Why do we fight?

As much as it pains me to quote a Panda, it’s a good question that many of us fail to consider as deeply as we ought to.

Here I’m using it to reference the issue of attrition in Mythic raiding as I feel it has a good fit with an increasingly common issue for many of us, the diminishing returns on content and our willingness to make sacrifices to fight them.

I’m sure we’ve all asked ourselves at times why we raid Mythic difficulty at all.  After all, it’s the same bosses and same fights as Heroic mode albeit with some more annoying personal responsibility mechanics and output requirements once again and you have to basically do these to get the gear to then fight the bosses later in the same chain.  There’s a long slog ahead before the only actual reward, the Cutting Edge title comes into view only to be punted off like the proverbial can down the road every time some quits raiding with WW.

For many of us I’m sure at some point the answer is the why climb Everest answer *“because it’s there”  or better still, because we want to play the game right the way through the expansion and with normal first cleared in 3 hours and heroic in under 20, then what are we going to do with the rest of the next 3 months?

This at least is how it used to be before you factor in level of engagement and satisfaction with an ageing and very familiar game which has arguably shifted from time driven to RNG micro-reward driven in nature.  Much has been said about this change and it’s true, for many of us on the older age range spectrum this rat maze dopamine reward model is an unwelcome change.

This new system based on small reward pills means that we no longer have longer term goals to work on alone and so we get ‘sated’ faster than before, which means the main driver for continued raid attendance ends up for many to be social, rather than goal.

This is great for flex which not unsurprisingly is back to excellent health, capably and successfully led by Necroaxe and supported by many fine, friendly and sociable players of varied levels of commitment to the “WoW is work” mantra to ever surer success as it more easily meets the varied levels of commitment and time and effort people are willing and able to put into what is after all, a game, whilst still being forgiving enough that one person never wipes the raid and that fun can always be the main focus without sacrificing actually killing all the bosses.

Contrast this with Mythic where every player that is not at 10 origination stacks and 30 artefact level neck and or can’t log enough to do at least a +10M in the week, by now knows deep down inside they aren’t pulling their weight to the same level as those who do, especially when some of those that do do it on two or more characters.

As if this wasn’t enough by itself, we also know that our mistake will in all probability kill us (or worse still, someone else who didn’t deserve it) and usually cause a wipe at some point either close to that mistake or in combination with the mistakes others make later.

Then add to that that you don’t play a role or class that is essential to that boss, (yes that boss, the one we’ll be wiping on for 3-4 weeks in a row before we kill it) and so you’ll be spending time on a bench maybe for weekends on end as we push a kill.

Then we’ll ask you to use an augment rune on every one of the last 100 tries and you’ll realise to spent 50K on a 1% consumable for each and every boss we are progressing on because, well 1% is 1% and that might make the difference.

Heroic was never like this…. it’s a wonder anyone raids Mythic in a two day guild, at least anyone with a family, a job, a life or a wish to not spend hours every day honing their WoW readiness.

So, where am I going with this…. well, as I said at the start, why do we fight? well for many of us it really comes down to who we spend that time with and the desire to see that team and not another perhaps better, more focused one do it for them.

With this in mind, the one thing we do owe to ourselves and those all important other members of the team is to focus on doing the best we can with what time we have available and working continuously to improve our own shortcomings and areas of improvement.

That also means keeping in mind that this is a team activity and as such there is no room for me first type behaviour such as focusing on log parsing on progress bosses and competitive performance with others over playing in such a way as to reduce the chances of error and compensation that others have to make to avoid selfish acts on our part.  We’re all guilty of it sometimes, but we need to be aware it’s not a viable way of being successful at killing bosses sooner rather than much later.

Always remember, the longer we take to kill each boss the longer we take to reach the overall goal of successful progress raiding that keeps people engaged and sacrificing their time week after week to remain viable and turning up for raids and there is no bigger barrier to success and enjoyment of the game than player attrition.

So, let’s pick up the pace and the slack people, Mythic raiding is not for the faint hearted and if we want to keep doing it, we can’t just wait for blizzard to nerf it to within reach from the armchair, we actually need to stand up and reach for it and make the most of the time we have available.

Why do we fight? Because to give up would kill those we care about too.

Thanks for reading.


* This was in the decades before they opened the LFR difficulty of Everest climbing.

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