Guild Wars 2’s raid scene has had a tumultuous history. From the outside looking in, you’d hear about the negative connotations and horror stories of the scene, often resulting in a skewed perception of the content, community, and players. It’s often viewed as an elitist and cutthroat, “dog eat dog” kind of environment. This hasn’t really been the case in actuality, however.
One of the weirder aspects of Guild Wars 2 raiding is that it really isn’t too hard to get into. The raid training part of the community has been around for almost as long as Final Fantasy XIV’s raid training community. The content itself eases you into things fairly smoothly as well, with the first wing, in particular, doing a very good job at teaching you mechanics along the way. A lot of the stigma seemed to stem from the direct conflict of the release of raids, and the perceived open-ended, agnostic “You can play anything and make it work” mindset back then. While the latter was somewhat true, your build had to make sense for your team’s needs in a raid. Some players did not like this, as they would feel that it pulled away from the implied freedom of choice the entire base game had.
Nowadays, things are much different. Builds become more and more refined every day from so many wonderful contributors across an abundance of communities. Players have gotten better, and content has spread in difficulty, testing multiple different skills. Despite this, the raid community still has this stigma, even though it’s easier than ever to get into, and even compete in them
This is where the Ready Check Cup comes in.
26 teams, 260 players, came out and participated in the Ready Check Cup, a speedrun/time attack, elimination style event, and it was an absolute banger. I’m not too much of a speedrunner, but the amount of appreciation I have for those who do is paramount. Everything, from the movement optimization at Slothasor, to the incredible Mesmer skips at Twisted Castle, the different strats the teams came up with and executed were a sight to behold. The race was incredibly close throughout the entire event, with single digit seconds to spare in many of the runs. Every team shown had an excellent performance, certainly motivating me to work on optimizations of my own accord. The finals in particular was quite literally decided by a single player moving too early, losing about 10-15 seconds, and showing how razor thin the margins are. Competition like this is incredibly healthy, and will hopefully motivate and inspire raiders, both new and old, to make the jump into more serious raiding.
More events like this will take place in the future, with the next tournament slated to be “In the beginning of March” (Snebzor). As a whole, teams will be divided into three tiers, with the first tier being the highest. This will make for a longer-term goal for those wanting to improve within the competition itself, as well as allowing for multiple events for each tier, creating relative fairness amongst the groups.
Lastly, all of this was done for a wonderful cause. Cureraredisease is an organization with the goal in its name; finding cures for rare diseases, a wonderful cause for a wonderful event.
I’m greatly looking forward to seeing more of these events. The raiding scene has come together to showcase how fun and exciting these raids can be. Congratulations to ‘Inters Care Unit” for winning the whole thing, and the runner up, “Nudelwasser ist Lecker”!