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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Is Raiding Dead?

Posted by MikeB Sunday July 1 2012 at 6:10PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight ,we focus on the thread, "Is Raiding Dead?" by Vrdict. Simple and straightforward, Vrdict puts the thread title's question to the MMORPG.com community (while offering his own lengthy take!):

Knowing all the major MMO's and what they offer, I was searching for a possibly unknown, perhaps Korean, MMO that offered end game raiding. I couldn't find much of anything, in fact most searches turned up posts by MMO players shouting their distaste for raiding in general. EQ Next seems to be my only hope on the horizon.

Having been introduced to MMO's through the raid-centric Everquest, I'm completely saddened by the core of what I loved most about MMO's being phased out in favor of barbie doll housing crap and dumbed down PvP. To me, if I wanted to build a house I'd play the Sims where it expands on that aspect in much more detail. Likewise, if I wanted to PvP I'd play one of any number of FPS, rather than being completely focused on the PvP aspect of MMO's - I've been there, done that, but the majority of pure PvP'ers I've been around in MMO's are mainly fueled by this ego trip that they can wipe the floor with other players due to advantages in gear progression. So to reiterate, 2 functions of MMO's that have been rising in popularity are both available, and in better form, in other genres.

For raiding this isn't true, there is nothing even remotely similar to it in any other game genre. Yet it's been a downward trend since EQ, which is still the king of raiding. EQ2 would fall right behind it in 2nd, where the vast majority of active players are only there for raiding. WoW and RIFT both have raids, but neither offer the same atmosphere, intensity, require the same level of skill, and because of these reasons don't have the same sense of accomplishment that you'll find in EQ. Vanguard it's an afterthought, I actually formed a hardcore raiding guild for Vanguard on it's release only to be completely disappointed by the lack of raiding, and lack of loot on existing raid mobs, so much so that the entire guild moved on to WoW.

So here we are, 14 years after Everquests release, and EQ is still on top of the food chain for hardcore raiding? Majority of MMORPG's coming out either don't offer raiding or offer it as a compensation prize in the form of 10 mans and other junk? The only possible savior being EQ Next which won't be out for years and I'm simply assuming it will have proper raids based on it's pedigree and nothing more?

It's a sad time to be a hardcore raider and seeing the genre you loved for so long is nearly extinguished.

So, what's our community have to say on this subject? Read on to find out!

Zippy sums up the situation and outlook well:

There are only 3 supported progression raiding MMOs presently EQ2, Rift and WoW.  One might add TOR to the list but I do not see any serious raiding guilds playing it.  One could also add EQ1 to this list but it doe snot havemuch of a playerbase left.

There are only two  real raiding games in development that I know of EQNext and ESO and one has tow onder about both of their commitments to raiding.  Will ESO have seriosu progression raiding?  Will SOE seriosuly develop EQNext? 

With EQ2 and WoW turning 8 this later this year  Rift looks like the only serious raiding game for the future.  Rift under Hartsman's guidance is essentialy the sequel to EQ2 and its first and foremost a raiding game.  Its raiding is very good and somewhat difficult but one has to wonder what direction it will go.  Raiding is the core and focus  of Rift endgame but I will not be surprised if they end up going the wow easy mode route with the next expansion.  I guess the problem is if they make raids to hard like HK people complain but if they make them to easy like the beginning of ID hardcore guilds become upset.  In todays MMO world where players have no patience and will leave a game anytime they become bored it is hard to make raiding to difficult.  Which is my guess why we bhave seen the hurdles or ability to gear up for rift raiding become so easy and also why we thgey are changing PvP gear to be useable in raids by adding hit'/focus.

Loke666 asserts that raiding is in decline, but certainly not dead:

Raiding is still the mainstream endgame, the only difference is that people seems to be more and more tired of it.

But being in a slight decline is not the same thing as being dead, right now there is not a single large alternative. RvR is probably the largest of the smaller endgames at the moment but it is still nowhere near raiding in popularity.

Of course a lot of players doesn´t participate in any kind of endgame right now and if something can bring in them it might change the powerstructure but raiding wont die for many years even if it probably just will become one of several different endgames to choose from in the future.

