I Play to Level, Not to Raid

04 Feb

Today’s post is brought to you by a mixture of frustration and QQ. It’s a bit of a rant, and a bit of just putting my thoughts down into words. This blog is here to give you information about leveling your characters and having fun while you do it, but today’s post is about raiding and some of the parts of it that can suck from time to time. But hey, it’s my blog and I’ll QQ if I want to.

[I’m at work as I write this, and having just finished writing it things are now starting to get busy. I don’t want to have this ranty post dangling in my mind all day, so I’m going to go ahead and post it as is without rereading for mistakes. So here’s a heads up for you.]

Start at the Beginning
Right now my main character is in a casual raiding guild. We do run progression content three nights a week, but we take a pretty laid back approach to it.

For instance, we don’t have sign-up lists for dungeons we’re running, instead the raid leader looks at who all is in the area during the designated raid time and whoever shows up is who gets to go. Now, obviously we can’t take ten DPS into ICC and expect to get anywhere, so we do make a group that actually functions with the right number of tanks, heals, and deeps. And we can’t take twelve people into a 10-man raid, so people do get turned away. The people that don’t get into the raid are put onto a Turn Away list so that they get priority in being chosen for the next raid.

Generally that means you are more or less guaranteed a spot in the next raid, but again there may not be enough slots to hold everybody in particular roles, so you may get turned away twice in a row, but that is noted too for the sake of fairness and trying to get everyone cycled through in raid slots since we’re still only large enough for 10-man’s without having to PuG in extras for 25’s.

A Problem Arises
I’m getting to the problem, hold your horses. You know how long winded I am, sheesh!

We’ll start with me since my side isn’t quite so big a deal to me as her’s is to her. Last week we decided to hit ICC-10 with the guild and both my wife and I got our invites, so in we went. We wiped either once or twice on Lord Marrowgar as people who had never been there before got used to the fight, but we quickly recovered from that and took him down after we got used to him.

We moved then to Lady Deathwhisper where we wiped several times. The fight with Marrowgar was explained to me before we began, so I was pretty good on that one. When we got to LD though we asked for an explanation and nobody gave it, so while a couple of people were afk I tabbed out and did some research myself. As I got near the end of a YouTube video on her someone gave me a quick run-down of the fight, and while things didn’t match up with the video they sounded alright to me so we went with the guild plan. We wiped once, we wiped twice, we wiped thrice, and then we wiped again.

The guild’s plan was to have everyone focus on the adds when they popped so that the raid as a whole had more time to focus on LD in between spawns, while the video I watched mentioned doing something similar except that one ranged dps stayed on LD the whole time to get her down to Phase 2 sooner. The four times that we wiped there were tons of spawns and we were getting ready to call it a night. So on the fifth attempt I broke the cardinal rule of following the raid leader’s plan and I focused my mage on Lady Deathwhisper alone. I had seen during the failed attempts that we had a strong enough mix of melee and caster DPS to take down the mobs even if I wasn’t focused on them, so I changed up my role for the last attempt of the night.

When I made the change over to focusing on LD we had about one third of the number of spawns come out and it was the only attempt of the night that we actually made it to Phase 2. She still ended up wiping us again that night, but it certainly went a lot better. Nobody brought up my decision to change what I was doing, but we decided to give it another shot the next day. So along comes tomorrow and since we had such an improvement with the encounter as a whole with my switch the previous night I went ahead and followed the strategy of me focusing on LD again.

The fight was going well, but towards the end of Phase 1 one of the guild members asked over vent, “Bels (that’s me), why are you only targeting the boss!?!?” Being in the middle of a boss fight, I didn’t bother explaining myself at that time, I just kept on doing what I was doing, and sure enough we took her down about a minute later. Everybody was pleased and I replied during the looting, “To answer your question, with all the wipes last night I went ahead and implemented what I saw in the research I did last night. It mentioned a change to a single person versus what we were doing, so I gave it a shot.”

