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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Road Closed - No Detours --- Why I Hate Raiding

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  VanadromArda

Highlighted Blogger

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 446

 
OP  4/11/12 10:33:19 PM#1
Road Closed
 
After a year of work, I had finally come to the point in my carrier in particular game where I stood on a threshold. Now this was just another threshold of many, but I suppose this was just slightly bigger than the ones before it. Yet on this invisible line, I found myself standing and looking beyond at all the people in the "Cool Section" flaunting their clearly superior gear and items. I was eager to join their ranks. My heart aflutter, my eyes wide with ignorant innocence, I began to seek membership into their folds by stating how far I had come to climb that mountain of experience points.
 
I submitted applications and spoke to people in-game, and asked them if they were interested in allowing someone like me to join them. Their first question of course was straight forward and simple, because they could already see what level I was: "Do you have Sea Access?", and I would have to apologetically say "No, that's why I'm trying to apply." At that point, I would never hear back from the person, and quickly find I was added to his/her ignore list.
 
Now understand a few things first. This situation, though unique to the game I was playing, is and was not unique to the game itself. If you are wondering, that game was Final Fantasy XI, which I had the pleasure [sarcasm] of playing for nearly 9 years before I finally turned in the towel when Abyssea became pretty ridiculous with the Empyrian System. Final Fantasy XI was based heavily off Everquest, building upon it to produce one of the most difficult and hardcore raiding systems I'd ever had the displeasure of being a part of. You think World of Warcraft had difficult raiding content? You missed out on FFXI, which pretty much its entire Endgame is just one weird raiding system after another. 
 
But in hindsight, it wasn't just the Endgame. Hell, Final Fantasy XI was really the only MMORPG I've ever played that was pretty upfront with the whole Raiding mentality, and made pretty much every level of the game include some kind of Raid. You know how some developers say they are sad that the Endgame doesn't feel like the rest of the game, and how the entire experience changes when you reach max level?
 
Well Final Fantasy XI wasn't what they were talking about. Final Fantasy XI was Raids from Level 1 to infinity. These were road blocks, big signs which stated "Road Closed -- No Detours". You could not progress in the game, at all, until you completed the tasks. To make it even crueler, you could not complete these tasks alone. You simply had to have a full party or an alliance to complete these objectives and there was no other way.
 
Back before Abyssea, leveling in Final Fantasy XI was a tremendous task. The term "Japanese Grinder" doesn't even remotely come close to describing the difficulty of obtaining level 75, especially on the first time through. The first class you leveled to 75 has road block after road block after road block, purposely hindering your progression until you had some worthless Key Item on your character. This built the Raiding mentality, because these Key Items were never, ever easy to obtain. At level 20, you needed to gather Three Keys from each of the Three Kingdoms that players hailed to. These Keys were not in the Kingdoms, but in the monster controlled regions outside of each Kingdom, and required you go to the deepest depths of those regions and kill the hardest baddies.
 
Once you got those Keys, often called the Khazam Keys, you were given the Khazam Pass to proceed to the next level 20+ region. You could not go anywhere else, all people REQUIRED you get these keys, because people demanded you only level in the most experience-point efficient zones. They wanted to max out their EPH or Experience Points per Hour. If you didn't want to conform, you were pretty much out of luck. The game was over for you at that point. And people wonder why I made a character named Conformist, I kid you not.This was just a sign of the terrible things to come.
 
As you continue to level you would have encountered more difficult tasks, employing more wicked and long drawn out quest lines to end in an absolutely brutal, punishing battle. Back then, these battles were merciless and would often strip you of hard earned experience points, de-level you, and force you to a point where you couldn’t actually qualify to take part in the battle anymore. At 50 you began the task of completing a large group of objectives every 5 levels, just to gain the right to gain more experience points to unlock another 5 levels. This progressed until level 70, which put before you another type of cruel task.
 
So far the game has put you in one massive group situation after another; making you get used to the party system and your role; making you become dependent on your support role abilities and all of the macros you've put together to create an active flow; become confident in your allies and your teammates to have a solid synergy with you; ONLY to put you in a situation where you had none of that. You had to solo your level 70 battle, without support abilities. It was something you have never done before in the game, at all, until that point. Solo? What!? In a Raid-Heavy game!?
 
Yeah, after the few months it took you to pass THAT test, you would then crawl your way to level 75. Only to reach ANOTHER road block -- the apathy of your fellow players. Oh no, it isn't like people didn't care about the game at that point. On the contrary, they were os absorbed in their own characters, guilds, and raids that everything and everyone else in the game could pretty much go fudge themselves. You wanted to join into a powerful High Level Raid Guild? Well you couldn't.
 
