Thursday, 21 January 2010

While we are at rating things… how about raid food?

Now I presume if you are reading this, you are not a member of one of those top end raiding guilds that cracked the Sunwell in Karazhan gear and such. I’m sure the dietary requirements of those are best fulfilled by NASA space food (in the tasty options of orange, mustard and peanut/horseradish). Everyone else, however, is prone to snack foods to take them through the gruelling four hour stretch of intense concentration.

A quick look at my own body mass index shows that I am uniquely suited to provide a qualified answer to the question “What should I eat?” And give a recommendation as well. And Christmas has nothing to do with this!

Now it is a long standing tradition in our 10-man raid guild to have ice-cream breaks. This tradition was founded (or, more precisely, I stumbled upon this tradition) in the summer of 2007. It was a hot summer. Karazhan was a lengthy instance with lots and lots of trash. Breaks were required! The raid leaders at that time came up with the scheduled break after the Curator. When we started the instance this was about two hours in. It had the added advantage of people not running off to the bog every 10 minutes – as they knew in advance there would be a proper break.

So for the sake of tradition, the first food item rated for raid convenience shall be ice cream.


(not me - but a lovely 10 scoop ice-cream)

Available in a wide variety of flavours, this food item will most likely be available in a taste everyone can enjoy. Personally, I’m partial to peach, lemon sorbet and sweet woodruff. The foodstuff itself has a few rather severe disadvantages:

  • The stuff is not solid enough to handle with your fingers and press the interrupt macro button without fail. A spoon or reasonably similar implement will be necessary.
  • Ice cream is by design usually cold. This also means that it will probably change its temperature and consistency based on several factors like ambient temperature, proximity to CPU heatsink and number of raiders in one room.

 However, ice-cream also provides great side effects like cooling a frayed temper, supply copious amounts of nutritious sugar, and require a trip to the freezer – which counts as a unit of sports for me the typical raider.

I’ll grant it a rating of B for raiding food supplies. A solid food staple that should not be missed.

Not far behind is a whole group of foods. Those items are a longstanding companion of the evening in front of the telly. For some strange reason the en-masse consumption of those while using “voice activation” instead of “push to talk” may also have granted me the nickname “Crunchy” in the past. The wonderful food item of choice is available under a variety of names from simple crisps over “Saltlet sticks” to the fine German “Bretzeln”.


 (Fine crisps - probably unhealthy)

 (Also fine Brezeln. Possibly slightly less unhealthy)

These food items are conveniently available in small single-unit packages, suitable for consumption while pulling or fighting or jousting or whatever. A single crisp will thus make every single move in WoW combat more enjoyable. However, once again, there are certain disadvantages:


  • Depending on the type of food the fingers may acquire a greasy sheen after only a few moves. This can lead to reduced effectiveness over the course of a raid. It also leaves unfashionable shiny spots on the keyboard – especially during high activity events like heroic strike spam on Patchwerk fights et al.
  • The consumption of the aforemention snack foods is accompanied by a certain amount of noise (see: the comment above about “Crunchy”). If you are a regular user of voice-chat systems try and find the optimal distance for the microphone to allow both easy access of the snack food to your mouth and a low impact on the sanity of your co-raiders. Note that this can actually be turned into an advantage with repeated use – your co-raiders will learn to associate a continuous crunching sound with sanity and mental stability and will learn to fear the sudden absence of the same.
  • Due to a certain lack of fluid in this food types a secondary supply of drink will be required in conjunction. This may impact the raiding performance on its own. Specifically when the drink in question falls into the Mai Tai category.

(Mai Tai)


The advantages of this type of food are obviously numerous. A package can be supplied before the raid to the computer chair and might last sufficiently long to take the hungry raider through several boss fights. The food does not spoil in the timeframe of a normal raid – no special effort is required to make it last. The food contains nutritious carbohydrates and saturated animal fats, possibly with an extra helping of salt. All of those deliciously unhealthy ingredients make it especially tasty!

