Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Raiding in Media

I stumbled across a couple of pieces of interesting media items related to raiding. Both of these are worth your time, though the second item may be of more interest to the general Warcraft public than the nitty-gritty raiding discussions of the first item.

Raiding Research
This is a actually a blog by a Doctorate student in the UK named "Ladan"covering the raiding scene. She's been researching the scene for some time, and, I think at the behest of Paragon, put together a round-table discussion of the 4.3 controversies between some of the big-name guilds involved (Paragon, Method, Exodus, Vodka). It's posted on the Paragon site, and is part of their Raid Observer series of blogs.

The conversation is remarkably civil and quite enlightening in terms of getting a look into what the guilds were thinking, their reactions to the bans, and so forth. It also gives an insight into how some of these guilds actually prepare for a new patch, what their planning process is like, and so forth.

She goes on a bit too long about the US vs. EU thing, but the guests do a great job of presenting their views in terms of why they cheated, what their reactions are to the bans (generally positive, shockingly enough), the 10s vs. 25s debate (they seem to prefer letting the community decide if the brackets belong together or not), and their opinions about how the race will unroll (they correctly predicted that Spine and Madness will block most guilds in the second week and allow the banned guilds to catch up and compete on them with a week's lag in training and gear.)

Being banned must not have been fun, and one of the things they talk about is the amount of time off from work and school these guys put in for that's now wasted, and I hadn't even thought about that.

Anyway - recommended, and worth a listen even if you're into casual raiding or are curious about very high-end raiding culture.

Race To World First
This is a film streaming on the web over here, and it's kind of an agonizing look at the 4.0 race. We mostly see it through the eyes of Blood Legion - a US guild, but we get spinets and insights from Paragon, Method, Ensidia, and a couple of other guilds. Seeing the internal life of Blood Legion through the five members they follow is quite detailed, and times, too intimate. The documentary gets very close to some of the participants, and we see some of the open conflicts the membership and leadership has - and also the kindship they share with each other. The wrenching and anguished postmortems as the bosses start to fall and guilds rack up kills are the most human part of the documentary.

All that said, I wish it had kept from drifting into the "we all have to move on some day" angle that every film about MMO's seems to feel the need to tack on at the end. It's quite annoying. Still, for some inexplicable reason, I found the ending quite poignant.

If you're raiding, have raided, or will raid in the future with your guild, this is essential viewing. If you've ever played in an MMO, I'd still recommend watching it - while it follows the Raid Race very closely, the observations about interpersonal relationships in game, and the feelings of effort vs. reward are relevant to all players, no matter how casual. it's about an hour and twenty minutes, so get a snack and a drink.


  1. Hi,

    I really enjoy seeing things that show the difference between raiders at that level and the rest of us. I think too many people really get into the "hero worship" of it all and sometimes they need to remind themselves that what people at that level do (i.e. specs, rotations, methods of gearing) are not things that those of us in more "normal" modes of progression would do.

    At the same time, I also think it's great to show that they are like us, in that they are real people, with jobs, relationships, dreams, etc. It's a nice mix of both - showing that we're different in game, but very much the same outside of the game.

    Nice post!

  2. Thank you!

    I enjoy peeking into the big guilds, as I'm very curious about their planning process. The level of commitment raiding requires is sometimes opaque to people, I think, and the people who really devote themselves to world-firsts are people who're willing (and able) to put in the effort and time. And maybe talent has something to do with it.

    There's another very interesting article on that raiding research blog about how Method lost World 1st kill of H:Domo to Paragon by minutes.

    This is part 1, part 2 is linked at the end, I think.

    Excruciating reading, as the author was listening to the vent recording of the night it happened. Wrenching. And utterly human.