How I Learned to Stop Being Solo and Love the Guild
I began playing WoW about 5 years ago, and until recently, I’d not really changed my individualistic personality much. I had friends playing WoW, and I’d run with them a few times, but it always felt like I was obligated to be there, since inevitably if I missed a day, I’d get “Where were you last night, I didn’t see you log in?” Further, I felt like I always had to lead, possibly because I was more used to the MMO experience (I’d played some EverQuest in the past), which seemed frustrating at times, especially with those friends who wouldn’t play unless grouped. (In retrospect, though, I probably had done some of that to my more experienced EQ friends, and so, in that regards, I might be a hypocrite, but I don’t think I was actually paralyzed to do anything if my friends weren’t there, I just tended to die a lot more, but I digress.)
About a month ago, I was fortunate to run into a certain warlock in Feralas. She was lower level than the zone, and thus she was having some trouble with a particular quest, and it just happened to be the one I was working on, myself. I was of roughly the level of the quest itself, and was having less trouble with it, so I had been buzzing around the area, eliminating the appropriate mobs, and staying alive fairly easily, and I think I had zipped by her at one point, and killed one of the quest mobs right near to where she was – not one she was targetting at the time, but one that she may have had her eye on, while dealing with other nearby mobs.
I had noticed her, but didn’t think much at the time, just focusing on the quest at hand. Then, I got the first whisper of many that would change my life on Cairne going forward…
“Could you please let me have one of those? I only have 7 minutes left.”
Hmm… Is this someone who was just trying to get one of those mobs out from under me? What’s “7 minutes” – the amount of time the player had left before needing to log out?
I thought, “Ah well, I’ve got more time than that, so…” and I let her know, “Ok, sure,” and began to help clear out towards the mob in question. I even provided her the coordinates of one of those mobs, to which she told me, “I don’t have coords.”
(Funnily enough, said warlock then Feared a mob in the area where we both were, which was ripe with adds, and I mentioned that “Fearing is probably not a good idea, with all these adds.” The fact that I was advising her on how to run in this area is still a joke to this day, the reason for which will become more apparent in just a moment.)
So, having cleared out to the mob, I led her to and let her get the quest mob she needed, and all was good. Right?
15 minutes later, I’m looking around, and she’s still on… What the heck? What happened to 7 minutes? So I ask… and she says “It was the quest timer, didn’t you know?”
Quest timer? What quest timer? I didn’t see one, and told her such. We talked for a little bit about that point, and went our separate ways…
Until the next day, when I got a whisper from a different character, asking how things were going, and informing me that she was the warlock from the night before. Looking at her character profile, I read “79 Mage” and laughed about the fact I had tried to tell her a bit about how to play her class. Fortunately, she didn’t hold it against me, and much talk ensued, some WoW and some non-WoW, leading to… “Want to join my guild?”
I waffled on that, for sure, as is my nature. I was in a guild already, but it was a startup guild that wasn’t really doing anything much. We only had 5 regular members, and not much else going on. I said that I’d think about it, and came up with a few reasons for not leaving right away. “I want to see what happens with this guild.” “I want to help them get better, if I can.” And so on…
A week or two later, I was still waffling, but she and I had started grouping together on some of her other characters, doing instances and just in-general chatting away. Finally, when I hit level 53 or so, she came up with an idea… “When you hit 55, make your Death Knight, and he can be in the guild.”
“Good idea,” I thought. But as I met a few other people in her guild, and got used to playing with others, I found myself rushing towards 55. I felt excited about playing, and energized to make progress. I found myself thinking about how to be a better group player, and not just worrying about how to be a good soloist. “What will I offer to the guild?” flitted through my mind more times than “What quest do I need to do next?”
In other words, I wasn’t even in the guild yet, and I was hooked on the concept. This mage, her guild members (and yes, it is HER guild – I found out after the fact), and just being part of a group regularly had changed my perceptions of what a guild could be, and how much fun it was to not be just by myself, in WoW.
The day I started my Death Knight, I joined The Lords of the Underworld. My shaman has since joined as well. I’ve not looked back since.
It’s been a great experience. I’m not having to think as much about “what I want to do”, as much anymore. I like being a regular, with people saying “Hey, how’s it going?” and actually conversing about how things are going, and wanting to know what’s up. We have Ventrilo, and getting to talk to these people in the game and out, has completely changed the experience, for the better, as I feel like I’m really getting to know everyone. If we ever had a guild meet, for example, I’d try like heck to make it. These people are fun.
And it all culminated, last night after 5 years of off-and-on WoW, in the most fun experience I’ve had in a group. My guildies ran The Ring of Blood for me. Just for me. And I’m supremely grateful.
So, my thanks to my guild master, Bypolar, and her warlock, Çÿñ, for helping open up a myriad of new possibilities for enjoyment in WoW. It’s been a blast, and I look forward to the instance groups being planned. And to think, I’d never have had the chance if I hadn’t been in Feralas at just the right time.
And, thanks to my guildies, Jahk, Syrhen, and Cryonic, for running The Ring of Blood for me. I’ll make it up to y’all down the road.
My 2 yen to Bypolar,
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