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A Look Back at Legion Part 3 of 3: Why I Left My Guild & What Now?

Why I Left My Guild

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I don’t think anyone cares enough to have spent a lot of time wondering about why I left Crisp, though I’m sure when it happened, my guildies probably had a few theories. I didn’t give a lot of details then and I won’t go into specifics now, but since the guild as a whole played such a huge role in this expansion for me, I feel like not talking about it as a I look back on Legion would be to leave out a big part of my xpac experience.

26648751_10155945086797383_1901181610_n.jpgI don’t go into detail about my personal mental health a lot, though in the wake of the news of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I did open up about my personal experiences on Twitter recently, and I will not hesitate to share my issues if I believe it will help someone else. And yet, as it was one of the primary reasons I left my guild, we’re going to talk about it now.

I have OCD coupled with depression and anxiety. My personal feeling is that it’s all one thing, but breaking it down into its pieces makes it easier to talk about. I’ve written about some of my experience with OCD before, and those who follow me closely on Twitter have witnessed my anxiety and depression firsthand during the times when I fell apart (and, thankfully, had many helping hands to pull me back together).

As we neared the end of progression, some of the relationships I had formed in the guild were unraveling, and that coupled with my OCD and the stress of the progression itself were pushing me into an anxiety-ridden, deeply depressed state that was making real-life living difficult and being in-game almost impossible.

image-1.jpegI went to a friend of mine to talk about it—everyone needs to have a friend like this, by the way—and he said something that stuck with me: “Amber. You deserve to be happy.” This shouldn’t be a mind-blowing revelation, right? But it was. So I started thinking about what I needed to do to be happy, and I realized that I needed to get away from my current situation. I needed to move on and make a new start. (As it turned out, I also needed medication, something I resisted for a long time but was and continues to be a huge quality-of-life improvement). And I needed time.

So I forced myself to stay on through Argus progression, both selfishly, because after wiping that many times on a boss, I wanted to kill it, and because after wiping that many times, I didn’t think leaving in the middle of progression would be a fair move for the guild, either. When Argus was over and I considered my options again, I knew leaving was the right thing. I needed to get myself back together.

My PostI moved to my old guild, my OLD OLD guild, the first raiding guild I ever joined. I was in the guild for 7 or 8 years; they are family, and as soon as I told them I needed somewhere to be at peace, they opened their arms and welcomed me back.

It’s been exactly what I needed. I loved Crisp; you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better group of people to hang out with (and I’m sure they’re recruiting, so if you’re looking for a mythic raiding guild for BfA, I recommend them!), and had things been different, I probably would’ve stayed there indefinitely. But I did what I had to do to be okay, and that has to take priority.

What Now?

The honest answer is: I have absolutely no idea. Within a week of leaving Crisp, I ended up in the hospital with a persistent infection that I’m unfortunately still fighting. It’s fatiguing, but I’m leaving it in the hands of my dedicated (if somewhat perplexed) surgeon.

turtle.gifUnfortunately, all of that combined–the anxiety, depression, and illness–have made being social extremely difficult. I’ve gone into absolute full turtle mode. Outside of Twitter, I barely speak to anyone. I’ve been appearing offline in WoW and Discord for a few months, and the last time I turned it on, I got a bunch of whispers and immediately turned it back off. If you’ve DM’d me or whispered me and I’ve ignored you, please don’t take it personally. It’s not that I don’t love you guys, I just don’t have the spoons right now.

As for BfA? I’m sure at some point I’ll want to be back into mythic progression and that will mean finding a new guild, something that kind of exhausts me to think about.

For now, I’m happy doing what I’m doing, which is mostly mythic+, chasing professions and achievements and mage tower appearances, and leveling in beta. And spending an unhealthy amount of time in Sims 4. No, really, what is it with that game?

Whatever comes next, I guess we’ll see.

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Part 1: 

Part 2: My Legion Raiding Experience

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I Don’t Like Flakes

flakesRaiding for the purpose of progression at any difficulty is a time commitment–at least, if you intend to be even moderately successful at it.

Experience and consistency go a long way in re-clearing farm content and killing new bosses in a timely manner. It’s not everything, but it’s definitely something.

When you flake out of your raid group, you’re being a selfish prick. There, I said it, and I’m not taking it back.

Am I saying that you shouldn’t quit when you’re tired of playing? That you shouldn’t back out when something in real-life supersedes in-game shenanigans? Of course not. But there are ways to handle these situations and still be considerate to the rest of your raid group.

The worst way to handle it? Stop showing up. That’s it–if your goal is to try to set your raid team back and be labeled a flake, that’s all you have to do. Easy, right?

If you are part of a raid team and you have real-life get in the way, tell someone. That’s it. Two seconds. “Hey, man, deal with itI’m really sorry, but my cat just developed super powers and is being taken to a private testing facility for magical creatures and I have to go with him. I won’t be available for the next few weeks.”

Granted, whether or not I believe your cat is teleporting around your living room is questionable, but hey, at least you told me.

