Archive for the ‘Decisions’ Category

New Adventures and Inevitable Ends.   17 comments

It’s been pretty quiet here the last month or so, and I’m not entirely sure what to say about the silence. The truth is that when I created this blog, it was supposed to be a venue for me to express my thoughts, frustrations and cleanse my mind. Unfortunately, as more people started reading my blog, I stopped using it as much to do something that was very healthy for me, due to adverse reactions from some people in my guild and people getting upset. Which is unfortunate, because it was a wonderful venue to think through things that were challenging and frustrating me and I needed to work through – and I want, no need, to return it to that. Over the past six months my blog became a lot less personal, and as a result my internal thoughts a lot more crowded.

So, in the interest of getting back to my roots (pun intended!), this post is going to be personal.

This past Monday Brade and I disbanded the raid team in Monolith. It was not without hurt feelings and controversy – and I will not be surprised if someone childishly (and most likely cowardly) posts hurtful things in the comments to this post (which I reserve the right to monitor and remove). But the truth is that it was long past time. Back at the end of Cataclysm Brade and I discussed at length, over the course of several months, shutting down the raid team. Ultimately, after much back and forth, we made the decision to continue for one more expansion. We thought Mists had promise – and many of the things that were weighing on our minds, and most personal conflicts, seemed resolved. So it was with enthusiasm that we pushed forward.

Unfortunately, once we got into the expansion it became clear that those resolutions were not permanent, and many of the things that made us question continuing on into the expansion resurfaced, and seemingly multiplied. It was disappointing, but because we are stubborn and committed we put our heads down and continued to push on. We don’t quit simply because things are hard – we have over eight years of success to back that statement up.

But then, on January 2nd, as I was driving into work, this happened:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I was driving my normal route, moving with the flow of traffic, when my car hit an ice patch on an elevated part of highway and I lost control of the vehicle. It did one of those scary spin around things before hitting a car entering from an entrance ramp and getting hit by the car that was travelling in the lane next to me. Fortunately for me I drive into work early in the morning, before rush hour traffic is in full force. And that the bus behind me had time to react and stop before plowing into me as well. And that I purchased a car with a very high safety rating, and a bajillion airbags.

I walked away with a minor concussion (a bump on my head about the size of an orange), pretty beat up (they took xrays of my knee to make sure it wasn’t broken) and extremely shaken. Driving to work today, with the weather in the same conditions as it was the day of the accident, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I drove like a grandma, and just about every other car on the highway passed me, but I made it to work in one piece and imagine I will be a little less scared next time.

Anyhow, the accident had a profound effect on my thoughts. It’s strange how one, very scary, thing can make you see things more clearly. Things I had been struggling with, were now crystal. The fact was that Monolith’s environment had morphed into something completely unrecognizable, and completely unenjoyable for a lot of people – including myself. I realized this was no longer the guild that Brade and I had decided to fight to hold onto, and we no longer wanted to see it continue to degrade. Attrition was high – for any number of reasons – mostly real life. And community was almost non-existent. After a blow out on Sunday night, Brade and I spent a lot of time discussing this, and after Brade fell asleep I stayed awake with my thoughts.

The truth is, life is simply too short to do things where the enjoyment doesn’t outweigh the stress, and to surround yourself with people who make you feel bad about yourself and miserable. My car accident was a trigger to make me finally acknowledge this. I realized that I want to write my history in more than pixels, and I want more than regrets on the pages. And letting Monolith’s community degrade to the point that it was a shadow of what we had worked so hard to create was a regret I didn’t want.

Upon announcing that we were disbanding the raid team, many cruel things were said to me. I was told I was selfish – despite the fact that I had given over eight years of my life putting everyone else’s happiness in front of my own. I was told I was mentally unstable and needed to seek professional help – despite the fact that this is the best decision for everyone involved, even though it probably doesn’t feel like it at the time. I was told that the guild deserved to die under my leadership – despite the fact that it didn’t die, we killed the raid team and all the toxic vitriol that came with trying to maintain it, but in the process saved the community and the guild.

And while I would be lying if I said these things didn’t bother me a little, I can honestly say that I’m not upset about them. I am 100% comfortable with the decision we made, and I know it was the right one. But for every nasty comment I received, I got two from those who understood and supported our decision – those who agreed with our assessment of the situation and valued the importance of community. And for the first time in months I logged in and enjoyed guild chat again. There was laughter and fun. People were in high spirits and joking around. It was almost like playing an entirely new game, and I was reminded why we valued certain things over others.

