Through success and failure

In a post last week, I told you about how I was trying to speed-gear my “other” hunter, Ghilleadh.

There’s a story as to why that was happening, and since that story is winding down, I figure I can talk about it with more than a “this is what I’m going to try to do*” vibe to the post.

*One of my blogging faults, in my opinion.

Over the past month or so, our raid team has missed a couple of weeks. With that in mind, I brought Mushan to a couple of runs with a better-progressed guild, which I have written about already. I got my first full clear, first H Jin’rokh kill, and a couple of nice pieces along the way.

In that small bit of experience, there was some learning going on, on both sides. They learned that I was a competent player. I learned that they were good people to play with. And somewhere along the way, a couple of members of that team thought I was the full-time replacement for their recently-departed hunter. Of course, I was not.

However, getting to clear more content has been awesome. And so the idea was eventually floated, once certain people learned that I have two hunters, that we could gear up the second hunter fairly quickly, to run with them full-time on Tues-Thurs, with Mushan still running with my weekend team.

So last week I ran with them on Ghilleadh.

It was a largely frustrating experience.

Even going in at ilvl 486 – way below everyone else – I had a difficult time being carried. Being a non-contributor is tough for me. Perhaps that’s a personality flaw, at least in this situation, since I was not expected to contribute much. My biggest contributions that first day seemed to be kicking turtles on Tortos, the occasional well-timed Silencing Shot, and not doing dumb stuff to wipe the raid. In general, though, my DPS was, as expected, below the tanks’, despite my best efforts. The worst part, though, was when they decided to do H Ji-kun.

I had very little experience on that fight, and we just went into it, and I was assigned to the second nest team. And I failed all over the place on the nests, for dumb reasons. They are fixable issues, and I’m confident that I’ll be better for the experience when we tackle them this week. However, at the time, I was failing all around, and I hated the way I felt.

In spite of me, they downed Ji-Kun after several attempts, and we finished up the raid a couple of days later with few problems. Along the way, I got six pieces, including the Voice of the Quillen… which means that Ghilleadh already has a better weapon than Mushan. Which irks me. Of course.

Last weekend, my normal team raided, clearing up through Primordius on Saturday and spending most of Sunday night working on Iron Qon. Iron Qon, FYI, is a wall for our team. Just gonna say that right now. And as it stands, it’s on the docket for the entirety of this coming weekend, as we’re extending the lockout. Hopefully we can make some progress.

After the raid on Sunday night, one of the things I noticed was that my arms were very tight. This isn’t uncommon, since I tend to play a little more intensely than is perhaps good for me. However, with it being my fourth day of raiding in this lockout, as opposed to the second, the tightness and pain were a little more pronounced. And I started to think about how I was scheduled to raid again in less than 48 hours…

And I started thinking that a bad RSI (repetitive stress injury) might be in my near future with this type of schedule, which weighed heavily on my mind over the past couple of days. Because the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was probably going to have to make a choice.

My choices were:

1) Continue as planned.

2) Pull Mushan out of Nos Consensio’s run and make the weekday raid my regular raid.

3) Decline the opportunity with the other guild and continue running with Nos Consensio, as I have for the past year-and-a-half-plus.

Choice 1 would be the easiest choice, socially. And not so much, physically.

With choice 2: I’m good friends with a couple of people in that guild, and becoming friends with a couple of others. And they even adjusted their raid time slightly to accommodate my potential work schedule. Those factors, combined with my natural predisposition to avoiding being a source of frustration to people (more than I may already be), made choice 2 tempting if choice 1 was going to be off the table.

That, and the fact that my best chance to kill Garrosh Hellscream before Christmas would be with that group, if we’re being totally honest here.

However, there are stronger ties in choice 3. Nos Consensio has given me a home for almost two years now. There are four people on that team (and one occasional substitute) that I’ve been raiding with for more than five years. I’ve built relationships to some degree or another with almost everyone else on the team as well. But the overwhelming factor is those four people in particular.