My little bit of rebellion for the sake of helping the guild there turned out to be a blatant improvement on the result of the raid, but I did still break the rule of always following the raid leader. I don’t mind following directions, but when something’s broken and nobody’s fixing it, I’m sorry but I’m going to do something to try to improve the situation. The raid leader and two of the officers gave me a bit of a talking to about doing things the guild’s way and their reasons why. It was a bit excessive given the fact that my change resulted in success, but whatever, I understand the concept of being a team and following the leader so I’ll do what I’m told.

I started to see the problem arise in the next boss fight when the raid leader started off the explanation of the fight with, “Regardless of what the online strats tell you, this is how we do it…” Alright, so I obviously pushed a button by not following the strategy on the last boss, but my research had been done on Deathwhisper alone since she was the bottleneck, so I listened to the plan and away we went to down another boss. The next boss comes up and again “Regardless of what the online strats tell you…” That time it was a bit annoying, but whatever.

We made it up to Festergut with similar comments and after three wipes there we had to call it a night and would pick it back up a couple of days later. The day to go back in arrived and I sat there waiting at the portal as usual, and my invite never came. “I’ve got Bels down as a turn away. :(” It seemed a bit odd to me that I was turned away despite being saved to it, but that’s the way it goes sometimes so I went and did other things.

An Issue Persists
A couple of days pass and the guild’s headed into a different raid, so I show up to it and wait at the portal; no invite. “I’ve got Bels down as a turn away. :(” No problem, I was really more in the mood to play my Warlock that day anyway, so no big deal. The other raids for the week were using alts to clear ICC and VoA, both of which I was already saved to. No problem with that, sorry I didn’t have an 80 alt to give them a hand with it.

And now we find ourselves at last night’s raid. The guild is scheduled to hit ICC, and we’ve got about 45 minutes or so before raid time, so I check the clock on Wintergrasp and decide to head over there while we wait. WG opens up and the battle begins, and in less than 10 minutes we kicked the Horde in the teeth and took back Wintergrasp, which opened up VoA to us. There were only about eight people in the guild online at that time, but the question comes up if want to switch the raid to VoA for the new boss since we just took WG. Everyone agrees with that, so VoA it is.

I was already there at the portal, but it was definitely too early to go in and we didn’t have enough people online yet anyway, so I started farming ore. I then noticed that my CurrencyFu addon showed my Honor Points at 75,000 and that it’s red. So I say to myself, “Self, it’s a bit odd that we just happen to hit exactly 75k honor, and the fact that it’s red seems a bit odd too.” So I ask in guild what the honor cap is and my buddy in the guild tells me 75k it is. So, I decide I better go to Stormwind and spend the honor points now before I forget. So I teleport to SW with my mage-porting goodness, grab two pieces of gear, port back to Dal, take the portal to WG, and there I am at the portal again in about six minutes time.

During that time other members had signed in and were showing interest as well, so I starting killing off the random Horde that were still flying around while I wait for the raid invites to start. One of the other guild members whispered me, “Crap, I think I missed the raid invites.” I still hadn’t gotten one myself and neither had my wife who was also waiting at the portal, so I replied, “Fyn and I haven’t gotten one either, I don’t think they’ve started yet.”

Eight of the guild members were sitting there in WG, and three of us at least hadn’t had any invites yet. I keep on killing the horde losers that think they stand a chance against twenty of us, and then I get another whisper from the same guy, “Dude wtf? I got in, but you didn’t?” I check the guild roster, and we’ve got 9 people in WG, but still no invite for me or my wife. I ask her if she knows what’s going on and she says she hasn’t heard anything either, so we go ahead and wait. A few seconds later, in comes the message in gchat, “I have Bels, Fyn, and (two others) as turn aways. Sorry, guys. :(”

I just fought to take WG with two of my guild mates, sat there for 25 minutes for the raid to start, and then got turned away despite already being on the Turn Away list twice in a row. I can’t say that I was very happy at that point. I wasn’t exactly mad, but I was disappointed in how it was handled and I was a bit upset. I didn’t really feel like playing the mage right then, but I wasn’t sure what else I wanted to do so I hung out there for a minute trying to figure it out. The guy that whispered me did so again, “Why did I get invited and not you? You were here way before I was?!” I didn’t know either, but something about his comment in addition to me being frustrated just killed my desire to play for the night so I logged off of vent and exited the game.

