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Posted: Sep 20th 2011 2:22PM ScottishViking said

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In balance, I would agree with this article. Although in my case, I find raiding unpleasant because I simply don't have time to do it effectively. Life and work and family keep me from being a "good" raider. 3 hours to do it right or guarantee you get a drop? I don't have 3 hours to drop into anything except work and family these days. So the "pressure" of the raid is definitely a turn-off for me.

That said, I do enjoy PvP in MMOs...so by the endgame, there's still something there for me.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 2:56PM Lenn said

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@potaco And as everyone sane knows, McDonald's is the pinnacle of healthy food.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 3:05PM Ehra said

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The worry of feeling obligated to log in instead of playing when I feel like it is one of the reasons I've never gotten into "raiding" in the modern MMO sense. That and I can't even tolerate farming heroics enough to get raid-ready (to use a WoW example), much less farming raids enough to get myself and everyone else ready for the next. I'll do an instance a few times until I feel I've "mastered" it or I can go through it and comfortably understand what to do and when; once I've reached that point I'm usually done with an instance and any more repetitions become unenjoyable.



With that said, I HAVE "raided" in the past but that was way back in Dark Age of Camelot. Artifact raids, ML raids, dragon raids, relic raids, and so on. I was into those sort of things back in the day because they typically didn't require or demand the repetition that today's raiding scene does; you sign up for a public server raid when you feel like doing that content, no pressure to attend the next one unless you feel like it.

I think it's a bit funny that WoW is blamed for the "dumbing down" (can't even articulate how much I hate that term) or "casual-fication" of MMOs, yet I'd say that raiding in WoW is and has been far more hardcore than in DAoC.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 3:05PM smartstep said

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DPS Meters , LFG instant teleport tools , gear scores and all things like that ruin and make people act like douchebags even more than raiding itself in my opinion.

1. LFG instant teleport tools - after intoroducing this I started to see "pull everything fool" , "faster I don't have whole day" and "I am kicking you and looking for new healer" - kind of attitudes. People are acting like they just stand last 30 minutes in a line for a rece :(

2. DPS Meters - moooar DPS !! , "you doing not enough dps!!" + people don't care anymore about support or anything...

3. Gear Score - "noob!!" , "only 241 Gear score? You suck!" , etc

Raiding itself can be bad can be ok sometimes , but what rading and instance mill broguht , like above things I mentioned and much more similar "convenience" and "optimalizing" tools , ruined community imho...

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 3:07PM Strangeland said

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Its just a matter of how you decide to play.

I play the WOW expansions for about 6-8 weeks, or until I "finish" the story and the 5-man heroics. Then I unsub and wait for the next chapter in the story. Its fun for the leveling, the new story and zones, and the two or three stages of gearing for the normal and epic 5-mans... I usually gear right up to initial raid gear... run one or two raids to see the stories/bosses then log out and wait for the next expansion and new level cap.

The "former_level_cap"+2 quest greens are going to be better than that tier "whatever" raid gear you spent 3 months farming anyway.

people make a choice about how they play.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:45PM potaco said

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@Strangeland

Exactly this. So many people have "WoW = raiding" tunnel-vision and fail to see that there are others who enjoy different things for completely different reasons.

In the end, it's a game. Sure, you can develop relationships and feel obligated past the point of having fun, but that's when it's time to take a break. It's not like you're in an unhappy marriage sticking together just to give your kid a decent upbringing... Your guild will find another tank.
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Posted: Sep 21st 2011 3:50AM JuliusSeizure said

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@potaco

Knowing to do that requires the perspective to understand how this all can affect you, though, which usually requires either personal experience or listening to the advice of others. Thing is, there were very few people talking widely about this sort of thing until a couple of years ago.
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Posted: Sep 20th 2011 3:29PM WyattEarp89 said

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This is a good article. I no longer raid and have not raided in about 4 years, the reason is that I just find no joy in getting the best uber gear anymore. I am fine with the best crafted gear, quest and dungeon gear.

The only MMO where I was raiding was Lotro, my Kinship would do dungeons to get the tokens for the radiance gear in order to take on the Watcher. It was fun playing with people that I like and we were all nice to each other and never had any issues when it came to loot. But the Kinship broke up due to people taking a break and moving to different servers, there was too much drama with another Kinship and their leader.

