Ahead of The Curve
For the first time since MoP was released, the Guardians of Fellowship have successfully completed a tier before the next was released. I am incredibly proud of my guild, both as a member of our raid team and as co-GM. A huge congratulations and thank you is in order to the Defenders of the Guardians Of Fellowship. Each and every one of you on that fight deserved the kill, and I am so proud to be one of you.
The GoF had a stellar showing during Cataclysm. We held the top spot on our server for a time, earning a bronze finish for the Dragon Soul tier and completing 8/8 Heroic before the release of Mists of Pandaria. We felt like we were in a strong position to really challenge for that top spot on the server for the first time since our founding back in the WOTLK days.
Mists hasn't exactly been kind to our team. As with any expansion, there was an ebb and flow of members when it was released. A good bit of our raid team left the game, whether due to feeling they had completed their personal quest with the demise of Deathwing, out of game reasons, burn out, or simply because they didn't like the pandas. For whatever reason, they left, and we were faced with rebuilding a new raid team from our remaining roster and adding new raiders.
We, as a guild and as a raid team, decided to take our time leveling through the new content and exploring the new continent. We wanted to experience many of the new additions to the game without rushing to level cap and gearing to raid immediately. From a personal enjoyment and satisfaction viewpoint, this was a good decision. It allowed our raiders a break from the pressure of progressive raiding.
From a progression standpoint, it was a huge obstacle in clearing the raid content. We were unable to clear T14 before T15 was released, having our first kill on Jin'Rohk before our first kill of the Sha of Fear. Am I proud of this? No. Am I proud of my team? Undoubtedly.
Spending nine plus hours a week with my teammates in raid, it's easy to forget the comings and goings of raiders. It makes me forget that on top of taking our time starting the raid content, several of our mainstay raiders were replaced with this tier's “dedicated few”. During that transition between Cataclysm and Mists raiding, we had a painful amount of raider turnover. I went back through some records on our kills, and of the ten raiders responsible for our first kill on H:Deathwing, three were present for our first kill on Stone Guard. We had to not only learn the new raid content and adjust to the class changes brought on by Mists, but we had to reforge those teammate bonds. A well established team who has practiced together for months always will outperform a new team. Well established teams anticipate each others' movements and inherently understands each others' strengths and weaknesses.
We started raiding Mists with an “untried” team. All were experienced raiders, most of whom had been guildies for quite some time; however that harmony that was reached with our core team during DS had been lost.
I say with pride, we got it back. And here we are again, Ahead of the Curve.
My words of wisdom to other guilds out there who are still breaking their heads against Lei Shen: Don't give up. Keep on working. This may not be your tier, T16 may not be your tier, but be PROUD of what you accomplish, big or small. Because you're working for it every time you walk through that raid portal.
Have you experienced this in your guild? Share with me your experiences when you felt your guild (or raid team) was ahead of the curve in comments!