This week, we killed Cho'Gall, taking Paradigm Shift to an overall 10/12 bosses killed and a spot as the 7th ranked guild on our server. This might not sound overly impressive, and perhaps, given the time available so far and the progress made in this tier already, it isn't.
But when he went down, we all cheered like a world first Illidan on our Mumble.
Paradigm Shift was formed some three months ago. A server was picked almost at random, three people formed a guild, and posted ads on Tankspot and MMO-Champion that they were recruiting the right kind of people. The premise was 'quality over quantity'; an aim to be a guild for highly skilled players on a tight schedule, packing a 'hardcore' approach to raiding two nights a week. What really made the recruitment ads interesting, however, was the "About you"-section:
We expect our members to be mature, highly skilled, and above all pleasant to be around - we are spending a minimum of 8 hours a week with you, and given that most of us have to work with jerks, we don't want to game with them too. We have no patience for epeening, drama incitement or other unproductive behaviour – we’re on a limited schedule, so don’t waste our time.
This kind of ad is obviously half suicidal, especially when recruiting mainly cross-server and even cross-faction and rerollers. It is also one of the best filters to ensure that applicants fit right in (granted, of course, they get past the hour-long voicechat interview) - we'd know in advance what to expect from everyone. So when Cataclysm hit live servers, we had around eight people that were considered our raid team - not even a full 10-man group. Ten day later, Magmaw laid dead (just in time for us to claim a pre-nerf kill - his trash were still tuned for 25-man groups at this point), and we took (of all things for a progression guild) two weeks off for christmas, only occasionally popping by Baradin Hold.
Since then, we've had a total of seven guild raids, for a total of 28 hours raiding time. Due to the nature of our recruitment, we've not once had a full buff setup, and are melee-heavy like there's no tomorrow. We've laughed, we've cried, we've spent a full ten hours wiping on the Ascendant Council - that third phase is horrible with four melee - but we got them in the end. And now, standing at ten bosses killed, still badly undergeared, we're starting to unleash our full potential.
So here's a shoutout to my guild: Our GM and raid leader Janari, always calm, collected and getting shit done. Maintank and auction house wizard Xcercs, holding aggro AND paying our repairs. Laníus, whose middle name IRL is Lightwell. Haiyden, whose progress above and beyond the call of duty is nothing short of spectacular. Risp, Chumana, Lunz and Denned, making fleas attractive since day 1. Keade, your Lifegrip and Levitate antics will go down in history (is your Inner Fire on you?). Kerric, I still only see male draenei, but I'm alive to see it - that's gotta count for something, right? Xiroh, Khalicha and Dagalar - you know we still love you, thanks for keeping the bench warm for the rest of us. And Gegnar. Dearly insane Gegnar. Karrling and Namiko - you may not be raiding anymore, but life is emptier without you. Thanks for coming with.
My guild. My people. My friends. I've never enjoyed the MM part of MMO this much ever before. Here's to hardmodes.