Hi All,

Since BBB is working today and wanted me to write a post, here it is and as the title says, it’s pretty much just a rambling post of what I’ve been experiencing and thiking about the game lately (you’ve been warned). 

As he said, the guild has been making great strides in raiding.  I participated in Gruul’s last week and then Mag where I finally had a good roll for once (instead of like a seven) and got my first piece of Tier 4 Gear – Netherblade Chestpiece.   We’re going back into Kara this week (probably starting tonight) and hopefully I will get my gloves or helm (really want the helm!).  Both dropped last week and paladins took them.  Romulo’s Poison Vial also finally dropped and a stupid hunter took it on the roll, even though it’s clearly a rogue item (even Kaliban’s has it as a secondary class item for hunters).   Yes, I’m bitter and I’ll admit it.  To be honest though, I’d be much less bitter if the hunter who took it had actually equipped it.  But no, a week later, still not using it AND already had trinkets much better than what I have.  GRRR…..

I also joined the guild for their first attempt at Lurker on Saturday after doing trash pulls as they had done previously.  After wiping a few times, it was called due to the late hour and people needing to leave (since it took almost an hour past raid start time to actually get in and started).   I didn’t really enjoy that event so much and probably will take a bit of time off from trying SSC again.  Gruul’s is enough of a pain for me :-)  I’m much more a fan of 10-man or even 5-man runs where you can have fun together and maybe get some loot, not 25-mans which just feel too chaotic and yet, at the same time, much more “business-like” to me (i.e. let’s get in, get this done, divide up loot and go home, nobody be goofing around in game or on TS, focus people, focus).

Overall the guild is really focusing much more on raiding progression (that’s the current guild buzzword – everything done must be in the name of the magic and holy “progression”) and less on having fun together in smaller groups (or some, including me many days, would say ANY fun at all).   On one hand, I understand it to a certain degree.  The people who have been doing things like Kara and heroics for a year or so are getting bored and want to see bigger things (and get bigger loot). 

On the other hand, for those of us that are less geared and newer at the game, it’s uncomfortable and overall yucky.  We’re asked to join 25-mans and in some places play a key role (spell-kicking/interrupt in my case) and yet we’re not really geared for that level of instance, so we fairly quickly die in some cases, and then the people coordinating the raid are yelling at the healers for not healing in time and the healers are complaining because there’s too many people needing massive healing and they can’t keep up and it goes downhill from there.  Basically, there’s a lot of us that still need to do the earlier stuff, but the more experienced leaders don’t want to do the “boring, same old stuff again” and are forgetting that progression isn’t going to happen overall if everyone isn’t appropriately geared and not just a select few.

I’m also still experiencing a bit of transition in the before-70 WoW game and the after 70 game.  BBB and I just talked about this again last weekend and I expressed my dislike at Blizzard for making the first 70-levels mostly about doing things on your own, succeeding and questing and occasionally getting 5 of your friends together for a party instance, like ZF or Sunken Temple. But mostly, you setting your personal goals, working through leveling guides and having fun.  For those of us who are even goal oriented in a video game, there were plenty of goals to set and achieve.

Then you hit 70 and all that routine that you’ve come to know and love (and that has made the game fun for almost 6 months in my case) abruptly comes to a screeching halt.  Suddenly, you’re told that in order to go any further you have to find 4 or 9 or 24 other people and are going to be forced to play with people that in many cases you personally can’t stand (not just sorta are different from, but in many cases, that it actually pains you to play with), but you’ll have to do it for “progression.”

Sure, you can stick on your own, do dailies, do quests for endless money, and sort of wander around the world unfocused and I’m sure, over time, find a purpose that you enjoy (but not really get any new gear).  But the transition of hitting 70 seems to come out of nowhere and I kind of ended up feeling like Blizzard tricked me. I was having fun and now “where’s my fun? I want it back.”  As I’ve mentioned before, I started WoW for a very specific reason (needed to get away from real life pain), so the last thing I really want is to suddenly have to interact with other people that, in many cases, just like to create drama for their own personal enjoyment.  Suddenly the game feels like more work than my real life and that’s no good.  One of the WoW Insider columnists talks about this transition and drama today here (and probably says it better than I did – see his response to “What’s the number one thing Blizzard could do better?”)

I’m NOT against all raiding or even the dreaded progression (even though it probably sounds like it from all my complaining here), but there are certain aspects that I have issues with, in addition to the chaos and drama potential.  The biggest one is time management.  To be a raiding guild (which I didn’t think is what I was joining – but that’s another issue), you have to be committed and you have to participate.  The focus becomes scheduling runs and coercing everyone possible into participating in every run and doing it “for the guild.”   Suddenly people don’t have time to play their alts, be a spec that they have fun with (because that’s not a spec the guild has a need for right now), run heroics for badges, or even GASP, have fun with their friends unless it’s done in the realm of raiding.

That’s ok for a lot of people.  That’s how hard-core raiding guilds get to where they are and get the bragging rights of saying how many bosses they’ve done in BT or how they have SSC on farm status.  But that’s not who I am or want to be and it’s not really where BBB wants to go either (ok, largely because I’d never let him, but anyways..lol).   Last week I was exploring the forums on our guild website (translation – avoiding the work on my desk) and stumbled across a “who are you” thread in which people posted information about themselves IRL.  Like in some cases, their actual name (not just their toon’s name), what they do for a job (for those who have one outside of WoW), and other personal info.   I knew that BBB and I were older WoW players (which is a whole other rant about how over 30 is NOT old), but I had no idea until after that post just how YOUNG most of the guild truly is.  The majority of the people that are officers or that are the active players in guild chat and instances are in the 18-23 year old range.  As I put it to BBB, my favorite sweatshirt that I bought for myself is OLDER than most of those people, lol.  And since BBB is 6 years older than me, some of the people could actually be his children (and I suppose the younger ones on that range could be mine too but only if I was a very advanced 13 to 16 year old, lol).

Those players, in general, have much less responsibility in the world.  Many of them still live at home (and joke about drawing “mom aggro” when they are playing too long or missing dinner), have maybe a part-time job, might be going to school, and in general, it’s mostly about playing as much as possible around the clock.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I remember those days. I remember being single and being able to set my own schedule, having fun and fitting work and school into that fun time, and having other people (parents) to pay the bills in many cases.  But for me, that feels like a really, really long time ago (living with a BBB ages you prematurely, lol).  However, it’s also about having a different focus.  BBB and I have “real” jobs, we own a house, we have responsibilities with our families), and most importantly, we have a child.  We have a 5-year-old who doesn’t deserve to be parked in front of his toys or even worse, a movie, for hours three or four or more times a week, so that we can meet the guild’s new ideals of progression and everybody joining in. 

BBB has been running a Kara group (again, since most of the others in charge have no interest in doing it anymore).  I’ve been trying to go since most of the next stage of gear is in there for me.   That means 2 nights of playing for 2-3 hours.  Then there’s now the weekly Gruul’s run and an SSC run on the calendar that I often end up going on (either because they need a rogue skill or another DPS or just a warm body to fill out the 25 slots).  Now with the success of Mag’s last week, another run added to the calendar.   Suddenly that means there are expectations (more for BBB as a MT than me) of being available for 5 nights a week!  Up to 5 nights that we rush dinner, so that there’s time to do a few dailies before arriving for the raid, up to 5 nights that our son has to hear “I can’t get you juice right now.  You need to wait until after this “boss bad guy” is down, and up to 5 nights a week that we try to squeeze in tucking him in around a pausing point in the run before running back to our computers and having to feel that we need to apologize for having made 8 or 23 other people wait for 5 minutes, so that he could get a hug and kiss from mommy and daddy before bed. That is SO wrong on SO many levels and it’s not the kind of parent that I want to be or that he deserves to have us be.

But where do you draw the line?  If BBB sits out on too many guild runs, he’s going to be looked down on and likely quickly replaced with another MT who can be “committed to progression and understand where we’re trying to take this guild.”  Which isn’t fair because he spent a lot of time and energy getting his toon to where it is and knowing how to jump into a raid and do his job well.  He could stop running the Kara group, but then most of the undergeared players who need gear and to, more importantly, learn how to play their toon in a group setting aren’t going to get that chance.

