Tobold's Blog
Saturday, December 15, 2007
The raiding I miss

Yesterday my guild went to Gruul's lair, and there was an empty spot for the first boss fight, killing King Maulgar. That gave me the opportunity to raid once again, which I hadn't done for a very long. Not counting one very bad Karazhan raid, I hadn't had fun raiding since before TBC came out. And funnily I enjoy the aspects of raiding that the hardcore raiders hate: Gathering all the people together, chatting in front of the raid instance, preparing. And I enjoy doing my job well during the raid. I was happy that I hadn't forgotten how to raid heal, and that the main tank was never anywhere close to dying while I was on him. I even saw more of the fight than I usually do, due to my new widescreen monitor. In previous raids all those raid windows didn't leave much room for a view in the middle, but with widescreen the situation is much better.

The part of raiding that I don't enjoy are fighting for loot or raid spots. Not that we had any fights, but I was deliberately keeping my head low. Maulgar dropped epic shoulders which I could have used, but as soon as I saw that other people needed it too I withdrew my "need" request. As long as I haven't worked out whether I can and want to raid regularly with my guild, I'm not feeling comfortable grabbing raid loot. In my opinion raid loot isn't really the property of the individual player, but more a resource of the whole guild. Giving raid loot to people who aren't using it to increase the chance of success of the guild in the next raid isn't all that useful. Same thing with raid spots, we had more than 25 people for the Gruul fight, we had too many healers, and from the healers I certainly was the least well geared, with the lowest +healing, so I let somebody else take my spot.

Now I am thinking about whether I should try to join one of my guilds Karazhan raiding teams after christmas, if I'm having so much fun raiding. But as I enjoy the social aspects of raiding, Karazhan isn't ideal, the raid is too small to be social. And my usual playing times are from 6 pm to 10 pm, while my guild's usual raiding times are from 8 pm to after midnight. I need to work out how often I am willing to raid until late in the night, getting up at 6:30 am next day for work. Raiding itself isn't so hard, it is the organization around it that makes it difficult.
As long as you game, you'll want to play the best game available. Now, WoW isn't as fun as it used to be, but it's still more fun than anything else, so you go back to it.

This is where it gets tricky. Even though WoW isn't as fun anymore, it still requires the same commitment, so you're getting less fun back even though you're required to put the same amount of time back in.

Now, you can always put less effort into the game, since you're not having as much fun, but that only makes the problem worse, because you enjoy raiding. Just not as much as you used to.

So if you only get 70% back, it sucks that you still need to put 100% back in.

Is that it?
I think it's possible. I raid 25man content and ZA currently but have an understanding with my RG that I am not 100% available but as I can. And they are good with it. That means I get to raid but on my terms much more.

I do believe that blizz can do things to reduce the administrative burden of raiding and they have in fact done so if one looks past T4 (Marks of Illidan for pots and coilfang armaments and reagent vendors at SSC entrance).

Also ZA is more accessible, with shorter lockouts and real options for shorter raids.

It's odd but raiding SSC/TK and ZA seems much more managable to me right now than thinking of Kara and Gruul's Lair+Magtheridon. But I have the privilage of not having to do it full throttle either.
Before the burning crusade... way back when the guild alliance our guild was in was raiding Molten Core, Onyxia, AQ20 and Blackwing Lair... raiding is what actually caused me to quit the game.

Back then I just couldn't justify spending 8 to 10 hours to *maybe* get one piece of loot. Especially since I don't really care about loot. I really hated how most of the time was spent gathering people together, and during the raid WAITING for people to get back from the bathroom, or a smoke break, or just random AFK.

Well I rejoined when TBC came out, and for the past few months I got up to 70, raised enough money for epic flying, maxxed my mains professions and attuned to Kara.

Having essentially completed the majority of the content, having done most of the dungeons on heroic, the logical thing to do next is raiding. Kara.

So I went on my first Kara raid. I figured, with only 10 players, things should go much quicker.

In a way they did. It was only 3 hours or so to down the first four bosses. Sadly however 45 minutes of that was waiting for people to show up PAST the time they were supposed to be online. I'd say another hour was wasted waiting for people to pee, smoke or come back from unexplained AFK.

You may say, that's not too bad, and I'd agree. However I know that when Wrath comes out, all the epics I'm spending SO MUCH TIME to get are all going to be 100% worthless.
Plus my time now is more valuable than it was before burning crusade as I now have a girlfriend.

So basically, I'm either going to quit the game again, or focus on raising alts. I could probably raise alts until Wrath comes out, sadly however it will be doing the same quests over and over again. Sure playing a different character, raising a different profession will be fun, but when all the content is the same that will get old quick.

So in short, I'm not sure what to do. I figure for now I'll just continue to keep an eye on patches and if I feel like playing an alt, I'll go ahead and log in and do so.

What's sad is only one other patch is planned right now... it's a long ways out... and it's main focus is a UBER ELITE raid harder than anything else in the game.... TRANSLATION: I'LL NEVER EVER SEE IT.
A true 3rd gen mmorpg will allow all quest to be either done solo, group, or raid, with the rewards scaling up depending on which path you choose.
I don't think you will enjoy kara that much tobold.

The instance itself is awesome and I have never got bored of it, even after being exalted for a long long time. Thing is most people just go for badges now and want to blow through it as fast as humanly possible. That doesn't mix with the socialising part of raiding that well.

