A lot of people have little “raid rituals”. They get their soda and snacks lined up by the computer, they turn on their favorite music, they pray to the Random Number Generator Gods for good rolls, sacrifice a mage for good luck, and so on and so forth.
My rituals have always been less…organized. The morning of the raid I log on to make sure I’m properly gemmed/enchanted/stocked-with-potions-reagents-fish-feasts-etc. If I don’t plan on doing dailies or other fun things involving my raid toon beforehand, I try to log out by the summoning stone of the raid in question. Then, somewhere between 5 and 15 minutes before raid time, I finish whatever household chore/alt leveling/TV show/dinner I was working on and make a mad dash for the computer. I log on, join the raid group, sign into vent, drop a fish feast and some tree hugs, and away we go!
Often the last words reverberating through our little condo before the raid starts is me hollering:
“Oh, crap, hon, I gotta run to the bathroom before the raid. Can you refill my water since I forgot to?” (Just to ensure I have a steady flow of liquid during bosses so that my legs will be in a permanent state of crossed by the time the mid-raid break is announced.)
Tazha in WoW? Always ready for healing.
Tazha in RL? Generally shoving a headset on herself rather breathlessly a few minutes before the raid starts.
So yesterday was a nice break from my insane dash to the computer. I was settled in well before the raid and just as ready as Tazha when the group invite came across my screen. And since I’d been good and allowed myself oodles of time, I used the extra minutes to experiment with background music.
I know most people probably have a WoW soundtrack that doesn’t involve anything Blizzard has set up in game. I’ve been treated to the sounds of heavy metal, ’80s pop, and what sounded like a dozen caged songbirds fighting to the death over vent (“I have a lot of birds” was the explanation for that one) when various raid members held down their push-to-talk buttons. I have had iTunes playing any number of things while farming or questing just with my pally, not to mention the time spent fishing while watching TV or listening to a movie on Hulu.com. But in all this time I have never had music or movies playing while in a group bigger than two.
So yesterday was a New Experience. I was in my 25-man raid group, where, as I’ve indicated before, I’m far less chatty. I left the headset in a sad discarded heap, hooked in vent so I could hear it over the speakers, turned on the sound effects, turned off the WoW music, and cranked up The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls album interspersed with a fair amount of The Animals for good measure.
I have to say, now that I’ve done heroic Ulduar with Mick Jagger crooning in a Brit-meets-country twang about all the women he’s been with, I’m not sure I can go back. Not to mention having Eric Burton be the deep voice of one’s Kologarn kill. Not having the option to gab in vent left me rather more talkative (in the typing sense) than normal on the raid chat channel, and the tunes lifted my spirits and made the whole thing even more fun than it normally is.
My pally, who is generally against having background anything beyond WoW-approved and Blizzard-provided noise when we’re in a group, was on board with this New Experience as well, in large part because he is a big fan of the Stones. And while I did have to occasionally turn down the music when we approached a new boss or there was a lot of explaining to be done about this or that, overall a little mood music enhanced my raiding time immeasurably.
Next week, I think I’ll try some Aerosmith. 😉