I could stop raiding, but then I feel like I can’t be online for even a bit during the raid because then I’ll be seen as not being committed either and wanting to just do my own thing, especially if a raid doesn’t happen because there weren’t enough people online and I could have filled a spot.  And again, I’ve got the best gear I can get on my own and there’s only so much quest money you can make before it’s not fun anymore and you want to do something with others for a little bit, so not raiding at all doesn’t really work.   I could quit the game completely and spend more time with our son while BBB raids (like I used to).  But BBB and I do enjoy playing together and having something that we can talk to each other about and set goals that we can assist each other with.  We could find another guild that is much more casual and not as progressed (for example, only doing Kara and maybe ZA or attempting Gruul’s).  But BBB is an officer and likes being an officer, so starting again at the bottom of the pile, could be a real bummer too.

Is there anyone that is in a similar situation who has some advice for us? Or even if you’re not, any suggestions on how we can still be committed to a guild, but not have that be more of a focus than our real lives?  Help saved a tired bear and his family (assuming you’re still awake from my wall of text post)!

61 Responses to “Cassieann’s Rambling Update”
  1. Teleya says:

    I understand the situation, even though I’m only 15. I hear stories of children of 13 raiding till 11 and parents tolerating that. I think its totally ridiculous that parents allow this, because children just need rest, for several reasons.
    If I was in your situation, I would point your guild to this post, and ask for their thoughts. They must understand where you’re coming from, even though they might have a different situation.
    If they don’t, if your guild really needs so-called committed(to WoW, not to life) players, just leave. Sure, a MT is an important role, but the role of dad is way more important. Life > WoW. I would like to not have school and homework + a part-time job, but it is so much more important than how many purple items my druid is wearing. Everyone that has even a eenieweenie bit of ambition in life, understands that for instance being a mother requires time, which isn’t time you’re spending on WoW. They shouldn’t mind you not being the most-active guild member, as long as you’re useful for them in the time you [b]are[/b] there.
    Not really a solution, more of a peptalk. Hope you find a good balance,

    Good luck

  2. Rampel says:

    I feel for you both. You’re in a tough situation.

    Unfortunately, I think you both are going to have to set some priorities.

    I’m single, over 30, and want to progress but not without structure, priorities and free time.

    I’m afraid that you’ve allowed yourselves to become overextended with regards to your guild. I believe you’re both going to have to make some very hard choices and put your lives, real and virtual in order before you find the peace you’re looking for.

  3. Softi says:

    If you’re in raiding guild it’s almost impossible to not have that aggro from having to AFK with the kidlets at some point, it’s the reason I’ve stuck to lower progression guilds. My last guild (which I was in for almost 3 yrs!) had me as an officer for a loooong time, almost 2 years, I had one 5 week old when I first joined, and then went through another pregnancy and new baby just last year. Thing is, although the rest of the ‘management’ were happy to keep me as an officer who was essentially on maternity leave, the main players in the guild weren’t. I was happy to step down anyway as the little one was (is!) a nightmare sleeper and I had lost the fun in the game, but it took a LONG time for me to actually take the final step of leaving that guild.

    Wow, ok… what was the point of all that? I guess just to let you know that as an officer of my previous guild, I’ve now gone into the bottom of the pile in my new guild, and I love it! I have no responsibility to anyone (other than to show up for a raid that I’m signed up for) and I can just kick back and enjoy the game again without dealing with the drama!

    If the responsibility of being MT 5 nights a week is too much for BBB then what about having another tank geared to share the spot with? So one week BBB does 3 nights, tank2 does 2 nights, the next week a swap?

    It’s worth a try if it means more family time! ;)

  4. Sibohan says:

    Hi, Cass. As a 30-something with a job and a life, I completely understand how you feel. I think you need to find a guild of like-minded, older folks who are less focused on “progression” and more understanding of parenting. There are guilds who mostly run Kara and ZA, simply because it’s a pain to coordinate 25 adults with kids and lives. I can’t IMAGINE anyone in my guild griefing a person who didn’t sign up to raid and logged in for a while on a raid night. All you’d have to say in guild chat is “Hi, all – here for a bit while my kid is watching Cars” and they’d understand. So my advice is to find a mellower guild that moves at YOUR pace rather than BBB’s pace. Then play some with BBB outisde of the big raids.

  5. Cycomantis says:

    In all honesty, I believe that you should join a less hard-core guild, you need to be in control of your RL time for your son and your responsabilities.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m 30 years old, I left my parents’ house like 6 years ago and I do have responsabilities, but I don’t have children and I just don’t feel like having family yet. But when you decide to have a baby, that changes the scene completely, all your efforts must be focused on that new life you created, to give them weapons to fight the future because you know you’re not goin’ to last forever.

    So, just take WoW as a RL escape but don’t take it to the limit, you just need to have fun but at the same time, you need to take care of your family. One of my friends used to play WoW a lot, and he was sick for getting the best gear in the game, but as soon as his baby was born, he quit the game and dedicated his life to his family.

    BTW, badges loot seems smokin’ hot ;) Do your heroic instances and have fun!!!

  6. Ellis (Eonar) says:

    Your guild is in almost the same situation my guild is in, and strangely enough, the officer who’s caught in the middle of the “Progression” vs “Gear up the new people” argument is also our best Feral Druid Tank. :)

    I can’t really offer you much advice, because we haven’t figured it out yet either. Fortunately our guild is just about large enough that I can sit out 25-man raids and not kill the raid if I don’t feel up to it, but I have to admit, sometimes I feel a little guilty about it. Particularly when I hear that the run isn’t going as well as it should be. (I play 3 dps alts and a tank. Neither roles are in short supply in our guild.)

    The only thing so far that has seemed to help is basically taking Kara off the “official” calender, leaving more space for Zul’Aman runs , Gruul, Mag, and we started SSC last week. There’s a small cadre of the veteran raiders who aren’t yet tired of Kara, even after running it for a year, and basically just organize impromptu Kara raids anytime there’s raiders online and not doing anything else. Off-nights, ZA nights, etc.

    Some of the guild leadership has had issues with this in the past, and we’ve been accused of sabotaging progression attempts by doing this, but frankly, I’d rather not go into something like Gruul’s if I know 40% of the raid isn’t equipped well enough to be there. We have an astoundingly large pool of raiders, and despite having killed Gruul on a number of occasions, we still have nights where we can’t even get past HKM because we have a larger number of our undergeared or inexperienced raiders present.

    Being seen as “not being committed either and wanting to just do my own thing” isn’t something to be worried about. If you don’t feel like raiding a particular night, don’t feel you are obliged to stay logged out for the duration of the raid. You could just sneak on after the raid is underway, or you could simply make sure that you’re already committed to a heroic run or something during raid time. You can even just say “no” when invites start going out, particularly if you have raid-prep stuff you could be doing, like daily quests, herbing, or mining, so you can get consumables in order for the next raid you actually attend. (Food, Bandages, Elixirs/Flasks… Craftable gear upgrades… there’s a ton of stuff you can do to make sure you’re better prepared than the avarage raider. Your guild will thank you for it too…)

    Lastly, 5 nights a week for raiding is a bit much. Many “hardcore” raiding guilds don’t schedule more than 3 nights raiding a week, because even the most obsessive player needs time to prep between raids, get cash for repairs, and so forth. My own guild does schedule raids 5-6 nights a week, despite being a “casual” raiding guild, but we don’t actually expect people to make each and every night. We can only really do that because we have such a large roster, so it takes a little over half of our active players to actually fill a 25-man raid. If Legatum Ignavis is small enough that you and your hubby can’t take a few nights off a week without the raid-calender completely collapsing, whoever is in charge of scheduling needs a reality check. (Hell, I’m online more than 5 nights a week during raid-time, and even I don’t raid more than twice a week very often.)

  7. Ellis (Eonar) says:

    Wow, there were no comments posted when I started composing all that, and I’m #6 by the time I’m done…

    Go Go Gadget Wall’o’text!

  8. Shmoopy says:

    I agree, a less raid specific guild for you.

    I will be 40 this year, good job of 18 years, own my own home. I am an officer in a raiding guild and to me, the game started at level 70. But that’s me. Most of the officers in my guild are in their late 30′s and early 40′s and we have accomplished a lot. It sounds like your raiders aren’t being very mature if they are yelling at each other in TS during raids. We have 30-40 raiders in our guild but the other 60 or so are like you. questing and 5 mans. We cater to both in our guild. Leveling to 70 doesn’t have to be that much different than being 70. You just don’t get the “Ding” factor.

  9. Alex says:

    Pretty much just need to echo the thoughts here. This should not feel like a 2nd job and you should certainly not be sacrificing important time with your son.

    Those people that are talking about you doing things for the guild are really more selfish — they want to see more content and progress, so their way of getting it is by pressuring others to do it for the guild. And from reading your and BBBs blogs over the last few weeks, it sounds like there are serious issues within your guild, organizationally speaking, that aren’t healthy for all members.

