Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Val'anyr - and why I want it to just go away

Warning - this has nothing to do with item mechanics, healing, theorycrafting, or anything remotely informative. This is purely a personal post about things near and dear to me as a player, and will probably just end up as a silly ramble more than anything. Feel free to skip over it if you're not a big fan of that kind of thing.


I wish we could put items on ignore. Once upon a time, it might have been Foror's Compendium of Dragonslaying.

These days, it's Val'anyr, Hammer of the Ancient Kings.

I don't want to see it, I don't want to hear about it. I don't want to see it linked, I don't want to see screenshots, I don't want to read about buffs or nerfs or anything else that has anything to do with it.

I want it to go away.


It's not sour grapes

You're probably already thinking I'm sulking because I don't have one. Classic sour grapes, right? I suppose it looks that way to most people. Straight-up jealously probably forms a small part of my feelings, I'm sure.. I think it would be silly to try to claim that it has nothing to do with it. But the jealousy over not getting a shiny weapon is a tiny, tiny part of why I feel so bitter when I see it. Few people would believe that, though, I suspect.

The truth is, only a few people close to me would probably appreciate how I really feel about that weapon, what it really means to me, and that I'm not just pouting because I'm not sporting one (and I probably never will).


I never set out to earn it, but I believe I did

I did a lot for my guild. A lot. I didn't do it to be rewarded, or thanked, or celebrated. I loved helping, and teaching, and serving. I enjoyed researching fights, spending hours creating diagrams and plans, stocking the guild bank, and helping people with quests. I helped to keep the forums running, and over time seemed to fill the role of "guild PR".

I helped the newbies, I ran some guild events, dealt with problems in whispers (sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much), ran the recruiting threads, and spent time being a "good influence" on the forums and in dealing with other guilds. I farmed for potions and fish, I brought spare consumables for the healers, I sat out or passed on gear to new people, and I always carried candles, symbols, pet food, bullets, and campfire materials, so that nobody ever got stuck mid-raid without something.

I'll never forget the day in Black Temple when the tank ran out of bullets for pulling, asked if anyone had any, and I put some in a trade window. Better, though, the confusion from the tank and half the raid - wondering why on earth I was carrying bullets around with me. But it was precisely for moments like that - I loved saving the day, making things smoother.

I gave away large amounts of my own bank supplies to help guildies level professions or buy mounts, always loving it when someone asked 'has anyone got a ......' and being able to say, "I have it on an alt, I'll go get it for you". I kept the guild bank tidy, and helped to sell BOEs and other materials to keep our gold supplies up. I ran instances that I didn't want to do and had no need for, purely because someone needed my help.

Everything I had, I gave freely to the guild.

I loved helping, teaching, being a shoulder to cry on or a spare ear to listen, saving the day, coming prepared, supplying what we needed, greasing the guild's wheels, being someone to look up to, and keeping things running.

And while I never, ever did any of that because I wanted recognition, a trophy, a pat on the back or a medal... I believe I deserved that mace the most, and I defy anyone to say that I didn't.


I nearly lost it to a /random

I envy the guilds who are able to unanimously agree that Bob the priest has been around for 3 years, never missed a raid, is a tremendous healer, and he just deserves it hands down, no question. I had to campaign for it. I had to stand up and say no, I'm sorry, but I don't agree with a /roll between all healers, or even a /roll between the "finalists".

There were three of us. All long-standing members of the guild. All with excellent attendance. All good healers, in our different classes and styles. So the majority of the healers said that we were equal and should just /roll.

At the risk of sounding like a brat who wanted the shiny for herself, I put my foot down. All things were NOT equal. If our attendance, dedication, and skill were too difficult to separate, then why wouldn't it come down to the person who had done far and away more for the guild?

Wasn't it obvious?


Val'anyr is more than just a shiny weapon

Even worse was that - even after it was finally agreed by the officers that I would receive the first mace, Blizzard released the patch a week earlier than we expected and I could not get time off to raid on the Wednesday, or I would risk losing my job. The inevitable happened, as I knew it would - a shard dropped, while I was stuck at work, so it defaulted to the only finalist who was able to raid that day, because he didn't work during the day.

