(followed by a brief personal story)
Once upon a time, back before we had discovered Northrend, before we had stepped through The Dark Portal, I was in a guild that was heavy on DPS, short on healers and even shorter on tanks.
The guildies and I always tried to run dungeons together and it wasn’t easy because we didn’t have a tank or we didn’t have a healer. Frequently, we didn’t have both. This is, in part, what led me to create my paladin. I knew I wouldn’t get her up to 60 in time to help with our immediate tank/healer shortages, but I knew that a paladin could supposedly be a damage-dealer, a healer or a tank and was really interested in seeing how both being a tank and a healer worked. After all, I already had my DPS class in Kurn.
When a level 55 prot warrior applied to our guild, we snatched him up, despite the fact he was all of 13. He was the first “real” tank we had, although the guild master was busy levelling his own prot warrior. Sure, we had a warrior who had tank gear, but he was fury and never respecced. Not that we really understood what that meant, but anyways.
Everyone constantly fought over the warrior. Just like everyone fought over a priest who apped a couple of months later. We were slowly getting more healers and tanks who were being constantly bombarded to go do runs. Honestly, it’s a wonder we didn’t wear them out.
But that’s what they were there for, right? The warrior and the priest were guild resources. They were part of the guild, they had chosen their specs and their roles. So we should feel free to at least ask if they want to do X, Y and Z runs, right?
I’ve been a healer, either as an alt or as a primary raiding character, for almost four years. In those four years, I have spent a lot of time trying to balance my desire to heal (or not) versus the requests from the people with whom I play.
What I have learned, as a healer:
1) I am my own person and I am not merely a community resource who is obliged to go on thirty runs a day with various guild members.
2) The guild has a need for me in its primary focus (be it instancing, raiding, what-have-you) so that should be my first priority when doing things “for the guild”. This is all that I feel I am morally and ethically obliged to do. If I have joined a guild which is focused on 10-man raiding, then I should save my timers for the guild, raid 10s with them as I can (which should be most of the time) and not feel obliged to do a half-pug 25-man with them. Similarly, if I have joined a guild focused on 25-man raiding, I should not feel obliged to run 10-man raids at all.
3) I should feel free to take a day off, with notice, if I’m feeling burnt out. One day off does wonders for recharging your batteries.
4) Similarly, I should do something that isn’t typically expected of me every so often. If I’m in a 25-man guild, by golly, I should do a 10-man once in a while, if the opportunity crops up and it’s something I might be interested in doing. One day of doing something different with guildies does a lot for getting to know them and letting them get to know you.
I’ve actually been meaning to post about this subject for a while, now. In my previous guild, the one with my RL friend the resto druid, I was basically expected to do 10s. I hate 10s. LORD, do I hate 10s. But back when ICC launched, I was expected to do them. So I did. I got my extra Emblems of Frost, I got some achievements (Storming the Citadel, Boned, I’m on a Boat, I’ve Gone and Made a Mess) and I got abuse from the MT in 10s the same way I got abuse from him in the 25s. So I basically stopped going after about three weeks, maybe four. Healing with my RL friend in a smaller setting just wasn’t enough to offset the dickishness of the MT.
I got myself a Rotface and Festergut kill on 10 one week when the hunter officer was hard up for a healer. She’s an excellent player and a really nice person, so I helped out. But that was it. Here I am, with Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25) and only 6/12 in ICC 10.
So last week, when my new GM asked me if I’d do her a favour and I discovered that the favour had to do with helping out with an ICC 10 “power group”, I was a little hesitant. On the one hand, OH GOOD LORD, not 10s!!! But on the other hand, a “power group” with good players, most of whom I actively like, none of whom I actively dislike (I honestly don’t hate anyone in the guild)… Four hours. Just four hours to help these people get their 10-man achievements for their 10-man drakes.
I agreed to do it.
What was nice about the GM is that she initially wanted to help me get my 10-man achievements as well. I was like “no, no, absolutely not, ignore what I have or what I don’t have. I have the 25-man drake, I don’t need a 10-man.” I really was there just to help out these folks.
So what did we get done?
Heroic Marrowgar, Full House, I’m on a Boat (I actually, amusingly, already had this), heroic Saurfang, heroic Dreamwalker (on the successful attempt, I dropped my stacks not once, but TWICE!), heroic Sindragosa (oh God, I hate that fight!) and heroic Blood Prince Council.
Perhaps not quite as productive as it was expected to be, but heroic Sindragosa alone is a pretty nice accomplishment.
Marrowgar dropped Corrupted Silverplate Leggings. No one wanted them so I snagged them. I already had Lightning-Infused Leggings, which are virtually identical. But I’ve swapped to the CSL because of two reasons.
1) I like wearing plate. I like mail too, but plate is my preference, given equivalent stats. Another 1000 armor is good! I have a 60.77% physical damage reduction versus 59.72% in the mail legs. Maybe that percent damage reduction only comes in handy on some fights like Saurfang or Blood Prince Council and maybe it’s negligible, but it makes me feel good to know that I’m wearing pants that were actually designed for me to wear.
2) And they MATCH! They actually match my armor! Yes, I am occasionally girly about my toons.
So, what is the point of this post?
Well, I have avoided 10s for a long time, in general. But when my GM approached me to see if I’d be willing to fill in for a healer, I decided to do something unusual for me and help out. Most of the “helping” I do in-game is along the lines of answering questions, like that Mor’Ladim is in Raven Hill or that, yes, you still need to hit Unfriendly with the Timbermaw before you can run through their tunnel without aggroing. I didn’t feel a lot of pressure to agree to do so and I figured it would be a good way to get to know some of the guildies better and it would help them all towards getting their drakes.
Did I have a good time? It was okay. I didn’t particularly enjoy having my pathetic magic betray me on what is technically an off-night, but we got the dragon down in the end. What makes it worth it is that, on Tuesday, when most of these people get their drakes, after finishing off a couple more achievements, I’ll know that I’ll have been a part of that.
As someone who is vigilant in making sure I don’t overextend myself, I feel like I did a good job of balancing my guild obligations (25-man raiding), my personal desires to play (not a whole lot this weekend) and being an accessible guild resource. As a bonus, I don’t feel frustrated or burnt out.
End result: it was a good experience, but I don’t know that I’ll do it again and, what’s more, I’m not going to be expected to do so. Win-win situation for me for sure.