Guilds & Loyalty & Obligation, Oh My!

(or, Yes, Kurn is Still Bitching About Her Guild And Stuff… You Got A Problem With That?)

So, as previously mentioned, I didn’t raid last Thursday. Or last Sunday. And I didn’t raid on Monday, either. Insert 24h downtime and then I figured I’d go raid tonight. Apart from anything else, I was definitely getting twitchy. I hadn’t healed on the paladin for, oh, a week. I actually tried to toss a renew up on a tank at one point by clicking my mouse wheel and got the error message that there’s nothing to dispel. (It’s bound to Cleanse on my pally.)

Anyways, it didn’t start off terribly. I don’t raid for loot, but it was definitely very nice to get the heroic version of the Bulwark of Smouldering Steel. We’ve had five shields drop since our first week in ICC and this is only the second heroic one. I’m too tired to do the math, but that is a LOT of weeks without a shield dropping.

Apart from that, the raid pretty much sucked. Here are some “highlights”.

Heroic Lady Deathwhisper:

Number of Resto Shaman in the raid: 2

Number of Resto Druids in the raid: 1

Number of decurses by Resto Shammies on one attempt: 3 and 1 = 4

Number of decurses by Resto Druids on same attempt: 12

Heroic Deathbringer Saurfang:

Wipes: 2

Number of times people beaned in the face by Blood Beasts over all three attempts: 13

Number of times the raid leader got beaned in the face by Blood Beasts and subsequently died: 4

Heroic Blood Prince Council:

Number of wipes: 1 (which is 1 more than usual)

Number of times the stupid DPS forced ME to move, while healing the MT, despite Shadow Prison: 3

Number of times the stupid DPS killed me because they refused to move and I could not move lest the MT die: 1

Number of times veteran ret paladin died to Shadow Prison: 2

Number of dispels of Glittering Sparks by anyone over 2 attempts: 6 (me), 2 (RL/shadow priest), 2 (holy priest)

Number of dispels of Glittering Sparks by virtue of Mass Dispel by ANY priest over 2 attempts: 0 (I think that the healing lead asked the holy priest to go disc and he doesn’t seem to have done so)

Blood Queen Lana’thel:

Number of healers asked to heal tanks: 3 (1 holy paladin, 2 resto shaman)

Number of non-Chain Heals cast by shammies: 33 + 43 = 76

Number of Earth Shield heals on MT: 8 (never refreshed)

Number of Earth Shields heals on OT: 1 (placed on the OT at the end of the fight)

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being “Not at All” and 10 being “Extremely”, the level of fear Kurn has of looking through the rest of the log to see Earth Shield failure: 14

If I was looking to last night’s raid to convince me that I should stick around despite the fact I’m currently not speaking to the raid leader, well, that definitely wasn’t convincing at all.

Everything was pissing me off. The stupid holy/disc priest who is the one who thinks outside the box before thinking inside it was all “yaaaaaaay, we have healers tonight!!!! I’ve missed you guys!!!” and it made me want to punch him in the face. Which, you know, is silly. He was genuinely happy to have so many members of the healing team online. But I still wanted to punch him in the face. I didn’t feel like it was a big ol’ happy reunion or anything. I was actually dreading the raid, exactly as I have been for the past couple of months and everything about it had the effect of stressing me out or frustrating me.

And so, perhaps it’s finally gotten to that point where a decision will have to be made. Do I put the good of my guild ahead of me and my desires? Or do I run screaming from this atmosphere and find a new home?

Let me be clear: I am not a guild hopper. I spent a year in Fated Heroes — my first real guild. I was there from the day I dinged 50 until the day it disbanded. I spent a couple of months in Skull, until such time that they ceased raiding pretty much entirely and my old FH crew and I started up Apotheosis. I was in Apotheosis for over a year and a half, until we stopped raiding officially in March of 2009.

From March of 2009 until September, I was in a raiding guild on Bronzebeard and only left due to two reasons:

1) The raid leader had ragequit and, though I was an officer, I didn’t have the energy to help them pick up the pieces of the guild. I tried, but I really couldn’t help keep it together.

2) My RL friend’s guild was in need of holy paladins; after nearly two years of talking about raiding together “someday”, “someday” was finally here.