Things Get Worse
I decided I was just going to go watch some TV or something, so I started to do that and noticed the look on my wife’s face. I might have been frustrated, but she was flat out pissed. She had been waiting there at the portal on her Enhance/Resto Shaman almost as long as I had, but she hadn’t received an invite either. But she also saw something that I didn’t see, which was two other members of the guild get summoned to the instance. One of the people summoned to the instance was a DPS, and the other was a Healer. So my wife (DPS/Heals) and myself (DPS) were turned away, but two other people were summoned to fill those two slots.

After being turned away from raids the previous week, I can’t say that I was all that surprised to be turned away from VoA last night, and I can’t help but feel that being turned away three times in a row where you usually endure only one, has something to do with my going against the guild’s plan on Lady Deathwhisper. Yes, I ignored the guild’s strategy. But, I did not have the guild’s strategy explained to me until after I had done the research myself, and the change that I made obviously had a positive impact on our performance.

Now my wife, on the other hand, is main spec Enhancement and really wants to be able to run some raids as a DPS. When she gets in on the raids though, about 75% of them she’s asked to heal in instead. She doesn’t mind doing that, it’s why she dual specced in the first place, but she really wants to do DPS. And despite the good intentions of the “Noted as Turned Away” system, she’s actually been turned away more than anyone else I’ve seen in the guild. She’s arrives early to the raids every time, fully prepared, and yet she’s turned away. And when she’s not turned away she’s almost always asked to use her secondary spec instead.

Where We Stand Now
As far as I am aware, the guild operates on inviting people who are in the instance’s zone because they want to take whoever shows up to raid, not stick to a specific set of people all the time. They want people who are making an effort to participate and be a part of the raids, not people who simply expect to get invited and feel like they deserve a raid spot. The guild doesn’t want elitist attitudes or favoritism in the guild because that’s why they all left their previous raiding guild. So they keep some open practices in play to counteract those that have worked out pretty well and I’ve actually enjoyed that quite a bit.

But the actions taken by the raid leader/guild leader last night seemed to go directly against that. Two people who were ready and waiting to fill the last two slots got turned away for two people who logged in late and had to be summoned to the instance? I haven’t been in the guild for all that long, but I can’t remember a raid in which that particular healer hasn’t been in, and the DPS that was summoned is in pretty well every raid when he’s logged in as well. Hmm, doesn’t seem very anti-favoritism to me. But, I’m just a rebel, so what would I know?

There are reasons why I am such a big fan of leveling, and doing it solo. Situations like this remind me why I play to level, not to raid. Maybe Belsynis needs to find himself a nice, forested mountain range and take a vacation for a while.

Now, about that DK tank… /rollnewtoon


Posted by on February 4, 2010 in World of Warcraft



31 responses to “I Play to Level, Not to Raid

  1. Dechion

    February 4, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    I would be out of there about as fast as it took me to mail everyone in the guild a link to this post and type /gquit.

    But then again thats me, am an opinionated jerk. (Just ask my wife, she’ll vouch for me)

    • Psynister

      February 4, 2010 at 1:19 PM

      I can’t deny that the /gquit idea came to mind, but until that incident last night I’ve been mostly impressed by the guild and enjoying it a lot more than any other I’ve been in.

      My wife though, with getting set aside so many times in the last 2-3 weeks she’s more upset than I am. I don’t think she’s considering a gquit just yet, but after she talks to the guild leader it could very well turn into one.

      Time will tell, I suppose.

      • DarthRegis

        February 4, 2010 at 2:07 PM

        Although I think you maybe should have made the suggestion to the raid leader first; I’m with Dechion on this one. The raid organizers in that guild are being jerkholes.

        I mean, the smart-assed remarks, “I don’t care about online strats, this is how we do it…” is one thing, but to make it so blatantly obvious that you’re being snubbed – that’s just wrong. The raid/guild leader is completely over-reacting. A simple /whisper to say, “I’d appreciate you sticking to the guild strats next time,” could have easily solved the problem and prevented any tensions.

