I’m back in World of Warcraft where I belong.
It was a cold, lonely two days unsubbed without Azeroth to call my home.
I’ve come to the realization, and it’s a somewhat surprising one to me, that over the years I’ve gone from being a solo player to being a raider.
I don’t have to raid all the time, and I don’t have to raid serious progression, but I play the game first and foremost to have fun times with friends doing stuff together.
In World of Warcraft, that means raids.
I enjoy pet battles, and flying around looking for ore, and putzing around leveling alts I know I’m never going to play at max level. That’s still good fun.
There will forever be something magical in riding a dragon, soaring through the sky over mountains and green valleys, scanning the ground below looking for something to kill. Death from above!
For me, the true gaming pleasure boils down to either looking forward to (and preparing for) the next raid, or being IN the raid.
I log in and look at my in-game friends list, and that song from Frozen runs through my head, but the lyrics are changed. What I hear is;
Do you wanna kill a dragon?
Come on, let’s go and raid!
I never see you logging on
Come on get on
Don’t you want to come and play?
Yeah, I’m very excited to be back in World of Warcraft. It’s raid night, baby!
Tonight is supposed to be the first night our raid team in Band of Misfits begins 25-person raiding in Siege of Orgrimmar.
Will we still be called Team Wanda? Inquiring minds want to know, this is serious business!
The first raid will be tonight on Wednesday, and there is a second scheduled night each week on Sunday.
Doesn’t seem like much, is it? Two nights a week to do raiding.
It might not seem like much, but it’s enough to give me something to look forward to. There will be good times, fun conversations, people joshing with each other in vent while internet dragons are battled.
When it’s over, there will be reasons to go out and get stuff to make more flasks, some food, get some Valor to upgrade things maybe or seek out new items in old content to build a new transmog set to wear to the next raid.
There is one truth we all know by now. In order to get a group of folks together on a consistent basis, there has to be a reward those people want. Fun in groups gets most people there the first few nights, but self-interest and the carrot of an actual reward gets people coming back time after time.
A rare mount, a pet drop, that item for transmog, and above all else a better gear upgrade, these things are motivational. Sure, we all want fun, but we also want loot.
That is why raids are going to continue being the thing that brings people together. So long as there is a potential upgrade or achievement or shiny new thing to seek, you’ll get the seekers banding together.
I’m sure some of the folks tonight are only coming because they hope to get gear upgrades, and if it wasn’t with us it’d be with someone else.
I’m sure others are just bored and here is something to do. Maybe they’ll last, maybe not.
Still more might be starting with us tonight because there is nothing in it for them today, but it’s an investment of time now to ensure that when the Garrosh heirlooms get a higher droprate they’ll be right there to get a shot every week.
And of course, most of the core team are doing this now in the hopes of a smooth, speedy transition into the new Mythic raid format once Warlords of Draenor pops it’s cork.
Me… I resubbed, and I’m going tonight, and I’m going to do my damndest to be there every Wednesday and Sunday for raid because I finally got it through my head… I just like playing with friends, and the folks in Team Wanda? They’re my friends, and I like to hang out with them.
Same with Tuesday nights. I’ve been priviliged to run with some of the fine Horde folks in Elitist Jerks in flex runs for the last several weeks, and you can imagine my surprise in finding out they’re a bunch of great folks, too.
Who knew fun friendly folks that know what they’re doing still play this game? From the drama on social media you’d think it was dead. Amazing.
People can bitch about whatever they want to elsewhere, or get enthusiastic about another game, or whatever. It doesn’t bother me, it doesn’t affect me, and it doesn’t change my experience in the game that I do play with the people I like playing with.
World of Warcraft remains a great game. It’s controls are smooth as silk for me, there is a ton of interesting and enjoyable content to play through, and there are still many things I’d love to do, most of which takes a group to do and wouldn’t involve rewards or upgrades for other people, which is why I haven’t done them yet.
I remain hopeful and enthusiastic, however. Even the worst night playing with friends is a damn good time.