I Am Legend(ary)

23 Jun

The other day, some friends of mine from a previous guild had reached out to me to express their feelings on who was chosen to receive the first caster legendary staff.  There were some points they brought up that I agreed with and some that I didn’t. 

I can only imagine what it’s like to be an officer or a GM and being put in that position of not only having to choose a system that would determine who is the best choice for a legendary, but then having to be the one to decide who gets it and standing behind those choices. 

I also know what it’s like to be on the other side of the coin, to be the one who gets chosen for a legendary and having your abilities and motives suddenly put under a microscope.

Let me tell you a story about when I became legendary or should I say when I became the recipient of one.

At the time, I was still a raiding resto druid and Ulduar was just about to be released.  Some information on Val’anyr was starting to trickle down and resto druids weren’t immediately seen as the best choice to receive it, mostly due to how our heal over time spells worked in conjuction with the shielding effect from the weapon.

My guild had decided to create a thread on our forums, in which people could discuss who they felt the best candidates for the mace should be.  Most people kept their suggestions pretty general and focused more on the class of healer that should receive it and not necessarily the person that should receive it.  Most people, with the exception of one troubled, wayward healing priest named Akarai.

Akarai voiced the loudest opposition to a resto druid being awarded Val’anyr and I’m fairly sure that she was only so outspoken about it because I would be one of the two resto druids in the running for it.  We had started off as friends and she sort of took me under her wing when I first joined the guild, but had since sort of turned on me for no reason.  I still believe Val’anyr was mostly the reason, but we’ll get into that later. 

Anyway, the thread went on for a couple of pages and the officers still hadn’t decided who the first recipient of the legendary weapon was going to be.  They were even still talking about it as we took our first steps into Ulduar and began the initial journey towards Flame Leviathan.  There was still a healthy amount of debate and discussion going on in Vent as the night went on, up until Flame Leviathan dropped and his loot was revealed.

There it was.  Our first Fragment of Val’anyr and our officer core still had not decided on who would be the first to receive it. 

I could see the Fragment starting back at me from the loot pane in the middle of my screen – the Fragment on the far left, the dice on the right with the gold coin beneath it.  The timer ticked down ominously as the officers spat out last minute suggestions of how to decide on the fly who would get it.  Finally one of them blurted out “Just roll!  Healers, roll for it!”

Oestrus rolls 98 (1-100) 

I couldn’t believe it.  I knew that I had rolled high enough where nobody would beat me.  I won!  I was going to be the first healer in the guild to receive a Val’anyr.  I was in shock.  My mind went blank and I spaced out for a few seconds at the news.  A couple people congratulated me on Vent and as I watched the Fragment fly into my bags, I knew that things were never going to be the same.  Little did I know just how much they were never going to be the same.

The second that Fragment entered my bag at least two healers stopped talking to me.  Akarai of course was furious and promptly cut off all communication with me.  Within weeks I had become a social pariah.  I went from being a great healer, who had the logs and the gear to show that my performance had meant something and that I had been rewarded appropriately for doing good work to suddenly being seen as carried or seriously overrated.  I had people openly starting fights with me in guild chat and drawing comics about me on the forums.  It was insane!

To some extent, I think my guild felt that because I had so many fragments already (I was up to twelve, at that point) that I wouldn’t be going anywhere and that I would have no choice but to take whatever people felt like dishing out.  They obviously didn’t know me very well

I still didn’t understand why this was all happening.  I honestly thought people would just be happy for me and I couldn’t make sense of why they weren’t.  I was supporting the guild.  I was representing the healers, the druids.   I thought that someday people would see me in Dalaran with Val’anyr and they would see my guild tag and say “Wow, that’s an awesome guild right there.  They have a Val’anyr!”  and I would be the one to signify that.

At that point, I would have given every Fragment back, if I could have.  It wasn’t worth it.  It wasn’t worth it to have people I thought I could trust and respect turn against me over a bunch of pixels.  It wasn’t worth it, even after I left the guild and tried to apply to other guilds and having to explain why I’m sitting around with an unfinished Val’anyr in my bags.  It wasn’t worth it to have that feeling of embarassment or shame, knowing that I would have to PuG Ulduar to get the rest of my fragments, because the guilds I was in already had their own designated Val’anyr recipients that they had to build maces for and they came first (rightfully so).

