If you’re a casual player like me…
Ok, let me stop right there. “Casual” can be interpreted in many ways, a lot of them negative. Such as “unwilling to put in effort”, “wanting a free ride”, “noobish about all the things”, you get the idea. But that’s not what I mean here. What I mean by “casual” is “do not have lots of time.” You have other shit that comes first. If you can clear your schedule for 2 hours on an evening, it means 2 hours, not “lol after dinner and whatever.” OK carry on.
If you’re a casual player like me, getting ready for raiding seems pretty daunting. You just hit 50 and there’s so much shit to do. It seems like you’ll never ever get it all done. It’s tempting to just give up.
You Must Prioritize Raiding. If time is a limited resource, you have to make hard choices. If you spend a ton of credits on that awesome speeder, you will not have that money available for raiding necessities, like consumables or augments. (And remember, money and time are interchangeable resources, since you need to spend time to make money.)
It’s not to say that you can ONLY do raiding and not do ANYTHING else in game. If you like to craft, you may very well have time to be raid-ready AND craft. But raid-ready AND craft AND pvp AND collect pets AND collect mounts? Probably not.
Baby Steps. When you hit 50, suddenly you realize that you must find 14 pieces of gear, 14 augment kits, and 14 augments. BLARGH! That’s a lot of time and money and, with few credits to your name, it seems RIDICULOUS.
Don’t give up. Set reasonable goals. When 1.3 hit and I was looking at having to augment at least 9 pieces, it seemed like a hell of a lot of resources. I even did the math and it was frightening. But I calmed myself down and set a goal of 2 augments a week. That kept me on pace without running me ragged. And even with that small set of goals, I ended up being one of the first people fully augmented.
Don’t freak the fuck out. Just do a little at a time and it will get done.
You Are Never Done. Once you’ve done the initial push and gotten all raid ready and start raiding, you may be tempted to wander off after all that hard work and just show up on raid nights. WRONG! True, you will have to put in less time maintaining your raid-readiness than initially getting raid ready at 50, but it’s still a time commitment.
Basic maintenance includes:
- reading all the patch notes and make sure you don’t have to make any changes to your spec, rotation, or gearing strategy
- working toward obtainable upgrades (dailies)
- studying boss strategies before attempting a new boss
- obtaining consumables every week
- practicing (dailies, the dummy, or flashpoints) so that you don’t lose muscle memory
- augmenting any new gear you obtain from the last raid before you go into the next raid
There’s no golden ratio of busywork-to-raiding. Some people say 1 hour of prep for each hour of raiding, but it really varies.
If you notice on the list above, there’s a lot of prep that you can (and should) do while you’re not in-game. I tend to watch boss strat videos on my phone right before bed. Some people have admitted to doing the same whilst on the can. I can also read patch notes while I’m sitting on my couch keeping my daughter company while she watches Dora the Explorer. If I need something crafted, I try to coordinate with guildies on the forums so I don’t have to hang around online waiting for the appropriate crafter to log in. Yes it does take a lot of time, but you grab the time when you can get it, and it doesn’t HAVE to take a huge conventional gaming-chunk-of-evening.
Now go forth and pwn the face off a robot or something.