The Karazhan Rollercoaster

I didn't mark the date, but I think my hunter hit level 70 the day after my previous post. That means that in reality, only a few days have passed since then, but somehow it feels much longer already. Time in Outland seems to flow faster somehow, with people achieving within hours what took me days or even weeks to do back in the day.

Those not yet level 70 feel they're already miles behind those who are. Those who only just hit 70 feel they're miles behind those who've already maxed out their reputations. Those who've already maxed out their reputations are (probably, I have no idea) wishing that everyone would stop accusing them of no-lifing just because they're enjoying the game and have a lot of free time. Either way, there's constant tension in the air, or that's how it feels to me at least. It might be that I'm projecting, but let's just say I've been in similar situations before...

It's funny actually, because the other day I thought to myself in slight exasperation: What happened to the Classic community? I don't remember people fretting so much at original Classic launch! But then I immediately paused and realised that I was lying to myself. People were like this at original Classic launch too; I was just in a different place myself.

I was a social member in a guild where I didn't really know anyone and was perfectly happy to trundle along at my own pace, but even from my very limited point of view I could see that some new sort of drama erupted pretty much every week, about how people were supposedly forming cliques that only helped each other, or accusations of the guild being too casual or hardcore relative to its mission statement (yes, there were people complaining from both ends). Remind you of anyone you know? It just feels a bit like some kind of blow-up is inevitable sooner or later.

Anyway, to get back to my actual story, I hit 70 in a beautifully chill way, by helping a druid healer from the guild complete the Nesingwary chain in Nagrand. One of the rewards is a nice healing idol, but he found the idea of slaughtering 100+ mobs by himself in healing spec a bit daunting. Good thing I'm always happy to help out with killing things that I can skin.

The first official Kara sign-up appeared on the guild website around that time. I felt a bit wistful and asked if anyone was up for the Arcatraz (which was the attunement step I was on) but got no responses. I was happy to leave it until later, but then a friendly raid tank whispered me and asked if I'd got a group yet. I said no and he offered to join. A few more friendly souls followed and much to my own surprise, I got the last two instances in the chain done in no time. The key to Karazhan was mine!

I added my name to the guild sign-up and it brought the number of signed characters to exactly twenty. I had a quick look at people's roles and we seemed to have a good balance of tanks and healers as well. Yes, we could run two Kara teams right away and it was going to be great!

My excitement turned out to be premature though, as the officers ended up fiddling with the sign-ups and moving one group to Thursday to accommodate some people that couldn't make the Wednesday... but this of course meant that now some of the Wednesday sign-ups wouldn't get to go, and that included me. I'm sure there was some sort of logic to it, but since it wasn't really fully transparent and the sheet had looked like my sign-up had been "just in time" to get into the second group, I was bummed. Yeah, a day ago I'd thought that I wasn't going to get to run Kara at all, but somehow getting the key quest done and then being sat out was worse. This wasn't like being on the bench for Naxx either, where there was some rotation and you earned EP for being online. It was just a simple "no run for you" sign.

I always knew that something like this was likely to happen since we were unlikely to end up with the exact number of sign-ups for multiple ten-man teams with no spares and that it wasn't personal, but that didn't make it feel any better to be benched for the very first official guild Kara.

I felt rejected and poked someone in another guild whose community runs I'd joined a couple of times in Classic to ask if they were running Kara too and maybe had any spots this week. The first response was a maybe, with the caveat that they couldn't make any promises, but the next day I got confirmation that I was definitely in, and I was hyped again.

So I ended up doing my very first Karazhan run... with a different guild. It was actually very nice. They kept a good pace but everyone was friendly and joking around. They also had a priest with a name that was abbreviated to "Shin", which confused the hell out of me every time they were called out on voice chat.

That first night we killed all the bosses bar Shade of Aran and Netherspite (well, and Nightbane I guess since nobody had an urn yet). We actually one-shot everything except Maiden, on whom we had one wipe when we tried to step into her Consecration just in time to be broken out of the AoE stun, but the timers were off and she ended up chaining half the raid to death the moment we got too close instead. We wiped three times on Aran, who was much harder than I remembered, and then moved on to chess and Prince since leadership didn't want to make it too late. We came back to kill Shade and Netherspite the next night. I also got extremely lucky with loot, getting boots from Moroes, legs from Netherspite and the shiny Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle from opera. Above all though, I felt welcomed and appreciated, as they were very glad to have me along to fill their open raid spot, which made for a lovely soothing balm for my bruised ego.

