So last night was our guild’s third night in Ulduar and our guild leader was forced to sit down and have a little heart to heart with our guild. After two full nights in Ulduar and only getting Flame Leviathan down, we were showing ourselves to be painfully below Ulduar standards. To be fair, the difficulty is way ramped up and it’s just not the loot pinata that Naxx has been. Also, if what Blizzard has been stating is true, then having full Naxx gear combined with WotLK dragon loot in every slot still puts you at barely ready for the 25 man raid gear-wise.
But that wasn’t the only problem. As everyone knows, Naxx was laughably easy compared to old raiding content. Even Blizzard has admitted that they may have screwed the pooch by making it a total cakewalk. Anyone who had mastered the basic concept of “stand here,” “run there,” and “cast this” could conceivably be picking up KT loot after a four hour investment regardless of how much raiding awareness and skill they actually had. Hell, you could PuG it, something that hadn’t been seen since they nerfed Kara in order to get people ready for Wrath.
The main problem with this, according to our guild leader and the officers, which I agree with, is that it has bred bad habits and complacency into our raiders. The easiness of the fights meant people didn’t really need to bring their A-game anymore once we had placed Naxx on farm in order to get their weekly purples. Consumables didn’t matter, flasks were whatever and min/maxing was something to consider, but not necessary in order for people to “succeed” at raiding pre-3.1.
It wasn’t just gear either, people could get away with being a step too slow or only half paying attention to what was going on on their screen during a boss fight. It felt like out of any given 25 man raid, you only needed between 10 to 15 people to really pay attention in order to carry the raid. Hell’s bells, there have been several occurrences of Naxx bosses being downed by 2 people, and not just the 10 man versions, the 25 man ones. Ponder that for a moment, a boss meant to be killed by 25 people is instead downed by 2 who’s only obstruction was how much time they had on their hands.
But that’s just not the way of WoW anymore. You can’t kill any of the bosses with just a tank and a healer, you need a whole raid. Even more so, you need a well geared raid that’s on the ball, aware of what’s going on around them and keeps their mistakes to a minimum if they make any at all. Dying in a fire not only makes you look like a jack-ass now, but could conceivably wipe the raid, especially during these first few exploratory weeks when every single dps or healer or tank makes a difference. So it was on this subject that our GL spoke to us about.
The main point of the discussion beyond the usual “stop fucking up” that you’ll usually hear from those types of spiels is that min/maxing is no longer optional. If you want to raid with <NEED A DISPENSER HERE>, you better have a stack of consumables and enough flasks to last you through the night. Your enchants had better be top notch, even if the mats cost you a lot of gold. And you better be prepared to sit out on raiding for the night if someone else has put in the extra effort over you. Simply put, we won’t be carrying anyone anymore. This ain’t yo momma’s raids anymore.
There were the usual grumblings over this and cries of “that’s not fair!” and people upset that they wouldn’t be allowed to get away with letting 24 other people do the work so they could get epics. However, I must say that I agree with this. There’s a place for casual raiding in the game now and that place is Naxxramas. If a guild wants to progress in Ulduar, they have to shed that ambiguous idea of “casual.” They must become a team that cares about doing better than they previously did or else they might as well just consider Sarth 3D the apex of the game and consider WoW beaten once they get the Twilight Vanquisher title.
We’re gonna be organizing some 10 mans this week and trying to get people some more proper gear and practice for 25 mans, but for some people, Ulduar has already broken them. We’ve had 3 gquits since 3.1 hit. One who wasn’t sure if he wanted to be a raider anyways, one who thought we were dicks for expecting people to perform and one who felt he just wasn’t up to snuff for Ulduar. Though I hope it won’t be the case, I’m fairly certain that we might shed a few more raiders along the way. So I ask you, now that it’s been out for a full week and most people have had a chance to at least give Ulduar a taste, do you think it will be a bump in the road that will eventually be overcome, or will it break you like the weak, capitalist pig you truly are?