In my daily routine I scope out the blogs and news aggregators and came across this gem of angst. Now I know that I'm not exactly the first person to get a little ticked off about this article(here, and here). But I just have to have a little say in this as an ex-hardcore raider. As Julie pointed out, it(raiding) is all about the people. Well it is mostly, but its also about the loot, and the feeling of achievement.
When I think back to my EQ days, I have very fond memories of raiding the old Planes(Hate, Fear(oh how well I know you), and Sky), NToV, Ssra, etc... I rarely ever felt regret in having spent the time in the dungeons and preparing for them(i.e. grinding exp w/ guildies). And really let me say that grinding isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be, again with grinding as with raiding it is all about the people. My EQ experience left me with a positive impression of end game guilds, as did my DAoC experience but to a lesser extent. WoW on the other hand has seriously soured me to end game guilds as the guilds that I've raided MC, BWL, ZG, etc... were not nearly of the same caliber, both socially and with regard to in game skill. Again it is all about the people, it wasn't the game that got me ticked off at the end of the day, it was the people.
It goes without saying that Jeff Vogel either hasn't really played at the high end, or he has been soured to the end game by a bad guild experience or several. I fully admit that things such as loot disputes, and general guild drama contribute to some of the bad experiences(in fact drama is the reason I quit EQ to begin with), but these experiences are far overshadowed by the fun times I've had with people half way around the world, people that have had an impact on me and that I've had an impact on. I've been invited numerous times to visit guild members at their homes and taken a few up on this, and I've shared many very personal experiences with other gamers who I still talk to this day. And when I left the game, yes in fact people did wonder where I went and cared about my situation. Of course they moved on though, like any relationship or organization when one member is lost the others cope and move on. That shouldn't be seen as an uncaring move as Jeff seems to believe, but is the natural progression of social organizations. I was not simply a puzzle piece to be replaced, neither were the other members who left the game, but in a guild of 60+ people losing one member no matter how critical is usually not cause to fold the whole team.
So in short I'm very disappointed that Jeff Vogel would make such callous remarks about high end gamers. Yes there are bad apples, and with the advent of WoW and its 9 million subs, of course the number of jerks and terrible guilds will increase but that is no reason to write off the entire end game. Which to me is really the meat of the game, where you actually slay the dragons and participate in the epic battles, and along the way meet some great and not so great people. I for one do not regret my time at the high end and often wish I could make a return. And Jeff's assumption that high end gamers are those stereotypical gamers in their Mother's basement is so incredibly wrong I can't even imagine where this guy gets his information. I've played with everyone from house wives to business executives and everyone in between, with people from down the block to people around the world, so please Jeff stop reading the major media headlines and if you are going to comment on a large and very important part of the player base try it before you knock it.
P.S. I apologize for the lack of posting, but I've been under the weather and havn't really had the energy.