So You Want to be a Raider?, Part One

GameSpy has begun a new series of articles featuring advice for those World of Warcraft players who would like to start tackling the game's tougher raids. In part one, the editor tells us about his experience with finding a guild to scratch the Ulduar raid itch:
I've said before that World of Warcraft is an easy game, but it can be as difficult as you want it to be. It's about how you choose to push yourself. In my case, learning to output as much burst as possible when the Bloodlust goes off, and tracking my cooldowns so that I can push that little bit more when I need it, is something that, frankly, was never really necessary before. When we call for the burst damage, I've got five or six extra abilities and effects popping off in unison, stacking and multiplying and combining raw damage into an onslaught of arbitrary damage inflicted numbers that tell the meters that I'm doing my part.

I've also had to approach the guild as a responsibility, not just as a game. When I missed a few weeks of raiding due to travel, work, and vacation, I came back to find I was demoted! Now, you think this might be harsh, but I appreciate how seriously they take our commitment. You're letting down 24 other people when you don't come on raid nights, and it's not too much to ask that prior notice be given in advance.