Thu 19 Mar, 2009
I actually feel like a copy cat. You’ll see why in a minute. I’ve been completely out of touch with the blogging community. I have spent so much time lately at work that I haven’t had the time to really catch up on my reading. It was just last week that I finally saw that PTD had left his guild. I was floored… I was flabbergasted. But as I read the article…. I understood.
Today’s kind of rough day for me. It wasn’t the way I envisioned coming back to the world of blogging. I’ve been under the gun at work. Its earned me high praises, but no high praise comes without risk. Its a very high profile project. The Associate VP of our division stops by daily to see how we’re doing. Its really nice. Last week I was eating 2500-3000 calories per day, not exercising at all…. I lost three pounds. Stress is an extremely poor thing to put your body through. This morning someone told me I looked exhausted. Have I mentioned yet that I’m not sleeping???
Today… I got up early. The alarm went off at 4:30. Its my son’s birthday…. 8 years ago today he came into this world kicking and screaming. He was my first. He’s a great kid. I love him a lot.
I sat down at my computer. I always like to do some mindless dailies in the morning that kind of calms me down… gets me kind of started on my day. I pulled up the social tab. Clicked Guild. I was the only one on…. I sat there at my computer for about 5 minutes. Just thinking. Then I started to type…. /gquit…. my finger hovered over the enter key for a long time…. then in one swift stroke… it fell.
Rewind: How did we get here?
Its not an easy question. I’m sure a bunch of people have a million questions. Years ago I was just happy to attend my first raid ever. I was so excited. I was going into Molten Core. It was both thrilling and utterly mortifying. I’m a feral druid with crap gear expected to heal. Yeah… oh… and heal this Main Tank… just for giggles.
Fast forward. I’m in Burning Crusade. Our guild isn’t big enough to go into Kara on our own. So we team up with another guild (eventually going into a merger) and work on Kara. Kara we were noobs. We didn’t know what we needed. We didn’t know how to lead… we didn’t know how to follow. We were fumbling in the dark like a bunch of over excited high school kids.
Enter Northrend…. seasoned raiders… seasoned raid leader. Somewhere along the way. I transformed. I’ve never really wanted to be in a hard core raiding guild. My guild wasn’t that. ISCA was a very interesting eclectic mix of people. You have your nuts… you have your PVPers… you have your well… I’m trying to think of a demographic we didn’t cover. The point is… we had all types.
My role had transformed. I was the overall raid organizer. The plus side is that policy and process largely fell to me. The down side is that policy and procedure fell to me. Having an unusual mix of people meant that constantly you were stuck in the middle between various factions trying to sort out how to keep everyone moving forward. I’ve made a million suggestions in the last 4-5 months… most of which have been shot down, filled full of holes and rejected. Its not that big of a deal. You can’t please everyone.
As time progressed though, I was stuck increasingly in the role of bad guy. Everyone wanted an opinion with a rare few willing to do the work associated with said opinion. Every decision was met with questions. Every night turned into a horde of whispers from various people. Hell I almost installed a chat tracking program to assist with keeping it all straightened out. God forbid I respond to the wrong person when two people are bitching about one another at the same time.
Its one of the dirty parts of the job that I accept. When you are the end all be all of raiding everyone and their brother has a question. The hard part is being stuck between the factions. While all guilds to a certain extent have factions, my old guild had a lot of internal politics that kind of hover below the surface. Its as if you speak of them and call them by name they’ll somehow transform into something worse.
I’ll admit it. I logged in tonight. I met up with someone to sync some SK lists. Then I really pondered what to say. I’ve dedicated almost 2 years to this guild by now. God … had it been so long? Two years is a very long time, but yet… *sigh*
Its hard. People say, “If its so hard to go, why do it?” Because the pain of staying is worse. The GM of ISCA is by far the sweetest and nicest person I know. There’s a reason we all call her “Mom”. She’s just that sweet, wholesome person that you just love. You can’t get angry with them. You just hate to let them down. Yet… there I was…. tears in my eyes not sure what to say. Earlier today… I told her I was going to go.. and then I just went off to cry.
Its just staggering how central to your life these people become. I have a family. I love them dearly. But the guild is in many ways.. family. Their quirky. They drive you up the wall, but you love them all the same. Yes… even that insane guy who talks about boobs nonstop. (We call him “Mr. Boobie”)
The reality is… after all the time. Stress grew. My life at work is a mess. I have such a high stress level at work, that I really need the game to be stress free. Plus my needs have changed. What I want out of raiding is different now. I stared at a system… I couldn’t fix. And some might say, “why not let someone else fix it while you have a good time?” That’s not how I’m wired. I’m wired to get involved. I can’t just sit back and let it go. It tears me up inside even more.
I should really dig and find the articles that need to link to this section.. but honestly… I’m tired.. and the only way I’m ever going to get this posted is to skip it.
The blogging community is great… and a curse. Its not that its a curse because it isn’t informed.. intelligent and just full of knowledge. Its a curse because it shows you what other people want. It shows you what other people have. At the end of the day..I found myself wanting.
I blame two people… well two people that really heavily influenced my thoughts on this. Matticus and The Big Bear Butt… yes. In many ways its their fault. Ok… no its my fault, but I blame them for showing me the path.
I followed Matticus through his transformation pre WoTLK. The decisions he had to make were even harder. He was part of a very successful raiding guild, but there was something more he wanted. He knew there was something even better he could build. He really wanted to build a guild where people were smart… self motivating, and driven to succeed. That is in part… what I want in raiding. I want to know my raiders are smart. They can research for themselves and not need me to always tell them the best spec, the best gem, or the best enchant. I want them to be driven to say… how do I get from 1500 DPS to 2000 DPS… Once they hit 2000DPS, I want them to ask, “How do I get to 2500 DPS?”. Etc. I want to know… that they are driven to always be looking at ways to improve.
Now Bear… I blame him for an entirely different reason. Bear is kind of my muse for a different aspect. I’m the father of three. I have a lot of times that I feel it important to be there for my kids. I want my wife to feel supported. Bear though so many times talks about how his raiders react. I think one of the things that sticks most in my mind is that his people, play hard when they want to play. When they want to raid… they raid serious. So from that perspective, what I gleaned from that was that for his crew, everyone always shows up willing to give it their all. They always bring pots, foods, enchants, and when they raid… they raid. Its business. But when they are messing around on alts… its all about messing around. Its about the ability to shift directions without having to worry about someone showing up unprepared.
I”m sorry, but I do need to blame one more person… well technically I need to blame his old Guild. PTD belonged to a guild by the name of Bandits Reborn. You can say what you like about them, but there was one practice that just floored me. I was reading through one of their forums one day. I was looking at a sign up for a raid of 10 man Naxx. Now ordinarily I’m used to seeing a ton of enthusiastic people, but what caught me most was a maturity I hadn’t expected. No less than three people had signed up and then withdrawn. Now this may not seem odd to some, but it was the reason that struck me. They withdrew themselves from consideration from the raid because they knew they weren’t ready. They knew that their gear wasn’t up to snuff and that their DPS was sub par. The ability to examine oneself and then make the assessment that you just aren’t ready? Now that is indeed a rare quality.
Have I mentioned.. I’m not sleeping well? Well its 11:00.. and I’d probably best get to sleep… more some other day.