How the Other Side Lives

I enjoy the casual raiding style.  I can raid if I want, or go do “real life” things if I need to without worrying about repercussions.  No attendance requirements, no fear of losing my raid spot for some odd reason, no arcane loot distribution rules.

That said, though, I always show up for my raids.  I always have consumables.  I earn my raid spot, not by being the GM, but by putting out the top dps, not standing in fire,  and knowing the strategies.

The downside of casual raiding happens when a bunch of people don’t show up for raids, and we have to do a 10-man raid on a night we should be doing 25-man runs.  Or when people log in an hour late and expect to have a raid spot.  Or when people don’t play for a week, then show up to a raid with no consumables.  There are definite drawbacks.

Sometimes I wonder if I could hack it in a hardcore guild.  I wonder if I could even get accepted into a hardcore guild.  Its not like I’ll have a chance to try – I’m the GM of the only guild I’ve ever been in, and the guild has been around for over two years. I’m not going to leave to test the waters.  So this is just thinking out loud.

If I were guildless, would I have the guts to put in an application to a top guild?  If I got accepted, would I be able to handle the pressure to perform?  I am confident that I know my stuff, but could I enjoy a raid if I thought that every little error was being scrutinized?  Last week I failed to get out of the way of a Deep Breath in Onyxia.  Yes, I FAILED.  In my guild, that’s a simple “Sorry guys, I won’t do that again next time.”  In a high-end guild, do I get yelled at?  Kicked from the raid?  Lose my raid spot?

How do top guilds choose people, anyway?  What could I say in a guild application that would make me stand out?  Yes, I do a lot of dps.  I can explain the pros and cons of all of my talent choices.  I know the strategies of the bosses I fight.  Would that be enough to get me into a hardcore guild?

I’m just wondering out loud.  If anyone in my guild reads this (hi guys) I’m not even considering leaving.  I’m just speculating on the hardcore style of gameplay which I have never (and will never) experience.


8 Responses to “How the Other Side Lives”

  1. 1 Hamacus
    October 15, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Oh no! The end is near! Our Guild Leader is leaving to join Premonition. O.K. whew… just read the part where you said “I’m just speculating ” : )

    Any way as one who has been there… done that… hard core raiding has the advantages as stated. No messing around, get in get out, (except on ‘progession” runs where it is die, die, die, die) , kill bosses and collect loot. The problem is there is always a trade off.

    The grass may be greener but it is usually only greener in patches. Personality conflicts can cause issues and may be something you just have to put up with for the sake of “progression” (I really have grown to hate that word). Sooner or later there is a boss that causes the dreaded slow down in “progression”, (Premo and a few others excluded), and thats when the problems usually start.

    What defines this slow down? One wipe, a few, weeks, months? What about guild leadership what is their role, what are their goals? If it’s just getting loot then it’s pretty much doomed from the start IMO.

    That said I understand the question of “I wonder if I could even get accepted into a hardcore guild”? I have no doubt you have what it takes to get in. I suppose what makes you stay in is what you find fun. Is it loot?. Taking down new bosses? Killing bosses first? If that is the case Premo is having tons of fun.

    I am sure they have their occasional share of drama though. I am also sure they keep their membership on a pretty short leash. No ninjas, trolls, loot whores, or drama mama’s allowed…at least not for long. Be on time, contribute x amount to the guild bank, farm these mats, study theses tables and develop these spreadsheets and strategies. Is it a game at that point or is it work? Sorry I already have a job thank you.

    You talked about guild applications in a previous post and I know when I was involved in recruiting that would tell me a lot about a person. If they can’t take a few minutes to fill out a simple application correctly or with some degree of clarity then that may indicate there may be a problem. Even in a “Casual” guild.

    Q: Why do you want join this guild?

    A: Because my @#$*&!^ GL in my last *@#$%^&* guild kicked me out for clearing out the *&^%$# guild bank.

    A: I don’t know.

    A: Because the sky is cheese on Tuesday.

    Next! O.K. the third answer might get a follow up.

    Your a pretty smart guy I hear, (Wood Shop teacher right?) 😉 so I am sure you could figure it out. I know you would be a welcome and valued addition to any guild. Premonition included.

  2. 2 Saniel
    October 15, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    It perfectly understandable for a player of your ability to wonder about this, especially right now when it’s a coin-toss as to whether or not we’re going to get any raid going on a given night. (And actually, 50/50 is probably better odds than we have right now. Maybe it’s more of a dice-roll. Anyway…)

    We have a set of really good raiders in our guild. Too many for 10-mans, but not enough for 25s. It puts us in a really tight spot almost every time we run. Who gets to go? Who gets left out? Is our goal “progression” or gear? Where’s the acceptable trade-off between how far a group can get and how many upgrades will be sharded because they’re not needed? And those are all concrete concerns, not even considering the intangibles like feelings and fairness.

    I know I already said in our guild forums that raiding is about the only thing holding my interest right now. The logical extension of that is that I might enjoy myself more if I were in a more hard-core raiding situation.

    The key there, though, is the “right now” part. Long term I know I want the flexibility that being in a guild like ours gives me. I can take nights (or weeks…) off and not have to worry about coming back to find myself warming a bench spot, if not guildless. I can play the game I want to play instead of spending all my non-raiding time prepping for raiding time. Most importantly, I play with awesome people who are worth knowing outside the game as well as in…if for no other reason than it’s given me access to the best french onion soup I’ve ever had. 😉

    But yeah…bottom line is that our guild is in a little bit of a lull right now. And when you hit a lull you find ways to get through it, but you also can’t help wondering about what it might be like on the other side. Ride the sinusoid.

