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The Sweet and the Bitter

The sweet:  Friday night, The Anvil, on the sixth try of the night, dropped Yogg-Saron to complete our run through normal 25-man Ulduar.  We had to extend our lockout two weeks to do it, so we’d have enough time on Friday to get some good attempts in on the Old God, and finally, everything came together.

The bitter:  While the rest of The Anvil was beating the Yoggy out of, uh, Yoggy…my lovely wife, my charming daughter Nublet, and I were in a motel room in Perry, Georgia, asleep.  We would be getting up the next day to sell my wife’s handmade shinies at a very cold but very fun craft festival.  (Aside:  54 degrees, 15 mph north wind, wind chill in the low 40s.  30 miles south of Macon.  In fucking October.  Global warming, my big fat hairy ass.)

Finding out on Saturday evening that the raid killed Yoggy gave me some mixed emotions.  Of course, I’m happy that “we” finally got the chance, by extending the raid lockout another week and creatively scheduling, to get enough attempts in to work through the chaos of the fight and bring it to a successful conclusion.  Even though I missed part of the week before as well due to catching a cold or hamthrax or plague or cooties or something that I’m still not quite over yet, I was still a part of clearing at least the front of Ulduar in that lockout, and had been there for our earlier attempts on Yogg as well.  We’re a pretty tight group, and like most good raids (cutting-edge progression or not), we live or die as a team, and team accomplishments are more important than individual glory.

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a tiny pang of “well, shit.”

I wasn’t there.  I wasn’t there for our first Yoggy kill.  I had a legitimate reason for not being there, of course…we do this craft show every year on the third weekend in October, it’s basically a (hard-)working vacation for us because my wife grew up going to it–her mom sold her handmade cornhusk dolls at every show for twenty-seven straight years until she got too sick to go.  In fact, we even now have her mom’s old booth spot…booth A1, right by the entrance gate.  It’s vastly more important that we be there–to make some money, to see old friends, to watch Nublet have the time of her life charming people and playing in dirt and riding hayrides and petting cows–than to attend our raid.  My raid friends understand that.  It was all planned out ahead of time, and honestly, my attendance has been so good in the past, even missing two weeks (one sick, one traveling) isn’t an issue.

But I wasn’t there for the first kill.  I wasn’t there to see my chat window vomit forth 25 peoples’ achievement spam.  I wasn’t there for the obligatory celebratory screenshot.  We’ll kill Yoggy again, I have no doubt, but when we do, it won’t be the first time.  It’ll be smoother and less painful, but it won’t be the first time.  (Draw your own analogies.  They’re glaringly obvious.)

And then there’s The Voice In The Back Of My Head.  I hate that bastard.  He’s the one that says things like, “see, they killed Yogg-Saron without you and we’re running a four-tank rotation as it is, they don’t need you.”  I don’t listen to him as much as I used to when he’d make me doubt myself and have me half-convinced every week that the raid was about to dump me for poor performance, but he’s still there, and there’s still a little part of the ol’ brain that buys into his bullshit.  Yes, I have a bit of a gear gap to the other three tanks because they’re all in 10-mans in addition to our 25, and none of the 10-mans I know have any tank slots available.  Yes, I am still the Minister of Silly Mistakes.  Yes, when I’m assigned DPS, my DPS is laughably bad, and when tanking my DPS is below our warrior tank and far below our paladin and DK.  But I’ve also successfully MT’d everything in Ulduar 25 up through Vezax and everything but Anub in ToC 25.  I’m not uber, but dammit, I don’t suck.

So here’s today’s topic for discussion.  How have you felt when you haven’t been there for a big important raid first–a first kill, a first clear, a first achievement or hardmode?  I think it’s natural to have a little undertone of bitter along with the sweet when knowing that your team pulled it off, but they did it without you.  Deep down, I think we all want to feel a little indispensable.  But the most important thing is that the team, the raid, pulled it off.  And even if you weren’t there for the actual kill, you did your part to help them get there.

10 responses

  1. In Vanilla wow, I was here for the first kill of every boss since I joined…Brood Lord onward of BWL, most of AQ40, etc. I missed two boss kills in AQ (Huhu and Twin Emps) due to immigration wrangling, which made me sad…

    …but nothing made me more sad that missing every. Single. First. Kill. In. Kara.


