I've had complaints about T8 for some time now. Not that the content was necessarily bad, but that it's the roughest tier ever released from a human (gnome?) resources standpoint. I won't rehash it all - but widely accessible content, and a large difficulty gap between normal and hard modes (which doesn't match the rewards for a guild that isn't getting/competing for server firsts) - has made getting and keeping enough of the right people to consistently run high-functioning raids, a draining job.
T8 stressed me out, and made me an unpleasant person to be around. Aertimus has been witness to my entire range of frustrations with people/bosses, even when I would then take a moment to compose myself, and return to vent a calm and collected raid leader. After so many aggravating nights, it was too much for her to deal with, and she left LOKI. Looking back, I don't blame her.
When she left, I had to evaluate my priorities. It didn't take much to realize that maintaining a hobby (raiding) that keeps me engaged for three evenings a week (in addition to the out of game work I'd put into it), and that would continue to frustrate me, would only serve to push us apart more.
I began to go about the task of organizing my departure. I knew that the departure of the GM, following multiple weeks of fruitless Yogg-attempts, had the potential to seriously damage the morale / stability of LOKI. My first order of business was to kill him - and the next raid, we did. That was the last boss I killed with LOKI.
I first set up my successor. I had previously identified the person that would be willing to take leadership if there was something sudden and tragic that took me away from the game for a period of time, but another option had come up since then. Aeralith - a guy who had been Ruffianx's (the original LOKI GM) right hand man, since the very beginning of LOKI (before I even started playing). Aeralith was only ever able to raid one night of our three, since BC - which is almost certainly why he wasn't the one that was made GM when Ruffianx left. This had changed in T8, and he was now a consistent three night a week player, who I'd always turned to for advice.
The following week, I did my best to maintain a semblance of normality. I informed the officers of my intentions, and had myself sat out. I wanted to see them succeed at a second full clear / Yogg-kill, without me - and not just for my sake, but for theirs. When I left, I wanted people to know that they were entirely capable of succeeding without me, because they allready had.
When I checked the Wednesday's WWS posting on Thursday morning, I saw that it was done. Yogg went down in the last minutes of the raid. I began writing my letters.
Sunday, before they went in to clean up optional bosses, I gave my speech. I got whispers. I got /salutes and /cry's. We all got blast wave'd by some horde standing around the steps. The entire process was short, and somewhat surreal. I then left them go into Ulduar completely and officially under new leadership, and stood there in an empty tabbard.
They went on to do Razorscale, Ignis, and LOKI's first medium mode Iron Council kill. I put up my post on LOKI's forums for those that were not present that night, and sent the 37 personal messages that I'd composed via forum mail. Finally, I joined the placeholder guild that Aertimus made, "Low Key". Get it? We're witty people.
So now what?
I'm not done with WoW, and I'm not done with blogging. I'm just stepping away from leading a guild.
I'm going to try my best to keep the ten man group that I'm part of going. It went by the wayside this last week (as did my blogging) while I got things in order, but its a fun group of people, and may be how I continue to see content. I know that I don't plan on doing 25 man raids, short of some pug stuff on an alt mabey.
I've started working towards Loremaster.
I couldn't stand running around and wtfpwning boars while wearing uberepic armor - so I started just equiping the gear I picked up. I still one shot everything, but it feels more right this way.
I even got to be a tree!
Another side project I'm checking out, is soloing old content. I started with Geddon/Garr for a shot at bindings. Garr was easy, but Geddon took a specific setup and healthy dose of fire resist. (the other person in the raid was in Darlaran, and just had to be there so I could zone in).
I also may start taking some shots at rare mounts.
I did huntsman suprisingly easy, and then did Maiden for kicks.
So I'll still be posting. There is plenty in this game to do, and plenty to reflect on. For me, theres just also lots more time outside of WoW, and I'm taking advantage of it. I've attended 208 on time calls, gotten DKP for some 600 hours of raiding / standby in the last two years. This last week of not having to be online at a certain time has been invigorating. I know that I'll miss spending so much time with the people I've come to know so well, as time passes. But for now, I'm all about getting more quality time with Aertimus.