Text wall ahead, but I felt like talking about some recent events too
Starting WoW and the pre-Alacrity years
In 2006 I met a woman who I got in a relationship with and got me hooked on WoW called Felida (Maha at that time). In the beginning I played a hordie (Rokan, Shaman) while she was on alliance side. When she founded her own guild (Geeks United), I rerolled to support her and the guildies. This is when the character "Juxx" was born, indended to become a healer for our raiding team. But I soon fell in love with the "Facemelter", as we used to call shadow priests then.
We had lots of fun with more-or-less casual raiding in Karazhan and our main healer at the time was a guy called "Rijstervlaai". Some days we would not get enough signups, or encounters were too hard for our available team, and "Rijst" (as we called him, or also "Ricecake" or just "Rice") would get some guys he knew to help us. They were from a guild called "Alacrity", a "real raiding guild".
Alacrity was already deep in Serpentshrine Cavern and must have started with Black Temple then too. One day Rice announced that he was going to leave the guild because he wants to go progression raiding with his friends in Alacrity. And he did. His brother, Darkstream, followed short after that.
Another short while after that, I got in a quarrel with a lot of people from Geeks United about raiding, progressing, and how to deal with stuff. Some people were so harsh that I even left the guild. I remained guildless for some time when one day I was talking to Rice and he mentioned that Alacrity was recruiting.
The Alacrity years
So I applied, and contrary what I had expected I was accepted too. I guess Rice had some say in that too because I had no idea of real raiding nor did I really know my class yet. But this was the wakening call for me. I took part in some SSC and BT raids being carried through to get some starting gear. Imagine the n00b me never having run even a heroic dungeon, whose only Kara successes were all long post-nerf, suddenly being equipped in high level epic items from one day to the next. It felt like christmas, but there was a twist: Having the same gear and class, I suddenly had to start comparing my performance with my guildies. And I was bad. As in really really bad. So I took it on to find out why and improve and started reading elitist jerks and shadowpriest.com.
Fast forward a few years. Wrath of the Lich King was my greatest time in WoW ever. I (think I) knew everything about the priest class. I had advanced to priest class leader in the guild. We killed the Lich King 25man at 20% nerf (would have done at 10% if Blizz had waited just a bit longer). Got into raid tanking too, tanked the first Alacrity 10man Lich King kill even. Some late pug raids on my death knight too. Knew all the encounter mechanics in my sleep. Started raiding with even more classes, all rocking the meters.
I was raiding on several toons 5-7 nights a week, in several guilds and pugging too. I had become a real WoWoholic then. Got into PvP with my Pally and Priest too to spend the time in between raids. And had a working auction house scheme that made enough money to support all that with gold.
When Cataclysm hit the shelves, I took a few weeks off work to level up and get ready to raid asap. But many people left the game in the first weeks, only very few had a similar enthusiasm. In the end, Kushiele, Kardak, Albos and me were the only ones in full heroic dungeon blues ready to start raiding for a long time. Many more weeks passed, no raids due to no signups, not even 10mans. More people leaving. We started farming some raid trash for BoEs, but that doesn't really count.
Fed up with the game, I gave up. How could Blizzard make the transition so hard? I expected that in full epic Lich King gear we should be able to at least jump straight into dungeons, maybe even heroic regarding the high level of skill of all members. Bummer, Blizz had other plans. Most epics had to be replaced at the starting level already or at one more. We had to go the route questing > dungeons > heroic > raid. But never got there, at least not before I quit.
In the following months I had cleared twice all I could below raid level, my priest was ready to go too so I could support either tanking or healing as the most crucial roles. I had gotten access to the Pandaria closed beta even where I spent my time waiting. There was not much future other than waiting even more, rolling more alts (6 active at that time), or doing something completely different. And I really disliked Pandaria too. So I moved back to what they call "real life" and quit WoW.
I had advanced to officer status by then, but can't remember how and why I got it.
In February 2015 I returned to the game, currently in the "Warlords of Draenor" expansion with the strong intention to still never go hardcore gamer again. I quit the guild and returned to Geeks United for a bit of social gaming and actually planned to stay away from raiding other than casually like we did in Kara which I did for the first three months or so. Kloreline hit me up one day in May, we talked a bit, and as Geeks United was far from getting into any raid soon, even old ones, I rejoined Alacrity and the raiding team for raiding twice a week again in the near future. Geared up, got back into trading on the auction house, and was ready when Hellfire Citadel deployed and started raiding.