For those of you wondering if the current state of druids played into my decision – I would be lying if I said no. Was it a main factor? No. Was it a top 10 factor? Yes, but towards the bottom of the list. I truly feel that Blizzard needs to do a better job of balancing classes if equality is their goal. I continue to feel they should abandon the idea that 10s and 25s are equal, because they never will. Hating my class was certainly a factor in my decision, and certainly had an impact on my ability to enjoy the game. For right or wrong, I struggled with coming to terms with how poorly resto druids scaled in 25s, and got to the point that I almost didn’t even want to try because it didn’t matter. And, in all honesty, I don’t feel the “new” mushrooms, in their current iteration, are going to improve our situation any – but that is likely a topic for another time.

New Adventures

So many of you are probably thinking “what now, Beru”.

Well, I’m not really sure. Something I haven’t been hugely open about is that Brade and I have decided to start a family, and have started trying to conceive. Because I want to bifurcate my gaming blog with this effort, I did start a new blog, Wind Blown Tree Tops to chronicle my adventures. Right now, it’s simply a completely generic, blank blog as it has been since I created it in September. But I imagine in time I will have a lot of things to say there and will nitpick both the style and the content until I’m happy with it. You are all welcome to follow me through this adventure if you’d like, although I don’t know how exciting it will be :)

Will I keep blogging here and about druids? Well, I don’t know. I’d like to, but I also don’t know what I’ll have to say. I suspect only time will tell. Will I keep playing WoW? Brade and I have decided to play very casually at this time. We are finally getting around to challenge modes (which are immensely fun!). In time, we will probably do a 1 night a week ten man with friends to see what the new content is all about. I will continue to enjoy the addiction that is pet battling. But I don’t know if I will ever raid seriously again. I find that as time goes on I am less inclined to have my gaming environment constrict my time. I want to be able to take the aquasize class that meets two nights a week. I want to be able to come home from work and relax, game if I want or watch TV if I want. And I strongly suspect that as I continue to have less of an obligation to be online, the value of no longer having a raid schedule (and all the things that come with it – like dailys) will outweigh any desire to be competitive again.

And, I am content with that. For the first time in years I feel a freedom that I had forgotten about. Will I miss raiding? Yes, absolutely. And I will continue to cheer on and support those of you who are still pushing through it. I have many happy memories brought to me from raiding and I think it is a fantastic group effort that can teach valuable life lessons. I don’t have any regrets about the time I spent in WoW – it was well worth it and got me through some of the most difficult times of my life. It is my hope that I can still continue to enjoy it, just on my terms now.

And, well, if things go as planned, I have some big changes on the horizon :)

The Forest and The Tree: Early Thoughts on Soul of the Forest   9 comments

We had our final raid last night, and I decided that I would play around with Soul of the Forest a little bit. I know, I know – after last week’s raid disaster you’d think that I would just go with what is familiar to me. But between last week and this week, with the help of a friend, I managed to get my groove (and confidence) back. As such, I ran a LFR on Tuesday night where I played around a bit with Soul of the Forest, and then used it for the first six fights in Dragon Soul last night (I used ToL for spine and madness due to mana concerns on those two encounters). I’m not sure that I’m drinking the Soul of the Forest koolaid, but I’m not dumping it into the nearest potted plant either.

Conclusion
Yes, I am starting backwards! And I’m going to answer the ultimate question on everyone’s mind “which is better – SotF or ToL”?

Ultimately I think the choice between Soul of the Forest and ToL is going to come down to two things: Your preferred play style and mana constraints of a given encounter. While Soul of the Forest looks to be providing more output, just based on numbers alone, the other benefits to ToL should not be discounted and will be equally as valuable.

Early Thoughts on Soul of the Forest Read the rest of this entry »

Posted September 6, 2012 by Beruthiel in Decisions, Druid Healing, Healing, MoP, Raiding

Monday Musings – Catching Up Editon   17 comments

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
I made this cake for Brade’s brother’s birthday (inside joke), but I think it turned out really well!

On WoW
There isn’t a whole lot new on the WoW front. We finished getting everyone a firehawk last week, so I can finally say that I am (mostly) done with Firelands! We have an out of guild tank that has been helping us for the past month-ish and so we will probably do one more run to send a firehawk his way as a thank you. But other than that, I think we’ve likely put that fiery lord to rest once and for all.

We are still trucking along clearing out Dragon Soul every week. And, honestly, I think that is note worthy. I know that there are a lot of people who have stopped this effort, and each week that we get a full raid team together to continue pushing through I am grateful. Ends of expansions are hard. Motivation is lacking. This year it has the misfortune to compete with summer. And, honestly, after seven months of clearing the same content to be able to come together as a team and do it one more time each week shows dedication. And that, in my opinion, should be heralded.

I am a little more than disappointed with beta testing right now. I am not going to lie, I’m sitting somewhere at level 88 (or like a bubble from it, maybe), and lost some desire to continue my level push when Diablo came out. It had long been my intent to make a pre-made 90 to hit the raid content when it became available. Except that they have started some of the raid testing, and announced that they would not have pre-made 90′s available yet. I was disappointed, to say the least, but started looking at my schedule to find some time to push my character to level 90. And then they announced the raid test times…which so far are all when I’m still at work.