    There are guilds out there that you can have more fun with, raid with, and still have plenty of time for family. For example, our guild currently runs 10 mans — just adding ZA to our schedule. Maybe we’ll poke our heads in Gruul’s and Mag someday but we’re not putting pressure on to do it. We’re relaxed and only want people to raid when they can and are available to do so. Point is, this is a game, do what keeps it fun, and there are guilds out there that are more casual.

  10. Brierley says:

    I am in a guild switching from casual to heavy raiding and am having similar issues.
    Its not very fun even to do 10 mans like kara if the guild is constantly pushing you to go farther and comparing the 2 starter groups to each other to foster a competitive spirit. I have been in competition sports before in my life but my computer games are not supposed to be one of them.
    Even though my boyfriend will probably stay in the guild, for me I am expecting to be gkicked any day now since i have stopped raiding except one day a week to spend more time with the 3-dimensional world :).
    It wasn’t just cutting the time spent with my kids and pets and even boyfriend my house is a mess and there are some dishes I was considering throwing out so the life forms on them would have a chance to prosper.

    Anyways remember it is supposed to be a game and fun and while getting new gear is exciting, with the better weather hopefully heading our way the Real World holds a lot more fun (especially for a 5 year old).

    PS. BTW Mine turn 6 and 7 this year, and I’ve been playing now for @ 2 years and once the good weather comes most of my guilds (I am an altaholic) are aware I migrate in the Spring not from South to North but from 2-D WOW to 3-D Playgrounds lol.

  11. Rohan says:

    What your guild is doing is pretty common for a young raiding guild: They are letting the content determine the schedule. So in the name of progression, they are raiding more and more, trying to fit in as much content as they can.

    What the experienced softcore (and even hardcore) guilds realize is that your schedule needs to determine the content. The guild chooses when and how often they want to raid, and then choose what they do based on that. If they only want to raid three days, they only raid three days.

    Maybe that means not doing Karazhan and Zul’Aman. Maybe that means dropping Gruul’s Lair and Magtheridon to concentrate on SSC. Don’t let content control your schedule. This also means putting an emphasis on not wasting time, on starting on time and ending on time, which makes life much easier on people.

    Even among the young people, there are probably a bunch who would like a more regular raiding schedule, giving them time to go hang out with their friends. You need to have a full discussion with your guild, establish your schedule and stick to that.

    Secondly, don’t worry about gear so much. If your guild can kill a boss, your guild is ready for the next boss. Don’t worry about having to run old content to gear up. Gear will come in time, and taking a few undergeared people to a raid is not the end of the world.

    It’s much more important to learn how to use your current gear to it’s fullest effect. And, as you are a T4/T5 guild, I guarantee you that you have people who are using sub-optimal ability rotations, or are not hit-capped, or are making any number of the normal early raider mistakes.

    As for children, I can’t really comment. Most parents I know try to raid after their children go to bed. This often means raiding in a later timezone. Like if you are EST, maybe look at guilds on a PST or CST timezone.

    Remember, schedule should determine content, not the other way around.

  12. Oxford says:

    Hey Cassie–
    I empathize w/ your situation. I’m an “older” WoW player myself with responsibilities from work that often cross over into my free time. Home/family/friends/pets/recreational sports among other RL things demand my time and attention. I am also an officer and share MTing with our guild leader.
    Fortunately, I am blessed with great friends that are fellow WoWheads, and we have a great time raiding in 10 and 25 man situations–when we make the time for it.
    Many a night we have had a player log on with a comment like: “Can’t run Gruul’s tonight. Kid. Spaghetti. Ceiling. Dog suspended in noodles”.
    The next day I’ll get a phone call w/ a hiliarious story from my friend, and co-raider. Such is the way our guild works. And it’s just fine. If we are hell-bent on playing, we’ll punt and run a lesser raid, or split off and do a 5 man or some BGs.
    As far as the game after 70–WoW has become much more of a social scene for me personally. I’ve met some truly extraordinary people I would have never run across had I not been playing this game. For me, the relationships I’ve made with people, that have grown into true friendships is well worth my 15 dollars a month–even if I still call them their character names rather than the ones Mom and Dad gave them. ;)
    Seems to me the guild needs to understand that being called Mommy and casting [Story Time] and [Hugs] is a lot more important than being called CassieAnn and [Kicking] and [Gouging].
    Good luck. And keep it fun.

  13. Kumata says:

    I can empathise with the situation as it is something I face myself.

    I am one of the MT group in a raiging guild that is currently butting heads with Kael. The guild has 4 scheduled raiding nights with a 4-5 hour raid each night.

    I’m also married with a child on the way.

    The way that I have organised it so that I can both help the guild progress and still maintain time to spend with my wife (who plays sometimes) is to have a set schedule of raids that I will never be at, no matter what. I have then organised this with the other tanks so that they have different scheduled nights off.

    Of course I am the lucky position that the MT group (all 4 of us) are all married with kids (or kids enroute) so they are understanding of the need to have raid/life balance.

  14. The Daakster says:

    I think it has to do with how you set priorities too. I find it extremely hard to commit time to instances let alone raiding as RL does often interrupt my play time. I hate the idea of causing problems for the group so I just don’t do instances. I choose to let RL take the priority. There are a certain number of hours in the day, and once I fit in work, my relationship, food, sleep, vegging out, other pastimes and reading and responding to blog posts =), well ………

    Now don’t get me wrong, it does get frustrating when I don’t get to play as a team with my friends and have fun. And when I see people with the gear upgrades I really want that are only available from instances. And the fact that I have really enjoyed the instances I have been to. I would love to be able to do instances, even once a week, but that way lies madness. At least for me.

    When I really want to find the time for an instance run I really need to plan my time. This sometimes means taking a day off work to allow the time to do it. I’m lucky that I get a good amount of leave with this job, but nevertheless it is time that I value and make a positive decision about using in that way.

    I also disliked the transition from leveling, but have a good time grinding faction rep (that doesn’t involve instances) for the rewards they offer and helping friends or random people with quests they are doing. I had come to a bit of a halt with my main, but the sunwell stuff has given him a new lease of life. And, I have a lot of alts.

    I get no pressure from the guild, but that could be because I am on the other side of the world and choose to stay on a US server. I am rarely on when it is time to go raiding.

    I understand that there will be pressures on both of you from the guild, explicit or otherwise, and maybe a bit from each other (each wanting to support and play with the other), but if it is getting to you then I reckon you do have a choice. Work out what’s important and make time for it. If you are a twice a week raiding family then that’s what you are. There are good ideas above for how you can work this and still stay relevant to the guild I think.

    My two penneth. Anyway, take care and remember it is just a game and a game is supposed to be fun. Wisdom from the the mouth of the bear.

  15. Pidge says:

    Great comments already, but my three cents:

    1) Rohan is right: smart guilds do not schedule so much “required” raiding because it burns players out. Encourage your guild to come up with a reasonable raiding schedule. If they can’t or won’t (and coming up with a schedule can create a lot of drama itself), then consider another guild.

    2) Find a guild that will appreciate the contribution you can comfortably make. I’m in a similar boat — 40+ with wife, 2 kids, house, job and other committments — so I’ve had to accept I can’t raid on the same level as some of my guildmates. I mainly play at night after eveyone else is asleep (I’m on EST but play on a west coast server so my playtime jives more with others) and I only raid occassionally (basically when I know I’m not going to have to go involuntarily AFK to deal with kids ). Rather than joining a hardcore raiding guild that would always be disappointed with my participation, I found a wonderful casual raiding guild that’s doing well with progression but still makes room for players like myself. I help the guild every chance I get and they make me feel welcome. It’s been a great match for several years and three 70s.

    3) Kids >games. If you’re constantly stressed that the guild is demanding more of your time than your child, that sounds like a call for a change. Everyone deserves some guilt-free recreation time for themselves — even (or maybe especially!) parents — but it’s important to carve out time for yourself and time for your kids and jealously protect each. You can never get back the time you miss with your kids (and you’ll be with them a *lot* longer than with your guildmates).

    Thanks for such an interesting post. Good luck and have fun!

  16. Kal says:

    Echo a lot of people here. We raid (and by raid, I mean 25 mans) 3 nights a week + another Kara or something else. We’re lucky in that a lot of people still need gear from the lower levels and we’re competent, but at the same time my schedule and my wife’s schedule does not and will not allow spending a ton of time raiding. I made it clear that this is the case, and (partially) as a result, the raid matches the schedule.

