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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 8:43AM (Unverified) said

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If such a thing was even mentioned as a possibility I would quit my kin. I find the idea of anyone telling me I have to play the game for x amount of time in x way completely opposite of what games should be, a fun leisure activity.

I get yelled at enough at work for not being a team player, and they give me a lot of money for the right to do so. Unless my GM starts sending me checks I will play the game to have fun, that's it.

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 9:49AM (Unverified) said

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This is why the Guild system and Raid centric MMO's are dying. No one wants to be given permission not to play...especially Americans who don't like to be told what to do. Sadly the last vestiges of Hardcore Raiders also run and contribute to most gaming news sites so they can social engineer to make it look like this is the norm.

In talking to developers from several houses (Including Blizzard) over the past couple years one thing is certain the Archaic guild system is going by the wayside. Smaller more tight knit groups are the future of MMO's having three or four of your friends working together and overcoming challenges is a lot more intimate and makes players feel more heroic. I would not be surprised if the next WoW expansion featured just Five and ten man raids.....SOE belives that even that is too many, DCUO will feature continent that can be played two to Five man scaling depending on group size. That completely kills the EQ Raid model that has been plaguing MMO players for years.

It's about fricking time I say.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2009 10:50AM Tom in VA said

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I do wish that Blizzard, Turbine, and the rest would convert their low-level group content, namely, the many clever and finely crafted dungeons, into solo-friendly versions and reserve the "player group-only" requirements for the higher-level expansions.

My suggestion would be to offer (for sale as an add-on) "Hero-type NPC sets" (think Guild Wars) that are moderately customizable, usable only in dungeons, and usable only by players working solo and at a level appropriate for that dungeon.

This would give players that "party dynamic" that you get in Guild Wars, which I really like, without having to beg and plead and spam in LFG (and ultimately give up, of course) to find people to run, say, Deadmines or Uldamon. Right now, low-level players mostly just skip these dungeons, which is too bad, imo. Once Blizzard releases the next expansion, they could then open up, say, the Burning Crusade dungeons to this feature.

Running through dungeons with NPCs would have its own challenges, of course, but, right now, it would beat the heck out of never even going in them at all. Developers needs to recognize that playing the lower levels in these MMOs nowadays is basically a single-player RPG experience anyway. The sooner they wake up to that fact (and accommodate it), the better.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2009 9:00AM Tom in VA said

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I NEVER raid, so this is not a problem.

As for any guild that requires participation in raiding:

"Bye, see ya. Wouldn't wanna be ya." :)

Seriously, though, for me, I simply cannot imagine being that tied into an MMO that I would even need such a thing as the "summer off." Yipes. No freaking way.

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 9:25AM Thac0 said

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I agree, Games are for fun not a job!
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Posted: Jul 9th 2009 9:05AM alinos said

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i take it your not in a guild that has those sort of rules to begin with so the idea of a relaxed summer wouldnt really apply and some people find raiding like that fun

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 12:49PM (Unverified) said

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You guys wax derisive about gaming obligations, but the fact is that many guilds are organized like a recreational softball team as an example. We have players who fill certain roles and we schedule our events and rosters to provide the activity to the players who have committed to it. No one pays you to play softball, but if you sign up for the team then you understand that doing so means the team counts on you to be present for practice and games.

For some people this activity is fun, despite the "work" that goes into making the activity happen in the first place. If this level of involvement in your hobby is not agreeable to you, then you simply don't sign up for the team. No need to bash on those of us who do. Our guild has many players who don't sign up for the "team" and that's fine too.

Taking this analogy further, we have raiding season and off season as well, which allows players to decompress from the rigors of a 3-4 day raiding schedule. Usually we raid at full tilt when new content launches and switch to off season after the content is cleared as we await new content.

So yes, we do have summer downtime as part of our "off season" so that people can spend time enjoying other activities in line with the season. When fall hits and new content is available, the team will be pestering me to organize the raid schedule. Off season keeps them from burning out.

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 1:13PM Tom in VA said

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You make a good point, Kosmo. I hadn't thought of raiding that way.

It is nevertheless hard for me to regard any MMO in this light, perhaps because my sister, who also plays WoW (as do I), is locked into a raid schedule with her guild (no summer off!). From her perspective, she is just having a good time; from my perspective it just seems ... rather extreme to me.

I really did not mean to disparage people who play that way. It's just not for me.

I do think, however, that Wolfsterne is absolutely correct: the vast majority of players do not wish or want to raid or commit to any online game to that extent. Raiding is becoming (imo) a smaller and smaller niche in online gaming, and I think the big names (Blizzard, etc.) would do well to relegate raiding to the sidelines, if they continue to include it at all.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2009 1:49PM (Unverified) said

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I'm a long time MMO vet, ex-WoW raider (through endgame content), and I have played on "amatuer"/corporate softball leagues.

Last time I checked, those softball leagues didn't require 5-7 hours of practice/playtime on 4-5 nights a week in order to participate. If you are part of a hardcore raiding group (which is what this conversation is about) then you know damn well that FAR FAR FAR more hours go into a structured raiding group than go into any other comparable enthusiast-level activity.

Typically these hours aren't always set in stone, but when people start slacking off on game time (farming time) then they are seen as someone who is "not pulling their weight" and quite commonly ostracized or cast down to the bottom of the list as someone who is "undependable".

