Thursday, October 8, 2015

My Life as a Gamer: A Raider is Me

I rejoined my guild's raid team. Did a fresh clear of Hellfire Citadel on Normal. We do two nights a week, and we're small (prior to the addition of Flex in Mists of Pandaria we were a strict 10-man guild by necessity), so don't expect Method or any other top-end Mythic guild's level of progression, but my guild's been around and active since the final patch of Vanilla (and raiding since The Burning Crusade) so mine is a guild that's known as being Old Timers on my realm. We aren't going to get those Mythic kills, but that's more due to a lack of interest than any other factor; we have skills and good practices, so clearing 75% of the bosses in five hours, wiping only on the newer bosses, is pretty good. At the rate I'm going, my main character will have the Legendary Ring in a week or so.

I hadn't raided since December of last year. I kept my sub up, and I played, but I didn't raid to focus on the manuscript instead. Well, with that done, it was only a matter of time before I rejoined the team. My main is a Fury Warrior, so I'm in the melee scrum standing opposite the tanks on boss fights hitting said boss with a pair of two-handed weapons as hard and as often as I can. Sometimes I tank, so I keep up the off-spec gearset and practice now and again just in case. (Had to do that a few times late in Pandaria during The Siege of Ogrimmar on the Shamans fight; my guild did the three tank strategy, so I went with one of the main tanks into Garrosh' room with one of the bosses.)

Raiding is the big focus for World of Warcraft, and it has been since the get-go. It's where the most time, assets, and talent goes in this game- a fact never more obvious than with Warlords of Draenor. At the smaller raid size my guild runs with (10-13), you still get a social experience more than a bureaucratic exercise in work, which I prefer. I've raided with the core of the team for about a decade now, and the others have been with us for a few years now. Even with me taking most of a year as a break, rejoining was like slipping back into a custom-made costume to find it still fitting like a glove. I had a good time, got good loot, made good progression, and came away satisfied that shit got done- a sense of satisfaction I do not get out of anything else.

Which is why, despite all of the problems World of Warcraft has, and why I find alternatives trying so hard to find other things in the genre to deliver that satisfaction, few succeed and fewer still succeed over time. (Final Fantasy XIV does, but its raid game isn't quite what WOW offers just yet, but the other means more than make up for that.) There is nothing like the satisfaction of crashing into an enemy's stronghold, slaughtering the enemy's minions, ganking his henchmen one by one, and then taking on the mastermind in mortal combat before looting the place--and his corpse--for the treasures that made his power and taking it all for ourselves.


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