The expectation gameJanuary 11, 2011
It’s interesting to see how the new guild levels and perks have changed how the individual relates to a guild. Pug raids seem to be a thing of the past, now; what calls I do see are for a pug or two to fill out a guild group. At the same time, I seem adrift in the role of disinterested observer, unsure if I want to commit to raiding again — although I have gone on a couple of raids, it’s primarily been through ninja invites and dishonest tactics by the officer crew.
There exists a certain pressure amongst these casual guilds, it seems, to keep up with the Joneses. A sort of embarrassment at not being able to say ‘we’ve downed boss X, Y and Z’ instead of the reality (none, so far). Some fear, perhaps, that some of the more hardcore types will /gquit if the guild doesn’t produce some boss kills and purples for them. This is the expectation game.
The relative handful of hardcore types in the guild produce most of this pressure. The rest comes from the sense of entitlement many others seem to feel. They’ve hit 85, they’ve done some heroics; the raid bosses should surrender their goodies like the proverbial prom night score. My sweetie refers to this as the Wrath mentality — expecting to be able to play the game like it played in WotLK. Heroics as facerollers. These opening raids like Naxxramas. And Naxx was easy. Wasn’t it?
Of course not. Naxx became easy; it didn’t start that way. Though I was not there for the opening raids (I was leveling/gearing a DK, and then my priest), by the time I had raid-ready toons the sense of where to begin was still shaking out. Heroics weren’t that easy; some of them stayed hard till pretty late in the game, or until Oculus got nerfed, heh. And then there were the new ones, like Halls of Reflection. The newest raids, like Ruby Sanctum. Very hard and somewhat unrewarding.
As part of that Wrath mentality, she wonders if the Blizzard devs were showing us the future with those dungeons and that raid. Perhaps she’s right.
So now, we’re five weeks in, and the guildies who are raiding (not me, mostly) know a little about a lot. I’ve been suckered into attending a few times, and what I see is painful. Hours of wiping. Strategies that will supposedly work, and then they don’t. Watching the officers tweak things and generally flail about. It’s hard to learn much of anything from an encounter that only lasts about a minute, even thirty seconds before it starts to fall apart.
At the same time, she questions whether it’s going to be any fun to submit to the next couple years of raiding, if this is all there is — a quick trip to 85, some dungeon warmup exercises, and then dive into raid instances. For years. The prereqs seem so much shorter. Admittedly, I lack the additional delay I had in Wrath of having to level the DK to 70 first, whereas the non-DK ‘mains’ started at 70 rather than my 55. But that only added about a week for me.
I’ve done the tank thing, the raid leader thing, and the officer thing before. I know what they could be doing better, what I’d do if it were me. It’s not me in charge, nor do I particularly want it to be. And since I’m not in charge, I don’t speak up much. We only set aside a few days where we could raid…and we needn’t do it. If we don’t make some kind of decision I expect the guildies will stop asking after awhile, and move on without us. There’s enough game to play without raiding that we could be at it for a long while, and when that gets old, well. Maybe it’ll be time to set it aside.
So we’re on the cusp of that decision: commit to more raiding, and all that it entails, prep work and study and arguing with folks, the ‘second job’ problem nobody likes, in return for the challenge and reward of raiding; or just screw it, don’t play that game of expectation. Should be an interesting week.