Ready Check: Inside World of Warcraft Raiding with Gaming Researcher Ladan Cockshut
Every night, massive teams of battle-worn experts gather, organize, and battle through intense and complex challenges. Often they die. Sometimes they win. World of Warcraft is nothing if not massive and complex. While the world at large has a perception of video games as simplistic pastimes, raiders define an intense pursuit of excellence.
Yes, Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games can be fun, undoubtedly. But as experienced players know, the play style, challenge, and commitment to excellence of gamers closely resembles the values of competitive and collaborative sports. Even the word ‘casual’ in World of Warcraft simply refers to those not entirely devoted to pursuing end-game content.
Raiding refers to act of completing difficult content only available to players who have completed an arduous and time-consuming leveling challenge. Leveling a character typically takes seven through nine days (24 hour cycles) of in-game play. Once a character reaches a level plateau, a series of far more difficult challenges known as Dungeons are unlocked. In an elaborate dance, these dungeons can require up to 40 players to coordinate performance for several-hours. Raiding typically occurs a few nights per week and the most hardcore raiding guilds will often treat raiding like a professional job.
In this episode, Ladan introduces the basic mechanics of massive games, and explains why raiders matter.
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Thanks for listening.