Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog
A resto shaman perspective on raiding


November 1, 2013

T16: Raiding with Friends


It was the first pull of the night, the warm-up before we got into an evening’s attempts that would be filled with missed interrupts, bad positioning, and the inevitable tank deaths. And then, in barely the blink of an eye, it was over and Garrosh lay in a heap on the corrupted ground of Stormwind Harbor. On the friggin first pull of Wednesday night. In all my years of raiding, it was probably the least epic kill that I’ve experienced. I didn’t scream, I didn’t cheer; hell, even if I had, I wouldn’t have woken the neighbors because it was 9-bloody-o’clock in the evening and even schoolchildren don’t go to bed that early! I just sat there and stared at my screen in disbelief.

US#7, World #23.

It’s not cutting edge by any means, and I’m sure if Sonie could, he’d pat me on the head and say “months behind”. But, it makes me smile nonetheless, because instead of being a shocking tooth-and-nail kill, Promethean’s triumph over HM Garrosh on Wednesday night, was, surprisingly easy. A week’s worth of (finally!) good loot drops, propelled us from somewhere around US#20 in gear to US#4. An additional night’s worth of practice that was almost unanimously agreed upon by a guild still stinging from some very pointed, and completely baseless, animosity. And a little bit of the breezy humor that comes from a group of people comfortable enough with each other that they sing “Spiderpig” in the middle of attempts, make some of the most horrible geeky puns known to man, and tease a guild leader about the size of his, uh … epeen.

No, it wasn’t an epic kill that we had Wednesday night, by any stretch of the imagination. But it was the most satisfying that I’ve had in a long, long time.

For me, that’s rather big shift in circumstance. In the years that I’ve spent getting up to this level of raiding, I’ve always had my eyes set on that one prize—the truly epic kill. When I started this expansion, I chose a guild I believed would deliver exactly that: those epic, nerd-raging first kills, on a schedule for people who just can’t do Blood Legion-type hours. (Believe you me, I wish I could). I was just getting over the demise of the Vigil that I knew (not the one resurrected by Itchyy’s very capable hands), and I thought that the pain of loss could be overcome by the sheer ambition displayed by newcomer guild, Accession.

Unfortunately, as my guild history so wonderfully demonstrates, I am oftentimes like the friggin “Death Cat” when it comes to raiding teams. And as Accession collapsed shortly after my departure, my subsequent guild, Infallible, decided to end its raiding efforts at the end of Tier 14, a scant couple of months after I arrived. At which point I found myself once again pouring over the Wowprogress rankings, hoping that another roll of the dice wouldn’t wind up ending my raiding career for good. 8 guild collapses is close to the limit of any player’s tolerances, I would think, even if it has been over the span of 7 years.*

So after chatting with friends at WWA, Midwinter, and the new Vigil, I found myself intrigued with a little guild that no one (including myself) had really noticed before. At that point, all I wanted was a guild that refused to die, and I’m pretty sure that was one of the questions I posed to Amiye, the GM of Promethean, when I first met him. I didn’t care that I would be second fiddle to a Resto Shaman already entrenched in their ranks, I didn’t care that I would be joining a healing roster that was already bulging at the seams with 2-3 of each healing class, and, most importantly, I decided that I didn’t give a rat’s ass about ranks. I just wanted to make it through a tier without my world falling down around me.

What I got out of my leap of faith was two tiers of surprisingly respectable finishes and an entirely different perspective on what a raid team could be like. There were no outwardly hostile mini-factions, there were no players who were untouchable by criticism, and there was no shortage of genuine interest in playing this game. I got a team that hangs out all in the same Mumble channel even when raids aren’t going on, that levels and gears 2nd, 3rd and 4th alts, and a healing team so skilled that I’m always fearful for my raid spot (which is a wonderful thing, believe you me). It may sound like I’m waxing poetic, and I am, but I’m not doing it to rub my lucky choices in anyone’s face or claim that my guild is unique. Rather, I bring it up here, when talking about the end of a tier, because I was so blindsided by the simple discovery that I could actually be content.

Which is why it didn’t take an epic kill to make me proud of how I finished up the Mists of Pandaria expansion. It took an easy one. Because it reminded me that even though I’ve struggled with and bested every single encounter since the beginning of BC, what stays with me after all these years and what I smile about when I reminisce, isn’t the bosses I fought. But rather, what really matters, are the friends I fought them with.

* No joke, I have actually been through 8 guild collapses in my raiding career. In BC, it was Vertigo. In Wrath, it was Eternal Demise, Accounting, and Aftermath. In Cataclysm, it was Forgotten Heroes, Vigil, and Premonition. And in Mists, it was Accession (which doesn’t count, since I willingly left), and Infallible. But how about this number–total number of times that I’ve been a trial in a guild? 13. (With thankfully, a 100% success rate, lol).


