Yakkity Yak, Don’t Raid Back

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.

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23 thoughts on “Yakkity Yak, Don’t Raid Back

  1. pitrelli February 16, 2010 / 12:10 pm

    Ha, show me a player who likes the ‘tactics’ and lecture spiel and I’ll show you a liar.

    I do think 10 man raiding is the best thing that has happened to WoW as it really caters for the less ‘hardcore’ gamers out there. Sure it sucks when you lose a roll but when you recieve that first bit of Epic loot that you have properly earned (through killing a raid boss – not emblems) then it really is a special feeling.

    Id actually advise you to get your guild to do some of the easier/older raids as they have some great content and boss fights.

  2. CunningB February 16, 2010 / 12:16 pm

    Yeah Raiding is very much the breaking point for me too, no matter how much I enjoy it!

    Although the problem I have with raiding is that between an unreliable schedule, busy real life and spending time with my partner (who’s got no interest in gaming no matter how hard i try!) I have no time for it.

    I’ve had people tell me that I just need to organise my life a little better and drop some stuff but it’s one of those things where if your at the point where your sacrificing RL for gaming you probably need to set some priorities straight xD

    So at the moment it’s MMO tourism and EvE Offline for me! xD

  3. Longasc February 16, 2010 / 12:24 pm

    I can understand you, I also don’t like the rigid training-like schedules and DKP/raid calendar systems coming with raiding.

    I like(d) random PUG raids the best, and at one time I even thought about raiding “the more, the merrier”. Till I noticed that 40 man raids kill my nerves more than anything else.

    I wonder if STO’s “raidisodes” will be similar to the rather open “fleet action” stuff or if they will be challenges for groups of 5, like a heroic dungeon.

  4. Brad February 16, 2010 / 12:36 pm

    Oh the lectures, the lectures. I am with you, I lived 5 mans so much more. Once I got sick of the same 5 mans, I let my account go. The finder sounds great! I would never raid again once that came along.

  5. Dril February 16, 2010 / 12:37 pm

    You’re going to base your opinion on one raid? 😛

    Raiding is one of things were the people around you, and incidentally how much work they (and you) put in beforehand. I’ll take each of your points:

    1) In this day and age it’s really, honestly, pretty silly to have to do this anymore. It sounds like your raid leader is a total nightmare for tactics, we had one like that: he was a great guy, a great player, and mostly a great raid leader, but it took FOREVER if he needed to adjust something. In the future, you should suggest that people come knowing the key things in the fight, and that during the trash there should be more private, specialised conversations if people need reminders on what to do. If you’re a healer, you don’t even need to know most of the more advanced tactics, just know what needs to be dispelled, what need sot be avoided and any incoming damage (I play(ed) a healer and that’s all I ever really needed, I knew every aspect but meh the tankspot videos are quite nice to watch ^^.)

    2) This for me is the key thing: are you raiding with people you can trust to not scream at you? Raiding is SO MUCH better with people who aren’t going to kill you if you screw up, and I’ll be honest: put it at the back of your mind. I always worry that I will screw up, but if I forget about that and concentrate on the task at hand, I rarely do actually cause any major wipes or deaths.

    3) Don’t raid Uldy for rewards. Seriously, unless you have undergeared folks, Trial of the Crusader is the best: it has some good, not-emblem-buyable rewards, it’s relatively easy, and it’s quick.

    4) I’d agree with you here, it is excruciatingly annoying to not get any upgrades in the forseeable future, but if you soldier on you’ll find there’s a lot you end up with.

    Don’t be ready to blow it off just yet; raid with people you like, and do your job well. Believe me, there’s nothing more satisfying (well, apart from killing a Rogue who tried to stunlock you.)

  6. shadowwar February 16, 2010 / 1:17 pm

    So here’s the question for you then: to what goal, to what puprose are you playing your character? In a PvE game, the intended destination is power progression. This is done in WoW and most other themeparks via gear. Eventually, won’t the heroic dungeons you do stop providing rewards? When that point is reached, what do you do then if you you do not raid?

    This is the inevitable conclussion I come to whenever I look at playing a raid-focused PvE game. Eventually (and usually quickly) there is no point in my continuing to participate.

  7. Jason February 16, 2010 / 1:20 pm

    As it concerns the lectures… I preferred raiding in MMOs back when guilds used to keep strategies secret, so it didn’t matter if the content had been defeated six months ago, your guild doing it now wouldn’t have a step by step plan to work from. You had to figure it out, and in doing so, sometimes you found a strategy that no one else thought of.

    These days, most of the lecture comes from the fact that unless you are in a bleeding edge guild charging into the latest content, chances are your raid leader has the published plan to work from and even though no one on the raid has been here before he’s telling you what is going to happen and where people should stand.