If you decide you’re tired of playing/burnt out/not having fun anymore, warn your team and give us some time to find a replacement. “I just can’t get excited about the game anymore. I hate logging in and I’d rather snort glass than kill these bosses again. I’ll stay for the next two weeks, but then I’m done.”

Granted, it’s not as easy as just flat not showing up, but it’s also a) less of a dick move, and b) leaving your bridges in tact. Which may, as it turns out, be handy to you if you decide to come back in the future.

I’m an old lady, guys. I gotta stick by at least a few of my old-lady principles, and this is one of them. I love corn flakes and frosted flakes and honey-bunches-of-oats flakes (no, that’s a lie, I like the clusters). I don’t like raid flakes.

sad kitty

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On Mythic Blackhand, Guilds, & My Missing Appendix

April is the cruelest month.” 

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First, there’s Mythic Blackhand, the tyrant hanging over our heads for the entire month of April. There’s something about that boss, man; he’s really good at making people exceptionally tense.

Getting him down felt good. Not the same way Imperator felt good–the Imperator kill felt like a perfected dance, a 5-star performance on opening night kind of good. Blackhand felt like a battle won, like putting away our swords and wiping dirt and blood off of our faces with a resounding “Hell yeah, we’re still here.”

Blackhand

Guilds

This month has been a different sort of interesting for me, as well. Some people and situations within my guild pushed me to the brink of leaving–far enough into the gap, in fact; that I applied to other guilds (and met some pretty cool people, I might add).

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I felt obligated to stay through the Blackhand kill, and during that time there’s been a concerted effort to make things a little less frustrating. This left me at a difficult juncture: do I leave my guild and the friends I have here and try something new with people who seem nice? Or do I stay with the people I like, deal with the ones I don’t, and give my guild a second chance?

In the end, I believe I’ve opted for staying home. Maybe I’m screwing myself over, but I love this guild, I just want it to like me back.

I Didn’t Need It Anyway

sick-day-lolcatsWe killed Blackhand on a Monday night. The Sunday previous, I’d started having lower right abdominal pain. I took some ibuprofen and pressed on. Monday was miserable, but I sucked it up, a little more ibuprofen, and we killed the boss.

The next morning, I could no longer ignore the pain, and a visit to the ER later, I was being scheduled for surgery to remove my appendix.

The Twitter community was, of course; as supportive and cool as they’ve ever been, sending me well wishes and virtual hugs throughout the process. I’ve said it a hundred times, the WoW/Gaming/Geek Twitter community is one of the best, and you’d be hard-pressed to convince me otherwise.

I wish I could say the process was painless; it wasn’t. It mostly sucked. My belly button hurts, my back hurts, my side keeps cramping, and I’m under these pesky orders not to do much of anything. But hey, I’m home and not dead, so I think I came out on top.

I’m kind of glad April’s over, though. I need May to be chill.

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Chi Cerca Trova & Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic: 10 vs 25

After 2 months of being unable to progress because we couldn’t recruit faster than we were losing people to burn-out and real life, the decision was made this week to go to 10-man Heroic. Our goal? Get through the content as quickly as possible and then get everyone subbed in to get the Heroic Garrosh kill they’ve earned.

As it turns out, though; there are some things about 10m that required some adjusting on our part. If you find yourself in a similar situation, dropping from 25 to 10, let me share with you the lessons we learned our first night in 10s!

ImageImmerseus: Ow, That Hurts

First lesson we learned is that the Swelling Corruption stacking DoT really matters on 10m (REALLY matters).

On 25m, with so many DPS splitting the stacks (and usually running with an extra healer), we basically ignored the DoT. No one usually got more than 2-3, maybe 4 stacks, and since we were all in the same small piece of real estate anyway, healing through it was no big deal.

In 10m, though, we had a few wipes because people were dying with ticks between 600k and 800k–ouch! So, we had to do what the Pandaren have been telling us to do all along: S l o w  D o w n. We had to watch our stacks and not go above 5. Once we did that, the fight was a lot easier, if still a little annoying.

Protectors: Just Go Ahead and Stack Everything

Protectors was actually way, way easier on 10 than 25. Ranged stacked up and got healed, we took a few steps out for Corrupted Brew and Sha Sear, but other than that we just executed the fight normally from our spots.

Much to everyone’s (okay, well, half the raid, at least) delight, we stacked the bosses very, very tightly, making for a quick, mostly clean kill. No melee were (significantly) harmed in the killing of this boss.

Norushen: Oh, Hey, Adds.

On 25m, we always had 2-3 DPS that never had their corruption cleared and focused on adds so that those who were at 0 corruption could focus entirely on the boss. In 10m, we sent all of our DPS in, and that meant that everyone needed to be more attentive on adds, something we almost failed at.

Thankfully, we cleared it up pretty quickly, and since we had all of the DPS in and out so quickly, once the little adds were dead, the fight was a cake walk. In fact, we beat our 25m time by almost a minute!

