Still back in Vanilla, WoW Classic, WoW 1.x whatever you choose to call it I was happy raiding as “one of the team”. Then one day Gemmlas, the priest class leader and healing lead announced he was taking a step back for a few weeks for work reason and announced that he would be looking for someone to step up and take over the healing assignments when he wasn’t around. I never considered that it would be me that would get the /w asking if I’d step up and assist. There were much more prominent guildies in the healing team I assumed would get the job and to be honest at that time I was managing a team as a job and enjoyed being in the pack.
My first night in charge of the healers came round and we went into Blackwing Lair, which at the time we were clearing it each week but never really had it on farm because we always struggled with the 3 drakes, Firemaw, in particular always presented problems. DPS always wanted to squeeze that extra stack of Wing Buffet and for some odd reason half the healing team couldn’t work out the line of sight trick of keeping the tank visible but not Firemaw. Anyway, that night the whole raid was on top form and we managed our first (and only as it happened) one night clear. I’m sure I had little to do with it, I’ll pass the glory of that to Regaal our RL. But it did always make me happy and I’m sure helped earn the respect of the officer team and my subsequent promotion to officer status late in 2006.
We continued to progress relatively slowly in AQ40 and the only time we ventured in Naxxramas was the day before The Burning Crusade was released. I still look back on these times with great fondness especially for all those friends that I have lost touch with although there are still a few around sadly I’m no longer guilded with them but we do still chat in game occasionally and there are a few more I have on my Facebook friends list. The Burning Crusade brought about a huge change to raiding with a step down from 40 to 25 man raids and the entry level raid was a 10 man. This caused a lot of problems and a few people left to join other guilds in anticipation of losing their spot or the chance to join friends. A few people changed mains and when the dust settled it all looked very good we had a balanced group of around 35 which would easily be enough to get 25 people out raiding.
The really keen folks power leveled to 70 but being a holy priest I was having a rather troubled time leveling (no dual specs back then!) and I had insisted on leveling as Holy, which was good for instancing at least! I was one of the early levelers still and joined a group of “Teddies” to go into Karazhan early in March 2006. Progress in there was slow and we clearly needed gear upgrades but the new heroics would help solve that and in time more people were geared up enough. The raids to Karazhan became grossly over-subscribed and most weeks we had enough to do 2 teams.
However, rather than make fixed teams the officer team decided that we should mix up and while this was probably the fairest way to all those of us that had been in a few weeks longer were frustrated that the overall progress was not fast enough (Shade of Aran 1st kill was 4 months into the expansion while Prince Malchezzar and Terestian Illhoof were not killed until 2 months after that). We wanted to get into 25 man raiding but the majority considered this too difficult without more gearing up and that slowed down our entry until the middle of June 2006 when we finally went to Gruul’s Lair and on the first night killed High King Maulgar but this was too little too late as a myself and a couple of other officers had already decided to form a new guild and had recruited some friends from within the guild as well as a few from other guilds and on July 4th 2006 Deadwood was formally born.
We had decided to go with a guild leaderless structure, with a council of 3 officers leading the 10 man guild. Regaal, Cheiftan (yes he spelled it wrong as the correct way was taken!) and myself were the members of the Deadwood council.
A new era dawned…..