I’m technically still on hiatus since my WoW subscription is still cancelled. But there are some things I really need to get off my chest because the fact is I’m losing sleep over them.
I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty of what caused me to leave WoW in the first place. As tempting as it would be to drag certain names through the mud right now, I know I’m just thinking that because I’ve transitioned from the hurt stage to the pissed off stage, and I’d regret my actions later. What I will say is that tensions had been high and still on the rise in my guild, and when I get frustrated, I frantically try to fix things. There were some miscommunications that occurred which lead to me receiving one nasty message, the kind that I would never expect to hear from a friend. I was completely shattered by it and spent a few days after trying not to burst into tears randomly, and resisting the urge to crawl under a rock and die. My trust was broken then and I still don’t know if it can be repaired.
It was all a big giant mess and still is, to the point where the shockwaves seem to have shaken up the guild despite me rather silently disappearing. I don’t know where my friendships and futures lie with a lot of people and while some of them are optimistic, I’m afraid I can’t be. At least not for another good while.
But personal issues aside, this s$#@storm made me realize one thing that I believe was a major underlying stressor. To understand this, let me give you a brief overview of my playstyles over the years. When I first started WoW, I would only play hunters, rolled them sporadically on several servers, and essentially did everything solo. Then I was drawn to roleplaying and eventually join my guild, which was medium-heavy RP guild at the time. We’ve been always prone to rolling alt upon alt and chatted a lot so we began to tack on words such as “casual” and “social” to describe us. In Wrath is where we made our first ventures into raiding, at first in conjunction with another guild. I was reluctant to go to these at first because I didn’t particularly like the other guild and found them kinda boring. Soon we had enough members to break away from them and form our own raids. Suddenly…raids were fun. There were bumps in the road of course but we raided for most of that expansion, leading to one of my proudest moments where we killed the Lich King together. I didn’t care that we did it with the full buff; I didn’t even care what he dropped. Just the joy of doing it with my friends, while it was still current content, was the part I liked the most. Somewhere along the way going into Cata, we had picked up a number of people who didn’t roleplay so we stopped calling ourselves an RP guild. But we weren’t a hardcore raiding guild either, because we didn’t particularly care about hardmodes or achievements. So we began calling ourselves simply a casual guild.
Anyways, the word “casual” unfortunately has different meanings to different people within my guild, which I think is why this whole mess happened. I happened to come across a very old post by Matticus that really struck me as what I’ve been trying to say all along. Here’s the excerpt in particular:
From my various experiences and chats with other guilds, casual to THEM means:
Not reading up on strategy before hand
Not listening to the raid leader
Not paying attention or having any kind of situational awareness
And they wonder why they have such a hard time in SSC and TK.
This is what casual means to me
Not spending more than 6 hours a night raiding
Not spending more than 3 days raiding
Not being stupid while having fun
1 definition describes a guild that is struggling night after night in T5 instances and wonders what they have problems. The other is having a blast exploring Mount Hyjal and Black Temple.
If you add to the first definition “not bothering to sign up/show up for raids” and “long-time members feeling a sense of entitlement without putting in the effort”, then that essentially summarizes the majority of our members. They’re certainly not all like that by a long shot, but the ones who do enjoy raiding and are good at it keep telling me, “We’re a casual guild, not a raiding guild.”
Their definition of “casual” is a guild that doesn’t necessarily raid. My definition in more in line with Matticus’s, being a guild that doesn’t raid hardcore. Since we were able to before ourselves in Wrath, I’ve been of the opinion that there’s no reason why a guild like ours shouldn’t be able to raid.
I’ll admit it, one of the main things I want out of WoW right now is raiding, to see that content while it’s still current. And I think one of the reasons I fought so fervently for it was because it’s one of the few things I can do in game these days, and the only thing we do as a guild anymore. We have too many non-RPers in the guild to have large RP events. Cata heroics are a horrific boring grind that can leave you locked in them for hours on end. I have 4 level 85s and I have no urge to try and gear them all thanks to said heroics. All 10 slots on my server are taken up by alts and there’s only so much new content you can see before level 60. Raids were the one thing I could do with my guild that were new and shiny and challenging. Only now, even those aren’t being done, because we’re “casual”.
I know I should have realized this before as it’s been said to me many times in the past that we were a “casual” guild. I guess I was so attached to my online family that I didn’t really want to see that our priorities had taken different directions. But now as certain bonds have been shattered and others tested, I wonder if any return to WoW for me will require a new beginning.
I want to be in a guild where roleplay happens frequently and raids are scheduled every weekend. I don’t care about how many boss kills they’ve had or hardmodes, I just want to see Deathwing dead at my feet before the next expansion rolls around. I want to be able to shoot the breeze with guild members, play my alts to death in the downtimes, and maybe, hopefully form some of the same bonds I did within Bloodriver. I want an online family who has the same goals as me…the only problem is, I don’t know if I can find that again in Bloodriver or on any other server.
Only time will tell I suppose.