Why? You had to Raid to become part of the High Level Raid Guild, but you couldn't Raid alone -- could you? No. They were in high level Raids; but you had to complete the prerequisite Raids to get to those high level Raids; but you couldn't complete those prerequisite Raids because you needed a High Level Raid Guild; but Raid Guilds didn't want you because you didn't finish those prerequisite Raids [take a deep]. Pretty much, the major flaw with a Raid-Heavy Game was that eventually all there was to do was just Raids and no one wanted to back track to weaker Raids.
 
Raid Guilds spent 100% of their time Raiding. They were always doing it, around the clock. Even worse, many of these Raids, like Dynamis, required that entire teams schedule and register time. They had to make an in-game reservation, putting in a massive down payment of in-game money just for the time slot. This eventually required members of guild to become collective guild banks to hold lots of money to pay for these reservations. It's not hard to believe that this system quickly became pretty overrun with corruption.
 
Whole guilds were created for Dynamis alone, and only the leaders, often members of the already demanding High Level Raid Guilds, would be the only ones who understood the registration system for Dynamis. They would pick players who had no Dynamis experience, of which there were many, and employ them to fill the ranks. Everyone wanted into Dynamis, because guess what -- so many High Level Raid Guilds REQUIRED the gear from Dynamis as a membership pre-requisite.
 
So members of the High Level Raid Guilds would oversee Dynamis Raids, and then they would take all of the money and spoils from the Dynamis raids and put some of it towards registering the next Dynamis Raid. The rest of the money filtered upwards, being either pocketed by the guild leaders, or filling the coffers of the High Level Raid Guilds. The requirements for many of these High Level Raid Guilds became so exclusive at one point, that it was almost impossible to actually join their ranks. You were forced to be part of the labor force working to fund their adventures. While your pockets were often being emptied trying to struggle to succeed at the game -- the High Level Raid Guilds enjoyed a complete economic control and donination over the market with the millions they've made exploiting other players.
 
Now many of this did change with Abyssea. The entire corruption structure I just spoke about fell apart, and drove a lot of people out of the game because their flawless scam was destroyed. But that only introduced another form of Raid system which became brutal and corrupt in its own right. They just switched one type of Raiding for another type of Raiding, and then added more Raids on top of those. I'm not even going to attempt to break those down either, because each of them has its own complicated and difficult system -- which ultimately doesn't support my argument any further than the previous example. The key point here is that too much Raiding for required equipment, items, and keys items leads to corruption. Just ask any World of Warcraft Raid-Heavy guild, they know as well as anyone this is true. 
 
Corruption is fun for the few, and terribly un-fun for the many. Likely if you were having a lot of fun in High Level Raid Guilds in Final Fantasy XI, you were likely part of this problem or too ignorant to see it. So many people seem to enjoy raiding and feeling the spoils it offers you is a piece of hard earned glory that deserves to be better than everyone else's pieces of hard glory. After 9 years of putting up with this system of required, mandatory, corrupt, broken, and totally un-fun raiding... I'm tired of it. I really am.
 
If I want put together a Raid and dive into a dungeon, I'd rather it be for a piece of flashy underwear that doesn't give me a stat boost. Why? Because, a stat boost means that item becomes rare and precious. Which means entire guilds will seek it. Which means those guilds will monopolize it. And so on. Even if it's in its own instance, it doesn't matter -- guilds will find a way to control something and exploit others for their own personal benefit. I don't want this system of Endgame anymore, it just doesn't work. Not as well as so many people think it does.
 
I want to have fun and enjoy a game, that is why I play them. Raids became a job, become a way of life, and became a system that dominated by those who have ample amounts of time and cruel intentions towards their fellow players. Capitalism and economics become part of the twisted system to give wealth and power to the few while leaving the many to toil away endlessly under exploitation. I'm not saying Guild Wars 2 will be free of this; I'm just expressing why I hate raiding. Deal with it.
 
This article and many others by TemperHoof, have been brought you with the expressed enthusiam of the Guild Wars 2 Guild, PainTrain. "If you don't wanna feel the pain, hop on the train."
  Maephisto

Novice Member

Joined: 2/15/12
Posts: 653

4/11/12 10:49:22 PM#2

I havent read all of your novel yet........journalism may be your calling if you havent thought about it yet.

  doragon86

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/23/09
Posts: 587

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

4/11/12 10:56:33 PM#3

Yea... raiding essentially became a  job. On top of a lot of the proficient raid groups were essentially impossible to get into unless you had connections, or some sort of miracle occurred. God forbid you miss a raid or two. By the time you returned your raid spot would be gone. Even more so if you were DPS. Don't even get me started on attempting to form your own raid group. I often wondered how current raid leaders even managed to get one properly formed at times. Five mans? A few of my skilled buddies and myself? Hell yes. 