        Like I said, I’m with Dechion. It sounds like it’s got the potential to be a whole lot worse. I’d get the hell out of there and find greener pastures.

  2. Etni

    February 4, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    That’s tough. It’s hard to /gquit a “casual” raiding because you’re getting benched, but from your story, it sounds like your raid leader has reserved a permanent bench warming position for you and your wife because they couldn’t swallow their pride and take some feedback.

    Rapport with people is hard to build up, and easy to shatter. I had to leave my last “casual” raiding guild because during ONE boss fight, my raid leader noticed my HPS was lower than the other discipline priest. I tried to explain how me and the other priest had different rotations and play styles, and that HPS wasn’t everything. He got defensive and asserted that I needed to work on it. After that, I was benched more often and demoted to healing the offtank and spot raid heals. Didn’t fly with me, so I bailed.

    I think leaders get so worried about maintaining power and being “right” all the time, that it sometimes gets to their heads. They look for people to blame if their strategy doesn’t work, and forget to step back and give the situation a comprehensive assessment. They forge on with their way until someone they trust whispers them and tells them they’re doing it wrong. They take credit for the idea and press forward as the new strategy.

    Hmm, I wasn’t expecting to write all this, but apparently you pushed a button in me. My new guild is rated 3rd on our server for progression, but after some overly intense raiding last week, I asked to be demoted from the core progression group, and just come on as reserve. I haven’t had any desire to step foot in ICC after another recent episode with our current guild/raid leader who ran the same strategy for 3 weeks in a row wiping on 25 Festergut without trying to rectify anything between wipes. “Stop failing, just down him this time, i’m sick of this, etc”. Not good leadership skills if you ask me.

    • Psynister

      February 4, 2010 at 1:26 PM

      That’s how it feels. I can’t say for sure that that’s what’s going on, but that’s certainly how it comes across to me right now. Maybe I’m reading into it more than I really should be, but when I see something’s jacked up I need to analyze it and find out what the problem is. As of right now, that’s the only answer I’ve been able to come up with.

      The leader’s not a dick, he doesn’t blame people for things failing and such, but we kept going after LD the same way every time because it had worked that way for them once before. I’m a programmer, I know what infinite loops do when they don’t have the proper code in them, and that’s what LD was. We can do the same thing over and over, failing each time, or we can change something and get it right. Granted, I probably should have brought it up and discussed the idea before we started, but I knew it was our last shot for the night so I just did it to see what would happen, and it turned out that it worked.

      There’s no such thing as a core raider or the like in this guild, so if I don’t want to raid for a while then I just don’t have to bother going to the zone during raid times. There isn’t any expectation put on someone to come when they don’t want to, so I can be alright pulling back for a bit without having to quit the guild or have anyone feel like they’re being held back by my not being there.

  3. Cynwise

    February 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    Man, last night was worse than I thought. :-(

    There’s no way I can be objective about this, not only because I consider both Psynister and Fynralyl to be friends, but because I was in parts of this story. (Hint, hint, KILLING HORDE IN WINTERGRASP).

    My only suggestion is that you at least talk to the GM about this before taking action, to present your sides and give him a chance to present his. Once that’s done, whatever happens happens.

    But, much like posting this to get it out of your head, at least you can move on without rancor.

    • Psynister

      February 4, 2010 at 1:29 PM

      Yeah, it was worse for Fyn than it was for me, but being worse for her in turn made it worse for me. Last night was not a good night.

      I’m not going to take any rash actions or anything, Fyn and I both already plan on talking to the GM. I’m sure he’s probably not fully aware of what all is going on.

      • Etni

        February 4, 2010 at 1:37 PM

        To be read in an Italian mobster voice:
        “If it don’t work out, you come ta me, I’ll break ‘is thumbs.”

        • Psynister

          February 4, 2010 at 2:12 PM

          He can still play with broken thumbs though. What’ll it cost me for the whole hand?

