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Overcoming Raid Anxiety

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Hello, I wanted to create a resource that highlights the super important topic about people’s experience with anxiety in Guild Wars 2. There are multiple barriers of entry for new player’s approaching endgame content. For many, anxiety is one of those barriers. I wanted to open a discussion about anxiety as a whole, what raid anxiety is, how raid anxiety impacts many different people, my experiences with anxiety, and some solutions to overcoming raid anxiety.


For me, raid anxiety was one of my biggest barriers to completing raids. It took me a long time to build up confidence in my ability to play the game and build a community of friends whom I felt comfortable raiding with. This is true for me with any challenging content in any game that involves people, such as raiding in other MMOs or ranked modes in various games. I tend to use the same strategies in every game to handle my anxiety in order to have fun in the game I am playing.


Here is the link to the full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRxDqp2hLZ8 


I hope that this video and discussion can be beneficial to some people who are dealing with raid anxiety who want to progress through endgame content. 

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Don't really have time to watch the video, but heres how I defeated my raiding anxiety. Maybe it'll prove helpful for someone. I play gw2 from release, started raiding like three or four months ago. "Why so late?" you may ask. The answer is, "becouse I belived all of that player mob that scared me with mean elitist toxic players that are lurking at every corner of every raid wing". Ain't nothing further from the truth. Finally after my two friends got a good laugh at me that I am able to do all fractal cm's with eyes closed but afraid of some imaginary barrier so I finally decided to watch some guides and joined training run. After one week I got at least one kp from every boss and the most important thing, expirience. As time passed i joined first few kp runs, 10, 20, 30 kp runs and now I have static thay invited me without even asking me to prove anything as they saw my playstyle. All of them are nice, kind and funny ppls. So yeah thats my raiding story. Wish I would found out how silly I was sooner but better late than never I guess. 


P.S. all my runs were wuth pugs, no guild or other community unless I joined one accidently without knowing it one or two times.

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Ara’s guide to get into raiding for players that were too insecure to try.

Background: I’m probably an averagely skilled player. While I got more than 9000 hours clocked in GW2 I am by no means amongst the highly skilled players. I got my limitations on how much chaos (simultaneous happenings) I can handle and I got some difficulty learning new concepts. Last year I had the chance to get a taste of GW2 raiding with our guild training runs as they existed then. There I had a great experience but by the difficult nature of the content it also was very intense for me to keep up. At some point I hit a ceiling on what my brain can handle with my build/rotation. I was good enough for some raids but not all of them. Maybe this was the case for more players as we mostly focused on Wings 1 and 4. The weekly guild raids ended for various reasons and with that my raiding as well. Anxiety and real-life events hold me back from picking it up any further until recently.

Guild Wars 2 raids are among, if not the most challenging content in the game. It takes considerable effort and coordination of a 10-player group to get success. The input of every player counts. Raid bosses each have an unique set of mechanics that need to be taken care of and at the same time players need to engage in combat.

The complexity and chaotic nature of this gives many players anxiety to try this content. Afraid to let their team down, not know what to do, have low DPS or healing or making mistakes with the many mechanics. Therefore many players just don’t bother with this content, which is a pity as it is an unique experience with beautiful locations and interesting back stories.

A recent game update brought some changes to encourage new players to try to get into raiding, namely the Emboldened buff and the split of the Raid LFG between training runs and experienced runs. Emboldened allows teams to get a significant boost to their DPS, healing and HP to help them get success. Every week one raid wing is selected for the emboldened boost, which rotates to the next wing every week. The LFG split gets a clear separation between experienced groups that want fast and efficient raid clears (often with proofs of past raid clears) and inexperienced groups that can take the time, allow for failure and are prepared to explain a bit.

To me, this was the encouragement I needed to try to get over my anxiety and get back into raiding. If that sounds like something you wish to try, here is one way, not the way how to approach.

