Monday, March 1, 2010

An Interesting Twist of Fate

So I had a full weekend of bachelor time in the house this weekend without a honey-do list, which is probably an occurrence that will not repeat itself too often over the course of time. This was a well-needed chance to rest up and recharge the batteries for real without any guilt for being selfish with the me time. Did I accomplish anything over the weekend? Well I did some dishes and grocery shopping, but seriously, it was the just not caring that made things perfect. By a poor dash of luck, my guild was only running one raid this weekend because it was our 1.5 year anniversary and we promote veteran members to "knight" every 6 months for some very outstanding guildies. Or at least I like to think so as I was knighted 6 months ago! There were some fun events planned including a costume contest and a human dart contest (which I finished second in, argh!). Some very nifty outfits by the guild members, and a testament to all the detail that Blizzard puts into gear at all levels.

We also had a guild olympics event since seemingly half our guild is Canadian. The battle was to full clear Naxx in the quickest time. Just like the hockey game that ended the real Olympics, this battle was close right up to the end. Team Canada won by 20 seconds, which is astounding considering that we're talking about an 80-90 minute time window! I was a bit disappointed to be left out of the fun on that, but I was on team 2 for the 10-man ICC runs the next day so I consoled myself with a PUG VoA run since we finally won wintergrasp. This was my first look at the new boss, and while he is kind of healing intensive, there's nothing hard at all about this fight. Kind of disappointing really.

Well we get the boss down and the priest tier 10 DPS pants drop. Not PvP pants! Well there was another priest in the raid but obviously we both roll and I win with an 11. What a crappy winning roll! She asks if I want to sell it, but I cannot afford to with my first ICC coming up the next day. I also had accumulated just enough badges after VoA to buy a massive belt upgrade with frost badges. These two upgrades literally jumped my gearscore nearly 200 points in 10 minutes. Awesomeness!

The weird twist of fate comes in that we go to Icecrown Citadel and we do very well for the guild's second team. We downed all four bosses in the lower spire and made an attempt at Festergut after downing the two Gluth pets. We also downed a miniboss on the ramparts for the raid weekly quest, thereby racking up the emblems (like 16 or 18 total). However, absolutely zero cloth pieces dropped despite having 1 warlock and 3 priests in the raid! Normally I would be truly pissed because of wasting a bunch of gold on a progression raid with no benefit, but I was just on such a high after the raid. I think this was a confluence of four things.

1. It had been absolutely forever since I progression raided. After grinding out essentially two tier 10 level pieces by 2 badges per day (some days) and 5 badges per week (most weeks), to just immediately get 20 badges was thrilling. Plus I finally got to see past Lord Marrowgar, who is clearly the hardest boss in the lower spire in my humble opinion. I got to bring utility to the raid being the only real dedicated tank healer but also having the shadow spec back in the mix for the fourth boss when you need more DPS to knock down Blood Beasts. I think the last time I progression raided was ONE TIME in ToC-10. That's right, two raids ago for me was in Ulduar. Scary, no? Well there's just something fun about overcoming tough tasks together and progressing against the endgame, and I lost that feeling until yesterday.

2. I did get an upgrade, albeit a silly one. I blew through neutral and most of friendly in the Ashen Verdict rep grind, getting the first level of the awesome rings they give. So, while it's not a huge upgrade, I feel like I'm finally moving towards the best ring in the game right now.

3. The people. This is not a knock on Team A, but let's face it, Team A will always be more serious about progression raiding. And that's OK because I can take it seriously. But Team B has slightly less expectations and some really sweet personalities. Despite not raiding much for the past 4 months, I gelled with people I knew in the run and many people I did not know well. The main tank and I threw barbs in vent at each other for fun and we got along so well it's as if I've been running with him for ages. Furthermore, I was rusty...I made a mistake on gunship that wiped us and made a mistake and facepulled the third pull of the instance. Yet nobody yelled at me or told me to get my crap together, and others made mistakes as well, but it was no big deal. We kept at it and triumphed together. It made me truly proud to be a part of that group and makes me want to come back for more!

4. I got a chance to see a slight glimpse into the guild inner circle this past weekend (no, absolutely no details on how or substance...that's not proper). And let me just say I am thoroughly impressed with the guild officers and how they conduct business. It makes me feel very hopeful about the continued future of the guild that started right before I joined the game. It's just like the partners in my law firm. I have no idea how many tough decisions they have to deal with this this kind of economy, but I know if I did ever happen to be a fly on the wall (will never happen) I would probably find that we have the same kind of strong leaders in that group. Or at least I figure this is the case after seeing how we're still doing OK and hopefully starting to come out of the recession. One can be hopeful! But that's not here nor there. The point is, I saw a new side of our leaders that made me appreciate them even more.

So all in all, I never would have thought that I would luck into gear when I was out of ICC on the weekend, but that's how it goes sometimes. I sure hope I can find time to build some more relationships like this in the future. Of course helping Mikola run the Ulduar hard mode events is one way to keep this going, so let's hope that goes well.

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