Mayhem was going to be my home for more than three years to come, and is still the guild I have the most and the best memories from. It started with my ex joining them because he was approached by someone in the guild who needed raiders who were also swedish, since Mayhem was an all swede guild. It turned out they needed a healer for their raid group for Karazhan and my ex asked me if I was interested. I was maining my warlock then because I was sick and tired of healing from Classic and just wanted to do some dps. For some reason or other I still decided to give it a shot and that is how the story of Zinn as a raider was born. The new 10 man system suited me perfectly and Mayhem was just a much better guild regarding raiding environment than any other guild I had been in. I realized I loved healing the way it had become in BC and stuck with it, all the way until now (and still love it, 5 years later).
Mayhem was filled with loads of great people of which most became close friends, especially since I ended up knowing most of them for years. I went to meet them in Stockholm and we spent endless nights raiding and instancing together. We did quite well in Karazhan (which I still consider one of my favorite raids) and I loved every single fight in there. We did Zul'aman, which was a really difficult raid, but fun. Malacrass is still top three on my list over most difficult raid bosses. Mayhem was far from a pro guild, but definitely not bad either. We mostly did 10 man raids, but occasionally had enough people for 25 man, allowing us to try out Gruul's Lair and SSC. The Mayhem raiding was a blast up until late Wotlk, when it became too much of a difference between the people who wanted to progress and the people who just want to raid every now and then for fun. Along the way we had lost a few really good players (the guild leader among them, although he was replaced by another really good guy) who just lost their interest in their game. Some had kids and had to cut down on their play time for those or other irl-reasons.
We were a few who still wanted to give it our all in the raids and who, especially, still had the time and energy to do so. We started clashing with the group of people to whom raiding just wasn't very important anymore, but we were a very good and solid raid group for years before this happened, and you probably won't see that often anymore. I spent my best and most fond times in WoW when I was with Mayhem and eventhough we eventually grew apart I still really love them and the people in it. I have so many proud moments in memory thinking of what we achieved. Finally downing Prince Malchezaar, Leotheras, Sarth 3d and Professor Putricide. We finished with a bang, finally managing to bring down Lich King on 10 man in one of the last really good raid groups that we managed to get together. Thank you for all those great years you Mayhemmers.
They eventually swapped server, long after I had left them and I think some of them are still playing, but I have very little contact with them nowadays.
When it eventually became clear that the people in the raid group in Mayhem wasn't pulling in the same direction anylonger, some started to look in different directions. When I got an invite to join the 25 man raid guild Dignitas, which by then was a pretty good and well thought of raid guild on the server, I had to take one of the hardest decisions of my life - leaving Mayhem that had been my home for several years and the people in it, basically choosing between friends or the game. I chose the game, mostly because I naïvely hoped that I could also keep my friends in the process by keeping alts in Mayhem. That didn't really work though, since playing together with your mains is a massive part of the glue that keep people together, as it turned out. It's not a decision I regret, but it is true that things started spiraling downwards from here. Maybe in a way it had already begun when we started losing raid people in Mayhem, triggering my move in the first place.
When I first joined Dignitas I remember the feeling of insecurity over my own capabilities, for the first time. Because I had been with Mayhem for so long, my place and role in the raid group had been firmly established for ages, and no matter what I was considered a veteran. When I first joined them I was a scrub and didn't know what I was doing, but neither did anyone else. I was allowed to make my mistakes and learn from them without anyone glaring disapprovingly over my shoulder. I can't imagine a better way of learning things, if you have people around you who have the time and patience. Suddenly I was thrown into a guild which had better progress than us and was a 25 man guild, they had (and probably still do) a much higher status than 10 man guilds in Wotlk. Going from considering myself pretty pro, I was ready to be humbled by the healers in this new guild. This never happened, allowing me to view myself for the first time as a really good player. I had always considered myself a good player within the Mayhem setting, but Mayhem was a small guild with modest achievements. Now I knew I could actually tag along with the "big kids". Unfortunately this led to a few problems. My decision to leave Mayhem had not been a simple one and I was hoping I had done the right choice. When it turned out Dignitas, announcing themselves as a hardcore progress minded raid guild, allowed people to raid without headphones because "they were uncomfortable with talking" I was flabbergasted. Don't get me wrong, I don't care if people use or don't use headphones. But if you don't, you can't claim to be a hardcore raid group aiming to get realm firsts, because heroic modes required (and still do) the use of headphones and microphones. I hadn't minded that raiding environment for more than three years, but I had left it for a reason and I felt like Dignitas had simply lured me in with false advertising.