But now... I don't really know what comes next. I signed up for next week's guild run, but there's been no word on whether they'll make any sort of attempt to rotate people. Even if I get in this time, someone else who gets asked to sit out may end up kicking off. There's also been more news about the 25-man raids and based on what's been said, there's a good chance I might not even make the cut for those. Nothing's set in stone yet, but let's just say that at the moment things don't look too good for me. It would be the ultimate irony if, after being dragged into raiding in Classic despite having no plans to do so, I'll end up getting kicked to the curb in the expansion in which I really did want to raid.

Regardless of what's going to happen, I don't want to be caught off-guard, so I have a lot of thinking to do about what I really want out of this game and what I should be doing if things end up going south. While I know that expansion launches are always a time of upheaval, I have to admit that this particular situation is not one I expected to find myself in.


  1. Well, that "other" guild that you did raid with at least seems to be nice, so if things really go badly maybe they'd take you in. It's a wretched feeling to want to be with the cool kids and being rejected, I don't care what planet you're on.

    1. I'm thinking the same thing, Grimmy. The exact same thing.

  2. Shin, this story covers both ends of the spectrum: you got yourself attuned, rejected, and then accepted all in one package.

    And that you killed most of the bosses is very much a thing as well. I think the two guild runs that happened last Monday only killed about 3-4 bosses each. Not sure what happened on Thursday, and I really don't care to find out, either.

    How is the Healer situation on your server? There is a severe shortage on Myzrael for Healers that are both a) Max Level and b) Attuned to Kara. That is actually impacting decisions about raiding Kara in our guild, because so many Healers aren't even close to max level and they had to have people respec just so that they'd have enough people to even raid Kara in the first place. This, naturally, has exacerbated the tension between the people who sprinted to the end, those who are leveling slower, and those of us who had to start from L1 on pre-patch.

    But really, I'm with Grimmy on this. I think that if the Order of the Holy Fork isn't interested in raiding with you, you ought to explore that other guild further. I'd much rather you be appreciated and wanted rather than used as a pawn.

    1. Well, the Kara thing - while it made me feel crappy - was just one of those things that you have to live with sometimes as a raider. In regards to the 25-man situation, we'll see how things develop. The Forks have been such a lovely home for me in Classic, I'd hate to leave them, but things are just changing so rapidly; I simply don't know.

      I'm not sure about the healer situation but my general impression has also been that it was largely the tanks and their favourite dps who sprinted ahead, while the healers were left behind a bit. The most active ones seem to have caught up now though.

  3. It's sad to see some of the same Classic to BC raid issues play out, yet again. You would think that with all the foreknowledge of what happened originally folks would be better prepared for the disruption of the change in raid sizes.

    Getting benched is always a gut punch, even if you've been the one who suggested it. Not being there with the group when things happen sucks. I hope it is a rare thing for you as you've had a lot of fun with this guild.

    I'm glad you were able to pug a run (hopefully pug raids will be common in BCC since all the raids are so well known). Regardless of what the guild needs we all need to have our fun in the game. I could probably say a bunch of other points that are "Captain Obvious" ones, but I'm sure you know them all better than I do. :)

    1. Prior to the expansion, the common refrain from the officers in regards to the changing raid sizes was that they were looking forward to having less admin with a smaller roster. They figured that some people were just going to drop out (constant attrition is a thing after all) and we'd end up with a good amount of raiders for a single 25-man with some back-ups.

      And to be fair, I also thought that was a likely scenario! I still don't know where all these new recruits came from. But basically, now we have 50+ people expressing interest in raiding and I suspect that leadership is balking at the idea of having the additional admin of managing two teams going forward, instead of having less to do.

    2. And it kind of goes without saying that if they do go with two raid teams, one will always feel like they're second banana, no matter what.