I had to fight to convince one officer in particular that it was unfair to then change things and give the entire set of shards to that person purely because he was lucky enough to be there on the day - during a raid time that was not the norm. If I had missed a normal scheduled raid, that would have been my fault - but I could NOT get time off work (and having a sick day would risk my job), and he wouldn't accept that.

The main arguments were "If you really wanted it, you would have found a way to get time off," and "Why is it such a big deal that you get the first one? What does it matter?"

I think that was what drove me crazy, really. Well, two things.
  • that people couldn't recognise the MASSIVE effort I had put into the guild, which in my mind would mean I was the obvious choice, all other things being equal; and

  • that you're DAMN RIGHT the first one is important, how can anyone say that?

It's not just a cool weapon - and I suspect the above argument is typical of people who are more concerned with loot than other issues. That weapon was not important to me because it was orange, or cool looking, or because I'd have lots of people /inspecting me on the Dalaran steps.

It was a testament to just how much I had poured into that guild.

And it hurt so much that I wasn't the obvious choice.


25 fragments short of a guild

But the guild split up. We never killed Yogg without a watcher. We didn't even get to kill him with all of the watchers.

Everyone went their separate ways. Some to hardcore guilds more progressed, others to play with friends. Some quit entirely.

So I will never get my mace. I will never get my trophy.

Instead, I have five fragments sitting in my bag. Five fragments to remind me of the fantastic team I was once part of, that I poured my heart into, but will never get back.


To some people.. it's just a silly weapon in a fleeting game. It doesn't matter. But to me, it symbolises friendships, hardships, hard work, good times, bad times, triumphs.. and everything I gave to my team. It was a small token to say "thank you for everything you've done for us."

You may think it's silly to put so much emphasis on a trivial pile of pixels.. but to me it means so much more than just another item in the game.


And that's the story of Christmas

So, ex-guildmates, friends, rivals, strangers... that is why I get sad when I see those fragments, or see other people with their new maces. It's nothing personal - but I can't help but feel a little bitter, because they have two things that I had, but lost:-

a shiny, orange "we couldn't have done all of this without you"..

..and, more importantly, a family to belong to.

30 comments:

Keeva said...

Delicious catharsis.

Lath said...

People who have never helped run a guild don't understand that its a lot of work and effort. 99% of the time there is no need for any thanks, seeing everything work and everyone be happy is enough.

In these sorts of occasions though, its upsetting that people ignore all the little things and make out that its worthless :(

Keeva said...

As you said.. most of the time you don't expect thanks, my reward was the good feeling I got when I helped someone, or drew up a new raiding diagram, or handed someone a stack of candles because they forgot to grab some.

But I did find it very hard to believe that when everyone had to consider who the mace would go to, that it was a difficult decision.

I don't think it was a selfish thing. I really do believe I deserved it hands down.

But then, other people would base the decision more on class, or something else. Not the fuzzy "how much did you contribute to other stuff" variables.


I'd rather have my guild back than a legendary weapon, though.

Bell said...

I understand how you feel. I'm the same way; my alt's bank is stocked to the gills for other people, I give away epic gems and my alchemy cooldown, I help alts and stop what I'm doing to help out people in the guild who I've never even met before, and I'm just an applicant! The difference between us, I suppose, is that due to my newness, I don't expect to get a Val'anyr, and in fact felt gratified when a main raider passed on a staff to me. Running and helping out a guild is hard work, and takes a lot of time. I agree; you deserved it, and I'm sorry you never got it.

Keeva said...

I hope it didn't sound too much like a "poor me, I didn't get loot" post.

Mostly, I still mourn over my guild.

The mace is just a symbol.

Kayeri said...

Being an officer, I know exactly how you feel. And yes, I'm the one who maintained guild flasks out of her own inventory whenever she could, manage the vault, shared info and didnt mind helping those that needed it. I admit freely that I avoided the brats and such in the guild whenever possible, so I'm not perfection by any means. I was passed over without it ever being brought up among the officers, it was decided between the two co-guild leaders that our raid leader would get the first one...

And while I'm not going to argue it, yeah, it hurts a little that my contributions have been apparently dismissed without even a discussion. Raid Leading is also hard work, I'll never dispute that, ever... but it would have been nice to talk about it...

