Raiding Research Online

Exploring and mapping the MMO raiding culture

Archive for the ‘raider’

New poll and a long-overdue raid-themed musical medley!

September 12, 2011 By: Ladan Category: Polls, raid-themed musical medley, raider, Uncategorized

So what do you eat while you raid? And what about drink? I’ve created two polls in anticipation of an even bigger–and fun–”research” project I’ve got in the works with the folks over at DREAM Paragon. Participate in the poll now and read up the results and participate in some other fun things starting in the next day or two! It promises to be appetising… or at least  I  hope it won’t give you a dodgy tummy…

And then I realised I’ve not done a raid-themed musical medley in ages. I’ve picked Elbow because I love them and there are some funny song titles that made me think about some of the quirky social outcomes and costs associated with the joys and perils of raiding.

First we have Grounds for Divorce. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told–when random non-gaming people discover I’m researching World of Warcraft–about a divorce or near-divorce caused by playing World of Warcraft. And the most frequent culprit is the “Oh he [sorry guys, it's usually a he] wouldn’t get up from the damn computer when she needed to get the kids to bed and she gave him an ultimatum:  it’s us or the game.” Luckily most will choose their families over the game, but there have been some cases where the game gets identified (whether fairly or not) as the cause of marital or relationship problems and, sadly, its demise. Saying that WoW is the sole cause of a relationship failing is a problematic notion, but I think one can easily see how it might have been a contributing factor.

Next we have Lippy Kids. Ahh, those know-it-all kids in a PUG or on vent or TS during a raid; the ones who seem prone to losing their cool or posturing a bit too much. They tend to be afflicted with a bad case of superiority. Of course sometimes it’s warranted and their gaming skill and ability far exceeds the more relaxed raiding group they’ve found themselves entrenched with–and due to their youthful impatience, sticking it out with less able groups tends to bring out the Lippy in them. But other times they may be infected by that misguided sense of self-assurance about their skills that is neither warranted or demonstrated. Either which way, these misguided Lippy Kids tend to have the least patience for failure and the lowest capacity for self-awareness of their own inability to perform. I’d say they often have a higher rate of /gkicks and vote kicks, too. Ahh to be young and Lippy…

And to round up our trio, here we have The Bones of You. Yes, your bones. Piles of them. You’ve wiped 62 times tonight, haven’t you? And your bones lay there as a stark reminder of your repeated failure. Maybe if you plan it carefully enough you can re-die in the exact same spot.

And finally, because I just love this song so much, here is Great Expectations. :)

Do we have a raider personality?

November 08, 2010 By: Ladan Category: personality tests, raider, raiding research

Paragon and I have launched a new experiment–asking raiders to take a short personality test and then post their results. You can either visit Paragon’s site to complete the test (and post your results!) or do the test here (and post the result in the comments below). We’re getting an excellent response so far on the Paragon site and I’m already seeing some interesting trends. Is this telling us anything? I don’t know yet, but it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure to ‘check’ each other out and see who out there has our personality in common. It’s important to note that there is no wrong personality type, incidentally. Some may seem more prevalent amongst those who like to raid, however.

These are the details as we’ve posted on the Paragon forum:

We here at Paragon have been planning to do this research with Ladan for some time already. It’s about all of us; World of Warcraft players and raiders. We are happy to launch this mini-research here on our site. We hope people will take the time, do the test and tell their friends about the idea. What’s this all about then? Read on if you want to find out, I’m posting this in behalf of Ladan:


Greetings! My name is Ladan and I’m a PhD research student based in the UK (at Durham University) and I’m researching World of Warcraft and WoW raiders in particular. My research site is Some of you may already be aware of the research I’ve been doing on the raiding culture and what distinguishes us from other gamers. So far I have some basic ideas about who we are and what is important to us, like the following:

* We have values–we often have a specific idea of what we expect in a good raider and what makes a good member of the raiding culture

* We are competitive–for many of us we want to excel and exceed expectations

* We like to work hard and play hard–many of us put in a lot of time to achieve success in raiding and to fine tune our characters

* We are willing to learn–we are ok with failure as long as we are learning and progressing

* We are outcomes focused–we live in a world that’s got a lot of goals and outcomes to aim for and we like that (we’ve even made our own ranking system, discussion forums, and theory crafting sites to support this!)

So what now? Well, my work continues apace (please check my site, vote in my polls, and add comments!) and I’m currently writing up my findings. But now I’ve got something new to share.

