Yep, Zell the tank is guildless again. Over a month since leaving Kilrogg, and the path ahead just isn't as clear as it was before. I want to thank Emelia from The Flaming Ruby, as well as other members of the guild, for generally making me feel welcome throughout my time here; all told I'd say it was a positive experience and it grieves me to leave a raid after becoming an intrinsic part of it. Unfortunately, as it always is with these things, certain policies became unpalatable and it was time to move on. I wish them all the best of luck with the rest of Cataclysm.
But where does that leave me? Honestly, I'm not sure. For the second time in less than two months Zell has found himself homeless. Both of these times have been by choice, but for vastly different reasons. While I had to escape the oppression of tell-Hell leadership before I burned out entirely, I also gave up a lot of what I loved about the game for something I believed I wanted more. Did I make a mistake? I don't think so. But the largely passive route to raid success doesn't suit me entirely either, purely because I tend to like having the capacity to change things that don't work. I suppose the biggest frustration is not really knowing which priority comes first. Maybe if lady luck had just shone a little differently, I'd be in a different situation and feel totally differently.
At time of writing (though I enjoy raiding, socialising and role-playing) I can't shake a feeling that hit me very hard in April '10. I suspect for many people in my WoW generation, that same feeling still plagues them and shaking it is part of what is pulling them down in Cataclysm. Maybe my feeling has nothing to do with it and I'm speculating badly. But a year ago, almost to the day, the culmination of hard work from a very special set of people resulted in the fall of the Lich King - and I've never felt the same about WoW since then.
I think that was the date that I completed the game. I know that sounds ludicrous in a world with constantly evolving content, but that's how it feels to me. Arthas was the quintessential end boss in a game such as this - a character that spanned Blizzard's entire Warcraft history, transcended Horde and Alliance and was one of the best known and interesting characters in gaming history. Not only that, he was the first accessible end boss for a large part of the playerbase and was a very challenging encounter that tested everyone in the group.
All of this, of course, needs to include two facts:
1) My journey to Arthas can only be repeated. Questing through the new zones, farming up reputations, clearing tier raids to prepare for the next one, levelling an alt to support the work and finally defeating the end boss of the expansion. I'm just not sure I feel the same way about doing it again for Deathwing.
2) The Arthas kill was shared with a very important group of people. Not only were they long-term guild mates, WoW players and friends - that raid added up to more than the sum of its parts. The core group of Angelsky, Zack, Flamefury, Tarokan, Arabisan, Jernau, Pawny, Rottvomit and Roarzol was VERY special.
Am I looking for a new goal in WoW? Am I looking for that "feeling" when with a certain group again? Who knows. Maybe my disappointment comes from my failing to make it work with a new guild and this is the inevitable emotional fall out; I wouldn't really know because I've never been in this situation before. All I can say for certain is that I'm not sure which direction I'm going to pull in this morning, and it's hard to be objective when most of the issues I have are personal and can't be applied across the board.
As you can imagine, I'll be posting about it when I do know. I suppose I'm swinging toward an entirely new guild project, one that captures everything that was good about the Eye of Nerzhul but also incorporates the lessons learned from my time in The Flaming Ruby. I confess to looking at where the possibilities lie because, despite feeling like I completed the game in Icecrown Citadel, I still feel as though I have some unfinished business in WoW - something to do that I never really done.
As all, I'll keep you posted. And if you see Zellvirae running around Stormwind looking destitute, don't hesitate to toss her a couple of gold. She IS homeless, after all.