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April 20, 2010

I thought I’d write a bit about how I think about raiding.

Firstly, I don’t care how hard the content I do is, as long as it is challenging to the raid that does it. And by that, I mean that we, the raid, are challenged by the content, not that I am challenged by my fellow raiders because if I work my butt off I can carry them on my groaning healy (or tanky or dpsy) shoulders to triumph. If people wanted to go do Naxx on a bunch of freshly dinged 80’s, I’d be all in favour, though come to think of it, I don’t have any handy that have low enough gear at the moment. Facerolling Naxx on toons all in ICC gear strikes me as boring, though I’ll do it for achievements if someone wants them.

That said, I have no problem raiding with people who are new to raiding. Everyone has to learn sometime, and so long as they have made an effort to have a clue, and ask intelligent questions – or even stupid ones that they need to know the answer to – I’ll be more than happy to help them get into the swing of it.

Things that are guaranteed to wind me up are people being persistently late, going AFK without waiting for permission (without a good reason, life does happen), begging for gems or enchants in raids, or not bringing flasks, food, pet food, scrolls, potions or especially buffing mats, soul shards or ammunition. Also people not reading up on fights, especially when this is requested in advance by the raid leader – unless it’s stated to be a ‘no reading up’ run in advance.

When raiding, I expect to be at the summoning stone ahead of time, and ready to start raiding at the published start time. My ingame and out of game consumables will be to hand, my gear for both main and offspec will be properly gemmed and enchanted (and I will usuallly have spare gems and enchants to hand for items I am likely to upgrade), my addons will be up to date and working and I will at the least have read up on every boss I expect to see from the perspective of the class(es) and role(s) I expect to play. If I’m expecting to be asked to take an alt with some probability, I will also have logged that alt out by the stone earlier if I possibly can.

All of these things are what I’d call making an effort. Showing that you respect your raid team, and don’t want to waste their time. For example, as the official tactics guru for a recent hardmode Ulduar run, I spent an hour before the run setting up tactics macros, to save time in the raid. And let’s not get into how much pre-raid effort I used to put in as the raid leader…

And, in my opinion, nothing about any of what I have said above is ‘hardcore’. None of it does anything but make the raid more enjoyable for those who are there. None of it is especially onerous, or unreasonable to expect of your fellow raiders. In practise, I don’t expect everyone I raid with to have quite the same obsessive standards I do, but I do expect them to make an effort to be ready for the raid before it starts. In a similar vein, I expect them to try to minimise wasted time while we raid. No being late back from breaks. No trying to start conversations about your holidays while we’re trying to pull. Running back after a wipe without delays.

But, although making an effort is the most part of what I want from my fellow raiders, I am, I admit, fussy enough to require a certain basic level of skill from them too. I can turn off the ‘hardcore’ part of my brain for friendly runs, and chill and relax, but only up to a point. I can’t raid when people are utterly incapable of not standing in the fire. I get grouchy when my healer is doing 75% of the healing or when my dps is doing as much damage as the next two on the list together. I can’t stay happy and cheerful when people are repetitively failing at the same job and wiping the raid.

The worst thing to realise about myself, however, was that given the choice of clearing ICC10 quickly and competently in a raid where people call each other noobs, swear at those who fail, and are basically jerks, albeit skilled jerks, or a run that starts with wiping 8 times on the Marrowgar trash, gets 4 bosses, but is full of nice, friendly, helpful people, I’d take the jerks.

Of course I’d rather have nice, friendly, competent people. But however nice you are, if you can’t pull your weight in the raid, you will annoy me far more than that skilled but socially inept person over there. My brain does make allowances for new people, or people in offspec or on an alt to help out, but in the end, everyone needs to be able to do their job.

And the angst of knowing that this makes me an arrogant elitist jerk does not make the frustration go away. It just makes me wonder if this month is the month where I stop giving Blizzard all my RL gold.

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