2018: A Year of Change

As the year draws to a close, thoughts inevitably turn towards both the new and the old. 2018 for me was a tumultuous one in some respects, especially in terms of guild stability and raiding.

I started the year as a mythic raider Alliance side on Silvermoon, and finished it as a mythic raider Alliance side on Silvermoon, but the in between bit was anything but stable…

My year began as the raid leader for Treehugging Hippies, and we kicked off Antorus in blazing style. We cleared most of heroic in a couple of weeks towards the end of 2017 and blazed straight into Mythic in the new year. Inside of a week after coming back from our Xmas/New Year break we had not only downed Heroic Argus, but killed the first two bosses on Mythic.

That’s when things started to go pear-shaped. Cliques had been formed, whispers had been made, and it turned out to be one of the worst decisions any group of players has made in the history of the game

Schadenfreude is wonderful…

A core of players broke away to fill an already existing guild, and the vast majority of our raiding team went with them. I felt betrayed and very let down. However the new guild’s raiding exploits imploded 6 weeks later.

Of the 20 or so raiders we lost to this other guild, as of today, only about 3* are still there raiding. The vast majority of them have either joined guilds that are far less progressed or have quit playing the game entirely. Only a few joined other guilds that have seen anything like a similar success to THH.

A wonderful guild was ripped apart to satisfy the egos and lust for glory of a few, so let this tale be a cautionary one kids: Mythic raiding is great and a lot of fun, but never, EVER, let it become you or your guild’s raison d’être, as that way lies the path of pain, dissolution and ironically less success. Take it for what it is: a challenge to be overcome and enjoyed, but never pin your hopes or reason for being to it.

After THH collapsed I hung around for a few weeks, and then Jamie (Azrel) and I joined up with a friend from Twitter and decided to begin anew on another realm. We decided on Argent Dawn, because I’d heard a lot of good things about it as a server, it was mainly Alliance and there were a LOT of RP-ers on the server. Open World group RP is always a sight to behold, so I was keen to be in an environment where this was an ongoing thing.

However recruitment was a real struggle. Not least because the self same RP-ers were at times very hostile to a PvE guild trying to recruit either on the forums or in trade chat in the main cities.

We got a handful of players in, sure, but it was like getting blood from a stone, and as the Legion expansion wound down, recruitment became nigh-on impossible. People started to log in less, guild chat began to subside, and eventually the players we had recruited (quite rightly) started to leave to find more active guilds.

Challenges…of a different kind

So I began filling out my time doing solo stuff, namely Mage Towers across various specs and classes. And doing this I had a great time. I loved this more than most activities I’ve undertaken in WoW in years. I loved the fact that this was content that I could do, by myself, at my own pace, and no-one else but me was responsible for my success.

In the end I managed to get 26/36 challenges completed:

  • 3 Hunter
  • 3 Paladin
  • 4 Druid
  • 3 Mage
  • 2 Demon Hunter
  • 3 Warrior
  • 3 Warlock
  • 2 Monk (Mistweaver’s Artifact look was crap)
  • 3 Death Knight

These were the majority of the characters I had at 110. The 10 appearances I missed out on were:

  • 3 x Rogue (no rogue at 110)
  • 3 x Priest (again, didn’t have one at 110)
  • 1 x Monk (the Mistweaver appearance was crap looking tbh)
  • 3 x Shaman (had a shaman at 110, but didn’t enjoy it)

Like I said, the Mage Towers were something I very much enjoyed, and I relished pushing myself to complete as many as I did in the time I had left in Legion. I finished my last one (Arcane Mage) 90 minutes before Legion shutdown, Mage Towers closed down forever and BfA launched! Hopefully Blizzard can introduce something similar in BfA at some point for cosmetic rewards, as I found the entire experience very rewarding and some of the best stuff Blizzard has introduced to the game in its history.

A forced conflict begins..

So Legion came to a close, and while I managed to clear Heroic Antorus with THH, any further raid progression beyond the two mythic kills THH had managed in January was not forthcoming.

With BfA’s launch in August, and any Argent Dawn aspirations lying comatose, I tried to stick it out for as long as possible. However with Jamie’s lack of drive to play (I miss you bud!) as he wasn’t enjoying BfA’s initial content at all, there was a general lack of activity in the guild from anyone but myself. And let me tell you, logging into a dead guild chat night after night was not fun, so I decided to make a change (again).

