We Can Raid If We Want To

In my last post I touched a little on how I considered myself to be part of the “I-PuG-Raids-When-My-Schedule-Allows Crowd”. Lemme touch on that a little more…

I love raiding and heroics and the whole PvE game. I love it a lot. As much fun and addicting being on the winning side of an AV can be*, for me, in the end, it’s all about the dragon slaying. Why yes, I am a geek. There’s something very satisfying to me about being in a big group of people and having someone tossing out directions on Ventrilo and the whole tense atmosphere of hoping everyone can pull off their job as some lore character flings walls of fire around.

That said, I think I am a bit of a unique position myself. I am a raider and PvE gamer who doesn’t do the “traditional” PvE game that so many other people do. I’m not in a raiding guild. And I don’t have the luxury of having scheduled raid nights. Let me explain.

The Guild: I’ve been in a big raiding guild before. I was hunter class leader, in fact. I was also an officer and for a few months I was the one that did all the raid scheduling. That was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done. Everyone coming to you with their schedule and you trying your hardest to make everyone happy, even though you can’t. *shudders* Anyway, even though we certainly were not one of the top-level guilds on the server, we were still shuttling people into raid content every week. The main problem is that we were sort of trying to go too many places at once, and in the end maintaining a balance of “progression guild” and “family style guild” became too much for us to handle. It was all just kind of a dramafest waiting to happen, which it eventually did. Pop went the guild. A failed experiment, so to speak.

Everyone in the guild sort of went their separate ways although a few of us who had become particularly close friends chose to band together and we started a new guild. This guild has been strictly a hang-out guild where we would be able to go off and find our own outside groups to raid with, while having friends in guild chat and a reliable pool of people to do heroics with. In that manner, it’s been a success. But it’s not a raiding guild. I get the impression most of us wouldn’t mind if we tried making it a raiding guild someday, but I don’t think anyone’s in a major rush right now.

Leaving this guild isn’t an option for me because I love my friends in-game too dearly and I love being in a guild with them. It means I give up being in a big raiding guild with a raid schedule and having things like guild-progression-nights, which I do in fact miss, but I wouldn’t trade my current guild for it. If I want to raid, I have to look outside my guild. Which brings me to my second point…

My Schedule: I work in retail. On any given day I could be at work anytime between 6am and 10pm. Every day it’s different, my days off are different every week (though I managed to wrangle getting most Sundays off), and I never know what my schedule for the next week is until Thursday or Friday.

Normally, even in my current guild situation, it would be relatively simple for me to find another guild or group of people to fall in with and raid with, especially since I’m on Silver Hand, home of the infamous Leftovers Raiding, which is essentially a server-wide raid signup that has been very successful and garnered attention on WoWInsider and transfers from people on other servers who like the idea. The problem is that when many of my work shifts are evening shifts, it shuts me out of a lot of raiding, and by the time I even know what my schedule for the next week is, most of the raid slots have been filled up already. So for me, even that idea is largely out.

So what do I do?

I PuG.

I have PuG’d most of the raids in WotLK so far, on both 25man and 10man modes. Mostly LFG PuGs although I’ve made enough contacts that sometimes I get raid invites from people who need a slot filled.

Have some of these PuGs been atrociously bad? Yes they have. Have others been surprisingly good? Yes they have. Do I know what category one is going to be in advance? No, I don’t. It’s a risk I’ve gotta take if I want to see content. Oh, I can sorta make predictions based on who the raid leader is or other people I know in the group, but even then it’s not a guarantee. In any given raid I’m probably in there with both a bunch of people who have it “on farm” and a bunch of other people who have never been there before. They usually aren’t easy raids to be in.

But I do it because I love raiding. I do it because as frustrating as it can be sometimes to do it this way, it’s really all I’ve got. Because to me, it’s worth it.

I will probably never be in one of the best guilds on the server. And I may never even be part of a regular raiding group, at least not anytime soon. I’m not gonna be one of the first people on my server to be all decked out in the newest purples. I’m okay with that though. I’m seeing all the sights and I’m getting my raid on, and I’m slowly getting some gear, and most importantly, I feel like I’m working for it. And it’s hard to do, but it’s not impossible. And I guess that’s the point I’m trying to get at. If you love something enough, you can make it work.

Even in WoW.