If I had a dollar for everytime I took a week off from gaming because of some responsibility, only to come back and hear "omg, where have you been?" "We thought you quit!" "Wow, we haven't seen you in forever!"
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Posted: Jul 9th 2009 2:00PM (Unverified) said

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The trend toward smaller teams and shorter time commitments has actually been a great boon to those of us who do like to raid. Easier to organize and more flexible with how the group is composed. I don't miss the nightmare of 40 person raids going 4-5 hours at a time or the class stacking nightmare that was BC.

Raiding isn't going away, it's just morphing into something better that is more about having a skillful, fun-lovin team than about having oodles of time and personnel to throw at your hobby.

The whole point of an MMO is the massive collaborative part. That's why these things took off in the first place, worlds full of other players to adventure with or against. If they remove the ability for large collections of players to engage in epic activities then we lose part of the heritage of the genre.

I don't agree with the hardcore people being the only ones to see content or get the best upgrades however. Casual raiding is not only possible, but for many quite enjoyable. My guild is living proof. It's the basement dwelling e-peener's that perpetuate the "raiding as a job" stereotype. Don't believe the hype.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2009 9:49AM (Unverified) said

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"Even better, rather than monthly farming, we just have to contribute once and it covers the majority of the summer. That gives me the freedom to not feel guilty about lengthy absences so I can sit in my garden and drink cider or go to the pub. It's nice."

I think you might be doing something wrong if you can't take time away from a game to go to the pub except in the summer.

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 9:52AM Bri said

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While the concept of a second "WoW job" with taxes and mandatory precedence over real life, like you have, is completely foreign and unpalatable to me, and apparently others, we all need to realize that everyone has a different playstyle.
I am the guild leader for my small guilds (Alliance and Horde sister guilds on a PvE server, same guild members), and your summer amnesty describes our whole year. :)

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 10:56AM Meagen said

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I'm kind of hoping I'll see some of my Supergroup *back* in City of Heroes now that it's summer. Maybe we'll dig out some of those old 50s for the new Task Forces.

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 11:00AM tRaFiK said

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Far out! It's freakin freezing here in Australia! Any Winter articles?

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 11:41AM jwoelich said

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Articles like this just reinforce the notion that MMO gamers are a bunch of sad-sack basement dwellers with no life. I'm sorry, but if I need to take a break from something I do while taking a break...that's not a game. That's a job. If a game becomes a job, then its time to find another game.

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 11:51AM (Unverified) said

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I challenge the Author to look at the comments that was placed as a response to this blog and ask herself is Raiding not dead? It is held in contempt by 90% of all MMO players these days. I suggest she do an article on that instead of something that looks like it belongs in 1999.

Oh and "Guild Mistress" sounds a bit B&D.....Try Guild leader next time.

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 12:26PM (Unverified) said

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"Real life takes precedence for once"

Didn't bother to read beyond this phrase. GET SOME PERSPECTIVE! Yeesh. I'm a long-term vet of MMOing, and it's always been very readily apparent to me that those that lose perspective on the above phrase's subject matter...that of real life and it's precedence...are flipping insane.

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 12:37PM Thac0 said

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I agree with the majority of the posters above: This artivel makes gamers look like sad sacks that live in basements and raid and grind all day and the term "Real life takes precedence for once" is really sad.

This blogicle (blog/article i'mmaking it a new word) further illustrates when I meant when i said "you guys (gals too) are out of touch" the other day when i responded to your podcast. I think you guys are way out there somewhere compared to where your readership is and where most mmorpg gamers are nowdays. I think youguys need some time away from "reporting" and away from the keyboard to balance your perspective. Your opinions and views are straying farther from the center tword that of a hardcore gamer that hasn't seen the sunlight or talked to anyone IRL expect on twitter from inside your champions Beta.

Not trying to be mean I'm just saying you guys should hear yourselves and read what you say too its getting bad. We may need to call a therapist.

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 5:01PM einstini15 said

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While there might be guilds that raid 5-7 hours, I personally don't know them. My guild and some of my friends guild raid 4 nights a week with raids lasting no longer then 4 hours.

I like kosmo's analogy to a baseball team. If you want to be part of a team and play softball/yogg, you have to show up. If you don't that is fine but don't knock the ones that do.

Do I regret going from 40-25 raids? not really, it did feel more epic but it was a nightmare, organizationally speaking. And while i would not be against the option of hard 5 man raiding, it does take away from the epic feelings. But then again, why is this up for debate? Blizzard is already incorporating this idea in their next patch where the 5 man instance will have hard mode.

Posted: Jul 9th 2009 5:44PM (Unverified) said

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Wow..still having four hours of you day taken away four days a week? That is still a major time investment to anyone with a family, a Career and other interest.

I see a future where the average Raid (or Epic Encounter) time last between an hour and a hour and a half, where the BS trash mobs and huge number requirements are replaced by scaling difficulty and rewards depending on how many are participating. A Heroic Encounter may require Five people to reap the best rewards, but the encounter can still be done on Epic mode from Two to four people, the rewards are slightly diminished but the encounter is relevant from beginning to end with no trash mobs and best of all is accessible to 100% of the player base.

Anything less I believe will spell then end of the genre as a popular form of entertainment, and relegate it back to niche.
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