Affinity Space Update 3

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Raids in Guild Wars 2 are relatively new, as they were only added about a year and a half ago since the community kept asking for more challenging content. They include some of the hardest content in Guild Wars 2 and typically require groups of 10 players (the maximum allowed) to complete, though it is possible for skilled groups to complete them with less. Personally, I’ve found raids to be one of the most limiting aspects of the game for players like me, who are not in a large guild, because it can be difficult to find a group. My focus for this update was to see how the Guild Wars 2 Reddit can be used to learn more about raids and find groups.

The problem with finding groups through the in-game search is that parties often require players to share their loadout (armor, weapons, stats) before they can join. More often than not if you’re anything other than awesome, you’re not getting a group. While searching Reddit, it did not take me long to find many posts from players offering to teach raids. As discussed by Gee & Hayes (2012), affinity spaces are a place where members can mingle with others as they wish, learning from others when and where they choose.

I think this is great, but unfortunately the biggest obstacle for me in joining one of these groups is the time commitment. Raids typically require a 2-3 hour commitment, and as someone who works full time and goes to school, I have still not had a chance to actually participate in a raid. I find this to be one of the few disappointing flaws in Guild Wars 2, as most other content allows players to easily to jump in and out.

The other aspect of raids that seemed to be present from time to time is the toxicity that seems to occur around them. Reddit has been the center of a few controversies, but most of the issues with raids I’ve been reading about have been occurring in the game itself. There have been instances of party leaders kicking players at the very end of a 2 or 3 hour raid because they didn’t think that player did their fair share. This essentially means that player received no in-game rewards and wasted a couple of hours for nothing. There have also been many instances of verbal abuse.

I now know more about raids than I had previously. There were a few helpful introductory post on Reddit and many post with players offering to help, but I really want nothing to do with them. It seems like a time investment that I don’t want to deal with right now and the behavior they bring out comes across as very negative. I’m left wondering what the game developers can do to address these issues or is it up to the community?

Gee, J. P., & Hayes, E. (2012). Nurturing afinity spaces and game-based learning. In Games, Learning, and Society: Learning and Meaning in the Digital Age (pp. 129-153). Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139031127.015

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