I feel I’m at a crossroad right now. On one side there’s a well-travelled path I know. It has its painful and incredible moments but so far it always lead to more bad than good in the end. On the other side there’s a road I never really tried if only for short moments. I know it doesn’t have the same pains of the first path but I don’t know if I will have the same enjoyment if I stick to it or if I’ll find new problems. Still I feel like this time I have to make a definitive decision and stop switching around.
I’m talking about raiding. For the longest time in MMOs I’ve considered myself a raider. I’ve been anything from an ultra hardcore raider to a very casual one but always my goal was raiding. It’s how I defined myself and how I approached any MMO. Any game I play I tend to set the difficulty to the highest and shoot for the harder stuff to accomplish. I love challenges and I love completing them. For me the fights in raids were the hardest challenges and that’s what I enjoyed about raiding.
Yet, as much as I enjoy the actual raid I hate what surrounds raiding. The normal complaints about raiding such as gear race, nerfing of content, meters and epeens are not the problem here. After all I couldn’t care less if Bob gets a hard on when he gets a new piece of gear. What bothers me is the time that raiding requires and the drama that inevitably creeps in. Raiding, casual or hardcore, is often at minimum a 3 to 4 nights investment a week, way too much of a time commitment for me. Then there’s the drama that sooner or later will hit your guild and destroy a good part of the effort you’ve put in, making you start over again until drama hits again.
Raiding is like that and I’m wondering right now if the enjoyment I get out of it is worth the trouble that go with it. In the past I’ve tried different ways of raiding to see one of them would suit me better but in the end it always come to the same. Too much drama and time for too little enjoyment.
So the other choice would be to go casual for real, done with raiding for good. I’m wondering because I’m enjoying my “casual” life a lot in Lotro right now and I’m enjoying the fact that most of my evenings and nights are not spent working on raids. I have time to get back to my other hobbies and activities that I had neglected too much during my last raider period.
The thing is I have trouble imagining what I would do at endgame if I wasn’t raiding. No matter how much I take my time at some point I’ll reach endgame. Maybe I can enjoy endgame as a truly casual player but I never really tried it before so I don’t know.
Right now raiding is on hold until further notice. I’m not saying I’ll never participate again in a random raid for the heck of it but I’m not seeing myself getting back into the raiding game for now. For the first time since I’ve been playing MMOs I really don’t know how this will turn out and I’m freaked and excited in equal measures I think.