Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thoughts on why

by Copra

It started as a Twitter question I posted. The question is as follows:
Just a question, no back thoughts actually: Have I missed anything special for not ever raiding, still seeing all except LK in ICC?
As it happens, I was lucky during my holiday to be able to participate in two guild runs in ICC. One with my priest in IC25 and another with my warrior in IC10. Normal, of course, as the runs were more a training for the actual raiding core for the hard modes. And as such they felt: in 25 I learned that my computer cannot handle the amount of information and my frame rate dropped below 5 fps, and still the bosses went down here and there, me feeling that I wasn't contributing at all. That feeling is something I hate with passion, and I don't know if it is valid because I was still delivering above 3.6k dps in my 'pre-raid' level gear. So I was contributing even though I was looking at ICC25 cartoon book.

All in all, I've seen IC up to LK, but because I've seen it on two separate toons I'm effectively out of the "11/12 bosses, link ach" PUG's even if they would accept a tank with 5.2k GS. But because I've seen them all, and participated in the fights, I'm actually missing only the bloody part in which I really have to work for the win. And that is more a question of trust on others than on my own performance, because I am always doing my best. Which isn't necessarily enough because of the fact that gear conceals the lack of skill, as someone has earlier commented.

The valid question I hear from here and there is, why do I play WoW? Its valid because I state all the time that I don't raid, I do not have group of good friends to play with and because I sound bitter whenever I start talking about raiding and how it is not right even though I haven't done it for real.

First of all, I found out that my absence from the game for a week worked miracles. There were some things I got very disappointed during my vacation which can be left out of the discussion, so the week of leave in fact cleaned the air. I stopped thinking about how I could become part of the raiding team or how I could do the WoW catch-22 and get into the PUGs running ICC.

I found out that the journey is more important to me than the level cap grind. The raiding is there to keep the players who want to beat the game happy, a game which you cannot beat. I say this again, there is no Game Over, You Win screen in WoW. Raiding, like anything else in the game, is a passtime. It should be considered no more than that, yet it is revered like its something mystical. (I admit, I have fallen into that trap myself and find raiding as such very mystical and mythified thing only because I do not understand the pull of it.)

Raiding people usually say that the questing is boring and just an obstacle to start raiding. That the end game is where the game really starts. The question is, if this is true? In MMORPG's the game is everywhere and in the end game, the game kind of stalls and ends because the 'artificial growth' of the character is stalled and replaced by even more artificial (and grindy) gear progression in one way or another. The epeen measuring in GS or any other way ("Woot! Look at my shiny pony!") is not really what MMORPG's end game should be, yet still it is.

I still say that raiding is more a clique forming part of the game. I have my reasons to say that in more than one way, even though I can somehow imagine that it may be a very nice and binding experience when you are playing with good group of friends. However, this causes the experience to be very much clique forming and thus becomes exclusive: how can you trust an outsider if your group has worked so well in the past.

So instead of putting so much effort in being an elite raider and looking down on the people playing the game for the lore, world or quests and stories, people should appreciate each and every part of the game similarily. If nothing else, but because each and everyone of the players is paying the same fee to play and each and everyone is looking for a pleasant experience.

I would like to see Lich King fall, not only as the video shown in the middle of Dalaran, but as first hand. But I don't want to be frowned on, looked down on or dismissed because my gear isn't up to the arbitrary standard created by one way of calculating even more arbitrary numbers together. I don't want to be stuck into the catch-22 of not having good enough gear for not raiding because I don't have good enough gear to raid.

Because of these reasons, I find myself playing the game I like: doing quests, avoiding using my main because I feel disappointment every time I see the GS requirements of PUGs and know I cannot make it into the guild raid core without committing my sleep into the game. I rather level an useless alt on a desolate low level area than feel not accepted or excluded from the world my main is living in.

I've heard time and again to change guild. For one, I don't do guild hopping. I'm too old to go around and try to impress anyone. I kind of feel at home with the people, even though there is distinct separation between the raiders and casual members. Baseline is, I don't want to change guild, I want an equal opportunity to PUG and/or participate. Something the game cannot and doesn't provide currently.

So I do quests and level up alts.

And I like it: at least it takes my thoughts away from the things I don't like and, most importantly, away from my stressful enough work.

So the big question is, why do you raid the same raids time and again, and why do people who raid look down the people not raiding.