A few years ago I joined a WOW raiding guild run by strangers. It had been a long time since I raided with people who aren't my RL friends so I was a little bit unsure but it ended up being a good time. I got along with the people pretty well and the game was fun. It let me play WOW again in a way that worked for me.
During the current expansion I have been raiding with those same people but I think the end of that has come. The real problem is timing because the guild raids from 8:30 to 11:30. I need a bit of wind down time after a raid and that means I just can't get a reasonable night's sleep before my alarm goes at 7:30. I have been doing a lot of napping during the day and was tired a lot for the past four months and that just isn't sustainable long run.
It is hard pulling the plug and running out on people. I am one of the people who does the most damage in the guild so it feels like I am letting them down. Even if that weren't true, there is a strong sense of loyalty that comes from playing with people for a long time. At some point though loyalty must give way to logistics, and now is the time.
Timing isn't the only reason though. This expansion is different from previous ones in that there is a huge amount of progress that you can get from running things outside of raids. World quests, dungeons, even PVP reward really useful stuff. People like me that can play during the day a lot are a *lot* more powerful than those that just log on for raids. In previous expansions you could sometimes just raid and do little else and have that work - today that isn't true. I mean, you CAN just raid, but your gear and artifact powers will be so much lower that your performance will be seriously compromised in comparison.
The guild I am in is a friends and family guild. There are some people that aren't part of a RL web, but most are all linked outside the game. This means you have a mix of people who play a lot and people who hardly play at all and everyone gets to raid. In this expansion that means that some people are drastically behind and you can't do much to help them out. Funnelling gear to them will only help a bit.
Those things together mean that performance in the guild varies wildly. We are trying content that requires roughly 300k dps from each person, and we have only a handful of people who can make that benchmark. Some are below 150k. That isn't something we can make up, because the top end people can't do 500k to make up for those who are lower.
Of course that doesn't mean people are doing it wrong. Everyone should play the way they want and have the fun they want! But when the differences in performance are that stark it takes away from the fun for me. I want to raid content that really pushes me, but in the current situation I massively outgear anything I am raiding by the time we beat it and I barely even need the gear from the bosses we down. It just doesn't feel right. Looking at our progression kills and realizing that their drop list doesn't matter to me is disheartening.
If the timing of raids was perfect I would be fine with the disparity in performance. But that struggle with feeling like I am on the wrong content adds to the difficulty I have with times and together it means it is time for me to move on to find a guild that raids a bit earlier and a bit more aggressively. I have a good candidate so far, so here's hoping it works out.
Moving time. No regrets about the past, but I need a new place to live.