On June 1st, 2007, several former guildies and in-game friends of mine on the Eldre’Thalas server, including myself, created a new guild called Apotheosis. It was so named because Palantir had just had his wisdom teeth removed and he was on a significant amount of painkillers during the officer meeting to decide on a name for our new guild. He flipped through the dictionary and said, in a slightly stoned voice, “Apotheosis.”
A guild was born.
Our goal was to kill Illidan, as a guild, together. We accomplished that. We picked up a ton of new people along the way and lost a few here and there. But we did it, killing Attumen, Moroes, Maiden, Opera, Curator, Illhoof, Aran, Netherspite, Chess, Prince, Nightbane, Maulgar, Gruul, Magtheridon, Hydross, Lurker, Tidewalker, Leotheras, Karathress, Lady Vashj, Al’ar, Solarian, Void Reaver, Kael, Rage, Anetheron, Kaz’rogal, Azgolar, Archimonde, Naj’entus, Supremus, Shade of Akama, Gorefiend, Bloodboil, Reliquary, Mother, Council and finally, Illidan Stormrage himself.
38 bosses down, just in time for the end of Burning Crusade. Mission accomplished.
Wrath didn’t start out amazingly for us. We were all burnt out from raiding so some people took their time levelling. Hell, I even levelled my hunter, first, instead of my pally, who’s my raiding toon. (My pally still hit 80 on December 27th. I wasn’t slacking. ;))
We played around in Naxx 10 and Sanctum 10 in December, just to see what we could do. The results weren’t bad at all and left us hopeful that we could get back to doing 25s as scheduled in early January.
We did, actually. Killed nine bosses on our first night and most people had never seen Naxx before. Cleared Spider and Plague and headed on to Military, getting Raz down. We killed Sartharion two days later on our next raid day. Things were looking good.
Except that attendence was already starting to suck. Whether people disagreed with our policies or didn’t enjoy the new content or didn’t like some of the new officers, I may never know. Could be that they’ve always hated me, but hey, being GM isn’t about making friends. It’s about making sure policies are fair, transparent and trying to ensure success in raids. In short, it’s about doing everything so that everyone unites to hate you 95% of the time and the 5% of the time after you’ve killed bosses, that’s when they love you. ;)
We lost three officers in a week. I won’t get into those details except to say that there was clearly a difference of opinion which wasn’t, IMHO, discussed enough. I’m going to want to do what’s fairest for the guild at all times. If you have a suggestion that removes that fairness, you better be able to back it up if it means that much to you.
Not only did we lose three officers, but we also lost six other raiders.
All of this was new to us. These were people leaving the guild because they were unhappy or frustrated. For crying out loud, we had the Heroic: Less is More achievement (20 people for Sarth) without even needing to plan that out. That had never happened to us before. Almost always before, if people left, it would be due to RL situations or the opportunity to play with RL friends or something. Rarely was it us being a place people didn’t want to be.
Naturally, this left us even more shorthanded than we were. And recruitment? Forget about it. With our late start to raiding, we didn’t have the progression people wanted. I scoured the forums for hours a day, looking for a resto shammy or holy pally or even a ret pally or shadow priest who didn’t want a guild that had Sarth 3D on farm. In two weeks of hard recruitment, we had two applications, and only one of them transferred. (I had informed him of our troubles, so he knew what he was getting into.) During this time, we had decided to switch to 10s, with the understanding that if we couldn’t get back to 25s in about two weeks (a very long time for the loyal raiders we had), we’d have to make a decision about what to do.
We had trouble keeping 10s going, even. People who hadn’t left were now just lazy, bored, didn’t want to press content in 10s. I can’t blame them — I’m not a 10s person myself. I LOVE 25s. I love being part of a big group.
So the remaining two officers and myself made the decision on March 1st that Apotheosis would no longer raid 25s, wouldn’t even try. That it would refocus itself into a casual guild with a couple 10-mans a week. That this was it, folks, the end of the line, this is where you could leave, free of guilt, free of accusations, just be free.
People left. I paid out the 19257g from the guild bank, based on who was in the guild prior to our two week push for recruitment while people did 10s, and based on their DKP standings and attendence. Some people made out very nicely, but those were the people who wished they hadn’t gotten gold for the reason that the guild as they knew it was basically ending. They were the dedicated ones.
And so, after spending three years and five months on Eldre’Thalas, after having rolled my very first toons on ET, I left the server I had always called home.
My hunter joined my mage (74) and shammy (64) on Proudmoore, where I play casually with a good RL friend who’s in a hardcore raiding guild there.
However, given that my friend’s guild already had seven pallies, my paladin moved elsewhere.
I had spoken with the recruitment officer of a progressed guild on a PVE/PST server. Raid times were 5:30pm-9:30pm server (which is 8:30pm-12:30am for me and suits me just fine), and more than anything else, the officer was extremely understanding about my situation. I didn’t want to officially apply, because my guild stuff was up in the air, and I made it clear that I might not even be able to transfer if my guild actually managed to pull together and get stuff done and people started to think Apotheosis was worth a damn.
