I had a blog dream last week. My first ever. And I don’t know if this common with bloggers, but it’s very similar to the College Exam Dream that almost everyone has had — you’ve been meaning to attend that math/literature/fluid dynamics class and when you finally get around to it, here’s the final exam! for which you are obviously not prepared.
In the blog dream I had published the final, The End, post on AFK Gamer. I walked away, went about my business for a few days and then realized that I had messed it up — my facts were wrong, I didn’t remember the drama sequence properly, and I had come off as the worst kind of noob … a level 70 with NO IDEA what their class is all about. Think: a 70 rogue with spirit and +spell damage gear. Cloth. As I recall, I even posted screenshots of the +spirit robe I was wearing.
I hope to never have such a dream again.
To head off any future blog nightmares, here’s the final story I told — this time, done properly:
Remember back in April when I scurried off to play Lord of the Rings Online and I was happy there and enjoying my time exploring and collecting stupid titles like Fur-Cutter and FOE OF NIGHT? Ya, I remember it too. Fondly.
Well, late June of this year my guild started wailing and gnashing their teeth: they’re struggling with former-farm raid content in Burning Crusade, the figurehead guildleader hasn’t been seen for weeks, we neeeeeeeeed you!!!!!! I know, that last part surprised me too. I’m not the greatest player, I’m certainly not the nicest, I’ve never been a model guildmember or server citizen and most damning, I’m a rogue. Please. No guild NEEDS a rogue. Can’t swing a dead cat in World of Warcraft without hitting 20 or more rogue former-mains.
I largely ignored the pleas. I was happy and entertained in LOTRO, dammit.
Then, WoW lifted the attunement/key requirements for Serpentshrine Cavern and TK: The Eye and it wasn’t so bad to pull new raiders into a guild. Gear them up a bit, get their feet wet with the Aran+ Karazhan, Gruul’s and Magtheridon … in a week’s time, you have a fresh batch of raiders. Which you’d need, by the way, to replace the burnt-out raiders.
Thinks me, I can help out the old WoW guild a couple nights a week and the other gaming days I can still assist Aragorn in LOTRO where I’m entertained and happy.
My dream of a two-night a week commitment to WoW died that first week. My former raid guild, a glorious and powerful thing, was in shambles. Painfully blunt, we were a raiding joke. Although we were never the top raiding guild on my server, we were the close second for quite a while, and, perfectly positioned to overtake the lead.
And yet, here they were, wiping on former farm content repeatedly and barely squeaking out a kill before the night ended.
So, the few, the proud, the LOTRO-people returned to World of Warcraft to shore up the leaking ship and repair a few months of neglect.
When we returned (triumphantly!) to Warcraft, it was my opinion that our guild’s largest problem was the same problem that had plagued us for months and months in the pre-Burning Crusade world. My guild, pre-raiding and pre-Foton, was formed from a small circle of EverQuest friends (not mine, other EQ people). They read the writing on the wall, as we all did, and the writing was this: You will raid or you will be doomed to clear UBRS and Scholomance and Stratholme (dead and alive) forever and ever and ever.
They’re EQ hags, they know how this story ends, you start raiding. So they allied with another similar-sized guild and began the assault on Le Molten Core, and they hired other EQ hags (me & friends) and other wanna-start raiding WoW players and POOF! it was a raiding guild.
However, the guild had dual personalities: the newer gun-ho raiding guildmembers and the more casual founding members — let’s call them the good ole boys.
So you may understand my bias and perspective, I was one of the gun-ho raiders. The guild officership was the “good ole boys”, except for the raid leader who was one of the hired guns and was awarded #2 in guild power, because shit, even burnt-out EQ hags know that raiding pays the bills. (i.e. plumps the guild bank, fuels recruiting, provides a common goal.)
And to everyone’s credit, we did a remarkable job of living in the same guild: the good ole boys gave raiders sufficient latitude to do our jobs, and we made room for the casual omg-we-logged-on-once-invite-us founders in our raids. We were respectful of the name they gave us and they were respectful of the name we made for them. Each one of us knew this wouldn’t … couldn’t … last forever, although it did last for one and a half years, nearly an enternity in game time.
