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RAID!!! Running With the Guildies… or Why WoW Just Keeps Players Going May 23, 2009

Posted by fvter in Gaming, Technology.
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So early this morning (around 02:00 23.05) or late evening server time, I hooked up to World of Warcraft (WoW) for a guild organized RAID of Blackwing Lair (BWL). One of my characters, Balaluze Death Knight, is a member of the «Project Lore» guild. The premise behind this guild is that everyone is a fan in some form of the Project Lore Video/Blog/Guides getting together to play WoW and have a good time playing as a team. About 2hours in, it reminded me why I still invest my time and attention in WoW enjoying every moment.

After a small delay of getting everyone together, Executation lead us into Blackrock and up to the BWL entry point… We entered the instance with about 10 people (plus or minus – to be honest we lost a few because they had not been keyed which is a necessary step to open the door and been given access to the dungeon), which was a little more than 10 shy of the required number of players. We figured it might work since we had a few high levels… This was our mistake and despite a tough battle but victorious one against the 1st boss Razorgore the Untamed, we proceed to the 2nd area with Vaelastrasz the Corrupt. Here we hit what might in the end be construed as an epic fail in the Lore history books. We just did not have enough damage per second (DPS) capability with our combined strengths. In fact whenever Vaelastrasz hit 15% health, the dragon would launch its power attack and we would go down one-by-one in a matter of seconds. 3 tries down, we called it a night as there was just noway that the group would be able to down the dragon and let alone continue on.

So outside of a quick & dirty recount of the night, the reason this post came to be is that the RAID reminded me why WoW, & other MMORPGs, just keeps drawing me in. The RAID reminded me of some important aspects of an aspect of gaming playing in MMORPGs that defines its ability for continuous challenge and enjoyment. In most games be they RPG or RTS there is a level of certainty and consistency in the game by that I mean that the tasks, quest, combat or other game scenarios share a goal and that goal is always the same each time you play. In a standalone game, one can build a strategy and consistently repeat the strategy to win the trial leading to a play once only scenario. One might even say that this stays true in whatever game you play.

However, MMOs bring an external factor that changes the certainty and consistency in the game. That factor is a higher level of human interaction and game play style that quickly becomes apparent. Each human player brings his/her own way of directing his avatar’s actions into the group and the combined different play methodologies actually changes the way the events happen & the outcome. Let me clarify using the BWL RAID that was run this morning in WoW,  despite following a well-known strategy and having a leader to coordinate the RAID party our efforts did not achieve success. Not for a lack of willingness of the team but that’s not the point nor was it the issue, the players each used there style and abilities giving different outcomes and thus changing the way the battle laid itself out… Essentially each try gave a different play experience and keeping the player on his/her toes trying to achieve the best possible set of actions! Turning every encounter into a new challenge and definitely not the same reptitive thing.

To sum it up, a continuously evolving and changing game play driven by the individuality of all the human players making the game and keeping it attractive as if it were day one…

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