I don’t have an infinite amount of it.
Against this backdrop, my guild forums were recently discussing how we wanted to handle raid breaks throughout the remainder of this expansion (now complete for us) and looking ahead to Pandaria. By raid breaks, the general definition I’m using is a pre-planned ten minutes where everyone can get away from the keyboard and come back refreshed.
But I was wondering how people generally view this topic.
My own view on the raid break
When it comes to breaks, experience has generally set me against them assuming you know how long a raid is supposed to last for. Under normal circumstances, there’s almost nothing that requires people to be away from the keyboard other than a 2-minute pee or grabbing a drink. That can be done between pulls or on trash, so factoring in a break doesn’t really achieve anything that can’t be done during normal raiding time.
Other things that require folks to be away for longer such as phone calls or “emergencies” are going to happen regardless and at random times, so there’s really no point in using them as examples; they should be the exception rather than the rule. Again, though, these can be widely mitigated against and my guild starts comparatively late, allowing players time to get in from work, have dinner, kiss their significant others and do bigger “toilet duties” that would require more than two minutes.
Moving on, though, I also think such breaks (whether at a set time or at “an appropriate time”) have a negative impact on raids.
I understand the logic of “recharging batteries” and the like, but my experience simply doesn’t mete that out. Taking a 10-minute break implies 12 to 13 minutes to some people, while others don’t do what they need to do during that time for fear of being back late. Twenty minutes later, people are back to “needing the toilet” or “having to phone mum” or “having to eat dinner” and a 10-minute break becomes a half-hour fiasco.
Surely there are ways to make breaks efficient?
Platitudes such as “don’t be back late” or “make sure you do everything you need to” sound like mitigation toward this, but they rarely are. It takes only one person to hold up the other nine, and there’s always one. I’m not saying this is always deliberate, because that would be unfair. But even if it’s just someone checking email, chatting on Skype or doing anything for a little longer than planned, it’s still time that other people have to wait and that has a directly negative impact on morale (and patience).
Simply put, I’m against raid breaks assuming the raid isn’t running over four hours, which captures the vast majority of guild timings.
Is there ever a good reason for a break?
Now, all of that said, I’m fully aware that some people need a bit of time for medical reasons. Once that’s been established and the raid leader or guild master is happy with it, it’s no longer up for debate. I’d rather raid with someone I like and wait twenty minutes a night for them, than raid with someone I don’t like and have everyone at the keyboard for a full four hours.
To be clear, the day I expect someone to put their health in jeopardy is the day I stop playing MMO’s completely.
Buddy health >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Progression.
Every. Single. Time.
So while I’m against raid breaks in principle, I have no problem with them being there for legitimate reasons that have already been agreed by the hierarchy. Frankly, arguing against something like this would be both insensitive, and asinine. Luckily, my guild isn’t up to that kind of crap, but I do recall the story of a deaf druid player that was forced to be on Ventrilo, then carrying the can for wipes.
Time is precious; how best to save some?
What it might be worth doing in lieu of raid breaks, then, is establishing other ways with which to save time. Things such as prior planning, tactical discussions and wipe recovery are the places where the most time is traditionally wasted, so that’s where I’d probably start. But then again, for my guild, it’s not a place where a lot of time is traditionally lost.
So where else can we tighten the time belt if we don’t use breaks?
Does anyone use breaks in a different manner that works?
Does anyone have traditional breaks, but different experience to mine?
Answers on a postcard, please! o/