Home > Asmodiseus' Blog, Player Blogs > Have you /hugged your guild today?

Have you /hugged your guild today?

The other day I was thinking back to the time when I first started playing World of Warcraft.  The Dire Maul patch (1.3) had just been released and everyone was abuzz about what this new exciting instance had to offer.  The funny thing is it’s hard for me to remember specifics about what else the patch actually contained.  As I slowly move forward through my memories of all the various changes that have happened in the game, I’ve found thatwhenever I can remember something specific, it is because of how it affected someone in my guild at the time.

For example, I leveled up my first level 60 character alongside a Shaman who I met while questing one day.  We eventually joined a guild together and at 60 started raiding Molten Core with them.  As a resto Shaman, his job was to stay out of combat during fights and if anyone died, res them and top off their health so they could get back into action.  When I mention this to my guild mates now,  it blows their minds that we actually had to train people in the art of staying out of combat during boss fights in raid instances.  When the patch came that no longer allowed that to happen, my buddy was extremely worried that he had to learn how to *gasp* actually heal as a resto Shaman.

The point is that, when all is said and done, my experiences tell me most people who play this game will look back and won’t remember this nerf or that nerf, this fight or that fight.  Your memories will be of the people you played with and guilds who shared your experiences.

By now, everyone is probably tired of the old timers talking about “the good old days” of 40 man raiding.  Being one of those old timers myself I try not to subject my guild to too much of that talk, in part because it gets old pretty fast, but mainly because it’s basically rubbish.  In general, people choose to remember good things that happen to them and not the bad.  So I remember how epic it was the first time our 40 man raid got to see Ragnaros erupt from the lava and boom “Too soon, Executus!”, but I choose to forget how much of a pain it was to try and organize raids around 40 peoples’ schedules.

When Burning Crusade hit, one of the top guilds in the world at the time, Death & Taxes, released a long statement on their website decrying the change from 40 man to 25 man raids.  In their opinion it was completely unfair to ask 15 people that they had experienced so much with to sit out as alternates, and they weren’t the only ones who felt that way.  Many people shouted from the rooftops that this was going to be the end of Warcraft.  Of course it wasn’t, and in my opinion ended up being one of the smartest moves Blizzard has made.  (Of course, I am ignoring the fact that they coupled this fantastic move with one of their most epic failures – requiring 25 man guilds to progress through 10 man content in order to be able to raid the 25 mans.  That is a design decision best left to another segment.)

Wrath of the Lich King brought along another wonderful change: Raid instances that could be scaled up or down to your group size.  That meant it didn’t matter whether you were a 10 man guild or a 25 man guild, you could still experience all the content.  Fast forward to Cataclysm and the decision to give the same gear for 10 or 25 mans, and you are at the point we find ourselves today.  To be perfectly honest, at first I thought that this most recent change would spell the end of 25 man raiding for all but the most top end guilds, but I have been pleasantly surprised that this is not the case.  25 man raiding is alive and kicking, and no matter what you want to take away from this game, there is something for everyone.

Finding a guild that fits your play style is one of themost important decisions you can make during the time you spend in Azeroth.  If you want to be on the cutting edge of raiding and are prepared to put in the hours required to be one of the best, joining a guild that has people in it that can’t or won’t dedicate the time you do to learning their class and the current content will leave you feeling upset that you are playing with people below your caliber.  Alternatively, if you only can play three nights a week for a few hours a day, and you manage to get into a hardcore guild that is full of people who treat the game like a second job, you are going to be left behind and more than likely kicked for not dedicating the time it takes to help the guild progress.  It sounds like a simple choice, but so many different types of players do end up in guilds that just aren’t conducive to their respective play styles.

I made the decision after going back and forth that I didn’t want to be a “hardcore” raider.  Between my commitments to my family and my job, I knew I just did not have the time to dedicate to the game to get my character to the standard that either I or a hardcore guild would demand of a raider at that level.  After trying out a few different guilds, a couple of in game friends and I got together and formed my current guild “Rome in a Day” two years ago.  At the time we agreed we wanted to be a “casual” raiding guild.  We expanded our roster slowly, eschewing the normal “spam trade chat” method of recruiting, and instead only sought to expand when we saw a personality that meshed with our play style.  It took quite awhile, but I could not be happier with the results.  We have been raiding with the same core team since the beginning of ICC, only having to switch out a couple of people to replace a husband and wife team that left the game between then and now.

During the first tier of Cataclysm content our goal was to down every normal mode boss before the next tier hit.  Our success in accomplishing this goal is one of my proudest achievements.  And as Rome progresses through Firelands, I take a moment during each raid to remember how lucky I am to have found a group of people that I honestly consider some of my closest friends.  And sometime in the future, when the last WoW server shuts down and all my ilevel 700 gear disappears forever, I look forward to rolling my level 1 zergling in World of Starcraft and rebuilding Rome all over again, even if it does take more than a

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