Posts Tagged ‘10 man

22
Jun
09

Is 25 Man Really Better?

Worthless?

Worthless?

Hey everyone, sorry about my disappearance over the weekend and that I didn’t get to put up a Friday Strats last week even though I promised.  I stand before you humbled the complexities of that crazy far-off land we call RL.  But worry not, for I am not disenchanted with the World of Warcraft simply because I lost my guild.  I actually spent a good chunk of time setting up a new interface last night instead of sleeping like I should have been.  I’m still excited about playing and want to continue raiding and writing this blog.  In fact, I went ahead and apped to Coalition, the top Horde guild on my server and currently flip flopping with and Alliance guild for the number 1 spot overall.

Because of this, I downloaded some new mods, even picked up Clique, and I’m thinking of hitting a few PuGs, maybe some 10 man Naxx action in order to test it out.  I’ve also been chatting with Reyk about his plans for the future and during one of those conversations, the possibility of us starting our own guild was brought up.  However, the idea was not to start a 25 man guild, but a 10 man one.  One that was focused on hard modes and clearing out the latest content, but on a smaller scale, one more manageable.  And it makes me ponder as to whether or not this idea might start becoming a trend.

Anyone who’s been reading the latest news knows that Blizzard is currently expanding the Argent Tournament with a new instance, a coliseum type event.  This instance will create a 5, 10 and 25 man version with all three having a normal and heroic version with separate lockouts.  This is unprecedented, especially coupled with the fact that Blizzard will be removing a distinction between the badges received for the four raid side instances.  They will all drop Emblems of Triumph, which will then assumably be used to purchase new gear, possibly even some of the new tier pieces like you can do with 8.5 pieces.

So by doing 10 man versions, both normal and heroic, you can assumably gear yourself out to be better than the average 25 man normally geared player.  The only additional step up will be the final heroic mode of the 25 man version, with each class probably only receiving one or two BiS that can’t be looted elsewhere.  But the question is whether or not those final few pieces of gear are going to matter for enough people to sustain heavy raiding at the 25 man levels.  Since you get similar enough gear with a lot less of the hassle, why not simply join a ten man guild, which are much much easier to coordinate.

I won’t lie, I’m sure that some of that last paragraph is guided by a certain bitterness over losing half our raid force to the dreaded summer boss and being forced to disband.  But at the same time, I wonder how much being the best matters to me.  I mean, it does to some extent obviously or coming right out of the gate, I wouldn’t have apped to the top guild.  But the idea of forming a small guild with friends from rl and select, elite others while making a run at challenging content is still attractive to me.  I may not be garnering server firsts and topping the ilevel charts, but I’ll still be seeing what the end game has to offer and having a few laughs along the way.

All this leveling of the field though, making the loot similar for raids and all that, why shouldn’t the raiding force on servers begin to split into 25 man and 10 man die hard groups?  It’s become so easy now to simply PuG a raid, something that would have been unthinkable in BC, then why shouldn’t tight knight groups begin to form and eventually become regular raiding guilds, just on a smaller scale.  Everything is starting to just fall under the net description of “end game”, with no real distinction between what type of end game there is.  At least for me, I would be just as proud of a 10 man Yogg death as a 25 man one.

So where does that leave me?  Well, my app is still in to Coalition, so we’ll see how that blows over.   I’m just working on the Midsummer Fire Festival achievements and considering going back to school with heroics and Naxx in order to learn a new healing system with Clique.  Perhaps I’ll get into Coalition and you’ll see me posting about a server first Algalon kill in a couple of weeks (they’re getting really close to downing Mimi hard mode), or maybe in a few weeks you’ll see me announce the creation of my new guild with a member list and our first Ulduar 10 kills.  Either way, don’t worry about my recent silence, cause I will definitely be around.

And for those who are curious, here’s my current in progress UI, I’m nowhere near done with it yet though:

It'll get better

Set up for 10 man

-Dueg

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11
Jun
09

Going Backwards to go Forwards

So last night a familiar monster once more reared it’s ugly head as our guild was gathering to do our usual Wednesday Ulduar run.  15 minutes before the raid, invites started going out and my grid started to fill up with familiar names.  I did what I usually do and flew on out to Ulduar, sitting around the teleporter with Tart, Reyk and my buddy Iolret chewing the fat while we waited… and waited… and waited.  You see, when 7 pm ST rolled around, we only had 18 people on, making us seven people short for all you mathematically challenged people out there (don’t worry, I had to use a calculator myself).

