Raids. You either find them to be the apex of MMORPG content and challenge, or liken them as the source of community gatekeeping and design ills. Regardless of what side of the coin you fall, a rather intriguing set of interviews from the devs of Guild Wars 2, World of Warcraft, and Final Fantasy XIV have offered a little insight into the thinking and design process of this tier of MMORPG content.
The PCGamesN piece speaks with many high-ranking devs of the three games, including WoW’s Ion Hazzikostas, FFXIV’s Naoki Yoshida, and Guild Wars 2’s Crystal Reid and Jason Reynolds. Each person talks about his or her experiences and challenges in designing raid content, from ensuring raids aren’t boring for all roles of the holy trinity, to adapting difficulty, to the shifting landscape of how many players a raid group should consist of.
Ultimately, the devs all point to camaraderie, cooperation, and achievement as the glue that makes raids work and the reason why this content keeps getting developed. “It’s one of the most powerful social experiences you can have in online gaming […] the hours spent together in battle, arguing over strategy or whatever else – those form real friendships,” argues Hazzikostas.
“That is like asking a mountaineer ‘Why do you climb mountains?!’ They take on the challenge because there is a raid there waiting to be conquered! That is why I do it!” says Yoshida.