I've been limiting my WoW time quite a bit lately, for a number of reasons. Some of them have to do with wanting to clear out a backlog of other games I've been collecting (just finished Mass Effect 2 over the weekend and OMGSOGOOD!). Some of it is because non-gaming things (skiing, hockey, social events, work) have been taking up a larger portion of my time recently.
But mostly it's because, for the first time in the 4 years I've been playing, WoW's started feeling like a second job for me. And when I sit down and log in, I'm just not finding myself having much fun. I'll hop on in the evening, stick around long enough to see if a raid is going to come together, and then either go on that or log off if it becomes apparent there won't be one.
There's a couple loads that are typically spread out among multiple members in guilds that have fallen almost squarely on my shoulders as of late.
Our guild has 3 raid leaders. However one has involved himself much more in school and his fraternity over the last year than he has in WoW. Really the only time we see him with reliability anymore is during extended school breaks. I'm not faulting him for this. It's a very healthy thing and I'd be more concerned if he was ignoring these parts of his real life. But the simple fact is that it's one less reliable raid lead in our guild.
The other raid leader had work more or less blow up in his face and start consuming a disproportionate amount of his time right around the same time he signed on to help coordinate an entire convention. We haven't so much as seen a "X has logged on" from him in about 6 weeks, I think. Again, not faulting him.
But now I'm the only raid lead left. It's pretty much up to me to figure out what our guild is going to run any given week, whether it's an open invite or selective, and who to invite if it is selective. Then it's up to me to be the one showing up to actually lead said events. Normally I don't mind this. I enjoy leading raids. But I end up feeling guilty when other obligations call me away or when I just want a night off. I shouldn't get that kind of feeling from a game. Plus I end up scheduling our raids around my schedule because I don't want to force any of my fellow officers to fill in when I can't be there. A few have stepped up to help try and fill the gaps, but I know it's not a role any of them particularly want to play.
Then we come to the issue of tanks, particularly progression tanks. There is a reasonable number of well-geared tanks being played by skilled players in our guild. The problem is that most of them are alts of people who play their other roles much better (and have collected much better gear). There are really only two main-toon, main-spec, progression-ready, reliable tanks in our guild. I'm one of them. School/Frat Raid Leader is the other.
So, same thing. Any time we're trying to run anything harder than ToC 10, I feel obligated to be there tanking to give us a reasonable chance at success. I love tanking. It's a ton of fun. More than I honestly ever thought it would be before I took my first baby-bear steps into Kara. Plus it makes leading a raid really, really easy for me. I'm much more distracted when shredding ankles in cat form or bringing my Shaman in for a change of pace. I actually have to pay attention to me more than the raid when I do any of those.
But Cat is still my first love and I'm really, really starting to miss it. I've gotten to go Cat in a few VoA pugs and dungeons in the last month and I've enjoyed the hell out of it. And playing around with the Mangle change on the PTR has made me really want to flex those muscles in a raid environment. Honest to God, if our guild ever got 3 or so tanks that I reasonably trusted and thought were better than (or at least as good as) me, I'd be happy spending 90% of our raids staring at ass-end of everything we met.
But again, our raiding opportunities are limited. We have to make the most of them, especially on 25-man where our less hardcore members have less patience with wipes and such. So a-tanking I go.
I know this whole post sounds like a gripe-fest. I guess, to some extent, it is. But I don't want to get down on this game or my Guild. Both are great. And raiding is still the single most fun thing in the game for me.
I just really want to be able to share the responsibilities of it all again (with people that aren't just grudgingly accepting them).
The Mythic Roadblock
4 weeks ago