Eventually, I did complete my Val’anyr, with the help of an amazing guild and I was one of two resto druids with it.  It felt incredible.  Some joked about how long it took me and that by then it was a bygone relic that nobody had any use for.  Fortunately, the ICC buff favored absorption spells and effects and I’m proud to say that I used that thing up until the day Cataclysm was released.  I even used it when leveling Oestrus and I would even use it in Heroics to show off or when I felt that I had a really strong tank in the group that didn’t need as much healing.

Even though I changed mains, I still sometimes ride around a major city on my Amani bear mount and my Val’anyr and remember the good old days.  I have never been more proud than I was when I received either of those things and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I went through a lot to get my Val’anyr and it made me who I am today.  I’m stronger because of it.  I don’t care what people think because of it.  I don’t doubt my abilities because of it.  I got it because I earned it and I worked hard for it and no faulty system of deciding that or no amount of forum trolling could take that away from me. 

If you’re a DPS and you’re reading this, good luck with getting your legendary staff!  If you’re an officer of a guild or a GM and you’re reading this, good luck with finding the right system for you and yours and may this be as rewarding of an experience and as stress free of an experience as possible.  If you aren’t able to receive the staff, because of your role or your class or you just don’t get chosen to receive it, be happy for whoever does.  Try to find some good in what that person does for you and realize that when they receive the staff your whole guild receives the staff.  You’re building it together.  Don’t immediately look for ways to tear them down, but find reasons why they were given this opportunity and support them in that.  I would like to think that person would probably do the same thing for you.

Good luck, everyone!


15 Responses to “I Am Legend(ary)”

  1. velidra June 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Dear god you just described everything I hope doesn’t happen with this legendary. /nervous now about guild blowing up over it

    • Oestrus June 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

      I probably should have placed a “Results not typical” disclaimer in the post somewhere – lol

      I certainly didn’t mean to scare anyone.

  2. V June 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    Sounds like Val’anyr was worth the trouble and the snarky guildmates weren’t. It’s my policy to snip personal ties with people who behave (passive-) aggressively over loot.

    I’m with you in shuddering at the thought of being in the position of a GM when a new Legendary is on the way. I do believe, though, that it’s important to have a system in place for things of that value before they’re even announced so there’s no initial scrambling.

    • Oestrus June 24, 2011 at 7:32 am #

      I’ll even go so far as to say that there probably is no “right” way to dole out a Legendary item. There’s always going to be a way that it can be done better or something should have been taken into consideration that wasn’t, etc. And that’s OK! It’s just the nature of the business, really.

      I agree with you, in that the people make the process easier. Having a guild full of people who understand the purpose of a legendary and who you know can handle the decision maturely probably helps a lot.

  3. Kuri June 23, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    This is a member problem, not a legendary problem.

    In this situation, you apparently had very vindictive people in your roster and this was the right tick to set them off. Reasonable people, being honest with themselves and their performance (and that of their team’s), will understand when a Legendary isn’t flung upon them. They’ll see that there’ll likely be 2, if not more, Legendaries obtained if you’re on any sort of reasonable progression pace. This will keep everyone’s rage in check.

    Unreasonable people take it as a personal dig, create rifts in the guild, and get angry. You can assign some blame to the Officers for not achieving at least a some buy-in from members, but you should ultimately blame peoples’ overly egotistical attitudes. These people are poison no matter what guild they join until they’re humbled by a much better player of their same role.

    Legendaries seem like they’re just sources of legendary drama, but I like to think of them as jackass filters. People chosen who turn elitist can be un-elected from receiving the item. People not chosen who /gquit weren’t really in your guild for the team aspect. Neither of these kinds of people benefit a long-term guild, and as long as you can fill their spots until someone better comes along, you can think of that Legendary as doing your guild a massive favor before real damage happened.

    • Oestrus June 24, 2011 at 7:35 am #

      At that time, I did blame the officers a little bit. Especially when things really got rolling and the comics started showing up on the boards (which actually happened), I was like “Are you going to do something about this or should I?” I felt like I was their investment and that I should have been treated as such. I think they were under the misguided notion that I needed them more than they needed me. They were wrong.

