The Real Challenge of Raiding
So, I hit 90. That moment was met with a mixed feeling. The first, of course, was joy. I made it! Of course, it wasn’t that much of a challenge; I took my time, wasn’t rushing, and simply enjoyed the ride. That in and of itself is a cause for joy, too. I can check out scenarios! Explore the factions! FLY!
Then again, there was some negativity about it, too. No one in my guild congratulated me. That shouldn’t necessarily be an issue, depending on your guild, but I always congratulate people, and there were plenty of people on. That spoke volumes to me about my place, really, though I heartily acknowledge I may simply be reading too much into it. Additionally, the excuse to play – to get to 90 – no longer holds up. I’m not going to fall into the “11 x 90” trap that I did before. I will probably get 2 characters to 90, and maybe a third horde character. Still, I’m not only in no rush (an acceptable double negative), but I’m actively avoiding grinding through those same zones again.
So I had to start asking the hard question: what is my goal for this expansion? Did I just want to get to 90? Do I want to try to get into raiding again? Terrifyingly, I think I do. Despite the gargantuan amount of pre-raid nonsense this expansion apparently expects (or so I’ve heard from others), I think I might be interested. That’s when it hit me, though: the real challenge of raiding, at least for me. It’s not hard for me to raid, prep for a raid, grind dailies; it’s hard for me to find a group of people I want to raid with. Without that, I don’t have an incentive to do all those boring things.
Anyone who’s been around here a while knows my trials at finding a guild to fit in to. Like shooting the albatross, it seems that after I left my “best” raid guild for loyalty reasons, I have been cursed to wander the barren seas of crappy guilds. Hell, I’ve tried on four servers to find a place to no avail. Of course, this has frustrated me to the point of simply giving up and settling into the guild I currently occupy, a place where no one even bothers to congratulate my wife or I on 90.
What, then? It’s crossed my mind to just try to make a guild from the ground up. Find a server with only a small number of strong raid organizations and begin my own for people who want to raid seriously but are professional adults who can’t commit 40 hours per week to raid prep or raiding. Still, I don’t think I have that amount of hard work in me anymore. I could keep searching, too, but each failure chips away the little veneer of happiness I have with the game. It’s simply really: The game is supposed to be about the challenges in the mechanics, but instead, it’s the challenge of socialization.
I’m good at socializing, but I don’t like it. It’s hard for me to be peppy and happy and shallow and talk about nothing. I can go to one of my wife’s professional parties and get along, be friendly, and leave with a lot of the room having enjoyed my company, but it exhausts me. I’m just not built for that. Finding guilds, talking to the leaders about their vision, joining, seeing what’s going on without the officer’s sales pitch or varnish, trying to become a part of the closed raiding cliques – it’s a lot of effort, and frankly I’m doing it for two: my wife and I. It’s a lot of hassle, and I just don’t know if I’m up for it.
But that means not raiding, of course, not doing what I kind of want to do.
It’s not dealing with the dailies, the farming, or the routine that’s preventing me from wanting to continue. It’s dealing with the people.
And this may be why we’re starting to see a migration back to single player games; like reality television, MMOs made a lot of money and were replicated to death, but now people are getting back to what they really like. But that’s certainly a topic for another day.
Stubborn (and vaguely misanthropic)