What sort of mentality separates the raiders from the non-raiders? I don't mean just the whole "x weapon + y talent = z increase in DPS, I worked this out on the beta using this advanced formula you've probably never heard of" (eltists are hipsters in my mind, they were farming heroic Deathwing before it was cool).
I mean what drives them to do it. The rewards from it aren't tangible, they can't be taken out from the game and put on your resume (25m raid leader should so get me a preference above other candidates. It's a tough thing to get 25 people doing what you want them to do), your title can't be put on your drivers license and your rare mount driven down the street.
Your significant other or your family wont care that you just managed to beat that other shaman's dps even though he was superior in gear to you.
Yet still, people spend hours each week grinding out at that next boss, waiting for that next drop.
My reason would be that, while most of my friends in the Real World (terrible graphics, buggy game-play and botters galore, I wouldn't recommend it) don't care too much about my in-game achievements, the ones I play with do.
I feel their envy when I stride around on my Raven Lord, even if it is just all in my head.
Humans are creatures that enjoy schadenfreude. That's the gaining of happiness from the misery of others, for those of you playing at home. Not only do we enjoy it, but hell, we created a word that describes it.
It could just be simple psychology, the way people become addicted to gambling and slot machines. Humans try to find order and patterns in most everything we do, whether or not there is order there. We know there is no order on a roulette table, that the little ball will land on whichever part of the wheel it damn well pleases. But it's landed on black the last four times, surely it can't land on black again, can it? Better put my money on red and - ah shit. Black.
The roulette ball has no memory of which color or number it just landed on, and it has no preference to which one it lands on next.
Just as the loot tables in a raid or dungeon.
Neither is there a memory of what dropped last week, there is no guarantee it wont have the exact same table this week.
This could be the reason people go in to these raids, week after week, getting that next big upgrade, those next +10 points or that next shiny mount. It's the fact you don't know it's going to happen. It could, but that doesn't mean it will.
Maybe I'm getting to analytical of it...