Raiding Research Online

Exploring and mapping the MMO raiding culture

Archive for January, 2012

Latest Raid Observer interview posted!

January 30, 2012 By: Ladan Category: Cataclysm, podcast, progress raiding

So I’ve just completed another “for the public” interview with a raiding guild for my “Raid Observer” channel on YouTube, this time with the US raiding guild Exodus. (Feel free to head over to my YouTube channel to see my other interviews, which I started doing back in December.)

It’s been an interesting experience to say the least, asking questions that are both interesting and relevant to the study of raiding while not veering into areas that fascinate only me and might make the ears of listeners bleed…. to call me a noob is an understatement. But suffice to say I am particularly happy with the latest interview. The members from Exodus that I did interview were remarkably direct and unapologetic in their views on elements of raiding and I  hope you’ll appreciate their point of view, even if you don’t share it.

The following is the first part in the series. I’ll be posting the next two parts in the next few days. If you’d like to be kept informed of my podcast/youtube interviews, please do subscribe to my channel on YouTube, “TheRaidObserver”.

also, do let me know if you like this format and if you have any other suggestions for interviews. I’m going to rotate between doing interviews with a particular raiding guild (and this is not limited to elite guilds only!) and interviews with a group of raiders on a particular topic (like the quality of raiding in Cataclysm or whether achievements really matter for raiders).


Help with this research project!

January 18, 2012 By: Ladan Category: raiding research

From time to time, I hear from other students who are hoping to do some research relating to WoW as part of their master’s or undergraduate degrees. It’s always great to hear about what’s going on out there and I’m always glad to see that gaming continues to grow in relevance as a research area.

Well, one of them recently contacted me to ask if I can help him promote a research project that he’s doing for his master’s degree. And since he needs input from raiders, this is your big chance to get involved in an academic research project! He needs us to complete a questionnaire about teams and raiding:

Here’s what Daniël has to say about his project:

Hello, I am Daniël Meijer, a Master student in Organizational Psychology. I am conducting research about World of Warcraft for my masterthesis.

I have been playing World of Warcraft myself for a couple of years now. My belief is that if you ever took part in a raid team, you really know what teamwork is:

·     Working together with 10 or 25 people to defeat the most evil and challenging bosses

·     Situations where, if one of the team members fails, the whole team wipes

·     Teams that work together towards a common goal!

Games like WoW require skills, coordination, and teamwork-just like any other task in the real world. Fortunately, social scientists are becoming more and more interested in WoW, particularly because it is (in some way) so similar to many real world endeavors. Personally, for example, I believe that many business teams in organizations can learn a thing or two from Raid Teams. With my research I want to add something positive and constructive to the image of WoW and the image of gamers in general, showing the world that games can be inspiring and something you can learn from. My research focuses on team processes and differences in performance of teams.

In Organizational Psychology there is much interest in team processes. With this research I want to add something to this literature. This research is part of a bigger project which is under supervision of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. This project is being led by Dr. E.F. Rietzschel, who is also my supervisor.

Taking the questionnaire will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes of your time. Your answers will be anonymous. Your participation is highly appreciated, but of course it is entirely voluntary. I will keep the questionnaire open until the 17th of February 2012. If you haven’t got the chance until then to enter the questionnaire, please don’t be hesitant to contact me.

Link to the questionnaire:

As soon as my Master thesis is submitted, I will provide the results to this website so that you can find it here again.

Please inform your fellow raid members as well. This research is about teams, so it would be nice if we can analyze teams that are complete.

If you have any questions, you can reach me by e-mail:

Daniël Meijer


So who spends the most time raiding, on average?

January 17, 2012 By: Ladan Category: Cataclysm, raiding, raiding guild, time

I’ve been thinking about this, and with some helpful input, I’ve got a bit of preliminary data…. but I realised this is a fascinating topic area that I intend to spend a bit more time trying to study–in fact, I may even come to more of you for help!

The question always pops up about who spends the most time raiding: 10-man guilds, 25-man guilds? Casual guilds? Hard core? Elite? Something in-between those?

We looked at the top 600 ranked raiding guilds from Tier 12 (Firelands) and we did find something interesting: US guilds spend 3.9 days a week raiding, as compared to the European server guilds at 4.5 and the Taiwan server guilds at 5.2. Now this was based purely on self-reported information in the “info” posted on a site like wowprogress, so there could be some inaccuracies, but I thought it was interesting.

Another area I’d have to work on in relation to these data is to see how do these guilds self identify (elite, hard core, casual, etc.) and does that result in a variation in days spent. Also, looking at just the top 600 is a bit of a problem as that’s a higher ratio of competitive progress raiding guilds as compared to, say, the bottom 600 which might represent a wider range of casually oriented raiding guilds.

So… I’m just letting you guys know that I’ll be digging into this soon and would love to hear from any raiding guilds–of *any* ranking level or guild type–who’d like to help me with this. Let’s resolve this question once and for all. What type of raiding guild tends to spend the most time (over the course of a tier) raiding?

Raiding Roundtable Discussion with Top Guilds

January 09, 2012 By: Ladan Category: Cataclysm, competition, Dragon Soul, patch 4.3, podcast, raiding, World of Warcraft

I had a chance to sit down tonight with seven of the world’s highest ranked raiding guilds to discuss a few things about the Tier 13 race:

  • the LFR ban
  • the current rankings and the shifts from previous tiers
  • the problems with content and raid encounters in the current tier of raiding
  • the state of the raiding race and its future
  • the emergence of Asian raiding guilds as dominant

Participants were:

  • Absalom from Blood Legion (US)
  • Arx from DREAM Paragon (EU)
  • Cika from Exodus (US)
  • Crusher from Stars (TW), via email
  • Dusk from Envy (EU)
  • Grafarion from vodka (US)
  • Sco from Method (EU)

I am very grateful to all seven participants for their time, perspective, and insight. I think we had an interesting discussion and quite a number of salient points were brought up about this challenging raiding tier. I did want to point out that I did try very hard to get in touch with KIN Raiders and some of the 10-man raiding guilds (like Silent) and was unable to get their participation in the call. I imagine language and time barriers contributed to that failure. I know that more perspectives would have resulted in an even better podcast and I can only say that I’ll try harder next time to get these additional perspectives to the table. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the wall of sound!

New poll for a new year!

January 04, 2012 By: Ladan Category: Cataclysm, competition, raiding, rankings, World of Warcraft

Hey everyone! Happy new year!  I hope 2012 is a great year for all of you. We’re on the verge of the Year of the Dragon, which could make it quite a dramatic year indeed!

So not much to report, though I did just put a new piece up on the Paragon site that should be of interest to my thinking readers. Also, if anyone out there has run across any other mainstream media pieces about the recent tier raiding race, please let me know? When I say “mainstream” I mean your national newspapers, the BBC, CNN, etc.

Right now I’m toying with a few ideas for expanding my site and hope to share those in the coming days and weeks, but for now I’ve got a new poll up and hope you’ll share your thoughts. We’ve definitely had some changes in interest in the raiding this tier (unlucky tier 13 anyone?) and I’m curious about how much of an impact the release of the new MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic has had on this tier. I realise other issues may be impacting the race such as the LFR ban or the Christmas holiday season, but I’m wondering if SW:TOR is signalling anything. I’ve often heard the prediction of the demise of WoW when a new and highly anticipated MMO is released but so far none have been able to knock WoW off of its pedestal.