When a man is tired of raiding, he’s tired of … MMOs?

I don’t know about any of you but I’m just not as into raiding these days as I used to be. I still enjoy the social side because I like the people in my regular raids a lot, but I know that I used to … care more.

When I first started raiding properly in WoW I’d happily plonk my character outside BWL for hours at a time, just in case my raid needed a substitute. Sure, I was reading or browsing the web while I waited but I was still excited just to be there and to be part of a big 40 man raid guild. I look back now as if it was a different person – how mad do you have to be to log into a game with all your raid preparables, and just wait for 4 hours??

Is it pre-Wrath burnout? Could be. I’d like a break but I don’t want to let my raid group down, especially as at least one of the other tanks can’t be there right now. And since it only takes one night a week it seems churlish to make an issue of it, I still enjoy our raids.

Is it because ICC has been so dull for tanks? I’m sure this is part of it, ICC doesn’t have many cool tanking fights. This in turn doesn’t make me enthused to tank any future raids, unless I see Blizzard acknowledge it and say that they want to do better. If I sign up to tank in Cataclysm, will I hate it? Is this the shape of things to come?

Is it to do with the way 10 mans worked out this expansion? This is probably part of it. I don’t have a regular 10 man raid, and many others in my 25 man raid group do. Coupled with the fact I can’t make one of our regular two raid nights, I feel increasingly pressured when learning new fights because half our raid already has practised them several times and is bored when I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on.

Or is it just that raiding in MMOs has run its course for me? It’s been loads of fun and I have brilliant memories but … do I want to keep doing this?

All I know is that I am increasingly wondering how much I’ll want to raid in Cataclysm. More people in Wrath have gotten to raid than ever before in WoW, many of them in PUGs but plenty of regular organised raids have also found traction that couldn’t before. And I wonder how many of them now think ‘yup, that was fun, but I don’t want to do it again.’

Maybe it’s just that the structural side of progression raiding doesn’t suit my temperament or circumstance any more. Raid groups require you to sign up with one class/ spec and stick with it for the whole expansion (or until you swap guilds), and commit to a raid schedule for a similar amount of time. It’s a big commitment, even for one night a week. And if you are the sort of person who loves their alts or tends to get bored of a spec after you’ve played it for over a year, it will start to drag.

As MMOs become more accessible, perhaps fewer and fewer people will want to make that sort of regular commitment. Or in other words, maybe it isn’t (just) me. Perhaps Gevlon has the right of it, and it’s his style of PUG guild which is the best model for the future.

And I also know that part of the excitement for me in Wrath was being able to raid tank for the first time. There was a lot to learn, and  I am the poster child for Raph Koster’s theory of fun – I enjoy games the most when I’m learning new things and trying to master them. Next time, it won’t be so much of a thrill.

Ultimately I’m considering organising some casual 10 man raids for the guild in Cataclysm. If all works out, they’ll be more flexible in terms of who has to be there and what class/ role people play. I think that might suit me better.

Is anyone else wondering whether they want to keep raiding in Cataclysm?

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16 thoughts on “When a man is tired of raiding, he’s tired of … MMOs?

  1. I think 10 mans are going to gain at the expense of 25s. If so, I’m probably going to go with the flow rather than struggle to recruit for my preferred format.

    Right now I’m tired as hell of raiding, but that’s just a product of a long time in ICC combined with having actually achieved my goal of getting Icebound Frostbrood Vanquishers for my guild. I’m looking forward to raiding seriously in Cata (even if it is only 10s), but not till I’ve had a nice break :)

  2. I’m on a enforced break right now…..and yeah I hear you.

    I miss the people, the comradery and the humor not the actual game play. Hmmm. I think its end of expansion blues but at some point I really need to think about if the game is worth the candle before Cata launches. Of course the fact that I love co-op game play with friends means MMO’s are just about the only game in town.

  3. If MMOs or their “endgame” would be all about raiding, I would already be done with them.
    I experienced something similar already in TBCrusade: Karazhan on farm status with guild and PUGs. Speedruns every Wednesday, and at a certain point we died overgeared and overexperienced, because we no longer took the challenge serious and some got grumpy at times.

    Raiding demands time, commitment, reliability and usually a fixed schedule, even if difficulty and requirements of raids got lowered. They are still not something for Joe the very casual gamer.

    Achievement hunt has become an alternative for many players (IMO this is the true reason they exist, to keep players subscribed who are actually done and want/should move on), but I somehow do not enjoy doing the often silly things demanded by the achievement book, to me it is almost like a to-do list, if you want to go for achievement, here, take a look, there is your list. This is a mood killer for me, I know I had more fun jumping down Teldrassil for the sake of just doing that as it was not an achievement of the list.