  3. October 15, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    First, I’d like to state that I’m a former student of yours… and you could probably figure out who it is pretty easily. I’ve actually commented on your blog a few times under random anonymous names, but since I decided to start my own blog, I feel there’s no reason to anymore.

    “Hardcore vs. casual” raiding is not as black and white as a lot of people make it out to be. Though most of the members of your guild are probably the part of the “casual” group you describe, you seem to be closer to your definition of “hardcore.” You research your class, research mechanics of bosses you have never fought, and strive to be better. To answer your question of “Could I get into a hardcore guild?” – I’m fairly confident the answer is “yes.”

    I’m actually the raid leader of what most (and myself) would consider a “hardcore” guild. I would never yell at anyone for dying to something such as an Onyxia deep breath. If a player were to die to something like that in the guild I’m in, the reaction really depends on who the person is. Regardless of who you are, someone might say “fail” (or something else to jokingly make fun of you). If you were a new recruit, it may make a bad first impression. If you were a veteran member, we would simply joke about it.

    However, there are definitely things that can cause me to yell. These things are mainly related to following instructions and have nothing to do with player skill. And I’m referring to simple instructions such as “stand here the whole fight,” not something that a player could understandably mess up such as “don’t get hit by Icehowl’s charge.”

    There are different types of “hardcore” guilds. On our server, two of the top three guilds (including mine) are not guilds that you would enjoy raiding with. These two are relatively immature (average age probably around 22, despite having some in their 30’s and 40’s). However, the third guild is a very mature “hardcore” guild. They are mostly adults with jobs and families. They are currently ranked in the top 400-500 in the world. I’m certain they do not yell at people for making mistakes and are aimed at progressing through content. If you could find a guild like that, I think you’d enjoy it a lot.

  4. 4 Backer
    October 15, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Priestiarina raises some really good points. In my view, “casual raiding guild” is necessarily a contradiction of terms because there’s no such thing as “casual raiding”. If you’re in for a night of raiding, you need to be hardcore about it. Take care of the wife and baby aggro beforehand. Don’t ninja AFK. We give 5-10 minute breaks regularly so if you need to bio or smoke or grab a sandwich, do it then or while loot is being handed out. Know your class and know the farm fights. Bring consumables or cash to buy elixirs from the guild alchemist. I know that’s pretty hardcore, but it’s really the bare minimum to keep 25 people disciplined enough to do a reasonable amount of content. Raiding is a structured activity that requires commitment from the members to do successfully.

    If you want to be a casual raiding guild in the sense that there isn’t a strict attendance policy, then there needs to be a large enough population to support flexibility. If you want to do 25 man content regularly with people show up half the time, then you need six people suitable to tank and twelve that can heal and thirty two that can DPS. I’m lucky to be in a guild that can make that type of arrangement work.

  5. October 15, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    @Backer – There certainly exist “casual raiding” (and there is a place for it), just go read how Big Bear Butt does it. 🙂

    Every discussion I saw pretty much says “casual vs hardcore”, but things are never black and white.

    Take my guild for an example – we do most of what you say (attendance policy, set breaks, be prepared, use consumables, don’t go AFK without notice, use DKP), but we also have an “IRL first” policy due to having a lot of adults (with kids) in the guild. If your kid is crying and you have to take care of it – oh well, such is life, go, but please make it fast and come back, ’cause you’re making 9 or 24 people wait. When you’re back and before that – be as hardcore as you can though.

    So we fall somewhere in between on the raiding spectrum.

  6. 6 Athy
    October 15, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Thanks, just wanted to say I enjoy your blog. Good rogue tips for a newb!

  7. October 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I didn’t want to seem like I was unhappy in my guild. I think that the people I play with are the only thing that keeps me logging on night after night.

    Casual raiding does work, but its hard. You need to find a whole raiding group that shares common ideas of what makes the game fun. Once you get it right, its awesome.

    I know that casual and hardcore are not simple to define. Heck, I have 155 days /played on my main – I play more than just about anyone I know, casual or hardcore.

    Its really a competitive thing. I know that I couldn’t keep up with the dps in Premonition. But if I was suddenly dropped into a raid with a top guild… how would I perform? I know that minor league baseball players dream of playing for the Yankees, college marching band members wonder if they could be professional musicians. Its all the same. Everyone wants to measure themselves against the best.

  8. November 1, 2009 at 11:41 am

    It really depends on the level of hardcore guild you are checking out. There’s a big difference in my 3-day a week progression guild versus a guild like Premo or one of the other top 20 guilds. Most guilds if they are looking to fill a slot will overlook gear and progression level, and put a lot of weight on the ability of the candidate to answer questions and really know their class and the game mechanics. If you can survive answering questions on vent, and a trial night guilds welcome knowledgeable players with open arms in my experience. Especially if you have a reputation for loyalty and being a good server citizen.

    Casual raiding is definitely doable. We raid 9 hours a week, and we’re working on Yogg One Light and Heroic 25 Anub at present. However, it requires the 25-30 raiders all having the same goals and desire to progress, and it’s a ton of work for the Guild Leaders and Raid Leader.

    Best of luck to you and your guild! 🙂

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