Total rating: B (upgraded to A in the presence of Mai Tais).

Now so far the food items considered were suitable mainly for my own body type. Filling a chair or a large t-shirt with no wasted room to spare. However, apparently some raiders of the female persuasion are sufficiently shapely to fall asleep naked on their laptop while raiding. Now this, of course, calls for an entirely different diet. Practically the only suitable raiding snack is composed of raw vegetables. Carrots and turnips can be sliced up (I hear) and then eaten raw. If you are a rabbit.

A truly perfect food for raiding is obviously available in a presentable package size – as discussed above. For the naked, hot raiders the crisps can be replaced by bean sprouts!


(Oh yes. They taste as wonderful as they look)

Full of scary vitamins, greens, water and minerals those probably make a healthy and delicious snack. But let’s have a look at the disadvantages before going on:

  • Bean sprouts are practically alive. They are grown in a damp corner of a grocery and then ripped out of their friendly little sheltered place and sold. It’s a bit like eating babies, really!
  • As they are something bought from a grocers, they are prone to wilting. The speed at which this happens is obviously reliant on several factors, like ambient temperature, proximity to the CPU heatsink and number of raiders in the room.
  • The nutritional value of the bean sprouts is bound to be low. No sugar, no fat, no artificial colours – there probably isn’t even a hedgehog flavoured variant on the market. Raiders in serious need of concentration probably will have to supplement their food with a caloric drink (like, say, a Mai Tai) or risk passing out on their laptop – hopefully naked.
Apart from the obvious advantages of being “something clean” to nibble, there are several other advantages. The noise coefficient generated by crunching on fresh bean sprouts is low, allowing a continuous intake while chatting away and flirting with the raid leader. The time required per unit is as low as with the previous item – making them perfect for a quick bite before each pull. And finally: leftovers do not need to spoil. Instead of letting them melt or go stale and soggy, bean sprouts can just be thrown out of the window on the drive to work the next morning – and will create a fertile field ready to combat evil pangs of hunger in the real world!



(I am assured this is a proper bean-plantation, not a vinyard. I'd prefer the latter.)


A total rating of …. Hmm… well… C. I would rate this higher, if only Snottydin posted some pictures.

Last but not least … proper foods. As a total random example we shall pick the pig roast with dumplings. Err… porceau avec mashed, shaped colle à tapisser. As served here:


 (A true southern German specialty. Of dubious popularity.)

Nutritious and warm this food is bound to replace lost energy and will to push on, put a sated smile on the face of the raider and – when combined with a good beer – create a certain mellow atmosphere. Unfortunately there are one or two trifling little problems as well:

  • Due to the sticky sauce and dumpling consistency tools are required. Chopsticks have proven inadequate for proper pig-roast handling and thus a knife and fork appear to be a good idea. In the clatter of dishes and cutlery care must be taken not to miss important information by the raid leader!
  • The preparation of a proper “porceau avec mashed, shaped colle à tapisser” is more time consuming than the previous food suggestions. Reheated food nuked to a friendly temperature looses some of the texture and taste associated with the real thing. This effect can be so pronounced as to reclassify the meal to “building material”. A quick bio break between Loatheb and the next wing might not be enough.
On the plus side, this meal will sate even the most starving raider better than the previous choices. A warm meal revitalizes and reenergizes – and no mere CPU controlled enemy will be able to stand against a Bavarian dancing troupe raid thus fortified.

Total rating: A+. For the wonderful boni far outweigh the need for proper table manners.



Please feel free to comment on any of your personal favourite food items. Who knows… even the otherwise perfect Bavarian cuisine might be able to pick up a few more pointers from around the globe!


  1. I can't believe you skipped apple cake and red wine!!! and chocolate!! you sit next to me and feed me these things for goodness sake!!!

  2. UUUHHH just spotted this...mmmm Ice cream