So, looking at those shards is both bitter and sweet... They are symbolic of all that you had in your guild, but yet, it's not likely to come to completion now...

::hugging Keeva::

Kirstimah said...

Sometimes, in the Carrot on a Stick game that people focus on, it's those in the background that get overlooked. We have tons of folks in our guild, officers or not, that spend a lot of their downtime providing for the guild.

In addition, the mace is like a lot of other symbols of sentiment many of us had. I kept Ironfeather shoulders after my first guild broke up just because it was made by a guildie and it was a reminder of the good times.

/sad for Keeva

Cassandri said...

I think it's a true shame that each time you see those fragments you'll be reminded that your guild fell apart before it was completed - it's forever unfinished.

I wouldn't worry too much about people/officers saying "just roll for it" because people tend to do this when they want their decisions to be based on rock-hard logic and numbers, and not the harder-to-proove stance of "helps out more in the guild". Regardless of how they actually felt, this is just playing it safe.

Soon enough Ulduar will be old news (like that level 60 quest item you linked) and you won't be reminded of it so much - less linking in trade chat etc.

Elleiras said...

Our you is a dual-spec Discipline/Holy priest who has been healing for us since Karazhan. He does all of those extra things: stocks the guild bank with fish feasts, flasks, potions and elixirs; manages healing assignments; does walk-throughs of cleared IDs with our raid leader to discuss on strategy and positioning; carries extra mats and reagents; and heals instances he no longer needs (even for badges) for anyone who asks -- including a growing stable of guild alts. He's the most giving, selfless person I know ... so giving him our first Val'anyr was a complete no brainer. My raid leader even made awarding the first fragment into a small ceremony, thanking him for his enormous contributions over the course of the last year and a half.

I know a lot of guilds who /randomed their first fragment, and I suspect several of our healers wished that we had as well (there's been some grumbling about "never getting one"), but I completely, 100% agree with you. A legendary isn't just about amazing stats or bragging rights; it's a symbol.

I find it very unfortunate that your guild didn't recognize that at first. I really feel for you on this one.

fallingleavesandwings said...

*hugs*

I can totally understand where you are coming from, Keeva. And a little bit, I think I know how you feel.

Like you have been slapped in the face, or hit with a cold splash of water...everytime someone talks about it.

I don't think you are being whiney or selfish. I think you are being honest, with yourself and with everyone else. You are hurt and upset, and rightfully so. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing those feelings! Don't let anyone tell you differently.

I don't know if this is a wound that time will heal, I imagine that eventually it will become less painful, but if you are like me it will likely always ache to some degree. So I guess my advice is to just keep your head up and keep looking forward. I'm not sure what else to say =(

*bear hug*

Mikata said...

I completely understand, as almost everyone does, of how you feel. It's hard to pour your heart and soul into something, and as you are hardly recognized for your efforts as someone who puts half in, to watch it all fall apart on top of that is heartbreaking.

By no means does it appear that you're being 'selish' and mouring over the loss on a weapon, but the loss of companions and guild-mates that you could honestly call friends because you cared about them.

People laugh because they say it's just a game, but when you think about it, it's a lot more than that. It's a social gathering between friends that you can laugh and play with, joke and cut up... but also a place where you know you'll have someone you can lean on when you need them.

The fallout of a guild is always a tragic thing. It's like a family is being torn apart, brothers and sisters you try to keep in touch with, but end up drifting away and moving on to their new family. I've felt this hurt before, as I'm sure a lot of people have, and it's a real shame, but in time, wounds heal and you find a new, loving, accepting family. I just hope your travels later in life make the journey worth it.

Corgii said...

I understand how you feel, Keeva, and I agree that you 100% deserved that mace over anyone else. Time in the guild and attendance are one thing, but dedication and the sweat and tears one puts into a guild are a whole different thing. That's someone who's willing to go the extra mile (and more) to be there and be of help to the guild.

I'm sorry you lost your friends and your (hopefully not last) chance at the mace. I'm sure you'll finish it sometime soon =)

Keeva said...

Thanks so much everyone.