  1. Qooxxy

    Unbelievable… You are a rare shaman Vixsin!

    And after I read this.. You actually just reminded me the most important thing about being in a guild.

    Thank you.


  2. Krizzo

    Beautiful read – you are a very skilled writer and if your blog wasn’t about a geeky and nerdy game like world of warcraft you could probably be earning a lot of money!

    I have often thought about searching for a hardcore guild again, haven’t been in one since I was in BC(Being in public school back then gave me a lot of sparetime). But the friends and contacts I have made from being in a guild with a good reputation and friendly players are truly more worth than a rank 50+ guild who would replace you if they find some new random guy who is better than you.

    Even in real life it’s all about the people you know.

    • What a wonderful compliment–thank you. :)

      I’m truly lucky that I found a guild that I can be friends with and push the progression rankings that I’m after. I honestly hadn’t thought it was possible!

  3. Radicals

    What a beautiful person

  4. Talexei

    I can understand this, even though I am FAR, FAR, FAR lower in gear/skill/drive. I went from a Guild of friends with whom I spent a bunch of time (going through all of LK, and a bunch of Cata, before having to take a break from the game for financial reasons. I came back to see the Guild basically abandoned. I went to another Guild for a while but they weren’t really raiding or doing much as a Guild. Then a couple of weeks ago some of the members from my old Guild decided to come back to WoW. We’ve been having fun doing stupid things like 4-man raiding old content (we downed Deathwing last night just for giggles).. It reminded me that WoW is a SOCIAL game. So I wish for you a lot more adventures with this new group of friends that you have found.

  5. Harm

    Congrats on finding a guild with good players who are also good people sometimes I think such a guild doesn’t exist.

    On a side note… Where’s the posts telling us what your take on this tier is gear wise? You usually have some post about trinket bis and stat priority changes.

    EJ seems pretty dead. ask mr robot is full of you know what unless you put in custom variables for spirit and haste. And sites like noxxic and icy veins will only get you so far and half the time have misinformation.

    Help us Vix … your our only hope.

  6. Harm

    Also I expect graphs and spreadsheets.

    Get to work!!

  7. Harpoa

    Grats on your kill. Enjoying the people you raid with is just as, if not more, important than the raid design itself.

  8. shammypie

    8 guild collaspes isn’t as big as you think. I went through that in the last year. I would imagine its a bigger deal for truly hardcore guilds but there are an unbelievable amount of semi hardcore guilds that collaspe all the time. This is probably due to their nature. They are guilds that want to do challenging content but with the mindset of playing a game. recruitment for them is horrible and you have many people who want different things

    • shammypie

      wtf a semi hardcore guild that doesn’t require me to show up every week or have to raid past 10pm EST that can still do heroics (cough mythics) and doesn’t tell me to go improve my gear because i’m behind even though i cleared normals and the first heroic boss a while ago.

  9. You know Vixsin, I never thought I would read this kind of post from you. But then, lots about you has surprised me this week! For some reason, for all these years, I thought you were male (and only after reading your comment on Lissanna’s post did I realise you were female), and now amongst your healing guides and shaman how-to’s I see this heartfelt post about friendship and epic journeys. Thanks for the great read.
    Navimie´s last post ..Raiding – Back in the saddle, and some good news for our raiders

    • Truthfully, I never imagined that I would write it. I have been, at times, quite unrelenting in my climb up the progression ladder. And I think the side effect of that has been a somewhat cynical view about the transitory nature of friendships within the game. So, for me to find a home where I actually value the friends more than the ranking is actually quite a foreign/progressive concept for me! 😛

  10. hey vix! It’s woohaah from FH days. Gz on your meteoric rise in raiding! FH was crushed when you left as there went our best healer by a long shot!

    Hope you and promethian have a good future!

    • O. M. G. As if I could ever forget the best hunter NA. Thanks for the well wishes and the amazing ego boost.

      I do wish I could have kept in touch with more of the FH crew; I have such good memories of everyone (Mov, Joy, Kieska, Terry/Destruckt’s bathroom breaks, cranky Nekroh, Daoz, and Syvha of course! lol). Kailee joined me in Pie Chart for a while, and Mek almost made the move there as well. Hell, I even kept Darksend on my friends list for AGES! But drifting apart was inevitable. Which makes the unexpected message from you all that much more wonderful; I’m just flattered to be remembered.

      Hope all is well with you and that you’re enjoying your adventures, wherever they may be. :)

      • Haha I was no Havokz ( never could figure out how he does such insane DPS :( ) but ty ty. After you left ( i think it was just before we downed sinestra?) We killed sinestra I got my loot and then sold the account. I’m back again but just keeping it easy with flex/LFR

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