End of a Raid

Few people have known until now that my raid team disbanded a few weeks back. Actually, some people have expressed their legitimate surprise that we did. In any case–this isn’t the first team I’ve seen go early, nor will it be the last probably. These are just things you accept as a raider! Yet each time there are a few things that confound me about what happens after you’re alone.

The Energy

I’ve got a tremendous amount of energy to use on what used to be our raid nights. My body is still trying to prepare for my hype, but there’s nowhere for it to go. Thankfully we’ve been able to mitigate this a bit with maps. And my goodness, the amount of money made through a night of maps! But if not for that I’d probably have the jitters.

I’m really terrible when it comes to my anxiety. Even though I’m a decent player, I doubt myself and am too nervous to enter PF content. As a result of this, I have neither Shinryu EX nor the new EX trial cleared. When people ask if I want to PUG raids, they include O7S, which I’ve not seen beyond Virus on. I don’t feel right going into these things so inexperienced.

Of course, PF culture really doesn’t help here. Even on Day 1 if you’re not experienced with the fight, you risk being kicked out. Or worse: insulted horridly, and then kicked out. For someone like me that actually enjoys toying with the slight movement rather than making big jumps to avoid mechanics early, this style of play is awful. Like, I am literally going to make mistakes–it’s part of the process I have to master the encounter. Yet because of that I end up upsetting people… oh well.

The Defeat

When I’m raiding, every step I take–no matter how small–is something I am proud of doing. Every drop of improvement, everything I learn and gain is crucial. Yet, without raiding that starts to rapidly slip away. There’s nothing really to push for. There’s nowhere to test and enhance my skills, and no reason to keep inching higher because I have no one to stand against. Combine that with my gear improvements basically stopping as well, and that’s just super disappointing.

Like, right now I’ve got an i360 weapon whereas many have their i365 at least with the new EX trial. That’s such a jump across the board that my former orange 96 and 95 scores on FFLogs are pushing down into the low 90s and high 80s now probably. I’ve got two full tokens for upgrading 360 gear now that I haven’t spent because of SKS balancing–and am still wearing Anemos legs for similar reasons. Unless something happens that grants me clears and equipment, I’m pretty much stuck as I am now.

Accepting my limit is something I’m not used to doing. It’s such a strong defeat that I’m having a hard time dealing with it.

“Be Like NEST”

My FC Leader, that pretty Elezen lady some of you now follow on Twitter, Aud used to also be my raid leader. What he wants of a raid team in terms of communication and teamwork is “to be like NEST”. From what I’ve seen on their videos and streams, I’ve pretty much got to agree. Being able to goof off, have fun, and accept the stupid mistakes as you’re learning as entertaining and not be blown away by frustration is important. Communicating what’s going on, talking with your team, calling things out, and working on improving with the “buddy” in your role are all important to a raid’s success.

When I do raid again, I never once want to think of logging in for it as a chore. I don’t want to feel too tired to raid–I want to be so excited about it that my exhaustion is swept off. A lack of progression will definitely frustrate people, but allowing frustration to get the best of your attitude will compound the negative energy. Failures will happen more often, will fall harder, and you’ll perceive them as worse. This is a constant cycle that needs to break, lest it break the raid.

Sure–getting the progression in will fix that! Until the next delay of progression, then we’re back to the step one. What’s important here is not just getting progression down in a timely manner for everyone in your team, but maturing as a person and as a raider. Accepting a group that matches your desire, skill, schedule, playstyle, etc. is important–and if it begins to deviate you need to make the decision constantly if it’s still good for you. Let me tell you something I learned from FFXI: sticking around in a group that isn’t fun for you will make you resent the people and the game. Be sure to adventure freely, and play in a way you won’t regret.

Happy adventuring!

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