There is an interesting effect going on with my guild. A few of our members have been super serious about gearing up, and done a few Eternity Vault runs. So of course the next logical step was to start up a thread about raiding on the forums, trying to organize a run or two.
The R Word
All of these things are expected in a normal guild. What was not expected however was the massive knee jerk reaction many of us felt at the mere mention of the “R word” again. It’s like even talking about it again, made us want to run off screaming into the night.
Problem is many of us are basically in a state of what we have come to call "Raid PTSD". Essentially what I am seeing including myself, are a group of 30 somethings that have been in serious raid groups during our time in WoW. Once we left the game however, we’ve been almost shell shocked about the notion of committing to ANY scheduled playtime.
I was the first to talk about it on the forums, but one by one some of the others chimed in saying essentially the same thing. Was the raid life so traumatic that it left all of us somehow scarred by it? I know personally I find myself cagey about even agreeing to run a specific dungeon on a specific night, let alone carving out a block of my week to devote to raiding.
Real Life Matters
It feels like personally, for seven years I lived my life around the schedule dictated by my raiding. As a result I had to juggle real life to fit into this raiding box, and many times juggle my spouse as well. I am just edgy about the notion of climbing back inside that box again. I had some truly amazing experiences while raiding, but also had some pretty horrible lows as well.
This discussion started over on Google+ this morning, and in it Pete Smith of Dragonchasers cut straight to the truth of it. It sounds like you’re growing up. I could almost paraphrase your post as "I’ve decided my wife and my marriage are more important than a video game.". While I had already basically summed this up for myself shortly after leaving WoW, it was pretty powerful to see it written out like that. Even more overwhelming however, has been the stories of my various friends going through the same things.
I guess what I am finding interesting is, once we all left WoW (or whatever game), each of us has gone through this same experience. One that I am not really seeing mirrored in the rest of the gaming community, or at least not widely talked about. What caused each of us to develop this "Raid PTSD" and others not. Is it because we stopped raiding for a period of time? Is it because we allowed ourselves to get back into the normal rhythm of life?