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First Steps

December 4, 2012

Dear Reader,

Ah, how the social chains of obligation can weave and warp to make you feel locked in place.  I made some mistakes this past weekend, I did, dear reader, and now I’m wondering how to get out of them.

I had a very positive WoW weekend overall; I stepped into my first two heroics and was successful without a wipe in both of them.  My wife and I hooked back up with our two friends in Germany; we were playing in the early afternoon and them late at night, but we decided we’d give a dungeon a try.  At first, my wife and I suggested we do a normal; we’d only done one dungeon at all in Pandaria – a normal Shado-Pan Monastery – and that without any metrics or research.  We just weren’t sure we were ready.

However, since I’m not tanking for now, we needed a tank.  The queue wasn’t even showing a potential wait time, either, so we asked in guild.  One of the fellows mentioned he was a tank, but asked, “Why are you doing a normal instead of a heroic?”  We explained our inexperience with this expansion, and he assured us that in the gear we were in, we could do it.  I was skeptical of my dps and my wife’s capability to heal a heroic right out of the gate – she’d dps’d the normal dungeon – but the tank convinced us to give it a try.

We did Heroic Brewery, and it went okay.  I was about 10k beneath the next dps, which didn’t make me happy (as that seems to be my perennial pattern of mediocrity), but we had no deaths that were my wife’s fault (in that the dps stood in stuff and died) and no wipes.  Additionally, we didn’t kill the adds on the final boss during the add phase – which was partially my fault but also somewhat the fault of ignorance – I didn’t know I was supposed to, really- but my wife was able to keep us all up for us to finally down him afterwards; in other words, she basically healed the final boss fight twice back to back.

Now, our tank was phenomenal.  He was a DK (what a surprise, right?) who was able to do a ton of self-healing, but still, we got through it.  I privately asked him for suggestions, since my friends are friendly and won’t tell me if I’m sucking, and he was frank and direct about what I needed to do to improve.  And that’s when I made my mistake.  The fellow started to offer my wife and I free gear, and she accepted.  I checked the AH first, and based on the prices my friend was telling me for equivalent leather gear, the mail gear was WILDLY overpriced (by 300-500%).  So then I, too, started accepting gifts from this non-friend 3rd party.

Here’s the thing.  I’ve been on the giving side of this equation many times before.  You get a promising new recruit, take them through some heroics to make sure they’re actually decent, then begin to use personal and guild capital to gear them and improve them right away.  I know in the past when I’ve done that it’s felt more like an investment than a gift.  Officers in several guilds who’ve helped recruits alongside me have felt the same way.  It looks like a gift, but really it’s a buyout.  It’s a commitment that your future play will be for the betterment of the guild.

Because, you see, dear reader, I don’t want to stay in this guild.  The guild has plenty of acceptable players, but there are just so many fundamental flaws that I want out.  I had no intention of raiding with the guild at all!  Now, though, I’ve accrued social debt.  Sure, I could just shrug it off like the next jackanape and say, “It was a gift.”  Yes, it’s all electronic economics or loyalty and guilt.  It really should amount to nothing.

But it shouldn’t.  You really shouldn’t treat people who help you that way.  As a teacher, I’m all too familiar with people who take advantage, abuse, or show no gratitude for the help they receive; they’re called students.  That’s not right-thinking behavior.

It wasn’t that much help.  I’d guess its monetary value was less than 10k gold between the two of us.  I could just send an mail with that amount, sure – and I may in fact do that – but right now I feel stuck.  I’ve had people get geared and bail plenty in the past; I’ve had people use the guilds I was in as stepping-stones to “better” guilds.  It’s not a good feeling, and I wouldn’t wish it on people – especially people who went out of their way to help.

Back to the second heroic.  My dps came up about 10k, putting me at just below the mostly-LFR-geared boomkin and a few k below the similarly geared rogue.  Also, during AoE phases and trash, I was obliterating them.  Elemental shamans are made for AoE, it seems.

So I’m sitting at just under 450 ilevel and at about 35k maintained (dungeon-wide) with different fights running 60k (AoE) to 30k (single target with a lot of switching and moving around a la Taran Zu) dps.  How do those numbers seem?  I’ve only done 2 heroics, so my rotation is pretty rusty, but I’m practicing and getting better.  My CD usage is about the same; I only blew my fire elemental once in the first heroic but at every boss in the second.  Same thing with Ascension.  Anyone who knows, I’d appreciate whatever feedback you have.

Sincerely,

Stubborn (and rising)

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2012 10:22 am

    I’m completely non-WoW, and fairly anti-social, so forgive me for teh n00beh question.

    What is so unacceptable about the guild? Philosophies? Leadership? Asshats? Speak in generalities if you prefer, o Great Orb, but please shine thine beacon of enlightenment on the tonsured pate of one lowly non-player.

    • December 4, 2012 11:31 am

      It’s mostly bad leadership. The guild leader is a volatile, irresponsible person whose actions are greatly dependent on personal relationships. The result is a lot of unhappy people who are too tied to others in the guild to leave but miserable because of their relationship with the guild leader and how they’re treated as a result. In other words, it’s a pretty toxic environment.

