Monday, January 14, 2008

Raiding Steps

I was thinking about our latest ramp up in progression and realized that while we are still a “casual raiding guild” we have taken a “hare-core” approach to the raids we go on. In every raiding guild I have ever been in the rules are the same, and that leads to boss kills. I’m happy to see we have taken these steps and for sh*ts I thought I would list out what has changed in our guild that I feel has lead to our recent success.

1. The guild leadership has decided on a guild course, progression:
In our forums over holiday break it was posted were going to get serious about progression after the new year. Before the new year there was the occasional talk of progression but nothing ever really set in stone and felt a bit “wishy washey”, since progression has been a decided course for the guild we already have 2 new boss kills in a short amount of time. The officer dedication is noticeable. For example “Pre-Gruul kill” we would do like 3 attempts on Gruul and call it a night it took us several weeks to finally kill Gruul. Since the “progression” course was decided we spent 6 hours (19 attempts) on Mag in one night, that’s why we got to kill him and that’s dedication toward progression we need. Can you imagine how many weeks it would take to learn Mag by only giving him 3-4 attempts?

2. The officers pick a boss and we don’t move on to another until that boss is dead:
I feel like this is the best way to progress. You focus your energy and dedication to one specific boss, after several attempts you develop a pattern on that boss till you kill him. Skipping around on bosses trying out several different strategies seems to frustrate people and in the long run is more demoralizing since it wasn’t just 1 boss that kicked your ass, but several different ones.

3. Tutorial videos and strategies are posted on our forums(preparation):
If your part of the raid group you’re expected to have watched these. It’s even brought up in the raid that you better have watched these or you get the boot. From what I can tell almost everyone has been doing their job and studying up for the attempt. In my opinion having seen all the boss’s different spells/cycles and knowing what to expect saves the guild on a countless number of wipes.

4. Development of a core group(most important imo):
If you don’t have the gear you can’t go, that’s the rule. If you’re retarded, you can’t go, that’s the rule. On Mag and Hydross we took a strong core group and both bosses have died on our first night in there. If you look at last week’s Gruul run we broke the “core group rule” and took a lot of non-core people resulting in a disaster and no Gruul kill. I know that sounds harsh, and some of you may be thinking I’m only putting that because atm I’m part of that core group. That’s not the case at all, I have joined other guilds being under geared and not a part of the core group. Yes, it sucks to not go with everyone and celebrate their victories but the chances to get into the core group come along fairly often. A fact in wow is that core raiders will burn out, quit the guild, take vacations, or get the boot for being a retard. If you’re not part of the core group the opportunities will be there, you just have to be ready to take it. Gear yourself up, pick up an occasional heroic with core people to demonstrate you’re not an idiot, let the officers know how much you want a shot and you’re willing to commit to helping any way you can, watch the strat videos even if you’re not in the core group so that when your asked “Want to come to Gruul?” you can say “Yes!” with confidence you’re not going to bring the raid down. In my current guild I have seen the biggest gap of core-group gear to non-core gear that I have ever seen, this tells me that the non-core people are looking for a free 25 man ride to get loot or their toons haven’t been 70 long enough to get fully raid geared yet. With this huge gap in gear, if we start swapping out people core people for non-core people it makes a huge dent in our raid. I have actually been called “selfish” by a non-core raider because they think the core-group is hording all the loot, I think its selfish they think they should get to go after not putting in the work all the other core-raiders have to make boss kills possible. Stopping a 25 man raid from getting a boss kill because you’re under geared but expect to go is “selfish”. We wasted a good raid night on that Gruul run and have yet to get the core group back together to kill him and Mag this week, unless we do it tonight we wasted a whole week of Gruul and Mag loot because we broke the “core group” rule.
When 25 people raid together consistently you get comfortable with that group and build confidence in each other. Then when you go to a raid you no longer have thoughts like “this is going to be a cluster f*ck”. Instead everyone goes in with a positive attitude and a belief that they will succeed, this makes people play better and try harder which leads to less wipes and boss kills.

5. The development of a “dkp” system:
In our guild it’s called “mkp” but it’s the same principle as dkp and the fairest way to distribute loot. You put forth time raiding and build up points, when your item drops you use your “mkp” like money and “buy” the item you want. You are rewarded for the time you put forth wiping and studying up on the boss fights. With a “dkp” system you don’t leave yourself open to losing a roll against someone who is new to the guild/raid group nor do you have to rely on a “loot council” where they give items to the person they feel deserves it and in some cases that isn’t you no matter how much you think the item should go to you.

6. Apply RL pain to people who mess up(optional):
This is one rule we have not applied yet in the guild but I’m still hoping on it. Have everyone go buy a machine that wraps around your finger and plugs into the USB port. The guild master has control of an application that can activate the machine for a specified raid member. When the raid member messes up the guild master flips the switch and your fingers is “skinned” causing incredible pain. Next boss attempt I bet that person doesn’t make the same mistake twice. Even though there is the chance of losing fingers from infection or dying from blood loss I think the risk is well worth the loot and saved gold from repairs.

It’s my personal belief that if you stick to the steps you will have a happy guild and one that does well in progression. The only thing that can keep a guild from progression is breaking the rules or you just don’t have the gear to support that boss yet(which means your picking the wrong boss to focus on). Follow the rules and your progression is determined by how much you raid, even if you don’t raid that much at least you have the satisfaction in knowing that on your raid nights you can expect to do well.

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