    5 nights a week is ridiculous, honestly. If your guild expects that of you, it’s time to tell them otherwise.

    Honestly, from what I’ve heard of that guild, the problem is that people are just not well organized. You can make great progress if you raid intelligently. You don’t need to do it as many nights as possible.

    As to juggling kids…it’s tough. Mine are older and we raid from 5-9, so it’s a bit easier (we can say goodnight and prepare dinner) but it’s still not great. I do have to do a bit of picking and choosing as to what I can and can’t do. Realistically it’s every other day for raiding at most. Anything more than that and I’ll miss out on real life. It sounds like your guild isn’t so progressed that you couldn’t do that reasonably, and you’re at the point where Kara provides a ton of upgrades + badges. If I were you and BBB, I’d recommend doing one Kara + a couple other raid nights a week. If they need more, tough. They need to learn that it isn’t about raiding, it’s about people.

  17. Lenaiya says:

    Sounds like you two are having some serious issues :( and I understand where you are coming from. To be quite blunt and honest, I would not want to be involved in a guild like that. Leaving a guild that you’ve been so involved in building is hard, and I’d recommend sitting down and talking to the other officers, especially those that are pressuring you to raid, about your feelings. You’ll find your true friends will understand that real life is much more important than WoW.

    Deciding to leave may be a little drastic at this point. I bet if you threatened to leave if things didn’t change, though, those that are putting so much pressure on you would back off. Sounds like they really need you. I hate suggesting that kind of “business tactic” for a game, but if you want to stay in the guild and get a shot at what you need (time off), I’d say that’s your best bet. Then take, say, a week off from raiding, and implement some of the changes other commenters have recommended: more organization and structure in raids, setting up a firm schedule, discipline for those that show a lack of respect for the time others put into the game, etc.

    If it were me, I’d give a Big Bear Warning to stop ninjaing my fun time, give them 2 weeks to back off, and if it didn’t work, /gquit. Too bad you guys don’t have a Guild Alliance group on your server (something like SASU on Earthen Ring http://www.sasu-er.org )… that would help solve a lot of issues for you guys. :(

  18. Mair says:

    There’s no rule that says you have to start raiding when you ding 70. In fact, there is hours’ worth of solo and 5-man content (Tempest Keep, heroics, faction quests… and that’s not including the normal quests you didn’t cover levelling) to keep you occupied indefinitely.

    You, however, had an almost unique opportunity to be aided by a group of high powered people and pushed into challenging raid content much faster than the average player. A lot of people who work incredibly hard at their characters, including myself, would kill for that chance, but don’t have spouses in that kind of guild. (I really don’t think it’s out of line to suggest that without BBB’s help gearing up and his connections you wouldn’t be able to get yourself into an SSC run so soon after dinging, that’s just the way it works for most people.)

    So yeah, you’re incredibly lucky. You’ve had a blizzard of epic drops and you’ve seen content that some people will only dream of. If that’s not what you want, then leave. But please, for the love of god, don’t complain about it. That’s just sheer ingratitude and a smack in the face to all the people who have helped you get to that point, all the people in your guild who are in the same position as you now after incrementally more hours of work, and all the people who would absolutely love to be where you are but can’t be.

    And yes, I am completely jealous, a sensation I really do not enjoy but find myself subjected to quite frequently on this blog now. For some reason, hearing about all of the advantages you have over the average player thanks to BBB’s hard work and a hefty dose of nepotism really sticks in my craw. Shame, because he’s a damn talented writer.

  19. Having been in a similar situation, all I can say is that you need to prioritise what’s important to you. I can understand that yours is a bit more tricky due to the fact that BBB is an officer, but you need to decide that which is more important and work on that.

    I had canceled and deleted my characters once before because I thought it was taking too much time away from my kids. The need to quickly put them to bed (& getting stressed when my boy thinks that he should still be playing hide & seek in bed 5 mins from when I needed to be online to get into 5-mans or raids or whatever) was just a tad bit ridiculous in the end.

    When I restarted, I resolved never to get into that situation again. So, now, I’m releveling a bunch of toons to 70, at my own time, own pace. I get online when I am able to and there is no pressure from anyone (either real or implied) to do things I would rather not do… (I mean, there’s not much that you absolutely NEED a lvl 30 for…)

    I’ll end with this thought. Your kid is only 5 once. Pretty soon, they’ll rather spend time with their friends, doing their things and think that having their Mom (or Dad) tagging along is ‘ewwwww’. If you are uncomfortable with spending too much time away from your kid, then put a stop to it. In a sense, you pay your $15 and no matter what, you don’t really owe anyone else your time to do what you don’t enjoy doing.

    @Mair: Honestly, I think that’s a pretty un-called for sentiment. Life’s too short to be bitter about a computer game and seriously, if reading about it upsets you this much, maybe you need to find something else to do…

  20. dfv says:

    I agree with Schmoopy – if there really are situations where the RL is calling out the healers, that’s a very bad environment in your raids and maybe you should ask yourself if this is the guild for you. It is imperative to keep some positivity in there (even if it does tend to become a more serious environment).

    In our guild, a lot of the officers were a little split between the “progression” folks and the “let’s help gear up others first” folks. Luckily, a few of us volunteered to lead some Kara runs, and were able to later rejoin the main bunch a few months later. Plus, to take pressure off, recruit some more 70′s so you have an excess for the 25 man content. Then you’ll be able to pick and choose the nights that are suitable for you, and not feel any accompanying pressure.

    Another thing that has worked for my wife and I is to make a post in the Officer section of our forums explaining the need for occasional burnout-factor breaks. Any long term player will realise the need for these and have few issues with it I suspect. If they don’t I think you need to find a guild with a better philosophy.

    Like Rohan says above, consistence of schedule is vital for planning ahead / kids etc. We only have 25 man raids scheduled 3 days a week 7:30-11pm. The rest is unofficial. Our Raid Leader is very aware that stuffing the calendar with events is a surefire way of burning everyone out. We tried it for awhile when ZA came out but our 25 man signups suffered.

  21. Joel says:

    Mair, anyone who joins a guild that’s more progressed than they are will get gear/raids that are well beyond what they should be getting. It’s not fair, but it’s what happens. Even in my little guild alliance we have people who have freshly dinged 70 picking up Kara loot. It’s better for the guild that they use it rather than sharding it because no-one else can. Is it fair to those of us who wiped repeatedly on each boss before picking up our first piece of loot? It’s hard to say – as a more “advanced” raider I prefer getting people geared up quickly so they can help out on the new fights rather than having to wait for them to struggle through those fights.

    For Cassie and BBB, I would strongly support the suggestions made above. Set a schedule for when you can raid, let the guild know what that is and stick to it. If they can’t accept that you have lives outside of raiding, they’re not the guild for you. I know the lure of raiding – it’s hard to say “I’m not doing anything in particular on Saturday but it’s not a raiding day for me so I’m not coming.” I failed to do that with the first raiding guild I joined and wound up burned out.

  22. Fikkle says:

    Like many people have said, you guys have to make a choice about what’s important. Based on what you said, I’d suggest setting a number of days that you’re willing to raid. Let the guild know that you’ll be committed to raiding on these certain days and take other days to do what is important to you and what is fun.

    A few months back I got into a raiding guild that had just started downing gruul but needed more warm bodies to fill spots in the raid, but I hadn’t even been to Kara at the time. As a result I found myself in much the same position as Cassie. Ultimately I decided that I didn’t want that and chose to start fresh on a new server with some really close friends. That was the choice that was right for me. I hope you guys find a solution that works for you. Remember though, while you may feel a responsibility to the guild to help, ultimately it is only a game and if what you’re doing isn’t fun anymore, then don’t. Good luck.

    Fikkle

  23. Minmon says:

    Rohan and Pidge are right on the money. You should let your schedule determine what you raid.

    It IS possible to run raid content without doing it for most of the week. It’s all a question of organization, teamwork, and making the most of the limited time that you actually have. To be honest, TBC has made an excellent job in keeping raiding accesible to most people who have RL responsibilites, just as long as guilds use their time wisely, you don’t have to sacrifice all of your free time to the altar of progression.

    I have heard of guilds that have gone into BT/MH only raiding 2x a week. My own guild is now 5/6SSC and 2/4TK while only raiding 25-man content 2x a week, 3 hours/session. Granted we also have 1-day Kara runs, but those are completely optional and to be honest, despite being the main tank in our guild, I haven’t had to tank Kara since last year. It’s really just a matter of having a plan for progression and trying to ensure that raid time is when you’re focused. You don’t have to have a “hardcore” schedule to raid, just a “hardcore” mentality.

