Why do I raid?
Even before I finally downed Garrosh in flex and got the quest that led to Lorewalker Cho's "why do we fight?" cutscene, I'd been wondering that.
I spent just about every waking hour on Saturday in a raid. I woke up at 10, went into a flex at 11, left that at 3 to join a guild flex, finished that at 6 and took a nap til 8, then had another flex at 9. Why? Why do I like to raid?
I don't do it for the gear (at least not entirely)- by the time my guild run came around, my 2 main toons had run flex 1-3, and the toon I brought to that raid could gain no gear and very little valor since I was almost capped. I just brought her because I like to play my monk, even though I have 4 other 90s, 2 even with the gear to not shame me in there, who could have gotten rewards.
I like to do things with friends, that certainly plays a part. My guildies are good people, usually cheerful and fun to talk to. But that's clearly not all of my reason- most of my groups were PUGs, and I still had fun, and plan to sign up for more on OpenRaid in the future.
I'm also perfectly happy to spend hours killing dinos for bones, or farming ore, or fishing. So why then do I try to raid so much?
The reasons are a bit varied. In part I think it's because I feel raiding is the end-game for me. Collecting pets and achievements is fun, but my goal is always to complete raids. Some of it is to get gear. I am very competitive and like to top meters even if I don't crow about it. I rarely play DPS but when I do, I like to be able to hold my own with the regular DPSers. I like to be able to out-heal everyone when I try. I know it's not important and meters don't tell the whole story of a raider (and certainly not a healer) but who doesn't like to see their name first?
So I raid because I enjoy group activities, enjoy a the challenge raiding give our groups, to get better gear to play at a competitive level, and because for me, raiding is the goal.
On another note, I think OpenRaid is bad for me. I have had some bad experiences in LFR, so I tend to avoid it lately and find PUGs on OpenRaid. Which means it is very easy to sign up for ALL THE THINGS and have no free time to study.