Raiding Research Online

Exploring and mapping the MMO raiding culture

Archive for the ‘raiding content’

Poll results, Firelands is a’coming, and the weekly musical medley :)

June 17, 2011 By: Ladan Category: boss fights, Cataclysm, Firelands, raid-themed musical medley, raiding, raiding content

Happy Friday, everyone!

We’ve got one poll wrapping up here and a new one to introduce.  I also have my weekly musical medley to present. Thanks to Lerue for this challenge! :)

Polls: Nerfing of normal mode content and reflecting on the upcoming Firelands content

These are the results from my last poll:

Please select to which degree you agree or disagree with the following statement: The planned patch 4.2 nerfing of normal mode raids is suitable in light of the release of new content.

  • Agree. (30%)
  • Somewhat agree. (22%)
  • Disagree. (17%)
  • Strongly agree. (16%)
  • Strongly disagree. (15%)

I’d say the response to the last poll was quite well dispersed, with only a modest majority ‘agreeing’ that the nerfing of normal mode raiding is suitable. I think this will always be how we respond to nerfing as it depends largely on where we are in the progress and what our guild’s priorities are. But is nerfing ‘good’ for the game or gameplay? Hard to say. Yes we need to keep things moving so more players can experience the new content, but just because you are in a more casually oriented guild it does not automatically mean that you want things to be ‘easier’.  Nerfing truly is an inexact science and, like many elements of a complex, persistent gaming environment like WoW, it’s not going to be uniformly accepted or appreciated by all of its players.

Which brings us quite nicely to the new poll. What do we think about our own or our guild’s progress as we reflect on the conclusion of this phase of Cataclysm raiding content? For the elite/top ranked raiding guilds, tier 1 is old news. Those first kills are long gone and you’ve been farming the content for ages now, gearing up alts and wrapping up any last bits in preparation for the next race. Even hard core or high-end guilds are mostly done. Perhaps you’ve got just some achievements to bag or a boss kill that still eludes you. For the casual raiding guilds, completing all the content may be a ways away or not even a priority but you may still have some content you would have liked to finish before Firelands and the content nerf. So where are you and what (if anything) do you still need to get done?

Raid-themed musical medley: David Bowie
And finally here we have our weekly raid-themed musical medley ™! This one is based around David Bowie and the raid theme is ‘the life course of a boss kill’. We all start off learning a boss fight as absolute beginners, then we spend a lot of time dead (ergo ‘ashes to ashes’) , and finally… success! And we get to feel like heroes, even if it’s just for one day. And I’ve selected all live performances because raiding really is a live sport… :) And I had no idea so many David Bowie songs could have an affinity with elements of raiding. Go figure. If you know and love Bowie, enjoy. If you have not heard of him before, I hope you can appreciate a classic! :)

BBC article and radio show about WoW Raiding

February 02, 2011 By: Ladan Category: new media, raiding, raiding content, raiding culture, World of Warcraft

Note: I put this post up at Paragon’s site as well, but am cross-posting for those who might not have seen this yet.

Yesterday the BBC posted an article about raiding, particularly in relation to hard core or elite raiding and I was interviewed for this article for my “thoughts” about raiding and what my research is telling me. They also spoke to Paragon to get the added perspective from an elite raiding guild. Here is the article, if you haven’t seen it yet:

(If you back up to the main technology page, they’ve got a pretty impressive image to advertise the article:, though I doubt that image will be up for too many days.)

The interview was also included in a radio show called Outriders, which is aired on BBC 5. I have no idea if folks outside of the UK can listen to it, but here’s that information if anyone is curious.

The segment on WoW raiding starts around 19 minutes into the show. Aside from the presenter mispronouncing my name, I think it’s a nice discussion about how raiding works. Kudos to the BBC for wanting to look beyond the alarmism that the media tends to prefer to focus on when it comes to games: addiction, obesity, antisocial behaviour.

I can’t say how much stock you can put into this, but my mother (who has very little understanding of video or computer games, let alone raiding in WoW) claims that she now understands raiding a lot better now having listened to my interview. Go Mum!

Is there a more ‘valuable’ raiding experience?

January 11, 2011 By: Ladan Category: Cataclysm, raiding content, raiding group size

Well, seems the numbers are in:

I asked you:

Do you think there exists a general opinion among raiders that kills in a 25-man raid are more “valid” than those in a 10-man raid?

And you responded:

  • Yes. I think it’s a common opinion among many raiders. (76%)
  • I don’t know. I think there are opinions on either side. (14%)
  • No. I’ve not seen any opinion that suggests that. (10%)

The vast majority of respondents observe that there appears to be a tier system in relation to how we view accomplishments in 10-man raiding versus 25-man raiding. I suppose on some level this is understandable. Logistically it can be harder to coordinate 25 people during a raid. But you could also argue that it can be harder to balance the group and class mix in 10-man raiding. Though if Paragon’s recent statement about current raiding is any indication, maybe we just need to all reroll as druids? Regardless of what raid size we are? :)

I wonder if this opinion will change or if we’ll always feel this way as long as we have two sizes of raid groups.  I also wonder if it matters much on a personal level: I  mean as long as we get the thrill of a raid and we get some nice rewards after a hard-won boss kill, do we really care if we did it in 10-man or 25-man?

