Before I had my army of alts, a long long time ago it seems, I used to have a collection of people on my friends list to help me out with what I needed. Someone that could make bullets and arrows for me. Someone that could make enchants for me. Someone that could pick locks for me. Someone who could make gems for me. You know the deal.
It was usually cheaper to get the raw materials for someone to make it for me and tip them a few gold than to buy them already made at the auction house. In some cases I had the materials anyway, so it was most definitely more cost effect just to throw someone a tip to craft what I needed made.
Back in wrath the person who I had making my gems for me was a member of the number one alliance guild on the server, number two over all. We became friends over the course of that time even if I only contacted him to cut some gems for me at the start.
Years past and we ran into each other from time to time. His guild would do 25 runs on the weekend and I would bring an alt into them to get some play time in and maybe some gear. He was a really good player, as you might expect from someone who was a main raider in the best guild on the server alliance side.
His guild broke up sometime in mists I believe and he never really found a place to fit in right away. He stopped raiding to tend to some real life situations and joined our guild because he knew a few people in it. He might not be able to raid but as a quality player that was occasionally available so he would definitely be a good addition.
He never raided with us in mists and only started to show some interest in raiding again in the past couple of months. He was well behind in gear when he decided to join us so we dragged him along with us on our normal alt run of BRF that we would do once a week. We figured it would get him back into the habit of raiding and get him a start on gear.
He has been working his butt off since then trying to gear up. Running with us when we could bring him, running in pugs, running LFR, upgrading his crafted gear, buying BoEs. Basically doing all the things you would expect someone that was a seasoned raider to do to catch up and join the team once again.
We even had him come along on a mythic dungeon run the other night and he did somewhat well. Not great mind you, his item level is now higher than mine, but he did acceptable. He was pulling in the 30s, which is not exactly horrible even if his gear said he could do more. He was still rusty, still returning to the idea of raiding in general and we are a casual guild, we do not ask for perfection, just that you try your best and it sure seemed like he was trying.
He was once a great player and there was no reason for me to believe that he could not return to that status. So when we were assembling for a new heroic run of HFC I decided to give him a chance. I sent him an invite. He earned it. He has worked hard to gear up, he did okay in the mythic dungeon I ran with him by doing decent numbers and not standing in crap. So I figured it won't hurt to give him a try out in the big show now.
We wiped a few times on the first boss, mostly because half the people there that night had not done it before. As usually when wiping on something I looked for where we can improve and saw that his numbers were dreadful. I am not just talking bad, I am talking really bad. His best attempt out of the three we put in was 16K. The first pull or two I was willing to let it slide as I knew he has never seen the fight before, even in normal, not to mention we was quite a bit out of practice. Sometimes it takes a few pulls to get a hang of what is going on and for a casual guild that is fine. It is not like we are blowing through heroic already because we are not. Everyone is still in that learning phase.
I decided that we were not going to be able to do heroic tonight. Not just because of his numbers, but over all we did not seem to have the right team for it. We were down a healer so it was stretching what we had thin to begin with even more so with one of the three healers for 18 people being under geared to begin with. That, combined with some new people along with his under performing and another two people that you could call the "top DPS" types that seemed to really miss the concept of single target the terrors down fast I thought we would just move to normal and kill some stuff nice and easy and maybe get some people experience tonight. I'd yell at them later for trying to pad their numbers instead of focusing the primary target. It looked like most people there needed some practice on the fight anyway.
This saved him. If I had decided to continue along on heroic that night he would have been asked to sit. It was clear that if we were going to do this some changes would be needed and someone doing 16K and screwing up running back boxes was surely on the chopping block to be the first gone with whatever changes were to come.
I really hate asking people to sit even more so after I asked them to come for a test out. We are not an aggressive progressions only type guild guild, so I give a little more leeway usually. On normal his 16K would not hurt us. As long as he could handle the mechanics it would be fine to carry him and maybe the experience will help him out next time. It is also a better place for him to learn the mechanics.
Remember, as I said, this guy now out geared me. So I expected something from him. At least what he was doing in that mythic dungeon which was in the 30s.
We moved to normal and made it up to gorefiend before I was once again put in that position. His numbers on gorefiend were better, but can't really say how much of that was due to the 100% increased damage in phase 2 or the fact that he was just better off as a melee with a boss that never moves anywhere. As a piss poor melee myself I know I can do awesome when the boss does not move, I just suck every other time.
We wiped a few times, all to stupid stuff that is completely avoidable. I was the middle of the chain, the mage I was attached to came to me, the other person did not. Even after yelling his name on voice chat to come to me. Guess who that other person was? You got it, him.
He dropped doom right on melee 2 times. He did not run to the person he was chained to three times. He did not switch off the boss when I said multiple times adds were top priority. If there was a mechanic in this fight, he was messing it up. About the only thing good I can say was that at least he was consistent, but when that consistent is consistently bad, that is a problem.
The first time of the night he was actually doing respectable damage and he somehow forget that mechanics matter more. I would rather have his 16K doing all the right things than his 40K doing all the wrong things any day. It was a sad turn of events but I was forced to whisper him the inevitable. I said, your numbers are most definitely looking better on this fight but you are just not getting the mechanics. I will give you one more attempt but if you mess up mechanics again I am going to have to ask you to sit. I even explained again, in whisper directly to him, what he was messing up with and what he needs to do so he handles those mechanics correctly.
We pulled once more and he dropped doom in melee again and did not run to someone he was chained to again. I asked him politely to leave. We are not world beaters, we can not carry people, even more so on bosses we just started fighting to begin with. It is not like we are over powered for it or know it like the back of our hands at this point, it is only the second week we are doing this boss. And even if any of that was the case, these are mechanics where one person can screw the entire team and I could not have that happen.
After the wipe he walked out of the entrance and saved me the trouble of having to boot him by dropping himself. He traveled back to loin's landing and logged out, dropped off voice chat and I have not seen him since. I swear for a moment I felt my heart sink, the same feeling I think I would have if someone else asked me to leave. I felt bad for him.
This is a person that seven or so years ago I looked up to. He was a great player and someone I wanted to be like and here I was making him feel like crap by asking him to leave because somehow he just was not the player he used to be.
I guess it happens to all of us. We lose a step, we take a break and come back and can not find our grove. But for me, having to tell someone that they can not raid for us when they used to be someone I looked up to as the ideal of what a raider should be really hurt me inside.
Is this my future? Is this the future all raiders face when we start losing a step? Some day someone will ask us to sit because we just aren't good enough any more, not even for a casual guild. It sucks just thinking about it and it really sucks I had to ask him to sit. I feel really bad about it. I am just not cut out to be a raid leader any longer. Not when asking someone to sit starts to affect me. Once he was at the top of his game and now I am asking him to sit, how the times have changed.