Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?

This week has been an extremely hard one.

As of this moment, whilst it still exists, Treehugging Hippies as a raiding guild is largely no more. Certainly at the very minimum for the remainder of Legion, and perhaps into Battle for Azeroth as well.

We still have a handful of casual players playing every day, but essentially most of our former raiding players have left the guild, in the main for one other guild, but I’ll get to that later (and it’ll explain the above image and title).

On Sunday nights we had been running casual normal mode guild runs that were scheduled in our calendar, for alts and for people to get their Pantheon trinkets and upgrade tokens for their mains, and of course for a chance at the legendary trinket from Argus. This Sunday I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d be able to make it, so I signed up as tentative, expecting that if I was available that I’d get online and we’d run through normal mode as usual.

So it turned out that last minute I was able to change plans and get along to the raid, so I posted in the Officers’ Discord channel shortly before raid time that I would be logging in and coming along.

No response.

Ok… So I got online a few minutes later, logged in and normally I get thrown an invite to the raid straight off, but this time there was none. I checked the guild roster in game and sure enough there were those that had signed up in Antorus, at I presumed the stage of clearing trash or sitting about to pull the first boss.

No reply to anything I said in /g or /o, which was again more oddness. So out of curiosity I popped up the LFG tool, and sure enough, there were the people who had signed up for our raid in an LFG group, led by one of our raiders, sitting in a raid group that had already cleared 8/11 bosses, with the time on the group having started over an hour previously.

I was confused, and a little bit pissed off that the scheduled raid had been screwed around with, because on Sundays with it being a casual run, people don’t necessarily have to sign up, they can just turn up and ask for an invite there and then and off we go. But no, it turns out this core group of players had taken it upon themselves to start the raid much earlier than planned.

I posted into our raid chat in Discord (as I got no response in-game) something along the lines of “So we’ve apparently been raiding for over an hour and are nearly cleared already? That’s what I get for turning up on time I guess”. Snarky yes, but not unjustifiably so.

Still no response. In fact not a single one of the people involved in that raid made any sort of response at all the entire night, neither Raider nor Officer. So I went to bed that night in a bad mood because little consideration had been shown to those that show up either on time or are invited from outside the guild (we had at least one regular who would come along with us every Sunday from outside the guild, and had been since Nighthold).

The following morning there was still no response from anyone involved in the raid the previous night, which I honestly found to be incredibly rude. Not a single response from anyone? πŸ™

So I asked again in raid Discord that if anyone from the previous night would like to be arsed to explain why our regularly scheduled raid time had been dicked about with, leading to players missing out, that would be great, thanks. Again, yes it was snarky, but I found this ongoing lack of response to be progressively ruder by the hour, especially considering most of them were sitting active in Discord at the time.

Still no response from anyone involved. One of our raiders, a death knight, who hadn’t been at the raid on Sunday started vociferously defending them, unjustifiably IMO, which I found to be pretty odd considering he hadn’t been online at the time.

In fact I went for the next 24 hours getting no response from these same players either in Discord or in-game. At this point I was beginning to feel like I had been ostracised from the rest of the raid team, for no apparent reason. Yes I had posted the above few narky posts in Discord, but tbh I was entirely justified in doing so, given what had happened and the rude manner in which I had been ignored since before I even logged in on Sunday.

I posted in Officers’ Discord that given I was being ignored by most that I would be unsigning from raids for the forseeable future, and unsigned from that night’s raid (we were sitting at 21 bodies, and it was scheduled to be a 20-man only Mythic run so that worked out for numbers) as well as the next couple of raids, as I was feeling pretty fucking low at that point, and I didn’t want to be made to feel like a piece of shit any more. Nor did I want to get involved in any drama, because I felt if I was being ignored by the majority of our raid team, me being there trying to lead the raid might’ve been somewhat awkward and uncomfortable.

So later that day one of the raiders involved on Sunday made a post in Discord (not directly to me) that the reason the Sunday raid had been changed was because only 6 people had signed up and he had been intending to run a raid to “boost some IRL friends who wanted to gear up” and those 6 guildmates had asked to join in.

I thought to myself at this point “Ok, but why couldn’t this have been done during the normal run only an hour later? We wouldn’t have minded carrying someone’s friends through a normal mode run?” However I said nothing and apologised for getting pissed and explained that for me, a tentative signup is a “I’ll likely be there, but not 100% guaranteed” signup. If I know I’m not likely to, or definitely can’t turn up, then I’ll sign as declined or out. I then said that I was disappointed that communication wasn’t better (on both sides) and could’ve been handled better. I remained unsigned for the raid that night because we would’ve gone back over the 20 man limit and I would’ve had to bench someone else, and again me going along would’ve felt uncomfortable.

It turned out that a couple of other people weren’t able to make the raid last minute (one broke his router and the other had a cancelled train coming home), which brought our numbers down to 18, and as a result the raid had to be cancelled. Now even if I hadn’t unsigned we still wouldn’t have had the 20 bodies required for Mythic as we would have only had 19 people.

However, I somehow was accused by one of the Officers that had been previously ignoring me for “not informing the others I had unsigned” (I had posted in Officers’ Discord 8 hours earlier that I had done exactly that, and replied to him with a screenshot of me saying that, and the date and time I had said it). It turns out someone had changed my signup in-game from “Out” to “Accepted” for that night’s raid, and tried to use this as evidence that I just didn’t “turn up”. Remember it wouldn’t have gone ahead anyway as we would’ve been at 19 bodies…

Anyhow, as I wasn’t ingame I had to be informed by one of the other raiders who wasn’t at the raid on Sunday “It’s ok mate, the guild fell apart”. To which I replied “?”

I logged in to find that this same core group of players from Sunday night had all /gquit en masse to go off and immediately form another guild, name chosen and all, without a single word about doing this in the Guild Discord.

