A Raiders Life

My good friend, Dasinia (his toons name), has recently given up on WoW. Previously he was a very hardcore raider, he was running BT, and Hyjal when he quit. I figured I would ask him a few questions to catch a glimpse of what the raiding life, really has to offer.

Roadwolf: How long have you been playing WoW?

Dasinia: I have been playing since mid 2005

Roadwolf: What motivated you to raid in the first place?

Dasinia: It was a natural progession I'd have to say. I guess I kind of just fell into it. I landed in a guild with a good group of people. We eventually split off from the guild and started our own raid guild and began work on Kara, Gruuls and mags.

Roadwolf: Would you say that the group which split off from the original guild to raid, was a clique?

Dasinia: oh, there definately is the leadership clique.. In every raid guild I've been in, there is this top percentile, that become good in-game friends. And this clique is essentially what drives and directs the entire guild and raid objectives. The clique builds the strats and makes sure that ppl know their jobs.

Roadwolf: So the raid guild you were in, was a clique that formed in another guild, and then moved off to form their own guild?

Dasinia: I've been in several raid guilds. This was the case with two of the guilds.. So yes.. However, the current guild I am in was formed from people who enjoyed pug'n together.. Funny how a guild born of pugs is now raiding BT/Hyjal..

Dasinia: Now, when you're in the top raid guilds on a realm, you tend to build a reputation with the other top players.. You then get invites to pugs and etc.. Then you have some good friends, then.. You have a guild.

Roadwolf: In the motivation to raid, was gear a major factor?

Dasinia: It was for the gear, the sense of power and accomplishment of defeating raid bosses.. It takes a lot of training to get everyone to work as a team and think. The higher up you get you start to get bosses that are job based and not so much tank and spanks.. So you need to really amass some good players who can think beyond key mashing.
It was the thrill of the hunt. The politics of dancing. The gear and IF "look at my stuff" satisfaction too.

Roadwolf: How often did you spend, per day or per week, raiding?

Dasinia: oh man... I spent every night raiding. we had a routine of sorts..

Roadwolf: So like, 8 hours a night?

Dasinia: Sometimes, yes. We'd clear TK and Gruuls in one night.

Roadwolf: Both in one night? that is very impressive!

Dasinia: Yes, Then we'd clear SSC the next night and come back the following day for Vashj

Roadwolf: So what would happen if you missed a night?

Dasinia: If you missed a night, it wasnt too big of a deal. Some guilds though, would boot your ass if you missed too many nights. However my current guild is really cool, but they don't tolerate people who hardly raid then try to lewt whore.

Roadwolf: Right now its taking us about 8 hours to get to chess, including downing maiden attuman, and illhoof on the way... how long does it take you guys to get to prince?

Dasinia: right now, my guild has stopped running Kara and Gruuls. We basically pug Kara and do it in an evening.
Last time I was in Kara we took curator down in just over a minute and killed Shade before his mana hit 75%. We have kara fully cleared within 6 hours. This includes breaks and all bosses. Even the optional bosses. Kara is essentially a badge run for the guys.

Roadwolf: Very impressive! So was Raiding stressful? or was it fun?

Dasinia: It's great fun at first.. and It's always fun when weeks of training or working that next hard boss pay off with a kill. but it takes its toll...

Roadwolf: I imagine the toll is from raiding effecting your life in the real world?

Dasinia: Yes, you see, you have to devote a good chunk of your life to get ahead in this game. Some people have relationships, jobs, responsibilities, school, etc.. Wow comes first, everything else takes a back seat. This has mixed results. In my short time on wow. I've seen people get divorced from the game (read: more than one couple). People getting fired, grounded, failing classes, .. Hell. I even had a player who's house was on fire and he called 911 and finished up the pull.

Roadwolf: Wow! didn't that strike you as a bit, odd, I mean... He told you his house is on fire, but he was still playing?

Dasinia: Yeah.. it was *messed up*.. he finished the pull.. we couldn't believe it.. it sure as shit got vent jumping with some funny commentary though. he was offline for a week afterwards because it burnt right to the ground.

Roadwolf: Have you yourself, had real life relationships ruined, because of the addiction to raiding?

Dasinia: Yes. Absoleutly.. I've neglected a lot of my friends for WoW.. I haven't yet apologized to them all yet, but I hope they know how badly I feel for it. It's a very addicting game and you often fail to realize that you're dismissing your local friends for people who come and go on a video game. I love WoW, I do not regret the time and fun that I've had with the game. But raiding is a full-time job. To be successful at raiding and WoW you need to sacrifice your time and life, and often more.

Roadwolf: You don't believe that success is a measuring stick that can measure more then gear and raid success? Like, you wouldn't consider a close knit, casual guild, who has fun together in the game, successful?