And so I’ve been in my RL friend’s guild since October, with my trial having started in September. That’s nine long months of TOC, TOGC, ICC and the odd Ulduar run. I’ve been there for their Algalon kill and the crafting of my friend’s Val’anyr. I was acting healing lead for more than two months while my RL friend dealt with RL stuff. I was responsible for the healing for Sindragosa and LK regular kills and all the hard mode kills except Putricide and some of Sindragosa (I did some basic strat stuff, but it got further refined by my RL friend and the raid leader, which then led to a kill).

My point in this is not to toot my own horn, but merely to show that I am someone who values loyalty, who IS loyal, who always puts the needs of her guild/raid group/healing team ahead of her. The exception, of course, being when I took the crappy boots off Dreamwalker from Failadin. ;D

Leaving a guild is never an easy decision for someone like me, who believes that there has to be more to the guild than showing up with 24 others and downing content, or attempting to. I’m not saying I want to be best friends with everyone in my raid group, but I’d kind of like to respect the majority of the raiders. I’d like to push myself to keep up the tank because I don’t want to let the tank down, not just because I’m scared they’ll swap me out for a poor performance.

I want to be patted on the head every so often and told that I did a good job. I want to do my job quietly, but I want people to recognize that even if I didn’t top the healing meters, I DID do my job. (Don’t get me wrong, I CAN top healing meters if I really want to, and I will do so on certain fights, without even aiming for that goal, but that shouldn’t be the measure of success on a fight. :P)

I want to be surrounded with people who can play their classes adequately, if not extremely well. I want people who KNOW how to play, who can rely on others in the group to do what they’re supposed to do on each attempt.

Like, for instance, resto shammies who know they’re supposed to get rid of the damn Curse of Torpor and NOT let it run full duration on a freaking tank healer. Have you ever seen every healing ability you have on cooldown for fifteen seconds? It’s not a pretty sight, but it was necessary because if I didn’t throw my tank SOMETHING, he was gonna die.

So my raid on Wednesday was lacking in so many ways and was not at all what I had hoped it might be. I hoped that with a few nights off, I’d be ready to go back to ICC and kick some ass. And I, personally, totally kicked some ass. I have no idea how, but I hit 7k HPS on Saurfang, and I didn’t even have Marks 1/3 to heal, I was given 2/4. I never died to something that was my fault (see: DPS killing me on Blood Prince Council) and when the tanks died, it was either a wipe or they weren’t my target for that fight. (Like Saurfang, and for some reason, we lost a tank on our Council kill, but it wasn’t my target, nor was it my beacon. I didn’t even notice.)

As a former guild master, I automatically hated people who left my guild. Period. You leave my guild, you are dead to me. As a raider, I’m similarly pissed when a core person leaves a guild. And so this is where responsibility and loyalty and obligations come into play. As a member of any guild, I have a responsibility to show up for raids, ready to raid and prepared for the fights. I have a feeling of loyalty and belonging when I’m in a good guild, where we can learn from mistakes or laugh about near misses and all be collectively inspired to kick some ass after a 2% wipe. I have an obligation to do my best, to not let down the people around me, to do what I can for the team.

This is why, more often than not, I open my stupid mouth and try to help if I see things being done “wrong” or not being done at all. I’m the one who tells the paladins what to judge. I’m the one who sets up pally power for the optimal buffing setup. I’m the one who does all of this stupid stuff because other people either don’t do it or, in my experience, they do it WRONG. Er, “wrong”. As in, sub-optimally.

I’m not someone who, by nature, min/maxes completely out the wazoo. If I were, I’d run 10s, I’d have crafted the shammy spellpower legs for Madrana already and replaced the 258 Legplates of Failing Light.

But when something is done sloppily in a raid, I tend to be a little cranky. So I step up. Same with healing and healing assignments. That’s how I got to be healing lead in my Bronzebeard guild; I wouldn’t shut up about how X, Y and Z would be better than A, B and C. I feel like if things are done sloppily, we’re all just wasting each other’s time.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I devote myself to the guilds/raid groups I become part of — I want the team to succeed.

So when the time comes to leave a guild, I am, of course, drowned in waves of guilt. My natural inclination is to help the team, not myself. Leaving a guild is the ultimate in selfishness; you’ve gotten loot, experience, strategies from raiding with these people and then you leave and take your loot and experience and another idea of how to do things to another raid group.

But, as anyone who’s been reading can tell, I’m clearly getting to this point with my current guild.