I understand that Blizzard is in the same time zone that I am, and that they want their folks to be able to go home at a reasonable time every evening. But man does it really suck to want to be a part of beta testing for raids and realize that it’s not going to be a possibility because you are on the west coast and have a commitment that keeps you from being at home during testing times. That has pretty much driven any desire to continue to level to 90 right out. The reason to get to 90 was to get a feel for how my class plays in a raid setting at max level, and realizing that it is unlikely for that to be an option for me pretty much bums me out completely. Read the rest of this entry »

Winds of Change   56 comments

Last night I almost left my guild. I had to literally stand up and walk away from the computer to prevent myself from typing a phrase that I hadn’t typed in seven years: /gquit. I didn’t want to make a rash, emotional decision that I would regret in the morning. Only when I woke up this morning, after crying myself to sleep yet again, I regretted that I hadn’t done it.

Amongst other things, I had it out with one of our officers last night. And after feeling like I was being placed as a scape goat for everything, I flat out told him I would offer a simple solution: I would leave. I mean, let’s face it, I haven’t been happy in months, I’ve noted that in multiple venues, including my guild forums - if people were truly unhappy with me it seemed like a win/win solution for everyone. I advised him I wasn’t being melodramatic about it, I was truly miserable, tired of dealing with it and I wanted to leave. And I was told that if I did that everything would fall apart and I was needed to keep the guild alive. I found this odd, considering that I was supposedly at the root of all of these problems we are seeing in the guild at the moment.

Which lead me to wonder: If I’m not a replaceable member of our leadership team, why am I treated so poorly by the people I work so hard for day in and day out? Why is it that when I tell people that I’m at the end of my rope, and what is causing me to be there, they continue to perpetrate the exact things that drove me to where I am right now? Why do I feel unappreciated and outright disrespected by many members of our guild? Why do I not feel like I am not welcome or wanted any longer?

I was left with a heavy decision that I thought about while I was showering this morning, as I drove to work and as I booted up my workstation at the office. I was leaning heavily towards leaving, as I removed a few more of the “pros” from a pros/cons list that I’ve been building in my head for the past two months. And then came the PM that should have never been sent.  From a raider that is equally, if not more, emotional that I am at times. A person that I had specifically directed to Brade because I couldn’t deal with it anymore. And my resolve eroded.

I wanted out. Now.

I responded less than charitably, because, well, I’m fresh out of charity to give. I’m tired of putting my feelings behind others, often to my detriment. And I’m tired of putting everyone’s needs and feelings ahead of mine. I’ve been doing it for seven years – and people (that I willingly invited into our guild) have unintentionally done to me what a group of people who set out to destroy our guild couldn’t do: they have made me want to leave my guild and look for a new place to call home.

I quietly closed my office door and started to weep in earnest. Ashamed and embarrassed that I was this upset over a recreational activity and couldn’t control my emotions enough that it was impacting my ability to work – especially when I have always prided myself on being able to bifurcate my personal life and my professional life when I stepped into the office.

I called Brade, looking for direction and advice. Hoping that the person who lovingly strokes my hair as I cry myself to sleep would offer me some semi-objective opinions. When he told me I should leave because I am clearly unhappy, I cried harder. The truth is, I still don’t know what I want to do. We talked about it a bit (well, mostly I cried and he tried to make me feel better), ultimately, effective immediately, I abdicated myself from all raid leading responsibilities going forward. (And you are probably learning about this change before half of our guild).

I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to stay and see if things get better with the guild or not. The truth is that my head knows Brade is right – when it gets to the point that I am crying myself to sleep at night and locking myself into the office for the same reasons, it’s probably time to move to something that is more healthy for me, regardless of where that leaves the guild.  But my heart, lord my heart. It wants what it wants. It slaps on those rose colored glasses and romanticizes about the change that will happen with me stepping back, and tries to convince me that everything will be better now. It doesn’t want to walk away and abandon something that I’ve nurtured for so long.

I don’t know where I’ll land when this storm settles.

I know that I’m not done with WoW yet, but I do not know if I’ll be finishing out my love affair with the game with Monolith. Which is, quite honestly, not something I’d ever thought I’d say and may in the end kill WoW for me, as my guild has been a driving force for me in the game for so long. I have a lot of emotions and thoughts to sort through before I find an answer – and I strongly suspect the atmosphere of the guild over the next few days will play heavily into that decision.

In the end, is it so wrong to want to be happy and have fun again?

Posted January 6, 2012 by Beruthiel in Brain Dump, Decisions, Deep Thoughts

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