Time for another edition of Ask Anna! This question is about how to find a new raid group (kinda).
As an aside, I am absolutely intentional aboud avoiding the terms “hardcore” and “casual” in this post, because I think they’re pretty useless.
To someone who logs in one or two nights a week and only plays by themself, a person who logs in most evenings and runs 5 mans and heroics is “hardcore”. To someone who logs in most evenings and runs 5 mans and heroics, a person who raids a few nights a week in a 25 man raid is “hardcore”. To someone who raids a few nights a week in a 25 man raid, a person who raids 5-6 nights a week on bleeding edge progression for many hours at a time is “hardcore”. To someone who has only one character, someone who has 12 alts may seem “hardcore”. It’s pretty arbitrary.
As such, I’m purely going to address people’s varying willingness to endure certain things, and different goals within raiding. Yes, it means this post is a bit wordier, but it avoids a lot of the ambiguous crap that goes along with trying to make predefined stereotypes fit.
I have a quick question for you that is … honestly.. neither really easy nor, in the end, really quick. In short, however: how can I get started in the whole ‘raid’ thing?
I am a dedicated roleplayer, and firm member of a roleplay-centric guild. We have raiders who are a part of this guild, but the guild as a whole is not dedicated to nor interested in the raiding ‘scene’. In fact, some of my guild’s roleplayers ultimately have problems with the basic “don’t stand in the fire.” This is not universally true, but from a raw numbers and ability standpoint, most are not interested in actually learning the skills (or minmaxing to the potential) necessary for raiding. Our guild is about half full of members of this sort – this isn’t bad, and is a perfectly fine playstyle, but our guild isn’t gonna be taking down the Lich King anytime in the next decade or two.
I have no interest in leaving this guild – and I know that already limits my raiding potential. On the other hand, I’d really like to see this endgame content before the next expansion drops. How can I make the leap? How can I get into a raid group where people are asking for experience and gearscore that implies you’ve already cleared the darned thing, when I’m not there yet?
I’m full ilevel232 geared (or better), badged to the point my wazoo is out, sporting best-I-can-get in just about every slot and putting out massive DPS and solid healing. I don’t stand in the fire. I make no pretensions of knowing all the fights, but I also don’t claim to be more than ‘new’.
How do I make the leap? How do I get people to give me a shot? How in the world am I supposed to get from here to there?
Ok, a few things.
First, you’ve correctly addressed that this is not at all about roleplay vs. not roleplay. Your guild, as it is, has two groups of people in it. A a group of people who are interested in raiding to the point that they’re willing to do the out-of-raid legwork to be “good” at it. And a group of people who want to go on a raid, but don’t wish to do a lot of “other stuff” outside of raids. They think raiding is fun – and that’s all they really care to invest.
And, as you also correctly addressed, this is absolutely fine as their choice of playing. Yeah, it probably means they won’t kill Arthas, but for some people, raiding isn’t about killing bosses as much as it is about having a good time. That’s totally fine. (Some of the things we do outside of raids are occasionally un-fun. I really am not that fond of farming, but I do it because I know my raid expects me to show up with flasks, for example.)
The problem shows up when not everyone in a guild or raid group feels the same way. When you have a group of people who are OK with the “un-fun” out-of-raid commitments because they want to beat more difficult content mixed in with people who just want to show up, clear what they can, and not worry about it… you get head butting and discontent.
All that aside, down to the actual meat of your question:
First, you might consider if it’s possible to continue RPing with your friends in your current guild without wearing the guild tag on your one main raiding character. Not every RP group is “guild only” either, and I don’t know enough about your group to say either way.
For now though, you’ve decided not to leave your guild, because you like them (and their RP).
That will, as you’ve mentioned, make finding a raid group more difficult, but not impossible. Not all raid groups are guild exclusive – and some servers are more friendly to this than others. (Feathermoon, the server I play on, has a number of non-guild raiding groups, as well as raids that are run by guilds but that have no “guild exclusive” requirement.)
All you can do is apply.
You can’t “make” people give you a shot.
Put together an application for guilds that interest you and are recruiting – if you’re not sure about guilds, check your server forums and the guild recruitment forum. Keep an eye out in trade chat (I know, I know, but you never can tell!) for groups looking for people of your class/spec and ask if this is a regular raid or a PUG. You say you’re regularly running heroics – if you see other people in a group that are from your server, ask them about your guild. Same goes for PUG ICC raids, especially 10 mans. I found TRI through Feathermoon’s IRC channel, where someone was bemoaning their lack of a healer for a Karazhan run.
Put your best foot forward. Obviously, by your email, you’re quite capable of complete sentences and clear statements – that’s a good start. At this point, the best you can do is be the best applicant you possibly can. Bellwether has a great post on How to Ace your App that’s a good read if you’ve not seen it yet.
Finding a new raid is work, and they don’t often fall into your lap. You’ll probably go on trial runs with groups that make you totally crazy or that can’t even clear what you’re already doing with your guild. You might go on runs with groups unwilling to explain new fights who then tell you you’re not a good fit because you can’t meet XYZ standard.
Obviously, if someone approaches you to say “no, we don’t think you’re a good fit”, you should be gracious about it. Whining, yelling, and being argumentative isn’t going to change their minds – and besides, that’s a good time to ask that person if they know of a guild that might fit better! Burning a bridge isn’t going to help you in the long run, and being gracious might mean they change their mind later (especially in the raiding climate that exists right now).
After all that, you may even decide that you’re not keen on the hassle and would rather stick with the group you’ve got. That’s fine as well – sometimes it takes getting into other groups to realize what you like about the raid you’ve got.
A lot of raids are winding down right now, between the summer lull and the impending expansion pack.
While that might mean it’s hard to find groups that are still active (I know a few that threw in the towel and are on break until Cataclysm already), it also means other raid groups are trying to keep their rosters full enough to raid. It’s a bit of a toss-up, but now can be a good time to find a new group willing to give you a try, especially on already learned (for them) content.
I wish you the best of luck finding a group that matches with what you’re wanting to put into raiding. It can be frustrating, and for a lot of (perfectly valid) reasons, sometimes we all agree to put up with one or two things we don’t like in order to stay with the things and people we DO like.
Also, as usual, I’m sure you all (my readers) have other advice to give Kharasa – please do so in the comments!
Good luck, and may the Loot-Fu (and Raid-Fu!) be with you!
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