Raiding In WoW
I've been watching the progress of guilds, communities, and end-game content on World of Warcraft's European Argent Dawn RP server - directly on the Horde side, and indirectly on the Alliance side. And at this stage, what I'm seeing, particularly concerning raids, is starting to bug me.
This thread on the Argent Dawn forums is a sort of concentration of all the things I dislike about raiding. People are required, if they want to see a good proportion of the end-game content, to make application to raid communities for membership, filling in forms with the proper layout, applying to one at a time (or many at a time; opinions are divided), and waiting, possibly several weeks, for approval and permission to participate. You need to have particular gear, particular numbers, and particular abilities within your class. If you play a hunter, and the raid community happen not to need another hunter, well, tough luck. And when you get in, you have to commit to turning up on a given night or nights every week, for a period of time from three to seven hours, depending on the instance and the community. During this time, you have to follow the commands of the raid leader, go through exactly the ritual of actions in axactly the same places that have been determined to best work, and in the more difficult instances, work with military precision, or the whole thing fails. Roleplaying, even on an RP server, will not happen at all during this period, because it's pretty much impossible to imagine an IC reason for the same 40 people to beat up the same mobs and bosses week after week.
That sucks. That's not a game, it's a second job complete with resumé submission, and from my RP-oriented point of view, it's no fun at all. I can see the appeal of trying different tactics until such time as your perfect them, but that's a wargame, not an RPG. I can't see any enjoyment in having a boss on "farm status", whereby you go in and kill it the same way, over and over and over again, until such time as everyone in the group has all the gear they want.
And the way in which raids suddenly take priority over any other activity in the game - and seem to be expected to take priority over activities out of the game - is just bizarre. There's an event taking place tomorrow (well, later today, now) on the Argent Dawn server, a fairly major RP event. Many people are planning to go. But I know of at least two players who won't be attending, because they'll be... raiding. When it gets to the stage where people prioritise raiding over RP on an RP server, something has gone a bit peculiar in the structure of the game.
So, in summary: I don't think raids are doing anything good for the game, and I think a different structure for end-game content is very necessary.
Posted by Drew Shiel at October 22, 2006 1:18 AM