Sunday, June 14, 2020

Let Me Expand on That

Not too long ago, I mentioned that I'd gotten into my first true raid.


That was a Zul'Gurub run that, looking back on it, was a fairly wipe filled run that lasted almost 4 hours.* However, I will say that the raid leader was a real saint; he kept calm and never raised his voice, as he patiently explained and reexplained how to handle each boss.

In that raid I learned three things:

  • For a raid to be effective, you have to be in a voice app of some sort. You may not have to talk --I saw people reply in raid chat to requests-- but you must be able to respond to the raid leader's (and others) directions. We had one person in the ZG run who was not in chat, and that person was simply not following instructions, even the written ones.

    As a sub point on that, everybody not only has to be in a voice app, but be able to understand the language spoken. Being in a voice app does you almost no good if you don't understand what's being asked of you. And yes, that 4 hour ZG run had at least one person in the raid who didn't understand English, and also didn't know the raid. It made things difficult at times.
  • I like to perform interrupts and stuns on Az as part of my work in regular 5-man instances, and that part of being a Rogue becomes important in ZG. In the ZG run Az was literally the only rogue, and I got assigned the job of interrupting the healer in the Raptor boss when he (it?) splits into three people. Once that boss was burned down enough, I and the off tank were the only ones on that boss for a large part of the fight, with me eschewing anything resembling DPS in favor of watching for the healing action and then delivering a solid kick to stop it. While my job in ZG overall wasn't very taxing --mainly don't stand in the bad, do what the raid leader says to do, and just keep my DPS Slice and Dice ability running-- at this one point I had the big job to make sure we don't make a boss fight that much more difficult. And I was able to do the job because I enjoy those little things about being a Rogue.
  • Raids in Classic take about as long as the longer instances in WoW. If you compare a Classic level raid (Molten Core, Zul'Gurub, etc.) with the longer Classic instances (Blackrock Depths, Maraudon, etc.) the Classic instances are either as long or longer than the Classic raids. So the time commitment by me would be pretty much the same. The only thing that the raids have over instances are the buffs and the consumables, where Mages, Alchemists, and others who handle both items spend considerably more time in preparation than the people who don't have those classes and/or professions.

But despite my initial concern about what to do in ZG, I found the explanations easy to follow. And I learned very quickly that "bat riders go boom" as I put it in guild chat afterwards.



Oh, that.

Yeah, I joined a guild. It's a small one, and not even close to being in the same orbit as some of the huge guilds on Myzrael-US, such as Sunrise or Stance Dance Revolution, both of which have over 400 members. 

More on this another time.


Anyhoo, I went on another ZG run a week later, and that run was as smooth as butter. It clocked in at just under two hours, and we only had one wipe, on the trash leading to Hakkar. We even handled the Jin'do fight without any problems.

So fast forward a couple of weeks, and a friend who I'd run quite a few instances with over the past months whispered me on Friday. One thing led to another, and this was the result.

Yep, still running with that BRD Green drop
for my chestpiece. Still, Card only died once,
the Majordomo teleported her up front. Twice.
It was an alt run put on by two guilds, and they pug the extra people.

The most amazing thing to me was that when I zoned in, I discovered that I knew about 1/3 of the people there. When I mentioned it to my friend, he laughed and said "that's the Vanilla experience for you."

Maybe I can do this raiding thing after all.

*This ZG run was on Az, for clarity's sake.


  1. Would these raids have been designed with the expectation that players would have access to voice chat? I know voice was used back in the mid-2000s but it was very far from common. If you really needed voice to raid back in 2005/6, no wonder it was seen as such an elitist activity.

    Even in 2020 I see a strong resistance to using voice chat in most of the MMORPGs I play. It's a perennial bone of contention in GW2's WvW for example, especially in anything onvolving more than a single guild.

    1. One thing that people do forget is that dialup was also still a thing in 2004-5 when Vanilla WoW came up, so there are some quirks in Classic that still reflect that (such as getting close enough to the end of casting something and an interrupt --jumping, for example-- won't stop the cast). This also makes the limitations of Vanilla WoW's data structures, which include allowing raid bosses only 3 special abilities, more understandable from a dial-up perspective. But I can't imagine attempting Icecrown Citadel in December 2009, a few years later, without some sort of basic DSL or cable internet access.

      Even then, however, trying to herd 40 cats in a Molten Core raid is bound to be made much more difficult without access to voice. The sheer volume of typing ahead of time, explaining what needs to be done and who is assigned to what, would likely add about 30-60 minutes to your average raid, not including wipes.

      Yes it can be done, but the accommodations for that increase the challenge significantly.

      In the era of Ventrillo's dominance --and even before then-- the cost of maintaining a voice chat server would have been another limiting factor as well. But in the age of Discord and Skype the cost factor has simply gone away.

      It would not shock me if WoW culture, with it's focus on Endgame, pushes people into voice chat even when they would ordinarily not want to do it.

  2. Congratulations! On both the successful raids and the guild thing. :) Look at you, becoming all involved in endgame!

    1. Before you know it, I'll be a guild leader and posting videos on YouTube! ;-)

      I'm pretty sure you still have the claim of Empress, tho.....

  3. Congrats! Nice to read you had fun :)

    @Bhagpuss - we had used voice comms for shooters before WoW even launched, so I don't see why there wouldn't have been the expectation that people get that running for coordination.

    1. Thanks!

      Went back to MC this past Friday --no drops-- and got talked into an Ony run afterward. No drops there, either.

      So yeah, I'm getting the hang of this.