TheCrow2k agrees that raiding is in fact dying and offers a litany of reasons why:

Raiding is dying out, here is 2 reasons Raiding is unpopular in most MMO's.

1) Developers of most AAA titles make little to no effort to introduce players to the concept of partying up and working together early, let alone co-operating to overcome anything more complicated than tank & spank which decent raid instances require. Soloing is the order of the day & while developers may think its what players want and a good way to go about designing the game they fail to see they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot with this flawed design.

2) People who do Raid often carry themselves as elitist, driving away potential new raiders who they should be helping and encouraging to get onboard instead of telling them they are no good, noobs etc. because eventually Those same raiders see population decline & suddenly dont have enough players to make up a raid. So helping noobs stop being noobs and encouraging them to enjoy raiding is the order of the day.

Personally I like Raiding, however I think its too inaccessible or unpalatable to most players in newer titles for the reasons above & It wouldnt hurt developers to also include other endgame content with longevity for those players who really do hate Raiding &/or grouping up, as well as casual players. This also gives social MMO'ers something to do at endgame when their friends/guild arent online.

It's hard for me to say if raiding is dead with any certainty, but it definitely seems like notion of having raiding be the primary endgame activity (a'la WoW) doesn't seem to be working outside of World of Warcraft and maybe RIFT.

If you're referring to the old 25+ man raids of old then I would say, yes, they appear to be mostly dead. Like another user in the thread mentioned, it's like herding cats trying to get that many people together and get through content. MMOs are increasingly focusing on providing challenging content, but for smaller groups of players at a time. I don't necessarily see this as a problem given the aforementioned issue (and many others raised by those in the thread), but I do think there is still room for content involving tons of players.

Massive dynamic events, such as those coming in Guild Wars 2, seem to be the natural evolution of PvE content with tons of players. GW2's events can scale depending on the players involved, and this solution kind of lets you get two birds with one stone. If massive groups of people show up? Great! If not, the content will still be suitably challenging for a smaller group of players. Well, that's the idea anyways.

Personally, I've never been a huge fan of progression raiding. I'm the storymode raider type of guy. I like to go in and see the content and do it once and then I'm done with it for the most part. Killing the same bosses (and trash!) every week is just not for me.

What do you think about the state of raiding? Is it dead? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

artemisentr4 writes: I am also a storymode type of player. I like seeing the content once, but doing it over and over is not fun. I will help my guild if a spot is needed, but not every week. I also am hoping GW2's DEs become the norm. Much better organicly joining a large DE or anouncing in chat that a big event is going on vs LFG. Sun Jul 01 2012 7:16PM Report
zephyr88 writes:

see the most clear thing that i've found going through each and every posts like this is this sort of sentence im gonna quote now

" In todays MMO world where players have no patience and will leave a game anytime they become bored it is hard to make raiding to difficult."

this comes from Zippy in this case. now the real question is: when the hell did that happen exactly? could you please mention when a game has been "left behind" by its community because it was too hard? cause i've been playing mmos for 12 yrs by now and i've never seen that happen.

Now when the devs of The Witcher 2 were asked about the so called outstanding difficulty of the game they replied "Hardcore?Absolutely!": well thats what the mmo industry is lacking imo.

None even tried making up a game with a purpose in mind to gather up all hardcore players who left different games from wow to eq1 and 2 and so on.

 The best we got so far are pandas from wow and no vertical progression from gw2,none even tried bringing back 25+ man raids cause they feared that casuals would never been intrested in that sort of stuff,rather go with pokemon battles. Every single mmo that came out tried to beat WoW or EQ style,copying it,trying to make things right where those 2 failed..but they missed the whole point,which is: when wow subs (example) started to raise? was it in cata? hell no, what let wow build up so many subs in time was EXACTLY what devs are trying to avoid in fear: 40 man raids and a nice low fantasy setting.