"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"
~Lord George Gordon Byron

  radman9000

Novice Member

Joined: 5/12/06
Posts: 18

4/11/12 10:59:15 PM#4

You think World of Warcraft has difficult raiding content?

 

no one thinks WoW has difficult raiding content

  Maephisto

Novice Member

Joined: 2/15/12
Posts: 653

4/11/12 11:09:18 PM#5

Ok......from what I have read, it seems the Yakuza controlled all access to end game raiding.  j/k

This was a pretty cool read.  I was, for a long time, interested in playing FF11.  I grew up playing FF rpg's.  I am happy as hell I didnt now that I read your post.

As to the point you made, I support it only because I think PvE'ers are lowly individuals who rather compete against AI than an actual person.  Again, I am kidding, I joke with the silly pve'ers.  TBH, I tried raiding back in vanilla wow and never tried it again.  I have respect for those that have the determination and patience to go through the all the content.  However, I wont shed any tears if raiding isnt included in GW2.  That being said, I want there to be enough pve content to hold onto the pve playing masses.  I want WvW to be heavily populated formany months after launch.

  User Deleted
4/11/12 11:29:31 PM#6
Originally posted by Maephisto

I havent read all of your novel yet........journalism may be your calling if you havent thought about it yet.

i didn't hold my attention either.  journalists usually have a way of getting people to read their articles.

  dontadow

Novice Member

Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 1045

4/11/12 11:32:24 PM#7

Good read.  My hope is that they never have raids. But i would love to see soething called an advanced dungeon, a dungeon made up of 2 or 3 dungeons that effect one another.  Then, if all is completed well, u meet up at the end for an awesome battle. 

  wrightstuf

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/09
Posts: 711

4/11/12 11:34:22 PM#8

good lord, are people actually reading all that?

I think i wore out my mouse scrolling past the original post. why do people write the equivilent of "war and Peace" to get their point across?

  Maephisto

Novice Member

Joined: 2/15/12
Posts: 653

4/11/12 11:38:03 PM#9
Originally posted by brody71
Originally posted by Maephisto

I havent read all of your novel yet........journalism may be your calling if you havent thought about it yet.

i didn't hold my attention either.  journalists usually have a way of getting people to read their articles.

Laziness kept you from reading the entire post.  Nothing else. 

 

  wrightstuf

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/09
Posts: 711

4/11/12 11:39:29 PM#10
Originally posted by brody71
Originally posted by Maephisto

I havent read all of your novel yet........journalism may be your calling if you havent thought about it yet.

i didn't hold my attention either.  journalists usually have a way of getting people to read their articles.

yea, if the OPs post first sentence was.."she was standing there naked" i might of read it

  iller

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/18/04
Posts: 515

4/11/12 11:39:39 PM#11
Originally posted by TemperHoof
 
Final Fantasy XI


Didn't actually need to read anything further after scanning quickly over the OP for this bolded text... Even the Image at the top was redundant at this point since that  Game has always been notorious for its Sadistic raids.

 

 

Difficulty is good...

In Gw1, there's plenty of difficulty I faced and "was the difference maker" in.  ...Feels good, gives a sense of accomplshment when it's something other people CAN'T DO.  ...except when it causes division in your Guild, or your friend can't come along just b/c she doesn't have the same reflexes you might at heal-spamming.  (Didn't stop her from GWAM'ing but...)  It's food for thought.

 

I think the real issue is when it prevents people from just SEEING the content.  And that's what Raids are by definition...  Content other people can't see b/c they don't qualify on the Gear-Treadmill.   I think a lot of us have gotten to the point where we didn't even care that much about the 1337 gear that might pop.... we just wanted to get to the next level of new content so we could see what was there.  It's content we're PAYING FOR afterall... we're getting ripped off if we never see it, right?

 

I think if anything, GW2 should have expanded on the whole "Normal Mode --->  Hardmode" division so that a lot more people could see the content for completing those Elite-End-Areas but had to run hardmode if they wanted the absolute most reward chances.   ....this stuff with Karma is kind of the opposite of that since you can and may potentially see completely different randomly generated content take place in the same Dungeon that also affects the difficulty.  ...who knows what could happen and what affect it will have on party forming?

  Lord.Bachus

Elite Member

Joined: 5/14/07
Posts: 8591

I believe in life before death... So dont forget to enjoy it while you still can.

