With the pre-patch event starting and two weeks left in Warlords of Draenor, I think it’s safe to go ahead and say our goodbyes. Hell of an expansion, this one.
I didn’t hate Warlords of Draenor. There were a lot of little things I liked: Shadowmoon Valley is still one of the most beautiful places in WoW, some of the lore stuff was interesting, and I loved Highmaul as a raid (even though I still think it felt a little out of place). Mythic Imperator was and will always be one of my favorite boss fights.
But there were a lot of things I didn’t love about it. Sometimes stories and raids felt incomplete or rushed, there wasn’t as much focus on the actual Warlords as I thought there would be, and I think we can all agree Hellfire Citadel lasted way too long. Oh, and then there was Garrisonville, which stopped feeling like fun and started feeling like an obligation pretty early on, especially if you had an army of alts.
It’s not my favorite expansion, let’s put it that way.
The Company You Keep
This expansion has been an interesting trip for me as a raider and guild member apart from the content.
I started the expansion having recently joined <Check Please> on Durotan, a guild with which I’d had a dubious history. I was an officer because I had been in officer in my previous guild and brought my raid team with me, but I immediately jumped into doing stuff because that’s just what I tend to do.
For a while, it was fun. It was new and exciting, there were new people who actually enjoyed playing (there at the end with my previous guild, there were a lot of people who just didn’t want to be there anymore), and it was a completely different environment.
But, to be honest, I was outclassed as a player in my new guild, and I knew it. Any criticism anyone had, constructive or otherwise, I listened and tried to learn from it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in my guild for whom that wasn’t good enough, and there was a fair group of people who spent a lot of time talking about how terrible I was behind my back or making jokes at my expense.
I offered to sit out of raids if I was holding us back. A few times I looked for and even applied to other guilds, but I always got talked into staying. It made for a lot of unfun raiding but it definitely turned me into a better player.
It wasn’t all bad. There were some good times, times I laughed until I had tears streaming down my face, and I made some friends that I adore and will never not be my friends. And we killed bosses!
We progressed through Highmaul, finishing Imperator at US93rd:
we pushed a little harder in BRF and finished at US66th:
and in HFC we were making solid progress with eyes on US50 or better until our tank disappeared and regressing on Mannoroth killed us.
During our 8 month hiatus, I still wanted to raid, so I raided with a cross-realm mythic pug I found through the LFG tool. I thorougly enjoyed it. I loved the raid leader, who was direct but incredibly patient and kind, the people, who welcomed me and were genuinely glad to have me in the raid, and the fact that we were doing decently on bosses despite being a pug.
In March, I got the word that we were going to try to resurrect <Check Please> to clear the tier, so I stopped raiding with the pug, progressed on Mythic Archimonde with a friend’s guild a bit until we killed it, and focused on bringing the guild back to life.
We succeeded at reforming, killed Mannoroth and Archimonde, dealt with random drama which was a lot less amusing the 14th time around, did some farming on and off, and…I wasn’t happy. I kept thinking about those nights in BRF when I didn’t want to raid because I knew I was just going to feel like I shouldn’t be there the whole time, and how once we got into Legion all of those people would come back.
And then I found out that the pug I had raided with was becoming a guild, currently <Syzygy> on Sargeras.
I told my GM and my guild that I was leaving. I knew it would cause a ripple; I didn’t realize that the effort I had put in to keeping the guild on its feet would mean that my absence would kill it.
In short, RIP <Check Please>.
But it was the right thing for me to do for myself, and I don’t regret it. I’ll go into Legion with a group of friends who like me and like having me in the raid, and except for a few people from <Check Please> that came to the guild with me, even respect me. 😉 It’s a nice change.
I mean, I enjoyed the hell out of playing beta, so I’m looking forward to it being live. For the first time, I’m switching mains from druid (gasp!). I’ll be an elemental shaman for Legion unless something crazy happens.
Everyone’s at the point where we’re all chomping at the bit for new content anyway, and it’s about to get delivered. We’re like Pavlov’s dogs and the bell is ringing, friends.
A week and a half ago, my husband suffered a massive heart attack. The doctor said it would have been fatal if we hadn’t acted so quickly getting him to the hospital. No prior symptoms, nothing to indicate that it was coming, just a sudden stabbing pain in his chest and a terrifying several hours followed by several days in the hospital.
It’s been an adjustment. There are a lot of things we’ve had to change, a lot of things we’ve had to think about and worry about and consider for the first time. He’s monitored 24/7 by a telemetry device that’s equipped with a built-in defibrillator if needed. Most of the time we’re okay, but every once in a while the whole thing unnerves us. It’s been a journey and it’s one we’ll be on for a long time.
But I have to say once again HUGE kudos to my Twitter friends and several of my guildies who reached out with thoughts and prayers and encouragement and support and advice. When you’re sitting on the other side of the computer trying to find something to say to someone who’s hurting, words feel so inadequate, but I appreciated every message. You guys are the best. ❤