Hours spent raiding

September 04, 2010 By: Ladan Category: progress raiding, raiding, raiding content, raiding guild

Thus concludes another (admittedly) scientifically inexact poll. But the micro-results are still interesting, even so, and may point to a broader trend–if we had a broader pool of respondents, that is. I suppose it’s not entirely surprising that the highest percentage respondents (29%) spend an average of 20 odd hours during progress raiding. That would work to 3-4 nights at 4 hours each (12-16 hours) plus the 6-8 hours spent farming for mats, prepping for raid, and other things such as weekly runs, rep grinds, etc. Pretty typical for your standard active raiding guilds.

I was surprised that the next highest percentage (26%) lists 10-15 hours. I would have thought the higher amounts would have been mentioned here. 10-15 hours is probably what we’d call casual or social raiding, at least anecdotally. Although perhaps I should not be surprised. Together with the 16-25 hour group, this represents 54% of raiders–the general majority of people who like to raid at least semi-actively. They would like to complete the game content as quickly as their skill, schedule, and guild allows them to.  You can even take it up to 72% if you add in the under 10 hours a week raiders. I imagine the 10 hours/week raiders are those individuals who do like to raid but just don’t have the time (or preference) for raiding more than once or twice a week. So, again, a solid indicator of the majority of people who subscribe to WoW.

Keep in mind that I was curious about activity levels during progress raiding times. This activity may change signficantly (and some of those I’ve interviewed confirm this) when there is no progress raiding.

While working on progress raiding, how many hours on average do you spend raiding (including preparation time) each week?

  • 16-25 hours a week (29%)
  • Around 10-15 hours a week (26%)
  • More than 40 hours (as long as it takes!) (21%)
  • Less than 10 hours a week (18%)
  • 26-40 hours a week (6%)

Raiding Content Burnout?

April 19, 2010 By: Ladan Category: Cataclysm, raiding, raiding content, World of Warcraft, WoW

So, in the time since I last properly posted, much more information on the coming WoW upgrade, titled “Cataclysm”, due out later this year, has been shared. Already much buzz has been created around the planned changes and new abilities/spells/features that will come with Cataclysm. This wealth of advance knowledge that Blizzard’s designers make a point of sharing with its gamers provides a lot of room for planning, anticipation, and debate.

But I am wondering if we fall into a kind of “holding pattern” in anticipation of new content. Does the promise of new content stunt our enjoyment of what we currently have or does it spur us on to “complete” that content so we’re ready for the next stage.

I am also wondering about how we feel now that some guilds have managed to down the Lich King on heroic 25 mode.  Has that had any impact on your own raiding? If you, and your guildmates, have completed that “last challenge” how does it make you feel? Do you feel “done”? Or are you anxious for something else now?

Share your thoughts and let’s see how the poll turns out.


When I dropped my ice cream in Icecrown…

December 21, 2009 By: Ladan Category: Icecrown Citadel, raiding content, raiding instance

So we’ve got a new raiding instance, Icecrown Citadel, or ICC. We love our acronyms in WoW!

It has hints of Naxxramas with its various wings and a smudge of Black Temple with its attitude problem surrounding a complex big bad-ass guy… I swear, can these bosses get any ruder?

But having said that it’s been fun. And I like the new 5-mans! I absolutely LOVE the “race away from the Lich King fight while he strides towards us in slo-mo” scene. The lore has been so entertaining.

As a raider, I do find myself a bit confused though. The guild I’m in had just gotten halfway through ToGC and now this is upon us. We’ve had fun getting through the first part of ICC, but it seems like ToGC is so last year now… and is Ulduar completely forgotten? Are these places all unfinished now for those guilds who had not cleared everything before the new content arrived?

It used to seem like the game gave us time to progress at a normal (non-uber raider, I should say) pace… such that new releases were something we hungered for, something where we devoted time levelling up other alts while we impatiently awaited the new release… now we can barely get used to a new place when the next stuff is there. It seems to leave me feeling like I have a lot of projects left undone and I’m not sure I like this feeling. I feel a little unsettled. But maybe this is just the way of things now. A lot of content and not a lot of time–unless you are super focused and talented. I wonder how the game designers feel–they probably spent months on certain new content, tweaking and fine-tuning the encounters, and now it is left discarded like last week’s bottle of milk. Are we now a gaming culture focused on devouring the game content before we’ve even had a chance to taste and swallow?

Anyway! These questions frame my latest poll. I’m sorry it’s been a while but I’ve been scarce the past few weeks due to other commitments.

Please participate and respond to my reflections here! Do you think we’ve got enough content now to keep us happy or do you think we’ll start looking at raiding instances like Ulduar and ToC as “yesterday’s news” and just stop going there entirely… will we force them into early retirement too soon?