Friday, May 22, 2009

Exit Strategy, Followup

Rather then overfill a comment, I'll just take my responses to yesterday's and go in depth here. Thank you Logtar, Kadomi, Mookey, and Bent, for your long/insightful comments!

Kadomi's guild has cleared Naxx 4 or 5 times, and is raiding every weekend. She's thinking about how her guild should deal with farm raids, Malygos, OS, and Ulduar.

Kadomi - I would definatly clear Malygos first. Have your guild kill every T7 boss, collect your titles, then dive into Ulduar. OS+Drakes may just be something you need to cut out at this time. You can gain many of the skills it teaches in Ulduar - it'll just put you behind in some areas compared to guilds that could do that learning pre-3.1.

Don't take a wipefest in Ulduar on your first night/week as a bad sign. Luckily, you'll 99.9% (repeating, of course) be able to do Flame Leviathan+0 your first night in, which should start to get people pumped. After that, hit up Razorscale / XT, Iron Council, Kologarn.

I would say drop Naxx completely. If you really feel like you need a farm night every now and then, take every second/third week, clear Naxx & farmed Ulduar bosses. But as soon as you feel people are feeling done with Naxx, dump it like a green.

Mookey is the leader of a 25-man, 3/day a week guild, who looks at epics per hour, and different progression paths...

First off - thanks for posting! I love seeing new names in my comment section.

I wouldn't give your guild the title of "casual" - its allready a widely (mis)used word, and I don't think its fitting for how your guild sounds. LOKI is a 3 night a week guild as well (3 hours a night), and we too are simply serious about how we use our time.

If you look at Ulduar gear - many classes don't have upgrades (rather having minor upgrades or sidegrades) for many slots. I don't think that nearly as much gear is needed to get raiders geared (or overgeared) for T8, as it was for Naxx. By the end of Ulduar, if your raiders are mostly in 226's, you'll be awesome for T9. Just think of how many enduring pieces of gear there were from T4 (Dragonspine Trophy, Pocketwatch & Aldori Legacy Defender to name a few) that didn't get replaced in T5.

You also mention "inevitable need that you kill all bosses at least around 10 times in order to make everyone happy". Don't necessarily associate getting loot with making people happy. There are lots of people that would kill a boss only once ever, and move on, if it was possible. Ten kills certaly borders on the point where even people that are missing gear will be getting tired of doing a boss, and want fresh content.

They layout of Ulduar, and skippability of bosses, certainly is a boon. I definatly use Razor/Ignis/Council as rewards for progression, but am carefeul to not do them as the result of frustration on progression. Last week, we didn't kill Mimiron until a half hour from the end of our last raid day. Razorscale, Ignis, Council, Hodir, Freya, and Thorim - all bosses we've killed/farmed, went unkilled that week. If I had said, at any point on our 5-6 hours on Mimiron, "hey lets go do something else for a break" - I dont' think we'd of gotten the kill. When raiders know that they can get loot without doing the hard progression, they slack. Its just human nature to go for the low hanging fruit, the easy epics, the best loot per hour. But when you have to decide where to alot limited time resources, and your truely progression focused, you have to make hard calls, and hope that your raiding force believes/trusts you enough to follow you.

As for your Naxx run - an offnight alt/trial-including night in Naxx is a fine idea. "Best possible time investment" may be a strech, if your feeding the majority of the drops to said alts/trials/disenchanters - but if its all done in time outside your normal raid schedule, then by all means.

Walls of text, by the way, are encouraged and appreciated. Inspiring / making people think (readers and myself, alike) is why I write, and the things people say make me more thoroughly reevaluate my own thoughts.

Bent - The difficulty jump is certainly pronounced. T4 -> T4.5 was rough since it was a transition from 10 to 25 man raiding, which changed the dynamics of raid composition, assignments. T7 -> T8 is hard, because T7 was arguablly one of the easiest tiers released (as may be witnessed by the amount of people doing the content), and T8... isn't.


Sylveni said...

I feel it's best to try and have balance between farm raids and progression raids. Your raiders want gear, but they want to feel like the guild is moving forward too. You should always be trying to keep that balance. It's easy to go too far one way over the other, though I guess it's much more common to end up stuck in farm mode.

If your guild is in the situation of farm mode with very little or no progression raiding, think about your situation for a bit. What's the raid future for you? Farm raids dry up of loot eventually, and if you've not been doing any progression, farm raiding now closes up for you. Do you then go into hard progression mode? That's really the only choice available to you, but now you've gone from a situation of heavy farming (slack playing, boredom) to heavy progression (wipefests, frustration). Strike a balance.

The leading cause of farming an instance repeatedly (like Naxx) is the mindset of "people still need gear." If that's true on the aggregate, that's fine. But if your guild members are only waiting for a couple of specific drops, it's time to move on. Sorry, people need to realize that not everyone is going to get a weapon off of KT or complete 5/5 of their set. When better weapons or tier sets start dropping from the next raid zone, they'll forget all about it.

Don't take the approach of choosing raids based upon "easy epics" or "epics per hour." Naxx has both of that in abundance. However, for one, quantity isn't always quality. As above, if most of your raid members don't need that gear, Naxx isn't going to be that 60 epics per clear anymore. Secondly, not all gear is equal. Malygos 10 being a good example of something that drops really strong items for its place in the raid hierarchy.

logtar said...

Another variable to consider is the size of the guild. When you have a pool of players, the it is a lot easier to set up events and make it happen... I attach casual as the no commitment because WoW is not a top priority for the people.

The other factor in our slower progression as a guild has been the lack of X and the subsequent re-rolling by people trying to help out. So instead of moving on we now have a set of new 80s that need to learn a new class and get ready for the raiding content.

Most of the people in our guild are late BC players that just saw Kara for a very short period of time... being a tank made it easier for me to visit more places, but I am also on the same boat. I have had the privilege to see a lot of content that I would probably never have seen in WotLK did not come out and I am glad... but serious progression is something that casual and non want in the end.

Bent said...


What is going to stop your guild from just continuing rolling alts and gearing in Naxx... for the rest of wotlk? Maybe trying tier 8 and not doing so well and falling back into Naxx?

I think the main point in Yakra's last post was that he suggests every raiding guild that 'wants to progress' define a finite situation that will force your guild to move on.

As a casual guild you will find some people simply don't like dieing. If you try to push in to ulduar while continuing to farm Naxx, some people will get tired of dieing and only show up for farm content.

If you stop guild support of Naxx, than everyone’s focus is on Ulduar.

I find Loki's approach even more interesting due to the fact they use easy boss epics as a reward after a progression attempt.

Chad S. said...

Minor correction: For LOKI, easy bosses come as a reward for progression *kills* - not attempts.

I'm not a believer in giving ribbons for effort.