WoW Raids: Why Do I Bother?

December 2nd, 2005 by Potato

Wow, I haven’t had much luck with raids in the World of Warcraft lately.

Let me start you in slowly, just in case you’re one of the few people left in the world who hasn’t given their money to Blizzard: most of the content of the game is inside dungeons, which you run in groups of 5-40. Most of the dungeons you can just find any group of yahoos online, run through and do just fine — and I’ve run all of them hundreds of times, except for LBRS, which I’ve only hit a few times, and Scarlet Strath, which I’ve never done. It’s cursed: my groups for it always fall apart before we even zone in. For the larger, harder dungeons (which also have the best loot), you need a really big group of reasonably well-coordinated people to pull them off. To add to the requirements, you can only do them once a week (or once every 3 days for Zul’Gurub), so you don’t just grab any group of 40 people and go: you wait to do it with your friends.

Having gotten a little bored of the 5-15 man dungeons I’ve been signing up for some raids into ZG and Molten Core. Fortunately, my priest has much better luck getting into those sorts of things than my Pally did last winter. So, in order to get a group of 40 people together for a MC run, you generally get a larger group of 50-60 players interested, and then have a signup on your forums. That way you can have some people opt out, or forget to show, and still get your raid going. Unfortunately, it also means you sometimes have people get stuck on the waiting list (which is made more unfair if they play a Pally who isn’t needed so much).

But I’ve just had rotten luck in there. I haven’t gotten any loot yet (except for a bit of Dark Iron Ore), although I did almost win a roll on the fancy epic crown for my priest (I had the highest roll and the loot master was about to give it to me when one more priest was like ‘Oh yeah, me too!’ and rolled 99. Grrr.) And to make matters worse, I haven’t even gotten to go on the last few! I was the 2nd to sign up for our guild’s foray into ZG, but I made the mistake of saying I was sick and might have to AFK a lot (see kidney problems below), so the GM put me on as the first alternate. The raid was supposed to start at 7 pm, so I got on a few hours early early, collected the quests, parked my priest in front of ZG, and started playing on an alt. I was waiting for a whisper or a message in the channel that the raid was starting, and kept an eye on where everyone was located. Suddenly, at 6:50 I notice a few people leave the major city of Ironforge and start to zone towards ZG. So I switch back to my priest and ask for an invite… the GM says “LOL, you’re late, I gave your spot away.” Turns out two people on the list never made it, so I should have been in there as first alternate, and I was still 10 minutes early, but for whatever whacko reason someone else got in anyway (turns out it was a RL friend of theirs — more on that later). No apology, nothing. Fortunately, it sounds like that raid went to hell anyway (ironically, from a lack of healers). Oh, I should mention that this isn’t the first time this has happened. While it was a few months ago, I also got left behind on an IL raid I signed up for because I was on a different character waiting for an invite (that time, I signed up for an alt and was sitting on my main!).

And now, as I’m typing this, I got left out of a MC raid with DAOC. We go with them every week, and even though their guild master tends to automatically sign up the regulars (including me) every week, I still go to the forums and am sure to say that I’ll be there (or, if I can’t, to tell them not to expect me). Again, I was logged on an hour before the raid (this time not on an alt since it’s a different guild), and doing a bit of PvP. We’re supposed to start invites at 6:30 and the raid at 7 (it takes a while to get 40 people up and going), but in practice the invites don’t come until 6:45. So I’m in a PvP instance, which finishes at 6:35. I figure perfect timing. I drop my group and whisper the raid leader for an invite.

I get a DND message from her.

No problem, I fly to MC so I’ll see who’s standing outside and get an invite from them… oh, the place is swarming with a Horde guild waiting for their run, I can’t pick anyone out of the crowd. Again, no problem, I go through my friends list and start asking people if they could invite me or know who has invite privledges, and since it’s 20 minutes before the raid, everyone’s AFK. Finally I get someone who’s on teamspeak (a voice communication program similar to Roger Wilco) who gets the raid leader to turn off her DND flag so I can talk to her. She tells me she sent me an invite at 6:30, but that I was in a group so she went and got one of the alternates, and that the raid was now full, being 10-to. I mean seriously?! You couldn’t have whispered me to see what I was doing or told me that the raid was forming and that it was time to drop groups? At least she was sorry about it.

Anyhow, I mentioned that the person who replaced me was a RL friend of one of the officers, which brings me to another problem I’ve been having in WoW: our guild. We started off after release in House of Llyorian, a guild full of great people that Netbug knew in closed beta. And I mean great people: of the ones who didn’t quit, most have gone on to become some of the top players on the server. But unfortunately, it was too small a guild to even do the 10-man endgame dungeons without getting pickups (at least at the time, since a few people raced to 60 pretty fast). So we found another group of good players with Infinite Luck, and started merging away. The merger was a little rushed and sloppy (boy, were some of those people desperate to run Stratholme!), but it worked fairly well.

