It’s quite common these days to hear about raids that are explicitly 18+ (and about high school students lying about their age to get into said raids, but that’s another post altogether). Generally this is done to allow for mature raid chat and to avoid the last-minute, stereotypical “my mom says I have to go to bed /hearth /log” or “sorry guys I want to go to the football game” kinds of problems.
And to be honest, those are valid concerns for a progressing raid. Not all high school students are able to commit to a regular raiding schedule, especially one that happens on weeknights. Again, though, that’s a topic for another post – each raid will have to work these things out on their own.
Say… 8 or 9 or 10?
Kids provide a very interesting set of situations to the raiding group. They are, at once, both extremely fun to have in a raid and a potentially explosive situation (especially if the child is raiding without the knowledge of a parent/guardian).
Two anecdotes from the Anna Archives:
Back in the old days when I was raiding Molten Core, our raid group included a gnome rogue who was 9 years old. He did not have ventrilo, he had a set schedule (as set by his dad, who was also in the raid), and he was a blast to have around. There’s nothing like a 9 year old to be SO EXCITED to be hanging out with the big kids and raiding – it does a lot for raid morale, especially on rough wipes. Now, this little guy is pretty quick on the uptake, listens to directions, and when he had trouble understanding something, he asked his dad. (Note – he played a rogue, a class which – in Molten Core at least – had few responsibilities other than “Stab it until its dead”)
Things that made this situation work: He was playing with someone that he could ask questions of when he didn’t understand. He was not in ventrilo (so there was no danger of someone letting a string of 4 letter words come crashing down on his 9 year old ears), but his dad was, so he always got the instructions. And the entire raid knew that he was young, and was willing to work with that.
As a member of the guild, he was enthusiastic, occasionally might ask for help with something, and had a penchant for farming unrivalled by any other player I’ve ever met to this day.
All in all, it worked out great.
Now to a more recent episode. There is another young player in my husband’s guild. Another gnome rogue, ironically, but not the same one that we raided MC with. He is around 11 years old.
This guy has all the same enthusiasm as our previously discussed gnome, but without any sort of tempering. He gets to go to some of their guild Karazhan and Gruul’s lair runs, but for the most part people don’t enjoy having him around. He constantly badgers people in guild chat for various things (including but not limited to money, reagents, and run-throughs) and if he doesn’t get what he wants, resorts to whispering guild members. Because of his attitude, he is not generally someone that a raid likes to see get an invite.
His current project is my husband and another member of TRI. Every time my husband logs into his raiding main, he gets a barrage of whispers – “is there room for me? can you talk to your raid leader? do you need any subs? can I go with your raid to SSC?” – even if the he is currently in another raid. Right now my husband is approaching the point of putting the kid on /ignore (or siccing one of the.. less diplomatic/tactful/friendly TRI raid leaders on the kid). Recently, we discovered that he’s doing the same thing to another TRI raider that is a member of that guild.
So – what’s the overall message here? I think, among other things, that it depends entirely on the kid and the raid, much like any other raider. I’ve met so-called adult players that were no better than the 11 year old – and they don’t get raid invites either. The fact that our MC rogue was playing alongside a parent helped tremendously, but even now when he raids by himself he has a good rapport with other players and is a lot of fun to have around. He also rarely gets grounded from the computer – something I’ve seen happen to other young players in guilds I’ve been in.
Would I go out of my way to recruit 9 year olds to raids? Certainly not. Having a child in the raid requires a bit more patience on everyone’s part, and not all raids are rated PG/PG13 and willing to take the extra time to explain something to a younger player (not likely with TRI). But having someone around who is absolutely thrilled to be there can transmit an infections enthusiasm and provide some lighthearted banter when the raid’s having a tough night – if the raid and the player are both a good fit for each other. Because really – there’s nothing like getting your stuff in gear for yet another brutalizing wipe and having a gnome rogue go bouncing across the room yelling silly threats at the boss and asking “are we going to pull him yet?!”.
Just like with any other type of player, there are good kids and not so good kids. The decision lies with the raid leadership.
- Godmodding and Griefing (116)
- On Privacy, Real ID’s and Roleplay (49)
- XX and XY in RP (47)
- Population Disparity (34)
- Tanking Perceptions (33)