    One does not always want to start an alt or play on another server or faction, then there are some social obligations – for example, being the main tank is not only an honor and a sure raid spot, but also an obligation to your fellow other raiders.

    What other endgame activities are left? By the time you are drowning in Marks and Emblems you should take a break. MMOs have become too much games, rather than virtual worlds. This means they are great theme parks as long as the ride lasts, but once you ran out of content, they are rather boring worlds.

    Some ideas what you could do:
    – “The Way of Kings” by Brandon Sanderson. Wonderful book, makes even “Wolfsangel” look old.
    – Watch a whole season of Star Trek TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY or ENT.
    – Single player games. There are many.

    Starting another MMO does not always work if one in this somewhat strange state of being bored by WoW but not really in the mood for another MMO. But actually it is worth it, but I know it from my always to WoW returning buddies, they have WoW in their minds and this poisons every new MMO experience for them, they usually do not last long. In this case they just have to wait for Cataclysm.

    I suggest trying Guild Wars. Even if the starter experience is now very different as there are three different chapters and the game has changed a lot, you can still go for vanity gear and equipping and training your heroes and try different classes. I think I have played Guild Wars even longer than Ultima Online. It is also a game that makes it very easy to return.

    • this, feels right. normally i find achievements abusive, but they are probably going to keep me playing for the short term, and the long term more than anything else.

      someone in my guild get the insane achievement recently, and i’ve spent a few days chasing down what i had left for loremaster on a warlock that i sometimes barely tolerate but still love playing and has the next 2 holidays left for long strange trip, which is perhaps the only reason i’m still subbed at this point.

      the cata blues is quite endemic, and i think the LFD system shifted attention away from the problem of setting up ICC as a monument to raiding, rather than a series of threats or objectives. the super-boss layout works, but it is somewhat unfulfilling after a few months when you have to play the same way each time you raid.

      i know a few guilds that have organised alt runs, so you have a dedicated alt, and a dedicated main, etc, so everyone who wants to raid, can swap roles, making the same game, the same fight, actually meaningful when you have to tank/heal using different people with different gear.

      the most fun i’ve had is to go back to the older instances, the ones that needed 40 people, and just pugging it with 7-9, getting lost, wiping on the twins in aq40 or pugs that think they can AoE tank the 6-8 trash packs, leading about 40 mobs back to the entrance gate in sunwell, etc.

      also raiding the city bosses, sneaking/cloakroom’ing 30-40 people into stormwind, getting lost in exodar, running around in circles in dalaran while bored, etc. is arguably more fun than raiding or farming/fishing. but, it depends.

      if fishing is more exciting than raiding, then the game (or the gamer) has problems.

      when they switch old world raiding off with adaptive difficulty/handicapping your level, that kind of fun will be missed.

  4. P.S.: I assume future MMOs will rather go for small party content plus open and scalable player number content like public quests/events. Despite ever more players playing MMOs, raid sizes have shrunk down to 10 and 25, and I wonder how many more 10 man raids are played and how many 25 man raids are done “for the achievement” only.

  5. I’ve not really done any raiding in Wrath despite owning the expansion since it came out. I came back to WoW for it and didn’t have a guild, my Shaman has done a 10-man Naxx after being invited by a friend and I did do a guild run of two wings of Naxx on my Priest later on. However, my Priest’s guild no longer exists and when I quit in January I sold all my saleable gear and deleted the toons. I came back around 6 or 7 months later with friends to do some LFD levelling with them, that stopped around a month ago and so I’ve been levelling a Death Knight (now 77), a Druid (37) a couple of 20s Hordies and my new Baby Orc Huntress. While I would love to get back up to 80 and do some raiding I am under no illusion that it will happen before Cata. My DK is a tank and therefore has a lot of gearing to do before anyone would accept me for Heroics let alone raids and I doubt I’d be able to meet the arbitrary requirements of PUGs to get a chance at some of it. Cata will probably be a good thing as there will be a gear reset which might allow my Shaman and Priest back into the game as well as a leg up for my DK and any of my other lowbies that I wonder if they will ever make it to 80 (or 85).

  6. Raiding has become the theater of the absurd. Raiding has become far too complicated now. With every new dungeon the designers have to keep outdoing themselves with new tricks and gimmicks. I just miss the good old days were 80 people showed up and tanked and spanked mobs.

    There’s far too much research involved now. You have to learn all the strategies on YouTube, you need to make sure you know every phase of the fight.

    Then a new expansion comes out and within 5 minutes you have better loot then the best raider has. It all seems so transient and fleeting now.

    Then there’s the complex politics of raiding, the loot whores, the people who rig the loot allocation system, the favoritism, the cronyism, etc.

    Then there’s the time involved. Who has the time to spend hours raiding these days? Not me.