    I was gutted. But that was part of the suck and fail of going from 40 mans to 10s…

    October 21, 2009 at 12:04

  2. Learning to swallow your ego would be a good lesson for most raiders (and particularly raid leaders). The reality is that no one is “necessary” to a raid team – or at least no one is more necessary than anyone else.

    Pretty sure I learned this one back in Molten Core. I was going on vacation and I was the “Main Tank” for this particular run. There was some role swapping and they did as well with me as without me.

    If it makes you feel better, the feeling gets less with time.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:08

  3. Verdus

    Yeah, I know when I’ve had to miss out on first kills, it sucked. There’s definitely a greater feeling of accomplishment when everything comes together and clicks like that. It’ll pass, though. There’s always another Big Bad to beat our heads against, and with any luck you’ll be there the first time we pwn Arthas in the face.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:31

  4. I don’t know if I would agree with you Tarsus on two counts.

    1) the feeling doesn’t come from that desire to be “necessary.” It comes from wanting to be part of the group. A desire to feel that rush to be part of the excitement.

    2) For me it never goes away. A few months ago, I left a progression orientated 10 man group because leading a raid and burying my head into that group with those particular personalities was far too much stress.

    Every time they get together, and get an achivement, even though I am happy they managed to pull through, it hurts a little. Because part of me still wants to be there.

    October 21, 2009 at 14:45

  5. Missing a first-kill doesn’t really bother me, but I sure do know the Voice In The Back Of Your Head! Mine is pretty loud sometimes, too. I say we invest in some gnomish technology that responds to those sorts of thoughts with loud mooing, bleating, chicken noises, or possibly murloc gurgles.

    “Nobody needs totems! Aspect of Canada is great!” “RRGGLGLGLGLLLL!”

    I think there’s money to be made in this.

    October 21, 2009 at 15:27

  6. I don’t really feel bad when this happens… I’m in a semi-casual guild and even we don’t do Ulduar25 in loops we still do lots of stuff together… I’d feel more disapointed if an epic mount we’d been farming for 2 years finally dropped when I was absent. You’re happy for the guy who got it but still feel something pinching in your chest.

    October 21, 2009 at 22:13

  7. I have that bastard in my head as well … I’m actually pretty used to not being there for Big Moments because I am Perpetually Late To The Party Guy and I am literally never on the cusp of content. Also, actually, I have to accept the fact that I am kind of … well … basically any raid I sign up to, my guild could objectively be taking some better … better geared, better, just better.

    On the other hand, if I’d been doing something consistently with a group of people … and I wasn’t there for the kill, I’d feel pretty damn gutted too.

    October 22, 2009 at 05:27

  8. Pingback: Disorganisation thy name is Tamarind aka in which he pulls a post out his arse at Righteous Orbs

  9. I was crushed when I missed my guild’s first kill of Kael’thas – I think that was the first and only time WoW made me cry. Then I ended up missing our first Yogg-Saron kill under exactly the same circumstances, and when it looked for a while as if we were never going to kill him again I was really close to quitting raiding altogether.

    I know that voice at the back of your head all too well too, what’s worse is when it goes from “they are doing fine without you, they don’t need you” to “they couldn’t kill him when you were there, obviously they are better off without you”. Even when you know that it’s kind of selfish and irrational it still hurts a little.

    October 26, 2009 at 11:48

  10. I missed the Yogg first guild kill too. I had been on every single night of wipe but this time, the RL decided I was not geared enough.
    I spent the whole night wiping on a 10-man Vezax with a bunch of applicants not able to dodge shadow crashes, the whole night ! And my boyfriend was in the other raid and I could see their attemps on the other screen.

    And when they were in p3, my group stopped and we waited, I was watching the other screen. And then the guild chat was filled with achievements, and we were like : “…”. My boyfriend was ecstatic and I wanted to cry…

    It was a very hard moment. We changed guild a few weeks ago and he playing a mage and me a hunter, they badly needed him in their ToGC runs, but I was often left aside. I missed all the first guild kills there too… But ToGC isn’t as great as Yogg…

    But it was just unfair this time because our gear were pretty much the same level. I often have the feeling that because I’m the girl and he’s the boy, people trust him more easily to play well, which is stupid… I know how I play and how he plays and we have the skill to do the same bosses…

    Actually, I don’t really care when none of the two of us miss first guild kills, it’s just not fair when one of us is not part of the fun, and oddly, it’s always me…

    October 27, 2009 at 05:40

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