Raiding Research Online

Exploring and mapping the MMO raiding culture

Archive for the ‘class spec’

How we value our clothing and kit (AKA gear)

October 24, 2010 By: Ladan Category: class spec, clothing and kit, raiding gear

So I have closed the latest micro poll and the results are interesting. In response to the statement that  “Having the right clothing and kit (gear) are essential to my experience as a raider”, the majority (61%) either strongly agreed or agreed, with an additional 19% saying they somewhat agreed with the statement. This suggests that a significant majority of respondents (80%) feel that their gear has a role to play in their raiding experience. Twenty percent, however, are less convinced. They either somewhat disagreed (11%) or disagreed (9%) with gear being essential to their raiding experience. This could mean that they find other elements to be more essential (and thus diminishing the impact and importance of gear) to their raiding or find that the “right gear” does not make that much difference. The breakdown is below.

  • Strongly agree (5) (36%)
  • Agree (4) (25%)
  • Somewhat agree (3) (19%,)
  • Somewhat disagree (2) (11%)
  • Disagree (1) (9%)

I find myself not entirely surprised by this result. From my observation, we are often judged and viewed by the gear we have on. If someone is wearing all PVP gear and blues on a PUGged raid, for example, we tend to raise our eyebrows at the least and at the worst, we might try to kick the person out of the group. They can’t possibly be prepared, we might argue, if they haven’t even done the work of getting the basics of the right gear sorted.  So gear can often lead us to question a player’s ability to participate in the raid constructively. Is this fair? Perhaps not, but I think it’s one of our few ways of attempting to judge skill before we’ve seen the player perform. I would say this happens far more frequently in the PUG environment, but I know that a player’s inability to know what the right gear is for their class and spec can have an adverse impact on a new trial member in a raiding guild, as well. I’m going to comment on this more in my next post, but I’m also very amused by our passion for discussing gear. For a world that’s largely populated by guys, we sure do like to talk about our clothes a lot! :)

Patch day poll

October 17, 2010 By: Ladan Category: Cataclysm, class spec, patch day, Polls

I’ve not kept this poll up for long as we’re now, mostly, post-patch day and it’s quite a different experience to think about things after something has happened versus thinking about them in anticipation.

But the results are interesting, suffice it to say!

  • Figuring out the best spec, glyphs, new rotation I can before Cataclysm. (55%)
  • Keeping on top of the information and changes so I don’t lag behind. (34%)
  • Trying to relearn how to play my class. Again. (21%)
  • No concerns, it’s all good. (10%)
  • That the changes from patch could throw off our raiding or achievement progress. (0%)

At least more about what you did not vote for in comparison to what you did vote for. A whole whopping 0% of you voted for the following: “That the changes from patch could throw off our raiding or achievement progress.” I would imagine that’s partly due to the current state of game content, the removal of that throne debuff, and the fact that for most of us, I imagine patch day is a more personal experience. The idea of how we’re going to manage post-patch, what we need to redo and re-learn.

I, for one, did probably less than I should have in advance to understand what was going to happen to my main class and spec. And what a surprise when I logged in. My own prediction–that I’d have to do a lot to keep on top of these changes to my class and spec–came true for me. I think it feels like a game that’s had a makeover. It’s the same thing, but many details are very different. It’s also a very interesting pre-software release strategy by Blizzard. Global beta testing! But I digress. Let’s continue to review the results here.

The literal work of managing the details of one’s main character (and spec) was the leading response to the poll questions, with 55% of respondents. After that, keeping on top of information and changes was the second highest response (34%), with learning how to play your character again the third response (21%).  Only a few of you (10%) were completely unconcerned about the changes. Could that be because you were already well versed in the changes? Could it be because of your current attitude and perception of playing? And I wonder now how those responses would have shifted in the aftermath of the patch. Would that small minority still feel that the patch was no big deal and would the number of those who have felt they’ve had to relearn how to play rise?

Regardless, anticipation of a big patch like the one we’ve had this past week leads the majority of us to expect to have some work to do to navigate the game successfully. This often involves a sense of urgency so that we only have a short bump in the road. It also creates an interesting reaction amongst gamers. Not to say that those who were engaged in the dialogue are regular raiders, but I was amused when I logged into WoW after the patch went live and saw the annoyed responses to those people on general chat who were asking patch-related questions. “Check Google” was the common response. That being said, no one likes an unprepared gamer. We have little patience for ignorance.

New poll: “Patch day” comes to WoW

October 13, 2010 By: Ladan Category: Cataclysm, class spec, patch day, progress raiding, talents

Last night, in my EU server guild raid, we ended up doing something fun (some old school raids), partly to diffuse the extra pent up energy that comes in anticipation of a big patch like what’s been happening this week to WoW servers all over the world. I commented that it felt like the night before the first day of school…. everyone reminding me to check my talents, spec, glyphs, reagents… yes, Mum, it’s all in my school bag. :P

So it’s back again–patch day. This one is quite significant, with changes to our classes and talent trees. It’s giving us a taste of what’s to come with Cataclysm in December. Everyone wants to be prepared, no one wants to fall behind.

So what is important to you when you are preparing for patch day? Select the choices in my latest poll so we can see where our focus tends to lie when we’ve got a new patch to prep for. If I forgot something, add a comment! This is a new type of poll, so I’m experimenting here.