when apex raids first became available about one year ago, i joined with enthusiasm, but i quickly came to terms with how much time they were going to require. the raids themselves take maybe ten or fifteen minutes, which is already long enough, but the total time required after all of the organizing, after all the switching between apps, after all of the glitches and restarts, after other players flaking out or ghosting, and after all of the superfluous animations can easily take up to or over forty-five minutes.
within two weeks, i wrote apex raids off. i decided that apex creatures were not in the original spirit of the game, since they could not be obtained through exploring and fusing, and was okay with not having them. nine months later, it became obvious that apex creatures were necessary to remain competitive in the arena, so i reluctantly changed my view and began to go for them. for the past eight weeks or so, i have been consistently participating in and succeeding at apex raids — and it is EXHAUSTING!
daily apex raiding within the current system is not fun and, i would even argue, is not healthy, as it is beginning to interfere with other aspects of my life. (operant conditioning and mobile game addiction are very real things and ludia knows this.)
despite my frustrations, i have formed a small group of other players that i have raided with before, which cuts down on organization time, but, even then, apex raids often require more outside planning than is acceptable. just last night, for example, it took me two hours and fifteen minutes to complete two apex raids. the raids themselves took about half an hour. (gorgotrebax is tough!)
worst off all, the organizing is not even taking place within JWA — it’s taking place in third-party apps, like discord, because, within JWA alone, apex raiding would be impossible. driving players to outside platforms could also be considered a safety concern and liability issue, especially for younger players. i’m not sure how any of this serves ludia, since it is not driving time and engagement within their app. (i oftentimes wonder if ludia isn’t just trying to see how much of our behavior they can modify and how many dumb things they can push us to do, at no benefit to anyone.)
the amount of time that is being lost to apex raiding is unacceptable. meeting the in-game skill requirements (having the right creatures evolved and boosted in the right ways) is easy. the true bar for entry in apex raiding is having the patience and the time to dedicate to organization. the entirety of raid organization and communication needs to be moved into JWA. invitations should not take place by player, but instead by creature. raid lobbies and even raids themselves should have a chat feature. above that, two players should not have to be in-game friends to raid together.
let’s do some quick math: to bring an apex creature to level 30 requires 1000 DNA. at best, that’s between 40 and 67 raids per creature. at between thirty minutes and sixty minutes per raid, that’s between 20 hours and 67 hours per apex creature times (now) seven apex creatures. on average, each creature requires a full work week worth of raiding. think of the opportunity cost. they might as well sell apex creatures for $50-100 each, which is what i expect they’ll begin to do as the retire them from the map. that’s between 140 hours and 469 hours total — between 5.8 and 19.5 FULL DAYS spent raiding and maybe 70-80% of it is spend organizing. EVERYONE must go through this barrier. there is no way to pay your way around it.
how is apex raiding, in its current state, fun or healthy?