Nonetheless I still had many months of good raiding with Dignitas, and shit didn't really hit the fan until a couple of raiders, who were also annoyed with the lack of progress minded raiding, decided to leave and start their own guild, called Astralis. Dignitas lost a handful of their very best raiders in a night, a blow that would strike the guild leader, a priest named Relgen, particularly hard. He had already irl issues and felt like the joy of guild leading had gone completely. He decided to quit WoW, and unfortunately left the guild in the hands of a megalomaniac.
I've already written many posts about my battles with the new guild leader, needless to say we didn't agree on very many things. If you're interested in some details, you can read about them here and here to mention a few. Eventhough I was invited to the new guild Astralis, which was run by my then boyfriend and a couple of irl friends, I decided to stay with Dignitas out of loyalty. Dignitas new guild leader had a different view however, accusing me of spying on them for Astralis. It might sound ridiculous, but it is true. At the time I had never heard anything so silly, but the guild leader was adamant. He eventually replaced me with other, way less skilled (if I may say so myself) healers and when I still refused to leave he simply kicked me.
I joined Astralis in the summer of 2011. Firelands had been out for a couple of months, and Astralis had been getting most of the realm firsts, making them the best guild on the server at the time. Since I hadn't been allowed to raid much in Dignitas I was well out of practice and was immediately thrown into heroic modes in Firelands where I barely had experience of the normal modes. Obviously my performance was way behind the other raid members who had been doing the fights for months already. The insecurity I had been ready for when joining Dignitas instead hit me full on when joining Astralis, and this at a point when I already felt like I had to constantly excuse and explain myself. This, coupled with all the issues I had had within Dignitas had made me lose a lot of the fun and enjoyment I had had with WoW and raiding. I had been in arguments in Mayhem as well, but this was the first time I was caught up in proper, and especially completely pointless, guild drama. I didn't see a good way to get back into raiding, since Firelands mostly required two-man healing and me, with my lack of experience of the fights, was never in the top with the other two healers to be chosen - further increasing my experience gap with them.
I still had some good times with Astralis, albeit brief. Astralis enjoyed some 9 months as the kings on the server before another guild managed to recruit a bunch of really good players and most importantly increased their raiding days to 5 over our 3, giving us some really hard competition (I say us, although I was rarely in the realm first kills myself). When the winter holidays came and people went on vacation, they still continued raiding, and so beating us to many of the realm first kills in the new instance Dragon Soul. Although the reason for them beating us had less to do with skill and more to do with hard work and time, this killed Astralis. People left and I was left to go to a new guild again. At this point I was very close to quitting WoW all together. But I didn't.
Instead, I did something I had never done before. I advertised myself, in the hopes of finding myself a new, decent raiding guild. Hopefully one without too much drama, and some consistency. I got a fair amount of interesting suggestions on my forum post and decided to go with a guild called Casually Addicted. This meant having to change server and race, but the server I was on - The Venture Co. - was already bleeding out people. All the bigger guilds had left at this point (also Mayhem and Dignitas had moved) and most people I had been playing with were no longer there. But it still meant leaving the server I had spent more than five years playing on. It meant leaving all my alts (9 of them, one of each class) and all their professions behind. It pretty much meant starting all over, with just my Zinn.
I did it, knowing that it was either that or quitting WoW, and I wasn't ready to do that just yet. My first impression with CA was very good. The people were nice and fun, they received me in a great way and I actually felt at home. I joined them in January, managed to get a couple of months of really fun raiding out of them before the guild died, for reasons I don't know. All of a sudden some people had left, or at least the raiding stopped. I had decided to not be too involved in the guild politics at this point so I didn't have much of a clue as to what was going on. But there I was without a raid group again. I knew I didn't have the energy to advertise myself again, and by this point I didn't even have much to offer. My work schedule required me to work evening shifts, making my attendance dodgy at best. I couldn't promise my new guild much of anything, and so I realized I wouldn't be very interesting on the guild market.
A couple of people from CA invited me to join their new guild (or old guild, don't really know how that was, Defiance, and after a while I accepted (again I had trouble leaving the guild I was in, I always make sure I have exhausted every option in the guild before I go).
And that takes us to the guild I am in today. Because of my irl demands on me I was clear with the leaders of Defiance from the start - I couldn't promise I'd attend to many raids, but I'd sign for as many as possible. In return I only asked for the possibility to raid every now and then. They were ok with the idea, since they didn't really have room for me in the raid anyway (it was a 25 man initially, but eventually turned into a 10 man because of a loss of players, yet again) I was put as back-up raider, and it has worked well for me so far. I sign once every ten days or so, and most of the time I am allowed to join. It doesn't give me much raiding or phat loots, but it's exactly what I want - just some raiding every now and then, reminiscing the days when it was one of the most important things in my life, the hours I spent on it and the people I met doing it.