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Drama Mamas: Choosing between raiding and friendships

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

In the video above, Candace's friends are off having fun without her. Since she is unwilling to find her own fun, she takes a portal to Mars to hang out with strangers -- and breaks into song. There are parallels with this week's letter (except for the song part).
Hi Robin & Lisa,

I'm finally writing in with my own dilemma. Since I started playing this game in mid-Wrath, I've played with my girlfriend and our mutual friend. We have a strong bond and truly enjoy playing together, and GF and I have even met our friend IRL. In Wrath, I led our 10 man raid group, and we loved every minute of ICC. Once the Cataclysm was upon us, we expected to continue raiding. However, things rarely work out as planned, and we missed T11 completely, mostly due to the dissolution of our guild. Eventually I became frustrated with lack of progress and quit the game for a while.
When I came back, GF and friend had joined a very casual guild with little to no interest in raiding. I tried to convince them several times to leave the guild and start raiding again, but they claimed to not have enough time, didn't want to be on a strict raid schedule, and didn't want to lose exalted with guild. I left the guild by myself to try and join a raid team, but felt unmotivated to really follow through without them. After a couple of months I came back to the casual guild and leveled or geared alts in dungeon gear to bide the time and feel as if I had some sort of progression. However, raiding with friends is the most satisfying thing for me in WoW, and when I don't, I feel as though my time spent playing is wasted.

Since 4.3, things have been slightly better. The advent of Raid Finder is a band-aid to my long-festering wound; GF and friend are finally willing to raid again with me, and it has been going well. But for the past three weeks, no less than three strangers per raid have specifically singled me out in raid or in tells, astonished as to why I do so much DPS with such "terrible" Raid Finder gear, and shocked that I don't even raid on normal mode. After the third week of hearing the same thing from completely random people, it really pains me that anyone can see that we should be in a raiding guild. Ultimately, the problem hasn't really gone away

What can I do about the nagging feeling that we should be raiding? Should I separate from my friends, or quit WoW altogether if it's going to continue to be unsatisfying?

Thanks for any advice on this matter,

Stuck Between a Rock and a Saronite Boulder

Drama Mama LisaDrama Mama Lisa: Stuck Between, the issue as I see it isn't tha -- wait a minute .... We've gotten off on the wrong foot here. You're not "Stuck Between." No, Stuck Between A Rock and a Saronite Boulder, the short form of your name is most definitely "Boulder" -- because boulder-headed is exactly what you're being right now.

That nagging feeling that you should be raiding? Boulder, my dear, you are raiding right now. You wanted to be with your friends, in a raid, having fun. And you are! That nagging feeling isn't about what you're doing right now at all. It's about your ego.

Think about it: Life was hunky-dory and you were having fun with your friends, until players outside your circle commented on your low-status playstyle. Now you feel as if you're parading about with a neon XXX NELF N00BZ ALL NIGHT LONG CIALIS VIAGRA XXX sign over your head, with the whole realm pointing and snickering behind their hands.

And maybe they are. Does it really matter? What's the goal here? If it's playing with your friends, which is what you claim, then you're exactly where you wanted to be. Accept the compliments on your DPS with good grace and don't get sucked into the status wars.

On the other hand, if you can't let go of wanting to play in a way that your friends simply are no longer interested in, then yes, you're going to have to zip it up and get yourself into a raiding group. Then again, yes, you already tried that. Yes, it wasn't the same without your friends. Yes, this has all brought you back to this very spot.

So what's the thing causing your nagging feeling, both when you tried raiding on your own before and now? What's that subversive little voice whispering in your ear? Once you can roll that little pebble out the door, I have a feeling the rest of the landslide will roll aside and your path will be absolutely smooth and clear.

Drama Mama RobinDrama Mama Robin: I think the solution to your problem is simple: Join a raiding guild and when you aren't raiding, have fun with your friends using the Raid Finder.

That makes my answer rather short, though, so let me expound. I think it's really important to stress something that Lisa referred to in her response:

Your friends do not want to participate in progression raiding.

They have made that perfectly clear to you. Everyone should play this game to have fun. If they don't have fun raiding except on easy mode, then that is the only way they should raid. Just like on the playground, if The Spawn wants to play hide and seek and no one else wants to, she can't force her friends to do it. They have to come up with a game they all want to play, and she needs to find friends who like hide and seek as much as she does but at another time. Nagging them repeatedly to play the game that only she wants to play is going to mean loss of playmates for any game.

Furthermore, I'm a bit confused about something. When people compliment you on your raiding skills, how does that translate to all of you needing to be in a raiding guild? Logically speaking, I don't get where the "we" comes from.

If you join a raiding guild on your own and then Raid Finder it with your friends on off nights, I think one of three things will happen:
  1. You will have a great time, and your friends will be happy that you're not bugging them any more. Everyone will be happy.
  2. You will have a great time, and your friends will envy your gear and fun level. They'll also appreciate that you've stopped hounding them and will ask to join you. Everyone will be happy.
  3. You will feel unsatisfied because you can't have your friends and progressively raid with them too. Your friends will feel guilty, and will you continue to try to recruit them. Everyone will be unhappy.
If #3 happens, you should absolutely quit playing WoW, if only to preserve your relationships. But at least you'll know that you tried.

So your action plan is to stop badgering your friends, get into a raiding guild, then schedule Raid Finder nights with your friends on off nights. Good luck!

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at robin@wowinsider.com. Read Robin's section of this post on how to get your letter answered and please remember that we cannot answer privately.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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