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Community Spotlight: The Unpopularity of Raiding

Posted by MikeB Friday July 15 2011 at 9:27PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Why is raiding so unpopular to the MMO community?" by MMOExposed. The topic is pretty self-explanatory, so let's get started with MMOExposed:

I noticed the mmo community for some reason cheered Anet on, when they announced no Raid Dungeons in Guild Wars 2. Well I want to ask. Why is Raiding so unpopular now days to the MMORPG community?

Isnt Raiding, a Massively Multiplayer element of PvE combat?

Would you rather future MMO to be balanced for 1v1 PvE rather than 1v20+?

I want to know why the community doesnt like Raiding any more.

Wasnt calling out Guild Wars 2, that was simply an example.

whilan feels that the stigma against raids is a result of stagnation of the associated gameplay:

Personally myself i don't have a problem with raids as a feature. The biggest issue i can see is how they are done.

1 guy/girl/demon/dragon whatever is attacking the main tank while 30 other people are throwing fireballs/ice or whatever else at it for 30 mins.

The problem is most raids end up this way.

If you change up how the raids are done then it might not be so bad.

Have a group of 20 3 doing a mini-game to keep a sheild down, 2 more trying to coordinate the end game point and the rest trying to hold off the wave upon wave of enemies being sent (of varioud difficulty) until the bomb or whatever is the objective is complete then that might be a bit more interesting.

When people think raids they think of classic style you'd see in similar titles lik EQ or WoW rather then what can be done with raids.

Have multi group encounters, one goes after a reactor, another a prison district all in hopes that it will make the part, overthrowing the fortress and winning the day.

Once they change up how raids are done behind the simple kill the big guy at the end all the time (every now and then is fine, nothing wrong with the mechanic) the word raid might not sound so bad. Some people have just gotten bored with the same style of doing raids.

Plus you also have the added feeling that you have to do it over and over and over and over again to get the better gear. Not sure myself how you fix that one.

Removing the feature all together ala GW2 is an option but i don't like removing options of play just cause people may not like it. Just makes the game seem a bit less complex and less stuff to do.

Personal opinion and views of course.

Quizzical offers a litany of reasons as to why raiding is unpopular to him:

It's not "doesn't like raiding any more".  It's "never did like raiding and still doesn't".

Having to schedule your life around a game is bad.

Needing to farm peculiar gear with no use outside of a particular raid is bad.

Having to do the same raid a bunch of times in a row in order to get up for the next is bad.

Being unable to do the content you want because you're waiting for a raid lockout to end is bad.

Having to worry about losing all of your progress if your guild breaks up is bad.  Especially when game mechanics seem designed with the intent to create guild drama and try to break up your guild.

I'm not against playing a game with others, whether a few others or dozens of others.  But I want to be able to log in when I want to, and then jump in and play.  The reason solo content is popular is not so much that people want to solo, as that people don't want to deal with a bunch of other garbage instead of getting to play the game, and in many games, soloing is the only way to do that.

kevjards feels raiding is unpopular due to the various barriers to entry:

i think a lot of people get put off raiding,when you hear something like experienced people only all the time..and must haver this gear for invite.i remember once on wow the content had only been released that day and this guy was asking for experienced only,he got slaughtered.i play conan and i,m lucky enough to be in a guild that does,nt mind that i,m not the greatest player and they will take anyone into a raid as long as they are prepared to listen.and we have a great time and a laugh.some peeps are just scared they will screw it up and not be allowed back,by that i mean get on a blacklist of somekind.imo anyways..i maybe wrong.

For me, raiding is relatively unpopular due to a combination of many of the reasons above, but primarily due to the raiding cycle. As I'm writing this blog my friends are in Ventrilo doing a raid, getting super excited for new gear, "Oooooooooh!" (literally, they sound like Raving Rabbids right now).  For me, I'm a fan of the large scale content aspect of raids, and sometimes the story context for which that content is built upon. The problem for me has been, outside of the peripheral factors, that you basically have to repeat a lot of the same content in order to see the next bit of it.  This "Gear to Raid, Raid to Gear" cycle is incredibly off-putting for me.

The gear you acquire is typically only good for progressing further into the raid content; it's completely arbitrary. Why not gate the experience with challenging gameplay over itemization? I don't mind itemization being a factor, but I'd like to see it weighted a bit less in lieu of more challenging gameplay.

Having to plan your life around raids, putting competent people together, and the overall "serious business" aspect are some other reasons that make it difficult for me to really get into it. Oh, and let's not forget the advent of DPS meters in recent years. For example, RIFT doesn't feature a DPS meter, yet my friends will go through the process of parsing their combat logs just to find out what silly magical number they hit in some encounter.

I don't feel raids as a form of content are a failure conceptually, but I do think the basic underpinnings of raid design could use a revamp.