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Reader Comments (120)

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 1:15PM Deadalon said

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Your right. Raiding like setup in WOW is unhealthy, mentally draining and is driven by great and short term goals of new gear. No normal person can maintain this sort of gameplay over long time. Thats just a fact after seeing about 500 ppl quit raiding cause they wanted to have real life.

And I have also seen quite a few ppl play their life away - Including ppl that got depressed to the level of having to go to mental cinic to recover. And Im talking much moretRhan 1 or 2.

Its sad - but this is what the current form of raiding can do to ppl. Blizzard needs to come up with a healthier and more RL friendly way of playing the game. Cause quite frankly... its sick sitting infront of a computer for 3-4 hours 3-6 days per weak playing the game.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 1:16PM (Unverified) said

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Yeahhh.... I don't know about this but that all seems more like a personal thing and not an effect of raiding. Can it get boring? Sure, at that point you take a break. So other people are depending on you? Tell them sorry, they'll find someone else. If they are actually your friends then the will understand. If they do this as a job almost and are professionals and adults they will understand, otherwise why would you want to hang out with them anyway. I really see your point but to say that raiding does that to you is a little far out there. Maybe it does that to a certain type of person but its not a universal thing. I do commend you on recognizing the problem in yourself and stepping away. Most people can't do that with anything much less a video game. Good article, all in all.

Posted: Sep 21st 2011 3:16AM JuliusSeizure said

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@(Unverified)

Totally missed the point. This sort of scenario is the result of a variety of factors slowly applying pressure to people who can't fight it because they can't see it happening. It's too slow, too subtle and it's all about emotion, not rational thought. It could happen to anyone and happens a lot, which is why we end up seeing the drama and freak outs spill onto forums and YouTube so frequently.

You can believably say that if you were suddenly dropped in a situation like the one Eliot was in when he finally snapped that you'd be relaxed about it. To predict that anyone could go through the whole process, including all the little personal interactions over the many months it takes, staying chill the whole time is to lie. There's just no way to know until it happens.
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Posted: Sep 20th 2011 1:17PM hereafter said

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Yep, that's how they get ya. It does make a cruel kind of business sense: if you can't make enough content to continuously satisfy your top-end players, then find a way to keep them invested in the content you can make. I agree that a wider variety of endgame content would help though, mainly because it would draw attention away from these negative aspects of raiding. The hardcore will probably always see raiding as the pinnacle of the game, but if the rest of us have something else to do (or just something in addition to our raiding) we'll be less inclined to make a stink about how soul-sucking it can be.

Anyways, good article.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 1:20PM Pylades said

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"If there has to be one, it's a simple call for designers to give players options about what they want to do."

The designers didn't force you to raid, though. You chose that. And maybe there weren't a lot of options at launch, but even "raid-focused" WoW has had lots of endgame options for players who don't want to raid.

I have to agree with Ren54. This issue isn't raiding, it's accepting responsibility for your own behavior.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 1:40PM Irem said

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@Pylades
The options for endgame outside of raiding in WoW are mostly solo, unless you like to PvP. Raiding is the be-all and end-all of group content in that game. I dislike raiding and resisted doing it for a long time, but when all of my friends were doing it, I caved. There's this culture surrounding the raid-based endgame that you're either in or you're not.

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Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:00PM DarkWalker said

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@Irem
Solo? Is there any solo activity for a raid-geared (or even just JP-geared) character in WoW that has even a shadow of challenge (apart from bending the rules by trying to solo content designed for groups)?

WoW's end game is either raiding or PvP. There's nothing else with even a shadow of challenge in the game, unfortunately. Which is a big part of why I left. I was unable to do group content that took multiple hours, and there was nothing solo to do that wasn't absolutely boring.
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Posted: Sep 20th 2011 1:21PM Deadalon said

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@Ren54

Raiding is highly built on peer pressure - forcing ppl to be online or they loose out of gear or spot or Valor points. Alot of ppl dont have the RL goals to match the short term goals that games like WOW create. These ppl get drawn further and futher in - and thats not healty - not physically, mentally or socially.

There are alot of ppl always answering articles like these blaming the person that wrote it. The fact of the matter is that many of these ppl are even further down - and can in no way manage their playtime even tho they act like they can. Thats part of the denial - the sickness that these sort of gaming brings.

Many studies are now ongoing regarding this issues. Many of them target to find ppl PERSONALLY rather than let them do things online - cause many of these ppl lie about their social status -their health and RL in general.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 1:24PM RTaveira8 said

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It's not raiding's fault, or in other games PVP's fault. When i played SWG i was into PVP like it was nobody's business i was regarded as a good player. But i wasn't rude to others.. so.. i don't know.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:03PM DarkWalker said

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@RTaveira8
You most likely weren't competing with them for rewards. It's not like you had to roll against your own PvP team for every piece of gear you wanted to get.
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Posted: Sep 20th 2011 1:25PM (Unverified) said

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@Ren54 Sounds like you could use a dose of empathy.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 1:31PM Angn said

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I raided successfully in WoW for 4+ years, ending w/the new Naxx before moving on. I currently raid successfully in LOTRO, up to challenge mode tier 2 Ivar in Ost Dunhoth.

I have no foreseeable plans to quit raiding at this point, and foresee no change to my attitude that lets me enjoy the activity without pain.

Raiding is not the problem, but people like you (and/or the people you hang out with) that chain yourselves to "obligations" in inapplicable contexts. No matter what your selfless, erroneous sense of morality tells you, you have no duty to maintain anyone's happiness but your own. You grant others the benefit of your participation for so long *as* you choose to do so. That gear you won today is not a mortgage on your future time, but your reward for your participation in the present. It carries no debt.

