On Burnout and 10 Man Drama

I don’t really want to talk about the drama that has taken place over the last two weeks. I think everyone who has me on their twitter feed saw my whining and knew I was having quite a bad time of it.

In the eternal words of Monty Python, “I got better.”

But I am told by my officers that they hear the signs of burnout creeping in.

They do say tanks burn out faster than any other role. Maybe this is why – my silly belief that I can and should step up, take the lead, and take on responsibility for things. It’s what drove me to become a tank in the first place, and it’s the personality trait that has put me in some very unfortunate situations when I try to fix something inherently broken.

Yeah.

So I don’t want to talk about drama. I do, however, want to talk about burnout and 10 man raiding.

A Tale of Overcommitment: 10 Man Raiding in a 25 Man Guild

The core of the problem, to be honest, is that I am committed to both 25s and 10s. This is not a problem if you do two 25 mans and two 10 mans. If you do three 25 mans and sometimes do 10s on the side. When you start to get serious about both, that is when the trouble begins to pop up.

When the 25s suck, the 10s become more and more important.

And the 25s have really, really sucked lately. Attendance has been low and raids have been underattended or canceled; when they’re not canceled, we raid shit like TOC25 (reg) and watch all the gear get DE’d or go offspec. I know the officers have been under a lot of stress. That’s 9 hours a week of frustration for them and, frankly, for the rest of us.

No wonder we’ve all been turning to 10 mans to give us the fulfillment and the fun we expect from raiding.

The Progression / Officer 10 man

I have the great fortune to run in my guilds “officer” 10 man, although I am not one. This raid has some of the best, most committed players in the guild, and also some of my closest friends. It’s a joy to go see new content with them.

Most casual raiding guilds have a hardcore “core” of people who are more committed than the rest; in my guild, that’s largely this raid.

We raid on Fridays. We have also raided Ulduar 10 on Sundays for the last few months to get everyone Rusted Proto Drakes. With the introduction of more ICC10 wings, we have even thrown a 3rd 10 man on the schedule.

The math is scary. Three 25s and three 10s. That’s six nights of raids a week.

In other words…. too much.

An additional complication – I work until 7 on the weekdays. Working ’till 7 pm, driving 25 minutes home, I barely make invites. I am usually a little late. I often skip dinner, and if I eat I just have time to microwave something. Six days a week.

Every day of raiding has a purpose & is important to me, but after a while it has started to wear me down.

The “Second 10 man” Drama

Those who have been in this situation before – 25 man guild, progression/officer 10 man – probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

When the 25s get frustrating, and there’s a 10 man that is fabulously successful in comparison, and there’s not enough depth to truly field a second one… people start to get antsy.

We have a bigger problem than most due to an unfortunate lack of depth in my guild (see: attendance problems, recruiting). The second 10 man has been plagued by drama, poor leadership, no leadership at all, and – quite frankly – a terrible lack of tanks for six months. It has split up and reformed tens of times, and the only constant has been the unending stream of complains and cries for the “officer 10 man” to split up “for the good of the guild” to get everyone into ICC.

That in itself is another quite lengthy blog post. My guild used to have two ten mans and crippled them both to “even things out.” The officers are never going to do that. There should be enough depth to field a second ten man, and the same thing that makes the 25s suck (attendance; commitment) cripples this second raid.

How 10 Man 2 drama affects me in 10 Man 1

My point in mentioning this is that I am my guild’s second raid tank. I am geared to the teeth; just as geared as the MT/RL. I am without a doubt the best choice to both lead and MT the 2nd ten man.

I’d do it well, too, and the idea sort of appealed to me until I realized just how much I’d be giving up to leave my current 10 man raid. I came close to doing this. The fact that I did not…. really angered some people.

So that pressure has been heavy on me lately. It exploded last weekend when I made a move to help the 2nd 10 man – a good move, the best one I could make, but not the right move – and stuck myself right in the middle of the drama. It sucked.

Conclusion

Things have gotten better since the drama that had me all whiney on twitter last week.

For one thing, my 10 man will never raid 3 times a week again. I am adamant about that. I am not burning myself out, and I can’t handle 6 high stress raids a week on my tank. I am declining any 3rd raids that come about, and everyone understands. They have also pushed back some time slots to improve my quality of life coming home from work! \o/ All is well.

The 25s saw a resurgence in interest this week. Instead of going back to wipe on Festergut again, we went to see some new fights, and ended up killing Blood Princes 25! Nothing like a new kill to excite people. Then, 23 & 24 manning Ulduar hard modes our first time seeing them – that was pretty fantastic, too! Just because we outgear them doesn’t mean it’s not fun to hit those fights.

Recruitment is good, I hear; people are awesome; I love my guild; I’m done complaining (for now, :) ).

The second 10 man will continue without dramawhores and with quality alts to fill out the ranks. It’s not the best option in the world, but it’s the only one they’ve got, and after the explosion of gquits and drama last week everyone is extremely happy to have a raid at all.

Things can only look up from here, and one thing’s for sure – I’m in it for the long haul. Carefully… but I’m here to stay.

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About The Author

Tankadin Errant is a blog written by Anafielle, a paladin tank on Drenden - US Alliance side. (Armory)

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