    Since it seems like you and BBB are on different “tiers” as far as gear and experience go, try to see if you can “split-up.” You can run Kara for both gear and experience going thru raids, while BBB concentrates on the 25-man content. And if you can’t make either (or both) raids in a given week, you shouldn’t have to make excuses or feel guilty. In the end, WoW is a game, and if you’re not having fun … why are you playing?

  24. bigbearbutt says:

    Thanks for all the comments, folks. As you all know, trying to juggle a real life and a digital life can be hard work.

    I can’t help but feel that things can’t go on the way they have without something breaking. But I can’t quite see the shape they’ll be when it happens.

    All I do know is that as much as I enjoy this game, I have to echo the sentiments of Rynadur, the rogue class lead of our guild, who said on TS one night, “I don’t want to see any drama anymore. I play WoW to get away from drama.”

    Sometimes, it feels like logging into the game is opening the door to bedlam, wondering what fresh drama awaits us.

    What I do know is, we had two really nice applications come in today, a husband and wife that had transfered servers and were interested in joining together, and my first impulse was to tell them that if they were really looking for light-hearted fun, for nice people that would welcome them into the guild, to look somewhere else, because these days we are all about raiding, and raiding is srs bsns.

    But that’s not fair. Because we do have fun, and we do other things, and they did join and got a warm welcome.

    Mair, I can see your point about raiding. We are in a guild that is taking on serious raids, and Cassieann does not seem to you to appreciate how lucky we are to not only be in this guild taking on these challenges, but to be a part of the fights.

    What I’d have to say in reply, however, is that she sees the gear upgrades much the same way I do; as a tool to achieve a goal, not the goal itself.

    In my case, my goal is to successfully tank. And the better my gear, the better I do that job and not let my friends down. The greatest thrill I get in the game is being a tank for my friends and doing the job well.

    For Cassie, the gear is a means to deal more damage, and not be a waste of a raid position or a team position.

    She follows Shadowpanther pretty assiduously. She tracks her gear, plans upgrades, focuses on instances and quests and crafted routes, and plots out her upgrades against the Shadowpanther lists.

    What you don’t see is her worry that she isn’t contributing enough to the raids. That she is taking up a space that could better be used by someone more geared, more experienced.

    But I run the damage meters, the threat meter, and I see the way she handles sapping and kicking. She does her job, she plays well, she puts out the damage and she doesn’t pop the aggro bubble. She may not have spent as much time as others after dinging 70 working her way up the path of progression, but she has doen her own homework, she has pulled her weight in plenty of heroics… frankly, i’m getting tired of going into all the damn heroics… and I think she is paying her dies quite well.

    When you say nepotism, what you’re implying is that the only reason someone as undergeared as Cassie is in these raids or Karazhan runs is because she is an officers’ wife. that really does do her a disservice, I think.

    If you were in the guild, what you you would see is that we take any warm body that is the right class or spec to fulfill a needed role. For too long we were always 3 or 4 people short to even MAKE a 25 man team. We just do not have the elitist ‘pick and choose’ mentality yet. It may come, but not yet.

    The greatest thing about our guild is, when it comes time to raid, sure there are the ‘go to’ guys that are thrown into key positions, but when the time comes we fill the slots with whoever is on. Our one rule; we don’t pug it. We may stretch that by finding a friend of a friend, but we don’t pug a raid.

    And we find out on the fly if you know what you’re doing or not.

    It may frustrate you even worse when you realize that a ton of new people are walking straight into our guild, being thrown into High King and Gruul, and winning.

    We did not have DKP going when we started running our first few weeks of raiding. It was an oversight, we weren’t used to ahving enough players online.

    We changed that tune when a brand new player, a rogue (not Cassie) that had literally joined the guild that very week, walked into Gruuls lair with us, and when we downed both High King and Gruul, he won both the rogue T4 shoulders AND the rogue T4 leggings, on straight rolls against the other classes, OVER the rogue class lead who has been one of our longest and most dedicated players.

    Do you think officer chat included many worried “sure, in the guild one week, gone the next with his loot” discussions? Sure. But on the other hand, it’s only loot. We’ll down them again this week. We took down Gruul the next week and our rogue class lead won the pants, after we isntituted our new DKP rules… and when we downed Magtheridon two days later, he realized that by winning the pants, he didn’t have enough DKP to roll on the rogue chest… ehnce why Cassieann is sporting the Magtheridon T4 chestplate.

    We are new. We are figuring out the rules as we go. And everyone on a run has to pull their weight, because we don’t have any slack.

    When we started Gruuls, we had a long time, experienced player take on the Mage Tank role against High King and fail utterly. Mostly because he was an immature player that could care less about preparation or planning. We had a brand new level 67 mage in the guild that asked me “What can I do to help the guild?” one night after a lousy performance by our guild mage, so I told him, half seriously, half bitterly, “If you want to help the guild, then level to 70 and plot out your gear and train to be a Mage Tank.”

    He took me seriously, he dinged 70, he planned out his gear, and while he did not successfully Mage Tank High King the FIRST time he tried… he damn well did the second. And that’s a no shitter.

    In the end, I think it’s our strength. Say what you want, but Cassie is by NO means the only person moving from dinging to raiding to winning, all at a dead run.

    We don’t care how long you’ve played, or what the patch number was when you started your character. What we care about is, “Can you get the job done?”

    It’s where so much of the actual raid stress comes from, because if you can’t get the job done… you’ve let the team down.

    I’m sorry you feel that she doesn’t appreciate how many people would kill to be able to enter and participate in downing Gruul or Magtheridon.

    But fro what she says to me, a raid isn’t a wonderful journey, but a big event that means a lot to a lot of people, and a time to feel the stress that comes with being afraid you’re going to let down your teammates or do something stupid and wipe the raid and waste the other players time, when she started playing this game to reduce stress.

    If she didn’t like most of the people in our guild, she wouldn’t care… but she does like them, so she doesn’t want to let them down.

    But all the other bandying around the bush we’ve done, it comes down to the simple fact that she started playing the game to reduce stress from the real world, and have fun with me, and the raid schedule and the raids themselves are not reducing stress, they are becoming a chief cause of it.

    I agree with everyone that posted saying it’s past time we set responsible boundaries, set certain times that are okay to raid, and others where we stand firm and spend our time doing other things.

    I for one want to spend more time playing with my son, and getting back into going to the gym. Winter is finally over, and Spring is here.

    Take care everyone.

  25. Jezrael says:

    This is probably a bit late but I wanted to throw in my 5 silver. I pretty much agree with everyone here and I wanted to say that it *is* possible to progress and raid casually. My guild has one 25 man raid a week – Friday’s 6pm – 11pm Server. If you sign up then you attend – on time, with consumables, and a good attitude. There are other scheduled 10 man raids that take place during the week to Kara and ZA but no one is forced to raid them if they don’t want to. Our raid is composed of guildies and non-guild regulars. We are 3 weeks in to T5 content and are 4/6 SSC and 2/4 TK. It has taken us time but over the last month or so we have made some changes that have allowed us to progress without needing to raid more and keep a good solid group of regulars. In fact we are now at the point of having more people that slots available. I’ve posted on this topic if you are interested in having a look: http://dpswedeliver.blogspot.com/2008/03/our-first-foray-into-ssc-and-how-guild.html

  26. Hexapuma says:

    Hey,
    Very good post. I was in a similar situation two years back. I was in a hardcore raiding guild and then I became a father. There is no room for two parents raiding that many nights a week. Do not miss out on time with your son because of a stupid game. WOW is fun and all but it is just a game. Rent one of those movies where the parents work too much to care about their son.. ponder on your own reactions to them, and then go back to WOW ^^

    You are strong to have written down your feelings – Now act on it. Step down from the raiding and go casual. Try RP server, try setting up a PVP team where YOU can control the game hours. Personally I am down to one night of full gaming and a couple of hours here and there when I have the time for it.

  27. Shrubs says:

    The guild has it wrong. Raids are and should be about having fun, with 24 friends. If progress becomes the goal, and you’re not a hardcore guild, you’ll disband within months.

    We’ve been running this guild for almost 2 years now, ppl sign 0-4 times a week and we’re up to Kael now. I’m guessing about 90% of our runs are pure fun. Progress is not our goal, having fun evenings is and for us it works.

  28. Chronus says:

    Join a late night raiding guild. One that starts raiding at 9pm, for example.