    Finally, there is instancing. Killing a boss is practically meaningless as the very same boss can be attempted simultaneously.

    Other than that, raiding rocks! :)

  7. As of now I fully expect to want to raid in Cataclysm, but who knows how I’ll feel when 85 comes around?

    I had started raiding relatively late in BC (maybe 6 months before the pre-Wrath patch hit) but by the time 3.0 hit I think I was getting a bit tired. I feel very much the same now. Hard modes don’t interest me that much, and the guildies that I wanted to help get *their* Kingslayer titles seem more interested in bringing alts, alts’ alts, and alts of the alts alts into ICC. I’m feeling about the same now as I did when 3.0 arrived.

    The Scourge invasion of Wrath and the time period of leveling and gearing before starting up raids helped refresh me quite a bit, and I expect the same to happen this time around.

  8. “I just miss the good old days were 80 people showed up and tanked and spanked mobs.”

    You have to be kidding. You are really saying that a fight like Patchwerk (where you stand there and cast the same spell for 5 minutes) is more fun than LK?

    “Then a new expansion comes out and within 5 minutes you have better loot then the best raider has.”

    So, people who have been playing the game a long time should always have the advantage over new players?

    “Then there’s the complex politics of raiding, the loot whores, the people who rig the loot allocation system, the favoritism, the cronyism, etc.”

    Get a better guild. Seriously.

    “Who has the time to spend hours raiding these days?”

    Well, no-one I think. Two hours at a time, once or twice a week is more than enough to see all the content with the changes to instance lockout timers in 3.2. And since you prefer tank and spank encounters where progress is simply a function of time spent in acquiring levels or gear or character power however measured, then clearly you do too!

    “Killing a boss is practically meaningless”

    Depends what you mean by meaningless. I would say that “meaning” (which I interpret as importance) is derived from hours learning a fight as a team, choosing a strategy, improving over days and weeks (82 wipes on LK right here before the first kill) and having a huge emotional payoff in the end.

  9. I feel very much the same and have to echo some of Wolfshead’s thoughts on raiding, it does not resemble the original idea so much in WoW today. But I also feel the “been there, mastered that” factor is rather big for me, there is only so many instances you want to farm on the same toon and only so many tiers you want to collect. that said, while I certainly do not see myself raid seriously anymore in Cata, I will still have fun collecting shinies casually and do the odd, spontaneous 5man or maybe 10man. but I’ve definitely had my share of ‘srs bsns’ in WoW, I feel satiated. :)

  10. Full Disclosure: I didn’t raid in Original, and only raided about 2/3 of Kara. I raided all of the instances in LK.

    I have to agree with Wolfshead as well. I think I preferred the gear gating aspect of BC versus the Mario jumping gating aspect of LK. I actually enjoyed the difficulty and tricks in Naxx and found Uld/ToC/ICC a bit too complex for my taste. The later fights in Kara were starting to get complex as well.

    I was subscribed the entirety of BC and had something to work towards the entire time. I was ecstatic that I would have all of the raids to work towards in 10 mans for LK, but the move towards using heroics as a stepping stone directly to later raids made my preferred content irrelevant even on my alts.

    Unfortunately (for Blizzard), I grew tired of the difficulty of raiding about two months into ICC and lapsed my subscription. My plan for Cataclysm does not even include raiding.

  11. In Wrash of the Itch King me and the team took a break from raiding fer about 2 1/2 tiers – missed alls of Uld and Trials of the Big Room, and a good chunk of the Ice Cream Social. But, unlike in TBC, were not that big a deal fer ta gear up and be usefuls again. Was very refreshings. Me point being, if’n yer tired of raiding, don’t raid in Cata. It’s lots of other mishiefs ya can get into, and ya ain’t lockin’ yerself out if ya happens ta get the raiding bug back laters on.

    Anywho, is hopin’ ya finds yer fun, wherever it may be. Is the whole glubbernuggin’ point, afters all.

  12. There are four things that make raiding fun for me. The first is learning new fights and seeing new spaces. It’s about discovery, learning and mastery. The second is spending time with friends collaborating to achieve a common goal. It’s about building friendships and a sense of community on a small scale. Third, I like the loot, the randomness of it and the possibility that I will get an upgrade. It’s like rolling the dice in a casino. And, fourth, there are just fights that I enjoy for themselves. I like the plague wing in ICC. I don’t need anything from it. I know the fights backwards and forwards and I’d do it with complete strangers simply because I enjoy the content for what it is.

    Any one of those can be enough to get me to raid but if they’re all missing, my motivation fades. So, I definitely plan on raiding in Cataclysm. It’s going to hit the right spots for a while and perhaps there might be some new enduring favorite that I keep going back for. On the other hand, I don’t expect endlessly new mechanics. Loot gets dull and once you’ve seen one dragon, you’ve seen them all.

