I’m currently 8/8 N and 1/8 HC which this early on, is the best progress I’ve had in an expansion. The way to get there was an interesting one…
I was looking through the communities page on the forums and spotted a community that said it was for those who don’t want to listen to people waving their e-peen’s around or constant spamming of memes but still want the opportunity to do stuff with like minded people. Since the main raid team in guild have switched to horde it left a gap in the events so I decided to join this community.
The feeling was underwhelming, the person who created it was hardly ever online, the people that were in there didn’t really speak to each other and the events were non-existent.
I waited it out, it was quite early into the expansion and raids hadn’t opened yet but even island expeditions were off the radar. I was umming and ahhing about leaving when I got a message about raiding with another guild. I signed up and went to one of their runs.
It was on Zul, Reborn. I had watched the fight, taken notes (as usual) and consulted with Francis as the now Horde guild team had cleared normal and were doing HC. It seemed a pretty straightforward fight on normal. The atmosphere seemed ‘different’.
When I had previously raid led we would finding hilarity in everything, having group conversations about how we could improve if we wiped and trying things on the fly. Our progress wasn’t as fast as others but we did make progress. It also meant that even with SoO being out for a phenomenally long time, we had content to do when others were complaining that there was nothing. Even in WoD things got downed while we were getting ourselves trapped in walls or getting confused as to what boss we were doing next. It was fun. This however, had a different feeling.
There was the barking orders to prove authority, that went against the personality of the person doing it. During the fight, it seemed to have a ‘top the dps meter’ mentality as people tried to focus on numbers rather than what actually needed to be killed. Communication was minimal. Even with wipes, there was no discussion about what went wrong, what were people struggling with and then how to overcome it. It was frustrating but as a trial, I didn’t feel it was my place to say anything. I was an intruder into a group of people who had decided long ago that this is what worked for them. While I was generally ok with the idea of trying again on the next raid with them, my mindset swiftly changed after the raid was called.
As there was only 10 minutes left of raid time and the boss ah only been brought down to 68% on the best attempt, it was decided to call it for the night. So the obligatory mage portal was put up at the side of the group for people to get back to Boralus. It was then proposed that we could give it one more go if people wanted to. Ok…
Someone then said “Aww, im in Boralus…” and at that point the shit hit the fan.
There was screaming from the GM, “Who the fuck put a portal up in the middle of the group? That’s suck a stupid thing to do?! Why they fuck would you do that?!” followed by more mentions of whoever did it was stupid. Everyone on discord just sat in silence. After more ranting two people did pipe up. The person who said it was them and the person who reminded the GM that (if they had actually been listening) the raid was called so the portal was put up.
There was silence.
“Oh, well as it was you its not that stupid. I thought it was <insert other mage here>”
The other mage was offended and rightly so. Instead of apologising for the god-awful and completely unnecessary outburst it was deemed to be better to try and blame someone else while still implying that it was stupid. That was enough for me. I couldn’t deal with this again considering the whole reason that I was on Sylvanas was due to a guild officer that behaved with the same mentality.
So I declined all the future invites. Promising myself that there would be something that was more like the fun times in raids, where communication was good and bitching was non-existent. All communication to me from them (including some players that I knew) stopped.
I saw a notification of unread messages in the community I had joined.
It was an advert for a pug raid that was going to happen. I looked at Francis, who himself was in the middle of a boss fight and healing and asked for his opinion.
“You might as well. You certainly didn’t look like you were having fun in the last raid. Try it out and see what happens.”
Truth be told, I was scared to apply. Having attempted pugs before through the group finder, I have always seemed to end up with people who create a toxic atmosphere of making everyone feel like they are shit while not admitting that they are not great themselves. The pugs that had nice people, were often not able to wave around a huge dps e-peen which meant that people left because “You’re fucking shit, learn to play”.
The fact they wanted to check over my character and such forth made me nervous. I had only just got the 335 ilvl required for the normal run in the other guild as being a Hunter and my low ilvl meant that I struggled to get into mythic dungeons.
Yes, I know I could have made my own group but I felt more comfortable with someone accepting me into theirs as it them felt like less pressure on me, they can see me and my ilvl and they know what to expect. Rather than creating a group and someone starts blasting me, telling me I’m shit and just wanted a carry.
