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4-28-2008 @ 6:46PM
@ Vlatch"Am I being bitter, or is it natural to want people to make a choice between a raiding guild and a casual guild that raids?"I wouldn't say that you're bitter, but nor would I say it's natural to *want people to make a choice*. It IS natural, however, to *expect people to make a choice* since it I've found the whole 'casual raiding' group a very hard thing to maintain.Having started my WoW experience on a RP server where the social element came before everything else, it was a long time before I got into raiding. When I did, it was tough for all the typical reasons... mostly because it was difficult to find the large number of people--40--to commit to a regular schedule and to come prepared. Ultimately, my guild went down the path of a 'raiding alliance' where there were four guilds cooperating on putting together a once-a-week team to do Molten Core. Getting to that point took a long time though; I started playing the game at release and it was summer of 2006 before we finally downed Ragnaros. As with most groups, everything changed with BC. Our alliance didn't make it through the horrible transition of doing 40-mans to doing 10-mans to back to doing 15-mans. There's been plenty written about how jarring that transition is, so I won't go into again here except to say that it was a real difficult thing that was poorly planned by Blizzard and resulted in a ton of drama. In any case... wanting to avoid the "raiding guild" scene I continued to ry to ramp up to first do Kara then Gruul's with the remanants of my group, but it just wouldn't happen consistently. I'm still not sure why getting a 10-man organized for regular Karazhan runs has proven so much more difficult than 15-man runs of UBRS used to be, but it is. The result was that since BC was released until very recently I was not able to get a regular group of 'casual' players to move into 25-man content. I'm sure some of you have had this experience, but if not... do you know how BORING it is for your itch for raiding to be limited to just semi-PUGs of Karazhan week after week for almost a year? The upside for me at least was that I spent much of the time I'd have otherwise been raiding leveling alts, and rather than having one fully geared 'main', I now have 5 level 70 characters...Finally, however, I decided that if I wanted to see the endgame content, I'd have no choice but to join one of these 'raiding guilds'. I assumed that I'd have to give up the fun and social elements of gameplay to fully see the endgame, but I was at the point where the lack of progress was frustrating me to the point that I was getting frustrated at the game. So, I started pounding the pavement and was able to get my resto shaman into a guild that was starting SSC/TK. And you know what? I'm having a blast!We're raiding three nights a week (Tue/Wed/Fri) with Kara clears ad hoc on Mondays and sporadic clears of Gruul/Mags on Sundays. The group isn't less fun than my friends with whom I played more casually for the last few years, but they're more disciplined. To my mind, those things aren't mutually exclusive. Because when you're in there and trying to take down a boss for the first time, that's fun too! It can be challenging and occasionally disheartening, but the sense of accomplishment when you succeed is worth the effort. Maybe I'm lucky in that I found a group that was mature and dedicated without being uptight--who knows--but I'd submit that if I can find a guild like that pretty easily (it took me maybe two weeks once I decided to do it), then there's probably the opportunity for others out there to find groups that work for them. It's all semantics, but after my experience I truly believe that you can't find a guild that raids 'casually' beyond Karazhan. But that doesn't meain that you can't find a fun, laid back--but dedicated--'raiding guild'.
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