As a guild (Opus Dei) has been raiding for the last several months. We seem to raid Tuesday through Friday night. Sometimes on Sunday night as well. We are a casual raiding guild that is really just getting our feet wet.
So what is a Raid?
Well, how about some background first.
In WoW (World Of Warcraft) their are two main play styles called Player Vs. Player (PvP) and Play Vs. Environment (PvE). Both exist in the same game and can intermingle. However, they require unique gear and tactics to be successful.
PvP can be as simple as going up to a player of the opposing faction and attack them, to organized “battlegrounds or arenas” with a fixed number of players, all the way to a mob of players attaching an enemy towns. For the most part PvP is great fun as you are doing battle against human players. These battles are dependant on gear, skill, and team work.
PvE is the majority of the game content. You start by getting quests to perform various actions and you are rewarded with game money, gear, and “experience” that allows you to progress to higher levels. As you start progressing (called leveling), you can “run” an “instance” or dungeon. These are designed for groups of five players. A group of five, usually, consists of a healer, a tank, and three damage dealing players. The tanks role to keep the attention of the monsters (mobs) while the damage dealers take the mob down. The healer…well…heals.
Five player instances exist through out the game and provide good gear and general loot. They are challenging and when you reach level 70 (the current cap) many can be run in “heroic” mode for better loot and a greater challenge. That brings us to the “End Game” content. It is not really the end of the game but the end of a story line. The story never really ends as Blizzard releases new content all the time.
The “End Game” are focused on instances called “Raids”. These are 10, 25, and 40 player instances. The content is much, much, harder and is designed for the top 10-20% of players. I have found this to the most enjoyable part of the game. It is the hardest as it requires better gear, skill at playing your character, and group tactics. Coordination and effective communication is king on these “runs”.
They really are fun but take a fair amount of time to complete. My wife and I have met some fun people in this game. When you think about it, 10 million people play WoW so Blizzard must being doing something right. With over 10,000,000 players, this game and its play style has changed the face of gaming and online interaction forever.
WoW is not the grail, it is game, but it has eaten into TV viewing audience. There is something here and sooner or later, the mainstream will take it a lot more seriously. Not just this game but all online massively multiplayer games. MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, You Tube, Orkut, etc. and WoW are these really that completely different? Are these not virtual persona’s of people and allow people to interact with each other in unique and varying ways?? We have polations that play WoW and they all know about MySpace and are plastered on You Tube. This world we live in is being changed dramatically.