Burning All Bridges





The grass is always greener, isn’t it?

This is the story of a Resto Shaman who was too cocky and conceited to see the bigger picture and who ended up ruining a lot of work on his part, not to mention a lot of time on his friends’ behalf.  Let us call him Loz.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…

No wait, wrong story.

Some time ago, a guild was formed on Coilfang US that was a haven for the gay gamer.  As it grew, and people hit 70, it ended up opening up to straight players simply by reputation and through having run together.  That’s how I went in with “The gays”.  And a lot of my friends.  That’s also how our group slowly formed.  The guild itself was a social guild.  Loz was a mage in this guild.  When Wrath hit, he levelled up a Shaman and became the resident Shaman healer. 

When Raging Spears finally tackled 25 man Naxx, he was always there, always ready to raid.  Loz loved raiding.  Through a quirk in the membership (him and a non-resto Shaman being the only ones wearing spell power mail items), he geared up insanely fast.  A lack of warriors and hunters meant all tier tokens that dropped also went to him.  All off-spec items also went to Loz.  Within a few weeks, the guild had helped him become one of the top 3 geared Shamans on the server. 

One time, after a KT kill, a beautiful mace dropped.  Priests, Paladins and Shamans rolled, and a Shadow Priest walked away with the mace, having first offered it to another healer who was still sporting a pretty weak blue main hand. 

The First Breakdown

Loz ragequit.  He said nothing prior.  He just quit.  Then he logged on and quit the guild.  He emailed the quasi raid leader and insulted everyone in the raid, and the group.  We were, according to him, useless and lazy and worthless excuses for raiders.  Wiping was inexcusable.  We were pitiful.  He needed to be with a group that understood HOW TO PLAY.

Ok! Good riddance, ciao!

But where would this story be, if not for an apology and a return?

Within a day, he had joined a raiding guild, and quit said raiding guild.  An apology post appeared on the guild forums.  It explained how Loz was crying, and feeling horrible.  How he hoped we could forgive him.  He realized we were his friends and we were the only people he enjoyed playing with.  He lost his cool, he knows, but he wants to be back among friends.

It took us all some deliberation and time, but he was invited back in and no fuss was made, no repercussions of any kind except a few days delay in re-inviting him.  How can we possibly reject someone’s sincere and heartfelt apology?

Everything was great.  Loz kept on healing, we kept on raiding, we understood he was a bit hot-headed and laughed about it often with him, teasing him now and then with good, fun intentions.  He joked about it too.  Our steady group of 10 bonded and he along with it.  When we split from Raging Spears to form our raiding guild, he was first to come, enthusiastic and excited. 

We then hit Ulduar, and he was there every night (except for two when he was moving).  Once again, loot drops and raid composition meant he got almost all the gear.  He was the first with a 2 piece tier 8 bonus in the group, and he got a lot of excellent gear.  His position increased to second best geared Shaman in the server.  Loz was there for the 50 Mimiron wipes.  Loz was there when we hit Vezax.

Some of the “drama” that was alluded to in previous posts happened at this time.  A couple bad raids and finally, over a 3 hour wipefest on Vezax, Loz quit the guild and joined the premier (by faaaaar) raiding guild on the server.  He had applied a few days prior, apparently.

The Mistake

We raided as friends.  While it would have hurt and been a bit disappointing, everyone in the group would have understood if Loz had said, “Guys, the premiere raiding guild lost it’s resto Shaman, and I love you all, but I would greatly like the opportunity to join them.  In that light, I’ve applied and if they accept me, I will be leaving to their ranks.” 

Yeah, it would suck, but as friends, could we fault him? We were wiping on 10 man Vezax and they were farming 25man Yogg already.  As good friends, we’d have wished him good luck and watched his progress with jealousy… as friends are prone to do!

But no, mister hot head did it differently.


He sent a couple lines as explanation. (paraphrased, I didn’t save them)

I want to join a real raiding guild, one where bad dps is kicked out and people who fail are not kept in the group.  I’m going to play in the NFL and you guys are like a high school team.


So.  In one fell swoop, you insult everyone in the raid.  Congratulations.

This is the second time you’ve insulted everyone who was a friend to you and who genuinely enjoyed your company, however obnoxious it could be at times.  We’re all obnoxious and annoying sometimes.

The Fall Out

Loz did awesome right away.  He joined the new guild’s 25 man Ulduar clear and did it in one night.  He gushed in whispers to me and to others how this was what raiding was all about.  No nonsense, everyone was serious on the boss fights, Vent cleared for the leader, nobody messed up, and how he was super excited for next week when Hard Modes would be attempted.

Except, well, the new guild didn’t take him for the hard mode attempts.

They didn’t take him for their 2 10man groups either.

In fact, he only killed a handful more bosses a 2nd time since joining them, probably as a replacement or stand-in filler healer.

A few days ago, he was guildless.  To his friends, he said he quit.  It might be true, it might not.  He also said it was because he got tired of raiding, raiding was boring and dull, he was having way too much fun on his mage.

Load of crap.  He had no camaraderie, no friendship, no reputation in the new guild.  He was simply one of many, and he was new.  No seniority, no priority.  The status he enjoyed with us, his friends, was gone.  And having abused our trust once, he knew better than to apologize and ask to rejoin us.  It’s not that we wouldn’t forgive, but it would take time for us to accept this kind of abuse again.  Forgive, but not as immediately and honestly as we had done the first time.

So, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it.  You can have fun, and be a decent, civil person who doesn’t burn bridges and who always has a way to come back to his old groups.  You can, on the other hand, be conceited, rude, arrogant, annoying, mean, insulting and guarantee that the thing you loved most would not be available to you because you made hasty decisions without considering all the variables.  In the case of Loz, he had forgotten what a group of friends meant over a hardcore raiding guild, and while he assumed he wanted hardcore raiding, he really didn’t, and cherished the way his friends raided.  In a group of friends, everyone is welcome, everyone is good enough.  In a hardcore raiding guild, you often sit on the sidelines.






1 Response to “Burning All Bridges”

  1. 1 Shaggir June 6, 2009 at 3:56 am

    I love this post. It’s a nice little reader’s digest version of the story.

    Burning bridges is never bad, and sometimes it’s WORK to keep 25 people happy. But it’s worth being a diplomat when needed, and it takes life experience to determine when you need to be a jerk and be a diplomat.

    I fail on this in some situations, but I never try to burn bridges. Except my ragequit from RS. 🙂

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