So I’m exploring my options and plan to talk to my RL friend about this stuff tomorrow. There’s already a guild that’s caught my eye, but I figure hey, if your guild is looking for a holy paladin, let me know, either here or via email at kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com. Why not, right?

Some notes:

– I will not go Horde.

– I would prefer raid times between 8:30pm ET and 1am ET (not for 4.5 hours, but a 3-3.5 hour chunk in there). (Obviously, I am on North American servers and cannot transfer to any other versions, blah, blah, blah.)

– I prefer PVE servers and have no interest in going to a PVP server. RP is potentially negotiable, but not my preference.

– Server economy must be strong; I don’t care if things are pricey so long as they’re available.

– Prefer Alliance to dominate Wintergrasp so VOA pugs are easy to form.

– I have 0 interest in 10-mans. I am only interested in 25-man ICC (and eventually Ruby Sanctum) and my preference is at least 9/12 HM already down. (Perhaps 8/12, but I have no desire to relearn/teach people how to do fights I already spent hours wiping on.)

– Must have a competant healing lead who is very aware of all five healing specs and how they work together. Healing leads who bitch people out for not topping meters are not competant. :P

– Similarly, must have a competant healing team. Preferably, a competant raid group in general.

– Must have a respectful atmosphere. I don’t want to see racist, sexist, homophobic crap, no religious or national intolerance either. If your raid group consists of people who call each other “gay” or “fag” or use “rape” casually to indicate domination of something in the game, I would probably rather stay with my current guild and all the abuse the GM lays on us.

– I’d really only stay until 4.0/Cataclysm. This is just a short-term stay to help finish ICC heroic and Ruby Sanctum.

So, yeah. Let’s see if there are any options out there, eh?

ETA: Here’s a CharDev profile of my gear and talents:

13 Replies to “Guilds & Loyalty & Obligation, Oh My!”

  1. Good post. I know how you feel. It’s hard to put a lot of work in and to be at the same point in progression with people that have been carried as far as you struggled to reach. And to have those people hold you back until they can be carried further.

  2. “-Must have a competant healing lead who is very aware of all five healing specs and how they work together. Healing leads who bitch people out for not topping meters are not competant. :P

    – Similarly, must have a competant healing team. Preferably, a competant raid group in general.”


  3. Well we’re out. Wrong raid times. PVP server. At least we’re Alliance?

    We can’t seem to get more than one Holy Paladin to stick around and the one that does is pretty awful. It’s not uncommon for the tanks to have to tell our Holy Paladin that we wiped in Saurfang because his beacon wore off and wasn’t reapplied *at all*.

    We also often wipe if the tanks have to swap jobs/roles/positions. Even when this is repeated about 5 times over vent, and repeated at least once in healing assignments it still flies over this guy’s head and he’ll just heal the wrong target.

    Shame because I actually like him as a person. I just wish he was a LOT more switched on. Still, one bad Holy Paladin is better than none, right?

    Good luck finding another guild. You know it’s time to move on when you’re avoiding logging in because raiding has lost all it’s fun. And it’s your guild that has taken the fun factor away.

  4. Man, if I had *any* of your requirements and preferences to offer you, I’d love to raid with you sometime, even if it’s just to see how you do it. Too bad I’m in a fail guild right now, play on a European server, don’t even dare to dream about that kind of progress and have yet to come across enough competent people to form a 10 man raid, let alone 25 man.

  5. This is kinda creepy tbh. Your post mirrors, almost exactly, what I’m doing at my job currently. I have the same kind of stupid loyalty as you, and have finally given up and decided there is no reason to BE loyal, and that ultimately is it.

    I wish you luck with it all, even though I can’t help you at all.

    Side note on click casting:
    I always make sure to assign my spells to similar click combinations.
    Shiflt+lmb/rmb are my dispels, and they colour code the same as well.
    RMB/RMB+ctrl are my instant casts.
    LMB/Ctrl+LMB are my normal longer cast spells
    Mwheeel Up/Down are my spam spells (nourish)
    Ctrl+Alt+LMB/RMB are my AoEs
    C+A+S+LMB/RMB are my panic spells/macros.

    So, even if I’m hopping about my healers, I don’t accidentally cast one thing when I’m reaching for another.

