Hopefully, when I return to Azeroth, I will still be with my guild, Exiled Legion. It’s been quite a while since I made my lenten logout, and considering that my communication with them has been limited to the guild forums (which is relatively unused, unfortunately), it would be a miracle to get back on track.
However, it’s not as easy for me as it sounds. It’s exam season right now, and my study schedule to prepare prohibits me from attending my usual raids. If I do some fancy dancing, I might be able to raid as regularly as I did before.
How is this possible? Simple. With morning raids.
Exiled Legion is an interesting guild, as it boasts a particular roster of individuals. These individuals make up two seperate teams, one that raids in the AM server time, and one raids in the PM. Due to the dual-roster nature of EL, recruitment in the guild is variably restricted to a particular raiding team. However, due to the lengthy history of the guild, both rosters are surprisingly close-knit, despite their chronological seperation.
I initially joined EL as part of the PM raiding team, but due to only having one class this semester, there are mornings where I am not on campus, and I am available to help fill out 25’s with the morning crew. Doing so on a semi-regular but not recurring basis has led me to a few observations regarding the similarities and differences between raiding environments in the morning and in the evening, most notably the mindset of these individuals on opposite sides of the midday.
Differences in short-term mindsets
While the expectations to perform remain the same for both groups of individuals, they have differing mindsets coming into the raid itself. Morning individuals tend to have a proactive approach to raid preparation, due to the nature of the schedule. Since the raid is scheduled early in the morning, they are right and ready to go with little to no particular dispositions. Any distractions are likely due to anticipation of events that are to come throughout the day, and the individual reacts to it in an anticipatory manner.
Contrast this to evening raiders, who have already spent a whole day of doing activities and experiencing events leading up to their scheduled raid. Rather than anticipate, they are reflective of what they experienced during the day, and behave accordingly.
Regardless of the mindset that individuals carry coming into a raiding session, the expectations for success are still the same. Sartharion plus three does not take it any easier because you decided to meet him earlier in the day. Raiders are aware of their goals, and will take the right measures to ensure success. Once the encounter starts, all predispositions are thrown out the door. All that stands between you and the epic loot you’ve been chasing for weeks is a giant hunk of a monster, and most likely, you will be mashing your keys as if you’ve been doing it your entire life.
Physical Limitations of Raiding at Different Times
The human body is built on an internal clock that is centered around cycles of repeated events within a 24 hour time span, approximately. Given enough time and repetition, an individual is capable of adjusting their body to better withstand particular activities at expected times. But when taken out of its comfort zone, the body will exectedly react in unsatisfactory ways.
For an individual raiding regularly in the evening, it is quite possible, if not expected, to experience no form of discomfort when doing a raid in the morning. Such an instance of irregularity may even result in improved performance compared to the norm, as experienced by Larísa in her recent Ocular exploits. She should pat herself on the shoulder for being able to perform at a high level, but perhaps if she immediately started doing Sarth 3D in the morning, all that “breakfast with pizza and beer” would eventually catch up to her, and her body would act out, either outside of the game, or in it.
That isn’t to say that the phenomenon is permanent, it simply occurs drastically at first, but eases off when the body finally adjusts to that change. Each individual functions differently, and the time that it takes to make a particular adjustment in schedule will not be the same for each person. It is up to the individual to decide whether or not this playstyle change would be beneficial for them.
The Double Whammy
Due to the relatively empty schedule that I boasted for this semeester, I was available to raid for both the AM and PM teams in my guild. Although I was recruited primarily as an evening member, I was welcome to fill empty raid slots the morning team needed. There was a particular week (spring break/reading week) where my schedule permitted me to raid concurrently for both teams. How I made this possible was that I raided on my mage in the evening, and with my Druid in the morning. There were no raid ID conflicts with either character, and I was able to experience the “endgame content” in diametrically opposed situations. It was a very interesting experience, but it is something I feel more appropriately left to another related post, perhaps done as a follow-up to this one.
Whether you are a nighttime pewpewer, or like to burn face in the morning, there is probably a guild for you to suit your schedule and bodily needs. The World of Warcraft is filled with so many different people, it is simply fascinating that this game could accomodate them all.