Sunday, July 3, 2022

But It Was A Beginning

“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose above the great mountainous island of Tremalking. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.”

--Robert Jordan, The Path of Daggers


Last Monday, on June 27th, there was to be a proverbial "big announcement" about the future of our guild moving forward into Wrath Classic.

I already had a clue as to what was likely to happen, but when the news did drop there were actually two big announcements:

  • The guild was moving to Atiesh-US.
  • The guild was merging with another raiding guild.

While I believed that Atiesh was the likely landing spot, the merger took me by surprise.

I'm still not exactly sure why the merger happened, because if guild leadership felt that they were going to have trouble recruiting, I thought that's why the move to Atiesh was needed. I suppose that leadership felt that since there was some decent overlap between the two guilds/raids already they might as well make it official, but to my mind that's a pretty poor reason to actually merge guilds.

But more on that later.

There was also another announcement --of a sort-- in the Monday raid: the remaining members of the Monday raid's lead team will be stepping down from raid leading in Wrath Classic. 

Now this I knew was coming, because I'd seen the discussions in the Monday raid lead Discord, and I knew how beaten down the main raid lead had gotten over the course of TBC Classic. But there were also other factors involved that I'm not at liberty to discuss, but I will say that there was a breach of trust involved that left a sour taste in the Monday raid leadership.


So.... What to make of this?

The moment I read the announcement, I exhaled with relief.

I'd been wondering how to just go and leave the guild without a lot of drama, and suddenly the solution was presented to me gift wrapped with a bow. 

I would simply leave the guild by standing still.

Now, the announcement included information that the raid teams' mains would remain on Myzrael-US until the pre-patch for Wrath is announced, then the progression raiding will stop and those toons will migrate to Atiesh-US. That means that alts would be free to migrate to Atiesh-US, which conveniently was during the big mid-Summer sale by Blizzard.

All those players who'd amassed a lot of gold on Myz were going to have to find a way to move that gold over, and the guild had set up a channel to allow people who didn't have a lot of gold to volunteer to be mules to migrate those players' gold over.

Sure, since I have very little gold compared to people who'd been doing dailies diligently*, I could be a mule, but I decided that if I was going to migrate any toons over, it'd be on my terms and when I felt I was ready. I already have Cardwyn 2.0 over on Atiesh, so Card wasn't going to land there anyway. And since most of my other toons are tied to her in one form or another, I didn't see a reason to move them over either. 


This whole turn of events brought a sudden halt to my Friday Night Karazhan runs, because with one or two exceptions (such as Briganaa) all of the toons in there were alts. I never got a chance to execute Pallyzhan, and I'm not going to migrate Linnawyn over to Atiesh just so I could do it there. There are people in guild who are aware I have Deuce** already on Atiesh, but I've already begun blocking guild invites, so I have no qualms about her going forward.

I remembered Larisa of The Pink Pigtail Inn, and the drama and agony she went through when she got "the talk" about her lack of raid performance that led to her brief departure from her guild, and I was determined to not deal with that. When I left, I wasn't going to have that drama follow me around. 

The more I've heard from my questing buddy about what the "new" raiding rules would be, the more I'm confident in the knowledge that I made the right decision. I'm sorry, but having the "bench" clear trash until the "real raiders" show up to replace them in the raid smacks of something out of Animal Farm: all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. The "you'd better perform or we'll replace you immediately" vibe that they're projecting means that they've swallowed the kool-aid whole and are going full hardcore. 

And to me, that's completely and totally stupid, because they then become no better than any of the other 40-50 hardcore raiding guilds on Atiesh-US, without any other distinguishing characteristics. 

The one thing that Valhalla had that other guilds didn't was that they acknowledged that people had families and real life and that came first, no matter what. That was why the raiding times were later than other guilds' raids, because families came first. Well, that entire modus operandii --along with the associated guild culture-- seems to have been thrown right out the window in pursuit of.... what, exactly? Is leadership so myopic that they truly believe they could be the top guild --or one of the top five guilds-- on Atiesh? The only reason why the Tuesday/Thursday raid was in the Top 6 in Sunwell Pleateau was because of all the other guilds that left Myzrael. To be a Top Five guild on Atiesh, they have to throw away the soul of their guild in pursuit of something that --at best-- they'll have only a year to a year and a half to enjoy before Cataclysm Classic appears.

There are other things I know of that I'm not liberty to discuss that I believe could fracture the merged guild before it even gets off the ground, but we'll see how that plays out. I'm staying out of it, because my time with Valhalla is at an end. 

My opinion on this merger can be summed up with a quote from Rebecca West that my fellow blogger Spinks used deep in the darkest days of Gamergate: "Women, listening to anti-suffrage speeches, for the first time knew what many men really thought of them."

*As I alluded to in a previous post, one of those same people who was diligently getting all the gold + mats so they could speed level their professions on their new Death Knight was the one who'd informed me in guild chat that doing the dailies may be boring and repetitive but "the gold you get means you never have an excuse to not have gold in game." I presume he meant that to me because I was the only other guildie online at the time, so that was his way to tell me "don't bitch about a lack of gold".

Narrator: Briganaa never bothered to accumulate gold.

