But a comment from Nelix last night really got my brain spinning. He said his Grandmother told him "It's nice to be nice." True, at the time he was working with Tom Paris to con a con man but that statement struck me.
I'll try and explain.
I haven't always had very good luck with guilds. To tell the truth when I read that WoW players feel there is less of a community now than there used to be I found myself agreeing. It's been a very long time since I've been in a group that's left a lasting impression on me. Back at the beginning of Wrath I had been in a guild with a great group of people that managed to form a bond that had us sticking together though pugs, bad guilds, and eventually into a new guild of our own. We ran raids together and attempted progression but eventually the guild was disbanded and our group finally went in separate directions. I think I've been a drifter ever since. I've been in some awesome guilds, don't get me wrong, but there didn't seem to be that sense of community anymore. Maybe it was just me. I thought maybe I was holding on to something that wasn't really what I was remembering it to be. The rose-colored glasses kind of thing.
I never intended to stay on Drak'Tharon. Honestly. It just sort of happened. I just wanted to say thanks for a pet. But I was there so I leveled. And the warlock was fun. But Shadow Rising was even more awesome. Even just sitting back and watching I could tell that these people truly cared about each other. I didn't really want to leave. Before I knew it my warlock was 90 and I was getting help and offers of help for gearing her up from what felt like everyone. It left me stunned. How long has it been since I've had help from someone and even more important how long has it been since I've helped someone the way they were helping me? It's humbling. I was very tempted that week to server and faction transfer my death knight. But after inventorying my Christmas money I realized I had a choice between the soda machine or a horde death knight. The soda machine won but only after I decided it isn't that difficult to level another death knight. And I still feel a bit awkward about being in the guild. Do I really fit or are they just being nice to me? My self-worth and insecurity issues aside I figured I really couldn't justify spending the real world money when a bit of time would have another death knight leveled.
Raiding with Shadow Rising was an experience in itself. The first time I was caught off-guard and really surprised to find myself in Throne of Thunders. I didn't expect to be raiding with them. Especially not there! I didn't have any flasks or food. I even had to double-check to make sure I had everything gemed and enchanted. But rather than receive flack for being unprepared they let me get flasks from the guild bank and they dropped a feast before each boss. I've been in a few guilds where they dropped feasts before boss fights but getting flasks blew my mind. These people looked out for each other. It seems like such a little thing but it's really not. I couldn't quite figure it out. Why would all these people do so much to help each other?
I've been thinking maybe it's because they are on a smaller server then I've become used to. I've looked but I haven't yet found flasks for my warlock on the auction house. On Korgath it was usually so much easier to just find something on the auction house than to make it myself. I think it really became the answer. Buy it on the auction house. When you go to a raid you better have flasks, food, gems, enchants, and the recommendation of the raid leaders ex-girlfriend's sister's cousin's best friends' uncle otherwise you'll never be invited along. Korgath is a big server and they have a large pool of people to choose from. If one person leaves they can find another. Guilds are similar. There are lots of guilds to choose from. If you don't like the one you're in than a bit of searching and you can find another. Drak'Tharon has to be different because the server is so much smaller. Less people, less guilds, less junk on the auction house.
But that reasoning felt cold. It didn't really feel right. But then I heard Nelix say "It's nice to be nice." Because it is. I'm not saying I won't do all so that I don't feel so unprepared for raids. I have no intention of being a leech. But it was like a curtain being lifted. It's nice to be nice.
It also helped me understand something else. Since patch 5.3 hit I've given away quite a few pets. I won't lie. The first one was very difficult to do. But each time it got easier. I even began to look forward to it. I started thinking about not which ones I wanted to keep but about who would like these pets more than me. I thought it was some weird sort of madness. The first I could excuse as extras I was handing out. The next were ones I could get again next week. But after awhile I figured I'd just call it patch 5.3 madness. But then it hit me. It wasn't a madness. It was just nice. I enjoyed doing something nice for others. I do have some idea of a few others I'd like to get some pets. But that'll have to wait until at least Tuesday. But then I think my frenzy of pet giving will be close to an end. But I don't think it's a permanent end. Nope. It might be some time before I go though an obsessive spat again but I don't think I'll forget the most important lesson. It's nice to be nice.
And before I go I do have one more thing to say. Not so much about what I learned. Instead I have a thanks to give. I'm sorry to say I'm not always prompt but I need to give a big digital hug to Tome and a thanks as well for my new pet. I love the Water Spirit! Thank you so much!