But it continued as it had to. As some may have noticed, I quit playing all other games that I have ("There can be only one game!"), am online way too much time, and by now have levelled 2 characters from 1-100, 5 from 80/85-100 and two more are on their way to 100, most 100s raiding LFR getting ready for / some even already in normal mode HFC. The top two are starting with HFC HC now.
I've recently started to cut down on that. Only doing most essential daily choires on the alts and keeping 3 or 4 on raiding level. Still too much, but haven't decided yet what I drop next. Making gold on the AH declined, and if I wanted to keep up that habit I'd need to revamp that too which most likely is not gonna happen as that takes too much time in my oppinion.
A rugged start
Priest DPS was very problematic until long after patch 6.2. After I had the gear that made people (including me) suppose I should do DPS the same level other classes do at that level, I was only pulling about two thirds of that, sometimes even less. I read up all kinds of articles and guides (shadowpriest.com closing was not really helpful) but no success. When comparing logs on askmrrobot.com, it hit me. The shadow priest class needs specific gear for specific encounters to perform, and even then it won't ever perform as well as pure DPS classes (confirmed by comparing logs).
I did some tests (finally the Iskar trinket dropped and I got it), and confirmed the gearing issue. That's not how I want to play. No way I'm gonna get one set of Haste/Multi gear for CoP for half the encounters and Crit/Haste for AS for the rest. No way I'd get 3 or more different trinkets to switch between bosses. And the tier set is only middle class for either too? I would do the reglyphing and minor talent changes between encounters, but that's it. So I decided to retire Juxx (the only raiding one then) and start over with another toon.
I talked to our raid leader Devanea (Daedalus) about rerolling and the guild about which class would be most beneficial for the upcoming heroic raids. They named a few, and the Shammy suited me best because I had already good raiding experience with my horde Shammy during ICC. Tried to transfer and faction change it, but didn't work so I rolled a new one, read a bit about powerlevelling, famed apexis on all my alts and got Magicjuxx ready to raid in a very short time. I was even asked what kind of hacks I used by guildies that I went so fast. But I don't cheat. Ever. Just good planning, knowing what you want to achieve, and learning how to do it before you do it.
As fate (Blizzard in this case) is a bitch, they fixed priest DPS a short time after that. So Juxx got back from retirement quickly, got the 4set, legendary ring and first upgrades in PuGs. But she is and will stay my pugging alt now and also to sometimes help out on raids where we have too many healers as my shammy DPS is not good and I don't really want to do offspec raiding either. Being jumped at by (now ex-)guildies for my position on the DPS meters who had not much clue about how to read them did the rest. I'm done with DPS in a progression oriented guild. I'll be a healer for the rest of WoD, and DPS only in PUGs where I'm just /ignore-ing idiots and leave for the next if it's getting too much.
Currently we're recruiting again to get back to old glory and new achievements. Really looking forward to starting Heroic HFC now, and our unfortunately still missing first Archimonde guild kill. I blame the many people leaving and those staying absent from raids. Can't do Archi if you have to gear up new people every other week and if 20 compete for the tier while only 5 stay helping the rest then. But we got quite some single-digit percentage wipes by now, and plans for further progress too :)
The biggest n00b mistake I ever made: When I was still new, in a joint Alacrity/Geeks United Kara raid, my priest rolled for an agility/hit trinket because I took the guides I read too literally and they said "Your #1 priority is to be hitcapped at any time". They probably had a good laugh at my cost when I explained why I did that but I wasn't attacked or jumped on for it or anything like that.
Our first kill of the Lich King: Took place in the week of the second nerf. He was nerfed three times, so we killed him not only when the encounter was still current, but did so in a 25 man guild group while he wasn't even fully nerfed for the non-hardcore gamers yet.
Memorable people: Many many many, but since this post is already too long and I'm getting tired from writing too, I'll only send a few shouts to some that have influenced me and my carreer in Alacrity a lot. - Rijstervlaai: You kicked it off, without you I'd probably never have left noob status. Very nice, helpful and skillful guy overall too. - Parson (Ashimura), Aremeus and Omyoshi: My fellow shadow priests in the time that I played the most. You were the ones I could compete with and learn from. Been a great time when we were showing 'em locks and mages how to DPS! - Kloreline: Don't need to mention why, do I? I mean what could I say about a guy singing a song on Ventrilo to successfully motivate people after the 10th wipe? - Kardak "The Cake Guy": You rocked then and you still do. Best tank and player I ever met. - Daedalus: You showed me what speed running a dungeon is tanking in Halls of Lightning then. This was when I decided that I need to roll a warrior too. Currently raid leading while still topping the meters, great job!
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