* Read: Not Alliance on Bloodlust. *cough*

9 thoughts on “We Can Raid If We Want To”

  1. OMG, this blog seems like to was written about me!! I swear this is my WoW life story. I am also in a social guild, and i have a pretty close knit group of friends that I run heroics with. I also pug almost all raid content and have developed a good reputation with a lot of guilds. I am proud to be a part of the “I-PuG-Raids-When-My-Schedule-Allows Crowd”. 😀

  2. Hee. I so identify.

    But let me add one thing – thank goodness for WOTLK. I came late to the game in BC, and as much as I love the Big, Epic Content… there wasn’t a prayer of seeing it, ya know?

    Progression raiding is an interesting concept. Raid, raid, raid some more, get better gear so you can do the next raid – I don’t care about that. I just want to SEE the content. I want to see Illidan and Kel’Thuzad. I want to do the Heigan dance and fling myself at Patchwerk’s ankles… again.

    (I’m a DK. You gots to fight him once, already, if you’re a DK..)

    If this were BC, I’d never have the chance. I can’t commit the time a raiding guild requires, and you can’t PuG the Sunwell. It’s just not going to happen (well, maybe among new-Naxx raiders. Who knows?). Blizz’s decision to make the content accessable, and to put the difficulty curve in achievements?

    Pure. Genius.

    I’m just now nervously dipping my toes in my first heroics – I don’t have a lot of folks I /know/ yet (I hit 70 on my first character the week after WOTLK launched – not a lot of time to get to know a peer group!), and I’ve moved from DPS to Tank, which takes on tons of responsibility and expectation that I /know/ I ain’t got the talent for, yet.

    But just the idea that I might can /get/ to Naxx? Yeah. /That/ makes me thrilled. 🙂 That I have a shot at the new content without being in a guild that does this 24/7? Indeed.

    I don’t care that I’ll have to work a bit for it – thankfully, I actually have a chance at working at it, ya know?

  3. My hat off to you good sir. Err, madam. I can’t stand the idea of PuGging, because it’s just too troublesome, and potentially nerve-wracking. Especially when your guild refuses to do Vault of Archavon just because the Warlock class leader hates pvp… /rolleye

  4. Honestly, i dont think any guild really ever schedules a VoA raid, because you never know when your faction will have WG. And frankly, its not necessary. Its super easy. I always, drop myself in LFG for both 10 and 25 man, and within an hour i’m done with both on Tuesday.

    If your Warlock guildie refuses to go, then go without him/her. Maybe someone should let them know, you dont have to actually PvP to get in to VoA. Its easy epics, tell them to suck it up.

  5. I know EXACTLY how you feel!! I did the whole pre-BC raiding thing … guild drama galore … it’s totally demoralizing.

    One day, I hope to be in a raiding situation again, but I imagine it will be for PUG’ing …

  6. I had one guild I enjoyed. I joined at around level 40 something, and stayed until the guild had a fall-out.

    I have since had a hard time settling in a guild. I tried a raiding guild, but their schedule never worked with mine.

    I would love to be a raider though. I just can’t find time.

  7. Exactly!
    I’m not even at the level-cap yet (75, hope to ding 76 this weekend) and the GM of a really laid back social guild of friends. Most of tie them, I PuG 5-mans, due to our own cross-schedules and shifting online times within the guild.
    I am so happy that the content is setup to at least be ABLE to do such things.
    As you mentioned, I’ve been in horrid groups that can’t handle regular Nexus at lvl 75-78, and then others who drag quest-greens through it without a single death. That’s why I love PuGs. Easy, casual, and stress free for the most part.

    Yay PuGs!

  8. You’re absolutely right. Even being a GM of a guild, I still opt to pug sometimes (10’s, not 25s). I know some people give me a “look” like… riiiiiiggghhhtt… why pug?

    It’s a great way to sort of schmooze and meet new folks. And you’re right… when you kill something in a pug, you definitely feel like you worked for it. I typically try to bring 1 pug into our 25naxx; we have a small raid team and I like to keep an eye out for potential recruits… additionally, finding people like those who already commented above me… people in social guilds that can sometimes commit to raiding with another guild. We have a holy pally on our raid team that’s actually not even in our guild… he’s in a social type guild with some RL friends and they run 10 mans together. But he gets the same treatment as anyone else, and he comes along for every 25 man we do. It works out great… my guys n’ gals love having him around, and he loves raiding with us.

    There’s ways to make stuff work, for sure.

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