Youth *is* wasted on the young. Stop saddling your recreation time with so much unnecessary, self-sacrificial pain.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 2:08PM toychristopher said

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@Angn Sorry, but those who care about their fellow raiders can't help but feel some sense of obligation.

Raiding can't work unless you have the required number of people, if those people decide not to show up because they already got what they wanted then the people that remain have to figure out how to go on with out them. Since most raids require gear progression to continue on to the harder bosses that becomes very troublesome to keep filling spots with new people.

I didn't feel obligated because i felt like I was in debt. I felt obligated because for a raid to run smoothly you can't fill it with a bunch of players who just pop in whenever they want to play.
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Posted: Sep 20th 2011 5:00PM Deadalon said

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@Angn
Many great posts in here but this is probably the best one. Players should be rewarded for the present - but sadly the raid setup atm doesn't work that way. Its progression raiding so ppl with better gear can do harder encounters than those with worse gear. When ppl dont show up or quit - it halts the progress of the raidingteam. And if that happens regularly - the team is stuck for huge time on same encounters. That on its own leads to even more ppl quitting or leaving the guild so they can progress.

The best way for Blizzard to tackle this - IMO is to focus more on 5 man content - come up with new mecanics - even random features and bosses to keep ppl challenged that are looking for progressing their characters without beeing forced to sit at the computer at exact times on exact dates.

One new 5 man dungeon per month would be a great way to allow ppl to enjoy the game in their time. I cant imagine LFR will be nothing other than total nighmare cause getting 10 ppl to work together efficently takes more than 1-2 hours. The only way it could work is by nerfing the content to the ground. And that takes all the real challenge out of the encounters.

So regulare new 5 mans to give ppl fresh enconters to try is the way forward. Putting three new dungeons in the same patch like 4.3 is not great idea IMO. Learning 5 new bosses is enough - no need for 15 at the same time.
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Posted: Sep 21st 2011 12:01AM OutThere said

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@Angn

MMOs are like any other activity with more than 1 other person: People build a society. People who belong to the society have obligations towards it and towards the other people in it. This is a basic, common factor that all human beings possess. It is not possible to separate such a basic function for a person and still have them an integral part of society. In fact, there is a clinic disease for individuals who are unable to integrate into society--sociopath. Either you are part of that society or you are not.

And here, let me say, I cannot count the number of times MMO players complain about other MMO players who prefer going solo, "why are you playing an MMO then?" The desire for member of a designated group to want others in that group (the society) is a fairly strong human drive. So it is a well understood, if not always articulate assumption in among MMO players that being part of a society is one of the essential factors of playing an MMO. In other words, even if developers had not come up the guild concept, it would have evolved naturally.

As to your contention that raiders can just show up when they want to. I don't know a single successful team of any kind that thinks it is okay for the quarterback, the goalie, the pitcher, the center, or any other player to just simply not show up for a game. If a player takes that attitude, they will not long have a place on the team. Raiding is not "casual", come when you want. Raiders do not have a casual attitude towards what they do or who they do it with. Anyone who thinks top-notch raiding is a casual past-time hasn't done any.
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Posted: Sep 21st 2011 3:35AM JuliusSeizure said

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@Angn

Another person missing the point. It's not about personality type or taking personal responsibility. It's about being so caught up in something that you can't possibly have the perspective you need to fix the problems it's causing. Different personality types just have different ways for these sorts of problems to get their hooks in.

To take the Bartle approach, Socialisers build social obligations to their friends, Achievers hunger for the next shrivelled carrot, Explorers just have to see the next boss and find better ways to fight the old ones, and Killers get stuck in because there's nothing bigger to kill and no greater challenge outside PvP. But most people have at least a little, tiny bit of each, so these pressures all work together to keep you in and make you want to blame anything BUT the structure of WoW-style raiding.

Of course not everyone gets affected like this, and it's great that you haven't. That's not because you're some superior being, nor is it because you made the better choice at any particular moment. It's just the way things played out to shape your experience and so the options available to you.
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Posted: Sep 20th 2011 1:32PM nimzy said

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I absolutely agree. Once you get on that raiding treadmill, it's a self-perpetuating exercise that won't stop until it ends in burnout, exhaustion, or drama. I've heard way too many yelled Vent arguments, I've seen ragequits and unsubscribes, and as a guild leader I've been involved in loot distribution disputes that match real-world economy rants for tone and reasonable-ness. I strongly feel that MMOs need an alternative to item-based advancement after reaching the endgame. Sure there are achievements, but that's not really what I'm looking for...

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:08PM DarkWalker said

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@nimzy
Or else just make all rewards individual. Remove loot disputes altogether.
If GW2's Events / Loot system works out (i.e., each player has his own share of loot and tokens, no need ever for a loot roll), I don't think I will ever set foot back in WoW - or any other MMO that forces raiders to fight among themselves for loot, for what matters.
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Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:19PM (Unverified) said

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@nimzy
I wish MMOs would stop the focus on item progression crap entirely.
Too bad dumping everyone on a treadmill is what ramps up the sub numbers, or it seems to, if WoW's popularity is any indication.
I don't get why all those people cant just enjoy the world and the content.
Whatever happened to playing for the experience, no matter if there was a carrot dangling in front of you or not?
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Posted: Sep 20th 2011 1:33PM aurickle said

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Not only do you reach a point where you're needed like that, but you've also reached a point where your time is really being devoted to everyone else's needs.

In other words, you reach a point where you are geared to the max (at least until the next set is released) and now you are putting in all your hours for the sole purpose of everyone else who isn't as geared out as you. You have literally created a job for yourself for which you're not getting any payment at all!

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