Take my latest Achies:
Other recent ones include getting my Cooking Hat, buying (and upgrading) a Ring of the Kirin Tor, and getting "Dinner Impossible" (preparing a Great Feast in 5 specific Battlegrounds)
I still have 2 more upgrades for the ring (another 2,000 gold) but I should be there in a couple more days. (I'm selling a couple Argent Tourney pets)
I will probably work on the Outlands Gourmet (so I can get my Chef title) and farm some more gold and buy enough pets for the Little Salt lick.
What about progression?
Well, aside from an occasional Frost run or even more rare weekly raid, I am not doing much.
And why is that?
There are a couple reasons... (and they're both a bit long)
1 - PuG frost runs stress the ever loving crap out of me.
It's a lot better if Kattastrophe comes along, but with our schedules lately, that hasn't been feasible. If I can get 2-3 other friends/guildies to come along, it becomes even less stressful, but that's even rarer (more on this in part 2).
But it's just a frost run - why so serious? I have no idea. I make the occasional mistake, but overall, I'm pretty good at what I do. Before all the players were at a 5k+ Gear Score, I was usually the top DPS. Since they HAVE been doing frost runs and I haven't, I am starting to have the lowest GS (and am now only #2 in DPS) That isn't the reason I get stressed, but it certainly isn't helping.
To be honest, my overall experience with PuGs hasn't been that bad. 90-95% of them have been a fairly polite, if silent, sprint through the heroics. One thing I *have* noticed is that the runs have been getting less & less smooth as time goes on. My guess is that more "less serious" players are now geared enough to run, and that more of the "more serious" players have already moved past the Frost runs. Fewer "good" folks, and more "average"/"casual" folks filling in.
Maybe I should "sack up" and just deal with the stress, and run PuGs full tilt again, but you know what? I want to play a game so I can enjoy it. "Learning to deal with stress" is NOT what I would call enjoyment...
2 - Playing at night with a daytime guild
While this strongly relates to point 1 in that I *MUCH* prefer running with folks I am at least slightly affiliated and/or friendly with, but, it's a big enough issue that I feel it deserves its own comment.
In general, I play from 8:00 pm server time (often later) until I call it a night. (sometimes this is 8:05 pm or sometimes 1:00am) When I get online, there are ususally 3-5 other guildies online. This includes folks playing low level alts, some new blood, and a couple established guildies on 80s. Within an hour, this has ususally petered out and maybe one or two others will be left.
The rest of the guild was already on and done by 6pm server time.
Of the players that are on, (of the ones that are on 80s) pretty much all are DPS players. No tanks or healers. (also, they usually already have their frost) This means doing a "quick" frost run is out of the question (queue times at this time of night on my server are usually 20 minutes)
At this point one might ask "well, why the fock are you still in that guild?"
A very valid question, and it's one I have been mulling over & over myself.
The answers I have for still being where I am are multifold (like the restroom papertowels)
1 - There are players I really enjoy playing with. Even if they aren't always on at the same time, we talk via facebook, or on /g late at night, and they are really neat folks. In general, I would rather "do nothing" with a group of people I like, than "accomplish a lot" with folks I don't really know or care about. (let alone dislike)
2 - I am not going to even consider /gquit without having another place to go. In fact, I would rather have a "trial" period with another guild for a few days (or even a couple weeks) than find a new guild and jump ship.
3 - If the thought of grouping up with 4 other randoms stresses me out a bit, well, you can imagine what the thought of submitting myself to entierely new guild is doing to my blood pressure.
A while back Cassandri & Lathere had a post about what a guild application should look like. 10 Tips to Successfully Apply to a Rading Guild. As I said in my comments there and in my own recent post (Just another Brick in the Wall, Eh? ) I am only willing to subject myself to a certain level of structure and/or "seriousness". Now, please understand, I will follow a RL's directions to a "T", and will gladly help a guild out via gold, mats, crafting etc. I *will* stand up for a guildie I don't really know, even as far as leaving a PUG raid to show solidarity. If I join a "team", I join the team. For me, the social aspect has a higher priority than progression. (that being said, I don't want to run with a reasonably well geared group that wipes 10 time on Marrowgar without beating him - even if they are very nice folks - I want SOME success as well)
I do believe that change is inevitable.
I have started to put out tentative feelers with folks that I see online on most evenings. Some of them are in "kinda hardcore" guilds. I don't think I would ever want to be a "full" member, but maybe something like a "pocket PUG". Someone that is around regularly, and ready/willing to run on short notice, but I don't think I could ever get into the "we raid 3 times a week at such & such a time, blah blah blah."
I just wanna have a good time with some friendly peeps.
Are there other options?
Yeah, Mass Effect 2 is sitting unopened in the living room...