But ever since then I have not done any raiding. I do not want to be on a raid schedule or be a standby raider in case someone can't make it to the raid. Also like someone else said, when you are fully geard it is now your job to help others that are not geared and run stuff over and over again. I don't want to sound like a bad person but after awhile it gets old and I no longer have any fun, this happened to me in Lotro and almost made me not want to log in.

I just enjoy logging on and doing my on thing, it helps me relax and escape from the real world for awhile.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 3:39PM DJJazzy said

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Is it raiding that is the issue? Or the gear grind associated with it?

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 3:40PM TexRob said

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@Ren54 Great article. To the people who just don't get it, you have to realize different people respond differently to these things. It all comes down to your Bartle score, my guess is the author has A starting in his score, and ends with S. If you're an achiever, it's hard to not get sucked in given the environment. The story if almost identical to my quitting WoW, and it's why I don't (even though I love playing them) play tanks anymore in any MMO. I try and play classes that are important, but not so integral that you have to login. Being a main tank or in something like EQ, a healer in a part of a CH chain, and the stress of "having" to login or nobody else gets to do what they want is a lot of pressure.

I find it really hard to avoid the hardcore raider in me when playing a game that requires it for end game progression, so I TRY and stay away from those (even though I just went back to EQ for 6 months and then remembered what a mistake that was (great game, horrible time requirements and dependence on raiding).

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 3:44PM Seldra said

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Raiding in its very core is competitive. Not everyone can and will put the time and effort to it and that's fine. That's why many game developers are focusing away from raiding in many upcoming mmos as the central focus or at least make it simply one of the many things one can do when they reach the Endgame.

The world of raiding shouldn't be for everyone, there just needs to be a wake up call and just hammer the point home and say that raiding = hardcore/competitive.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 3:56PM Ceridith said

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@potaco
Largely because no one else is willing to, which is part of the problem. Few people are actually willing or able to step up and take on the integral roles in a raid. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy main-tanking and at times leading raids. I just don't like having to be the one to do them every single raid night, week after week, month after month.

And it's part of raid design that causes this. If I wanted to take a break off for the night, my raid would have to replace me with another tank. Usually it was the offtank, but then someone would need to fill that person's role. Inevitably, due to how gearing tends to work out, the replacement/s are less geared, less experienced, and therefore less effective at filling the role. This is the same problem for if I want a break from tanking and want to DPS, I don't have sufficient gear to do that because most of my upgrades are for tanking. And god forbid if I ever want to bring a different character...

I'm not a casual gamer by any means. I just got burnt out on raiding because it became more of a chore and interruption in my life than it was actually fun.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:02PM slickie said

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@TexRob I've been playing WoW for a very long time and I've always been able to treat it like any other video game - I play when I want to, I stop playing when it's no longer fun.

To me the concept of becoming addicted to the game or being 'stuck' in a raiding treadmill is ludicrous, but so many people claim it's happened to them that I guess it has to be true. I suppose I'm just immune.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:04PM Demeter said

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This is mostly why I don't shoot for the Endgame, I'm more a casual player at heart and the endgame is usually very competitive...
All I wanted to say.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:12PM StClair said

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Responsibility, commitment, obligation, burnout. It's a familiar cycle, and while raiding is one activity that can (and often does) draw people into it, so do many other things. Leveling (particularly your Nth alt), farming and grinding, leadership - of a guild, or a fan club, or a committee or a homeowner's association or what have you.

I've never been an MMO guild officer (partly for the reasons I'm about to discuss), but years ago I was in an online "squadron" for one of the classic flight sims. Over time I ended up taking on more and more until I was made commander when the previous one stepped down. At first I was an active CO, but as time went on, I became more and more of a "beloved figurehead." Many assured me that I was indispensable, and sometimes I believed it, but that only added to my sense of obligation and simmering resentment. I was the one who had to okay things, to set the agenda, to resolve disputes and deal with troublesome members. There were times I dreaded visiting the squadron website or answering my email.

In the end, I made the decision that the squadron deserved better than an empty flight suit in charge, and - over the protests of many, which continued even after I left - handed it over to a more dynamic officer, like I used to be. I still miss it sometimes, but I'm convinced I made the right choice for the squadron and for myself.

tl;dr - lots of things can start out fun and turn into a chain around your neck. Raiding is just one of them.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:13PM (Unverified) said

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I think you hit the nail on the head. This is exactly why I quit raiding and am much happier for it.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:22PM Sinystrad said

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I totally agree with this soapbox and across a number game forums and in comments made on columns here I have made many of the exact same points. It happened to my wife and I, only it lasted longer, we started at launch day in WoW and then started molten core when our happy casual died slowly as our players left to do the only thing left to do. Raid. If you cannot beat them, join them, so we joined a brand new raiding guild and started raiding Molten Core. We did not quit until halfway through the Lich king.