    Spoiler sites have ruined MMOs and the only way to avoid them is to play by myself, which kinda defeats the purpose of MMOs…

  8. Tesh February 16, 2010 / 2:43 pm

    Why do raiders raid? Ferrel over at Epic Slant seems to like the actual gameplay and tactics of leading a guild into the teeth of the monster, and coming out victorious. That, I can respect, even if it’s not something I have much interest in. At least I can understand it.

    Raiding endlessly for more lottery tickets for more loot that makes more raiding possible is the worst sort of treadmill MMOs have to offer. You’re not even going anywhere in the world to find new stuff, you’re just pulling the lever on that slot machine, punching the clock, hoping that you can do it some more, wearing a new hat.

    Bleh.

  9. Blacknimbus February 16, 2010 / 2:44 pm

    The only ‘raiding’ I ever did was Kara. And that was enjoyable mostly due to the guys and girls I was running it with. We only did it on Saturday and Sunday mornings and started off geared about the same.

    I enjoy getting purples from raiding, but for me it was mostly about downing bosses. I remember doing a Mag run one night and he was almost dead when things went to hell and I ended up bounced over by one of the cubes with half the group dead. I had never been on ‘clicking’ duty, but the designated clicker was room temperature, so I took over. The odd thing was that with a full group, we’d still have trouble with people failing to channel properly and we’d fail. This time we finished him…with only a handful of us left.

    I don’t remember what he dropped, but I remember that kill.

  10. royale February 16, 2010 / 2:57 pm

    /ditto CunningB

    I have been like *this* close to joining back with a raiding guild and getting hardcore back into WoW. I just came back to the game this month after cancelling my sub late last year. I would really like to see the lich king die, have friends that would like me to come back, and used to love working together with so many other people at once to accomplish goals in game.

    But I decided against it. Every time I think about scheduled game times–for example setting my alarm when I wouldn’t normally just to make sure I’m awake to raid, ugh–I think to myself, “nah, rather not bother with that stuff right now.”

    Raiding is the most fun thing about WoW but it is also sucks more of your life than playing casually here and there. I will let my subscription lapse again.

  11. OrderedChaos February 16, 2010 / 3:37 pm

    EQ1 burned me out on raiding in any further games. My RL friends (as well as their brothers and nephew) and I did the whole progression through Luclin, and then we realized that the game we played to relax and have fun with had become another part time job to us. We stopped, dropped guild and went to a new server and rerolled new characters.

    The fun we had was hanging out with eachother and shooting the breeze while hunting or moving through a dungeon. Laughing at eachothers mistakes, bad pulls and wipes. No one was faulted and all was in good fun. I loved seeing my friend get kicked to death by a Hill Giant in the Karanas. =) Or the horror upon discovering that the Snow Griffins in Velious were also Druids. Things like that stick out more than rolling for some item that will add +3 Str/ Agi to my already way over powered character.

  12. Lukane February 16, 2010 / 3:52 pm

    Raiding is it’s own seperate animal. However, if you don’t like raiding, or PvP, then there isn’t much of an end game in WoW. Maybe stick with the shorter ones like Maly. Or just run Heroics like crazy.

    You should do what you want with your time. It’s your time after all and you shouldn’t feel like you have to do something you don’t enjoy with it.

    I never raided much in WoW before wrath. I like the bits of story and the that feeling you get when the boss goes down and everyone is cheering. I totally agree with your negative points though.

    Does anyone remember the days when you finally got to go with your guild to the 40 man raid of MC? And when your awesome piece of loot dropped you realize that you had no DKP to even qualify for it? Talk about wasting hours and hours for nothing.

  13. Utakata February 16, 2010 / 4:45 pm

    I will add to Syp’s dislikes…

    …standing around after being defeated and been hit over the head with Recount by the raid lead…especially as it was our first attempt with this boss, and we’re suppoed to be a “casual” raid group. The fact we got Mr. Festergut down to a 3rd of his health on 25 man was an incredible feat with what we got. And instead of laughing at ourselves of the absurdity of getting defeated by a farting boss, the big raid stick was brought out and we all got 10 lashes each in a form of a 15 minute berating of how terribad we where. I guess farting bosses are serious business.

    Subsequently over that, I’m not raiding with that group anymore.

  14. Ep February 17, 2010 / 4:24 am

    The token system seemed to reward raiders originally. Now it seems u can get the same tokens from heroics?

    Theres no real reason to raid apart from those odd special items and the social side of it.

    I personally found raiding was the most social part of the game as my guild would muck about, argue and banter the whole evening away. Even when i went back for the few weeks i played wrath they got me into Ulu just to make fun of me 😛
    Its the only side i miss of the game to be honest.

