Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm Not Who I Was (Part Deux)

This is the song that inspired my last blog title:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpOLyR8MwiA. It's by Brandon Heath.

The question on everyone's mind is 'Why?' Why switch to Horde, why now?

The answer is pretty simple. I followed my Raid Leader and my Team.

The Developers really threw us a curve ball when they released Faction Changes well before anyone thought they would be available. My guild leader, Ellevis called for a meeting Thursday night right before our raid.

Ellevis had spoken to each of us individually about switching to Horde, but that was when we figured it would be as part of the next expansion. Now we were looking at facing the decision much sooner.

Basically, Ellevis wanted to find out if anyone had a big problem with switching now that the service was open.

The responses ran the gamut from people who would have already switched if not for the raid that night to people who were less than enthusiastic about the move. What was my response going to be? I had the advantage of having heard about the availability of Faction Changes during the day, so I had some time over lunch and on the ride the home to think it over.

I spent most of Burning Crusade bouncing around from guild to guild, looking for a home. I was looking for a very particular kind of guild.

I wanted a guild that had a raid schedule that would allow me to make 90% to 100% of their raids. I wanted a guild that progressed through content. You can only follow the story so far on your own in WoW. Eventually the story leads you to Raids. I wanted a guild that had an opening for a Tank.

The irony of being a tank is that while you see a constant spam of LF1M Tank in Trade and LFG, once you get into the raid game; most groups are overflowing with tanks. Part of this is caused by the economy of scale. Going from a 5 man to a 10 man you add one tank spot, going up to a 25 man adds one more. Healers and DPS had many, many more spots as you go up in raid size.

In Raids, Tanks have the most rigid assignments. Healers get assigned as well, but unless you go OOM, no one is going to bat an eyelash if you heal outside of your assignment. If you are a Tank and not assigned to a mob, you are going to cause all kinds of chaos if you try to tank. You’ll cause drama and likely find yourself booted from the group.

Unusual Suspects went out of their way to become the guild I was looking for. They even changed their raid schedule to better fit my own schedule better. Their offtank, an outstanding Feral Druid, volunteered to switch mains to his Mage to open up a Tank spot for me.

These were some really strong players. We were the 2nd guild Alliance side to down Yogg, and the first guild Alliance side to down Anub’arak. So the progression was definitely there. Sure, we’ve gone from being a big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a large pond. But honestly, that isn’t what motivates us. We want to progress, and we want to bring our best to every raid, but we just aren’t into fighting for server firsts.

These are also guys who I’ve had a history with going all the way to our pre-Karazhan days. Ellevis, known then as Wichita, was right there on our first Attunemen kill. And despite the fact that I left them to purse 25 man raiding in Burning Crusade, they welcomed me back to the guild with open arms.

So I told Ellevis and the team the truth. I told them that I wasn’t crazy about the idea of being a Blood Elf, but I’d follow them wherever they went.

So the decision was made and most everyone was over on Hordeside before the night was over.
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