Last night was another fine example of the summertime swing we see in WoW. The game certainly does have it's ebb and flow of high and low times - and summer is definately a mix of both. More kids are out of school, but summer vacations and jobs for the college kids take over. It's nice out, and physical fitness drives us outdoors (not a bad thing). Families change, priorities shift, and then....you get the dumbs.
A good break
My best friend retired from raiding this week. It's not uncommon, as we've both taken our breaks over the years, and I'm glad he's gotten better at realizing when he needs a break. Guy has a new baby in his life, a wife who's far from home (I think she's imported from a small third world country - some call it Georgia), and he's looking at deployment to a place where they shoot at you for real. So Mini if you're reading this - I don't think you're flaky bud. Just realize that I'm going to teach your boy to light his farts before you get home - I don't care that he's not even a year old yet.
The regular breaks
Another of our top DPSers has gone for the summer. It's nothing new, happens every year in fact, but it still sucks to have this gaping hole in our roster. On larger servers this wouldn't be an issue, but on a small server it's sometimes tougher to fill that gap. Of course we wouldn't be in the position we're in now if we were on a larger server - so it's a mixed blessing.
Another of our top DPS is leaving for a month. A starting healer is out for three weeks. This list continues, but these are regularly expected breaks from the game. The ones I can't stand are...
These are the jokers who either ragequit, or who milk all the gear they can and then log on one day to say they're leaving for Hello Kitty or something. From a personal standpoint, it's their time, if they aren't having fun then they should move on. It's the fact that they don't seem to respect that there are 9/24 other people who are left holding the bag, and that there are real people who they play with.
Finally - the casuals
There's a lot of discussion on the web these days about what a 'casual' really is. As much as some of his posts are off base, Gevolon (Greedy Goblin) makes a good post here about the real difference. Our guild has lot's of casual players. OK, a dozen or so. These are players that could step into our 25s (and many have been key players for a while) and do quite well, yet choose to not raid - or only do 10s.
I think these guys are great. They certainly provide a more social aspect to our guild, and provide a wider base from which to draw for PvP, 5 mans, PuG raids, etc. I know many of the core progression raid team is only online to raid and occasionally farm up some cash or mats for consumables. This means that the 10 or so who play all the time need a family to hang out with - and these guys are it. Plus they've been willing to fill in a 25 slot in a pinch.
To be clear, I have no room for dumb people in our raids, and being dumb does not a casual make. I'll accept accidents or learning curves. Last night a recruit got caught in a tentacle on Yogg. Now he'd been with us for a whopping two raids, and I think we'd seen Phase 2 clean maybe 3 times. He got caught, and didn't realize he could keep casting - so he died. Guess what though - he didn't make that mistake again, and that is perfectly fine. It's when you see the same mistakes over and over from the same person that drives me crazy.
We'll get through this phase like we do every year. I really want the server first Yogg and Algalon kills though...and my mace...