Raiding Research Online

Exploring and mapping the MMO raiding culture

Archive for the ‘music’

Summer’s coming…. and the ABBA raid-themed musical medley

June 03, 2011 By: Ladan Category: music, raid-themed musical medley, raiding

Can you feel it? I can … a spectacular day where the air smells fresh, my flip flops are on, the birds are frolicking, and being outside just feels so much nicer than inside…. summer’s coming. We’ve had a pretty amazing spring so far in the UK at least, and if today is any indication, summer should be just as lovely. I for one have taken my laptop outside to sit in the grass while I type this…. Now I know that summer is only coming to us in the northern hemisphere… with winter about to hit the southern hemisphere, it could be an ideal time for staying inside and hugging our warm CPUs.

So how does summer weather impact us as a raiding community.. particularly considering Firelands is about to make a summery appearance. Can we even blame people who have holidays or want to spend time on the beach? Especially for those who live in seasonal, northern climates, we really should be outside enjoying ourselves. But this impacts progression quite acutely. No one wants to let their teammates down, but real life does happen and–I don’t think I’m making any shocking statement here–I think we don’t do our community any credit if we don’t let real life in sometimes… It just perpetuates some of those unfortunate stereotypes that get thrown around about gamers–that we never leave our computers or consoles.

So I’ll be watching and seeing how we fare through  Firelands in the summer. Maybe we can set up our desktops outside…. let me know how that goes.

This Week’s Raid-Inspired Musical Medley: ABBA

I have to thank Olog from Bridgeburners for this week’s musical medley. I asked for some challenging suggestions and ABBA pushed my limits. I think I gave myself a pressure headache trying to figure this out! I have employed an abstract approach… thinking more about the daily life of a raider and what goes on *around* raiding to inspire the musical selections. A particular ‘shout out’ goes to those WoW raiding widows and widowers who often have to wait until around midnight to get their men/women back. They really do love you… and they say thank you for understanding their love of The Game.

First up is what I like to call the ‘Sat out Raider’s Lament’. This song the raider sings when he has been sat out. Apologies to those in countries that can’t view this. It’s ‘ABBA: Take a Chance on Me’. Listen to the lyrics to get the link…

Next up is a song for those raiding widows/widowers who have to wait until around midnight for their men/women to return to them after a long raid night. (ABBA, ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’)

And finally… this song is a nod to the raid progression race and the pain of loss experienced by the guys in 2nd place, 3rd place, and so on is palpable… the ‘Winner’ really does take it all…. Of course, this could also be the song the raid boss sings as he has to run back to find his corpse… (ABBA, ‘The Winner Takes it All’)

The Dungeon Journal poll results and another raid-themed musical medley!

May 27, 2011 By: Ladan Category: Cataclysm, dungeon journal, music, raid-themed musical medley

Happy Friday! Happy Bank Holiday (for us in the UK) and Memorial Day (for you Americans) weekend! I’ve got a short and sweet (for me at least) blog post today along with my latest raid-themed musical medley (this is where I pick two songs by one artist where the title or lyrics relate to something raid-ish). This week’s selection is thanks to Arx, actually, and a song he told me used to come to mind during a particular boss fight. If you have a musical medley challenge for me (just give me an artist), let me know. I’ll do my best!

So we weighed in with our thoughts on the new Dungeon Journal (DJ). The majority of respondents (65%) are not happy that new raid content is included in the DJ, with 20% finding it acceptable and a further 15% being unsure as to its actual impact on raiding. The results are below:

Are you happy with Blizzard’s current plan to release so much information on all new raiding content (heroics included) through its forthcoming dungeon journal system?

  • No. The less information on the top tier content the better. (65%)
  • Yes, it’s fine with me. It seems like a handy tool! (20%)
  • I don’t know. It seems a bit too soon to tell if the system will impact raiding negatively. (15%)

