Lately I've been exploring another side of World of Warcraft - the one that is about relationships. Our guild has been split apart - breeding by cloning if you want to see it from the bright side - and about half of the most active players have left. In spite of what's been going on I haven't been able to write a single word about it on the blog - it has simply been too close and I guess it still is. An open bleeding wound, which rather should be treated by leaving it in peace to let it heal, rather than starting to mess around with it.
But... I've made up my mind. This too is a part of the world of Larisa and I shouldn't avoid writing about the darker corners of the game. After all it's because you've seen the darkness of Shadowmoon valley that the lovely bright pastures of Nagrand is so heartwarming. The Un'Goro Carter is so full of life and colour just because the deserts of Tanaris and Silithus are the neighbours.
Come on, now she's putting to much into it maybe one or another of the readers think. Guilds come and guilds go. There's nothing wrong in fooling around a bit. Take the day as it comes, go your own way, jump into a guild that seems to fit you and if you se it getting a bit insecure, well take your stuff and go somewhere else. Big deal. Why make such a drama out of it?
And of course you may think so, especially if you have your focus in the game to 99 percent into progress, where getting top rated heads in raid instances, developing and gearing up your char to perfection, is more important than what company you have doing this, who are your friends.
I've got a different view. I regard the guild as a sort of extra family. It gives me a breathing area in the everyday life, a place where I can just be myself. Of course under a certain anonymity. Only a few of my guild friends know my real name or have met me in reallife. But in spite of this you get quite intimate with each other after a while - quite naturally since we spend so much time together. Some days I realize that I spend more time speaking to my guildies than to my children (which of course is a bit frightening to think about).
Many are the nights that we've spent wiping side by side like forever, helping each others to keep up the spirit. Sometimes we have been playing and fooling around together, sometimes we've been so focused that you could believe it was a question of life and death. The voices in the night have become a part of my everyday life, so wellknown that I can hear the shades of colour. You can't hide if you've had a bad day at work or had a row with your wife. We don't have to say much about it, but the knowledge is there and some kind of comfort and silent caring.
Of course you don't always agree about everything in such a family. It's only if you've got a deep security, if you know that you after all are and will remain guildies, sharing the same values, that you can oppose things, contradict and argue. After all even brothers and sisters do fight from time to time.
Still sometimes families do split up from time to time, the divorce becomes a fact. And that is what has happened now. To simplify it a bit, what happened is that the players with more focus on raiding have left the guild. Myself I chose to, after giving it a deep thought, to stay - in spite of a huge interest in raiding. A decision that makes my heart and my soul ache. We had just taken the first steps toward doing 25 man raids. Now we'll be quite exactly as many as we need to run Karazhan or, after a while when more players have geared up, Zul Aman. In reality there'll probably not be any 25 man raiding for me for a very very long time, if ever. But on the other hand - I get so much else from my guild, thing's I can't live without in the game. A social community, a special, relaxed guild atmosphere where we don't take the game dead seriously, even though we like it a lot. We can always give it a laugh.
Any gold in the world can't buy you those things. My decision comes with my standing on four legs in the game, that I've written about in an earlier blog posting. For me raiding and progress is great fun, but it's not the only thing the game can offer. It's one ingredient, not the whole dish.
I couldn't help feeling sad seeing so many of my old friends leaving the guild one after each other. Some of them after saying "thanks and goodbye" in the guild chat, others leaving without saying a word. It was the great exodus. I was left at the station, waving my handkerchief, wiping my tears away. While watching the leavings I filled my friend list with names, names that until now didn't have to be there, since they had belonged to the guild. At the same time I silently wondered how many of these people I'll actually stay in touch with in the future.
After all, it's mostly your guildies that you play with, run instances with, rant with on Teamspeak and in the chat. It's all natural. The future will show how it'll all turn out. Maybe we'll keep in touch, maybe not and they'll just become friends on a list, names that will be forgotten and eventually deleted. And the wound will be healed and become a scar, a reminiscence of all the fun we've had together the last six months.
Tonight we ran Karazhan with the remaining players for the first time. We weren't as well geared and experienced as the ones that left. Because of that we only made it to Maiden in stead of Curator, as we've been used to do. But who cared? The atmosphere was perfect, we had more fun than I've had for a very long time in Kara. There's actually not a straight connection between how many bosses you down and how entertained you are from the game. That is obvious.
Deep in my heart I believe that the divorce was inevitable. Life goes on, and even though it felt like a catastrophe when it happened, I think we'll come back, maybe even stronger than before from the experiences we share. After a big fire the forest is born again, new flowers appear, the animal life is thriving. Out of the ashes the Phoenix bird is born. Even though it may be difficult to recognize it just when it's happening.
5 hours ago