WoW: The Raid

Finally, right?

We talked a lot about heroics a while back. Heroics are not srs bzns.

Raids are SRS BZNS.

This will be part of another series of posts like I did for the heroics. I’ll be laying some ground work here. I expect the following related posts to wander a bit.

(The heroics post chain starts about here and continues for a few days.)

Before we start: I know people get all bent out of shape over the use of words like “hardcore” and “casual” and “elitist” and “strawberry icecream.”

What? I don’t like strawberry icecream.

So I’m not going to use those terms (much).

For the purpose of this post series, raiders are being broken into 4 general categories.

  • Relaxed
  • Entry-level
  • Focused
  • Firsters

Easiest to start with is the Relaxed raider. These are the people that look around and go, “Wow, we have 10 people on. Let’s go try to kill something.” Or maybe they know someone that gets them into a raid every blue moon when people are doing badge runs. They might get into raids once a month or once a day, but they aren’t expecting to be cutting edge or even current. Skill-wise, these players can be all over the place. They could just be spamming whatever ability they like or they could research their class and have a clue. If they get into a raid, great. If they don’t get into a raid, great. They can take it or leave it.

Entry-level raiders have decided that raiding is something they would like to pursue. Once a week or 7 days a week, they’re probably in Uld or ToCr right now, maybe taking a stab at ICC. Unless they have a large guild or are willing to PuG a lot (and have a server population that can support pugging), their biggest hurdle is probably getting enough people in the same raid at the same time. These are the people that either think they know how to play their class and are struggling along or they are starting to really put some effort into it.

Focused is where I want to be. Regardless of the schedule, these are the people that log in, know their shit, kick ass, wipe, pick themselves back up and do it again – but better. Pushing for progression, these raiders research their class and the fights. Focused raiders are part of a team and recognize the contributions and weaknesses of their team mates.

Extreme end of the spectrum, the Firsters. These were the guys on the PTR, these are the guys making the videos that I watch to explain fights to my guild. When they show up to raid, shit dies. They have already killed Arthas and are looking to put more polish on subsequent kills. To be a Firster, the competition is fierce. There is no room for weakness, these are all people at the top of their game. These are the guys and gals with mad skillz.

As much as I *think* I would like to be here, I don’t think I’ve got the skill for it. But it’s a pleasant pipe dream to occupy my spare time.

Note that the amount of time spent playing has no impact on my raiding classifications.

For me, it’s about effort/motivation and to a lesser degree, skill.

To be a raider, most of us have to put some effort into the process. We didn’t all ding 80 and have a sudden epiphany, “OH! That’s how I rock 7k DPS!”

There of course, are exceptions, but it’s just like any other activity in life.

I was one of those bitches in school that didn’t have to study. I showed up, turned in my homework (done in another class), took the tests, graduated high school early, yada yada.

Some of my friends struggled through school. Many got the same grades I did, but with 2 or 3 times the effort. Were they more “hardcore” students than I was? Was I a “casual?”

For a while, I bowled as a hobby/sport.

I’m really not very good at it. But I have my own ball (it has glittery swirls and says BRAT) and my own shoes. I was even in a league.

It took a lot of effort on my part to not embarrass myself or my team. I would spend extra time at the lanes, bowling game after game trying to squelch the “hop” in my approach or figure out where the hell my hips are supposed to go to get out of the way of my swing.

I read articles and worked with the pro at the shop. I tried 3 steps and 4 steps and 5 steps for my approach. I worked with hand weights to develop a better swing.

(I still hop and I still swing my arm too far out to the side to clear my hip.)

Meanwhile my husband casually strolls up to the line and with a negligent flick of his wrist sends 10 pins crashing into the back wall.

So were either of us “hardcore” or “casual?”

Regardless of the amount of time poured into an activity, people have limitations and others have a knack for activities.

Putting a time value on an activity does not indicate how serious an individual takes the activity, nor does it guarantee their success.


  • I use categories of effort/motivation with a dash of skill/talent to sort raiders.
  • Time spent in or out of game can help overcome deficiencies, with varying amounts of success. Some people need to spend extra time to get better, some do not. Just because one guy can get 8k DPS without research does not mean that the next guy can get the same results for the same amount of effort. Results and mileage may vary based on the individual.

34 comments on “WoW: The Raid

  1. Tiræl says:

    Simulated Manatee Sex being one of the related posts really just made my day.

    Can I say it? About fekkin time. Thank you.

    [08:10:45] Arioch loots 25 internets.


  2. Anonymous says:

    In our guild we use the movie ratings system to distinguish raiding/nonraiding. The G group are your Relaxed group, the PG group are the entry-level group, the PG-13 folks are the Focused folks who can’t make every raid because of real life commitments, the R group are the Focused Every Day group, and the NC-17 group are the ones who are allergic to raiding. We don’t have any Firsters; we don’t want that sort of drama.


  3. Delerius says:

    I would say I’m at “entry-level”

    I go maybe once a month, average about 180. I have my own ball.

    Oh, this post wasn’t about bowling was it.. my bad…

    Wait, this is that long lost post about raiding?? No way!

    /agree with about everything you said. Time cannot be used as a reliable factor of skill-level. While it is true that those with more time have a proportionately higher *chance* of acquiring more practice/better loot, there are still countless people who can play 24/7 and still not break 2k dps.

    Are they wrong? Are they stupid? Not necessarily. But that doesn’t mean I have to let them in my raid. Under-performing in heroics is expected, in a raid it is unacceptable.

    (can we please not bring pugs again lol)


  4. crankyhealer says:

    Agree that time playing has little bearing on skill. I know a lot of people who are online ALL THE TIME but they’re not using that time online to actually get better at raiding. They’re futzing around on an alt (YES I SAID FUTZING), or farming for epic flight (which half my toons don’t have yet). If you want to raid, you will find the time to do the not-very-time-consuming prep for it.


  5. slice213 says:

    Hmmm. totally agree – amountt of time played does not equal skill. There is some time investment in order to become a better player, but there can nothing be done for some people – like failchickenturkey dude. They can play till the world ends and still not have the best A game. (lol like me)

    I would say many of the people in SR could be on the line between entry lvl and focused. Ty is a category of his own though.


  6. slice213 says:

    Sorry to interrupt the daily Ty poking…but this is soooo squeeeee worthy

    “Priest Tier-10 4-Piece Healing Set Bonus: Redesigned. This bonus now increases the effectiveness of the caster’s Power Word: Shield and Renew spells by 5%.”

    F*ck yeah!!!!!!!!


  7. slice213 says:

    You did? I guess i missed it.


  8. My guild has a mixed group. We probably have a few potential Firsters who choose to raid with friends rather than go for the Firsts. Unfortunately the rest of the guild is about 60% Focused, 30% Entry Level & 10% Relaxed. It’s a struggle to get everyone on the same page, but we are making some changes in order to do that.


  9. Some Orc says:

    Finally! Ive been waiting for this forever! Ramp this thing up faster!


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