When is enough enough? Seems like a simple question right? Well not always. How do you know when there is no hope left?
Rewind a few months into the past, my guild was clearing Kara every week. We were excited and getting ready to move back into 25 man content. Grull was in our sights and we were excited. Morale was high guild chat was buzzing and friendly.
The High King died with a quickness that surprised us all, we moved along to Gruul spanked him hard and went through his pockets for shiny purple loots. Happy and cheerful, we planned to come back after the reset and give him another shot. We even tentatively looked at trying out Mag next week if we had a day left after having another go at Gruul’s lair.
The next week we were able to pound out Gruul’s lair in time to have one night left to try Mag’s. A great try ensued where we learned a lot about the encounter, most had never seen it before. We left for the night with Mag still standing, that would be the last time we failed and left him alive though.
After a few weeks of downing Kara, Gruul’s, and Mag’s lair we were really clicking as a team. We were getting pretty well geared and were now one shotting most encounters we went through. We set our sights on SSC.
Lurker went down on the second night of the first week of SSC, we still got a few wipes but everyone was upbeat and looking to the future. We started talking about trying Hydross or Tidewalker next week assuming we could down lurker on the first night.
So started our stay in SSC. We were able to clear lurker every week, pretty soon getting it down to a one or two shot. We looked towards Hydross next, but despite our best efforts he was still kicking at the end of the week. Deciding on a different tack for the following week we once again spanked Lurker, and then moved on to try Tidewalker. At the end of the week Tidewalker was still standing and we had nothing to show for our work but repair bills. Such is the life of a raider doing progression raiding.
A funny thing happened over the next few weeks though, after the first night of clearing lurker we started having trouble filling out the group for the progression attempts. Guild chat was getting a bit less chatty, people were getting a bit more touchy. I worried about the future, but kept plowing on.
Looking for heals for kara? Can do. I still need a few odds and ends out of there myself, and you can never have enough of those wonderful badges. Heroic something or other? Yeppers, I can heal that. No I don’t need any of the drops I just want to run something. And guild chat got a bit quieter still.
The next few weeks we scheduled raids, but were unable to build groups when the time came. Those who came on time and ready improvised. We put together on the fly Kara and ZA runs with what we had. We farmed heroics for badges and shiny purple loots. All the while guild chat got quieter, our once active forums started to feel like a ghost town. I thought “it’s just a cycle, summer is coming” and kept plowing on.
Over the next week or two it got quieter and more tense. It seems odd to say you can sense the mood in a room that doesn’t really exist, but it seemed like ther was the proverbial “elephant in the room” that no one would mention. Two of our officers left that week, one quit the game totally the other simply moving on. We put together what I started privately calling “guild pugs” for Kara and the odd ZA, mostly using the forums to coordinate. It became more and more likely that if you tried to split Kara into two runs you would never finish for the week.
Guild chat became even less chatty. Vent was left unused unless people wewe instanceing. A few more people followed the officers example and left. The forums started to pick up again though, but the topics were mostly about how to stop the bleeding and get back to raiding. We talked of regrouping and recruiting replacements. It was a very different place than it had been not so long ago. Though I was all but certain the end was in sight I soldiered on, knowing that we had lost to many already.
Now we are finaly catching up to the present, just a week ago there was still hope. We took a week off of raiding while the guild leader took a weeks vacation. Everyone had a chance to rest, farm up much needed supplies, work on alts, or just take a break. That was the week all hell broke loose.
People were actually talking in guild chat, on the forums, even on vent again. It seemed like things were turning around. Maybe I was right to stick around after all. The forum topics turned darker, fingers were pointed, people were offended by nothing in particular. I guild chat it was much the same, people started out the evening joking around and trying to have fun. By the end of the night we had lost several more players and only had one officer left. Yet out of some sense of loyalty I stayed.
The next day I came online only to find a slightly smaller guild, there were fare the well posts from several folks I liked and respected in the forums. Vent was gone, either disconnected or the password changed. It really made no difference either way. We talked amongst ourselves and someone was able to get a self hosted vent running. We were back in business. We waited for the return of the guild leader to find out where we were going from here.
Yesterday morning we awoke to find the guild website had been shut down. The last remaining officer had transferred with her husband to a different server, leaving an alt in guild to continue running things. By this time the place I had been full of cheerful, helpful people was but a distant memory. It had turned into something odd, like a train wreck you can’t stop looking at. I knew it was over, but I still had friends there. Still I stayed.
Yesterday afternoon I finally made the decision to move. I left the guild I had so enjoyed being a part of, moving to a guild a couple of married friends had just to use as a family bank. They retreated there as well. We will likely have a few more joining us, but will never try to build it into a raiding guild. For the time being at least I will have lots more time to work on my alts.
Even though I have a tag above my head it still feel like I am homeless. It seems odd, but I feel I should be sitting outside the door to Kara holding a tin cup and a sign that says “Will Heal for Food”