After collecting the tokens from the Dalaran jewelcrafting daily quest for 10 days, I spent them for the recipe and materials needed to make a Titanium Spellshock Ring, my first level 80 epic. That was a hard decision, because otherwise I could have used the tokens to learn new jewelcrafting recipes, which now will have to wait. Then I went and bought a second epic, a Wispcloak, for 999 gold from the auction house.
The reason why I suddenly felt the need for more epics was that our more dedicated raiders in the guild are unhappy. Two left for a more advanced guild because we weren't doing Naxx25 yet, and from those who remained there was some grumbling of how people shouldn't come raiding underequipped. Quote: "A non-defense capped tank, a healer who goes oom after 2 minutes or a DPS who misses half of his attacks are totally useless in a raid and will only cause hard feelings to the team. Why is he/she even in raid ? Why doesn't the raidleader ask him to leave ? Why isn't he replaced yet ?" While I know how to conserve mana and play my priest reasonably well, it is true that my gear still needs improvement. So to avoid the humiliation of being kicked out of a raid for underperformance, I really feel the pressure to gear up quickly. I already carry flasks and the cooking quest ultra-food buffs, but I haven't had time to run all that many heroics, especially since I don't necessarily want to do those in pickup groups all the time. Isn't it ironic? Instead of raiding for better gear, we need better gear for raiding.
While I do my best to try to conform to the standards of the raiders, I'm not totally happy with the attitude. Being chided for bad gear or raid performance is a bit like getting bad grades at school, or a bad performance review at work. Somebody is pointing a finger at you and telling you that you are sub-standard, and that hurts. Which is kind of silly, because obviously your raid performance doesn't even have a fraction of the importance of your performance at school or at work. I'm certainly not going to pull a lot of WoW all-nighters to improve my game at the detriment of my job. Isn't the purpose of a game to have fun, to relax, and not to add more stress to your life?
And me, I'm totally happy with my guild's raid progress. We already cleared half of Naxxramas, including some "gear check" bosses like Patchwerk. Not having done Naxx at level 60 or in the beta, it'll take some time for everyone to learn the various bosses, but that is what the fun of raiding is about. If I had already killed the last boss of Naxx25, I'd be less happy, because then there would be nothing else left for the moment. The top raiding guilds are clearing all existing raid dungeons once a week for gear, just so that when the next raid dungeons come out they can rush to finish it again, and again be stuck with nothing to do but farming. Why would anyone want to stress himself and spoil his fun for the doubtful achievement of a "server first", followed by months of complaining that Blizzard doesn't add even harder raid dungeons? If your style of playing doesn't make you happy, then why do it that way? Wrath of the Lich King is a great opportunity to approach raiding a bit more relaxed, as hanging out with friends and having fun, instead of constantly having to judge them, and kicking them out if their performance isn't up to top standards. I certainly don't want to be a burden to my guild in a raid, but I'm content if I'm well equipped enough for Naxx10 to do that for some time, instead of rushing to Naxx25 undergeared.