Casually Hardcore?

 I seem to keep running into an issue with one of our raiders. He’s a real life friend of mine, who I also happen to work with, who has played WoW since Vinilla, and is a good player. He server transferred over and reactivated his account to join our raid team. Lately however, we’ve had some issues with him wanting to leave in the middle of raids, or calling me up to tell the guild that he can’t come tonight because “Something bad happened, and I don’t want to talk about it. Just tell them I’m sorry and won’t be there.” Nevermind that we held the raid for half an hour waiting for him to come back from this party he had been at.

It’s not suprising then, that last night as we’re trying to down Saurfang (which is the most pain in the ass fight ever) when he says “Guys, how pissed would you be if I left right now? Because I’ve got some friends I want to hang out with and they’re coming over…” I got a little lot miffed. I introduced this guy to our guild, and ensured him that he would have a spot on our raid team if he could come when he said he would, and not play like a doofus. For the first few months everything was peaches and cream. We kicked butt in ToC, got him gear, made a reliable raid team out of our ten people. Now however, it’s been three weeks since he’s stayed for a full raid, or even bothered to show up. So at about twelve o’clock last night, he leaves, and we have to bring in our shaman whose account was hacked that morning, and who had declined the raid invite because she couldn’t come online until midnight. We got a few good attempts in, but ultimately had to call it because we didn’t have enough DPS to beat his enrage timer.

This little story finally brings me around to my question: What is the line between “casual raiding” and “hardcore raiding.” I’ve always considered “hardcore” raiding a five-night-a-week deal, with 99% raid attendance, and a /gkcik if you can put out the DPS/Heals or whatever that you’re expected too. “Casual raiding” is what I believe our guild does. Maybe more on the “casual hardcore” thin line. We don’t like to have more than three nights of guild scheduled runs, it’s okay if you can’t come one or two weeks because of vacations or work or the like. We try to get as many people to experience content and we can, which often makes for a vent that is very talkative and enjoyable. We get the job done though, and on the second week of ICC being out we were 4/4, and we continue to do that. However, we draw the line at not showing up for raids you’ve accepted too, and not helping out when we need you. I’ve been in plenty of ToGC and Naxx ten runs I didn’t want to go to, but I went because they needed a healer and no one else was online.

Talking to my problem-raider friend this morning I explained to him that if you sign up for a raid, then you’re expected to be there for all of it.

“If you don’t want to come, then don’t, but if you leave in the middle of a raid we have no options to replace you because everyone who was on at 9 o’clock when we started will have gone to bed.”

“See, Phea, what I don’t like is that you’re making this sound like a job.”

Insert brain coming to a screeching halt. A job? When does being reliable make things a job? I think WoW has a bad rep as this “just a game” type deal. In most cases it is “just a game.” Monsters will be there for you to smack them around when you come back from school, or work, or just chillin’ out doing something else. I will never begrudge anyone for only logging on for raid times. But there is the catch, when you start raiding in a small ten man group, you have made a comitment to give the group your time and commitment until we’ve finished our nightly task or the raid is called. When you have 9 people (or even 24) depending on you to get your butt to your computer on time then it becomes more than “just a game.” It doesn’t matter if you will never meet these people, never have seen them in your life, and don’t plan on making them a part of your circle of friends, they’re still people whose time commitments are just as valuable as yours, who also have lives and families and friends of their own. If they make an effort to come do something with us that we all enjoy then it is disrespectful, and downright rude to leave them hanging when you’ve told us you were going to be there.

So, we walk a line between “Casual and Hardcore.” But that doesn’t have anything to do with how you choose to treat people in your in-game life. You can choose to play which ever way you want, but when you leave other people hanging that doesn’t make a raid group a “job,” it makes it a commitment to other people who enjoy the same type of activities you do. And don’t be surprised that when this becomes your habit, your raid groups habit may be to not invite you anymore.

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7 Comments

Filed under Guild life, My life, Raids

7 responses to “Casually Hardcore?

  1. You’re at the point I was a little over 3 years ago. I was in a guild where its members would say, “Yeah I’ll be there” and not turn up, or turn up for 10 minutes until it got a little hard.

    I did a lot of work to get the raid team together but in the end I realized that being with like minded people is the key.

    If you want to run with people who raid 4 nights a week, join a 4 nights a week raiding guild. If you insist that people stay for the whole raid, then join those where leaving early will permanently give your raid spot to someone else. etc.

    Saurfang is an easy fight, so long as the people know what to do.

    • For some reason we can’t get enough DPS on the saurfang fight and keep the marks under control. We have our main arcane mage go Frost to keep the adds under control, last night we had two hunters for traps and such, and a SPriest. We two heal it with myself and a druid standing in the center of our semi-circle positioning so we can direct the adds down the center. The problem with finding a group of like minded people is that we have like minded people, butthere are only about six of us who think the same. We rotate in other members most of the time, but we’re one of the few guilds who raid so late (9 pm server to 1 am server) on our realm, and unfortunately this makes guild switching options slim.

  2. I see casual and hardcore as a spectrum, not two seperate boxes.

    But for this situation, it’s not a question of casual vs hardcore, it’s a question of being, like you said, reliable. If you played on a casual sports team, it would be the same way. You would still be expected to show up for practices and games, even if you’re not playing for a professional league.

    When I ran 10 mans (yes, in a casual guild!), I used to deal with unreliable people by automatically giving them a bench spot. If I couldn’t count on them, then they couldn’t count on a spot. It worked well, I didn’t have to issue many warnings before things fell into place.

    Out of curiosity, do you have a set end time for your raids or do you just end when you’ve killed everything or when the raid leader calls it?

    • We end when our raid leader calls it, usually about 12-1 o’clock in the morning. It varies depending on which fight we’re doing, how late we started, etc.

      My feelings are to do the “you don’t show, you don’t have a raid spot” response as well. However, that always seems to back fire because we’ll end up needing to bring them into the next raid anyway. Sigh.

      • Yeah, I ran into that problem as well. I could rarely actually make people sit out, but they got last priority for spots.

        I’ve found that having set start and finish times really helps with attendance because people can schedule the rest of their evening around the raid. But, if only one person is problematic, than that’s clearly not the issue.

  3. Codi

    People play softball as “just a game” that they enjoy doing after work. That doesn’t mean that not showing up to the games when you said you would is acceptable. There is no difference with raiding in WoW. Team sport = team sport

    As for the casual/hardcore discussion, I’ve never understood it. My raiding group hovers between third and second on my server for 25 man and 10 man progression, but we only raid 3 nights a week. Our raid attendance policy is that you have to be at 75%, but if you’re going on vacation or something it doesn’t count against you with proper notice. So… are we hardcore? Who can say! I prefer to think of it in terms of competitive vs. non-competitive raiding. The former are the people who push hard to be at the cutting edge of endgame content compared to others on their server, with the later being more relaxed and taking things at their own pace.

  4. Mondka

    I definitly agree that it seems to be a reliability issue. I consider myself a casual player who likes to do progressive content. So I can really only raid reliably two nights a week. But if I can’t stay the whole raid time or will be late. I let the raid leader know. All this person had to do was make his intentions and available time clear.

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