every old wow player knows what im talking about here,THAT FEELING,that you could only get from those raids which felt hardcore even if the whole raid was composed by randoms just because of the atmosphere. thats the real problem of small groups content,they'll get you bored even faster,first because a small group its quick n easy to build up secondly cause the content won't require coordinating huge amount of people doing the right thing at the right time..to all you wow newbies out there..have you ever wondered why Onyxia and other bosses from vanilla have few abilities and more simple compared to the new ones? they didnt need superglow shit to wipe your raid.coordinating a team of 40 people was more than enough to add difficulty to the encounter. thats why everyone is easily bored with content from all mmos today and thats why everyone find encounters too easy and smooth with next to no wiping.

no player would EVER leave a game for being too hard. and if they do,they'll come back the same night trying to beat the challenge,none would simply unsub cause a boss is too hard,that instead would just give you another boost of passion and will to bring that mf down.It's a known matter of fact.compare that to sports or any kind of life activity and tell me. would you stop playing football if you've lost the superbowl?would you quit your job because of a task too hard to accomplish? ask yourselves about that and there u'll have the answer.

Sun Jul 01 2012 7:53PM Report
Salenger writes:

Depends on what your definition of raiding is, Darkfall for instance is a game where you can raid all day and night, pvp is not os much based on gear and rather skill...gear obviously does make a difference.  But raiding in darkfall is more to the textbook definition...you raid another player city to pvp or to siege etc.  I find the raiding in other game to be kinda pointless and that has kept from from all mainstream MMOs for the last 4 or so years.  Ill be the first to admit that darkfall had more flaws than your average MMO, but its combat was fluid and PvP was easily the best of any MMO ive played...Raiding is what makes that game.

Sun Jul 01 2012 9:04PM Report
Raventree writes:

For me it is the rampant elitism that goes along with raiding, combined with long periods of being locked to your computer without being able to take a break that has kept it from ever being something I want to do.  It becomes more like a stressful job than something I do for fun.  I had friends that would cancel real life get-togethers because someone from their guild called them on the phone and demanded they attend a raid.

Give me good old fashioned PVP anytime for actual fun.

Sun Jul 01 2012 9:52PM Report
Po_gg writes:

"Personally, I've never been a huge fan of progression raiding. I'm the storymode raider type of guy. I like to go in and see the content and do it once and then I'm done with it for the most part. Killing the same bosses (and trash!) every week is just not for me."

^ This. ^  Good to know I'm not alone :) only I sometimes do it 2-3 times if the setting or story is really good.

Most peeps I know fell in the no-raider or raiding-all-the-time categories. One of them is exactly the type Raventree mentioned: raid calendar first, job close second, anything else comes after... I can't decide it's funny or rather sad...

Mon Jul 02 2012 12:37AM Report
Terranah writes:

Raiding is too much like work.  It's fine if you don't have a job in real life or that's your hobby, but I think it's even more niche than sandbox.

 

I enjoyed my house in precu SWG more than I ever enjoyed raiding in any mmo that I've played.

 

You meet a lot of obnoxious people when raiding.  Then listening to people bla bla bla over my speakers is annoying too.  I can think of so many reason why I dislike raiding.  I can't think of one reason I like it.

Mon Jul 02 2012 5:39AM Report
Svarcanum writes:

Raiding is not at all like work. Raid/guild leader is more like a job, but not being an attending raider. I would compare it instead to an organized hobby. Being in a soccer team, playing PnP RPGs on monday nights, etc. Things like that also requires your presence, and you would probably not go out with other friends on that monday night when you had preplanned a soccer game. Raiders rely on eachother to be there for the group and to keep their appointments, so to me raiding is the pinnacle of social gaming.

 

It *does* however take a lot of time, and to get anywhere in a progression raiding game you probably need at least 2, or more likely 3, night per week to make it work. Perhaps that is the issue more than anything else, and perhaps that's why people refer to it as a job. Back in WoW TBC I ran a 10man guild so we basically only had Karazhan to focus on so we settled for sunday nights only. And it was pure fun, I really looked forward to sundays and wanted more more more. Now I run a hardcore 10man group in Cataclysm. We used to raid 3 nights a week to get those server first (now when there's nothing left to do we do about 1 raid for social adhession) and that did at times feel like work. I often did not look forward to yet another clear night. I think casual hardcore raiding is what devs need to introduce. Super hard fights that require a tight knit group (no matter the size) but that does not incentivize you to raid more than once or twice a week. To get a leg up in raiding instead you would be incentivized to do other things in small groups or solo out in the real world. So you'd want to play the game alot, but would have *book* one night a week.