    In exactly the same situation, I founded my own guild and gathered people who were in exactly the same situation.
    This makes everyone understand each other very well.

    One last thought: It’s a game. Your 5-year old deserves it all.
    (he’ll be around longer than WoW :D )

    Good luck with it!

    Chronus.

  29. Earendil says:

    Much has been said already, but maybe you have some time to read my part as well.

    I have started playing WoW because some friends I know for almost 20 years now play it and encouraged me to join as it is a good way to stay in touch. You have to know that we are spread all over Europe due to jobs. Therefore, I have decided to start playing and got my Rogue to Level 70 to join my friends in doing the “real” stuff.

    At the moment we have a very nice schedule to meet and have fun in the game. We meet ONCE a week to do some Arena and Instances. We are five guys and therefore never have any problems to get into the instances. In addition, we all play in a 5v5, 3v3 and some 2v2 Arena teams to see the other side of the game. And it is a lot of fun! We always find new challenges to get into like heroic instances or the new one with patch 2.4.

    One of my friends thought that this might not be enough for him and joined another guild for a while to go into Kara. However, after being there for a couple of month he came back because he did not like the way he had to commit to certain dates of the week to go in there.

    Our guild “the Knights of the Coconut” is just 7 players with there various characters. This way we do not have any issues with people pushing us too much or aim for raiding etc.

    BTW a nice way to get decent gear is PvP! I know, I know, many of you hardcore PvE guys hate it and curse Blizzard for handing out epic gear almost for free, but for people who will never have the chance to get into 10+ raids it is a good alternative.

    I was once in Kara with my Rogue without any Epic gear at that point, but we did really well. Skill goes a long way to compensate for lack of good gear, I guess. I got my boots and thought, “Well, that was nice, but not impressive.” Playing with 9 instead of 4 other guys without much of teamspeak might be challenging, but the fun goes out of the window. To do this 3, 4 or 5 times a week sounds like a second job to me. And only for better gear? Please!

    If you are really tired of beeing pushed somewhere you don’t want to be. Then don’t do it! Do what you really want to do, level a new character, watch a movie, play with your child or just do nothing! I guess you will feel much better at the end!

    Sorry for the long text, but I felt this might help you a bit.

    Cheers!

    PS: I am down today, because the Lakers lost in Portland. That is a real shame. But I am looking forward to the evening, because we will go into the Magisters’ Terrace again! And our Arena team deserves better than our 0-10 last week.

  30. Ellende says:

    Take care of yourselves and your son. You know what to do, you do. A game should not be stressfull, and the people in the guild will understand if they’d read this, young as they might be.

    Going on this strong for progression will not only get you burned out, they will get it too.

    Think of how many nights a week you want to raid, and make it know. Let them know what you can do. BBB, you’ve been in this guild a long time, they know you love it and that you’d go through great lengths to contribute as much as you can, cause you already did. It’s just a matter of realizing how much you actually CAN.

    And Cassie… start an alt as well… might get your fun in gaming back for a bit now. I know how you both feel… been there as well. And my former guild been here as well, it did not survive. Our new guild tried to learn from these mistakes and is taking it slower. Progression is only ensured with stability in the guild.

  31. Shaubis says:

    Couldn’t agree more. The casual 30+ years old player can’t commit to play every day or 5 days a week for 2-3 hours per day.
    We are married with children and it makes it difficult to explain kids that I need to feed the baby in the middle of a raid.
    I hope to find a 30+ years old guild soon. I think thats the only solution to our problems/frustration with kids.

  32. scotth says:

    Up until recently I was in a guild that described itself as casual. The membership was mature and some of the people were professionals with children. The problem I had was that the membership was focused almost exclusively on raiding. Mostly Kara, so they are behind the curve, but heading into ZA and looking at Gruul.

    I made a conscious decision not to raid. My job is demanding (and upredictable), and there is no way I can commit to being in the game for several hours at a time several days a week. I am not going to take the spot of someone that is willing to make that commitment.

    When I hit 70 I mostly did battlegrounds, exploring (when I hit 70 I had never been to smv or bem, still haven’t been to netherstorm) and ran the odd instance when a guild group was short. Mostly this was to get the daily heroic done so someone could have badges. Basically, I am doing my own thing. Not really participating in the guild, but I’m ok with that.

    The problem was, there were other people that wanted to participate and couldn’t. They hit 70 late, and wanted to get keyed and geared up, and continue to advance their characters. The majority of the guild was past the content. Soloing to level was no longer an option for the new 70′s, a so they were stuck. Can’t do group quests, and can’t do regular 70 instances.

    I tried to bring this up on our guild forums, and three of the officers laid into me. Admittedly, I probably could have been more tactful, but I still think they were out of line. I was essentially told that people should not expect help, because that content is no longer a challenge for people that are now raiding. However, I should still be able to enjoy the casual friendly atmosphere of the guild.

    I think the thing that bothered me the most was they were totally missing the point I was trying to make. Some people are too stuck in their own frame of reference to see things from another person’s point of view. In their minds I was bitter because I wasn’t getting the leet purples. What I wanted was for the guild to be what it had promised; a casual guild that different people could participate in.

    Anyway, when I though about it, the reason to join a guild is so you can have people to do things with. At times like this I think back to my college and single days, and my buddies I used to play table top games with. We got together every Saturday to play whatever it was we were into at the time. We would sit around a throw out relevant quotes from movies or the Simpsons, give each other a hard time, talk about books we were reading, etc. It was as much about hanging out with people I liked as it was playing the game. They weren’t people I was putting up with so I could progress, they were my friends and we had fun. If I could find that in the game, I would enjoy it a lot more. Until then I am still just doing my own thing.

  33. Lypi says:

    You gotta take care of you first. You need to spend time with your kid, you need to spend time having fun with each other.
    Choose which raids you are going to do, sign up for those, and indicate which you won’t attend, so people have a chance to plan for your absence. I suggest you try to attend the 25-man raids (Gruul’s/Mags only being a 2 hour committment for both anyway) since your big butt and cassie’s 1337 DPS is needed to pull the bosses down, and avoid the Kara time-sink.
    I’m sure you have a heap of friends in the guild – and if you’re anything like me, friends are why you play, and a big part of the fun. So moving guilds/servers isn’t really an answer at this stage in my opinion.
    And if the guild is raiding one night and you want to casually play, just let them know you’re semi-afk watching your kid. People don’t want someone in their raid that disappears every 5 mins :)

    Good luck.

  34. Mair says:

    BBB-

    Thank you so much for replying to my earlier post. I’m sorry for the tone, but a night of wiping on Maulgar will make a girl cranky.

    I do maintain, however, that without your influence, I doubt Cassieann would have been able to put herself in the position to be one of those “warm bodies”, and if you were to do a census of your server, you’d find plenty of rogues who’ve been gearing up on their own or in a small disorganized guild and would swap with her in a heartbeat. I’m not asserting that she’s not a talented player, of course, just that she’s very lucky to have had a contact like you.

    Nepotism, in hindsight, was a bad choice of word, and I apologize.

    I think that my particular problem with scenarios like this is that my point of view is that of a healer, and there’s nothing like watching a dps get one-shotted, just because they just don’t have enough hp yet, to make you feel impotent.

    I hope the two of you can find a happy medium with your guild and get back to having fun.

    (anyone else who replied to me, I’m sure you made some valid points that I need to take under consideration, but I haven’t had a chance to read ‘em yet. sorry.)

  35. Cassieann says:

    I want to REALLY thank people for the wonderful support and comments. It was so nice to see that there are people out there that understand and that have a similar opinion about the game.

    Because this is a thank you post, I’m not going to spend any serious time addressing the one negative opinion that I got on this post. BBB tried to and it still wasn’t accepted. We know the truth and that I haven’t gotten treated any differently than any other new guildie in this particular guild (at least not in a positive way, if anything the guild feels more comfortable asking BBB if he can see if I’ll sit out because they have other DPS instead – I sat out many weeks on Gruul’s before being asked to come in only because they were short a rogue to spellkick on the High King fights).

    I also want to clarify that since I was feeling a bit down about things yesterday when I posted and it came across much more pessimistic – in NO WAY is our son truly suffering or being put to the side. He frequently spends time sitting next to BBB or I (we have computers in separate offices) talking with us, playing with his toys, interacting with us, and even helping to click the button to herb or mine. Then he runs to the other and happily says “I was getting ore for daddy. I’m a good helper.” Or BBB will make it a game and let him pick the next “bad guy” that he’s going to fight.