While Infinite Luck was also fairly casual and friendly, it was not a guild of people that primarily knew each other from WoW, but a multigame guild and moreover, a guild of people who know each other in real life. This lead to some problems. First off, there was an inordinate amount of resistance to the idea of making anyone formerly from House of Llyorian an officer. There still is, which baffles me (after all, the more officers you have, the easier it is to recover if one of them does something stupid, and the livelier the /o channel becomes). This actually, and sadly, was part of the reason my good friend Reggie decided to leave the game. He played far too much to be healthy, and in the mornings too. The guild needed a morning officer, so they promoted Myzerie, a nice enough girl I’ll grant, and one who did spend her playtime in the mornings… but one who has something like 7 kids and is only on for a half hour at a time (and who, a year later, still doesn’t have a single character at level 60). That was a bit of a snub to poor Reggie, who was one of the driving forces behind the HoL merger in the first place.

So then, a real-life couple who formed two more of our officers left the server for the more exciting world of PvP, and it was admitted that we needed some to replace them. Despite the larger size of the guild, they wanted to stick with just 5 or 6 officers (and no amount of arguing on my part changed their mind). Not wanting to split the “HoL” vote, we rallied behind Bug and Abe (again, poor Reggie didn’t even get nominated). Bug won… and promptly left for Neph :)

Then we realized we needed yet another guild merger to do the endgame, so we got together with AoV. Neither guild wanted to disband and join the other, so instead we formed an alliance (as I had originally proposed for HoL). Oddly enough, the reason given for not merging was that since IL was a multiple game and RL friend guild, we couldn’t lose the name since people wouldn’t be able to find us (which is a load of crap, since people will need the website or their friends to decide which of the over 100 WoW servers to create their character on). In the end, we absorbed some AoV members, some stayed where they were, and others got sick of the whole thing and joined 60’s only guilds.

A bit later, the former guildmaster had to leave for RL reasons. We had another round of officer voting, and Cyberblade, formerly of AoV, was elected an officer and then promoted to guild master after the former one left. This was a bad choice. Sure, at first Cyber did a fairly good job… but Cyber had something like 4 level 60 characters, only one of which was in IL. He had better things to do, and since he was already doing MC runs with one of his characters, he had no motivation towards helping IL form alliances or recruit more members (even after I pointed him towards two guilds that had broken up or hemmoragged members after internal scandals: lots of good people looking to help build a guild were out there just waiting for a chance…) Eventually, Cyberblade decided to change the guild tabbard without telling anyone, just to experiment a little. Unfortunately, he left his experiment at the end of the night on a horribly ugly colour, which caused our own internal scandal, and some overly harsh words were said, and Cyber left.

Once again, IL had a power vacuum. We elected some more officers, and that time around I made the nominations (but I lost by one vote — ironically, I chose not to vote for myself). Nightvision was elected the new GM. I’ve had bad experiences with Night in the past, but for the most part he’s a good guy, and had been nothing but nice for the month or so leading up to his GM status (though it seems to have gone to his head afterwards).

We got some end-game stuff going with DAOC (the group that just forgot to whisper me to break group so I could go tonight), and things have been looking up. There have been some downsides to our MC runs with DAOC: since they’re a new guild, and since the roster isn’t quite the same week to week, we’re rusty. We make lots of mistakes, lots of stupid deaths, and we haven’t gotten nearly as far as many other guilds have, even given a few weeks’ learning curve. We were talking about this one night in guildchat, but since only at most 10 people from IL go to MC, we decided to take the chat to the officers’ channel. I was promoted to officer temporarily so I could participate.

After that night, they forgot to demote me, and I stayed an officer for a few weeks. People came to accept it, and the guild could use more officers anyway (especially since Myz is essentially gone now). Then last week, out of nowhere, they demote me, saying that it was an oversight that had been corrected. Fair enough, I guess — except that the real life couple I was talking about earlier, who left for PvP? They came on right afterwards and even though they had been replaced as officers, they were still left with full privledges. Personally, I wouldn’t worry about the guy who’s been helpful & loyal and an officer for 2 weeks and caused no trouble… I’d worry about the people who left and have fully established characters on another server. While none of us have the reason to be petty and spiteful (kicking newbies from the guild after hours when noone else is on or somesuch), they have the means to get away with it.

Anyway, I’m getting a bit over-dramatic here, so I’ll unstaple my hand from my forehead and move on. I suppose the reason I’m getting into all this is that I’m just not very satisfied with WoW right now, so little things are bugging me more. I’ve been playing on the test server a bit, and the Pally changes don’t look good at all. Everyone’s going to need to farm new gear, since the old stats you valued (stam, int, and strength, in roughly that order) will be changed (to int, stam, and +spell damage/+healing). It will involve more button-mashing, so I suppose that’s more interactive… but we’re spending more mana just to get back to where we were before. Farming/grinding is still fairly slow, except now we have downtime, too.

2 Responses to “WoW Raids: Why Do I Bother?”

  1. Netbug Says:

    We should go play in HoL and bring that guild back to strength.

  2. netbug Says:

    Giving further thought, I can see bring HoL back to strength being a good idea. I think that an elite group of 10-15 people that play at the same times would be much more appealing to other guilds looking for people for MC runs. We could also run the big 5-15 mans without going outside the guild, which, I assure you, is a much better experience than a pickup that wipes and argues about loot.