This blog is missing one minor detail: who is the Working Raider?  In my first post, I discussed my goals and who I was as a World of Warcraft character.  Now I will get a little personal and describe my life outside of the game as well as my search to create the perfect balance betwen WoW and life…

Not enough hours in the day…

When I first started raiding, back in mid to late vanilla, it was fairly easy to find the time.  I was going to school and working at a supermarket and quite frankly, I often prioritized WoW over these two things.  A lot of that had to do with immaturity but I do not necessarily regret any of it, as these were fun times.  Fast forward to about two years ago, I began my first real job as an Emergency Medical Technician working for a hospital in my area.  Now life was getting hectic and my priorities were getting in order.  It was at this time that I took a step back from the game and reassessed what I wanted to get out of it and out life in general.  Like anyone, I wanted my cake… and boy did it look tasty!  I wanted the best of both worlds: a full time job, a hardcore raiding “career,” a girlfriend,  a life.

I'm not that old... I wasn't that happy either...

I had a misconception in my head.  I did not think it was possible to go anywhere in the raiding scene without making it a part time job.  The best guilds all raided Sun-Thurs for what seemed like 10 hours a day and that was something I simply knew could not be part of my life.  I began working more and more hours and worrying less and less about the game all while wishing I could find a way… some way to make it all possible.

A revelation…

Hours, even days, of forum browsing later, I came across my current guild: Bushido of Kilrogg.  Not only were they well progressed but they were somehow able to do it in only 6 hours per week!  I didn’t get it… I even ignorned it initially thinking it was a hoax.  The funny thing about it was there were many guilds like this one that had somehow eluded me.  Plenty of guilds clearing endgame, all while living normal lives.  When it finally hit me, I was determined to reinvent myself as a working raider.

Today, I am still employed as an EMT.  I am also a part-time Police Officer (hopefully full time soon enough!) and maintain a website for a local golf club.  I have a girlfriend (5 years strong) and a great social life.  All this and more, and Midniyt is sitting happily in iLvl average 360 gear, awaiting 4.2 and The Firelands.

Moving on…

I think I have all of the “required” posts out of the way now.  I talked about my life inside and outside of WoW, went over my goals, and hopefully gave you all a taste of where my mind is at and things to come.  One of my goals, that I have not mentioned yet, is to talk about something different.  There are countless WoW blogs out there, each with it’s own personality and discussions.  Many of them cover the same topics and it would be impossible for me not to follow suit.  However, I will do my best to keep it fresh and keep the posts flying.  Be sure to follow me on Twitter for the latest updates and random ramblings while I’m bored or busy at work!

We all play World of Warcraft for different reasons.  I said it before but to reiterate, we have the hardcores, the casuals, the in-betweens.  We also have the soloists, the achievement fiends, the lore lovers… the list goes on and on.  Blizzard typically does a good job of creating content for each type of player by adding more quests, more raid content, fun achievements plus much more.  That being said, I thought this may be a good time to get to know the people (few as you may be) who are reading or will be reading my page.

Personally, I can’t wait to get into the Firelands and see all that it has to offer.  I’m a huge fan of outdoor, “epic” feeling raid dungeons and I feel this will be just that.  I am also looking forward to the new daily zone.  Personal progression in terms of questing and unlocking parts of a zone is a fairly new concept and one that will add a lot of fun to the game.  I often times find myself playing during my down time at work but cannot commit to 5-mans or other time consuming gameplay.  Questing and unlocking content at my own pace sounds like the perfect way to enjoy myself playing, all while earning new goodies for Midniyt.

With 4.2 on the horizon, many people are looking forward to new content, items, etc.  Raiders are reading up on strategies and planning which loot to go after first while casuals are calculating how long it will take to earn enough marks to progress through the new Daily zone.  Both are incredibly important for success in 4.2 and beyond, however as history would indicate, we cannot move on to the future without taking a look at our past or how we actually got to this point.

Flashback to December ’10 /January ’11…

I was the first to hit level 85 in my guild.  This was not necessarily important to me, it was just something that sort of happened… but it gave me my first look into the new world of cataclysm dungeons, justice/valor points, and reputations.  The one thing that stood out for me as a Resto Shaman was that healing was hard.  Hard may even be unfair of me to say… I should really say that it was challenging.  I can recall countless wipes in Halls of Orginiation, Stonecore, and the like.  While these were not pleasant times, they brought the game back to a new level.  It was a level where gear was not just handed out, but earned.  Not a single heroic, at the time, dropped any loot over iLvl 346.

Heroic Beginnings...

As I rounded out my heroic set, the hardcore raiders out there were clearing raid content like it was nothing.  My guild finally decided to step up to the plate and take on Magmaw 25 on January 4th, 2011, decidedly later than most guilds.  The main reason for this was that we decided to lay a couple ground rules for our raiders:

  • Must have appropriate reputation with all applicable factions for Shoulder/Head enchants
  • Must utilize all perks from two crafting professions
  • Must have an average iLvl of 345
  • Must bring food/flasks
While some of this may seem excessive for early content, the fact remained that we only at exactly 6 hours per week to get anywhere.  When you factor in time spent developing our strategy after each wipe, a break here and there, and the occasional DC, this really ends up being more like 5 hours a week.  My guild is full of mature, dedicated raiders who enjoy the game but have real life obligations as well.  I can tell you that it as a challenge in itself to meet our high standards at the beginning for most, but we pulled through and in our first month, reeked some havoc.

