Monday, May 18, 2009

Cold turkey: Day.. what are we up to?

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.


ThurĂ¢l said...

I'm still searching for the great guild, where I can raid with them, maybe for 2 days a week or one and nobody is angry about me, if I don't raid 1 week, till then, I just raid with randoms.

Sometimes the raids are horrible, sometimes great and sometimes okay;).

It's a lucky thing, but you have so much more time for other things, I don't want ever say again at real life, sorry, I could not go to the pub with you, I need to raid, but actually, I would like to go into the pub and drink some beers with friends.

I login at wow when I like and if I would I join one of the thousand random raids and nobody blame me, if not;).

Kayeri said...

Keeva, you are definitely torn and dont know which way to jump... but it sounds like you do need a bit of downtime to figure these things out.

I'm not one of those hard-core, raid-at-all-costs types. I'm happy to proceed at my guild's own pace, mastering content with a group of people I'm comfortable with who I know have my back.

I have worlds of respect for people like you who do make this huge commitment to the game, but I can't be one of them. I can't make my life revolve around the raid. The raid has to work with me, too.

Yeah, my guild is small, but currently growing... (Saturday saw our first all-guild 25 in about a year) We are pretty well fence-sitters on the balance between the social and raiding guild. We DO want to raid and master content, but we will do it our way and in our time. I think we are a social guild with a raiding core.

We take our raids seriously, we research, we farm incessantly, and all those things that have to be done to support raiding, but we do it in a family-friendly atmosphere. We also have a strong presence of non-raiders or occasional raiders in the guild, and we're good with that.

Sometimes finding the balance is the hardest thing, but you have to find the place that fits your goals. Slowing down sometimes is a good thing, but if you are better off making that total commitment for a little longer to make your goal of putting Yogg down, then I'd say do that... but taking time for yourself is always a good thing.

vanilla said...

I know exactly how you are feeling as I am suffering the same thing with my guild at the moment, with one slight difference, I still have mostly enough for a 25 man.

I think the best thing you can do it take a break now, while the guild is basically non existant, it doens't have to be you quitting, or you not even logging into the game, level an alt, play on another server with some friends, go alliance, just play the game for a little while and gather your thoughts.

I feel your need to raid, but take the time to just chill out, keeva will still be there in 3 weeks time and other guilds will still be in Ulduar in a few months time.

Take some time to not think about raiding, then see how you feel in a few weeks time.

Finding/creating a guild that has no wankers in it will be virtually impossible - unless you are willing to boot on immediate evidence of said wankerage, so you need to come to terms with that :D There will always be one, but if you have the numbers for raiding at some pioint in the furture then get rid of them early and save yourselves the trouble next raid.

I am sure you will see Yogg down and I hope you get through this period.

Orbitz said...

I'll make this post short - since you have alot of reading on your hands...

If you aren't 100% feeling WoW or Raiding. Leave it.

You know what you will come to when you decide that you want to come back. Raiding geared towards casuals with the OPTIONAL Hard-Modes.

VANILLA was not the best of days and if you think that it was... you already lost your love for the game a long time ago.

Just painting the black and white in your time of grey. :)

Imalinata said...

I totally feel you on your frustration with the laziness of raiders and the lack of commitment. I recruit for my guild and it is frustrating as hell to know that I bust my ass to try to get people to apply, like us enough to transfer, and then stick around while there is a subset of my guild who doesn't care. It's not like we raid outrageous hours; even during new content we only raid 16 hours a week (4hrs/4days).

I'm starting to think that the only way to be in a guild that has 24 other dedicated players is to join a guild that doesn't offer guaranteed spots and makes its members compete against each other for raid spots and take the risk of perpetually sitting on the bench if you can't compete with and outshine their existing members.

Anonymous said...


It's a shame to loose your guild, but as you say, you could easily get into a new raiding guild.

When I think about if I'm wasting my time raiding and playing wow each day, I just think 'If im having fun doing it, how can it be a waste of time'

So imo, as long as you are having fun, keep playing.

When you are not having fun, then it's time to stop :)


Anonymous said...

I know exactly where you are coming from. The big raids are what keep drawing me back to the game. Unfortunately out of the 24 other people in the raid there always seem to be a few that make an enjoyable raid night into a slog through the instance.

It is sad how much time this game has drawn from me over the year, but I still keep going back.

Take a break, see if you will leave the game for good, or you might fell the pull back in a few weeks time.


Notabear said...

100% with ya.

The most frustrating thing is the fact that the content is so easy, but players are getting worse at the game.

I mean they are getting REALLY REALLY bad. I have full confidence that if the majority of "raiders" were trying their hand at AQ40, BWL, OG Naxx, they would fail miserably.

I have been growing more disenchanted with the game as of late and I notice they keep adding small things to hook us for longer. Oh, I need that last pet, ooh, I need to get that fishing mount, oh wait, I need to get these fishing poles, wait, wait, one more proto drake.

I miss when the game required skill to play or at the very least, some dedication and drive :(

Anonymous said...

Keeva, the game is 100% what you make it.

