All guilds develop in-jokes, and one of ours is the Shaman Curse.
Our old guildmaster was a resto shaman, and he came to loathe it, but felt obligated to keep bringing his shaman to raids because he was integral to the healing team. It probably played the biggest role in his eventually burning out on the game entirely, and needless to say he is no longer bringing his shaman or anything else, because he’s essentially quit. This abuse of someone’s fifteen dollars a month angered the WoW gods, because for more than a year (at least, I wasn’t there for most of this period) it seemed like it was now a fundamental cosmic law that Reprisal could not have another raiding shaman ever again. We have two very regular players who are shamans- and we’ve played just enough filling in quick sub slots to know that at least one of them is an excellent healer- but one can’t commit to any kind of steady raiding schedule because he’s in school, and the other can’t because he teaches school.
We had one recruit that was a shaman- who came in right as the raiding core of the guild was collapsing along fault lines that turned out to be ready to split the whole thing as soon as enough stress was applied. He stopped logging in, and never came to more than one raid. (And that was as his warlock, at that.) We had a friend of a member bring in both his shaman and his death knight- only to mysteriously gquit with the shaman character the next day without explanation, and left the death knight in just as mysteriously. Nobody was really surprised; the consensus on /o was “curse got him” and it was left at that. We attributed the nightly sharding of a piece of shaman loot as the price of the curse.
So when Initial V, who was getting fed up with warlocking anyway, decided to level a shaman, we all had a collective hearty laugh and teased her non-stop. We all figured she’d lose interest as she has with her other alts. When she didn’t, and instead put on a blazingly fast demonstration of burning to 80 that left the rest of us feeling like we had no idea how to level a character, we switched to making dire predictions that the terms of the curse would cause her to either /gquit in her sleep or undergo spontaneous human combustion if she made it to 80. She didn’t, and a few days ago she dinged 80 and switched to a blazing demonstration of how quickly it is possible to badgegrind if you’re determined enough to make your fellow officers eat their words.
The gods are angry. Marrowgar, of all bosses, kicked our asses up and down the entry hall of Icecrown last night. We had the healers, and we had the DPS, and we had the tanks, but everybody was spectacularly off their game, including me; people were drawn to fire like demented pixelated moths. The RNG was thoroughly against us as well, and Marrowgar put our healers on sticks at nearly every opportunity- which was even less fun due to only running two, as our healadin had a work obligation that night. We wiped catastrophically twice, then our shadow priest switched to his drastically undergeared PvP Disc spec and we pulled off a skin of the teeth win with only our death knight, Initial V, and Stingray still standing*. We agreed Deathwhisper was probably not going to be an option with the stars thus aligned and at least two people needing to leave shortly, and disbanded to attend to holiday dailies.
Of course, we don’t really believe in curses, and last night’s wipefest wasn’t about breaking the shaman curse so much as it was about having several of our core raiding team absent, some of the subs being undergeared, lacking a third healer, our tree being lagged, and the fact that bad raiding nights where people are just off happen from time to time. If the voodoo loas existed and happened to take an interest in Warcraft, they’d probably be far too busy torturing the Blizzard devs over what they did with the trolls to bother with punishing bad raid karma. We’re just a small guild and we’ve had bad luck with shamans whose effective end happened to coincide with a bad night.
That said, in the last week we had two new warrior recruits mysteriously gquit without a word, and a member coming off a break from the game after being hacked decided that, as long as he had to rebuild anyway, he’d switch his main from his fury warrior to his shadow priest. Come to think of it the only truly regular raiding warrior we’ve ever had was unwillingly tanking on an alt; he preferred his druid.
The Curse of the Shaman is dead, and Reprisal shall have Bloodlust once more. Long live the Curse of the Warrior.
*Stingray the paper rogue managed to absorb a saber lash without going down, and will be insufferable for at least a week. Our tree’s emergency cooldown macro is labeled “ohshitStingray”, for reference to how things usually are.