When people don’t show up for ‘progression night’ it makes me wonder: Why do they raid? I did a bit of digging around the blogosphere; my unscientific study of the question reveals three main reasons (in no particular order):
There are others, of course. ‘Experience more content’; ‘Nothing else to do’; ‘The guild/girlfriend/boyfriend want me to’ – but I think the three listed are probably the most frequently-cited. Some people will try to slip in ‘Character progression’ but in my view, that’s a euphemism for ‘loot’. You tell people you’re in it for ‘Character Progression’ because, if you tell them you’re in it for the loot, you’ll look like a greedy bastard. Who wants that?
At any rate, if you’re in it for any of these three reasons, then skipping progression night seems pretty counterproductive overall. If you raid for Loot, it’s in your interest to suck it up and go on progression night, because that’s where your upgrades are likely to be. After all, unless you’re extremely unlucky with drops or rolls, loot from farm bosses has pretty much been exhausted at this point, and most of it is getting DE’d or vendored for gold. Farm content isn’t challenging at all, unless you’re going for a difficult achievement or playing around with ‘let’s see how much dps the healers can do’. Maybe the real ‘challenge’ in farm content is in seeing how long you can maintain the group’s interest in running content that is ridiculously easy.
That leaves camaraderie. Camaraderie really seems to be the only frequently-cited reason for raiding that can suffer on progression night, particularly when the group struggles. Repeated failure makes it much easier for the group to break down, for fingers to get pointed, and for people to get sulky (although we all know that happens with loot, too). If you raid for Camaraderie you may well find your lovey-dovey feelings put to the test when you get firmly stuck; then you get a new challenge – keeping your group together when the going gets tough, maintaining the proper ‘group mind’ and morale to find a way to overcome the challenge. It’s certainly not easy, but when you do finally break through there’s a tremendous feeling – relief and accomplishment mixed together – that is greater for the effort the entire group put in than you get from completing a difficult solo task.
For me and I think for most members of my guild, the camaraderie and challenge are the top reasons why we raid. As such, I have a hard time understanding why people don’t show up for progression nights. My raid group would actually like to ‘farm out’ the farm content to new raiders or alts and let them get the gear and experience. We could then go in and work on the progression bosses. One of the problems that we have had is we often get to the new bosses late in our raiding night when everyone is tired and we don’t get as much time to work on them as we’d like (and our ‘continuation night’ is running into conflicts with changes to real-life schedules). I think most of us would be quite willing to sacrifice a few Emblems of Frost and the odd BoE epic in order to make some real headway on bosses we’ve barely gotten any attempts on.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that the newer folks wouldn’t want to just keep going, and then we’d have to run the farm content ourselves anyway. That might actually set up a new challenge: a race to the next progression boss. A little competition within the guild might not be such a bad thing, as long as it doesn’t get out of hand.
What about you – do you show up for progression night? If not, why? I’d like to know.