The Raiding Rut

I have attended all but one of my guild’s ulduar10 raids, most of which have been two nights of four hours. When we first started going I was a bit hesitant about the lack of exploration and learning due to the number of guides found online.

I am happy to report I was wrong. For many weeks, each venture into Ulduar brought some moments of great comradarie and fun as we slowly moved through the instances challenges. Then something happened and the last two runs I have been on, have been fairly unrewarding in both fun, accomplishment, and loot.

I am beginning to question if I should even bother raiding while we wait for the next patch. I was worried this might happen once the emblem changes were announced, but thought I might be able to avoid it because our guild was continuing to push forward in the instance.  Except that we have not been able to push forward, we have been stuck at Mimiron for about six weeks now.

Of course the non-progress alone would not kill my desire to raid, but it does highlight the issue I have with my time going unrewarded.  In the last sixteen hours of ulduar10 I have gained nothing to help my character raid better and believe this is do to a combination of factors:

  • The game’s loot drop system is not aware of raid make up. Leading to drops that no one could use even if they wanted to.
  • The low number of actual upgrades available in the instance for me is also an issue.  Most of the upgrades I need come off the bosses we have not been able to kill yet, or off bosses in the 25man version (which is a whole other problem).
  • Our guild loot system is a non system. We use a simple Need if you need it, Greed if off-spec or side grade, and pass otherwise.  If your raid group is made up of the same people most of the time this works great to get people gear they need.  Alas our attendance has been somewhat erratic, making it harder for everyone to get upgrades. I now see why some guilds use point systems.
  • The emblems of valor that drop in Ulduar10 are useless to me. Without a system to “buy up” to the next level of emblems having them drop in Ulduar10 is almost an insult to me. This instance should always have dropped conquest emblems.   Of course in the next patch Blizzard is swinging the pendulum back the other way.
  • Lack of progress. Yes, the feeling you get when you finally beat a boss you have been stuck at, is a fantastic feeling. One that will certainly carry all of us that raid to come back the next week.

Wowgrrl asked a very good question a few weeks ago; Why do you raid?

I was going to make a separate post answering it, but feel that my answer is related to my raiding malaise. So instead of an overly wordy post I will answer it with a few short statements.

  1. Its fun to work with my friends and overcome challenges.
    • For me its not as much fun to overcome things that require little effort of skill and its not fun to be feel stuck unable to move forward with no other challenges.
    • Also, doing things with friends is always more fun than doing something with strangers.
  2. Its the only way I can see some content. (future blog post on this).
  3. In wow gear is the only way to advance your character at the level cap and raiding is the only pve activity I can do to improve my gear.

Currently raiding is failing to provide me #s 2, and 3. Lucky for me my guildmates are blast to play with (make the entire time worthwhile) and while we are stuck on mimiron the other bosses are not yet trivial. If it were not for my friends I would simply stop running ulduar10 until at least after the patch.

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