  15. Dblade February 17, 2010 / 4:40 am

    I don’t like raids because if I wanted to be part of an organized team, I’d join a bowling league. I did them on FFXI and had friends who did them: they simply aren’t fun once you pass the strategy level and grind them for items. The experience only gets exciting when people screw up.

    WoW raids are easymode anyways. Try doing raids for 6 months to a year trying to get that one piece, with the only real way to progress doing outside of pickup in an established shell. Or having your endgame non-instanced and having to compete with botting shells for a single pop monster with a 4 to 6 hour repop. Not standing in the flames and using tanks would be an improvement over having to scout for hours to see if a rare monster popped, or scheduling a dynamis, hoping someone wont ninja your entire pseudo-instance forcing you to reschedule if another one isn’t open.

  16. Jason February 17, 2010 / 8:22 am

    I liked EQ raids, even on farm/grind mode because the gameplay was so less intense (i.e. – less button pushing, unless you were a bard) because of the people. EQ was more like a chatroom with a fantasy minigame attached to it. WoW raids are all business. If you are chatting/typing, you aren’t fighting, raid leaders yelling at you if you chat in vent because its for raid commands, etc…

    In fact, EQ raids on farm mode were often MORE fun than when learning them because once you got the strategy down you could start joking around and grabassing. Going on EQ raids was more like going to a social mixer. WoW raids are more like a job.

  17. Tarisai February 17, 2010 / 10:22 am

    This is pretty much why I quit WoW – though I never got to the raiding stage.

    I hit 64 in BC, wanting to get to 70 and then thought to myself: “What do I ‘want’ after 70?”

    The answer was nothing really. WoW was great whilst the XP was rolling in but you get to that point where you see the end game, over the cliff, in the bottomless pit of dispair where the stagnant musk of traced shame envelops your enthusiasm, puts it in a rotten loaf and whilst eternally chewing, buries everything whilst scratching away at your skull with a rusty file.

    It get’s to the point where you are no longer the brave and heroic adventurer: your just another Noob Joe doing what everyone else is doing to get exactly what they have.

    Less end game, more start game. To be honest, I’d much prefer if you started the game over again with perks and extras. Like, more dungeons in each area for players on their multiple run through – gear with cool names etc that tells other players of your story through the game.
    Would keep populations balanced and all the newcomers could see that old hero fallen from grace and back to lvl 1: except his muscles are jaggier and his beard desaturated.

    Quest givers could address you differently and give you augmented outcomes. Groups could have small buffs if led by a vet. There could be different branches once you “re-roll” so that although you are still e.g a warrior, you could have different strengths/weaknesses.

    Keep the raiding and gear carrots for those who wish it: give us casual adventurers who like jogging through the scenery and actually “adventuring” to:

    GAME OVER.

    NEW GAME?

    [YES] NO

    Play intro movie to arrive at your old character, haggard from (relative) years of adventuring through the realm to inspire and lead a new…YAKKITY YAK!

    I’d actually 100% play WoW if it had this.

  18. Tarisai February 17, 2010 / 10:46 am

    get’s = gets
    your = you’re

    I hate myself.

  19. Sharon February 17, 2010 / 11:57 am

    Your last bullet point there is exactly why I’ve quit WoW.

    I have six well-geared level 80 characters, and nearly all are at the point where the only thing left for me to do is raid… to get gear to raid again. Raiding is fun, but there’s nothing to do now when I’m not raiding. While I enjoy hanging out with my friends, I can do that on Facebook, or via email, or even in vent, all without WoW. After several weeks of logging in, and realizing I had nothing to do besides go roll another alt, I just decided to walk away.

  20. Tesh February 19, 2010 / 6:34 pm

    Tarisai,

    “his beard desaturated” has to be one of the best lines I’ve ever seen on aging. Thanks for making my day. 🙂 Oh, and the rest of your comment is great, too. Wiqd, Psychochild and I have bandied about ideas for generational mechanics in MMOs for a while now. It really could be an awesome game design aspect.

    There really are two different games (at least) being played in these MMO things. The leveling game and the “endgame”. (PvE and PvP being the other divisive axis, methinketh, making four games in a nice Punnett square, but I digress.) There’s really no reason to make players play the game that they don’t want to to get to the part they like.

  21. JoeGamer March 26, 2010 / 3:57 am

    I am of the same opinion of this guys, I am still playing on a PVP server but they have all this stuff and people who do not wanna do PVP…. big wtf you doing on a pvp server then?

    I just finished getting my druid alt up to 5000- GS now if I actually want to do anything of purpose I have to raid … 10 mans are ok when I can get them I suppose.

    Still I wish they woudl just let us people who do not give two shits about raiding with 25-40 people just so we can get that BiS item…. its just a time pit with no end return. When my signifficant other returns home from her long trip home I will be hapy to have a Real Life distraction back becuase seriously I am on the ‘do I not have more important things to be doing?’

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