I’ve talked before how I love MMOs. There’s something about the depth of worldbuilding needed for the sheer number of quests that make them incredibly immersive games.
My first MMO was Star Wars Galaxies and we had a great guild with our own city until the NGE came along and just wrecked everything we loved about the game.
My friends and I migrated to World of Warcraft but it always seemed less immersive than Star Wars Galaxies. The crafting wasn’t so complex, there was no housing and so most of them dropped off, consigning their MMO experience to an enjoyable history.
For the most part I have soldiered on in Warcraft alone. I found a way to balance it with writing in such a way that WoW didn’t take over my life. I wasn’t a particularly good player, but I enjoyed it as a distraction.
Numerous expansions and characters later, I found myself falling in with a new guild. I did that thing most people do when joining a new social group, just hang around in the background initially. They were a casual guild and one of the things I wanted to do more than anything in Warcraft was to raid. To me raids were this scary uber end-game content that frightened me; a dance of strategy and skill where one wrong move could wipe the group.
I was excited when I got to join the guild for a raid, and wasn’t too surprised when I proved to be pretty crap. I did terrible DPS, but the guild was kind and supportive, and instead of kicking me, helped me build up. I researched as well, played with different talents and rotations and saw my DPS rise within the group.
We were still rubbish though, but we had a lot of laughs. Whilst other guilds were busy doing Cataclysm heroics, we were still struggling with the Lich King on normal. But slowly, we’ve helped each other, become a tighter group and worked through the content.
Due to a number of reasons (including getting everything ready to send to agents) I’ve not been available on raid nights recently, but a couple of weeks ago I got a call on Facebook to come and help with the latest raid. Again, I had a lot of fun and we eventually completed it.
And then it hit me. Not only over the last year or so has my DPS gone from worst to one of the best, but we’ve worked through the content. Instead of being several tiers behind everyone else, we’re actually doing the current tier of content. To celebrate the guild leader bought us cool new mounts. And we were right to celebrate, we’d got through to this stage through hard work, trial and error and co-operation.
Last night, we attempted our first boss in the current Firelands raid tier. Yes, the standard level has recently been nerfed to make it easier, but we’ve always been a casual guild rather than a hardcore one. Yet still we were able to down him.
Holy crap, we’re actually taking Firelands bosses down! I doubt we’ll ever be as uber as some of our servers’ hardcore guilds but it’s testament to the guild and the hard work they’ve all put in that we’re now at this stage.
Thanks for a lot of fun guys!