Raiding and Motorcycle Riding

From WiKiPedia

A raid is a type of mission in a video game, where the objective is to use a very large number of people, relative to a normal team size set by the game, to defeat a boss.

I have spent the last three months plaing WoW (World of Warcraft) and I have to say that it is the most complete game that I have ever played. It has all the elements of the best RPG’s that the Finally Fantasy Series introduced to game, the progression mechanics that make everyone want to keep going and the social and team aspect of your best war shooter. A lot of negative things can be said about the game, about how it could suck your free time dry, but the pay off to me is well worth the time and money I spend into it… it makes my stress go away.

That said, the thing I dislike about the game the most is some of the people that play it. Here is where the motorcycle riding part comes along.

I love motorcycles, but what was coolest of all was getting a group of 20+ people to ride together even if it was just to grab a cup of coffee a town or two away. Riding in a large group is one of the most exciting things because it takes tons of trust for you to ride right next to someone. You need a leader both in the front and the back of the pack. You also need great communication to transmit messages such as “gravel up ahead” by just using non verbal signals.

Bad groups in motorcycle riding cause accidents and potential serious injuries, even death. The same goes for doing a raid in a game. However, in a game you can reset the game and just come back tomorrow, in motorcycle riding might have to remember one night for the rest of your life as the moment when one of your friends lost his ability to walk.

I try to approach everything in life with respect. To me when someone is in a group and does not respect the rules (or does not even know what they are) shows lack of respect. While it is the responsibility of the group to tech such rules, it is also necesary for the person to have the willingness to learn and listen.

I am a level 60 now in the game, and soon I will be moving toward the maximum level which is 70 right now. Now we I have started to participate in groups where roles have to be followed. This week I experienced the two complete opposite experiences in the same raid. I could not help but compare it to my best and worse riding experiences.

The worse ride of my life was not even one where I got into an accident. During that doomed ride we actually had 3 riders go down out of a group of about 12. There was no mayor injuries except for one bike that kind of ended up beyond repair. My day ended when I separated from the group because one of the riders that went down was too shaken up to continue so I chose to just follow him home to make sure he was ok.

Lots went wrong that day and I might some day list everything that happened, but it was doomed because of bad leadership. The last point of this post will tell you why.

The horrible raid this week was not due to bad leadership, it was actually people not listening to the leadership. However the result was the same as that doomed ride. There was no fun, there was a lot of disappointment. An activity that is supposed to make you feel better should not become frustrating.

The best raid I have had so far (besides the ones that Wook uses one of his awesome characters to dominate the game.) was a place where you need 5 people of around my level to go in. We only had 4 and I was the lowest level, everyone else was around mid 60s. It is a hard thing to do (which I found out with a bad group) this instance without a healer. The computer monsters hit pretty hard and with a bad group you end up dead a lot. However, with this group of other 3 people and no healer we were able to clear the whole place and never had a total wipe.

The best ride of my life was a charity ride with CLSB. Riding with them is one of the things I miss the most. That day we had 40+ riders and had to go quite a ways. However we had no issues. Even stopped traffic in some places without a police escort to keep the whole group together. It was a nice thing to have that many people ride together such a long distance and keep a nice pace the whole time.

What I have learned from motorcycle riding groups is that pace is the most important thing. Your leader has to set a pace and the group most follow. Great leaders will always set a pace that the most inexperienced rider can follow safely. In the game it is the same thing, a pace needs to be set and it is the responsibility of the players to follow.

The moment you start going to fast and not checking to make sure others around you are doing with the pace, the experience stops being fun and it starts getting dangerous.

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