This seems to be a growing into hot topic currently, and since this is also on my mind rather frequently, I’m going to rant a bit about it.
Gevlon stated in his post Good enough that it’s rather pointless (from his perspective) to strive for additional performance once you are able to carry your own weight during whatever content is your current focus.
This is a loaded topic of course. Some may even view this to be the breaking point of their own definitions of hardcore and casual. As futile as that other topic might be.
In the end, as with all things, it’s a matter of your own and your guild’s/raid’s focus. If you just want to get through the content to get the loot. I suppose they won’t have any issues with you as long as you are able to pull your own weight.
My take on things is rather relaxed. Time-wise, I’m currently raiding very casually. I suppose 1 day per week is as casual as you can get. ;-P
However I really like to optimize my own performance. I do research on tactics. Try to think of different ways to do things. I really enjoy being the best player I can be.
Please notice that emphasis.
Since I have only experienced the healing and the tanking role in raids during roughly 4 years of playing World of Warcraft, I suppose I have lived a rather sheltered life.
- As a healer I nearly completely ignore healing meters to evaluate performance. If the raid survives, it worked. If we wipe, we have to evaluate. If someone dies, I have to evaluate. It’s rather simple.
- As a tank, it’s even simpler. Try to maximize your survivability and learn the encounter. Know what happens, when it happens, and what you can do about it. If something goes wrong, try to safe the day. Then evaluate.
As a raid leader, I have to admit, I am content to fill my raids with people that able to carry their own weight. I don’t expect much more. I am very happy if someone is showing the same mentality that I use to bring to raids, but I don’t expect it from my raiders.
Our raiding goal is not to push towards the bleeding edge. We try to be good, get through the content without any stupid mistakes and have a good time.
Other raiding guilds sport different philosophies. Ours will welcome players that are good enough. Others may not. Such is life.
Whatever you do, try to have fun!