So I got Mad Skill on 10-man last night. How exciting is this? It's very exciting, since I hadn’t even killed Anub10h before. How impressive is it? Well, not impressive at all. This late in the game, we're all geared to the teeth, mostly in 25-man stuff (including some 264s). And even though there were plenty of 232 alts in the run, the players behind the toons were very experienced in the content. Insanity was the goal, and it could very well have happened with this group, but for a few minor mistakes. Which is, after all, what Insanity is there to prove: that you can pull it off without mistakes.
I missed two full tiers of content: hard-mode Ulduar and heroic ToC. So now I'm on a new server, in a guild that's young but shit-hot, and where people are mostly just after One Light (for drakes) and Insanity (for pride, and the cloaks are damn good too). I'm getting whisked along as part of our “get to know each other” phase. It wouldn't be fair to say I'm being carried, but it wouldn't be entirely inaccurate either. I'd never seen Firefighter before, nor the Animus, nor limited-ice Anub. My experienced guildies are making it happen; I'm just following along, doing my healy thing, and snapping up long-lost achievements.
As of last week I had Iron Dwarf and Heartbreaker. Tonight I might get a drake and Starcaller. So what? Well, like I said, it's nothing to brag about at this stage, but it's still satisfying to recover from months of progression-less farming on my last server. My old guild is a fairly strong 10-man guild with enough good people to fill up the 25s. The guys in the 10-man core are progressing, and I'm happy for them, and wish them all the best in going as far as they can. I wasn’t in that 10-man core, which meant my raid time was spent farming old content (boring) or attempting 25-man hard modes for which we didn't meet the minimum dps requirements. Too easy or too hard. No one is to blame for this; it's a server issue more than a guild issue. But it basically describes the main reason I've moved on. Again, I’m not trying to dis the great people in my last guild, but I’ve had a lot of “why did you leave”s, and felt the need to clarify.
Never underestimate the Goldilocks effect: the most satisfying content is just right: it provides a challenge, but not too much, and not too little. I can't tell you how important this aspect of the game is, especially for those in management roles. Keeping your raiders happy is not about giving them loot; it’s about keeping them on this “just right” edge of progression, wherever that may be for your group. I'm convinced that my new guild will stay on the Goldilocks edge for a long time, and this is pure win. With the right amount of ever-increasing challenge, on content that gives you the right chance to succeed if you give it your all...that's when you start to flow, start to really have fun, and start to remember why you play in the first place.