    3. The boost was a brilliant move on Blizzard's part, if not so much for the Classic community. It will be interesting to see how many folks who used the boost stick around after a few months time. I could see even more guilds using the 'other' version of Wow as their downtime/drout content.

  4. Hello,

    first i'd like to say that i really love your blog. I am not a native speaker so i struggle understanding some parts here and there but i like the content you provide and the fact that you share your insights about the game and how it has evolved. I am a veteran wow player like you, who was really excited when Classic era was announced by Blizzard. I've played Classic Wow on release and it was quite intense ahah. I grew bored of the game really fast though and quit right before PvP Patch and the release of BWL. The game is not as cool as it was back when i was a teenager - you've probably heard this many times before and this is not an original statement - The magic is not there anymore. Everything was figured a long time ago and the only difference that i see today is the degree of minmaxing of the average player (myself included). It is not about the game but it is more about efficiency. It is not about community but rather finding ways to get things done quickly using other people. I play tbc right now and i see why not many convenient tools were implemented into the game at some point. It is a chore to look for groups, it is not fun, the chat is spammy, we can't even read what people write since it is scrolled down too fast. And people reserve their items, do not want certain classes (i play a rogue sigh) People use lfg addon/bulletin board to enhance their searching experience. Having to respec is annoying and there is aboslutely no point in keeping double spec out of the game. History repeats itself after all. I am not a fan of the later versions of the game, i didn't play much after WOTLK because i liked the ancient world better.But i really get why Blizzard has made certains choices -choices that i criticized in the past and didn't agree with for the most part - I am not a kid anymore and i don't get tricked by the "no changes, community spirit" associated with classic. I see no community spirit in the game anymore, only selfish people who wanna have their daily dose of fun and be given everything for free. An Mmo is all about its community and our society tends to favour selfish behavours and quick results. You can clearly see that it reflected into the game. I am really glad that i got to experience the real world of warcraft back in 2005 and i know that i will never be able to relive it. But i finally accepted it and it is much better this way.

    1. I am lucky in that I play on an RP-PvE server, where a lot of the old-fashioned community spirit is still intact. That's not to say that people are completely immune to modern min-maxing trends and the like, but it's much more subdued and on average, people are quite chill and fun to hang out with. I often read some of those horror stories on reddit and think: "WoW, I'm glad Hydraxian Waterlords isn't like that."

      I do agree though that playing Classic has given me a better perspective on why Blizzard implemented some of the changes they made over the years. Some problems that went completely over my head as a more casual player back in the day don't become obvious until you get up to a certain level or the community as a whole evolves past a certain point (which it has in Classic). That said, I don't think I've run into any occasion yet where I found myself thinking that I genuinely do prefer the more modern features. Like your dual spec example - I was always ambivalent about that so I definitely wouldn't want that in Classic BC. I don't know if I'll play Wrath Classic whenever we get to that point as that was already too far removed from many of the things I enjoyed about the game.

    2. Hey Shintar, i finally decided to give up on my character on Firemaw. I sold all my gears and gave my gold to a guy that seemed to be nice. We played a few times together.The thing that made me step out of the game was the fact that the only thing that was left to do was raidlogging, and the fact that a guy that i had played with for a while needed on an item that i had been farming for so long. He just pretended that he would not roll for it all along and just stabbed me in the back in the last run. I was just so disappointed but also felt relieved. At least some lucky guy benefited from my departure i guess. I don't know if i am completely done with classic, the server probably played a big role in that drama. I might gonna go back to a french server, and play at a slower pace. Or just try retail.

  5. It can definitely be a roller coaster. I only completed my Kara attunement this Monday gone and signed up for my guild's first official Kara run on Wednesday. However there were already more than 20 people signed up so I wasn't optimistic that I would get a spot.

    Sure enough, on Wednesday when the 2 raid teams were posted I was on the bench, although there were discussions we might have a third group running Kara later this week. Even though it was sort of expected it threw me into a bit of a funk after all that effort just to get attuned. As fate would have it, though, the guild leader made a late decision to swap me in and swap another DPS out! To top things off, I almost missed finding out about that as I was busy making dinner thinking I wouldn't be required that night, ha ha. It was only by chance that I was logging in at about 10 minutes to the raid start time and got a group invite and whisper saying 'Oh good, you're here!'