Over the past few weeks and months, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I REALLY miss raiding. Ever since my guild entered an abrupt hiatus/dormancy/coma while we were working on Normal Trilliax, I’ve felt a void. I miss interacting with a group of friends in-game, working on a common goal, all while talking shit about each other (in a friendly manner). I miss the challenge of raiding, of learning fight mechanics and applying them to difficult bosses (no, LFR does NOT count). I miss getting loot! I miss the “raid night” experience. The imminent opening of the Tomb of Sargeras has me both excited (AWESOME NEW RAID!!!) and saddened (AWESOME NEW RAID THAT I WON’T GET TO RUN). So, how can I address the situation? As I see it, there are two paths:
The options seem to be:
- Rebuild/revive/recruit a raid team, essentially from scratch. This is an incredibly daunting proposition, especially at the late midpoint of the expansion cycle. In fact, I daresay it’s impossible given circumstances. We’re 2/3N ToV and 2/10N NH, and would be raiding after 8pm PST; it would be a very hard sell. I’d be lucky to get one or two people added to the team, much less the seven or eight needed to actually field a raid group.
- Jump ship and look for a new guild that meets my needs. Do I want to put myself out there and spend possibly months looking for a group that meets my admittedly restrictive criteria? Do I want to leave the guild that I helped create, which is full of friends (even if 80% of them haven’t been seen in months)? Am I too chicken to do so even if a wonderfully perfect opportunity arises? The answers are two Big Nos, and Yes.
I can either:
- Start my own PUG raid, using the Group Finder tool,
- Look for a group in Group Finder that I qualify for, or
- Latch on to alt runs conducted by internet friends and acquaintances
There are numerous problems with each of these options. Foremost: I identify as a tank. That makes me the de facto leader in any group I create, which is problematic because I don’t KNOW the fights as a tank (remember, we stopped raiding at Trilliax), and I’m not interested in being the raid leader for a group of strangers. If I join an existing group as a tank, I’m still expected to have the in-depth tanking knowledge that goes far beyond the PEWPEWLOOT level that DPS puggers can sometimes get away with. There’s also the matter of gear: at ilvl 901, my gear isn’t BAD, but it’s lower than the inflated value many (most) listed groups require for anything more than a partial Normal Nighthold clear. I COULD go as DPS, though my gear is even worse and there’s an additional twist: my goal is to improve my tanking set, but most PUGs seem to use Group Loot, which precludes rolling on my desired spec. At any rate, I’d probably get kicked after the first fight for “low” DPS, so it’s rather moot. Oh, you’re also requiring me to link my AotC? Never mind.
“OK, Cranky”, you might be thinking, “enough pugging excuses. Why not just join a run with friends?” I’ve actually done this a handful of times, and it’s great. Nice people, good times, the occasional loot drop, what’s not to like? Recall, I said a “handful” of times. Such runs require a conjunction of availability (they actually have a free slot for me), timing (pretty much everyone I know raids on an EST schedule, which is three hours earlier than I can go), and visibility (do they even remember me? How do I ask to come along without sounding pathetic?) that rivals the rarity of a total solar eclipse. Plus, these groups are usually NOT on my realm, so trading consumables and loot isn’t possible. Still, these runs can be a LOT of fun, in my experience.
So, what’s the answer? In an ideal world, Blizzard would relax their restrictions on guild memberships and/or cross-realm raid groups: allowing people to be members of multiple guilds (within reason), or allowing stuff to be traded in cross-realm groups would go a LONG way to alleviating situations such as mine. In reality? I don’t really know. I’m not quite ready to concede that my raiding days are over just because other people decided they didn’t want to raid/play any more, but the available options seem difficult at best. I’m sure I’m not the only player that has found themselves in this situation; how would YOU proceed if you were here?