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The Social Debate Of Raiding

For those of you that follow Gevlon, as well as several others, you probably have been reading about Gevlon’s experiment at pugging raids. For those of you that haven’t, here’s a quick rundown as I see it so far.

Gevlon argues that:

    “Commenters of the previous article suggested that guilds are superior to PuGs because they are social groups and a person would not slack at the expense of his friends. Notice that there are many social guilds where slacking is rampart, to the point of boosting, where the slacker is the only one who receive reward, the others not. So social connections has nothing to do with stopping of slacking.
    However the solution has nothing to do with social groups, the solution is in the guild leadership who either punish or remove the slackers. This also mean that PuGs can be just as successful as guilds as long as they have effective leadership to make sure that no one exploits the common resource.
    Many commenters don’t understand why do I stay away from guilds? Because I want to prove the above. I want to prove that success – even group success – has absolutely nothing to do with any kind of social effects. You don’t need friends to be successful, you need business partners and you don’t need to be friendly, social, moral, noble, just economically effective. My goal is to prove this point by PuGging the whole content.
    PS: I don’t claim that having friends among your partners does not increase your well-being, or friendship is any way wrong. I just say that friendship has nothing to do with success, just as the color of a car has nothing to do with its speed. Pink and brown stripes can decrease your fun during driving, but not the speed or turning capacity of the car.”

There are several people, Josh included, that argue Gevlon’s incorrect.

I believe Gevlon will succeed in his experiment, but not because PuGs or Guilds are superior, but rather because at this point in time most people have had the opportunity to experience the 10 man raids and a good majority have experienced 25 man raids to some degree, so they now have decent gear. Blizzard’s change of mantra to “bring the player, not the class” and the so-called dumbing down of raids has made it easier for all players to experience end-game content. So Gevlon has a large pool of people he can bring to his raids and his chances of succeeding are greater than what many old players would call normal.

I believe that if Gevlon were to attempt this experiment the day Ulduar is released that he would fail. The pool of players he has to pull from will not be geared enough to make it as successful as he believes he can get. And looking back, this experiment would never have worked in BC. It’s my belief that Gevlon will succeed simply based on his timing of the experiment.

Now back to the real reason for this post.

Gevlon did a follow-up post about this experiment in his post about Phaelia’s decision to leave blogging and apparently even WoW altogether. Although I didn’t read Resto4Life much as my druid is only level 27 and work blocked her site, I have visited the site and know that she was highly respected. She will be missed.

Here are a few excerpts of what Gevlon had to say about why he refuses to join a raiding guild (color added to show emphasis on items that struck me):

    “Thanks to Phaelia I can explain why I will not join any guild and try to PuG the content instead: because I don’t want to be compelled to raid. Besides useless social guilds, every guild demands raid attendance. It’s obvious since the smooth guild raid is based on the fact that nearly the same skilled and geared group bash through the instance. If I take a leave, others cannot raid either. They won’t tolerate such behavior, I either raid every week (with a few exceptions) or don’t raid at all with them.”
    I don’t want to grind raidbosses the same way I don’t want to grind elementals.”
    “The key of not burning out is simply saying No! to anyone who ask you to do something you don’t want to do.”
    I’m a casual player, meaning I play casually.”

I used to have a motto on my blog when it was over at Blogspot of “A casual raider trying to stay casual.” I even changed the name of my blog to Casual Hardcore because I’m still a raider that wants a hardcore or serious approach to raiding, but with a casual atmosphere. This is a game afterall and not a job.

Gevlon’s post once again reawakened an issue I’ve been dealing with. (Damn you, Gevlon, for making me think! :)) I’ve been dealing with getting burned out with the game overall and in part it was due to the guild I am in and the pressures I have been putting myself under.

I want to raid and I usually want to raid 3-4 times a week, but like Gevlon, I don’t want to feel compelled to raid which is exactly what happens when people in the guild don’t sign up, don’t show up, and as a healer I’m required. I then feel like I let others down that really want to raid. Ironically, I still want to go as well, it’s just the atmosphere of the raid changed from “I get to go! Woohoo!” to “I have to go! Dammit!”

Do you have kids? Have you ever tried to get them to do something they didn’t want to by making them think they really did want to? Sorta the same principle here.

This whole thing has led me to burnout because I haven’t been able to say no in the past. I’m getting better at it, like last night after 3 hours in Naxx I told the others I had to go. It was 10pm my time. I was tired. The run wasn’t going all that great. We did clear Spider Wing though, but 3 hours?! We had several alts in there (including mine) and to be honest I think it was just an unlucky night (or the fact that we were stupid about Maexxna and kept getting web wrapped as she enraged EPIC FAIL!) and we saved a spot for someone who never showed so we were 9-manning it anyway. But it was time to leave. I went to bed, watched Chuck* with my wife, and fell asleep.

On the other hand, Maedchen did get upgraded gloves and after the first two bosses I was still #1 on the damage meters. Yay for Mind Sear! Damn, I love that spell!!! OK, yeah you might say it’s all aoe so sorta cheating, but take in to account that according to InventoryOnPar as a guide, I was only geared more than two alt healers (who are both fantastic healers btw) and still getting 2nd or 3rd in single trash pulls and bosses. There’s actually something really wrong about that, but I won’t point fingers. 😦

* Hooray for DVR!


4 Responses

  1. I only get twitchy if people sign up and don’t show. If you can’t make it, you can’t make it-we’ll pug, or something. Just let us know!

    Hell, we’re looking at being down a healer for Naxx1 and Ron and are are just like, woo, two healing it!

    But we’ve been bored lately. 😛

  2. If we take a geared group, 3 healing Naxx-10 is akin to a one-legged 40-yd dash for a two-legged person. It takes way too long!

    The sign up, no show has been bad in the past. It’s getting better, but it still sucks.

  3. The thing about Gevlon’s experiment is that even if he succeeds in PuGing the “entire content,” he will still fail to prove his point. He was guilded at the beginning of Wrath, and raided most (if not all — I can’t recall offhand) of the T7 instances with his guild before striking out on his own.

    So what if he can PuG all of the 10-mans currently available? I do that every week, on whichever one of my characters isn’t saved to the guild’s ID’s. Claiming that guilds are unnecessary because you can PuG Naxx-10, OS10 and Malygos 10 is lot like claiming that school is unnecessary because you can read a book … after you’ve already graduated. =\

  4. @ Elleiras – all I can do is smile. 🙂

    I didn’t quite say this earlier, but I also think that Gevlon will fail in later instances, because unlike guilds who at least feel that compulsion to work together, a PuG group will often fall apart as soon as the content becomes a little tough. There’s no driving force to keep them there and they won’t waste their time.

    Also, I’ve noticed that if loot rules are set up in such a way as to limit the number of drops someone can get, that as soon as a PuG raider gets something, they often leave the group shortly thereafter. Why waste time on working to get further, even if only for Emblems?

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