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?