I went to bed and started feeling as though I might have missed the mark, and that the post probably sounded too much like I was complaining about the weapon itself.

But now I can see that everyone understood my fragments analogy; the mace will never be whole, and nor will my guild be, again.

I'm so glad you guys "get me" :P

I felt I had to write all of this because as more and more maces are formed, I get constant reminders of my guild falling apart, and it keeps opening up old wounds.

The other day some friends from our old "rival guild" (who are now #1 on the server) invited me to do a heroic. Despite the age old rivalry between the two guilds, I'm friends with a fair number of them, and a bunch of my guild went to them too. I didn't hesitate when they asked. But then they asked if I wanted to DPS so they could bring the priest along and show me the Val'anyr procs.

It absolutely was not malicious, the guy who said it would never be mean to me (if you're reading this - I know you didn't mean anything <3 ). I tried to joke about it. But it stung. Not because someone else has a mace and I don't.. but because my guild fell apart and that mace (specifically my chunk of incomplete mace) is a reminder of that.

Seeing someone else with the mace is hard. I'm genuinely happy for them, but bitter that they have something that I don't (and I'm not talking about the weapon).

My mace was cut short because my guild was cut short. My shards and other people's maces will always remind me of that.

Scrabble (Shaidari) said...

Hello Keeva,

After seeing alot of what you did for your guild, the countless threads you held together on the realm forums, and a little bit of inside info, that mac should have been yours from the start, no question. I was really excited for it, but our guild died and never got past FL, due to an officer leaving to run his own guild because he missed out on loot...This game needs more selfless people like you that don't deserve to get screwed over.

Aerivore said...

Hi Keeva. I totally hear you - everything you say rings true with how I feel on how the legendary should be handled. It is MORE than just an amazing weapon, it's a symbol and as such should go to the most deserving on the whole, not just by how they heal (or how the stats favor, or anything).

I ran a guild on Chromaggus for a brief period and the other officers automatically said it should go to me, but because there was already friction in the ranks, I flat out said no. This was before even the stats were released, just a rumor of it being a healing legendary. =/ I wanted no part of that drama and the cries of playing favorites.

It's so sad how that kind of thing works, really.

/hugs

David said...

Very brave post, an isight into the emotions that many of us feel in this social networking thing called WOW.

I respect your selfless contributions to the common good. I wish I could say I am the same. I like to give but I get annoyed quickly if I feel used. So of late I ask for nothing, pay my way and tend only to give to my close friends.

I have never achieved the heights in WOW that you have so I can't really appreciate how you feel. Their is a resonance within your post that reminds me of the best and worst times i have had with this game.

I hope that soon you will be able to log onto her and those shards will be a reminder of the fun you had along the way. Levelling your new character without support makes a lot of sense.

Hope you find you passion for wow again

Ian said...

I know what you mean. When we started raiding it came down between me and another druid. The officers decided to give them to the other one, I suspect mostly because he had more history with them and the guild (I had only joined just before WotLK).
After he picked up 14 shards, he quit the game.

We had a shakeup and the two 25man raiding groups in the guild merged around then, and a druid from the other group already had a few shards, so he was getting them. After a few weeks, and a total of 15 shards, he gquits.

After that I doubt they would ever give them to a druid again! So a shammy is now getting the fragments. He should have 14 or 15 shards soon, so it will be interesting to see if he quits when he reaches that mark.

Sadly if they had started with me, I would have my 30 fragments by now!

Venorik said...

Hey Keeva
First of all thanks for your blog, I'm a resto druid myself and i've learned quite a bit, specialy about customizing grid from you (something I can't imagine healing without now ^_^ )
Wanted to also say that i'm sorry your guild broke apart and all the effort was lost but, I can't help but also saying if the guild falls apart than they are not strong enough to stand anyway. Perhaps you was the glue that held the guild together with all your kindness and helpfulness, I can relate to that very well since I have a similar personality. I too carry extra things to make the raid go smoother (not as many as you though). My point is that I hope you find a better guild, one that would appreciate your input and talents.

Perhaps transfer to a different server to find a good guild worthy of your HoTs :)

Defias Brotherhood EU
Featherstomp

Adeanna said...