    I certainly see raiding being most engaging at the beginning and then inevitably losing some of the hooks that made it so compelling. It’s a challenge for each raider to keep an eye on that and match one’s commitments to one’s motivations as they change. We also need to have the courage to speak up when how one raids doesn’t work anymore. Raiding for negative reasons, like inertia, fear of losing a spot or not wanting to let people down, those are problems and a far cry from raiding because it’s a satisfying way to spend one’s time.

  13. I, for one, will remember 3.3 and Icecrown Citadel as my golden age of raiding.

    Exactly because there was so much time, twice or thrice than usually given for a raid tier.

    Yes, it allowed me to bring “alts and alts of alts’ alts” into Icc – not as a pure exercise “I’m done farming badges for X, let’s farm it again for Y, but in the great goal of finding out which class, spec and role suit me the best and which main to pick for Cataclysm.

    It also allowed me to stop, look back, and realize what I’ve done wrong in previous tiers of raiding. I was one of those who started in late TBC, so never saw much past Karazhan when it wasn’t cutting edge content since long, imagine what kind of “raiders” were going there and getting all excited over it.

    And with those view points I entered into WotLK, never finishing a raid tier properly, always got stuck somewhere between ground floor and 1st level, and wondering what kind of hardcore pros manage to not only see the end boss, but also kill him, then do all that again – on hardmode.

    I was leaving guilds for the sole reason I saw PUGs getting further that the guild run… And then came the days of TOC and “no achi no inv”, I had no guild any more and I couldn’t get into PUGs, I was devastated and promised myself to never repeat that mistake again and whenever a new raid is released PUG it on day one when no one “has achi”. I did that with Icc, and my “experience” gave me a pass into some guilds. Well, 3 of them actually, as I was always alting.

    I end the raiding tier with the Frostwyrm mount and a glimpse of Arthas heroic (no, didn’t kill him yet, and no idea will time permit to get any serious tries, as our raid setup is really not fit for it), and with the lessons learnt what worked and what didn’t work.

    I love 10 man raiding. I simply cannot stand any group larger than 15-20 people, I feel uncomfortable, and I’m looking forward to Cataclysm with hope and relief, maybe no one will ask me any more “why the heck won’t you go to 25?”

    And the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is to avoid groups, guilds, etc. (or at least be very cautious and wary of them) that describe themselves as “social” and “casual”. Rough translation of mindset of like 80-90% of players in those groups: “I don’t give a damn how this game was meant to be played, I play how I want to, I’m not going to learn or research, this isn’t a job, I’m not obliged to show up for a raid despite any previous arrangements made, because it’s just a game, why so serious, I can go for a half an hour afk in the middle of raid because rl > wow, if I’m outperformed by others it means I’m a healthy person opposed to them no-lifes who play 24/7, if we wipe, we don’t learn from mistakes, because what mistakes, it was just bad luck, and we’re friendly and we support each other, so if you play better you ought to boost / carry me, if you have more gold, gift me some.”

    If I never was granted the time I got in this tier, I wouldn’t see the different world, and I would be stuck in “social casual relaxed raiding guild” that never got past Hodir / Blood Prince Council and I would still think how bad a player I am that others do achievements and hardmodes and I’m “stuck” here. Now I know it wasn’t me.

    I want to see the other side of the coin now, the dreaded hardcore elitist jerks no-lifes and whatnot, I know people who were there and turned back with disgust, but I didn’t see it personally yet to know. In WotLK hardcore = 25 man, so I crossed it out without even trying, but hoping Cataclysm will give me a chance to see the game from that perspective.

    What’s burnout? I’ve never been in a situation when game leaves no more challenges for me. The only “burnout” I could feel would be the game has challenges, and I wished I could try them, but I don’t know people capable of trying who I could group with. That was my case in the past, and this tier is the one when it’s not the case.

    Yes, when you have a geared main and dream of a Frostwyrm / Bane of the Fallen King / Light of Dawn but all you see yourself doing for the next weeks is boosting some lame-@$$ alts through 11/12 normal, then you feel burnout.

  14. I know I’m feeling a little off about raiding. I don’t know if it’s burn out or just that I don’t really see a point to it since Cataclysm is looming and (by all reports I’m seeing) the gear I’ll be getting is going to last until about level 83. Though, if I hadn’t defeated LK, I’d probably want to raid to at least get that done.

    I’m find I’m more interested in doing things I haven’t done yet (some of the older raids).

    I am also a little anxious about the class changes. Change is chaotic and innately scary/stressful. I’m seriously wondering if I’ll continue with the Hunter next expansion or go with something else. My main worry is that the feel of the class (which I enjoyed) might be lost with all the changes.

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