Xeppe (author of the excellent blog An Ordinary Priest) and I have a strange history.
I actually found Xeppe’s blog through a link via another link from someone else’s blog. I was amazed to discover that she was not just a fellow Priest, or a fellow Oceanic Priest, or even a fellow Barthilas player – Barthilian?, or even another girl WoW player. No. Xeppe was all those things, but even more interestingly, she was a brand new recruit in my guild’s shady splinter guild: DeZire.
Talk about good gossip!
You see, back around the time my guild was first struggling with the new Icecrown Citadel hard modes two distinct, but major events occurred within our ranks. Firstly, we recruited a third Mage to join our two existing Mages (the existing pair of boys happened to be very good friends and had gamed together for years and I think, perhaps, even knew each other well outside the game). The third Mage, I’m sorry to say, was a piece of work. She was one of those people who help perpetuate the girls-are-trouble-and-don’t-belong-in-serious-raid-teams stereotypes.
In those days we made a fundamental mistake. One that your guild is probably making right now:
We put our pure caster DPS in Group 3.
Do not do this. For the love of god, do not do this. It was pure happenstance that one week I also found myself in Group 3 (perhaps I had logged on extremely early and sniped one of the first slots). And by the time we had killed Heroic Blood Princes party chat had dissolved into a pretty serious argument between New Mage and I over the Shadow Silk Spindle. New Mage made a snarky comment when one of our Restoration Druids (not Lathere, by the way) outbid everyone else and won the Heroic Shadow Silk Spindle. It was the first one our raid had seen, and yes, coveted by all the casters.
New Mage felt that the item should be for DPS casters only. Because any serious raider would know that there is a Spirit offhand waiting to be had from Heroic Sindragosa, and that is better for Restoration Druids, and the Resto Druid that won the Shadow Silk Spindle was outting themselves for being unprepared and ignorant of their class.
I think she was surprised that I was so angry with her. I think she was really just directing her complaint towards the other two Mages in the party, and both agreed with her, and never intended for me to see the conversation. I’d certainly never seen her say anything like that in Guild or Raid chat before.
I have no patience for players who claim to know what other classes should or shouldn’t be equipping (especially when it’s to argue that someone doesn’t deserve the item you want – talk about biased!). And furthermore our loot system is set up to be as open as possible and we make no concessions for best in slot or class by class comparisons. It’s not a Loot Council. Far from it. You bid on what you want. And if you want it that bad be prepared to spend a lot.
We got into another argument about a week later, also in Party Chat, but I can’t remember what it was about. By then I had mentally labeled her as a Troublemaker with a capital T. Over the next few weeks our other two Mages became more and more discontent with our raiding and were quite vocal about it. They were fast to post DPS meters when one of the Mages had hit the #1 spot, and very defensive of each-other if anyone dared point out a mistake that one of them had made.
At the same time one of the core founding members of the guild, a Rogue, was also becoming unhappy with our raiding. He was angry when we struggled to get numbers, angry when he felt the officers weren’t recruiting properly. He was angry at our raid leading, angry at our mistakes. He eventually left to join a more progressed guild and I, like most of the guild, was both sad and relieved.
Anyway, to make a long story short, our unhappy Rogue decided to come back and give our guild, and his old friends still in the guild, another go. He chafed under the rules even more than before. Throw that into the mix with our 3 discontent Mages and it was a pretty miserable time to be raiding with Vitare. I blogged about it here.
To make a very long story short, during a tough night wiping on Professor Putricide, our Raid Leader decided to penalise one of our Mages (who had been topping the DPS meters) for doing something silly: getting hit by Malleable Goo or something. Within a few minutes all three Mages had left the raid and left the guild. While it was completely expected, and in fact the officers had over-recruited caster DPS just for that reason, it was still a pretty uncomfortable moment for the guild. Probably the most drama we’d seen in two or three years.
Not long after, perhaps a week or two later, our unhappy Rogue also called it quits. This time he decided to head up a brand new 25 man raiding guild on Barthilas, clearing the same content, with the same hours, same start time, same everything as our guild. DeZire started with 1 Rogue and 3 Mages. They took raiding applicants that we declined. They welcomed raiders who decided they didn’t like us enough to stay after their trial period (we can’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I suppose). And they built themselves up to a formidable and successful raiding guild, eventually surpassing us on the server progression tables if not by content cleared, but by the speed that they were able to clear it.
So imagine my surprise when I started reading An Ordinary Priest and all the drama of their new 25 man raiding guild is there to see written in between the lines of a young Discipline Priest second guessing herself during her raiding trial. It starts here, and gets better, and even better here and ends here.
Xeppe and I got to talking both on her blog and also in game – after all, we were on the same server raiding the same content at the same time. We had many online friends in common, and I had met a few of her raid team in real life so I had my own impressions and stories to tell.
Unfortunately Xeppe didn’t have a very good time of it in her Barthilas guild. I started thinking of ways to get her into Vitare. I knew she would fit right in, and while her guild and mine were identical in raid times, gear and progression, the personalities and attitudes which drive both guilds are as different as night and day.
As much as I would have liked to sponsor an application to my guild from Xeppe the timing was all wrong. We had a full roster of Priests and our Raid Leader leader is a Discipline Priest. And she was of the opinion that Discipline Priests don’t stack well. Tack on our two excellent and long term Holy Priests and there was just no reason, other than pure favoritism, to welcome another healing Priest to the team.
I was dismayed to hear that Xeppe had burned out and left Barthilas, forever associating hardcore raiding, 25 mans, and progression raiding with that bad experience in DeZire.
If you haven’t been reading An Ordinary Priest you might not know it but Xeppe has turned from a white bar into a dark blue one: these days she’s playing a Restoration Shaman. And it just so happens that my guild, Vitare, is being very open-minded about our roster for Cataclysm. And there’s definitely room for a Restoration Shaman.
There’s room for Xeppe. If only I could convince her!
Natassia, a Rogue in my guild, played with Xeppe when they were both in DeZire, Xeppe’s old Barthilas guild. She chimed in on Xeppe’s blog to add support to my Must Recruit Xeppe Plan of Attack. Our Raid Leader has been reading An Ordinary Priest on and off for almost a year. Our Recruitment Officer is keen for Xeppe to join too.
And if you need further proof of how much we want you to join, Xeppe, here it is!
My hopes for Vitare in Cataclysm are thus: to hash over our experiences in game online here at HoTs & DoTs (written by yours truly and if you’re lucky you might get some mad ramblings from Lathere), our guild’s anti-gnomes Warlock over at Emberstorm (written by Velidra) and our future guild’s Absolutely Unique Shaman (that would be Xeppe)!
ps. These days it is a firm rule in Vitare that Mages are never placed in the same party within a raid and are, instead, almost always separated among Groups 2-4.