My name is Jezriyah, and I am a raider.
Not a terrifically hardcore one, but a raider by anyone's standards. I have 3 scheduled raid nights a week (it used to be 4, but my raid leader is temporarily leading another group as well right now) with a random VoA/ToC run thrown in once every week or two. I crunch numbers like a motherfucker, or at least bribe Rilgon with one-liners and gnome porn to do it for me. I know my role, I practice, I work my ass off. There's nothing casual about how seriously I take raiding in this game.
I raid with nine other people. Warrior and paladin tanks. A resto shaman, disc priest, and holy pally healing team. One arcane mage, one unholy death knight, one balance druid, one frost death knight (occasionally swapped out for a ret paladin) and me, the hunter -- survival when I have to be for replenishment, marksmanship at heart and when I get my choice.
I raid as a solid 20% of the raid's DPS if I'm doing it right, probably closer to 15% when you account for tank damage and the fact that our boomkin is god-tier. I raid with my reflexes on full twitch and every door between myself and the rest of the house shut. I raid my ass off.
Mine is one of two ten-man raid groups in my guild. There are, in fact, 25 people in my guild who can put together a decent raid. We cleared the Lower Spire on Saturday (and I scooped THE TRINKET off Saurfang) and could have gone a good bit further if we'd had the time. But that's where it falls apart. Our two raid teams have ten people each, and we've got three or four other raid-capable people, but putting together the 25-man involved taking one or two people who just aren't ready for prime time. We can run a 25, but we just haven't got the manpower to run a 25-man progression raid. And the scheduling differences throw another ugly kink in it.
I raid without the 5% Rampage/Leader of the Pack buff. I raid without Mangle or Blood Frenzy, Trauma or Savage Combat. I raid with a single ilevel 277 item -- the exalted Ashen Verdict ring -- and some 264s from the Frost vendor (and THE TRINKET, which was a fluke of that one 25 we rounded up). I raid with Quel'Delar and non-heroic Njorndar.
I raid with the weight of the encounter on my shoulders. I raid with the knowledge that if I hang out in a void zone one tick too long, there's only one person watching my ass, not three, and if I keel over we're most likely going to wipe due to lack of damage. I raid with a back-of-my-hand knowledge of everyone's abilities -- whose damage will spike immediately, whose will build up, who's not good at moving and may need his name called out when he gets a debuff, whose connection is shaky on certain fights (and which) so if they don't respond for a moment they probably need extra heals and protection. And of course, the immediate recognition of every voice in the raid. (If you can manage this level of knowledge in a 25-man, good on you -- but I sure can't.)
I raid. I raid my ass off. And when I get the Kingslayer title (hopefully sometime this week or next -- we've just downed Sindragosa this week), I will wear it with pride. And anyone who tries to assert that doing it with 9 other people and a 15% damage buff makes me any less the savior of Azeroth is gonna get my boot up their ass.