My old raid guild died. Eden. It was a super fun place to raid with amazing cool people, but the management just fell apart. Kudos to Serenity, and her husband but in the end they created a place that needed infinite upkeep from them and it was too much to handle. I guess they brought it on themselves with a complex set of policies from everything to recruitment, gear audits, four DKP systems, scheduling each and every raider to each raid ahead of time, and even a policy of how to logout to Eden standards. Pretty damn anal, but to each their own. I applaud them for realizing they needed to shed the yoke while they had the chance, even if it meant that all their raiders would no longer have a home.
My new guild, Gong Show is pretty awesome too. The players are great, and they are very knowledgeable and skilled. I like to think of myself as a good player knowing strats, knowing how to gear, spec, gem, play, be aware, and all of the things that a good raider should be, but I am still learning stuff from these guys. Great fun.
The raid/guild leader is really impressive as well. He knows the fine line of positive and negative reinforcement very well and can motivate the raid very effectively, which is great considering he content we are learning (Heroic Putricide is going to eat shit tonight)
I really hope we kill Lich King on heroic soon, and I want to give everything I can to ensure that we do. 5 nights a week sounds a lot more fun that it is, and I really would rather be doing something with Erin on a few of those nights, but once farming hits 2 nights is all I would really like to spend doing this crap. Even then I will just be feeding Blizzard just to grind.
I think my time with this game is getting close to done. I don't agree with Blizzard's current model of providing content. I don't like this expansion at all, with the exception of Ulduar and Icecrown. Everything else has just been a loot padded house of farts. The only conflict I have right now is a sense of loyalty to the guild I play with. They brought me in and I feel that I owe them a debt that I need to repay by being useful to them. For now I want to help them get to the end goal, Arthas.
I guess the game has been challenging up until now because I have been trying to carve out a place for a Ret paladin in the grand scheme of things, and I feel like I have accomplished this. Not that I have single handedly accomplished this task, but that I have shown the people I have played with that Paladins can do as good or if not better than any pure DPS class. Ret paladins are accepted now and people realize their usefulness and have been accepted into the mind of a raid leader instead of shoehorned in by Blizzard because of the buffs they provide. PUGS can look for a DPS and a paladin can stand on their own feet.
Blizzard's WOLK formula is starting to show it's age, and I think Cataclysm will be a bandaid. It was a slippery slope shoveling gear down people's throats so that they can experience the content. The gear is why a lot of people played, to see how much they could perform and be able to upgrade their performance with better numbers. Now, people have the expectation of easy gear, and when it finally reaches the parity where everyone has the same gear as everyone else through nerfing and retooling, subscriptions will plummet.
It is the paradox of homogenation. I felt a sting when I learned that the uniqueness of my class was going to be shared with everyone else with the raid buff changes that accompanied WOLK. I understand why it was done and I enjoy not having to seek a elusive 1 raid member to make the raid machine perform. Nonetheless, this meant that raid members and classes were now interchangeable to a degree and some classes were at a comparative (dis)advantage. With the gear and stat changes coming with Cataclysm, it feels like more of the same. Blizzard is going to shoehorn you into the stats they think you should be using and leave no wiggle room in terms of how you gear.
I might be eating my words when I see the final changes (Talent tree overhauls, new mechanics, etc.) but I feel the same sting coming. My question to myself is, do I want to keep funding this type of homogenization, or swallow my concerns and have marginally less fun. Time will tell.