Mon Jul 02 2012 5:50AM Report
Terranah writes:

Maybe it's not like your job.  

Mon Jul 02 2012 10:44AM Report
Terranah writes:

To elaborate:

 

At my job we have a boss that makes assignments, just like the raid leader.  My boss also says when we can go to break, just like the raid leader.

 

At my job, you very rarely if ever get a break, except for lunch, and too often you don't get that.  Lunch, trips to the restroom, are contingent upon your coworkers and what is going on on the unit.  Raid leaders also manage the ebb and flow of the raid.

 

At my job, you are on your feet almost the entire 12 hours.  My avatar also spends a considerable amount of time on his feet. (giggle)

 

My job requires constant focus, concentration, and attention.  Days and hours of work and a life can be lost with one little mistake or moment of carelessness.  One mistake, and everyone on your unit is scrambling to avoid death...just like in a raid when one screw up can mean a total wipe.  And if you screw up, prepare to feel the heat, just like when screw up in a raid.

 

My job is detail oriented in the extreme, but you can never lose sight of the bigger picture or once again, you will fail, because every system of the body is integral...just like in a raid you have dependency between the different classes.  Concentrating on one class or one task without being aware of the greater picture will cause a wipe.

 

My job is a social game, just like raiding.  Doesn't matter how good you are.  If people don't like you, you will suffer because you will get the crap assignments, the attitutude, and sometimes sabotage.  If people don't like you, communication suffers and eventually the undercurrent of dislike becomes a distraction, and distractions lead to mistakes and mistakes eventually lead to wipes, just like in raiding.

 

In my job, if you are the new guy, expect to get the crap assignments.  Just like in raiding.

 

In my job, one complaint, even if unjustified, can lead to a change in your assignment.  One mistake and you can lose your job, just like in a raid you can be ejected from the dungeon. 

 

In my job, if you have a bad reputation as being lazy, careless, selfish, etc, no one will want to work with you...just like in raiding.

 

Just like at my job, you have to show up at a certain time to raid, you commit to be their until the job is done.  And if you leave early, don't expect to be getting too many call backs because there are always other people willing to fill your spot.

 

I could think of more similarities but I'm bored now.

Mon Jul 02 2012 11:10AM Report
Roybe writes:

My take on raiding:  it's the content the developers created to keep the content devourers busy until the developers can make more content for the devourers to devour.  In other words:  it's a Pavlovian gimmick to keep people playing to keep them paying.

Fri Jul 06 2012 7:24PM Report
ketzerei writes:

"People who do Raid often carry themselves as elitist, driving away potential new raiders" - And, as an old EQ player, I remember the way we got around this. When raiding is something requiring serious skill, then hardcore raiders have the right to carry themselves as elitist. We made feeder guilds, which later turned into independent casual raiding guilds. They didn't progress much, but those who were good enough would get recruited by us. We would haze them, harrass them and make their life hell for their 30 day app period. Then we'd kick them out if they didn't have 100% raid attendance during their app phase. But after that, you made it, you're one of the elite! Now you can be a dick to all the lesser players.

 

I guess my point is that 'elitist' attitude is not something that drives away raiders. The community divides itself into casual and hardcore raiders, and the elitist attitude of the hardcore raiders actually generates more interest in raiding.

Rift's raids have been... okay. The game itself has become far more easymode lately and the raid atmosphere has suffered as well. Wow's raid scene is a joke with the Raid finder system. Guild Wars 2 doesn't even have raids. And yeah, I'm seriously goin back to EQ1 jusst to get back to raiding because no other game has kept me challenged in a raiding environment. /sigh

Wed Nov 07 2012 11:12PM Report

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