/hugs

i also think you should've gotten the mace. our shards went to our guild leader who does put a lot of time into the guild and running it. it only seemed fitting.

i'm sorry to hear how val'anyr reminds you of the bad times you went through with your former guild. it isn't easy to heal from such wounds when you are constantly reminded of such bad times every day.... but time heals all wounds (or at least most of it).

keep healing and hopefully you will find a guild who will appreciate all the hard work and time you offer them.

Peter said...

Oh I fully understand where you're coming from. I've spent countless hours and still have storage characters filled with Essence of Earth, Fire, Water, etc that I farmed for people sitting on bank storage alts (prior to guild banks). While they wonder why you hoard so much stuff and have so much stuff available, people never understand that these contributions are acts of love for the guild and the guildies. While the guild I ran broke into much smaller pieces and we never got to run Val'anyr shards (guild splintered in BC), maybe it's time for you (and for me, haha) to get rid of some of these momentos that remind of the heartaches.

Littlebark said...

Aww, I'm sorry Keeva :(

Our fragments went to our Guild Master as well. I actually made a post about it because I thought he deserved the mentioned. He, like you, is always prepared when you're not. I just wish that your old guild would have recognized the effort you put into the guild. Like you said, the fragments mean so much more because of what happened.

If you ever need a home, I'm sure Lords of Ancient Sin would love to have you. You'd only have to fight gear with me, as I'm the only tree in our raids.

Tiffanski said...

Complete the mace Keeva. Yes it'll be difficult without a Yogg-clearing guild, but it's not impossible with a little luck.

I've done a LOT of 25-man pugs on my druid alt and every time a fragment drops, whoever is leading the pug usually says "If you want a fragment, open trade and prove to me that you already have some fragments".

Good 25-man pugs usually get 2 watchers down. Terrible pugs fail when they get to Kologarn.

Of course no pug is going to get Yogg. But if you had 30 fragments, surely some guild would assist you on a Yogg kill without 1 watcher.

While Inexorable maybe gone, you're still here. Quest on and form that mace, rather than letting those fragments haunt you.

/wish you luck

Anonymous said...

biggest QQ ever, keeva bewm deserved the mace more than anyone

Keeva said...

I will have to respectfully disagree, Mr Anonymous Troll.. but thank you for stopping by :P

Anonymous said...

I agree you should continue to attempt to finish the fragments, get the mace, something you deserve.

Keeva said...

I might, sometime. Thank you both :)

Even if it is a year down the track, it would be good to finish it off.

The shards seem like such a waste.. and a constant reminder. Finishing what I started would feel good.

Levreona said...

I'm sick of raiding with people who make me smash my head against a wall over and over. Tis a pity, they have a good 10 man group but its the other 15 that slow the guild down.
I to miss Inexorable.

Dont think i would ever come back on my druid though... im kind of over it. Might roll a pure dps class or a priest on cael.

Anonymous said...

I sympathize but no, if your work keeps you away from raid times, you're not a good candidate, despite the obvious efforts you gave the guild.

No one can pick it up if they cannot be there to pick up the fragments. Its not personal, and you shouldn't leave work, but its your current circumstance and it was simply unfortunate. Your personal life circumstance (work schedule) cannot be put onto other people either... just because Player "A" can't be here to pick up fragments doesn't mean Player "B" shouldn't have the opportunity.

I personally think your selfishness broke your guild and the option it had to obtain Val at all. "Its me or nobody" never works. That is not what a guild or a team is.

Keeva said...

Anon:

You misunderstood the part about my job.

My work does NOT keep me away from raid times.

I had very, very high attendance for raiding. In anticipation of the patch, many of us had arranged to have the day off so that we could raid the entire day of release. Note: this would lose me $200 in wages but I was dedicated to the team.

However, they released the patch a week earlier than we anticipated, and it was too late for me to arrange to take that day off (the next day).

It was NOT a normal raid time that I missed.

It is entirely unreasonable to say "if your work keeps you away from raid times, you're not a good candidate". I simply couldn't take a day off work (but I was up at 4am to try to help for a couple of hours before work, and I left work an hour early to get home as soon as I could). There was nothing I could do about it. But most importantly, it was not a normal raid time, so it wasn't my fault that I couldn't be there when other people could. As I said - if it was a normal raid I missed, it would be too bad.