Of course, now that he has to migrate all of his gold and mats over to Atiesh-US, I kind of chuckled at his predicament.

**That's what I've taken to calling Cardwyn 2.0.


  1. Wait, do you know that they're actually planning Cata Classic?

    1. The last official thing they mentioned was right around the Wrath reveal, when an interviewer asked if they were going to make a Cata Classic and they kind of hedged about it. The response was (paraphrasing) "If the Classic community wants it."

      I realize we can interpret that in any way we choose, but my interpretation is that if there's enough interest they'll do it. Given that there was a big hue and cry over NOT having the automated LFD tool in Wrath Classic, I'm sure they're devoting resources into making Cata Classic happen. After all, they shoved out TBC Classic far quicker than the original timeline for TBC was, so if that's the case we'll be seeing the end of Wrath Classic over the winter of 2023-2024.

      Then the Classic team will have to make a hard decision as to what to do at that point.

    2. Ugh. One of the "charms", if you will, of Classic is that it's like a ship in a bottle - you get to see WoW as it was, warts and all.

      BUT ... Cata is where that all goes away. Oh, it's the last hurrah of old-style talents, but the world as it was is gone. Entire quest hubs (in as much as they existed prior to Cata) were gone.

      So if they're asking for votes, I'll cast mine at the "stop at Wrath, and go no further" line.

      At least until there's another fundamental change in the world and the world of Cata through no longer exists.

      Wrath is the pinnacle of o.g. WoW. Beyond that, things start going downhill.

      (My opinion, of course. I know there are Cata fans out there. Not sure why. :D )

    3. I totally agree with you that Wrath was the height of Original WoW, but having dealt with TBC Classic and how a significant chunk of people brought a Retail approach to blitzing through all the content, I can now see that the seeds of WoW's destruction were planted back then. We were just too blind to notice until it was far too late.

      As for who likes Cata, I presume people who want to play a Druid on the Ally side but not play as a Night Elf, or Pally on Horde side but not as a Blood Elf. (Elves seem to have lost some of their uniqueness in WoW at that point.)

    4. Ugh, agreed, agreed, and agreed. Welp, it may simplify my life at some point if that's the case.

  2. Sounds a bit meh, but I guess your decision was already mostly made.

    Regarding the post you linked, that's why I think flex raiding has been the single most beneficial change to raiding since they introduced that. I've never been in a guild where everyone was really equal and unless it's like a third of your raid struggling there's simply no problem dragging people along. Also different people suck on different bosses, so the gradient from "too good" to "too bad" for this particular content is a bit fluent anyway... I'm so much happier raiding with objectively? (maybe..) worse people than with the tryhards back then and the drama.

    1. Oh, my decision was already made months ago, and I was going through the motions at this point. I enjoyed the Kara runs (ironically enough, since I dislike the instance as an actual "instance", but I like it for the camaraderie that I get out of the place), and I enjoy hanging with some of the people, but for me I've been getting more enjoyment on toons that are away from Valhalla for quite a while now. I'll be forever grateful for the chance at progression raiding --and raid leading-- but leadership has gone all in on hardcore progression at the sacrifice of about 30-40% of the guild itself. And while I can't say more aside from the mistaken belief that a good portion of Valhalla isn't hardcore enough, I believe that the other guild's culture that they're presenting --win at all costs-- is going to eventually win out.

  3. Sometimes I wonder if it's, if not inevitable, then at least natural for raiding guilds to become more hardcore over time, because if you have a loyal core that stays, these players are likely to become better at the game over time and may find themselves seeking more challenge to stay engaged.

    And I'm curious, was there no pushback in the guild at all against switching server type? Or does nobody care much about the RP aspect?

    1. I'd say that yes, I can see a tendency toward a more hardcore direction over time, but how that hardcore direction manifests is up to the players/guild. For example, the Tuesday/Thursday raid needs a new healer, and I saw the standard spiel put out on Discord and on the Myz Discord about working professionals with families and how that's important, blah blah blah. But that flies totally in the face of the newly revised raid docs, in addition to what guild leadership from the other guild has been telling people. So which is it going to be? I think I know the answer already, but still it's disappointing to see the potential bait and switch in place.

      Oh! I think that there's a misconception here. Both Myz and Atiesh are normal PvE servers, so there's no change. There was a brief discussion at moving to a PvP server, since they're effectively PvE due to the extreme imbalance of factions, but it was rejected in favor of a server that had some sort of balance other than "nothing".

    2. Huh, I don't know why I've always had it in my head that Myz was also an RP server... :)

    3. There's actually another way, which befell mine, where the raiding team falls apart completely and raiding ends. My own guild has some 400+ members and yet two or three logged in at once is a traffic jam. The GM hasn't logged in for real for months.

      There used to be a feature, "Guild watch", on WoW Insider (RIP) that featured the gossip and stuff around guilds (this was in the WotLK heyday) and I do seem to recall that it usually went one way or the other - though if it went harder core, eventually some drama would cause it to implode, too.

      Of course, nobody writes about the guilds where everything's fine. So we're probably missing "data" even in that case. The journalism disease - we only make money if tongues are wagging.