  6. Hilarious, my raiding group fits all your requirements. :P Well, except the competency of the rest of the raid. *coughs* Bloody ranged DPS. That and it would make me sad to have you join just when I’m on my way out. LMAO

    …you have the same Cleanse bind as me! I love it!

    Reading what happened during your raid last night, I was nodding my head in understanding until I saw “Number of healers asked to heal tanks: 3 (1 holy paladin, 2 resto shaman).” WHAT? On BQL?! I solo heal both tanks, with a shaman CHing through the melee to keep up that little damage reduction buff thingy. <_< Isn't three healers on them pretty much overkill? :o

  7. While I really do want to get into progression raiding, I am damn happy right now that my guild usually only clears past Saurfang on 10 and calls it a good week. I could not imagine putting up with a guild like yours (or rather, certain members of your guild) for so much more.

  8. Rilgon and Kaleri – hahaha, thanks for the chuckles. Rilgon, it’d be great to raid with you and Kal, you know I <3 you and Fad and Chronis, but I'm kind of adament on the whole healing lead/team thing. Otherwise, I'm liable to step up and take on the job myself and I DON'T WANT TO, dammit! :)

    Lecan - In all honesty, you guys hear the worst of my guild situation. There's a lot of little things that are bothering me these days. I don't feel like I've carried them; more like we've magically managed to get through with some sub-par players a few times. Also, despite the overall incompetence of how things can be run.

    Cassandri - You're Alliance and you're on Bloodlust (so it would feel like just moving down the road! ;)) but the PVP thing is just terrifying to me. I levelled my mage on a PVP server and transferred her home to Eldre'Thalas (PVE) when I got to Southshore...

    I'm sorry to hear about your failadin. :( If it makes you feel better, I was browsing parses of possible guilds and saw a paladin who deliberately stood in Coldflame, beaconed himself, healed a tank and topped healing meters. And he was referred to as "an amazing, rock-solid pally healer". Sigh.

    And thanks for what you said about my guild being what took the fun away. That really resonated with me and helps me to feel less guilty. :)

    Kaboomski - haha, thanks anyways. ;)

    thansal - I'm sorry to hear about your job! I hope it works out for you. I feel a little like I'm moping overly much about a guild, when people have these issues IRL situations. :)

    As to the bindings, I'm usually very good at that -- paladin/shaman goes:
    Thumb click: holy shock/riptide
    Right click: holy light/healing wave
    wheel click: cleanse/cleanse spirit

    It's just the priest, because I have things like RENEW and POM and PW:S and and and. I use PW:S more often than Sacred Shield, so those are different binds (Shift-RC for SS and thumb click for PW:S) but Greater Heal is right-click, like Holy Light is. Since I use decursive on the priest, I don't even bind Dispel Magic/Abolish Disease, but I don't use decursive on the pally or shammy, since it's all in one click.

    Silly priest. :)

    And thanks for the well-wishes. Hopefully we'll figure something out here pretty soon.

    Codi - OMG, that would be sad if I were to be your replacement! I could handle the lack of competant ranged, perhaps, but I'd totally want to raid alongside you if I went to your guild!

    Yaaaaaaaay Clique binds. :)

    We typically have 6 healers for most of our ICC HMs, including 2 holy paladins. We almost always heal one tank and beacon the other, which is very useful for moments like Shadow Swarm and Pact of the Darkfallen. So my RL friend the resto druid put the shammies on the tanks knowing that both of them were CH morons (who basically never cast anything else) and assumed they would do what they did -- cast CH on the tanks and melee with the occasional riptide or quick LHW if someone was about to die. That left the holy priest to CoH his happy way around the raid and gave both druids the responsibility of the ranged. She basically gave them an assignment she knew they wouldn't do "properly" (ie: focus on one tank entirely) and used their CH love to make sure the melee would be healed.

    The lack of refreshing Earth Shield (or even casting it, for one of them) was really just sad when they're assigned TO THE TANKS, and their direct heals were sad, too, considering I got Pact twice and Shadow Swarm once. >< X - It comes on you slowly, you know? You're not faced with total failure, because bosses are dying, but it gets to the point where you're like "how is this ever going to be repeatable?" I swear that the only reason we downed Sindragosa for the second time ever last night (heroic) was because me and the other holy paladin didn't get unchained magic at the same time. Stupid pathetic magic always betrays us. ><

  9. Funny. As a warlock, a mage, AND a boomkin, my pathetic magic has never betrayed me. <_<

    Well, okay. I did bounce Haunt, Curse of Agony, Corruption, and Unstable Affliction onto myself in one LDW kill but that's besides the point.