  4. Jaedia

    February 4, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Holy shit that would piss me off to no end… Especially for your wife! And you were right, your strat for LD, you can’t get enough DPS on her with their strat.

    Definitely agree with Cynwise on the talking to the GM part though.

    • Psynister

      February 4, 2010 at 1:33 PM

      That’s what I saw. The explanation was that doing it the guild’s way allowed more time for the whole raid to be on the boss, but what I saw just from looking at it was that all the time spent running back and forth between the adds and the boss was all the time needed for another group of adds to spawn. So we kill the adds, run to the boss and hit her once, run to kill the adds, run the boss and not even hit her the one time because more adds are up, kill the adds, hit the boss once, kill the adds…

      But yeah, we’ll have a talk with the GM and let him know what’s up. The problem isn’t going to be solved if we don’t bother discussing it.

    • Pixelated Executioner

      February 4, 2010 at 2:27 PM

      I disagree that you can’t get enough DPS on Deathwhisper with the strategy that the guild uses. My 10-man team does it every single week (though honestly, we have enough DPS where we can tear through the adds and have about 30s to kick the ever-loving snot out of Lady D).

      However, As a raid leader myself, if something isn’t working for us, I have to step back and ask for some feedback from the raid as a whole. I’m not omnipotent, I can’t see everything, and walking WoWWiki I may be, but I don’t have all the answers.

      In this case, it was obviously time to take notice and think of some alternatives, so I have to applaud Psynister for taking some initiative here. Yeah, it may have gone against what the “guild preferred strategy” is, but frankly, it worked, didn’t it? It’s something to learn from.

      Psynister, I think that your guild needs to seriously re-evaluate their priorities. They should be looking at this as an opportunity to learn to adapt, rather than punishing you for forward thinking. If I were in their place, I’d be damned happy to have someone on my team who could think on their feet like this and adapt to a situation rather than blindly throwing their faces against a brick wall over and over again.

      Hopefully it will work out for you. Talk with the leadership, let them know what you think is going on. I hope they listen. I think it’s shitty what’s going on here.

      (Oh, and shameless headhuntering here, but – if it doesn’t work out, are you guys alliance? Willing to transfer? My guild has a 3rd 10-man team forming up, and our 25-man team just had a healer take a undetermined break from our 25-man raid nights. We’re on a temporary invite lockout, but it’s being lifted pretty soon… ;) *looks around at everyone* What? I like the guy.)

      • Pixelated Executioner

        February 4, 2010 at 2:32 PM

        Realized that I should mention that it’s 30s to beat on Deathwhisper every time she summons adds. e_e

        Troll prevention at work. XD

      • Psynister

        February 4, 2010 at 2:48 PM

        The DPS were spread out everywhere from 1200 to 4800, with melee on the low end from all of the running around. I think part of the problem might have been how far away the tanks were kiting the mobs from LD, there was no time for them to run back to her for any amount of time before running over to the next group. The guild has used their strategy to take her down before, so I have no doubt that it can work, but it sure as crap wasn’t getting anything done for us that night.

        And yes, we are Alliance. And yes, we’ve transferred servers before so it could potentially happen again if it comes to that so long as it’s not a PvP server – wife would absolutely refuse to ever go back to a PvP server.

      • Cynwise

        February 4, 2010 at 2:55 PM

        Just as a point of order, last night we downed LD by switching from boss to add and back again. Some of that may be due to my leet mob switching skills… but Psynister is currently pushing more DPS than I am. So…

  5. Aoirselvar

    February 4, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    So, how does this “turn away” policy work then? Is the guild specific about it if you break a rule, or is it just up the the guild leaders whim?

    • Psynister

      February 4, 2010 at 1:40 PM

      I really don’t know. Fyn explained it to me after it was explained to her, and my understanding was if you don’t get into this raid then you will get into the next one, and if not that one then the next. We’ve only got so many members in the guild, so we should easily be able to cycle at least one of everyone’s toons into a raid throughout the week, though typically much more than that as people who participated in raids earlier in the week will raid again with their alts in another group.