      That said, I’m careful not to cross people like that unless I absolutely feel I have to, so everything’s fine for me. I get raid invites, don’t get shit on for no reason, and get help when I need it. But seeing others treated poorly is not something I’m good at and is one of the reasons I stopped raiding with the guild in the first place (and thus have no desire to go back).

      Incidentally, what are you playing nowadays? I think you’d LOVE Mark of the Ninja, and it’s a good price, too (though wait for a sale to make it an even BETTER price!).

      Good to hear from you! Thinking any more evolutions?

    • December 4, 2012 4:34 pm

      I keep thinking about it, and keep thinking about it…and keep deciding not to do it. My favorite guild comes out with the next expansion, so might be the perfect time for the buyin on that one. I just have trouble finding the time recently. Stupid Minecraft, vaccuming up ALL my free time. :) And Dishonoured is coming soon, so that’ll not be good. Good for my free time balance anyway. Will be great for gaming. :-D

      I’m playing Minecraft, NBA2k12, board games, and occcasionally I’ll sneak in some magic. Nothing super exciting, but I likes it.

    • December 5, 2012 2:10 pm

      I’ve seen a lot of very enthusiastic stuff about Dishonored. I’m still on the fence, though, due partially to the cost and partially because I’ve seen some negatively critical stuff about it, as well. Regardless, if you do decide with the next xpac to do one, just let me know!

  2. December 4, 2012 1:26 pm

    If he is giving you the L90 PvP gear it is absurdly cheap to create once you have the recipes.

    Obligation is an interesting phenomenon, it is only binding when it is mutual. If it’s just to be friendly there is no obligation, if it’s because he hopes to gain some benefit (you on a raid team) then it’s pure speculative expenditure on his part. From what you wrote this is an enticement to service, think of it as a recruiter taking you out for drinks.

    • December 5, 2012 2:06 pm

      I agree, and I fully realize I could just walk away, but accepting guild charity feels more like signing a contract than getting a gift. If the AH hadn’t been so ridiculously over-priced, I’d have avoided it entirely, but it is what it is, and I can’t undo it. And while I agree in general, I think your “recruiter” analogy is off; I’m not being recruited, I’m already in. I think a better metaphor might be a boss offering an employee a vacation to a training program. When you get back, you’re expected to be using it.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. December 4, 2012 4:17 pm

    Your dps numbers are fine, actually 30k is good by my experiences in heroics. That said, I’d worry less about the actual output for a heroic and more about staying alive and doing the appropriate fight tactic. It is key in some battles that characters perform certain actions and that is far more important than an extra 10k dps.
    By example I started off doing very low dps on my DK, but most of the fights I knew well as I did research and asked questions. I stayed alive and was a consistent source of damage. That is far better than somebody who does 45k dps, but dies all the time and does not help with the strat.
    Focus on consistency and perfection in strategy, the rest is just gear.

    • December 5, 2012 2:09 pm

      Yeah, and I’m pretty good at staying alive and keeping others likewise. In fact, I’ve secretly supplemented my wife’s healing from time to time simply to take some pressure off of her and guarantee the tank and I both survive while my wife shakes off some of her healing dust. A nice healing rain with the reflexive healing on everyone in it is a nice chunk of healing, not to mention the pitiful healing totem and my Gift of the Naaru. So I fully agree; it’s more important I follow the mechanics and help keep people up than cast 10 extra lightning bolts.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. December 4, 2012 5:07 pm

    by the way, reading that makes me want to level my Shaman.

  5. December 5, 2012 5:33 pm

    I was going to mention this in a previous comment but forgot– Heroics this expansion are ridiculously undertuned. They are the step before getting carried through Raid Finder.

    Regarding your implicit obligation, chances are he didn’t mean it as such and will think nothing of it. And if he did, well why would you need to impress someone that blatantly manipulative? =P

    Earlier in the week I bought a Darkmoon trinket to give to a Rogue in my raid. I’m actually slightly worried that he will think I mean to imply anything by it. I see it as benefiting the whole raid– he’s an excellent player but lacking in gear. If he left the raid suddenly, I’d be pretty disappointed, but it would be my fault for picking a bad investment, not his.

  6. Hunaiam permalink
    December 6, 2012 6:31 am

    I understand how you can feel obligated and to me it has nothing to do with the intent of the individual who gave it to you, its is your own personal feeling, whether or not the other party meant it as such or not. I had a similar problem a few years back when I was still playing WoW and took some gifts to gear up. I ended up really despising the leadership and decided to leave. My solution to at least make myself feel better was to look up the current going rate for the items I was given and I then deposited that money in the guild bank. I then sent an in game email to the GL and told him I was leaving and that I deposited the money in the guild bank to replace the gifts I was given. I immediately felt better about the whole situation.

    • December 6, 2012 4:15 pm

      Yes, if I go, I’ll probably do something similar. Glad to know it worked out well for you!
      Thanks for the comment!

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