In my last post I touched a little on how I considered myself to be part of the “I-PuG-Raids-When-My-Schedule-Allows Crowd”. Lemme touch on that a little more…
I love raiding and heroics and the whole PvE game. I love it a lot. As much fun and addicting being on the winning side of an AV can be*, for me, in the end, it’s all about the dragon slaying. Why yes, I am a geek. There’s something very satisfying to me about being in a big group of people and having someone tossing out directions on Ventrilo and the whole tense atmosphere of hoping everyone can pull off their job as some lore character flings walls of fire around.
That said, I think I am a bit of a unique position myself. I am a raider and PvE gamer who doesn’t do the “traditional” PvE game that so many other people do. I’m not in a raiding guild. And I don’t have the luxury of having scheduled raid nights. Let me explain.
The Guild: I’ve been in a big raiding guild before. I was hunter class leader, in fact. I was also an officer and for a few months I was the one that did all the raid scheduling. That was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done. Everyone coming to you with their schedule and you trying your hardest to make everyone happy, even though you can’t. *shudders* Anyway, even though we certainly were not one of the top-level guilds on the server, we were still shuttling people into raid content every week. The main problem is that we were sort of trying to go too many places at once, and in the end maintaining a balance of “progression guild” and “family style guild” became too much for us to handle. It was all just kind of a dramafest waiting to happen, which it eventually did. Pop went the guild. A failed experiment, so to speak.
Everyone in the guild sort of went their separate ways although a few of us who had become particularly close friends chose to band together and we started a new guild. This guild has been strictly a hang-out guild where we would be able to go off and find our own outside groups to raid with, while having friends in guild chat and a reliable pool of people to do heroics with. In that manner, it’s been a success. But it’s not a raiding guild. I get the impression most of us wouldn’t mind if we tried making it a raiding guild someday, but I don’t think anyone’s in a major rush right now.
Leaving this guild isn’t an option for me because I love my friends in-game too dearly and I love being in a guild with them. It means I give up being in a big raiding guild with a raid schedule and having things like guild-progression-nights, which I do in fact miss, but I wouldn’t trade my current guild for it. If I want to raid, I have to look outside my guild. Which brings me to my second point…
My Schedule: I work in retail. On any given day I could be at work anytime between 6am and 10pm. Every day it’s different, my days off are different every week (though I managed to wrangle getting most Sundays off), and I never know what my schedule for the next week is until Thursday or Friday.
Normally, even in my current guild situation, it would be relatively simple for me to find another guild or group of people to fall in with and raid with, especially since I’m on Silver Hand, home of the infamous Leftovers Raiding, which is essentially a server-wide raid signup that has been very successful and garnered attention on WoWInsider and transfers from people on other servers who like the idea. The problem is that when many of my work shifts are evening shifts, it shuts me out of a lot of raiding, and by the time I even know what my schedule for the next week is, most of the raid slots have been filled up already. So for me, even that idea is largely out.
So what do I do?
I have PuG’d most of the raids in WotLK so far, on both 25man and 10man modes. Mostly LFG PuGs although I’ve made enough contacts that sometimes I get raid invites from people who need a slot filled.
Have some of these PuGs been atrociously bad? Yes they have. Have others been surprisingly good? Yes they have. Do I know what category one is going to be in advance? No, I don’t. It’s a risk I’ve gotta take if I want to see content. Oh, I can sorta make predictions based on who the raid leader is or other people I know in the group, but even then it’s not a guarantee. In any given raid I’m probably in there with both a bunch of people who have it “on farm” and a bunch of other people who have never been there before. They usually aren’t easy raids to be in.
But I do it because I love raiding. I do it because as frustrating as it can be sometimes to do it this way, it’s really all I’ve got. Because to me, it’s worth it.
I will probably never be in one of the best guilds on the server. And I may never even be part of a regular raiding group, at least not anytime soon. I’m not gonna be one of the first people on my server to be all decked out in the newest purples. I’m okay with that though. I’m seeing all the sights and I’m getting my raid on, and I’m slowly getting some gear, and most importantly, I feel like I’m working for it. And it’s hard to do, but it’s not impossible. And I guess that’s the point I’m trying to get at. If you love something enough, you can make it work.
Even in WoW.
* Read: Not Alliance on Bloodlust. *cough*