Sha of Pride: Heroic LFR

Compared to 25m, 10m Sha of Pride was much, much less chaotic. We stacked up like you do on LFR, focused on rifts closest to our stacked group, and executed everything else normally. Except for a couple of “whoops” deaths, Sha went down pretty easily.

Galakras, Iron Juggernaut, & Dark Shaman: Business as Usual

Except for some positioning adjustments on Juggernaut and me still learning to tank Shaman (and a few would-be Storm Chasers), these three bosses remained largely unchanged. We used identical strats to our 25m, just pared down to fit the group.

Nazgrim: On Your Toes

Biggest difference for Nazgrim (besides getting distracted and standing in Aftershock–oh, no, wait, that’s not that different) is that we have fewer people covering interrupts and stuns, so we had some deaths to Ironblades, especially combined with Bonecracker or War Song.

We stopped at Nazgrim for the night, but we’re going back in there Monday, and we can’t wait to kill Thok, at last.

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Assorted Thoughts: A Month In

We’re almost a month into Mists of Pandaria; doesn’t seem like that long, does it? We’ve tilled our farms, we’re earning our rep, we’ve stepped into some heroics or LFR or raids, and we’re starting to get a feel for this expansion.

So far, I dig it. I was never overwhelmed and blown away, but it’s like the whole expansion sneaked up behind me and surprised me with little bits of awesome. I’m enjoying the expansion as much as any other at this point, and that’s saying something, since MoP had me concerned from the get go.

Wanderer's Festival

Here’s a few thoughts from my experiences so far; how have yours differed? What’s going on so far with you, or what’s demanding your attention?

About Those Dailies…

I like dailies. I really, actually do. They’re a great way for me to get things accomplished without being chained to my computer for 30+ minutes at a time. I can stop in the middle, go hang out with my kids, answer the phone, chat with a friend, and when I come back, I’m right where I left off.

I will say that unlocking Shado-Pan and August Celestials made my head spin a little. Shado-Pan is probably my least favorite group of dailies, mostly because my Pandaren companion hasn’t learned to Shadowmeld and Swift Flight. We’re working on it, though.

Healer Rehab

In order to raid, my guild needed more healers. I’ve certainly healed here and there along the way for particular fights, but I haven’t been a dedicated healer since Burning Crusade. However, the biggest problem I’m having is one that I’m sure a lot of healers have had this expansion: healing as if the way we use mana hasn’t changed.

Even though I know exactly what I should be doing, I end up falling into old habits when the damage starts getting high, and pretty soon I’m watching the Innervate cooldown. I’m going to have to keep working on making new habits.

The good news is, I actually enjoy healing again (SHH, don’t tell anyone). It’s been long enough that it doesn’t feel like the same old, same old way it used to feel.

Plus, I’m a tree again. That alone is enough to make it worth it.

You Can Dance If You Want To

Guilds & Priorities

Right before and right after an expansion hits, it’s not unusual for a guild to go through some growing pains. Some people move out, other people move in. This time, though; it was a big deal for me. Several people I’ve raided with for years were unsatisfied with 25-mans and decided to leave to join a 10-man guild. It’s better that they did this in the long run than be unhappy, but I find that I miss them quite a bit.

It’s led me to think about what my priorities really are when it comes to raiding. Do I still care as much about 25-man content as I thought I did? I don’t know right now. Do I need the “epic” of 25-mans (bigger raids have always felt more epic to me; I know not everyone agrees) or could I be satisfied with a 10-man?

With that group went some of the people I consider my closest in-game friends, and perhaps just as importantly, the ones that took me seriously as a player and to whom my opinions mattered. I’ve discovered that particular aspect is more important to me than I realized. I’m interested to see what happens in the next month or so as we progress, and how I ultimately decide my priorities. Right now, it’s still unclear.

Raiding is still fun; that much hasn’t changed, at least!

Second Tree from the Left

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5 Things I Want From My Guild

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but everyone is talking about Cataclysm.

The new guild system is among the most talked about changes coming soon (if you haven’t heard about it, I encourage you to check it out). This, along with the new shared lockout between 10- and 25-man raids, has caused a lot of people to take a step back and consider their guild situation. Those who haven’t previously been members of guilds are considering finding one, and guilds are in the process of determining what the expansion holds for them.

For many reasons, I’ve actually been thinking about guilds for the past six months or so, even before everyone started hypothesizing about guild changes. That thought process boils down to this–the five things I want from my guild. Continue reading

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5 Things You Should Know Before You App

There are a lot of tips to applying to guilds. If you want an overall guide, check out 10 Tips to Successfully Apply to a Raiding Guild over at HotsandDots.

One particular item on their list stands out to me right now, though; and that’s what I want to focus on: Do Your Research.

I have seen applications that were well-written and honest, but completely unraveled with a second glance, all because the person who applied didn’t do their research first.

Here are 5 things you should know about a guild before you apply:

Continue reading

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