "hardcore" raiders happy. Snore. I hate gimmicks.
So I think I might be done.
This might be it
I always thought that I would raid until the game dies. But I would say a good 90% of people are lazy, bad raiders who don't really care about anything except themselves. I know you good raiders are out there, but you are a minority, and that is incredibly frustrating to me... to the point of making me ill lately.
I'm actually sleeping now. I'm eating well, I'm not having nightmares. I can relax and do what I want, when I want. I don't feel stressed all day in anticipation of what I might have to face when I get home. I can work on reps, chat with people, play casually, and walk away whenever I want. I know in my heart that all of this is a good, good thing - it's positive. But when you drop something you've been doing 4 nights a week for several years... especially when it isn't "finished".. it just doesn't sit right. I want to say I'm done with raiding.. but I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll have to eat my hat sometime down the track.
Who knows, maybe I will want to get back into it sometime later - lots of people take a break and come back. But I'm wondering if this is my "chance" to get out of raiding without letting anyone down. Without suddenly announcing mid-progression that I'm bored, bye. I want to do it. I turn 30 next week (ahh!), and I'm thinking it's probably time I stopped playing games all day and did something productive.
I don't know that I want to give it up yet... but I know that I probably should.
I'm just so tired of only ever being able to rely on a tiny handful of people, at best. The majority just keep letting me down and making things painful - and it happens over and again.
Is it even worth trying again, starting all over from scratch? I'm not sure that it is.