    He goes to a really nice preschool a few days a week and when he was 15-months old, I walked away from a high management position that I had worked years to get to do contract work from home, so that I could be here during the day with him. He spends every morning with me, goes to school 3 days a week, and then comes home and spends time until BBB comes home and we have family dinner together.

    It’s only the last few weeks that things have gotten so insane as the GL began making it more and more about progression and then the RL who had taken a 2-month sabbatical for work came back and things got seriously focused. We also had a few people who are in a BIG raiding guild on our server (not going to get in to who) joined the guild with their alts and occasionally will bring their mains in. Suddenly the rabid people who are all about progression had people who have experienced it all and are on the last boss of BT there to guide them. Much of the raid focus and insane scheduling is coming from those people saying how “real” guilds get where they are and it’s being taken as gospel by some without the realization that we don’t have people properly geared on lower instances before jumping into those bigger ones. They are missing the fact that as soon as a few people get tier pieces isn’t the time to move forward. It’s when everyone is closer to being geared up and can fully handle the fights ahead.

    Ok, I’ve gone on longer than I planned when I really just wanted to say thank you again for your support and we’re definitely taking it all under advice and talking over what we do from here. Thanks!

  36. Pochani says:

    B^3 & Cassie,

    I feel your pain on all fronts. As a member of a guild now trying their hand at ‘progression’, being an officer and having my wife as a regular member as well and let me say that your concerns are definately not unwarranted.

    Juggling the many aspects often times becomes another job, which is sad really, but it does… at least as an officer. It sounds like the needs and wants of your guild are outgrowing your own personal goals and while I completely understand your like for being an officer, it may be time to consider stepping down, I know it’s something I think about nearly daily.

    You’re dedicated, have ties within the guild and want to see them do well all are admiral qualities. However, you can still obtain all of those goals without the added strain of being an officer. If you do not fully agree with where your guild is taking you as an officer, the time involved, the drama that you have to deal with, take some time to seriously consider it as an option. I tell ya, it’s looking brighter and brighter to me every time I think about it.

    It will also solve the ‘Nepotism’ attitude some people have and have no doubt that some people in you’re guild probably have it. Whether it’s true or not has no bearing, it’s just a preception. I know my wife has earned all of her lumps, she’s one of the best geared players in our guild, yet I’m sure the very fact that she’s an officers wife makes some of my own guildies think she has it easier than the rest… reguardless of all the crafted epics she’s farmed herself for and all the raids she signs up for, reguardless of the cost of wiping.

    It’s bound to happen.

    One more ‘pro’ for stepping down as an officer.

    What you’ll gain is the giant monkey off your back. You can still tank as much as you want, take part in the progression, but at the end of the day it’ll still be a game and not a second job.

    At the end of the day, it’s your time, your money. Spend it how you want to. If your guild cant understand it, maybe beacuse they’re pretty young, then… oh well… we’re here to have fun, some of it is to see all that the game has to offer which is where progression comes in. But when it stops being fun, then whats the point? The two of you both have to do what is good for you and your son, life is always more important than a game, which the both of you already seem to know.

    The trouble seems to come from the Casual Raiding Guild attitude. We have one too. It’s a very difficult balance to maintain and finding that right balance is both essential and difficult to do. Progression will be slow with a casual attitude and it’s something that the entire guild has to come to terms with, the benefit you have is that you can maintain the friendly and fun aspects.

    Too much raiding and you lose the casual, to much casual and you lose the raiding… no surprise there.

    Find a balance. Talk to the officers, talk to the guild. You’ll probably be surprised to find more people than just the two of you with the same concerns… and maybe even some answers from the people you have been working so hard for all this time.

  37. Taueth says:

    To quote a recent wowinsider post: “You can raid as a casual guild, but you can’t raid casually.” It sounds like your guild is raiding casually, which is a recipe for burn-out. It’s time for your guild to start looking after itself. Kara runs should no longer have to be run by an officer, there’s enough people out there with experience that your guild should even be able to pug it with other players from other guilds.

    Being an officer is a sweet position, but it sounds like BBB is taking it seriously enough that it’s giving him stress at home. He doesn’t have to organize all of the extra-curricular runs. Being one of the main tanks with solid attendance on 25-man nights and an officer is good enough.

    Overall, it just sounds to me like the main problem is that your guild raids casually. The result is poor attendance on 25-man nights, having to ask Cassieanne to step in as dps, and endlessly running Kara for gear upgrades for new people. I know of guilds that are in Hyjal/BT with *three* nights of 25 mans, and I’ve heard of guilds in deep SSC/TK with *two* nights of 25-mans. Extending the raiding nights with official gear-up nights is not going to help.

    Blessing of Kings had a great post about the gear/experience: http://blessingofkings.blogspot.com/2008/02/fallacy-of-gear.html The end result is that, like the example of the mage-tank, good gear isn’t what makes good raiding guilds, it’s good experience and dedicated raiders. If you guys sit and run Kara officially, chances are you’re gearing up people who aren’t that dedicated or are gear leeches. If you let Kara go to a casual pick up group, the dedicated people will still show up because they need gear, and Kara *will still probably happen* because the dedicated people will organize it, but it’ll take a tremendous pressure off BBB. Either way, there are so many different options for gearing up nowadays, that most people should be looking towards BGs or Arenas, or regular heroics for their upgrades. Especially in the case of weapons, they’re better than anything you’ll find in Kara.

  38. stickit says:

    When you start stressing over a game – it’s time for you to quit.

    IT’S A GAME.
    IT’S A GAME.
    IT’S A GAME.

  39. Tupaque says:

    Ive seen this same string run within most MMG’s now a days. We have lost our priorities when it comes to addictive gaming which is: IT IS JUST A GAME! I play for the ability to get away from rl and I have to remind myself that it is for ONLY that purpose, not to replace time with my wife, my boys (who are teenagers and need their dad most of all at this time) and work (running late trying to get a quick morning fix).

    I’ve just left a guild because I felt the gl was too intense and expected you to be uber and know everything about the game only because he’s been on since beta. I really hate that. But I made a decision to just make an excuse that my oldest son who plays has a guild and wanted me to help with that and left quietly. I just wont have the best stuff and the best toon and can only do certain things until I get time… well to be honest, the game is really all about … time.

    Enjoy folks. It’s still all about priorities.

    /rant off.

  40. Dalican says:

    BBB and Cassie:

    As a member of a progression/raiding guild, I know exactly where you’re coming from. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m 17, go to school during the day, and work anywhere from 12-28 hours at my part time job. I’m not under any amount of huge strain in my RL. In fact, if anything, I can honestly say that I need to be under more pressure. Our guild raids Hyjal and BT Sunday-Thursday, with Kara/Gruuls/Mags/SSC/TK on the weekends if we can manage to get the groups for that. Our times are from 6:30 server to 11:00 server; I’m EST, so it’s 7:30 to 12. Because I cannot make every single raid, I am put on the back burner. So up to 5 nights a week I’m force to sit on the waitlist, either tabbed out playing my Druid or talking to friends.

    As for your child, I completely understand where you’re coming from. It’s great that you feel that way, because if you felt any other way I’d be a little concerned.

    Great post, Cassie.
    Take care guys.

  41. Ralowae says:

    Raiding guilds that keep it casual do exist. I’m in one on Zangermarsh. We’re just about to get to the point where we’re going to start 25 mans, and our only issue is what loot system to use.
    That’s right, we run kara with no DKP, no EPGP, or anything. We’re all just as committed to gearing the group as we are to our own gear or to “progression” and we all have fun.
    Have we had issues? Yes. Has everyone remained relatively civil so we can work them out? Yes.
    If the game isnt’ fun any more, its time for a change. I don’t pay $15 a month for a second job, I pay it for entertainment. I freely laugh at the guilds that are so proud of their BT loot, and all their Illidan clears, and are working hard on the sunwell.
    They’ll have to start all over in the expansion like the rest of us.

  42. Raymond says:

    Cassie and BBB

    My 2 cents worth:

    1- Draw up a contract on what you will do and what you will not do for the guild. Be specific. These are the days of the week I will run, from this time to that time, and stick to the contract. The contract defines expectations for yourself and others. Make consequences for you and the guild not living up to the contract. If you are not sticking to your contract then suffer the consequences, and if your guild is not sticking to their end of the contract, then consequences will be followed. Either way the expectations are on paper, so there is no he said, she said, and no implied and/or unreal expectations.

    2- What are your goals. Short term, medium term, and long term. What are you doing to achieve them? What could you do better? What is not working?

