Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Notes from Nowhereland

I took the weekend off.

Oh, not from playing games or anything, because there were plenty of things that went on:
  • I got stomped pretty badly in a game of Settlers of Catan.*
  • I got into my first raid since my Horde guild back in the day did a 10 man raid of AQ40 in Late Wrath.
  • I'm seriously considering joining a guild. (Yes, this and the raid bullet point are related.)
  • I ran Dire Maul - North with someone as tank that I've not run an instance with since Az was last in Razorfen Kraul. (He is still as good a tank as ever.)
  • A person on my Classic server (Myzrael-US) passed away and his guild honored and remembered him by a long slow walk to the entrance of Molten Core.
 But I took the weekend off from the entire blogging process.
I even ignored my email, Reddit, and Facebook for the weekend, and the latter two turned out to be a very good thing because I would have been driven nuts by seeing all the lack of social distancing going on.**

It was freeing to not have to worry about coming up with anything for the blog, because suggested posts kind of fell in my lap regardless, but the one thing I couldn't seem to get away from was the endless parade of "Why aren't you in a guild?" questions.


On a very early Saturday morning, I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep, so I figured I'd get on WoW Classic and do some rep farming until I felt sleepy again. While I was perusing Cardwyn's current rep status and quests, I discovered I'd never finished the Marshall Windsor questline on her. I had the last quest in the Windsor portion of the chain, but I never completed the event. Therefore, I rode down to the entrance of Stormwind, waited for the person currently on the event to finish, and started it for Card.

About partway through Stormwind --for those Horde players who never performed the Alliance only questline, you end up walking rather than running-- a priest decided to tag along. She buffed me --and I returned the favor, because that's the polite thing to do-- and as we walked along she checked to make sure that I was aware of what I was getting myself into. After exchanging pleasantries and discussing WoW lore***, she then asked the inevitable question that people quiz me over: why am I not in a guild?

I explained the usual situation, about how I've been burned in the past and I'd really not deal with the drama in my gaming any more than in real life, but she made a point that stuck with me: I'm not obligated to remain in a guild if I don't like the drama. She herself had left a previous guild because she wasn't interested in drama, and the guild leadership was basically a generation younger than herself****, so she didn't have those social touchpoints to connect with people either.

Perhaps the reason why it resonated with me so much was because when I join a group such as a guild, I try to make it work. I put in time to be social, to help out in farming mats, and doing other (non-raiding) activities when I can. And I guess that makes me more loyal than it should. Certainly, if a guild's members or leadership don't reciprocate, I'm not obligated to remain with that guild. At the same time, I hate to leave people I like behind, but nothing says that I have to break ties with them just because I left.

Yes, you'd think that this is Adulting 101, but at the same time my tendency toward loyalty does become a problem this way. Even if I don't like a situation I'm in, I'd prefer to not rock the boat until things simply become untenable.

Or they blow up.


Because of this, I've spent a lot of the rest of the weekend thinking.

It's easy to tell others that they have to grow up and act in a more mature fashion, but not so much to shine the harsh glare of reality on yourself and practice what you preach.

And one of the things I've decided was that I invested so much time in my independence while gaming that it's become a large part of my identity, and likely to my detriment. That while it is fine to be independent, I shouldn't shy from making connections. I shouldn't reject everything because of a couple of bad experiences, and instead I should approach this in a more nuanced fashion.

This should be an interesting week. We'll see how things land.

*That's what I get for playing the percentages rather than "trusting my feelings".

**I saw the lack of social distancing in action on Friday when I "noped" out of walking around in the small town the oldest mini-Red's university is located. I drove through, saw all of the people hanging out and congregating in big groups, and said "oh HELL no" and took a pass.

***I mentioned that Christie Golden is a friend of a friend of mine of Facebook, and she got all excited as Christie was her favorite of the WoW authors. I did confirm that she seems nice on FB, but I don't really have any interactions with her. So beyond the occasional comment on our mutual friend's FB page, I don't really talk to her.

****She was my age. (Or at least she said she was, and to be fair if she was lying I don't know many people who'd lie and say they were older than they really were.)


  1. You should definitely join that guild! Your priest person has it right. To be honest I've been finding your repeated assurances that you were not going to join a guild increasingly odd... there are many good reasons not to want to join one, but if you're building a group of friends and they're inviting you to join theirs, why not? It's only natural, and your insistence to not get tied down (even though you've been building ties in every other way from the sounds of it) seemed increasingly odd.

    Yes, drama happens and can be painful, but that's just human relationships in general. You wouldn't want to become a hermit just because of that either. :)

    1. And you personally showed how you can end up in a better situation after drama, in both real life and online.