4/11/12 11:42:18 PM#12
Originally posted by wrightstuf

good lord, are people actually reading all that?

I think i wore out my mouse scrolling past the original post. why do people write the equivilent of "war and Peace" to get their point across?

Because they feel good about it.

 

Since i didn't read it, i'll give my opinion on raiding.  Raiding is okay for any game as long as the game does not force people to raid to get the best PvE gear. But if raiding is purely optional having a dungeon mode with 10, 20 and maybe even 40 or 50 people can be a lot of fun for those that like it.

 

And dont give me any feedback nonsense about Developer  time being lost, because thats entirely untrue for GW2, because so far GW2 seems to be the game that tries to create a home for any type of players. PvEers might find time spend on PvP lost time and vice versa.

Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13305

4/11/12 11:50:46 PM#13

If you don't like raiding, then don't play a raiding game?  I guess that's why a post about FFXI is on the GW2 forums.

I wouldn't be inclined to call it corruption, though.  What you described sounds like it's just players doing what badly designed game mechanics encourage them to do.

  wrightstuf

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/09
Posts: 711

4/11/12 11:52:26 PM#14
Originally posted by Lord.Bachus
Originally posted by wrightstuf

good lord, are people actually reading all that?

I think i wore out my mouse scrolling past the original post. why do people write the equivilent of "war and Peace" to get their point across?

Because they feel good about it.

 

Since i didn't read it, i'll give my opinion on raiding.  Raiding is okay for any game as long as the game does not force people to raid to get the best PvE gear. But if raiding is purely optional having a dungeon mode with 10, 20 and maybe even 40 or 50 people can be a lot of fun for those that like it.

 

And dont give me any feedback nonsense about Developer  time being lost, because thats entirely untrue for GW2, because so far GW2 seems to be the game that tries to create a home for any type of players. PvEers might find time spend on PvP lost time and vice versa.

why are you giving me your opinion on raiding? where in my post did i even mention raiding? and where did i mention anything about development?

not to mention you didnt read the OP....for all you know, he could of been ranting about not having time to finish his milk and cookies

  iller

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/18/04
Posts: 515

4/11/12 11:54:48 PM#15

^no need to be hostile

  wrightstuf

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/09
Posts: 711

4/11/12 11:57:24 PM#16
Originally posted by iller

^no need to be hostile

you're right, i'm sorry..go ahead and quote me, then go on about nothing i said or thought

  User Deleted
4/12/12 12:04:36 AM#17
Originally posted by radman9000

You think World of Warcraft has difficult raiding content?

 

no one thinks WoW has difficult raiding content

Pre-Nerf Tempest Keep M'uru, Yogg Zero and WotLK Pre-Zone buff Hardmode Arthas would like to have a word with you.

  Don-Quixote

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/12
Posts: 87

If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

4/12/12 3:29:32 AM#18

You encountered a problem that exists within the raiding enviroment and then measured that whole of that enviroment with it. Do this kind of corruption (to use your word) exists in heavy-raiding MMOs? Yes, of course it does, but that does not mean that a) the problem is inherent to a raiding enviroment and b) other areas of gameplay do not have that same problem.

Take a PvP based MMO. The same problems arise – players cheating the system in order to be at the top. Corruption. Win trading. We don't have to even go to hardcore end-game PvP MMOs in order to find this, in easy end-gaming like WoW you will pretty much find this problems arising when you set foot in a BG.

It sort of becomes a meta-game – the game is now to beat the rules of the game, not the game itself. Not to beat the player or an NPC, but to beat the system in which players and npcs coexist.

It all comes down to communities.

If you are lucky and happen to find a nice guild your experience can be fantastic. If you do not find a community that looks at the game the same way you do you will be displeased with the game.

You are confused: is not raiding what you dislike. It's the community that you happened to raid with and their view of what the game is all about that you dislike. Of course it does not help that you are talking about a game like FFXI, wich is raid-centric.

But, are all games like that? no. Do all raiders behave like that? No.

  Naqaj

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/24/09
Posts: 1681

4/12/12 3:51:38 AM#19

Good post, thank you

  wowfan1996

Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/09
Posts: 741

4/12/12 4:05:07 AM#20

Mandatory raids are bad because encouraging people to group up isn't the same thing as forcing them to group up. Gear progression is bad because baiting people into resubbing isn't the same thing as providing quality content. It's a lose-lose situation where developers have to spend their time and talent to create more of the same and players have to spend their time and money to get more of the same.

MMORPG genre is dead. Long live MMOCS (Massively Multiplayer Online Cash Shop).

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