As I’ve noted before, there is a large disparity between The Regiment’s raiding experience and my own personal history. As a form heavy raider – and someone gradually climbing back into the saddle after disdaining raiding for some time – my experiences pre-expansion included full clears of all raids except Naxxaramas. I currently maintain a somewhat heavy raiding schedule, including Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep on my priest and soon my hunter. I fully intend to see the inside of the Black Temple before Wrath of the Lich King is released.
This differs with the vast majority of my guildmates. Prior to The Burning Crusade, The Regiment organized weekly, extremely casual runs of Zul’Gurub. After the release of the expansion, we took a couple of months to organize a core group of raiders to maintain a weekly Karazhan group. For many of these people, Karazhan was the first raid that they had ever done. As casual raiders (which differs from casual players!), they don’t ever plan on seeing anything beyond Zul’Aman – a goal that we’ve just started within the past week. Members of The Regiment occasionally sub into any of numerous 25-man raids when openings and their availability coincides. They’re content gradually seeing new content and knowing that they may never progress any further.
This contrast in playstyles and experience results in an interesting dynamic in the relationship I maintain with the people under my command. For one thing, it results in different end-game goals. My focus during much of the week is raiding, whether it’s actually stepping foot into the instance or preparing for the raid. I spend a lot of time attempting to acquire better gear that would improve my performance in my raids, which includes jealously hording badges in anticipation for the badge gear that will be available in patch 2.4. On the other hand, most of my guild members don’t have that kind of drive. Rather than running heroics to acquire badges or even better gear, many play any of a myriad of alts. This is an particularly sore issue with me, as we continue raiding Karazhan months after we first stepped inside with people who could be better prepared for each of the fights but aren’t.
And don’t get me started on consumables and their use – or lack thereof – during fights that we sometimes still have problems with!
The balance between a raiding background and a guild that desires to be nothing more than casual raiders is a hard one to maintain. It frequently leaves me frustrated when people come to the raid ill-prepared, without consumables, their gear broken, in pieces of gear that they could have been upgraded months ago if they’d have run heroics instead of leveling alts, and showing up late or not showing up at all. As a comparatively experienced raider, this clashes with what I consider normal raiding practices and the standard that I personally maintain for myself whether I’m entering Tempest Keep to pit myself against Kael’Thas or returning to Karazhan for the umpteenth time to aid my guild in their weekly run.