Anyway I filled out the form. Shit myself a little but fully expected to not hear anything. I then got a whisper from someone who told me to poke someone else about it. I had made it difficult to get hold of me as I hadn’t put my Bnet tag on there. After the whole fiasco with a rather unsavoury person using it to stalk and harass me, I wasn’t willing to go out of my way to hand it over to people I had not yet spoken to. Plus there was the whole, ‘if they think I’m shit, I would rather just be able to slip away and be forgotten’.
I got accepted for the first run. I was shitting myself, again. This could be wildly out of my game-play league. I’m ok at dps but I’m not pulling huge numbers out of my arse and if they are all great at that then I’m going to look like shit, even if I can pull off the tactics perfectly. Pugging in this game has taught me that people generally look for numbers over tactics. The bigger the numbers the less tactics you have to deal with, right…?
What if I die? That’s always an opportunity to bitch. Telling the player they are a fucking retard and the like. I was starting to regret signing up even before I had gone in as I was expecting the worst.
Funnily enough, the raid was more than ok. It was great. No one bitched. No one had that superior attitude. No one had prepared more than two bosses as we didn’t think we would make it further than that. We had to watch tactic videos before the boss pulls to even know what the thing we were looking at did.
Things were going well and then I ran into my ‘wall’. A wall which kept me up all night trying to figure out how I could have done better.
First off, I had a fucking huge blister on the pad of my index finger on my left hand due to an allergic reaction. That’s my furious button bashing finger. I had to deal with it and then wrap it up. It mean that it stung every time I pushed a key but I didn’t want it to interfere to I thinned the wound dressing down to half thickness so that I could tape it up smaller as it was bashing the keys to the side of the one I was actually pressing otherwise. Then on Zul, I was given the job of specifically cc’ing a mob at the target marker location that was called out. We were trying to nail down HC tactics while clearing normal which is fine but tonight I just couldn’t manage to keep up with the mobs.
The first thing that threw me off my stride was that I found myself needing to be in melee to even try and get to the markers in time before the add started wandering off. I have actively avoided being in melee for every boss in every raid or dungeon unless it has needed it. Zul has so many adds that you can’t stand in front of that I found myself more often than not on the wrong side to get to the marker before the add spawned.
The second thing that caught me by surprise is that during the try with the other guild, the mobs didn’t wander off unless someone targeted them and broke their cast. This time, they appeared and then started zig-zagging around the platform as them made their way over, only stopping to do their cast. If I wasn’t in front of one with a trap down before they fully spawned I was shit out of luck. I don’t have a ‘click on the mob and press cc’ like a DH (I really wish I did!) which meant that as my trap was sailing towards them, if they suddenly changed direction or moved a bit more than I was anticipating due to an interrupt or what-not my trap missed and was on CD.
It got to the point that if I was on the side of the room with one spawning I could quickly deal with it but it would be the wrong one. I was rapidly feeling like a failure. Which was dutifully pointed out, but in kinder words, by the tank after we killed it. As I had resorted to trapping one that he was targeting, it meant that the other one was either left or he had to switch targets which was difficult due to all the shit going on.
I struggle with the bloody ‘throw the hoops on the turtle’ at the DMF and this felt like it was a larger, more deadly version. But I had fucked up bad. Even though I was struggling with trying to keep track of 10 raid markers and not being cleaved by the adds in the middle I hadn’t done what I said I would and it knocked my confidence. I struggled on the next boss, being caught by the beam as I was trapped by a wall of mind control orbs when I should have just fucked off away from them and left the melee to get the other tank out of one. My fault and totally avoidable but my head went “get the tank the fuck out of that!” and didn’t think about what would happen to me…
On the plus side, we did do Taloc HC instead of trying G’huun. I was alive and well by the end of it. Avoiding the majority of shit on the whole but having a 100% avoidance rate on the laser beams (which we forgot about on the first pull!).
My own self confidence needs to come back up, the pug is amazing and the people in it are all helpful and co-operative. I just need to find some mobs that run about like fuck so that I can practice my trap throwing skills at moving targets rather than placing them for ones to approach…