    3- Start mentoring another leader instead of the whole guild. Instead of organizing 25 people. You are a platoon leader who should be managing 5 squad leaders, who should be managing a 5 man team. Teach the squad leaders to be involved with their teams, and mentor them on how to be a platoon leader. It sounds militaristic, as it should be. If a squad leader can’t organize and run their squad, then get another squad leader. Or have a 6th reserve squad who can take the place of an entire squad…. see where this is going.

    4- RLF Real life first.

  43. Messyah says:

    Cassieann – The poison vial rarely procced for me in Cat form and we attack at 1.0 speed. Plus, the poison doesn’t stack and its not a DoT, it’s just additional damage. Granted the 35 hit rating is nice, so you can’t blame any DPS class for wanting a higher hit rating. Plus, it does proc on ranged attacks as well. Honestly, the classes that should get first crack at this are Enhancement Shaman and Feral Druids since they have far less gear that offers hit rating.

    Take a look at this article: 10 Great Rogue Trinkets

    Romulo’s Poison Vial is # 9.

  44. Macciatto and Catsmeow says:

    Howdy,

    Our guild was in a similar situation over the winter and what worked for our guild was a co-op with a friendly guild. It took a lot of pressure off of our officers trying to progress to keep a handful of ppl happy while not scaring away the more casual players.

  45. Nasirah says:

    Well there’s already so much here I feel like I’m just repeating what everyone else has said, but I suppose every bit of support helps when you’re facing such problems.

    My husband and I are only 24 and we don’t have any kids yet, but we also enjoy playing the game together. And every time we come up against some kind of drama or hardship in the game, I consider that it’s not worth it, that it’s just a game, and I should just quit. But, I would hate the idea of giving other people the power to take away something that I really love.

    Most recently, our guild drama regarding Karazhan, and how seriously raids should be taken, just got to be too much. I was tired of waiting around to see how things would resolve themselves, hoping that we could reach a solution so raiding would be fun again, so I left. We both did. We’ve started up new characters to play together and we’re loving it. I’m not saying that you should both completely give up the characters that you’ve put so much effort into. But that was what we had to do to make the game fun for us again.

    I think the best thing to do would be to remind your guild that you do have real life commitments, and you can’t spend all of your time in-game, working toward the almighty PROGRESSION. You mention that a lot of them are younger, probably without much responsibility, and so they can more easily let themselves get carried away in the game. But if they can’t understand that not everyone can do that, and can’t accept that BBB can’t spend all of his time tanking for them, then honestly they don’t deserve to have him tanking for them.

    Also, speaking from my own experiences, I think your guild leaders need to make the guild’s goals clear. Are you turning into a hardcore raiding guild focused solely on progression? If so, they need to let their members know, because that’s not what many of them may have signed on for. If not, they need to ease up a bit on the schedule and understand that some people might not want to raid every night of the week.

    Good luck getting all this sorted out . . . and I’m glad to hear that the “cub” has fun with the game as well!

  46. Rob says:

    So many comments! Basically I’m in the same boat. My wife hates when I raid, and I pretty much hate when I raid too. My raiding guild has finally reached Gruul, and downed them last night. We were overgeared so once we figured out the strategy it was easy. Anyway, let me think straight.

    1) Priorities. I don’t have time to spend raiding 5 nights aweek. I’m 34 with a job and wife (no kids yet), so i choose my priorities. I would strongly recommend against raiding 5 nights a week, pretty much everyone is going to get burned out.

    2) Focus. THe problem with raiding is the coordination is so critical, you have to show up on time, with the right stuff. Once I switched to my hard-core guild, suddenly we were doing 3-4 hour kara clears. Our first gruul was two hours. I’m sure next week it will be an hour. This, however, isn’t all that fun, but hugely time efficient. If we do gruul and kara this week, that’s 6 hours max of raiding time. Since gruul is so short you could combine that with kara or what have you. You could get most of your raiding done in a night if planned well and everyone knows what they are doing.

    3) Fun. All about fun. Unfortunately my raiding guild isnt’ fun. As sono as gruul was down, all 25 members split. Hardly anyone does heroics. My new friend and I do 2v2 arena, we’re lucky to get 10 games in a week (usually its every other week). So i go back to my old guild alot and do fun stuff on my char. there.

    4) Guild differences. My old guild is a ‘raiding casual’ guild that has yet to fully clear kara after…6 months I think? They typically spend 20 hours a week in kara, pretty much every night of the week. That’s a heck of a lot of time. But they are alot of fun. I think its almost an inherent trade off, if you want to progress and do 25 mans, you need the serious business attitude. If you don’t care and enjoy hanging with your friends, then the ‘raiding casual’ guild is for you. Just don’t expect to make much progress.

  47. Keith says:

    I don’t think there is an answer to your question. As a parent myself, I don’t think its possible to be a good parent (or a good husband/wife) and be a full time raider. That part of the game was made by and for people with emptier personal lives.

    As you pointed out, rauding bears no relationship with the leveling part of the game. You can’t limit your time the same way. It only works for people that have huge blocks of free time most days of the week. Parents don’t fall into that category.

    If you want to progress your gear duirng your limited windows of opertunity I suggest Battlegrounds. They are instant PUGS (but can be grouped) and are usually done between 10 and 30 minutes. By, like raiding, they bear little relationship to the leveling part of the game.

  48. Heilerin says:

    I have such fond memories of places like LBRS, UBRS and Ony — those were the first raids I was part of when I got my first 60 in Aug 06 after having had played the game for 1-2 months. Back in the days it was SO exciting for me to be in a raid — I finally had reached endgame!

    I had a similar excitement when Kara came out — in my guild I was the first one to hit 70, the first one to be fully Kara attuned. SO proud of myself when I first stepped foot into Kara. I was RL, officer, got people attuned.

    Then it hit me — it became to strenous trying to get a group together and to get them to go into Karazhan. If we did, we never got past Moroes (the nightmares – lol). Eventually, the most skilled players left the guild and joined raiding guilds. Eventually, I got frustrated, stepped down as RL and officer and even quit the game for a little while.

    I came back, saw that the guild wasn’t going anywhere — there was not enough interest in running Kara, and other guilds were already further.. So I started going onto a journey, jumping between raiding guilds, never being able to find the one that suits my needs… to fulfill my desire to be part of the ‘real raids’.

    These days, running Kara is more or less a necessary evil for a lot of raiding guilds.. they just want to get done with it to get badges, get alts geared up, etc. No fun there.

    The 25 man raids are srs bsns, as Carrie stated (I like that abbreviation). Mags and Gruul on farm, everybody get in, get out, lets work on Hydross etc etc..

    No fun there.

    And, oh god, have a bad night and wipe on Mags and Gruuls and hell breaks loose.

    No fun there.

    Ironically, I started leveling up a disc/holy priest since I always wanted to have a priest, and right now I’d rather level that priest and run pugs every once in a while than wanting to attend a srs bsns raid. Not even the loot drops excite me.

    What is wrong with me? I think I just want to have fun and enjoy the game, but maybe I don’t have the ‘right’ attitude. I am not sure. Maybe I am just burned out and need to move on.

    Anyway, awesome post Carrie. Made me think a lot.

  49. Alex says:

    Something to add that I remembered as I was scrolling down this list of responses, a couple of weeks ago, hadn’t you mentioned in a blog subtopic entitled “My Dirty Little Secret” that you don’t like 25mans? Has that changed or no? I’d just advise that if 10mans are what you like stick to them — I am sure many of your guildies would feel lucky to have such an experienced raider as yourself leading ZA and Kara runs, Heck your guild leaders may even appreciate it as you may be helping bring up the “farm” team. The enjoyment of running with the same folks is a reason we really haven’t gotten too eager to go for the 25mans.

  50. Mair says:

    Cassieann-

    I would like to express that my second comment had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the way in which you are treated compared to your other guildies. How on earth would I know? I was contrasting your experience with that of most (all but one, in fact) of the players I know, and making the point that you’re incredibly lucky to have a contact in such a successful guild, and been given the choice to raid with them so quickly after dinging. I believe BBB 100% that you have worked hard and earn your keep on the raids you attend, but many players work just hard and just aren’t fortunate enough to find a guild of high powered players who are willing to take them to higher level content.

    I conceded that you are not taken to raids due to nepotism, but staunchly maintain that you are incredibly lucky and should remember that when you’re feeling resentful of the position you’re in.

    Anyway, I have already wished the two of you luck in sorting out your situation, but will reiterate that, and I hope that you can infer from this that I did take BBB’s argument seriously.

    Good luck,
    Mair.

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