      • Aoirselvar

        February 4, 2010 at 1:46 PM

        This is what your guild has written in their website:


        You will only be considered a turnaway if you are either at the zone line and did not get an invite, or you are in flight or en route to the zone when the raid is filled. That means if you are still in Dalaran, or you in an instance, or BG, or Wintergrasp or whatever, you would not be considered a turnaway because at invite time you were not ready to raid. We do keep a list of turnaways, and this will always be followed in terms of invite priorities for the next raid. The only case a turnaway would not be invited to the next raid is in the case of group need (need another healer or tank ect), or if they were not ready at invite time.

        As with everything, there is always some leeway. These are just the guidelines are putting down so everyone knows what is expected of them, and what exactly a turnaway is.

        Yes you were technically in Wintergrasp, but come one you were doing VoA, duh! Is there a secret turn away list for people who pissed off the raid leaders??

        • Psynister

          February 4, 2010 at 1:55 PM

          Well there you have it. I don’t know, humans being the strange creatures that they are, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

          And maybe there are circumstances I’m just not aware of. We won’t know for sure until we’ve had a chance to talk to the GM.

  6. crankyhealer

    February 4, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    I’m not really surprised but it is annoying that they are being so petty. One of the hardest things about being an officer is to be impartial, even if it means deliberately inviting to the raid people who annoy the everlovin crap out of you.

    • Psynister

      February 4, 2010 at 7:28 PM

      That’s about what I thought too.

      Thanks for your comment, Cranky.

      • crankyhealer

        February 4, 2010 at 9:02 PM

        I’d be lying if I said my guild were totally free of nepotism/blacklisting, but we do try. If you’re interested in checking us out, e-mail me at crankyhealer at gmail dot com and I’ll linky you to our website (I don’t want to “out” my super secret blogging identity on the interwebz!). We’ve had potential server transfers create an alt and hang with us for a while to check out the guild atmosphere before deciding to spend the money. Makes sense to me.

  7. deimonia

    February 5, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    I would be frustrated too. I agree with the others follow up with the guild leader first to see whether they even know what’s going on. I do think you did the right thing though regarding that fight, if something isn’t working after repeated efforts then it’s time to think of a different strategy. Leave the egos at the door folks, and try to work to do what’s best for the guild to succeed.

    I haven’t been in that situation before. I have been in a situation with Holi when one of the officers treated people like crap. Sorry, even if you aren’t treating me that way I don’t like seeing others get abused. I spoke up about it to a few other guild leaders. The answer I received was oh yeah we’ve gotten several complaints about him from others, but we aren’t doing anything about it. Fast forward to the present apparently that officer is taking a break and although I think its great there is no way in heck I would go back to that guild since I strongly believe they would do have the same type of attitude if/when he returns.

  8. We Fly Spitfires

    February 5, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    I’m always surprised at how many people just play to raid and don’t even the leveling part of the game. Although, I suppose the whole divide in gameplay is very odd anyway as it’s almost like two separate forms of game. I wonder what would happen if they gave people the option to start immediately at level 80 and raid. Do you think people would still level up? Would it destroy the game? Would be very curious to see :)

    • Psynister

      February 9, 2010 at 9:11 AM

      I wouldn’t care if they allowed people to start at level 80, but I certainly wouldn’t do it myself. If you want to see how it works just download the PTR and roll yourself an 80 of whatever classes you want.

      If they took away the option of leveling, I’d cancel and find a new game.

  9. DarthRegis

    February 8, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    Any update on this? Inquiring minds want to know! (and people who have cleared out their feed reader before the lunch break is over. :) )

  10. kaozz

    February 12, 2010 at 3:39 AM

    I have had similar problems in the past and it really can be frustrating. I am not such a big raider these days and so I find myself bored easier than I use to be when it comes to WoW. I like being able to get stuff done by myself sometimes or just with a small group. Not raiding every night. I guess that is why I am on another WoW break, one I didn’t intend to take so soon heh.

    Good luck with the guild. If it doesn’t work out there are many others out that would love to have people that show up on time that seem to be helpful like you and your wife.


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