Pre-Burning Crusade, every once in a while, one of the good ole boys would log on after an extended absence and /gu “Hey everyone! I’m back!! Can I get an invite?” and the guildmembers would check the roster and /whisper the other raiders, “umm, who is that and why is he an officer?”. Mostly I would /shrug in response, but sometimes I’d explain that it was one of the founding members itchin’ to take The General Lee for a spin through Hazzard County.
Occasionally the frequently offline founders would make a play to explain how raiding worked in EverQuest — which was sad — but I figured they were just trying to help when Nefarian was chewing off our balls. (And he did, for weeks.)
Enter The Burning Crusade. We leveled, we geared up, we got Karazhan keyed, we entered said mansion of trash and now we can see that raiding in the post-BC world is a different animal entirely. Personality and precisely timed Ventrilo humor will no longer see us through. We, the raiding core, brought up this topic several times to the more casual good ole boys: BC raiding is going to require increased commitment from us all, we’ll need to promote some new officers and hire some new talent.
DENIED, DENIED and if we ask again DENIED.
We had an officers’ meeting in Ventrilo and duked it out — we need X, Y, Z and AA in the guild to move forward. The officers agreed in principle by a vote of 100%. The sole good ole boy officer online brought the propositions to the good ole boy guildleader. The propositions were thus: new officers (additional or replacements) and restored powers to the raid leader (his guild authorities, e.g. kick, invite, promotion, had been reduced in BC). Ya, two propositions agreed to by the full majority of officers who still played World of Warcraft.
DENIED. Oh ya, ALSO DENIED.
Not outright denied, but watered-down to denied. Hell, we were still stomping through content, we were still knocking back first kills, what’s our hurry? Me, I didn’t have any hurry, I was gonna dabble in LOTRO and enjoy the peace and quiet. And I did.
And while I was enjoying that peace and quiet in LOTRO, they crash-and-burned my guild. They damn near turned it into a feeder guild. Second tier raiding guild would have been a kind description. But across a message board and into another world, the gnashing of teeth reached the raiders’ ears, and we answered the call. (After the attunement bullshit was lifted. We’re not heroes, fcs, but we did answer a call of duty.)
We returned to World of Warcraft and saw the same problems that had plagued us pre-Burning Crusade and decided that finally, before any of us lifted a finger to rebuild and restore the former luster, those problems would be solved. You need us? We need this.
And before you judge me harshly, before you call me Fletcher Christian, we spent a week of nights on Ventrilo with the founders (those who would log on) trying to reach a compromise. We didn’t ask for the sun and moon, we only asked for additional officer representation from daily/near-daily raiders and we wanted a new appointment for guildleader. Prefer the raid leader, but we’ll take any active guildmember with a cooler temperament. Y’know, someone, almost anyone, who would LOG ON a few times a week.
I’m rationalizing, but in my mind, it was just this simple: I’m not buckling down and committing to a guild rebuild/restore, I’m not taking for better and for worse unless I have some assurances that the raiding core will have all … the authority? the powers? … to do what was necessary.
Not rationalizing, I knew I had the raiding core in our corner, ready to leave if necessary, determined to leave if those demands couldn’t be compromised. In fact, the raiding core was BEGGING to leave, to be free of the same old political bullshit that had plagued us for over a year. (I think the good ole boy guildleader wasn’t logging on much while the raiding core was futzing around in LOTRO cuz Raiding Makes You Think and Gives You Wrinkles. Just a guess.)
I hatched the escape plan, I think, shortly after the DENIED. It was BEFORE a guildmate copy-pasted a private message where one of the good ole boys told another guildmate he’d rather show the raiding core the door than “kowtow” to our “ridiculous” demands. Cuz that shit just sealed the deal.
No, my idea was hatched after the denial was assured and I discovered that our principal officer roadblock would be offline for a week — the ONLY good ole boy who played regularly would be gone, out of here, for a week.
That’s when I first thought mutiny.
(To Be Continued … Marooned!)