I've been thinking about what our place is as a guild in the WoW raiding community. We've never claimed to be cutting edge or anything. We're Horde on a 2:1, Horde:Alliance role-playing server. Before we beat Illidan, we were just one of many guilds working our way through progression. People seemed decently happy in the guild and the rate at which we were downing bosses was good.
The Alliance on our server had started T6 content months before we had even stepped in there. They also raid one more day a week than we do. Not only did we catch up to them, we beat Illidan before they did. The underdogs that had to fight and scratch for every win, clearing content faster than other guilds, had won!
Once we "finished the game" we became part of this elite guild group. Sure, plenty of guilds that had polished off Illidan quicker but there wasn't a boss in the game they could do that we couldn't. We had the best progression record you could have and more Horde server firsts than you could shake a stick at. We had reached the top. We were equals with all these other uber groups.
Then the SWP came out and the rat race began again. But this time we started with a different perception. We were no longer thinking of ourselves as the same kind of guild. We were at the forefront of raiding, toe to toe with the best. We were on such a roll previously, burning through BT and downing new bosses every week. We were ready to roll and jumped in SWP eagerly.
As we wiped over and over on Kalecgos, the list of guilds that had already downed him grew longer and longer. Our Alliance counterparts beat him a full two weeks before we finally did. People grew disheartened when they realized we weren't going to be a top guild. Some quit to join more progressed guilds. Right now we are still working on the second boss and the Alliance on our server are working on the third. The gap is widening. Another person quits the guild for a more progressed one. Morale plummets while we just can't seem to get our dps to perform to the level we need.
Recruiting is more difficult than ever before. We can't compete with the 3/6 SWP groups looking for the same classes. We're where only 4% of raiding guilds are and we feel like crap because we're not as good as where the 1% is. And perception just keeps getting worse and worse the longer we take downing bosses. Gone is the warcry "See everything before the next expansion!" People have started to "help" by pointing out who needs gkicked for poor performance, but no one besides Fozec is even trying to find fresh talent. Few seem to be content spending the time it takes for everyone to learn what they're supposed to do. Instead those that are slower learners get talked about behind their backs if they mess up. Should they mess up too many times, people take the stance of "no confidence" and the gkick chant begins.
But for me, we're still that little guild that has to work extra hard to win. I can be hardcore like anyone else but the reality is we're not going to be a top 100 guild. And you know what? I'm ok with that. Why am I chill with being good but not the best? Because at the end of the day, there's no difference. It's not like my work will give me a raise if we clear SWP. Fozec won't love me more because of it. The cats are just as happy if I sit on the couch and watch tv instead.
What does being the best even get me? Bragging rights? To whom? I have one friend that plays WoW. Am I supposed to taunt him with my exploits? That's not exactly the best way to stay friends imo. Am I supposed to log in on some random server and make fun of their Kara/T5/T6 guilds, remarking that I'm far more superior? lawl This is the endless rat race and more content is always on the horizon. Why stress out about what you don't have? I prefer to just enjoy the here and now, with the belief that someday we'll manage to see everything.