Raiding. Hmmm. Well I gave it a go. Never let it be said I haven’t tried. Last year I did DS Normal & by the end had just about got the hang of it. This time round though – well it’s just not going to happen. Last Saturday had a brief (unsuccessful) attempt at SoO (1st boss) & then Throne of Thunder (got to boss 2) & last night a bit more of Throne of Thunder (got to boss 3). By the end of last night I was logging out & preparing for my new WoW career – maybe fisherman, possibly archaeologist. Definitely something quiet & death free – something I can do in my slippers. Definitely no more raids.
Now it’s important to be clear this is not the fault of the raid leader – he is very supportive, knowledgeable & helpful - and he will likely read this too And it’s not the fault of the raid team – particularly the two who helped me get an Armani war bear from Zul Aman before the raid (lovely people – also possibly reading but it’s all true!) It is just that however understanding some people in a raid group are about (a)your lack of experience (b)your lack of good gear- I am ilevel 483 and (c)your lack of situational awareness, keyboard skills & the ability to work a mouse in moments of high pressure – there will be other people in the raid who expect everyone to display a certain level of competence. A level I can’t reach. Not yet. Maybe not ever. And their disappointment/disapproval with the performance of certain raiders (me) is evident- and irritating.
Because I am only going into a raid (a)when the required number of “proper” raiders haven’t been reached – not enough people signed etc (b)after having made numerous suggestions that they get someone else with better gear/dps. So when I finally agree to go (after all I do want to see behind the curtain & maybe, just maybe, get my head around some of the mechanics, get some gear and have fun), I don’t want my performance and gear assessed. I don’t need it. I can assess my own performance & gear perfectly well. Just because someone is not up to scratch doesn’t mean (a)they need to be told they’re not up to scratch (b)need to be told how to get up to scratch. They might know both (a) & (b) but may have a plan to get to where they want to be. Too many assumptions are often made.
So for example in SoO a well meaning whisper informed me I should get myself gemmed & enchanted if I wanted to raid. Now when I did DS I was always gemmed & enchanted. And again I say it was well meaning- but it was whispered as the raid leader was explaining the tactics & I was trying to listen. So not great timing. And on Saturday I’d only got half my gear that same day - a combination of Timeless Isle loot & some reckless splurging on the AH. The only thing in my head had been reaching ilevel 480 & I was over the moon when I did (I know – so low, but for me so wondrously high!). And I only ended up on the raid because they were going to cancel it because they didn’t have enough people and were asking people to come & I said I’m only 480 (I was beaming as I typed it – 480!!) , and then the reply was well it all helps, and next thing- spur of the moment- I’m in SoO. So I was clear with everyone that I knew my ilevel was not high enough but the view was yes we know, we won’t actually kill anything this time but let’s have a look & see what the 1st boss is like. Which we did. And yes we wiped. But we got to experience it. So it was good. But because of that whisper I felt crap about not remembering gems so once we left that raid & were agreeing to have a go at ToT I was stopping off at the AH panic buying lots of gems & then heading off to ToT feeling stressed & skint & wondering why I was choosing to spend my Saturday night in this way!
ToT itself was fun until we got to the stupid windy bridge & I fell off so many times I feared all my new Timeless Isle gear would get trashed (I was red from head to toe). Then I died in the Horridon fight (double swiped - did not get out of the way quick enough). So not great but at least I got to watch the fight from my position dead on the ground.
But Tuesday. Ugh. I think there were issues with the different expectations of some of the people in the raid (not the raid leader - I must stress that, but one or two others). And I’m not criticising but I am saying the expectations are different & so I did not enjoy the experience. I play WoW to have fun & I know I have more fun quietly tilling my soil with Farmer Yoon (& that is not a euphemism).
Again I was not going to go on the raid (should have been in choir- that’s another story), again I said there are stronger dpsers etc. but again I had a lovely encouragement to come along, that there weren’t enough otherwise & they would need to pug . And I only died once this time on the bridge & did not die when we took Horridon down & I avoided the double swipe! Improvements. Yay! But then it all went horribly wrong.
On the 3rd boss I did not understand ”kill the dark ones” first . Stupidly I was looking for something called “dark ones” (Pressing F frantically looking for the right thing to target), then could not find the Loa Spirits when they spawned, and then did not move quickly enough out of bad stuff on the ground. There was just a mass of things on screen and I couldn’t see anything. I struggle to make sense of anything on screen in a fight. I’m like Rocky – “cut me Mick cut me” – virtually bloody eyed & dizzy, slumped against the ropes. To be fair eventually my brain catches up with my eyes, or vice versa, and my fingers catch up with my brain. But by the time I’ve caught up everyone is dead.
The worse thing is how slow I am to run, jump, blink (or dance even – anything – just bloody move Shell) out of crap. I’m so slow finding the right keys in those moments. So when a voice comes through Team Speak nicely advising me not to stand somewhere & I’m already trying to move because I know not to stand there- & I have about 3 million addons also telling me not to stand there – well the whole thing is not fun, it’s the opposite of fun if I’m honest.
And when I know I’m not geared enough & struggling to move quickly enough & – because I’m panicking – letting my rotation go to pot, then I don’t really want to feel like my performance is being assessed by a far more advanced raider who expects more out of the raid & wants to know “why the dps is so low” and says we have no ranged dps when I – a mage - am standing right there waving at him (ok not waving actually- something like waving – with a finger).
Oh I think it’s lovely that the guild want me to come along & the raid leader is lovely, patient, supportive etc. but I’m so not ready for that type of raiding & more importantly, having experienced Tuesday, I don’t want to be ready. It’s a part of the game that brings pressure. In real life my job is very demanding & I put a lot of pressure on myself. In WoW I just want to chill and have fun, see lovely gleaming achievement boxes pop up on a regular basis, maybe collect mounts, pets, do Loremaster. There’s so much to do that doesn’t involve me wanting to curl up & die because I fell off a bridge. So the life of a raider is not for me – unless the raid is so old it can be soloed. So Seige of Orgrimmar- I think that means I’ll next be seeing you when I’m level 150 in game & about 75 in real life. If my eyes are up to it that is.