Magmaw & Omnotron DS

Keeping the ball rolling…

Raiding, healing, and everything in general gets easier as we progress, however it is difficult to rely on the RNG for loot when you are pressed for time as it is.  As we all ensured to do our daily heroics everyday for valor points, we also scraped up gold and materials as a guild to ensure our weaker raiders were getting crafted epics and everyone in general had the best enchants and gems for their gear.  This was the only way to keep our competitive edge (and my competitive I mean with our own expectations).  Eventually, we managed to clear all Normal content by early May.  Speed is never our aim nor our goal.  It is about efficiency and getting the job done.  There were weeks that we would need to extend raid ID’s just to get a few extra cracks in on Nefarion and while some lost out on loot that week, it became worth it for all of us to see all that the current content had to offer.

Defender of a Shattered World... finally

The present and beyond…

As the current patch winds down and talk of 4.2 escalates, we continue to farm what is left of BWD and BOT in hopes of getting people their 4piece sets before engaging the Firelands.  While this patch is ending, new beginnings await us and the same expectations set in the beginning of the expansion still apply.  Everyone will be expected to utilize the new daily system to obtain better gear and simply bring their best game to the table during our 6 hours of raiding each week.

One of the issues with the current content and that I am seeing with 4.2 is that once again there are so many items you can purchase with Valor, yet not enough valor to go around, and stringent caps to boot.  Early on, I would start with the cheapest items for the sake of raising iLvl, however I plan on taking up a new strategy this patch.  5 weeks of capped valor points will give me enough to purchase all three valor tier set pieces.  From there it will be based on what I need or didn’t have drop in a raid.

Overall, I am looking forward to once again balancing a hectic progression raid with my real life, all while grinding valor, reputation, and having a good time.  Please leave your thoughts or comments and be sure to follow me on twitter for the latest updates!  Stay tuned!

It’s always tough to write something when you’re not entirely sure if anyone is going to read it… I’m going to begin by outlining the goals of this blog and then end with a brief bio of myself and where I’m coming from.

The Working Raider is a concept that I sort of “invented” for myself a little over a year ago and truly defines how I play and enjoy World of Warcraft.  A lot of this stems from joining my current guild, Bushido, back in February of 2010 and the rest comes from working 2 to 3 jobs all while progressing through end-game content.  Nearly every fansite, blog, forum thread, etc. out there is geared towards two types of WoW player: the hardcore raider and the casual gamer.

A Gamer Defined…

The hardcore raider, by my own definition, is a player who devotes 80-90% of his playtime to raiding itself, for several hours each day or night.  The hardcore raider spends the other 20-10% of his time advancing professions, collecting valor, or whatever it is that needs to be done to ensure his raiding experience later in the day will be optimal.

No, that's normal...

The casual gamer can fall into several categories.  He could be older, working or going to class, and really only have time to play for an hour or two a day or maybe only on the weekends.  He could also simply not be interested in raiding or group content and choose to focus his attention on questing, PvP, playing the auction house, etc.  As of late, blizzard has given the casual gamer a lot of attention… and for good reason.  The majority of the player-base does not have time to devote hours upon hours to sitting in one raid instance.

Why should you even read this?

The overall goal or message of this blog is to give some attention to that “middle of the road” group.  We only spend a few hours each week in raid content, but we progress with the best of them and still manage to raise a family, go to work or school, and live normal lives.  This group I have dubbed, “The Working Raider.”

I began by saying it’s difficult to write when you aren’t sure if anyone is going to read.  To this end, I have chosen not to necessarily “map out” the direction of this blog but rather let my readers (if any) take me where they want to go.  While several topics come to mind, it is always more interesting for a reader to read what they want to… read.  This blog exists to allow me to put my thoughts down in some sort of “ink” as well as give my opinions on some hot WoW topics/issues.

Who’s even writing this?

To wrap this up, I’ll just give a quick background on who I am.  I play Midniyt, a Dwarf Resto Shaman on the US realm Kilrogg.  I have been in my guild, Bushido, for a little over a year and as I stated early, my time here served as part of my inspiration for this blog.   Bushido is comprised of working adults ranging in age from early 20′s to… well I don’t think they’d want me to disclose that!  Anyway, while we are not as progressed as the top end guilds, we are slowly eating away at Heroic encounters until the release of 4.2 in a week or so.  What is truly amazing about where we are in our progression (in my opinion) is that we only raid for 6 hours per week: Tues/Thurs nights from 730pm to 1030pm server time.  I believe getting so much done in such a small window of time takes a great deal of maturity, attention to detail, and an overall positive attitude towards what you are setting out to accomplish.  I am not saying that we are the only guild to have ever achieved such a “feat” but I am certainly proud to be part of one that is able to do so.

Midniyt of Kilrogg

To continue about myself, I began playing WoW roughly 2-3 months after Vanilla, raiding through BWL content as a Holy Paladin.  I made it through half of BC playing the same character and eventually rolled a Shaman as enhancement for the remainder of BC.  Wrath brought about the decision to make Midniyt my focus and return to my previous love of healing.  I have remained dedicated to the Resto Shaman class ever since and the majority of my blogging will be from a healing perspective.

I'm in there, I swear...

To conclude, I would like to thank you for reading my wall of text and encourage you to stay tuned for future posts as I can assure you, I plan on being more interesting in the near future.  These first posts are a necessary evil to get the ball rolling and set the tone and I hope I have accomplished just that.

Please feel free to leave any comments, questions, concerns and be sure to follow me on Twitter (@WorkingRaider) for the latest articles.