The Daily Grind: What’s the ideal MMO raid length?

    
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If you’ve been around in the MMO genre long enough, you know that the idea of raiding has changed a lot. In Ultima Online, the closest thing we had were crawls, and they’d go on for hours as people came and joined the fun. In EverQuest, raids went on as long as they needed to, sometimes for days, as the number of participants had a huge impact on the duration.

World of Warcraft changed the equation over the years dramatically, bringing the typical raid down to a couple of nights or even less, and we’ve now had raids doable in a few hours for well over a decade, meaning that theoretically, a whole lot more people have access to that content once again.

What’s the ideal MMO raid length?

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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angrakhan

An hour max assuming no wipes or resets. If you want longer raids they should be broken up into “wings” that are on separate timeouts.

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Castagere Shaikura

I have never done any raid in a mmo. So I couldn’t tell you how long they are.

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Dug From The Earth

A raid can be any length because most let you stop after any boss and come back later in the week where you left off.

Only have 1-2 hours? No prob. Do a couple bosses and stop.

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Rndomuser

“Ideal MMO raid length” is the one that can last as long as you want to. Meaning that if you want to do it quickly because you have real life obligations and real life issues – you should be able to do all of it quickly, alone or with NPC companions. If you want it to last long time and do it with friends – you should be able to select an option to make it long and tedious and without NPC companions. Regardless of the option, you complete it and get a reward, or a chance of a reward, which must be the same if it is something like a cosmetic item or a piece of gear with higher numbers for the stats. Just add a unique text achievement title for people who just like to show off to others that they completed a dungeon on Super Mega Long Mode by posting screenshots of their achievement on Twitter or Reddit, with the time it took them to complete it. Or don’t add any unique achievements, because in the end it is irrelevant since even people who hate spending long time on dungeon can simply buy a dungeon carry with guaranteed completion where other person can take control of your account so they they will get the specific cosmetic item or specific achievement title for completing it.

jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

3 hours 2x a week is perfect.

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Brazen Bondar

I prefer open world boss raids. Whoever is in the vicinity and wants to help take him down kind of raid. If its one that needs organizing then under two hours. But generally, I’ve sworn off raiding.

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Castagere Shaikura

This is what raids should be.

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Richard de Leon III

Im not a hardcore raider by any means, so im not sure what would be good. I’ve raided back in EQ1 where raids took literal days to clear but I hated that. Nowadays I would say the optimum casual raid length is 2 hours, it seems at this point most people in my circle would rather do dinner or get to bed for some rest. Now i dunno if a full raid should take that time, but a wing shouldnt take more than that.

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Jeremy Barnes

I think if you don’t ‘save’ progress and players have to beat bosses every time they go (no loot for previously killed bosses though) then I’d say 12-16 hours for a 1 shot is perfect. ;)

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Anstalt

Variety is the spice of life!

There should be a range of raids, both in difficulty and length of time, so that as many people as possible can participate and have a good time.

I feel that LotRO got this right at various points in it’s lifetime.

During moria, we had the turtle (easy, about 5-7 minutes), the watcher (medium, about 40 minutes) and then dar narbugud (hard, multi-boss raid lasting 3-5 hours)

When they introduced skirmishes, you could do them with a raid group, so that was an extra 10+ “raids” that were pretty easy and a good way to introduce players to the concept of raiding.

Isenguard had Draigoch, a single-boss raid that you could complete in about 45 minutes if you didn’t wipe, followed by Tower of Orthanc, a more traditional multi-boss raid, plus all the skirmishes that were still there.

There has to be that progression of difficulty though. Having really easy, solo leveling followed by a big jump to hard, hours long raids just doesn’t make sense. Whilst I had no problem making that jump as I love endgame and love a challenge, I know too many people that were put off by it. You need some easy, small group content, then a steady scaling up of player numbers and difficulties in order to “train” your playerbase.

atlasraven
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atlasraven

Variety! Agreed. I enjoyed how Rift’s weekly raid bosses would spawn and groups would form to stomp them down. The fight itself wasn’t long and another group got him first, another would pop up very soon.

I don’t like a huge time commitment, even if I have the time because RL will intrude, the server will crash, or someone will leave. 2hrs max but a 30-45 min raid is the sweet spot.

jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

I thought Rift’s raids were very well tuned. LotRO’s group content was sometimes brilliant but could also be buggy and laggy and could stretch on long into the night.

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Hareikan

An entire raid? I’m gonna say something a bit higher than most other comments, and say 4 – 6 hours progress content. That’s because I’m thinking 2 – 3 hour raid sessions, maybe twice a week? Any raid that’s done in 2 sessions while its progress is going to be easily done in 1 session when its farmable.

I think if an entire raid was done in 1 hour, from first boss to last, then content will run dry pretty fast and it will get very repetitive (lets be real, its already repetitive).

I prefer to spend maybe 2 hours raiding, personally, but I dont need the WHOLE raid to fit into those 2 hours.