    Now I'm curious if I could have tried to use CoDoom, had it bounce onto me, and unleashed a Doomguard on the unsuspecting raid…

  10. Ew, Clique… LOL I don’t use any add-ons at all. XD BASE UI?! WUT?!

    Yeah, it would be sad if you replaced me. LOL I’m not sure how much we’re even going to be raiding anymore. I can pretty much only make one of our three days a week and it’s not even one of the big days. :( Too bad I love my new job. <_<

    You should suggest to your healing lead having you solo heal the tanks next time on BQL with one (or two, since you have 6 healers) shaman purely healing the melee. It's quite fun! I usually Beacon the MT and then heal the soaker-tank-person-thingy, since they're standing closer to the melee. (HL splash!) Even with me being on the tanks alone, I generally have time to do some raid healing while keeping them up. The only time I ever really need help is when I get the Shadows debuff, but then the tanks pop CDs and the raid healers keep an eye on them while I run. Oh and I HS+FoL like whoa. LOL For Pact, the distance is shorter so I just run while HS+FoLing without any needed CDs or help on the tanks.

    …well, but we run 5 healers. Actually, we've done it with 4 healers now that the Varian buff is so high. NERF TREES IMO <3

  11. I can relate, at least to some small extent.

    I’m not a high-end Raider. (Beyond that, my ingame experiences with high-end Raiders have been pretty negative, with one or two exceptions.) And so I’ve never had to face the question of leaving a floundering Raiding Guild and finding another of equal or better potential.

    But I do understand the concept of Guild loyalty. On my Hunter (my only toon for nigh on two years), I didn’t join my first Guild until he was level 63. Sparing you the details of my tenure there, I did develop a loyalty, and I got to know everyone fairly well.

    That Guild fell apart last summer (for reasons still a bit murky to me) while I spent four months without a computer. And so leaving it was an obvious decision when I got back. Y’know, what with there not being anyone left. A friend pointed me to her Guild, and since I didn’t have any other leads at the time, I joined.

    Long story short, that Guild grew less and less social, to the point where there would often be no more than four or so people on at once. Guild chat was often barren for hours at a time. My GM would log in only to pug Raids by himself, and then leave.

    And yet, despite all that, I still felt the tightness of guilt when those first desires to leave came. I had since met another Guild that was lively and vibrant, and fit my playstyle much better. I did finally bite the bullet last week and leave for them, and I haven’t regretted it.

    I’ve even been able to do some Raiding again with the new crew. I don’t have realistic access to 25-person content, though. I MIGHT see the Lich King fight before Cataclysm, but there’s no way to know for sure. But I am happy now that I’ve made that switch. And so while I can’t COMPLETELY relate to your situation and its unique complexities, in the most basic sense, I can.

  12. X – just wait ’till you meet Sindragosa in person. Your pathetic magic will betray you. Frequently. ;)

    Codi – Wait, are you being serious? You don’t use any addons at all? Seriously? I’ve only run into one other (good) healer who used the base UI and she was seriously amazing. So my hat is off to you. :)

    As to BQL and the tanks, well, part of the reason she did it that way was to get them used to it in the event of no holy paladins in the raid, which may occur if I either leave the guild or take an extended break (both of which I’m considering) and the other holy paladin isn’t on because he wakes up for a phamarcy school rotation 2.5 hours after our raids end. ;)

    I’m generally good when it comes to Pact, too — HS/FoL is great for that. Though, the other night, the OT nearly bit the big one because no one was healing him except my beacon, which, naturally, was no use when I was being chased by the Swarming Shadows… You can’t rely on our tanks to do anything to save their lives in the moment, you know? They’ll do it under a set of conditions — tanking LK AND Soul Reaper? Shield Wall. But they won’t just randomly pop a cooldown if they get low because they weren’t expecting it.

    Hence the desire for a competent raid group… I want proactive tanks, dammit! (Although it’s a fine line between them being proactive and them not trusting me.)

    We haven’t changed a lot of our strats since the 5% buff went into effect, to be honest, and it could stand some shaking up now that we’re at 20%, but people are getting so lazy with the buff that what we’ve been doing works and to force some people to pay more attention to the encounters will likely end up in some wipes. :P

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