Stirring the pot
I spent about 6 months at level 70 in Souls of FxC, raiding what I would not consider casually, trying to kill some bosses and succeeding, but not pushing the envelope of progression. About half way through my last days in that guild, my roommate applied and got accepted to a guild called Crypt Friends. At the time he was an officer, and his departure set more than a few things in motion. It forced some of the better raiders in our guild to re-evaluate what they wanted out of the game, and if they wanted to stick with what was a more than slightly corrupted guild master. The guild had been run by a group of people who also happened to be a family. They controlled the guild money, mats and loot rules. They were also mediocre at best when it came to talent.
It was time for a shift in power, and it was time for drastic measures to allow for that shift in power. With the departure of our resident feral druid to CF, we were left with 5 officers in the guild. Three of them and a good number of the core raid started to discuss leaving for a new guild. After all the whispers had died down, 3 officers, and 20 main raiders, departed the guild to form a new guild, free of corruption and formed with the purpose of successfully killing bosses through and instituting a democratic leadership. And so, Exigent was formed, with a level 1 guild master who had no powers, and no executive vote. We had 5 council members which ended up being the leadership of the guild.
In retrospect, it was still just an officer corps, we just didn’t have someone actively controlling guild permissions. Exigent quickly made their way through Kara, Mag, and Grull, and started in on SSC and TK with the help of a few non guildes, as we had attendance problems. Honestly I do not have many memories of this time, because it was short, but it was sweet.
Healing a Pug Kara
One night, I got home from work and my roommate was sitting at his computer trying to get a kara run together. He was only short a healer, and I offered to help them if they wanted to bring someone from outside the guild to help. I had been invited to what would turn out to be my first Crypt Friends raid. We went out to Kara, and started killing things. The first thing that I noticed is that the dps that was in the group was significantly better than what I was used to, and threat seemed to be an issue most of the time. I think my salvation was permanently on cool down. We went out to nightbane’s ledge and got ready to pull.
From my perspective, the encounter which was about to start was one of the most significant events in my wow career, although not one of those two most important turning points in the game for me (the first being my re-roll to paladin and my second has yet to happen). We pulled nightbane and everything was going as expected. After the first air phase, some random orc lock with Tier 5 pulled off of our MT. Being a former main tank, this frustrated me on the inside, but none the less, I did what any paladin healer would do, I BoP’ed him before the dragon even had a chance to move. It was, by all intensive purposes, a great save on my part. As soon as the BoP wore off, I threw him a salvation, and a subsequent rebuff of kings.
I received some small but welcomed complements about my reaction time and use of spells and we kept going. The bosses all died, and they died in a quicker fashion than I had ever seen. We were out of Kara in no time, and I was headed back to shat to do what ever it was that I thought was important at the time when I received a whisper from the warlock who I saved. He gave me a very nice complement on my skills as a holy paladin, my ability to react quickly and effectively, and then asked me a very simple question.
Why didn’t you apply to CF when Rojan did?
This question was kind of puzzling to me at the time, but I politely answered that at the time I worked during half of their raid week and did not think that it would benefit them to have a holy paladin who was only there half the time. My perception of CF was one of a hard core guild who would expect nothing less than 90% attendance from their raiders. He replied to me that he would rather have me in the guild 50% of the time, than not at all if I was willing to heal like I did in the kara run for them all the time. I honestly did not know who this guy was, and I had never heard of him. The guild leader at the time was their MT, and the guy right underneath him was a priest named Thatpriest (TP). What I didn’t know was that this random warlock who I had impressed so much, was actually TP, a very high ranking officer, and soon to be guild leader of CF.
My Last Guild Ever
After weighing my options and discussing it over with my roommates, one of which was in CF and one of which was an officer in my current guild, I ultimately decided that I wanted to raid more, see more content, and see it at an end game pace and level. I explained my situation to the officers of Exigent, said my good byes to my guild and the raiders who I had been playing with for two and a half years, and /gquit for CF. I felt like a very small fish in a very big pond. CF was quite a bit above what I was used to, and they currently had four paladin healers, so I was not sure if I was ever going to get to raid. However, I had told myself, I can go to CF and possibly earn a raid spot which would give me the opportunity to see new and exciting things, or I could stay and do nothing but farm content.
My first week in CF was similar to most peoples in a new guild. I was learning new names, roles, rules, and offering to help with anything I could to get my name out there and let them know who I was. My whole first raid week was spent on the wait list, fishing in Terrokar forest. I had been getting my raid food from one of the hunters in my old guild and thought that it would be rude to ask for free raid food from an ex guildy. So, I did what I had to and leveled up fishing and cooking. By the end of the raid week, I had earned all the dkp for the week, and I had leveled up my fishing and cooking enough to be prepared for raids.