The other person still picked up a shard. He still got his mace started. But the fact remains that I deserved the mace much, MUCH more than he did, and to punish me because I couldn't arrange to have a day away from work to raid, and because a shard happened to drop for him first, is just silly.

To give a legendary to someone who is (far) less deserving, because they happened to be the only person who could take that one day off.. no. Just no.

Tell me - if only trials had managed to turn up on that morning because all of our full members couldn't be there at late notice, and one of them picked up a shard - would you then say that the trial should be allowed to continue picking up the rest of the mace - because we all have work commitments and the trial was there to pick up the first piece?

Of COURSE NOT.

I was (by far) the most deserving candidate for the mace, and to hand it over to someone else, because (despite doing everything I could), I couldn't get a day off work at the eleventh hour, and after it was already decided the first mace would be mine, is just wrong.

On the other hand, if I had skipped a scheduled raid time, I had to work a normal raid night, or I was off on holidays, or anything else that made me miss one of our normal raids, then it would have been my problem, and I wouldn't have expected them to accommodate that. We had also agreed that if (for some reason) I missed any raids in the future and the other person picked up 5 or 6 shards, that the first mace would switch to him (as he would have the majority). I agreed that this was fair. I'm not a selfish person.

But to hand it over to someone else who deserves it less because he doesn't work during the day and I do, so he could make it to a raid that was entirely outside our normal raid schedule and would be a once-off event... terrible. You might as well just /roll on it and not spend time deciding to give it to the most deserving.



I don't know if you're trolling me or serious, but if you're serious, how can you possibly come to the conclusion that I broke up the guild over the mace? You don't know anything about my guild. You assume that because the mace was a difficult decision, and my guild broke up soon after, that it was because of me and the decision.

To accuse me of breaking up the guild through selfishness is both insulting and ridiculous in the extreme.

My guild broke up because our MT left during the night because he felt we were not progressing fast enough. Other people followed. The guild fell apart. It had absolutely nothing to do with the mace or the decision surrounding it, so please stop making judgment calls on the internal workings of my guild when you clearly are just making uninformed guesses.

Keeva said...

PS: I don't have to justify anything to anonymous posters, but here's a little inside info for you.

One of the reasons I told the other officers that the second candidate was a risk is because he had a history of becoming bored with his characters and deciding to play another class on a whim. Obviously handing a legendary to someone like that is very risky.

Shortly after our breakup, he switched to play a rogue. I imagine that shard is rotting away in his paladin's bank right now.

I absolutely, 100% stand behind my conviction that I not only deserved it far more than any other, but additionally, that giving it to him would have been a mistake because we could not rely on him to stick around or play the same character. I didn't want a legendary going to someone that we simply couldn't rely on in the long run.

Consider two candidates:

Person A: someone who has been with the guild for 18months, has never left, never changed characters, never changed specs or even asked to DPS a fight, who works her butt off for the guild every single day, but who can't get one little day off work at late notice..

OR

Person B: same time in the guild, got bored with his main and swapped to another character, went away for months, came back, played his main for a while, had that character taken away (friend's account), rerolled a different class, played that for a while, got bored with it and rolled a rogue. Plus as a hobby, enjoyed stirring sh#t up in guild and passive aggressively defying the officers instead of working with us.. BUT he could be there on patch Wednesday at 6am, and was the only veteran healer to be around when a shard dropped.

CLEARLY being there on the day far FAR outweighs all those other bad things, and clearly he is the best choice for the guild's first legendary.

---

My campaign for the mace wasn't just because I wanted (and deserved) the trophy. It was also about ensuring that the mace would stay in the guild, that the person wielding it wouldn't quit, get bored and reroll, or decide to dps instead of heal.

We were all long-serving, all skilled. But one of the others was a flight risk (and a bit of a troublemaker, by his own admission), and I did far, far, FAR more for the guild than both of the others.

But I couldn't take a day off work.

How on earth anyone can think that this means I am being selfish (and that I should forfeit my right to the mace) because someone else who was much less deserving didnt work that day, I just can't fathom.