I'm still rereading all the comments and trying to take in everything. I apologize if I miss some point, there's a lot to reply to. I'm going to start with a general comment, then more directly to individuals.
First the most important two points: 1) Sorry for any hurt feelings. I was trying to be as honest as possible without hurting people, but the subject matter was a prickly one. 2) I wasn't trying to blame any one person. Nothing in my comment was intended to be personal.
I understand the game has shortcomings, things that make it hard to have a group of people work/play together. I hadn't known that all of the static lived in the same close area (I thought some of you did and others were elsewhere). (Added in rereading: I see later comments said you've now moved apart, so maybe I was cright.)
Should I have taken more initiative to get the LS to do other things? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I don't like to step on toes. I don't want to whine and complain and demand attention. To borrow a quote: "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... or the one." I didn't want to try to take the group's time to do things that I wanted to do, especially when everyone was so driven in one single task (leveling static).
glaciation: On the rank 5 point, okay. I was too focused on a part of the conversation (having more 30s people wouldn't be good), and less focused on the high level character end. My bad. It's fair to want to do it yourself, if that's what you want.
1200seconds: After I was dropped from the static, a number of things changed. Not just the drive for rank 5 becoming more intense, but people who had previously said that they didn't think they'd ever become really high level were now talking about that as being a reasonable possibility. It was like the static party was possessed. It didn't look as if the frenzy was going to wear off, just set its goals higher and higher. I had no way of knowing that once you all hit X level, you'd suddenly want to do other things. It looked as if you wouldn't stop until you were 75.
The BST was partially my fault. I've made changes, myself. I loved WHM, but when I was no longer a part of the PG static, I forced myself to stop loving it. (What would be the use of continuing to love it, if I couldn't play it anymore?) Then CTY invited me to a static with it, but I couldn't recapture the love for the job (and thus never pushed them to party -- plus the whole "not wanting to step on toes" thing. I'm new there, too!). BST is an okay job, but it's a... defense. If I had continued on with WHM, I would never have talked up BST so much. (Does that make any sense? You all were so satisfied with everything, so I wanted something I really liked, too.) BST is a fine, challenging job, but it was WHM I loved.
isildur: Agreed that PG and CTY can't/shouldn't be compared... but it's still hard not to. How can I not look at the two and weigh things when deciding which LS to equip? (And while there are some high level people there, there are just as many people who level even slower than I do.)
It wasn't a matter of 'Oh, I don't like Thistle, let's get rid of her...' but rather 'This is my chance to fix the problem that's caused this game to be wretched for the girl I love for the last 6 months.' We're good friends with Kirby, Ashonee's player, as well; I would have asked him to bow out for Button.
I understand what you're saying, but you're not disagreeing with what I said: People were chosen. Some were taken, others were dropped. SE has some of the blame for setting party limits, and I don't blame you for picking your fiancee over others, but the end result is the same.
We didn't come up with this group because we have an urge to re-level. We came up with it because we're unhappy that we don't see you anymore. We came up with it for exactly one person's benefit: you. ... It hurts worse to reach out and have one's hand slapped.
I'm sorry it hurt. If I had the power to prevent people from having their feelings hurt over a game, then I would make sure it never happen. I also feel bad that you were doing something like that for one person -- I wouldn't ever request that the whole group change for me! If the group had done something I could have taken part in, I would have joined in; I didn't expect the whole group to make changes just for me.
Understandable about the RP. It's not something I seek out, it's just a fun extra.
I hope you at least ate lunch while you typed! :)
eilonwey: I'm getting the sense that one of the reasons you really like CTY is that the emphasis there is on roleplaying and socializing as your characters. And on meeting lots of new people. Not on keeping up years of already established friendships.
The RP there is fun, but it's neither why I went there or why I stay there. It's very silly, and just a little extra "bonus" thing. It's not even real RP! (Or at least "real" in a MUSH-sense of RP.) Agreed on the second part: My friends there (and on most of FFXI as a whole) are new friends.
I assumed that someone had already explained Operation Paladin to you and its repercussions by that point.
It was a long time ago. While I don't recall anyone saying "When we reach X level you will have to leave the group", it was probably implied. And, as I told non-PG people, I should have probably assumed that when X level was reached I would have been dropped. We (PG and I) just seem to have a different focus on things. I think friends should party together, even if it hurts in-game progress. Make two little parties and ally them? Rotate people sitting out for a week? Even if it hurt XP/leveling, I would have chosen something like that so that the group could have stayed together. It was my mistake to assume that everyone would feel the same way as me. :)
I'm sorry that you've felt hurt that we haven't done more lowbie leveling with you since you left the high level party
It's not the leveling, it was being together as a group. If I never earned another level in the game, but I got to hang out with good friends on two LSs, I still would have been a happy person.
I hope I covered all of the main points people brought up. I've put more worktime hours into this than I should have, so I can't go over all the comments again. If I missed something, feel free to point it out and I'll reply when I can.