I'm not sure how to really start this or end it, and this post has gone through revision after revision.
I talked to my officers over the weekend and let them know that I'd be taking a break from raiding, which is likely going to be a permanent one.
The main reason has nothing to do with my guild or drama or anything like that; Casually Serious has been about the best guild that I could imagine for what I've wanted out of Warcraft, and they're an incredible group of people. They have shown that smart raiding beats long raiding times, and that if you're skilled and do your homework you can have good success on progression with only a small amount of time.
No, it's personal life issues. Simply put, being a father of a newborn doesn't coincide well with raiding on a set schedule. Thinking on it it seems almost ludicrous to believe otherwise, but this was exacerbated more recently by other life events to a point that became...bad. And I told myself a long time ago that when WoW started interfering negatively with my normal life, it was time to stop.
It might be better in the future. I may be able to get back to raiding or playing. But honestly, a lot of the joy I had in playing I got from playing with my wife, and until that changes (which is not going to be very likely) I don't see me coming back as a raider.
Looking back, it's been a lot of fun and I'm very proud of what I've been able to accomplish with two great guilds. Being able to kill Kael, Illidan and Brutallus pre-nerf (and KJ after that), Maly, Sarth and all of Ulduar with Fire & Blood, and doing all the Ulduar hard modes (including Yogg0), all of ToGC on 25s - not a lot of people get to experience those things. I feel like I was a good contributor on those fights and did my part to down them. That's a great feeling and one of the most addictive parts of raiding for me - that you contributed to something greater than you.
Oddly enough, one of the hardest things for me to face is that this blog is going to stop. I also told myself that if I wasn't experiencing the content I didn't want to write about it; theorycrafting is good, but it only goes so far in place of real experience. I really did enjoy writing this, and again it was very rewarding to hear how many people got real, quantifiable help from my writing. One of the reasons I switched guilds (instead of outright quitting) was so I could continue writing about WoW. That's how important it was to me.
Thank you all for reading for the last two years. I've had some of the best readers I've ever seen on a blog, and it wouldn't have been so much fun without you.