I’d like to to thank Aunaka for asking me to provide some content , and as she requested something personal I hope this fits the bill. This is a story that I first featured in my blog in 2009, long before most of my current readership even knew I existed. As a result it seems like a great idea to repeat it here in my Guest Post position. Enjoy this story about my first foray into the World of Raiding (TM)
Rule #3: Always make sure that you know the loot priorities when setting out with a new group of people.
Zul’Gurub launched in Patch 1.7, back in September 2005. For someone who was casual, completely in blue and in no position to get anywhere near 40 man raiding, ZG was a very attractive possibility. The problem of course was getting there, and finding a group of people in our Guild Back Then was a tough prospect. There weren’t even 20 people online on a good night.
One evening in late 2005 my husband was asked by someone on his Friends List (a lovely dwarf pally who I always wave to when I see him still) if he’d like to come along and heal (as he was permanently Holy back then) for a ZG run. They had a space for a dps too, and he was welcome to bring me along.
As I congregated outside the instance with the other people I felt more than a little inadequate: these guys were not only better geared abut they clearly all knew each other very well. I could only hope I’d be able to do my best.
We dispatched the first two bosses (Bat, Snake) with a surprising measure of ease, I learned later they’d been at it for some months. I scored points however for doing as I was told and throwing out decent dps. Loot drops were all handled by rolling. There was no obvious bias towards anyone: if you needed you rolled.
This seemed a great deal fairer than all the various loot systems I’d read about, especially fairer than DKP. Those three letters scared me. I stood at the back and kept quiet.
Then we arrived at Bloodlord Mandokir. This boss was tough. We wiped several times and it got close to the scheduled finish time. I learned via a whisper that the group hadn’t as yet pulled this boss down.
We ended up exploiting the spears in the boss area (which of course they subsequently removed) and he died. There was much rejoicing, as this was a significant kill.
When they cracked open the boss for loot, they found Mandokir’s Sting.
I can still even now remember how excited that piece of loot made me feel. It was my first ever chance at an Epic Item. I’d had Blues drop before I’d felt the same way about as well, but this was different.
This was actual proper Hunter Loot.
There was only one other Hunter in the raid, a Night Elf, and I sat patiently and waited to be told when to roll. And I waited. When the call went out, I shut my eyes and pressed the button.
It was only after I was given the item that I realized something was up. The hunter stopped talking to me. There were some awkward silences. I decided that I was just being silly, and looked forward to going back to Ironforge to make a quiver for the arrows I’d now be using instead of my normal bullets. There was a great deal of internal squeeing too of course… It was only when I’d left the raid and was selling stuff that I found out what the problem was.
‘You won MY item ‘
The hunter whispered me and decided she’d tell me how it was.
Apparently the bow ‘was promised’ to her should it drop, and I shouldn’t even have been given a chance to roll on it.
I was a Dwarf, my Racial was guns, why on earth had I even bothered?
I explained as politely as I could that I’d been informed what the loot system was, I’d done as I’d been instructed and I’d rolled higher. Therefore, the item was mine.
She kept at me for nearly an hour until I logged in desperation. I’d never experienced Loot Rage before, but I knew now just how mind-blowingly destructive it could be.
In the end, the hunter got us both thrown out of that group. We raided for a few months (with some fun times when AQ opened in 2006), I picked up a couple more items from ZG and AQ, but as a result of what happened the leaders introduced a ‘Wish List’ system where you had to say what item you wanted from the instance before you went again and you were only allowed to take items that no-one else wanted… it was a bad idea.
In the end, their fairness to just let people /roll failed to take into account you need everyone to be prepared to be fair in the first place.
If people won’t, no loot system like this will ever work properly. The experience kick-started my journey into 20 and 40 man raiding on a note of caution: make sure you know and understand ALL the rules before you go.
I’d still see the Hunter from time to time, but it was abundantly obvious I was on /ignore.
I moved on.
Fast forward three years and I was up at the Tournament, LFG Chillmaw (as was my normal daily routine) when I was invited to a group by a mage. As I joined I watched as my bow-coveting Hunter left the group.
Thirty seconds later the mage made a lame-assed excuse about being needed in Guild and disbanded (as both were in the same Guild). I thought long and hard and then whispered him, telling him that three years to hold a grudge really was a bit pointless, and he should say hi to the hunter from me. I found another group for Chillmaw, and went on my way.
Thirty minutes later, the hunter whispered me.
We spent the next hour or so chatting: about how she was sorry for the loot drama, how she’d left that group as well and gone to a Guild with a bunch of people who are now part of our Guild instead, how that had fallen apart and she’d gone to a third Guild and then back to where she was now.
She spoke about how she missed people who had left, how things have changed over the years. She was running 10 mans as a Pugger (which I didn’t envy, knowing how tough that was in the days before LFG/LFR) and also seemed genuinely grateful to be able to talk to me about anything and everything.
The fact she apologized speaks a lot to me: there’s really not much point in life if you don’t learn from your mistakes, and it was very satisfying to have someone be that honest and upfront. I also learned that a lot of those people from that first alliance have gone: burnout, abuse, general lack of interest in a game that still makes me want to play it every day. It just goes to show that people do this for a huge number of reasons.
It also reinforces the point that its never too late to say you’re sorry.