We are five people left from a splintered Wrath-era guild/raid team. We are good friends and good players. We have a good, long history. And there are two things I feel about playing with those people: a) I am personally committed to them, and have invested much time with them; and b) I want to play with those people.

I decided that I’m going to stay with the Nos Consensio run. I let the other guild know last night, and the raid leader respected my decision. It was tough, because killing at least some current content at heroic level is something I really want to be a part of. However, since I don’t think my hands will be able to handle the weekly stress for very long, and I have to make a choice, there really is no choice.

My girlfriend suggested I play more relaxed during raids. I don’t know if I can do that. If raids were easy mode – and our team was a great team running barely-challenging content – I could do that. Faceroll city would be a great raid for that. However, the point of all of this is to overcome challenges together, and I make sure that I do my part for our team. I don’t know how to not play intensely.

By the way, playing intensely doesn’t necessarily mean I am slamming (or spamming) the keys and mouse buttons. I just think that I am on edge, and my muscles are tense and poised to react, during raids. Sometimes I feel the tension up into my shoulders and neck. And I think that I probably need to have four or five days every week where I take a break from that type of sustained competitive tension.

I still took Ghilleadh with them last night, since I didn’t exactly give them much time to find an alternative. I got my first H Horridon kill with them on our second attempt (the wipe was a healer-DC issue), and did pretty well handling the pink elephant. And I’ll be running with them for the rest of the week, and I assume they will be looking at someone new next week. They have two people to replace by the time we descend on Orgrimmar, so they’ll want to get a look at someone as soon as possible.

It has been just under two weeks since the idea was hatched. In that time, I’ve put a lot of work in on Ghilleadh, between the raids and other gearing/Valor capping activities. And I’ll admit: right now, speed-gearing another hunter hasn’t been all that fun. The Valor cap, queue times, RNG, reputation gates on gear, and just the feeling of “been there, done that grind on a hunter already” lessen the general awesomeness that I felt taking Mushan through much of what’s happened in MoP.

And that’s not even considering that I’m so far from a legendary cloak on that toon that it’s not even worth thinking about any time soon.

I am certainly going to have regrets about this decision. I’ll get to sit aside as my girlfriend is killing bosses that I won’t see for weeks or months. I won’t be a part of that. But that won’t be a new experience for me, so I’m OK with it.

The toughest part of deciding the way I did was my fear of making those people angry. As I said, I have a strong aversion to causing disappointment or frustration. It was tough to not delay the decision, but nobody else was going to make it, and so being forthright was the best option, in my opinion.

Ultimately, I’m going to continue to be frustrated by my guild’s slow but steady progress, but if and when I have to choose, I wouldn’t trade raiding with Somb, Squid, Rain and Hass for a better progression opportunity unless they either came with the package or they were no longer playing. And I decided the same thing when Convert To Raid was starting up its guild(s). I only have so much energy, and I prefer to spend it with them, through success and failure.

Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!

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One Comment on “Through success and failure”

  1. R says:

    That’s a well-considered post and relatively closely mirrors some of my own dilemmas recently. For what it’s worth, if I were in exactly your situation, I’d stay with my weekend group as long as that group is functional (but not a moment longer, the “missed a couple of weeks” comment is very concerning to me) and offer just to sub in for the weekday group as needed as long as it isn’t every night, every week. The 11th (or 26th) man, if you’re okay with a sports analogy. Worst case, they decline or they never have open slots and you’re no worse off than you were before. Best case, you get to run with them occasionally without the pressure of having to have a viable heroic toon NOW!!!!!!! There should be lower expecations (theirs AND yours) if you’re a semi-pug rather than a full-time member.

    They might abuse you for a bit while they try to fill the spots but at least as long as your weekend group is having issues, that might not be a problem for you short-term.

    What’s the wall on IQ? That doesn’t generally seem to be a wall boss from what I’ve heard (can’t speak from experience yet).


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