Tension slowly began to rise amongst the assembled, who stood around wondering why people couldn’t get their act together or at the very least post that they couldn’t make it for raid nights.  The minutes ticked by with no new raiders logging on and finally around 7:30 ST, the officers told everyone to get in vent because the guild needed to have a chat.  So Eck, our guild leader, began his spiel, saying that we were simply not putting up with this sort of showing anymore.  Obviously, most of the people who were on at that point weren’t part of the problem, but changes were coming, and the leadership wanted feedback on it.

You see, this had happened once before and they were beginning to see a pattern emerging.  The last time we went from having almost perfect attendance to suddenly half the raid becoming ghosts was when we were transitioning out of Naxx and into Malygos and OS 3D.  In other words, when the going got tough, people hopped off the loot train.  These people would show up for the easy purps, such as clearing Naxx or in this case, clearing out Ulduar up to the Keepers and then simply bail when it came time to do the tougher fights such as dragons or General.  The loot simply wasn’t enough reward for them to spend time wiping.

Of course, the problem with this is that other people in the guild want to progress.  For us, it’s not an issue of loot, though I guarantee you that I most definitely want some Yoggie loot (oh Shawl of Haunted Memories, you will be mine someday), it’s an issue of wanting to see the end game and to beat it.  To “win the game” as it were, as much as you possibly can before new stuff comes out.  Obviously we don’t expect everyone to feel that way, but if you sign up to be in a progression guild, you’re making a commitment to show up on raid nights and try to raid as much as possible.  If you want to ride a loot train, then find another guild.

So after a bit of discussion the leadership let us know that we’re going to be putting a very strict attendance policy into place and will effectively be clearing out the ranks of people who were making poor shows of attendance.  No one got booted right off, but moving forward, we’re expecting 75% raid attendance policy from all our raiders.  Anyone not adhering to this or regularly skipping out on raids without posting will simply be booted from the guild.  That may sound harsh to some, but it’s also not fair to the guild to make us all sit around with out thumbs up our butts and possibly have to call a raid just because you felt it more important to play with your Hello Kitty dolls instead of logging on.

Now of course, such a strict policy will most likely result in a significant lessening of our raid force, possibly weakening us to the point where we can’t regularly do 25 mans for a few weeks to months.  This has drawbacks, of course, since at least a few people in the guild simply don’t need 10 man gear anymore, myself included, but since others do, we’ll run it till we get enough to return to heroic.  So we took the 18 or so people we had online, divided them up into two groups, invited a couple of friends or casuals from the guild and got underway with our ten mans last night.  My group gathered up and we decided, hell, since we’re in this situation, we’ll make the best of it with an achievement run.

We started out by getting the Shocking achievement on Flame Leviathan by not giving it a system overload then moved on to XT and it was decided that a hard mode attempt was in order.  No one was desperate to clear 10 man as quickly as possible and we all wanted to try new stuff, so once that heart got pooped out, we went to town and severed it.  Six or so wipes later and <NEED A DISPENSER HERE> saw it’s first hard mode loot of any variety from Ulduar.  We then moved on to Iron Council where we spent the rest of the night wiping on the hard mode of that fight, though it was encouraging how close we were getting while we were still hashing out our strategies.

And then a funny thing happened.  All of a sudden the night was almost over and I hadn’t been looking at the clock bored at doing the same easy content that we’d been doing since 3.1 hit.  And it struck me, though this was ten man, it was progression.  We were doing things that we had never done before and enjoying ourselves.  Though we were wiping continuously and I probably spent between 100 to 150 gold last night, we were all laughing and joking and having a good time while we were gathering around and devising new strats and whether they would work.  It didn’t feel like just another night of fighting bosses and passing out loot, it felt like raiding again.

Who knows what the future holds for NADH?  Maybe last night was an anomaly, though attendance has definitely been trending in that direction, or maybe it’s the beginning of the dreaded summer time blues when raiders discover this “outside” that I keep hearing so much about.  Perhaps we will shrink and become a ten man raiding guild for the time being, forming a couple of groups each week in order to try hard modes or maybe simply to clear out Yoggie once and for all.  Either way, all I know is that on our next raid night, I’ll be there with bells on, cause I’m a raider, and I’m fr srs.

-Dueg

PS: <NEED A DISPENSER HERE> is recruiting right now in order to help bolster our ranks and return to heroic Ulduar asap.  We’re currently focused on downing Yogg-Sarron in heroic and doing hard modes in ten man with an eye on clearing him there as well.  Anyone interested can app here.  Since we’re already in Ulduar, we do have gear requirements and are not interested in farming Naxx in order to gear out one raider.  We raid Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 7 to 11 ST, so please don’t app unless you can consistently make those times.  Tell ’em Dueg sent you, because I get DKP if you work out!  Plus, you get to raid with this guy:

I think you know what you must do

I think you know what you must do

23
Apr
09

Ten Men’s Worth

Pictured: A group of real professionals.