On the other hand you would probably gear up very fast so could join the 25 mans without feeling like a burden, double edged sword maybe.
Back from holiday...
One recommendation: Join the Karazhan team. The place is nice, a particular well made dungeon. We used to compare it to UBRS when it came out but it is more the MC of Burning Crusade. The raid times of your guild should not pose a problem. Many people are bored of the first few bosses and would be more than happy to share a spot if they can jump in later as the later bosses give sought after loot. In our guild this was extreme at the end, no one wanted to go though Attumen (or Attunement as you might want to call that gear check), Moroes, Maiden and Curator any more and all wanted to have the chess event (epics 4 free), Prince Malchezaar and Nightbane.

I have not yet (due to a high work load) managed to glimpse into ZA, my wife has and she says you definetely need to be Kara-equipped to join.

One other recommendation: Start some Arena Team mit a guild pal. Warriors / Priests are always wanted in there. Even if you totally suck in reaction and tacticals, you accumulate points. If you can, try to join a 5 ppl Arena team and you guys switch around a lot (need to participate 3 games out of 10 or at least 30% if more games are played). That gives you some needed alternative gear after 2-3 months. Believe me, you want to equip your priest in some Arena gear later on as it has a very high amount of + Stamina, which IS needed in some boss fights in 25 man raids or ZA. And it is also something new, post some blogs on arena experiences and such.
"Too small to be social". What?! You mean the larger the crowd, the more social it is? I'd say it's the exact opposite. With 10 people in the raid you'll actually find it easier to get to really know them. In 25s it's easy to get lost in the crowd.
10 people are a lot easier to organise than 25.
Anyway, I thought you didn't consider Gruul to be raiding, hmm?

As far as Karazhan is concerned, you can skip Attumen and the Maiden. Opera is always fun, Shade is too, as far as I'm concerned, Chess is a bit of light relief, and then Netherspite is very simple once you understand what to do.
The Prince and Nightbane are a bit more random, but once again, the bosses are all so different from each other that I can't see why people don't like Kara.
I've seen much of Karazhan and it appeared to be an amazing dungeon. I stopped going after the 5th or 6th run. This was only a few months into the BC. It took way to long, way too much trash. Perhaps it is somewhat easier now, but clearing trash twice a nite because your group wiped is BS. I havn't tried raiding since then, I pretty much roll alts and PvP. Now that I have a really geared warlock I'm tempted to try raiding again...ofcourse I'm running in PvP gear but I still do a crap load of damage.
10 people are better than 25 from a social point of view. I haven't done 25man content, but I remember the old 40man raids well enough. After one year of raiding I never really knew more than about 10 of the ~50-60 people. I know my Karazhan-Raid. I know every player, know their skills, know what most of them do in RL and I like it that way.
But I don't think its easier to organise. I thought like this before starting. Turned out, its even more difficult (to me). In our old 40man-Raid we got 3 guild leaders, 2 guys managing the bank, 2 other guys doing dkp. In addition there were 2-3 guys organising 20-man-Raids for fun. In short, work was split over about 1/4 of the raid. My actual Karazhanraid on the other side consists of about 15 people with two leaders and its a hell of work to ensure every week that everyone will be there. We do that because we want to avoid things like "half of the crowd showed up an hour later".
We have 3 teams in Kara atm. My group goes Saturday and Sunday starting at 8am, which is perfect for me. And we stop at a specific time.

Not having been much of a raider before TBC, I'm enjoying it a lot. I do heroics mostly to upgrade my gear and it's nice to see encounters improve as the gear gets better.
hehe I loved to raid alot I have been a hardcore raider pre bc and now. It's a blast to go in and down a huge boss and feel succesful about it. currently I am in bt and hyjal with my guild and its always fun logging on and fighting a new boss, especially if your big on wow lore it's awesome seeing archimonde and illidan and fighting them.
As long as I haven't worked out whether I can and want to raid regularly with my guild, I'm not feeling comfortable grabbing raid loot.

I agree totally. I have a rogue that has about 1500AP unbuffed, as well as some decent gear from when I PUG DPS'd for other guilds, but I would never consider taking him regularly to kara/gruuls lair because my shadow priest is my main, and as such, she is the character who contributes to the guild. My rogue can be in all greens for all I care since full time raiding is not why I made him.
I want that game that =##= is talking about! Sure, scaling encounters to solo, group or raid will require more development work. However, how does that compare to developing content that only a very minute fraction of the player-base will ever see?? It borders on criminal that you're forced into the larger scale groups for PVE end-game. Remove some of the bosses or all of them, and leave scaled down trash with loot equal to my effort. That would be hella fine to me, and many others I suspect.

One of the things I loved to do in AC2 was to wait until I was a couple of levels above the rec'd level for a vault and then figure out how to solo it. The challenge and the strategy was sooooooooo much fun, and I felt truly heroic in the end. In the end, there were 2 or 3 out of like 12 that I couldn't solo and had to pick up a partner.

Yes, I go back to WOW because I'm used the the polish, ease of use, over the top encounters, massive scale and population and exceptional leveling experience. And even though I'm sick of the end game, I keep coming back because I can't replace most of it with anything that's out yet. So as someone so expertly said, I get less enjoyment for every effort hour as a result.
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