Seeing content vs. Experiencing content

Lately I have contemplated the idea of moving to another guild. There are guilds that I know I could get into that make regular Gruul’s and ZA runs and are moving into SSC and TK. Until now, I have not been in anything beyond Karazhan, so I am naturally curious about what I am missing. I would not get on the progression team of any of those guilds, of course, but it might afford me the chance to see other content.

This thought process has made me reflect on my WoW experience to date. For 85 days /played on my main, and every instance I have run from VC to Kara, I have experienced and learned them as I did them, rather than just complete them or “see” them.

What does that mean?

Let me explain with examples… When I went into Karazhan for the first time, it was the first Kara run for all ten people in the raid. When we killed Attumen, it was more than just loot. It was a shared experience among all ten of us. There was /cheering and /dancing and screenshots taken and hollering on Vent. It was a wonderful moment. I can still remember as Attumen got down to 2%, one of our priests shouting “Oh my god we’re gonna kill Attumen!” and everyone hooting and yelling as the huntsman’s last HP ticked away.

The same shared experience happened with every new boss in Karazhan, even if we wiped a bunch of times trying to learn the fight. Each first-time kill was a triumph, not just new gear.

That type of experience goes back even earlier in my WoW career. When I went into UBRS for the first time, 9 out of 10 of us had never been there before. When we finished that instance it was the same sense of victory for 90% of the raid.

In fact, upon further reminiscing – as far as I can remember I have never gone into an instance or raid for the first time with more than 1 or 2 people who had already done it, and in most cases the whole group was doing it for the first time.

When I realized that, it put my personal approach to WoW raiding in a whole new light.

Why is it that I was opposed to a guild merger when it was proposed to us several months ago? Why is it that I won’t act on opportunities to go to a more advanced raiding guild? Why is it that I never did a lot of PuGs, and won’t fill out our current ailing Kara team with PuGs?

I do not want to go on a raid with a group of people who have already done it! I wouldn’t mind doing a PuG for the bosses I’ve already done a bunch of times. But the ones I have yet to kill – those are special.

I want to share the joy of accomplishment with my friends! I measure my achievements not by loot, but by the memory of the experiences! Could I take any satisfaction in downing Gruul if I went in with 24 people who have done it a dozen times and they dragged my sorry butt along for the ride? Does the loot mean anything then? Not to me!

I have an image in my head of going into a raid, killing a boss, and being the only one who is excited. I have an awful image of jumping up an down and while I type /cheer and line up for the screenshot, the rest of the group is saying “ho-hum, did he drop my loot THIS time?” I would hate that.

One of my friends who recently left our guild for the “Guild of Evil” was very happy when his new guild brought him on a ZA run. Every time loot dropped he would link it to me. All I kept thinking was, “So what? Its just loot.” As I see it, by running with a bunch who had already been through ZA, he missed the chance to experience the shared joy of a group-first ZA boss kill. (I didn’t say that to him – he has different ideas about what is enjoyable in the game and I didn’t want to rain on his parade)

So going into a more progressed guild would give me a chance to see new content, but I could lose out on the chance to experience it the way I am used to. To me, that makes a world of difference.


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