Pictured: A group of real professionals.

Last week when Ulduar was released we did what almost every guild has done so far and immediately made the switch to 25 man Ulduar.  The decree had gone out that we would no longer be doing old content as most of us were quite fed up with doing so.  But aside from the 25 man attempts, one brave set of intrepid explorers stood apart from the others and declared their intention of being a scouting party for the rest of the guild.  These valorous souls, including one plucky priest you all may be somewhat familiar with (hint: it’s Dueg), decided that they would be the vanguards, the first to plant a dispenser deep into Ulduar’s frozen heart.  Yes, we made a 10 man.

We picked out some of our better raiders and being the only regular healy priest (making me the best healy priest in the guild, woo!), I got to get in on this group.  With our weapons held tight and our hearts beating a staccato rhythm, we delved deep into the frosted halls of Ulduar.  Our spells landed with dexterous precision and our blades sung to the tune of battle as we were able to down 10 of the 13 normal bosses in the raid, and got plenty of attempts in against Mimiron.  Some great loot was picked up and there was much frivolity and hilarity among all of us on vent.  But aside from the loot and the lawlz, there was another reason for us to get a jump on the zone.  Experience.

Something that I find more than stellar with the new raiding system is the concept of 10 and 25 man zone that are the same, just tuned differently.  However, the fights are usually almost exactly the same as far as mechanics involved with only a change to hp or number of mobs or damage dealt is changed.  This is important because basically it allows you to run a 10 man Ulduar and see all the fights the same way you would see them in 25 man.  It allows you to learn the steps to the dance that is the encounter before you go to the big gala ball that is the 25 man version.  You get enough raiders who know what they’re doing on 10 man version and you should be able to start taking down 25 man bosses easier despite gear deficiency.

But does this cheapen the 10 man experience?  For some guilds that are smaller with maybe only about 12 to 15 active raiders on at a time, 10 mans are a god send.  You get to see everything there is to be seen, but you don’t have to go through the hassle of wrangling 25 people’s schedules.  Some may say that 10 mans are actually more challenging because every single one of your raiders has to be on the ball and know what they’re doing or else you’ll ride the fail train all night long.  This used to be true, but with Ulduar’s release it feels like Blizzard is trying to do away with that and make 25 mans the most challenging content in the game.  10 mans are no cakewalk compared to it, but 25 mans aren’t the zerg rush they used to be either.

So the way I see it, 10 mans are going to truly become a stepping stone for getting into 25 man content.  Not just because of gear limitations but because they will be sneak peeks into how the 25 man raid will work in terms of where to expect burst damage, what fight needs more focus on heals or dps or where to move, etc etc etc.  By instilling these experiences into your raiders before they reach the 25 man level, they will be able to better handle whatever comes their way.  It certainly helped with us.

Last week we were terrible in 25 man content.  We went three nights and only downed 2 bosses.  We only had one ten man group going at this point who had cleared out the Siege of Ulduar area before we got to our second 25 man raiding night and on that night you could tell who those people were.  The ten people were more vocal on vent, able to let people know tips and procedures that had been mapped out the previous nights when we did the work on 10 mans.  You could still see people struggling as they got the necessary experience, but you could also begin to see things click into place.  Those people who had already been in the 10 mans were also the ones consistently surviving till the end of the fights.

This week we have two 10 man groups scheduled and the one with the most newer members went in Tuesday night before our usual Wednesday raid night.  As a ten man they were able to advance past the Siege of Ulduar area as well and move into the Antechamber portion of Ulduar.  Then on Wednesday a curious thing happened.  So many people in the raid had actually had experience not just fighting but also downing bosses that we appeared to know what we were doing.  We one shotted Flame Leviathan, Razorscale and the Deconstructor and I think we only wiped on Ignis about four or five times while working on strats and placement.

I believe that we’ve progressed so far from last week (going from only killing two bosses to one shotting three and clearing two new ones in one night) because of the ten man experience that more of our guildies have under their belts.  It has made a difference and we’ll most likely schedule two more ten man groups to go in next week as well, though I don’t think we’ll be doing it again after that.  It is worth mentioning that Blizzard has tuned some of the bosses via nerfing with the mini patch they did, but it still surprised me to see one shotting going on.  So tell me, gentle jerkwads, is your guild practicing on ten mans or is it business as usual and they’re only interested in 25 man content?  Drop me a comment and let me know!

-Dueg




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