I was stunned to say the least. I began to think that this had all been because I had gotten narky on Tuesday night & Wednesday morning, and began to apologise again, profusely, because I wasΒ  under the distinct impression that this was because of what had gone on earlier in the week and their leaving was my fault entirely (even though up until Sunday I had been on very good terms with everyone involved and had considered them all friends and were players I thoroughly enjoyed playing with and looked forward to playing alongside each raid night).

Insert a scene of me hand-wringing for the next 20-30 minutes, on the verge of stress-induced tears thinking I had just destroyed the guild, because I had been pissed over the Sunday night run. Not once did anyone involved in the Sunday run, or those who had quit say anything to disabuse me of this notion.

Finally one player (a fellow player from Northern Ireland) spoke up, and to him I will be forever grateful:

“Put plainly a number of us were looking to take on mythic in a more hardcore way and had been thinking of leaving for a while. Honestly has nothing to do with you personally at all. Not even slightly

Thats the only reason Im even messaging here right now. At a personal level i think you’re a lovely guy, so simply couldn’t let you think that any of this was your fault”

At this I was both stunned (further) and while I wasn’t immediately relieved of the guilt, it was at least a kindness that none of the others who had left had bothered to show me up until this point. Speaking (finally) to the other officers (both our now-former tanks) they confirmed this to be the case.

It turned out that they had been planning to leave the guild for at least a month, perhaps longer, in order to “push Mythic harder” and become “more hardcore”.

Not once, had anyone, raider or Officer, ever mentioned any sort of desire to change our approach to raiding at all. To become more hardcore nor push Mythic harder? It was never floated in Officers chat in-game or Discord at all.

So to find out that they had already set up a website a few days even before Sunday’s raid, replete with posts already made was confirmation that in fact, Indiana Jones was completely right. After all, the new guild is called Serpentis.

Aptly.


In the aftermath of all this drama I was considering whether I should even carry on playing the game at all.

Since 2009 my main focus has been raiding, as it’s been the activity that I’ve enjoyed in the main. Yes my main love in the game has always been collecting things, like mounts, pets, titles & in latter expansions transmogs, but that’s a purely solo activity that I do on non-raid nights, and raiding and being involved with fellow raiders has been my main method of social interaction in-game since 2009.

Would I have left with the others if I had been asked to come along post-facto, either with or without the drama on Sunday? I dunno, I’m strongly leaning towards a no on that. Because to me that would’ve been a huge betrayal of a good friend (Jamie/Azrel) who was responsible in the first place for extending to me the invitation to go Alliance just under a year ago and join THH full time (I already had an alt Hunter in the guild, and had done since the day it was formed). I count loyalty in people as one of the most important traits, which is why this whole situation has hit me as hard as it has.

It’s only now, several days later, that I’ve been able to get any sleep, or eat to any great degree, as the stress of this entire thing has hit me like a truck. Even now I’m still feeling stressed over it, albeit significantly less than Tuesday night, where I managed a whopping 90 minutes sleep.


So what now?

At the moment, my 110’s on Silvermoon will be staying put. They’re still in THH and will be remaining there for the foreseeable future. I will begin using my current 110’s to run old raids and pick up whatever transmogs, mounts etc I would like to get my hands on. I have 110’s of all armour types, so I’m covered there.

I’ll also be trying to finish off the remaining Mage Tower challenges that I’m looking to get done (Mainly Frost DK and perhaps the Prot Warrior one as well).

On the plus side, this happened while I was persona-non-grata on the Sunday night after the “casual raid”:

So that got me the shattered Ashbringer artifact appearance, which was my main objective left in the Mage Tower challenges after doing the Affliction & Guardian ones previously.

I’ve already bought Battle for Azeroth after it went up for Pre-Purchase on Tuesday:

So my Warlock is now a Void Elf, as I’d been wanting to make her since Void Elves were announced at Blizzcon:

I’ve been asked by a friend on Twitter to join her in a clean slate approach, and level up a character on another server somewhere. So we’ve chosen Argent Dawn for the time being. It’s an RP realm, but it’s the biggest Pve Alliance server in the EU outside of Silvermoon.

No, RP is not mandatory there, thankfully, as RP in WoW is still something I find both odd and hilarious.

Dungeons & Dragons I get, as it’s entirely imagination based and appears to be great fun (I love watching Critical Role for example), but RPing in WoW is just….yeah, ok… πŸ˜€

I’m trying to convince Azrel to come along for the few hours a week we’ll be playing this new venture together, and I have a work mate that has expressed a slight interest. He’s someone else that’s been through the whole being burned by and burnout from Mythic raiding process, so he’s largely in the same boat as the rest of us.

But for the moment it’s just the two of us, taking it slow and starting off small, and seeing if it works for us. If it does then we’ll see where we go from there. I’m excited by it. I’ve never levelled a character all the way on the Alliance side, so this will be a new experience, which after playing the game for nearly 10 years will be a novelty.


Does this mean Raiding is now a thing of the past for me?

Perhaps. While I certainly enjoyed Mythic raiding, the last few months in THH were starting to get bad-tempered at times. Narky and snarky to degrees and ill-tempered and seeing raids called early because players weren’t performing to the expectations of others. Which is hilarious to me because most of those same “failing” players have ended up in this other guild.

If the razor’s edge of success vs a guild imploding is the price of Mythic raiding (and it is, as demonstrated by this entire situation and as I’ve already said before), then to me it’s not a price worth paying.

I’d rather play alongside people I like, can trust, and who I can depend on to not stab me in the back in order to fulfil their own desires. That sort of cut-throat mercenary mentality shows people for what they truly are, and are certainly not people that I would consider to be real friends at all.

That is after all why we play the game in the first place, no?

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