Paragon has been a huge help and support to my ongoing research and I’m excited to announce a new mini-research project that we’re launching together!

Some time ago, members of Paragon (in their previous guild) did an informal personality test (the Myers-Briggs test) to ascertain what kinds of personalities their new raiders had and how they would fit into the pre-existing raiding team. This wasn’t meant to exclude members, but more to understand their approach to gameplay and how they would work on the team. Anecdotally, these members noticed a trend of more common ‘types’ of personalities who raided, most especially those who were the most successful at raiding.

We’d like to revive that test and see if we’ve got a trend of personality types among successful raider.

For some more information on personality types (if you want to know how accurate it is and if you see yourself in the description), see: and … _Indicator. If you want to see how rare or prevalent your personality type is, this is interesting: … evelopment.

What should you do:

1. First off, please complete the test:

Note: There are slightly different tests and I’m sure some may be better than this one, but to make this as accurate as possible, we want everyone to take the same test–also it only takes about 5 minutes at the most, so that’s not too painful.

2. Respond to this post with your resulting personality type. You can PM Xenophics or myself (at Ladan here) if you prefer privacy. The personality test result should look something like this:

Your Type is


Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging

Strength of the preferences %

11 62 50 33

(FYI, that’s my personality type… scary, I know.)

3. Then include the following info:

** Gender (M/F, pretty sure I didn’t need to explain this… :P )

** Type of server (eg: PVP/PVE/RP, etc)

** Horde or alliance and race (e.g. Horde/Blood Elf)

** Main class and spec played during raids (e.g. Priest: Shadow)

** Language and location of server (eg: EU-English, EU-Russian, etc.)

** A brief description of your type of raiding guild (e.g.: hard core, social/casual, elite, etc.)

NOTE on this: I’ve given some examples below of types of raiding guilds but feel free to come up with a different description or a hybrid of what I’ve suggested below–these definitions are troublesome, as I know you’d agree.

NOTE: What do I mean by hard core, elite and social/casual guilds?

HARD CORE: A guild that is primarily focused on raiding, is competitive and generally reaches high rankings on its server or their region (top 100, for example). This guild expects full or majority attendance (majority is something like 80% of the time) on its progress raiding nights. Hard core guilds are often extremely sociable in nature and do other things beyond raiding but raiding is its primary reason for existence.

ELITE: This is a guild that has achieved world or regional firsts in major raiding achievements (such as world first in the LK kill or US first on the Algalon kill). They are basically hard core in nature but they’ve reached an even higher level of achievement.

SOCIAL/CASUAL: A guild that is focused on raiding but also has social elements (social members, other activities beyond raiding) and generally a more forgiving schedule for guild members’ personal lives (families, work, school, etc.). It aims to achieve success in raiding but may not be as focused on high rankings or a strict attendance requirement. Like its hard core counterpart, social/casual guilds are often very competitive in nature and have skilled raiders but may have to accept a slightly lower success rate to accommodate its members and schedule.

Thanks! Now go test your personality. :) And BE HONEST! There is no wrong personality type.

Chatting with Adept

July 19, 2010 By: Ladan Category: raider, raiding guild

I had a rare opportunity to chat with members of the US Adept Guild–the Oceanic #1, US #2 and World #10–over the weekend. What a delight! These guys are not only talented and very competent raiders but they provided a very insightful reflection on the state of raiding and its future outlook.

While I have almost 2 hours of interview data to go over still (let’s hope I can do this with my laptop perched on my lap while I sit outside enjoying the summer!), one thing struck me while I spoke to Adept: the challenges they face during raids are generally the same as experienced by average raiding guilds. What makes them truly different is the way they solve these challenges. They seemed to share an almost like mind in their attitude toward raiding. I don’t mean to suggest all raiding guilds need to nurture a hive mind to function, but I think that shared vision and goal  paired with a commitment to consistency has really worked for this particular guild.

And this guild has done this in spite of the main nemesis we all complain about: GAME LAG. Evidently due to something called Packet Loss and other fancy IT tech terms (like the fact that their computers have to communicate with US servers all the way from Australia/New Zealand, for the most part) that Adept guildleader Westa was confusing/mesmerising me with, Adept has had to factor major lag problems into their raiding strategy. Talk about being agile–and they are still the World #10 and US #2! Makes me think twice before I whinge again about lag during a raid–or are we just making excuses for our poor performance?

I’ll try to share more as I go through my notes, but I just had to quickly share this wonderful opportunity that I had. I’m going to be speaking to a few more top guilds and will share tidbits from those interviews as well.