Why I Don’t Like Raiding
I’ve never been a big fan of raiding in MMOs and it’s certainly something that I talk about fairly regularly. For me, raiding offers a pretty disjointed experience, counter intuiative to the whole leveling game in itself. Indeed, just like we now have games like League of Legends that offer what equates to essentially full-time PvP battlegrounds, maybe we should have completely separate games for raiding instead of trying to tack them onto a leveling game?
Perhaps I’m a ‘traditionalist’ in the way that I like my MMOs to be about leveling up and questing or fighting through static content. Not to say that I don’t appreciate the appeal of raiding, I do, and if it’s something you like then who I am to disagree. In fact, although it’s not for me, I can fully understand the thrill and enjoyment people get from activities such as competitive raiding and the like.
And although I’ve sometimes been tempted to get properly into the raiding scene, things always seemed to happen to put me off. Whether it was long, boring waits and futile progression, aggressive raid leaders who liked to order people about and shout at them or the fact I once had to pee in a bottle in front of my computer because I couldn’t leave the keyboard, I can’t say I’ve had good experiences. I also had a funny (as in odd, as in a little sad) one last night… and I wasn’t even on the raid team.
I was playing World of Warcraft with a new alt I’d made who had recently joined up to a new guild. It was one of their first ventures into raiding and I could smell the anxiety and excitement from across the Internet. They were all turning out and getting ready to go, performing their final checks like soldiers before a battle.
Then the bickering started. Following by the complaining. Followed by the whining.
You see, as every noob should know there are certain talent specs, glyphs, gems and enchants that are required for raiding and, without them, you are deemed incapable… right? Now, having never been on a serious WoW raid before, I honestly have no idea as to what degree of itemisation and talent specification is required to pull it off but I suspect, this being WoW, that there’s a reasonable degree of give or take and that one doesn’t need to be in the top percentile ranks of players to compete. Still, these requirements meant that a fair few players who were expecting to raid weren’t allowed to go by the GM.
Hence the bickering. And complaining. And whinning.
So a few thoughts crossed my mind. Firstly, this is raiding, there are gear and talent requirements so ultimately these guys should just suck it up and deal with it. Secondly, this is WoW on a Sunday night and I wouldn’t be surprised if a good few of my disgruntled guildmates were of a rather young age and unaccustomed to dealing with such circumstances. And thirdly, that raiding is really rather anti-social.
Maybe I’m a bit too much of a hippy at heart but I never liked the idea of turning people away from things. Games are for fun and everyone should get a chance to participate, regardless of ability or gear or whatever, right? If you have the iLevel to get on the raid then Blizzard has deemed you worthy so who are we to say otherwise? We shouldn’t put the competitiveness of raiding before the fun of it, at least not before making it clear to everyone who joins the guild.
And yes, all of the above also explains why my guild in Everquest 2 never got anywhere with raids. But gosh darnit, we were nice folk and no one went home unhappy. We were all about the people and just had a laugh regardless of where we got to with our raids. Now, I know that such an approach is a bit crazy and idealistic and probably isn’t very practical for gaming but I do find it a little sad that in MMOs designed for social interaction, we spend a lot of our time trying to find ways to prevent it.
I am wrong here and just letting a few bad experiences cloud my judgement? Or is raiding always about the progression regardless of whose feelings it hurts?