The Daily Grind: Do you avoid MMORPG raiding – and why?

    
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As part of the preview of upcoming Guild Wars 2 content for 2020 yesterday, ArenaNet’s Andrew Gray made some comments on raiding I thought would be worth further exploration.

He said the biggest challenge in creating more raids is the fact that they attract such a small audience. But instead of just, you know, creating other content, ArenaNet sought to determine why so few people raid in the first place. Though Gray doesn’t discuss the studio’s methodology, he does say the devs concluded “the most common answer was that there is a giant leap in difficulty between raids and other endgame content, and there isn’t anything to help players work their way up.” Consequently, ArenaNet says it’ll be making the intermediary 10-man strike missions easier and giving them better rewards, all to hopefully “increase the number of people interested in raids.” (In the next sentence, Gray then seems to promise not to dumb it all down so much that the small hardcore audience is put out. Man, I don’t envy that dude’s new job!)

Anyhow, this morning I want to talk about raiding and this specific approach to trying to cater to non-raiders by trying to get them to raid instead of providing the content they do want. Maybe Guild Wars 2 is an especially hard case because it was originally sold as a game without that typical themepark obsession with raiding and powercreep and indeed didn’t get its first raid until 2015. And maybe this approach will work better in GW2, which has such an open PvE grouping system to begin with. But it’s not at all the only game to decide that people don’t want to raid because it’s hard, so obviously to get people to raid, just make it easier.

And yet, every time we have this discussion with our community, “too hard” – more specifically, “too challenging” – never seems to come up. I always see people talk about how much time it eats up, how annoyed they are by raiding guild toxicity, how boring raid mechanics can be, how unfulfilling and uneven raid loot is. Some people are just opposed to raiding being the pinnacle of MMO design and opt out. Still others have been playing MMOs for over two decades and feel like they’ve done their time in raids and want something very, very different out of their virtual world play. (I generally fall in that last group myself.)

I seriously can’t remember the last time I saw someone say, “Yeah, I’m just a crap player, and raids are just too hard for my skill level, but I’d do ’em if they only had a good LFR tool and dopey facerolly mechanics.” As Eliot once penned so eloquently, if challenge isn’t actually why people avoid content, removing challenge isn’t going to make it more appealing to anyone at all.

Let’s do some unofficial polling. Do you avoid MMORPG raiding – and if so, why?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Crowe

If the gameplay is interesting enough and the group is around 10-ish in size, I’ll give it a go.

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Randomessa

I don’t raid in MMOs because I’m only interested in learning dance routines in real life.

Phaserlight
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Phaserlight

No, I don’t avoid it, but I have no qualms bailing at the drop of a penny when life calls.

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

Jesus, 90% of commenters never played with a good raiding group. Being yelled at, another job, min maxing… It is NOTHING like that if you are in the right company. Not the one you “found” through the zone chat and never cared to remember more than one or two names, not the one with hundreds of people in the roster. It takes time and/or luck to find one, but they are there. Raiding or doing pretty much fucking anything in a bad company where people yell at you sucks.

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MassivelyMacD

If I wanted another job, I’d get one where I get paid for. So no, in my free time I do things that I consider fun for me, raiding is not my definition of fun. In fact, the introduction of raids was the begin of the end of my GW2 time, since it killed my guild.

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Kickstarter Donor
Brazen Bondar

I don’t think I ever enjoyed raiding. It was necessary to do sometimes but, no…never liked it, or thought it was particularly interesting. It takes too much time and its boring. I forgot the name of that raid in TSW… the Manhattan zone or something…. The whole thing about dying over and over for weeks on end until your cabal could claim victory that the boss was beat, meh. I get it some people found that challenging and exciting, but I was not one of them. And I hated being stuck on a boss at 2 am in the morning, when you had to get up at 7am and get ready for work. staying or quiting were both bad. Don’t miss that at all. If a raid is made less challenging, it will still be boring. And then you will get the speed runners who show up everywhere. Because speed runners run…that’s what they do. It will be the new challenge. Who can finish the raid and beat the last boss in under two minutes? They will stream and have contests, and yeah…it’s still boring. Haven’t raided in years and don’t plan to start again, no matter what the game is.

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Baron von Munchausen

I avoid raiding. It’s because it seems like it’s not Making Interesting Choices and Working Together, but more Memorizing a Pattern and Getting Yelled At If You Mess It Up. Even sans yelling, it’s not really appealing.

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Zero_1_Zerum

I’ve never raided, and I’m not even entirely sure what raiding is.
If it’s PVP, that’s why I haven’t done it. If it’s PVE, then I probably didn’t get around to it before I quit the MMO I was playing…if any of the MMOs I played even had raiding.

EDIT: Now that I’ve read some of the comments here, I have a clearer picture of raiding, and I must say that it doesn’t sound very fun. It’s where the lame tank/healer/dps stuff comes from, apparently.

Covynant001
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Covynant001

It’s kinda like “Dancing with the Stars”

You and your raid mates memorize all the moves, stay out of the red zones, and swirl around until the boss is dead.

It is harder than it sounds, but there is a certain satisfaction from finally getting it all right and defeating the floozle.

I did it years ago in WOW but it was a real time commitment, some here bemoaning a night or two of required attendance.

Back in my day raiders had to be available 5 days a week, from 8 pm to 1 am, later if required, and we raided uphill in the snow…both ways!

😁

Covynant001
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Covynant001

I blame it all on Netflix.

No way I can focus my attention like raiding requires and keep up on the latest happenings in Riverdale.

I only play games where I can easily split my attention between several activities…like posting in forums, while gaming, while watching TV.

So much entertainment, so little time.

😁

Staff
Mia DeSanzo

There was a time when I enjoyed raiding, but I am over it. I don’t have the time, energy, interest, or patience for it anymore.