Our guild downed heroic Domo last night - we are now 3/7 hardmodes! I'm incredibly proud of us and how far we've come in just a few short weeks. Since the nerf we've downed one new heroic boss per week and we're showing no signs of slowing down! As we down more bosses, we're getting more signups to raid and you can feel a renewed sense of enthusiasm in the raid group.
I've noticed though that we're starting to go back to that "serious progression" mindset. While I don't mind serious progression, I like knowing where we stand one way or another. Are we a progression-driven, casualcore guild that keeps track of attendance, performance, min/maxing etc etc? Or are we strictly casual and missing one raid is not going to land me on the bench indefinitely? It's hard to gauge things right now.
When we raid we do joke around plenty and the RLs don't fly off the handle if we get one no-show or someone is 15 min late. During a boss fight people still crack jokes and poke fun at each other, even if it's a progression fight.
But last night we were told by the more serious of the two RLs to "stop messing around and focus". His tone wasn't mean or snippy, it was just a calm, but firm warning. It caught me a little off guard because while it was hardmode Domo, we had only put in a couple attempts so far - it was far from a situation where everyone is pissy from 2 hours of almost-had-it situations. And the other RL was joking around too, and I thought we were all having a good time and being a little goofy.
I didn't take it personally because I knew it wasn't directed just at me, but it did dampen my attitude for the rest of that night. And yeah, we downed Domo after all and everyone was happy. But I dunno...are we really the type of guild that can't tolerate a few silly comments during fights?
I know my guild used to be a pretty serious progression guild - that's why I joined, and that's why I left, because we no longer raided. At that time I wanted raid progression, and I treated the guild as a means to get what I wanted out of the game (as I'm sure many of the raiders did as well).
And now I'm back in this guild because I like the people, I like our atmosphere and I like that I click well with everyone - we have similar nerdy hobbies, similar sense of humor and similar interests. I'm not here to push bleeding edge progression - I'm just here to have fun. Which is why I don't mind sitting out a couple nights or I don't sweat it if a raid gets cancelled.
I guess the whole point of this is that I don't know if I would be happy going back to the old model. I gave up hardcore progression for a reason - it was too much like a job. It took a lot of enjoyment out of the game to treat raiding as the single all-important element of the game. When you stake 3 hours worth of fun on getting down a raid boss, and that raid gets cancelled or you wipe all night, you end up just feeling crappy and angry at other people for not showing up, not playing well, etc.
I still enjoy raiding and still look forward to every raid night - I think end-game raiding will always be a big part of wow for me, but I've learned to not get hung up on it so much. I would be happy raiding once a month or twice a week and anything in between, as long as it's with the right people and it's a chill atmosphere. I've learned to branch out and enjoy other aspects of the game (soloing old instances, BGs, achievement farming, alts, the list goes on). Raiding is not the ultimate goal anymore - it's just one of the many things I do on wow.
Well, I guess we'll see how things play out. At this point it's nothing more than a gut feeling that's worrying me. I know that we're going to continue pushing progression likely until heroic Rag goes down, and then the Deathwing raid will be right around the corner. I just don't want to go back to that "THIS IS SRS BSNS" mentality at this point. It's no fun to sweat bullets during a raid.