I joined the guild on March 2nd, 2009. My first raid, the 3rd, we went to Naxx and I finally got Heroic: The Construct Quarter. My guild, my poor, poor guild, never had a full raid on Thaddius and people would blow each other up and wouldn’t stack up and… there was no reason for it, it seemed like. So staring at Thaddius on March 3rd, I wondered how painless the boss fight would be. Turns out it was super-easy, textbook-like. Same strategy that we’d been using, but a full raid. Amazing what 3-4 more people will do.
I got sat out of Spider, Sapphiron and KT after the first three wings, and then got sat out of Malygos and Sarth 3D the next night. I wasn’t thrilled, but I knew if I was patient, I would eventually get in on stuff. And we had started working on the PTRs, too. I got to see Flame Leviathan while his room caused critical errors past the repair station. I got to see Hodir before the NPCs properly spawned.
The next week, I cleared Heroic Naxx for the first time and got pulled in for Malygos, but sat out for Sarth 3D. It was progress, I told myself. The achievements were piling up and I even got a couple of pieces of loot, while earning lots of DKP.
This reset, I was in for all of Naxx and Maly, both of which we did on Tuesday. It was a longer raid than I was used to and I felt utterly drained afterwards, but really accomplished. And I even got the sweet mail healing bracers off Razuvious, I think it is, and the shield off KT. I was feeling pretty good about myself.
Wednesday night, we were going to do Sarth 3D. The guild has only done it 4 times previously, I think, so it’s definitely not on farm yet. So at raid time, I get on my Bronze Drake and fly on towards Wyrmrest… only to see that half the guild is already inside the Obsidian Sanctum. And I’m not in the raid yet. I sighed, wondering when I’d get the chance to prove myself, when I’d get the snazzy title. I mean, I’ve been a Hand of A’dal since September 15th, for crying out loud.
Just as I was about to give up on going to the raid tonight and go work on my cooking or fishing, I get the invite. The GM confirms I haven’t done 3D before and he also lets me know that normally, they do it with 6 healers and I’m the 7th, so if they need more DPS, nothing personal, but I’d be put back on standby.
I said no problem, that I understood, because I did. I know about juggling people and classes and numbers. I was just grateful for the opportunity.
Four wipes to start off the evening, and the only thing I did wrong was get hit by Sarth’s tail lash a few times, stunning me briefly. I was adjusting to the positioning so that I could keep healing the MT without getting hit by a flame breath (which hit me after a “wipe it up!” command at some point, due to my bad positioning) and I was dodging lava waves left and right, bubbling off adds if I needed to, making use of beacon of light and sacred shield and holy shock and divine plea. I was a button-pushing maniac on all those attempts. And for the first time since Black Temple, I felt challenged.
I was actually having fun, trying to master this encounter. I wasn’t responsible for divying up healing. I didn’t have to pick which tank would do what job. I didn’t have to tell the DPS to watch the fuck out for Twilight Torment. I didn’t have to do any of that. I was just there, healing my ass off, first on add tanks, then a drake tank, then the MT.
Wipes or not, it was FUN.
And then on attempt #5, at about the one hour mark… I realized we were going to do it. Great transition from drake 2 to drake 3. Everyone was still alive. I was free to move off the drake tank and go to the MT, and I already knew where I needed to stand. I danced around lava waves, I popped cooldowns, I kept my judgements of the pure up… I didn’t even notice the third drake die, but at some point, I looked around me, saw the melee near me, saw Sarth was at 26% and went “holy Christ!”.
A couple more lava waves go by and suddenly…
I am now a Twilight Vanquisher. And, perhaps coincidentally, out of my probationary period with my new guild.
I always said I didn’t want to be dragged through content by a more progressed guild. Oddly, I don’t feel that I have been. I knew Naxx, I’d done all the fights on 10, anyways. Malygos, okay, there I was totally dragged through it. But Sarth? That was a real team effort. I honestly felt that my presence made a difference, and it was great execution of the strat I would have used in Apotheosis. Pain Suppresion, Guardian Spirit and a DK MT make it almost easy. I didn’t even have to use Hand of Sacrifice, although I was prepared for the possibility.
So I’ve now experienced all Wrath content thus far. I’m really sad that I didn’t get to do so with my friends from ET, but it was time for me to go. The ignore list was getting too long over there, apart from anything else. If there’s one thing BC taught me, it’s that you don’t have to be in the same guild or on the same server to remain friends with someone. My brother’s toons are still there, though, his 60 druid, 70 rogue and 70 priest. Since I’m paying for his account, I may go back and play the priest at some point, maybe after my mage is 80 and can send the awesome Tattered Dreadmist Mantle over to my brother’s account…
The point of all this rambling is that I’m happy with my decision. 25s are awesome and what I like most about the game. I’m looking forward to wiping with my new guild in Ulduar, looking forward to pushing myself on all those hard modes and looking forward to proving myself to be a dedicated member of the guild.
I still miss ET and those on the server… but I can look back on those days and be like, hey. We rocked BC. I can remember my guildies fondly without being frustrated with X tank for not using devastate or Y healer for not understanding how to stack lifeblooms or Z DPS for not understanding that you DO, in fact, need SOME hit rating.
Here’s to new beginnings, to new content and a new patch in which pallies get smashed upside the head with the nerfbat. ;)
And to new titles, too. Twilight Vanquisher. Holy cow. :)