You’d be hard-pressed to find a feature in a MMO that universally appeals to all its players. They just don’t exist. Everyone comes to the game with different approaches and interests, and while the game may attempt to mold our interests to skew in various directions, there’s only so much bend a person can do before it’s *snap* time and they just leave it alone.
For me, the snap point is raiding. Yeah, yeah, big surprise — Mr. Casual Player Syp (I have business cards with that on them) doesn’t like something “hardcore”. Here, have an ice cream cone and go join the rest of the kiddies on the playground while the elite do Big Boy Stuff. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried. I did my fair share of Kara runs in Burning Crusade, and I’ve tried to be open to raiding with my guild in Wrath, now that we’ve assembled enough geared level 80s for the task.
Yet after I spent three hours last night raiding, all I could walk away with was the feeling that it had been a waste of time. Not a total waste, but I could have spent that time doing something more productive or enjoyable.
So what don’t I like about raiding?
- The lectures — guilds who have bosses on farm status don’t have to deal with this, but every time we stopped to tackle a new boss, it required a 15 minute lecture from the raid leader about what to do, when to do it, what was going to happen, etc. All I could hear is “don’t screw up don’t screw up don’t screw up stay out of the fire”, and I just get incredibly antsy standing around for long stretches of time — I want to play a game when I am playing a game.
- The stress — Being part of a larger team that’s dealing with hard mobs and bosses and situations means that there’s a lot of stress sitting on everyone’s shoulders not to mess up. If one of us falters, the whole house of cards may collapse, and I just don’t want that person to be me. I’m usually tense, hunched over and on the edge of my seat when I raid, and I don’t need more stress in my life, especially from what should be a source of relaxation and fun.
- The lack of reward — Three hours spent in Ulduar netted me… 4 emblems of triumph. That’s it. There was one purple piece of loot that dropped, but I lost the roll, so oh well. I could have run multiple heroic dungeons during that time frame for a lot more emblems and gear.
- The edge of diminishing returns — By the time my character is able to raid, I’m usually at the point where I don’t honestly need any better gear except for tougher raiding. I’ve already peaked the point where I’m getting gear hand over fist, and looking at a future where any upgrades are going to be a lot less frequent if I raid.
And yet, there are some positives:
- I get to be with friends — My number one reason to raid. I like hanging with friends, accomplishing a task with the guild, and putting my skills to use in a group situation. Our triumphs and failures are shared, which binds us together.
- There’s a bit of fun to be had — Not necessarily in the combat itself, but when it comes to experiencing new content and seeing clever tricks the developers have for you to enjoy.
Maybe, like PvP, my personality just won’t fit raiding no matter how much or how hard I try.