Joining A Raiding Guild

Posted by on Mar 23, 2010 in Commentary |

It’s been nearly a year since I joined a raiding guild so I’m kinda in the mood to reflect on what it’s been like and how the previous months have turned out for me.

First, a lot of history. This is going to be long so consider yourself warned. Also, this isn’t a guide or anything so if you’re looking for ways to bump your DPS, this isn’t the post for that.

I started playing WoW on a private server with a couple of real-life friends and officemates. When I got banned (woot!) for exploiting, I went ahead and joined the real thing. Note that this was during TBC, pre-Sunwell. Through careful prodding, and a lot of not-so-subtle manipulation, I was able to encourage most of my friends to follow suit. We were initially Alliance. My first toon was a warlock. The first class I got to level 70 was a hunter.

I started doing 5-mans with my friends and for a while, we were content with it. It got boring later on though so we decided to gear ourselves using welfare epics by doing BGs. The repeated losses we experienced in AV prompted us to re-consider our faction and, a couple of days later, I made the decision to start over on a new realm and roll Horde. This was pre-WotLK, folks. Faction transfers weren’t in place yet so we literally had to start over from scratch.

The new server was where Sin was born. Fast forward to about a month later and there she was, sitting pretty at level 70 with a couple of blues from heroics and welfare epics from BGs. By then, there were more of us who were playing the game on the official server so we were actually able to raid Kara during weekends. This wasn’t a regular thing. It was based more on luck because it depended on attendance, like how many people would actually log on at the same time when everybody else was on. Imagine logging on at 7PM, finding 5 people online, then hoping that another 4 would join within the next hour. If we were lucky, we’d actually get 10 people after a 2-hour wait, give or take.

Why didn’t we PUG it, you might ask. One, I’d rather play with friends. Two, I was an inexperienced raid leader. Kara was new to me then and I didn’t want to drag other players into a potential mess. And before you ask, yes, we managed to clear it eventually. I just don’t remember how long it took to do so.

About a month or so after WotLK hit some of my friends told me that two of our former guildmates were inviting them to transfer to a different realm. Their main selling point? PUGs. They said that it was easy to find PUGs in their realm and that they’ll get gear in no time. My friends were clearly torn between transferring and staying. To make the decision easier, I told them that I’m considering transferring with them should they push through with it. I had my reservations about doing so but I didn’t want to split the group. A few days later, most of us found ourselves in Area 52.

What they said about PUGs in Area 52 turned out to be true: they were indeed easy to find. I found myself joining a few Naxx PUGs and getting geared. It was fine for a while but it got old really quick. My friends and I were in the same guild but we weren’t running anything as a group anymore. The PUG thing turned out to be a double-edged sword. After all, why would you want to raid with your guild when raiding with a PUG yielded better results? That was almost always the case. Our Naxx 10 runs were hit or miss: sometimes we cleared the place in 4 hours. Other times, we got stuck because not everyone can do the dance boss. People started prioritizing PUGs over guild runs.

When Ulduar came out, I tried to organize runs. Only a handful of people were interested in doing a guild run for it and, a few weeks after it was released, I found myself giving up on organizing. One day a guildmate of mine asked if I was available till 1AM to raid Ulduar 25. I said I was and found myself joining an Ulduar PUG hosted by Built Horde Tough.

It was the first time that I had joined a PUG hosted by a guild. I found myself liking how it was conducted so I thought that I’d join them again the following week, which I did. I did so again after two weeks and then once again after three. It was then that I seriously considered joining them.

Note that this wasn’t an easy choice. I was going to be leaving my friends, real-life people that I talk to and work with, for fellow WoW players that I know only through Vent. I looked at my character screen, went through my gear and found that only 2 or 3 pieces were below ilvl 226 (Ulduar 25). That meant that almost all of what I was using came from my runs with BHT. It was something to seriously consider.

I made one final attempt. We had enough people to do Ulduar 10 so I decided to form a group to try to do it. A few were saying that some of us weren’t geared for it and there was some merit to that, but I argued that at least we could learn the fights. I was already familiar with the first few bosses and I knew that some of us would be able to carry the others. When the raid was finally formed, some guy comes swooping in, takes over the group and decides we should do Naxx 10 instead. I quit the group after that, eventually leaving the guild about a week later.

I should probably mention that there is very little bad blood here. I didn’t raise hell over what happened but personally I considered it to be the final nail in the proverbial coffin. I tried to make guild raiding work and I couldn’t, not when I’m openly clashing with a more influential member. Prior to me leaving I submitted an application to BHT and informed my friends. A few days after that I found myself in a new guild. The rest is history.