Reading your post, here is what I see: I want to raid. I am now going to list all of the great things that come along with not raiding, to try to invalidate that deep down inside, what I really want to do is raid.

Ask yourself this (and I do ask myself this frequently): If I wasn't playing WoW, what would I be doing?

For me, I'm not a social, go to the clubs, type of gal. I answer that question with "watching more telly, reading a little more, playing console games, getting bored and going shopping for things I do not need". So, for me, WoW is still cheap and fun entertainment.

If you really need the time off take it. If you want to unplug permenantly, do it.

If you want to raid and push content, find somewhere that you can do just that. If you do that and it's still not fun, quit.

I can 100% assure you that if you move to a guild where you are not in a leadership capacity and just there to raid, 80% of the stress that you felt raiding in a leadership capacity will be gone.

Oh, and if 30 is too old to play video games, over half my guild (including myself!) is screwed ;-)

Whatever you decide to do, I do wish you the best of luck!

Alaron said...

Hey Kee, I'm the Alliance-side druid on Cael who made the horde alt to congratulate you on being first to that seems like forever ago.

I understand what you're going through, I think. I'm the primary RL for our casual raiding guild, and some of the same things that irritate you get to me as well. Unfortunately, the current raids in WOTLK are targeted to the average player, not the dedicated one. (There's a blue post floating around somewhere about how all raids from now on will be eventually puggable.) There's little incentive for people to push themselves to improve their characters, which means that as an RL, your only motivational tool is threatening to bench poor performers...which only works if you have better ones to back them up.

The way I deal with it as a RL-
1) If all my raidmembers were perfect, I'd never have anything to teach. Luckily, I'm patient and like teaching.
2) Clean one-shot kills are great, but they're not as epic as "oh crap we killed the boss with 2 DPS left" kills.
3) There's plenty of time until the next patch...plenty of time to slowly progress.

I understand that's probably not what you're looking for; however, judging from your post, you could use a break. (nightmares? eeesh.)
If you're having nightmares, then that's a sign you're probably playing/obsessing too much. Go focus on RL for a while, and figure out whether you want to keep WOW raiding/HC raiding as a hobby, or not. I did a life-reset a ways back, and made an effort to focus on non-WOW really has made a difference on how I dealt with the whole casual v. hardcore thing. (BTW, I'm 25, but I have a wife and son, so I'm rocking the age thing too.)
Anyway, my toon's name is Alaron alliance-side; I'm on most nights after 9PM, so feel free to pop over if you want to chat/talk on vent some.
(Of course, we might try to recruit your baby NE druid. :)) Whatever you decide, best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Keeva

While I get a sense of achievement from raiding the reason I do it is because it challenging and its fun playing with a group of nice people. I don't want it turning into a second job. My guild's (Southern Armada)focus is totally on real life coming first.

All fights are gimicky to some extent and once you figure the gimmick out and no one makes mistakes they tend to get boring.

To me it sounds like you need a break, having nightmares isn't good. Log on when you feel like you want to play not when you feel that through a sense of responsibility that you have to. Play parts of the game for fun rather than those that seem like a chore. Try some PVP, WG or make a DK alt (lol) do some Pugs where you don't tell them about your uberness etc.

Good luck and most of all have fun.


Mel said...

Keeva -
I think getting away from WoW has been a really great thing for me, personally. I am getting more sleep, and I have more energy. I watch all my favourite TV shows without worrying about time or being online. I can relax on the way home... instead of rush rush rushing in order to get everything done before the raid, because I knew at 7:30 my night would be dominated by WoW.

And... I have more time for stupidly fun games like Animal Crossing and Yoshi's Island. :D

Anyway, whatever you choose make sure it's best for you. Good luck :)

Bell said...

I'm sorry you've become so disillusioned with the hardcore raiding scene, but I'm not sorry for all the positive improvements in your life. It's very difficult to find the "right fit."

It's true that a lot more of people who are raiding get either the super elitist attitude or the inability to watch for crap on the ground (I was shocked when someone said the red glyphs on Kologarn trash was difficult to see; having never been there before I thought it was something miniscule, and was shocked at how freaking huge they were). I was actually relieved when I spent a couple nights wiping to bosses in 25-man with my new guild. It made the first downings so much sweeter, and made me feel like I was actually progressing in an instance, rather than how I cleared Naxx the first time I entered it...

Things change, stuff happens. Maybe you will go back to hardcore raiding, maybe not, but it's not necessary to eat your hat, no matter how much it might look like a cookie.

Averna said...



BRILLIANT!! Keeps the rain off you AND staves away hunger!!


/end sad attempt at humor to make Keev's day a little brighter

Lissanna said...

It took me a LONG time (ie. since BC came out) to find a group of people that matched my: Schedule, goals, speed of progress, personality, et cetra. I've had to jump servers a few times, and have changed guilds more times than I ever wanted to do (I was in 3 total guilds before BC came out, and then I've switched guilds a couple times a year since then).

I've been in my current guild about a month, and I think it meets most of the criteria I was looking for. Maybe you should be part of a guild where you don't have to be in charge of anything for a while, or maybe just take a break from raiding for a bit.