I still had the desire to raid, as I always will I expect. I wanted to begin BfA gearing up with the intention to jump straight into Uldir with friends and have a great time. And with that not happening on Argent Dawn, I decided to jump faction back to Horde

Lok’tar O’gar bitches

Being back on Horde was strange. Not least because I’d really enjoyed being Alliance again, but the direction of the Horde generally in-game was not one I was comfortable with. With Sylvanas going completely bat-shit genocidally nuts, and no-one really stepping up to challenge her, it was a case of “put it out of your mind until it gets better”.

I rejoined Thunder, my original Horde guild, and we kicked off in Uldir with me still in the process of levelling my Horde Hunter. I eventually dinged 120 and began getting gear by hook or by crook. Through a combination of a LOT of gold, warfronts and mythic+, I got enough gear two weeks into the tier to finally begin raiding.

And things were great. I was enjoying being back again with friends, even if there were a lot of new faces from the last time I was Horde side, and we were making progress in Heroic Uldir for a good while. Then we hit Zul. We got stuck on Zul for weeks, and eventually a few bodies decided to jump ship to another guild. However this time, given raiding was the only real enjoyment I was able to wring from BfA, I decided to go with them.

Mind you that decision took a few weeks, as I was away on holiday on a cruise ship in the middle of the sea without internet for the majority of the time.

And so I joined Damocles, a nice bunch of guys on Kilrogg who push to clear Heroic in each tier. Which suits me fine tbh.

However, I was still feeling the pull. A yearning. The void was whispering to me…

You can never go home..

Well, they say that, but it’s never quite what you expect. I decided to pick up my Alliance Hunter who was at this point languishing in the environment of World Quests and Warfronts, and dragged her arse back to Silvermoon with the intention of finding an active guild for her and my other Alliance characters.

And after a lot of research and reading up on different guilds, I decided to make a beeline for Fade on Silvermoon. Ravencrest was another serious contender for being my main Alliance server, but then it occurred to me with it being a former PvP server, a lot of the old PvP Kiddiez mentality might still be prevalent among the population there, so decided to go back to Silvermoon instead.

Having moved my Hunter, I also moved over my DK and Monk. I still had my Warrior, Demon Hunter and Shaman at 110 there and a Priest at 105.

So when I joined Fade, I also brought in the DK and Monk, and eventually brought my Druid over as well, to serve as the herbalist to my Hunter’s Alchemist profession.

I’ve also faction changed my Paladin back to Alliance, this time as a male Dark Iron Dwarf. He’s so metal and I love him to bits. I really need to get around to levelling him, and my new female Dark Iron Rogue…

It never rains, but it pours…

Shortly after joining I noticed Fade were running open Heroic raid nights, where any member of the guild could join in, so I did just that. And while we didn’t clear it (heroic G’Huun is a pain in the arse, even now), I had a great time playing my Void Elf in a raid for the first time.

So having gone from a situation at the expansion’s launch where I was faced with the realistic prospect of no raiding at all, I now face the prospect of being able to raid on two different characters, one of either faction, and both of them Hunters

Clearing Heroic is still my primary goal, regardless of faction, and while I have since cleared 5/8 Mythic Uldir Alliance side, it isn’t my goal. Sure, it’s fun (great fun actually, I love it), and I thoroughly enjoy it, my main goal is still clearing Heroic for the Curve achievement in each tier.

I’ve managed to get Curve for Uldir now on both factions (Horde was first), so in terms of goals for this tier I’m very satisfied.

As mentioned I’ve now cleared 5/8 Mythic bosses in Uldir, Alliance side, having helped fill out the numbers on a mythic raid last week. I certainly don’t expect to get into a mythic raid every week, especially as I’ve not actually applied to be a raider yet in Fade, but I’ll continue to help them (and Damocles, Horde side) get raids out and clear content.

For the time being I’m very happy where the year has ended up. Which is a completely different story to how the year began, having my hopes crushed by the betrayal of a few egos, to pushing even further than THH would’ve been capable of, without any of the pressure or egos getting in the way.

I have ended up with two great guilds, and have my choice of faction open, and I’m relishing what 2019 might bring. Hopefully BfA picks up in terms of quality, but regardless, I’m having a great time 🙂

*Update: Husker tweeted me the following on 17th Jan to offer a correction:

Grz to Serpentis!

So congrats to them for clearing 8/8 Mythic G’Huun!