While I can’t actually verify this, I believe I draw higher level and elite raiders to my site based on where I typically place additional blogs (Paragon’s site) or information. It’s possible these results are skewed (and don’t represent the opinion of the wider raiding community) as a result of that. But it’s also possible that serious raiders in general (regardless of their raiding success and guild affiliation) would just prefer to discover content on their own or rely on the broader gaming community to help inform their raiding strategy. As I said in my earlier blog about this, for those raiders who are opposed to the DJ containing significant information about the new raiding content (particularly the heroic content), I have not run into a raider yet who is opposed to the overall concept of a DJ in and of itself; for them the issue is about the new content being in the DJ. This is also linked to the way that the PTR functions and impacts competitive gameplay, especially for the elite raiding guilds. And I’m not so sure the elite raiders like the PTR. They have to access it so they can be prepared for the race (like how a competitive alpine skiier might run practice runs of a downhill course in advance of a competition), but I get the impression quite a few of them would rather not be as involved in testing and hit the ground running with more polished content that’s been tested via other methods. Will Blizzard change its approach? No one can know, but the recent posting of job openings by Blizzard for a ‘raiding testers’ could be the signal of some changes down the road in relation to how we anticipate and plan for new content. Either way, patch 4.2 is a done deal and we’ll just have to see how our elite raiders ‘roll’ with the changes and what impact it will have on the progress race. I for one hope it won’t be too adverse as I know I love following the race as closely as possible and want it to be a solid, satisfying run for the raiders themselves.

Raid-themed musical medley!

And now, the raid-themed musical medley for your listening pleasure! I have Arx  (formerly known as Xaar) from Paragon to thank for getting me started on this. He said in a former guild they used to sing ‘Ring of Fire’ during the Archimonde fight due to the casting of Doomfire. Quite clever! I struggled to find my second song, but ‘Redemption’ reminded me of Freya and her tree… hopefully the lyrics will remind you too. :) I threw in a third because well it’s just an amazing Johnny Cash cover of an amazing NIN song.

Inspired by Archimonde, Mount Hyjal:

Freya’s song, Ulduar:

And finally, because this is my favourite Johnny Cash song (even though it’s a cover, he really masters the song!) and because ‘hurting’ is quite integral to the Beautiful Wipefest that can be progress raiding:

Music.. its role in the raid

April 25, 2011 By: Ladan Category: music, raiding

So I’ve had some interesting comments (on the side and in private, of course, since so many of you seem unwilling to actually *post* comments on my blog–I had no idea my site was scary) in response to my poll about whether we have music going during a raid. Some of you did point out to me a peculiarity in my poll text: listening to the game’s background music while raiding. Hey, I know for a fact that some people do it and they happen to love the game’s music! :) Also, some were surprised that music could even be considered an important component of the raiding experience. Anecdotally at least, I know music is enjoyed during a raid by quite a few raiders–me included.

I’d say since many of us are going for an immersive experience, music may help us get there. I know for me, I tend to be listening to music as much as I can, particularly when I’m being productive: exercising, with friends, travelling, walking to uni, writing, cooking, researching… I have to have it. I’ve never been one of those kinds of people who needs silence when she works. If it’s silent, I tend to pick up on those annoying sounds around us–clicking machines, people breathing noisily (and no, not in the fun way–like they have allergies or a cold), tapping, buzzing sounds…. and all my focus is gone. For some reason, music clears my head and I can multitask better. I’ve always been that way. Like right now, I am listening to The Joy Formidable as I type this. Who knows what it’ll be next.

With raiding, I know that most of the time I have liked to have music playing somewhat nearby, even if it’s not the most prominent sound  in my head. The main times when I would not have prioritised music while raiding would be when the fight is new for me. I need the game sounds and effects to trigger me… or I need to rely on the audio chatter on vent  a bit more (though I have not always raided with guilds that used VOIP–those are much more “music during raid” friendly guilds).

This all makes me realise how multisensorial the raiding experience is. We’ve got sounds, sights, touch… we have the physical interface and virtual one… we are absorbing ourselves (as we see fit) into the raid so we can perform well. At least that’s the general idea, right? :) Like the other day when I was interviewing an elite raider and we were looking at some game footage… he (partly jokingly) said “Ok, game face on” when we were about to look at the footage together, but his voice and demeanor completely changed. He absorbed himself into the task at hand.

This is not to say that getting bombarded by an array of sensory experiences during a raid is always beneficial. They can sometimes impair our performance during a raid: Gran calls during the raid (no matter how many times you might gently ask her to ring at another time/day, she always calls for her bi-weekly hello at 8.30 pm on a Wednesday); the doorbell rings;  our significant other needs some help (or attention); we are starving after racing home from work to raid and the food in the oven is finally done cooking (mmm, smells and tastes much better than the raid)….. So music (like other sensory elements) may not be a fit all the time. After all if we are enjoying singing to a song more than remembering not to stand in the fire, then enjoying some music during a raid could be a bit of a fail. Enjoy music at your own risk! :)