Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Invisibility Blues


Very very awkward.

Technically speaking, my last progression raid was on January 31st. I was hoping to go out with a kill of Kael'Thas, so I could say that I completed Phase 2 of TBC Classic before I bowed out. 

As with most of TBC Classic, that didn't go as planned.

In the lead meeting after the raid on the 24th we settled on who my replacement would be. That person was ready to go, except she didn't have a Vashj or Kael'Thas kill on her toon. Since it made sense for her to get the kills out of the way before our raid moved into Phase 3 content, I stepped aside to let her have my spot to get the kills done. I put myself on the bench, and I figured that as long as someone didn't show* I was done. That Kael'Thas kill would elude me, but I didn't have to go through anything weird or maudlin at the end of my progression raiding career.

Well, things got weird real fast.

My replacement got into an SSC run --and a corresponding Vashj kill-- during the week, so she was locked to SSC already. That meant there was a spot available for me, but on the boss I didn't need. Still, I was a good trooper and offered to fill in for the Vashj kill after they downed K'T.

And naturally they killed Kael'Thas on the second try, so once again I was reminded that I wasn't going to finish Phase 2 as a raider.


I had parked Briganaa in front of the SSC summoning stone hours before the raid, so I was ready to summon people once the Tempest Keep portion of the raid finished. 

And I made the conscious decision to not draw attention to myself by not using my headset during the raid, so no microphone for me. I did have another reason to not use the headset for technical reasons**, so I relied on that excuse when telling the rest of the lead team that I was going to be on mute. And I was glad I stayed on mute, because I could have made a ton of quips along the way but in the end I kept quiet.

There was still a lot of talk about the Kael'Thas kill, and I didn't realize how much it stung until I heard it.

Along the way, I got a whisper from my replacement thanking me for covering for her. I told her "You're welcome!" but for an insane moment I was jealous. This was supposed to be my spot, and my kill, I grumbled. It was the only thing I wanted before my time was to end, and it was denied me. But after a few minutes, I shook myself out of my funk and just accepted that was how things were going to be.


And the run to Vashj was incredibly awkward, mainly because we simply could not bring Vashj down. 

The RNG gods frowned on us by having Striders and Naga appear in the same location --and naturally the Striders feared the melee-- or we'd have an AOE damage hit the melee right after Vashj would spew her own lightning strike, and melee would drop. Or that people were slow and missed a tainted orb, causing more damage and/or healers to drop. Or.... Well, you get the idea.

I had nothing to do with any of these things per se, but the fact that I was there and my replacement wasn't, and K'T went down quickly and Vashj wasn't, stuck in my craw. As if I was the problem.

And that the raid was talking as if I wasn't there at all --there were a couple of offhand comments that made it plain that people forgot-- I was painfully aware that I was the interloper, much like how it was when I first attended AQ40 on Labor Day 2020.*** Without any whispers of encouragement from people.

So when the raid finally ended without a Vashj kill, I posted a "Farewell!" to raid chat and dropped group, then switched to Neve so nobody could find me.

Excuse me?
What am I, chopped liver?



All through today I regretted my decision to keep running Karazhan on Fridays.

I really wanted to just cut the cord, go away, and not have to deal with anybody's whispers or pity. Or worse, radio silence.

It was not made any easier that I'm going through the same thing at work.

Sorry, I can't speak much about that end of things, but the reality is that as awkward as I felt in that raid, it's 10x worse at work. My direct bosses who have supported me from the beginning have been great, as well as my coworkers and the administrative leadership within the company, but the rest of it....


I think I need to run Kara, just to see if I can shake myself out of this funk. And if that doesn't work, my WoW time is coming due in two weeks. I can take a sabbatical for a while if need be.

*Let's be honest here: we have had a few instances of people not showing, so we've had to scramble to fill in a spot on the team. We run so lean that we don't have a bench at all, so me being on the bench is a luxury for the team.

**For some reason Discord does not like it when my headset went on mute and basically shuts down my headset mic connection to the app. I've searched for a solution --and even deleted and reinstalled Discord-- to no avail. The only solution is to unplug and plug my dongle back in. I personally blame Logitech for this, since it's their headset and I've already had to use contact cleaner twice on switches on the headset, but I've no definitive proof.

***It was that long ago? Really?

****Paraphrasing. She was quite.... creative... in her language.


  1. Kael'thas, still the breaker of hearts!

    then switched to Neve so nobody could find me

    You've sounded like you've been quite close to some of your guildies... don't you have anyone on Bnet?!

    Anyway, I don't know what to say Red, other than to offer virtual hugs and to recommend that you just see how it goes. Maybe it's time to move on, but I wouldn't make that decision purely based on a somewhat sour exit from progression. See how you feel about that Kara first, whether you end up missing your guildies or whether some of them end up missing you and making time to play with you. If not, maybe it is time to try something different.

    1. I've been invisible on Bnet for quite a while, so that's not much of an issue to just switch to a toon that they don't know about and just move on.

      This Kara might be stressful. A couple of people I don't recognize signed up, and while we've had non-guildies in the run plenty of times before, these seem to be fly-by-night people who are just dropping in unannounced.

    2. And thanks for your kind words, Shintar. I really appreciate them more than you probably know.

  2. Oh man, it's pretty awful when both work and play team up to make you miserable. I hope you find a way to enjoy one, if not both of them again. TotA

    1. And work was the double whammy, because it directly led to my having to leave progression raiding.