Why Raid?

February 22, 2010

Was having an interesting Twitter chat with a kinmate this morning (@sauronsbeagle to give him his due) when we touched on amusing reasons to raid. He’s a Minstrel, I’m a Captain – we both heal in raids. And there’s your context:

I felt my #3 key wasn’t being pressed often enough. The 1st boss and gauntlet make up for that!

Yes, I like to use Gauntlet to bask in the smugness of my 8.3s on-defeat heal. Will go when I break DN* set up.

*DN = Dar Narbugud (previous raid in Moria – the Captain set bonus reduces the cooldown on all on-defeat skills).

Now, we were just joking about the relentless nature of ‘The Gauntlet’ in Barad Guldur. It’s ~30 mins of constant fighting of wargs, uruks and goblins while climbing a number of staircases and rushing across landings. And slightly on the nature of being a healer in a raid, but it did make me think – why do I enjoy raiding?

For me, personally, it’s mostly the social aspect. I get to group with 12 people instead of 6 (and an even wider circle with the rotation system we run in-kin). They have to listen to my bad jokes, my innuendos and my insistence that Captains really aren’t needed in raids, when we all know they are! I play MMOs to group, and while I do enjoy soloing during the day and spending some time with myself, I love being able to chat in kin-chat, fellowship chat and also raid chat – and teamspeak these days, though I used to avoid it like the plague. I don’t NEED to group to have that social side to my gaming, but the shared goals of a raid do add something.

The challenge? Hrrm, this is a reason I’d have said I wanted to raid, but if I examine my motives a bit more truthfully I pretty much approach every raid knowing we CAN do the fights. It might mean we have to wipe a bunch learning placement, tricks of the fight, etc. But I have faith in my kinmates. There’s solo instances that I found more challenging that certain boss fights, there’s certainly 3-man and 6-man content I’ve had to wipe at almost as many times before getting the hang of. This is just larger scale. But I’m not all THAT motivated by the ‘saying we’ve done it’ aspect, even if I know I should be. Maybe that’s been the biggest change in my attitude towards MMOs recently. Either my attitude has shifted, or I’ve been thinking about it a bit more intently of late.

The loot? Um.. actually I almost dread it at the moment. I don’t really like radiance gear, I hate the lottery of checking each new class-specific raid set to see what the devs have decided Captains will get. For Barad Guldur, the set is not only ugly, it has stats that I personally wouldn’t choose – and yet I know I’ll have to get it so I can pass through the next radiance ‘gate’ for future content. The set bonus is pretty rubbish for me also, especially going from a very good one from Dar Narbugud. Jewellery, trinkets, other drops – probably all more appealing for me as actual loot drops, but I know I will need this ugly, un-appealing statwise armour. So what was a reason to raid for me for previous raids, in WoW and in DAoC, has become more of a stressor! Sad. But the next raid might have a great set of armour, let’s try and stay positive!

Downsides of raiding? There’s always a touch of friction when the group size increases and a touch of mob mentality pops in to show its face. It’s easy for people to take things the wrong way, myself included. It’s quite focused, moreso than most other content, and you have more people relying on you (I say this as a healer, but it’s true for every single person in a smallish raid). People get tired, because raids tend to go on longer than other grouped content. Wipes are inevitable and everyone takes those differently. I’m on the richer side in LotRO, so even when I gripe about repair bills, it’s really no big deal to me. But some people really don’t have as much time to get cash to cover what can be repair bills of up to 1g! And if you go twice in a week, that can soon add up!

On the whole, raiding is for me… for the moment, anyway. I’m just changing my attitudes towards it a little. Which is probably a healthy thing!

Any reasons to raid that I missed? Any compelling arguments against raiding (other than time?).



  1. I don’t like the 1. schedules and 2. loot distribution schemes attached to raids. Raid twice or thrice a week at this or that time. Then you are 3. raid-locked in an instance. 4. there also seems to be no balance between usually serious and ambitious more hardcore players and the even more annoying slackers who are notoriously slow at learning raids.

    Never liked that. I also like the smaller group size of some 5-6 people doing more challenging dungeons or raids, without time-locks and other stuff. The 10 people raids of WOTLK made raiding a lot more accessible for me. Guild Wars raid style dungeons were still more to my liking.

    I also unfortunately rarely raided with my friends. Either no spot for them in the raid setup or they were too casual, too underlevelled or I was. The moment I levelled up my WoW toon, one of my buddies decided to level up another toon, too, and then decided he had enough of WoW. Time spent playing with randoms vs time spent playing with my buddies … *cough* – was not the best ratio. But I met some new buddies along the way, though I must say the more lasting relationships with other players were built up while levelling in all games I played so far, not through raiding.

    Raiding – the thing to do when everything else in the game bores you to hell? 🙂

    • Raiding vs. Alting – should be my next post eh?

      • You could also expand this to ask the question if some games are better for “alting” than others. I would like to nominate Guild Wars as a very alt friendly game, thought the designers in the end caved in to achievement grind focus on one char. 😦

  2. For the most part I enjoy both the challenge and the social aspects of raiding. There also is that feeling of accomplishment that you were able to be a part of something big (or at least bigger). However, of late my schedule has sucked and I really haven’t had a chance to do any raiding at all. Gearing up for them really isn’t too big of an issue I just haven’t been in game enough to get it done.

    One thing that raiding does seem to bring with it is the drama, rules need to be set up front and followed or else bad things will happen.

  3. “Any reasons to raid that I missed?”
    Plenty more… 😉
    * peer pressure
    * the only unknown content left in a game
    * the only organized activity that is well… organized and regular, and scheduled, so one can adopt his free time around it

    As for downsides:
    * people are in it for different purpose thus ones enjoyment of the raid(content) can be spoiled by that of another player
    * peer pressure, though I might have mentioned it already 😉

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