Post Traumatic Raid Leading Disorder
So two weeks ago at the end of the flex raid, my NWN buddy announced that, unfortunately, he would be out of town for the next flex, so it would be cancelled… unless someone wanted to run it for him.
I’m not sure what possessed me to jump right in, but I did. I waited a few polite moments to see if anyone else would jump up, but to no avail. So I spoke up.
I’ve been a raid leader before, of course. I’ve written about it at length from time to time. I led 25 man Naxx runs back in the day with a very casual guild. I led Kara runs from time to time. I even led some alt ICC runs when my guild was knocking down the heroic mode bosses.
This experience was fine. My NWN buddy was going to set the roster for me, which he did, and I could grab a few others to come along. Still, something about the stress of everything else going on around me – job hunting, house selling, etc – started to plague me, so I started getting a little nervous.
Again, let me stress that this wasn’t due to any actions from outside forces. I just started getting stressed and a bit anxious about the whole thing. Then, when we got in and had an extra phase on the very first boss, I really started to feel nervous.
It turned out okay, I guess. We didn’t finish – the first time in ages – but we did get through Blackfuse, at least. I had a ton of help from a guildmate of mine (also a good friend of my NWN buddy). He took care of most of the actual strategy and raid analysis; I just put the raid together at the start.
This correspondence isn’t really to complain about the event, though; it was what it was, and I had a lot of support. Instead, this is more about the fact that this is another way in which I’ve clearly changed. As my hardcore raiding tendencies have declined, I think my raid leading tendencies have, too. I always used to sit in raids and think how I could do things differently, but I’ve not noticed that with my NWN buddy’s flex raids, and now, having had a week at the helm, I can say I don’t really have any desire at the moment to be in a leadership position.
I’ve written before about how big life changes have forced game changes in me. When I left NY, I lost a lot of my patience for glass chewing (not all of it, though, as last night showed). Games seemed to be more important to me – not intellectually – but my emotions ran more rampant when things went wrong. I suspect since I lost being a “teacher” when I moved away from NY, some of the pleasure I got from that was reinvested into gaming, and thus my failures there felt more meaningful, even if intellectually I knew they were not.
Now, as I’m moving away from Illinois, I’m noticing this other shift. It’s been happening while I was here, of course, as my general malaise towards gaming has expanded and contracted, but I just don’t feel as invested in games at all as I used to. I don’t want to lead, don’t worry about having tough challenges (hard mores, etc), don’t feel the old urges with what I “should be” doing, and so forth.
Perhaps it’s just getting older, but I don’t really believe that’s it. I think it has more to do with my environment. As it’s been necessary to adapt to my new place, some of my need to challenge myself electronically has vanished. The adapting, it seems, was enough of a challenge on its own.
People sometimes “escape” to games because of their troubles in the real world, and but perhaps one of those troubles is simply a lack of engaging challenges. If that’s why you get into gaming, then when life provides those challenges for you, perhaps your gaming suffers. Who knows? But being a raid leader that night made it clear to me that I’ve no desire to do that any more, which is worth knowing, though it may not be “good” to know.
Stubborn (who made his own bed on that one)