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.