Dasinia: Gear is not a measure of success really... Take a Shadow Priest for example.. You can craft T5 equiv gear right off the bat. T4 druid gear is better for tanking than T5. Now of course there are items that a guy will have to show his involvement, but you can raid really high end dungeons for several weeks without getting anything.

Dasinia: Well. I'll tell you this. Of all my time in WoW.. Raiding is stressful, long, and very committed. It is shrouded in politics and competition. When was the last time that you thought politics, stress and competition to the extreme was fun? Some people of course enjoy that, but it's my experience that most do not. If you want the gear, you need to play the game. And playing the game involves people, politics, and a hell of a lot of effort and time. When you raid, you're not only gearing yourself up, but everyone around you.

Dasinia: At this point in my WoW career, I'd very much like to casually play so that I can catch my life up. I've spent so much time raiding my life has hit the point of being the same for over a year.. Nothing to show for it beyond some wisdom and a couple lines in a database.

Roadwolf: But do you think that there is another way to play the game, which doesn't involve the quest for more gear, and harder and harder bosses? perhaps leveling a lot of alts, or playing casually, or even role playing?

Dasinia: Yeah. those are all good points. I have 3 70's and I was raiding full time. Perhaps that illustrates how much I've played the game. I would play at work, in the morning, and the second I got home. The last time I had real in-game fun was during the Lunar festival this year.. I kite'd Omen from Moonglade all the way to Orgrimmar and had some of my guildies join me. They kept the path clear by killing guards and etc, and when we hit Orgrimmar they kept the guards busy while I pulled Omen right into town. That was fun...

Roadwolf: How did the time spent playing, even at work, effect your life at work?

Dasinia: Work?,... Well.. the quality of my work would suffer,.. Personally I was always good at doing the bare minimum and making it look more than it was. But the quality still isn't what it could be. Beyond work, personal life suffers..

Roadwolf: I imagine you were quite lonely?

Dasinia: When I wasn't playing. When I was playing, I was on vent, had lots of people to "hang" with. But once the game is closed, reality sinks in.

Roadwolf: I heard a rumor that you once played WoW, while camping on a mountain, outside in the wilderness? lol do you think that was perhaps a sign of how hooked you were.. if it indeed happened?

Dasinia: I played WoW once while camping in a Yurt via my surprisingly adequate 1X cell connection. A bit of lag, but it was still playable. It's a really really good game. No question or doubt about that. It's so easy to give up on life and retreat into azeroth. All the effort put into that game can be easily channeled and put into life, a hobby,.. Why level your character when you can level yourself. That's why I am not playing WoW anymore.. I still have my account, I still check in the odd time and say hi to the guys.. I still might even help someone if they call me up and ask.. But otherwise, I'm off doing something productive.

Roadwolf: In the end, what did you gain out of hardcore raiding? and what have you lost in life... and was it worth it?

Dasinia: I am not one to believe in regret. I honor the choices I make and have made. I really enjoy wow, the people I've met, the laughs I've had and the adventure of the game. I don't really know what I've lost, but I know I haven't lost as much as many of the people I've seen who have suffered due to their game play and priorities.. In the end though, what I gained was perspective. I can't say it was or wasn't worth it. I don't think it can be summed up with value. Like most things, it was just something that I did.

Roadwolf: I respect that. Do you have any advice for people who are considering joining a raiding guild?

Dasinia: Really depends where a person is at in life... But .. I would say that the goal of getting the highest gear is a futile goal. Don't play for gear, play for play. And don't let the game consume yourself such that you forget about your friends and relationships. This game will eventually come to an end. Your effort is nothing more than a couple lines in a database and the memories you hold. You need to decide what is of more value to you.. Gear that doesn't really exist or all of your free time.

Dasinia: Don't play wow for gear, .. Blizz will ensure the moment you get the best item that another one of greater power is made. The race for gear is a futile and vein race. You will not win it. The good thing about the game is that you can always quit. Just make sure you don't let it take you over. The game is to be enjoyed at your leasure, not to enslave you.

Roadwolf: Did you feel enslaved ?

Dasinia: When you're on your 12th attempt of the night on a boss, and you've spent 120g on repairs and 60g on flasks and are tired of people being dicks but you have to keep plugging away.. Yeah. you feel like a slave.

Roadwolf: Would you agree that raiding guilds tend to be more prone to corruption, greed, immaurity and ego's, then say, casual guilds?

Dasinia: Oh for sure! Raid guilds are pure chaos... they do not last long.. I've seen casual guilds last years... I've seen raid guilds die and reborn every 6 months

Dasinia: Raiding is a do or die thing.. If the raiders don't think things are going well or fast enough, or bitch because they didn't get a drop.. or etc.. they /gquit.

Roadwolf: Not very loyal then. Raid guilds seem to be all focused on whats best for themselves.

Dasinia: Yepo

Roadwolf: Well Thank you for your time Dasinia. That was a very informative and insightful interview. I hope this provides some clarity to some people who may be curious as to what life is like after they choose raiding Smiley