Eventually my wife became our MT healer and I became a key raid leader and top DPS also a member of guild leadership. It happens exactly as the as Soapbox claims. You do not even realize it is happening. All of sudden you feel like you owe everyone to show up for every raid because of how much you matter. That feels good for a while, until you have to settle loot drama, deal with DKP issues and decided who goes and who sits. It drains you. I manage people for a living and I was managing people in my spare time and the spare time ones were more demanding.

There is an enormous amount of time spent leading a cutting edge raiding guild. You gear people for raids. You help install the right mods, teach them to build their characters, you help gear them. You manage DKP(dropped that eventually thank you very much) You post strategies, settle guild drama. Last, you take care of you. You log on to a bunch of tells. You finally realize you have a job. You stop having fun, you start hiding on alts or on other servers. I don’t even think you can hide anymore because of realID.

When my wife and I finally quit WoW and started playing other games truly casually, there was such an enormous burden lifted from us. We were happy again. The only thing I can equate it to is quitting smoking. I was a pack a day smoker and finally quit. I remember how good I used to think a beer and a smoke was, or that coffee and a smoke, what a stress relief. 6 month after you quit, you realize you were completely addicted, chained to smoking, you had to always make sure you had enough cigs to last you the day. Never mind the fact that smoking is disgusting, it really is gross but you have no idea it is while you are doing it. Most of your friends smoke and you try to tell them, you want them to feel how you do, now that you finally quit, you feel free. They don’t want to hear it and they get disgusted with you. I feel the same way about raiding. It addicting, it is gross, it brings out the worst in people and you don’t even realize how addicted you were until you quit.

We know that we will never be raiders again, we may join a pick-up raid on a whim but once an endgame gets stale it is time to move on to another game. There are so many good ones out there and we are not so attached to one game that we feel like we are letting people down to try them. With so many games that offer F2P options it is even much better on our wallet.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:47PM smartstep said

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@Sinystrad

This. I very much agree with everything you said with one small exception.

Instead of players jumping games over and over , because after you hit end game there is one thing to do : raiding.

Games should offer much much more. They should create worlds , so you have plently to do. Crafting , exploring , building your own houses & cities , having rich non-combat professions or even separate non-combat classes , and much more.

Just look like pre-NGE SWG was , you had some raiding but you have many many more things to do apart of it ,and it was fulfilling and complex things to do.

Not like f.e. crafting is in WoW and similar games , where you click button and do 50 same copies of swords and it the end those sword does not matter one bit in this game...

Not to mention levels should be thrown away and replaced with skills or some other system.
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Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:24PM (Unverified) said

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

You do have options. You choose to play a specific game, you choose to be a part of a specific guild, you choose to raid, to pvp, to achievement hunt, you can even choose just to log in and sit in a global chat channel for hours on end.

Don't blame the game, blame the player.

Posted: Sep 20th 2011 4:30PM ArcherAvatar said

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This was an extremely well written article that attempts to give the reader a "snap shot" first-hand exposure to something that takes place over a long period of time... for the most part it was successful imo.

EQ for 5 years... Vanguard and WOW for another 5. BTDT.

It's only after an extended break from MMOs, which was induced by simply not wanting the same old, tired mehcanics and systems, and a healthy dose of burn out, that I started realizing that some of the elements of these games which are taken for granted as being a necessary part of the experience are actually pretty serious design flaws (intentional or otherwise) which are very antagonistic in nature, and antithetical to the proposed purpose of playing a game; having fun.

I guess I can't fault folks for attempting to defend the dynamic of raiding and "raiding culture" too much... here again BTDT, but I will say that if you're currently, or very recently participating in regular raiding, then you're simply too close to the problem to see it clearly.

The dynamic is flawed... SERIOUSLY flawed, and it is unhealthy, and it is insidious, and all of the other negative things that have been said about it. It goes hand in hand with the numerous other design level flaws that have been present for the last decade of MMO gaming and which have come to be accepted as "just part of the genre." They may be accepted but, they are still design flaws.

Geez.... is it GW2 yet?

I know it won't fix all of the issues but, at least it's making an honest attempt at most of the more serious ones.

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