The second week in the guild, one of the four paladins who was in the guild quit, and another did not show up for the raid, so I was invited and taken into my very first SSC. I was a full tier of gear behind the other healers, but I was prepared to push them and show them that I can do the same thing they can, but with less gear. For the most part I was right. I did my job, all while having my roommate explain the fights and where to stand in the background, since I had never been there and did not have very much information on how to do the fights. I walked out of SSC with a few new pieces of gear, including a Tier piece after my very first raid. Although I never asked, I am pretty sure I had impressed a few more people in the guild, and had earned a raid spot in the process.
Becoming part of the healing corps
Over the next few months CF was plowing through SSC and TK and getting prepared for Hyjal and BT. I was a purple power ranger and had caught up in gear with the rest of the guild. I had guaranteed 50% attendance rate, which was actually 100% since I worked two nights that they raided, and I was there every night I could be. I was one of our best paladins, and our guild was doing well from my perspective. However, there were quite a few raiders from CF who thought otherwise. The guild fissured in half. We lost a lot of raiders to a similar situation to what I had done to FxC earlier in the year. CF was left with about 14 core raiders, however this time it was a bit different we still had our Main Tank, and all of the officers.
The officers at the time did a great job of reaching out and figuring out what we could do to save the guild. The guild ended up, after what I assume took a lot of discussion, absorbing two guilds. One guild was a very small server transfer guild of 7 people who would bring us our elemental shaman and one of our best rogues. The other guild which we absorbed was none other than Exigent, my former guild. Between my room mate and I, we convinced the CF leadership at the time that they were skilled raiders and all of them were mature enough to handle our environment.
With the exodus of a lot of players, I was now one of the indispensable healers of the guild. I had, in a few short months, transitioned from a back up to the back up who was on the wait list, to a main raider with Crypt Friends. As we rebuilt the guild, we had to also teach all of these players how to do all of the encounters. We had the knowledge and the foundation, but the learning curves of the raiders was what mattered. In a few short weeks we had plowed through SSC and TK, killing all of the bosses and gearing up what was soon to be our new MT, an the MT who would carry us all the way through sunwell. A few weeks after that we were plowing through BT and Hyjal. There was a week in there where we killed 6 new bosses in BT. That was not something that happened often back in TBC. We had shown who got the better side of the split. The group of CF raiders who gquit to start their own guild were far behind us in progression, leadership, and ability to form raids.
The final test, and hard core raiding
I was a light-bringer, a 5/5 T6 paladin, and one of the better geared paladins on the server as a whole. I was pvping in arena as a holy pally and part of a 5v5 team which broke 2k very early on. There were only two paladins on the server who got their shoulders before me. As we farmed BT and Hyjal for the glaives and the last few pieces of gear which our raid needed to be prepared for the next tier of content, Sunwell came out. Sunwell was like no other instance I had ever been in, and as we got ready to pull the first trash mob, we were very excited. Then it happened… we wiped, and we wiped A LOT! We learned the encounter which was the trash before Kaelcgos, and started getting epic trash drops, fairly quickly.
While I know that our sunwell progression was over the course of many months, it all melts together for me. Long gone are the days where it takes weeks of raiding four days a week to kill the first boss of an instance or any subsequent boss after that. But in sunwell, we were wiping and we were wiping for a long time before seeing progress. But in the true fashion of Crypt Friends, once we killed those bosses they were on farm. Slowly but surely we made our way through sunwell killing Kalegos, where I was an MT healer who would readily stay out of the portal to keep the tank up, having to bubble to mitigate the damage which was flying around. I then transitioned to burn healer and judgement of wisdom bitch on Brutallus, which was one of the hardest fights I have ever had to heal.
Felmyst and twins went down fairly quickly and we were on a roll. I do not recall how far up the progression ladder we were, and from a recent discussion with one of our officers, he seems to think we are ranked higher now, but we were an elite guild. I was standing in Shat with lots of sunwell gear, and enjoying the elite level of play which our guild had created. But as with almost every guild in the world who was in Sunwell, Mu’ru made us his bitch. After wiping on Mu’ru for over a month, I was burnt out. I was spending more time at work researching wow than working, I was playing wow way too much, and I was overweight and in need of some serious time management.
I decided to take a break from WoW. At the time I had every intention of quitting and never coming back. I posted in our guild forums that I was quitting the game and I wished everyone the best of luck. I came to find out later that most of the officers had asked one of our holy paladins if that was going to hurt them, and she said yes, very much. However from my understanding, I was only the first of many who would take a break from wow between Mu’ru and Wrath of the Lich King. I was free of WoW, working out every day and back in Shape, hanging out with the opposite sex, and having a very good time. About two months before Wrath of the Lich King dropped, I started dating my girfriend, and everything was right with the world. Then she went to graveyards and life changed a bit. She slept all day, and was gone all night. There were only so many movies that I could watch, so I decided that I would casually play wow as a hunter, but we all know where this is going…
To Be Continued, AGAIN….