  • It is very helpful if you first get some experience with other instanced group content like strike missions. Here you can learn the basics of positioning, playing in a team and breaking the break bar with interrupt skills (cc).
  • Pick a role (DPS, tank, healer) and try to get a build and equipment with stats that fits the role that you feel comfortable with. You can get inspiration at sites like MetaBattle and SnowCrows who have recommended builds specially for raiding. For now you don’t need to get the build exactly right but try to get in the right direction.
  • Get a bunch of food items that help with the stats / build you need and use them.
  • Watch Mukluk’s Get To The Point guide for the raid wing you want to play. These give a good introduction of the boss and mechanics you will encounter. The videos are short and to the point.
  • Find a moment where you have all the time to complete a raid. It is normal that a beginner group has many failures. A training run can easily take 4 hours. Trying again and again and learning in the process.
  • Find a group in LFG (raid training) or via a guild that hosts raid trainings. Be sure to read the group description. Of the group needs a tank, don’t join as DPS. If the group needs a commander, don’t join as follower. If the group asks for players who know the mechanics, don’t join if you never did the mechanics.
  • Tell which role you are and what you bring to the table. Example, power DPS, condition DPS, quickness, alacrity, tank, heals. If you’re new, tell that you are new and that you watched mukluk’s GTTP guide. Then the team can take this into account.
  • Have patience, do your best and listen to your team members that have experience. Either via chat or better via voice chat. (discord/teamspeak etc.) Even if you don’t have a mike or are too shy to talk you should still listen to what the commander has to say.

With the following approach, I was able to clear Wings 3 and 5 the last few weeks. Of course it took a lot of time and many attempts but at the same time getting your first raid boss or wing clear is incredibly rewarding.

Disclaimer: This is my experience from my point of view. This is by no means the only approach to get into raiding. I’m aware that the Emboldened mode is somewhat controversial at the moment. As raiding is considered by some as an exclusive game type for the most skilled of GW2 players and that making it easier with an Emboldened buff erodes their past achievements or exclusivity. They of course have a point with that but at the same time players have been asking for a more accessible way to experienced raids for years. And because all mechanics are still untouched, Emboldened mode is everything but easy casual gameplay.

Edited by TheQuickFox.3826
Rewritten my post to be more helpful
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  • 2 months later...

Good topic. I talk to ppl all the time that want to raid and seem anxious about it to varying degrees and I myself once fell into that category until a few years ago. I had done some W1 back when it was the first and only raid and back then it was allot more toxic and harder to get into IMO. It was hard to learn without a group of 10 you could progress with, etc. So I moved onto other things until many years later. These days I would say raiding is pretty chill generally and people who are not chill are typically pretty easy to spot based on LFG listing details and can easily be avoided by new players, outside occasional random people who might gripe in squad about minor things, but that is just life.


Here are my suggestions to help make raiding a smooth experience and to help reduce the number of things to worry about and reasons people would be called out or put on the spot.


#1 Be honest that you are new or how much experience you have! People will often be happy to let people slide on kill proofs and other things if the person is honest about objectives and experience. Most/Many people like to help but don't appreciate being conned or lied to over it.

#2 Prepare - that is look on snowcrows.com, lucky-noobs.com, hardstuck.gg at the builds and find a build with a low to medium difficulty rating (easier the better) that looks affordable to gear up and learn. The game usually has a few dps and support builds that have simple forgiving rotations. Easy rotations will help you fill the role while you also are trying to learn the mechanics. Its allot less to worry about if you can focus on what is happening in the fight vs trying to remember your next few key cycles.

3# Read or watch some guides for each boss and try to understand what is expected of everyone before you join a squad. I would suggest starting out learning about W1 and/or W4 first. They tend to be easier to get started with and are popular wings. So view/read some guides on each boss. Try to understand what special things you will need to do for the boss. As a new player you will not usually be doing special jobs but you may have to deal with special mechanics anyway and will need to learn how it works and its easier if you are prepared. This will reduce things to worry about and help with confidence and performance.

#4 Be polite; If someone is toxic don't freak out just try to be honest and friendly and usually others will call out the toxic player and maybe kick them from squad if they don't stop.

#5 Join runs that have a listing that looks open to new players and again be up front about your experience/in-experience.

#6 If its your first raid avoid doing the special jobs unless no other experienced person can fill them. Those roles can often cause a wipe when messed up so its best to let experienced people do them. The best role learning is usually DPS or quickness/alac dps (if simple to operate)

#7 Have fun!


If you do those things IMO you will have less anxiety due to feeling mentally and technically prepared.

Edited by Moradorin.6217
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