Lorangriel said...

Find nine other people and do 10-man raids two (OK, maybe 3) nights a week. You'll get your raiding fix with people that share the same goals as you and ones you care about. Lets face it, the social atmosphere in a 25-man raid is much less... ummm... social... than that of a 10-man.


Notabear said...

Collect pets. I LOVE the pets. I have 3 more to get and I get my deer.

Especially get the tree. As Horde, there is nothing more awesome-sauce than having a tree pet. I like to play fetch with him, take him for walks, enjoy a nap with him, and most importantly, dancing with him.

Everything else in WoW is just filler.

Chewbaca said...

Keeva, i really loved having you around to help water the tree druids and feed us bares cookies when we were fite!!
I truely appreciated everything you did for me and the druid team of Inex / Abso, and i am missing it in my new guild. I wrote my first wall of text today but it was far superior and less forfilling than yours are.

Enjoy your vacation and maybe you should pop in and visit wab *wink wink* (i thunk ets gud durid match K!). Please keep blogging with your experiances in game etc so i can keep up on patch notes (this is where i go for important patch notes).

<3 (pronounced Luff) ju

Anonymous said...

LIFE >>> game

You're a cute girl, you should get a life. Raiding is cool. but if you have a life, casual raiding is still cool. If you would have a cool life, you would not want to play anymore.

Keeva said...

Thanks everyone :)

I'm feeling really good at the moment. I still get sad at times about the guild, but I know that the reality is that I see the game and guilds in a more social light than many people do. They're not to be faulted because of that, and nor me.. we just see things differently.

There have been a few nights that I haven't played at all, which is very unusual for me. I'm not deliberately staying away, I've just felt like doing different things.

Now I have time to look after myself. I can make good lunches for work, and breakfast too, instead of being too pressed for time to grab anything or bother spending time making something good. I've already lost a few kgs and I have much more energy.

I have more time to be able to work, which means more overtime, which means more money for my longer-term goal of getting a house. Things feel like they are coming together now.

I think I will still go back to raiding sometime, but it may not be in a hardcore setting. Who knows. At the moment, I'm not missing it. But WoW remains a very cheap form of entertainment, so I don't see any merit in cancelling while it still gives me a bit of fun for a lot less than most people would spend on entertainment each week.

I'm finishing off some reps, doing my Argent dailies, and I'm still considering bringing over my NE druid because I have a few friends on the dark side ;) Oh, and I've gone back to my other favourite mini-game - making money on the AH. So for the time being, I still have plenty of things in the game to keep me amused.

I think I am going to turn 30 feeling positive and more balanced. I do still feel sad for what happened to the guild, but I think it all happened at a very good time for me.

Thank you all for your great comments! <3

Lazydragon said...

Long time reader (and fellow WoW player) and I identified a lot with your comment of "..tired of pushing people uphill". I've lead guilds for years now and with this expansion I was determined to maintain my cap on my time commitment (3 nights / week @ 4hrs a night) while finding a group of people that were hardcore enough to push content. Right now my guild is one of the upper Horde guilds on my server (US-Frostmane) and, like you were, we're working on Yogg 25m.

But I had to really change my philosophy on players and gaming to get there and I know that eventually I will no longer want to put the commitment in to babysit a guild. Since Wrath launched I've had to progressively become more draconian with guild rules and swifter to cut people for doing bad/stupid/mean things. The other night I gkicked a newer member for going afk unannounced for 15m at the start of Ulduar and delaying the raid. A few months ago I would have never done that and I'm not sure I like the change in my online persona.

I guess my point being is that there are consequences to being "hard-core" and wanting to take a step back from that is simply normal. Like you say, WoW is still cheap, enjoyable entertainment and there are many facets of it beyond raiding to explore while you take a break from the stress of it all. I've been thinking once we down Yogg I might simply step down and watch someone else lead - and if the guild falls apart then, so be it ... I've hit my personal goal.

Regardless of what you choose for your situation Keeva, please keep up the blogging for the Horde and your fellow after-30 gamers (34 here) !

Kayeri said...

Heh, bring your NE druid to Doomhammer, we'd LOVE to have you around... :) We just have to deal with that 15-or-so-hour time difference... ::laughing:: :) But we raid 3 nights a week, limited hours on the weeknights... of course, for you, its probably the middle of the day.. ::chuckle:: Still wouldn't mind having someone as fun and knowledgeable as you around sometimes. :)

and besides all that... we have cookies! :)

Keeva said...

Cookies, you say?


Chewbaca said...

Keeva said : Cookies, you say?


The same kind of chin scratch i give cats? makes them extend there neck out uncontrolably (mmmmm scratchzz)

Kayeri said...

::holding out the cookies:: nice druid... come to Doomhammer (Alliance side)...

::mischief-filled grin:: :)

seriously, though, yes, cookies are muchly discussed and virtually given out (and pockets are searched for them, too), but I did send a batch of brownies home with our long-haul-trucker-guildie/friend, who happens to be husband to one half of the 2-headed GL monster.. :) The other half is her sister.... I hear the brownies were a hit, too. :)