I wrote a post last time about my gradual progression from caster to melee classes, and after reading a fellow guildmate’s blog post, I realized another very important part of the whole “fun factor”: it isn’t just what class you play, but who you play with. You could play a class that you enjoy tremendously, do amazing DPS/be an amazing tank/be an awesome healer, but if you can’t stand the people you play with, what’s the point? Fortunately, there’s a reason why World of Warcraft has so many guilds around: there’s pretty much something for everyone.
I’ve mentioned before that throughout my WoW career, I’ve only been in one guild. We’ve transferred servers three times, had three different names, have had a number of people pass through it, but it’s still the same guild (more or less). At the core, Band of Thorns is a casual raiding guild looking for progression while still keeping the fun in the game. A good analogy that a former officer brought up is that he thought of our raid nights smiliarly to a weekly poker game or bowling night. It’s a bunch of people getting together and having fun, but taking the game seriously when needed.
In Vanilla, we were able to get through all of Molten Core except for Executus and Rag with having between 25-30 people show up for a raid, along with full clears of Zul’Gurub and all but Ossirian of AQ20. In Burning Crusade, we were able to clear all progression raids until Kael’thas in Tempest Keep. Now in Wrath, we got up to 9/12 of Icecrown-25, and have done a full clear of ICC10 and have 5 hard modes down.
The best part about all of this? Up until Wrath this was all done in two raid nights a week, and for the end part of Wrath, we’ve only been doing one night a week – with a maximum of three hours per night. This is what casual raiding is in my mind: being able to progress through the content but not needing to have five hour raids, five nights a week.
This is what works for me. I’m sure that there are some people who love the long raids multiple times per week, and there’s no problem with that. That type of guild wouldn’t exist if people didn’t want it.
In spring of this year, our 25-man raids blew up. People got frustrated, people were getting burnt out, and once everything was said and done we went from having over five people extra for the 25-mans to not being able to field enough people for a 10-man. There weren’t any organized raids for months until we started up again at the end of August, once a week. We downed Arthas for the first time two weeks ago, and in our first night of heroic attempts we got five down, and one-shot Arthas. To me, this shows that we still have a great group of dedicated raiders who want to progress.
On top of the whole raiding scene, the friendships that I’ve made in the guild have been excellent. I’ve been able to meet two guild members, one from Cincinnati and one from the Bay Area, who I never would have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. We have fun while raiding, while doing PvP, while questing, while leveling, and whatever else we’re doing. Certain things we will never forget, such as the “Kantri Sigh” (our former GM giving a huge sigh whenever we would wipe or do something stupid), the “Arch of Jamaxsum” (right before Lucifron in Molten Core, if you go too near to the doorway that you came out of, the imps will aggro you and wipe an unprepared raid), or how it’s always Isis’ fault (it’s always fun to /roll for blame after a wipe).
After the 25-man raids blew up, I very seriously started considering applying to a new guild because I wanted to still be able to progress through the raid content which I’ve been enjoying. I truly can’t say how happy I am that it was able to be saved through the actions of one of our guildmates who decided to kick-start the raiding scene again (thanks Terean).
I really don’t ever want to leave this guild. I’ve had some great times, some not-so-great times, and many things in between. Everything I want in a guild is where I’m at right now. I really hope that other people are able to be as luck as I’ve been.