      They didn’t know what to do and I wasn’t going to stick around to take an emotional beating for a piece of orange gear. It wasn’t worth it.

  4. Dawn June 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    2 months into Ulduar progression, after my server first guild broke up to go play Warhammer, I wasn’t sure where to go or what to do. The third guild (fourth before my guild split up) on the server quickly approached me and offered me a spot if I’d be so kind as to fill out an app for formality. They were nice so I accepted.

    When I got there I immediately had the respect of other players because I was well-known on the server as the girl priest in my original guild, and they just assumed I was better then them. The guild leader and some of the officers in particular were quite charmed by me and frequently asked for my opinions on strategy. Unfortunately, this upset two officers and a few members because of my lack of seniority.

    Then one day our shard holder left, just 2 shards from completion. The new server first guild didn’t like how much we’d caught up to them since I joined and they thought they’d cripple us by taking our mace. The guild leader and officers immediately offered the next shard to me and anticipating drama, just like you had, I turned it down. I said “not only am I new to your guild, I’m a girl. My drama rating would go up times ten. I can’t accept it.” Unfortunately, my not accepting it made things worse. All the other healers in the guild proceeded to fight over it, including a healer who had only just completed her trial and had a huge sense of entitlement. The guild broke up within the month over the stupid mace. =/

    Legendaries should just be axed from the game. People aren’t mature enough for them.

    • Oestrus June 24, 2011 at 7:38 am #

      Wow! That’s insane.

      Seniority is a tricky thing. I think it’s sort of like networking or who you know. I feel it’s something that can certainly get your foot in the door, but only talent and real skill can help you keep the door open. I have seen far too many people and even officers coast along on seniority, alone. They may have been there longer, but if they’re terrible or don’t put in the work that someone newer does they have every right to be replaced.

      It’s funny, because I don’t think legendaries were always like this. Maybe things changed along with the tone of the community and the social dynamic, as a whole. It does make me a little sad to think about, but you’re totally right, Dawn.

  5. Jasyla June 24, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    It’s amazing how pixels can make people crazy.

    I’ve never seen it happen myself though. I’m sure people who are overlooked can be ticked off (it’s happened to me), but I’ve never seen a huge drama storm follow the doling out of a legendary.

    I sort of agree with Kuri: it’s a way to weed out the jackasses. If someone gets that upset, that person is probably more trouble than they’re worth anyway.

    • Oestrus June 24, 2011 at 8:49 am #

      You have been overlooked and ticked off?

      • Jasyla June 24, 2011 at 11:51 am #


        In my Horde guild I was part of the officer-core who was making the decision on who would get Val’anyr. In order to “prevent drama” the other officers decided that the most fair and transparent way to award it was to give it to the person with the highest attendance so far in Wrath. I was completely against this, but outvoted.

        I wasn’t pissed that I wasn’t chosen, I was mostly pissed that the person who was rarely lived through an entire boss fight and was one of the worst healers in the guild.

        Of course, I wasn’t mad enough to threaten to quit/quit/be a bitch to the person who was chosen. It’s only an item – which didn’t end up getting made anyway.

        • Oestrus June 24, 2011 at 11:58 am #

          That’s a tough call.

          I can see why people think they would be doing their guild a service by not awarding it to an officer and by wanting to appear fair and unbiased. But if said officer is a fantastic player and is hitting all their marks (attendance, performance, etc.), then they would be a great choice to receive it whether they were an officer or not.

          One of the guilds I joined after this had one of their officers, their healing lead be the first person to get a mace and he was a fantastic healer. I don’t think anyone had any complaints about him getting it, because he was good at what he did and had earned it.

          Fun fact: I was also dating him at the time!

  6. Zinn June 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    I am indeed quite glad that neither mine nor my boyfriends guilds have had any issues whatsoever as to decide who the first legendary goes to. In my guild, it will go to one of the best caster dpsers and GM and he definitely deserves it. I don’t think anyone is questioning that. Not only has he been in the guild the longest (by very far) of all the competitors, he is also one of our best players and puts a lot of his free time into the guild. In my boyfriends guild they have less competitors and since they’re all just about equally qualified skill wise, they simply chose the one with the highest attendance, and no one seemed to be bothered. But on the other hand, both mine and my bfs guild actually expect to get more than one legendary done. We’ll see about that.


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