I read too many WoW blogs, I’m certain (yes, still). Bloggers, like Twitterers can be self promoting, obsessive and driven so it seems obvious why the raid progress of WoW bloggers seems to be well advanced compared to the average raiding guild. Even though I know this, it doesn’t make me any less envious or interested in how they achieve this success. So, this week, I transferred to a new realm and joined a 25 man Alliance raiding guild on a hastily levelled Alt as an experiment.
First up, I had to find a guild not incredibly hardcore, but still quite serious, and apply to join. I really can’t commit to a mandatory 3 days a week in addition to the 2 or so that I already raid. My wife would kill me, and it would burn me out, probably in that order. I found a guild that doesn’t insist on 100% attendance, and has no regular cat dps in their ranks (which is rarer than you might think), and who publishes their World of Logs reports, so I could check the performance of their cat when they did raid (Answer: not very good). Checkboxes ticked.
For me, the guild applicaion is the easy part. I wrote a wall of text that explained why I am so undergeared and unready, and yet showed confidence in decent performance to come. They probably didn’t read most of it, but seemed happy to have a talk with me. So many guild applications are lazy, that it takes little effort to stand out.
Then came the culture shock of a verbal “Vent” interview. Let’s just say it was like having a D and M with my younger sister. The guild leader was quite nice and made good sense, but she was spieling off on red cordial tangents, and funnily, she advised that I perhaps not listen in on their next raid because “it‘s going to be 25 man Al’Akir, and there might be a lot of yelling”. She was concerned I was playing an Alt – which is fair enough – it screams part timer / loot whore. They left it in my hands and said I was welcome to a Trial spot.
I ended up server transferring and joining them anyhow because it was only $50 and it promised to be interesting. They 2-shot 25 man Nefarian (final boss) the night before, so they have some serious talent onboard. Now I am the one that’s feeling the pressure. I get a guild invite. There is a lot of guild chat. It’s a nice feeling to see it.
So, I logon pretty tired at 7:30 one night (there are no signups or registrations), I get an invite, the EPGP counter starts to measure “time in raid” (20 points per 15 minutes) and I am summoned to Throne of the Tides. The first boss is heroic Halfus on 25 man. Gulp. They have 31 in the raid, and they ask for people who don’t need loot to volunteer to drop. Double gulp. I’m not feeling my best and chicken out and privately volunteer. I am moved to group 6. The Vent channel is maxxed out and non-raiders are told to get the fuck out to free up space. I drop. No one says anything to me. I speak to a solitary hunter in the same position out the front of the instance, and he seems to think it is normal. I sigh at the lack of people skills. I logoff and start playing on my other character.
The guild leader chats to me a few days later. She was going to bring me in AFTER the heroic Halfus, but I logged out. I sorta need to know all 12 of the fights, as they are clearing all the content. I find out she lives in Reservoir, not 2 kilometres from where I live. She sounds like she orders takeaway pizza a great deal. Her web presence shows long blonde dreadlocks and multiple facial piercings. I feel a bit old.