Posts Tagged ‘Obsidian Sanctum

30
Mar
09

Carrot vs Stick

carrot-on-a-stick

art by mynxie-chu

So anyone who was following me last night saw that I posted that after a few weeks of attempts and then restructuring, my guild was finally able to down Sartharion with three drakes up.  Hold on a second, *re-reads the previous sentence a few times* ahem, so yes, there was much rejoicing to be had in Duegville.  As the warm glow spread over me though, I thought back over the process that brought us to this point and some thoughts struck me.

Of course, it wasn’t easy, and I’m not just speaking of the fight.  Any guild is going to require weeks of preparation at least simply because it’s not easy to adequately gear out 25 people.  However, it’s not just an issue of gear, but there are other factors as well.  A guild must become a team in order to be able to accomplish these sort of things, wherein each person knows their job and sticks to it, working towards the common goal.  But it’s not always so easy to just throw together a group of people and say “Perform!”  The best gear in the world won’t accomplish a raid if your hunter is off hopping in the lava while your shaman decides to tank out and your DK tank thinks it’s better to be blood spec because that’s where the damage is.  But how do you do that?

For our guild, it wasn’t easy.  The main problem was that everyone was focused and brought their A-game when it came to the loot pinata of Naxx, but as soon as someone mentioned dragons, everyone would suddenly find something more interesting to do on raid nights.  We had a solid core of people who understood that guilds are more than loot machines, but beyond those 15 or so raiders there was a certain lackadaisical attitude towards progression.  So the leadership got together, hunkered down and started trying to actively encourage people to come to raids.

We had just started our DKP system so the most obvious choice to begin with was bonus DKP for progression fights.  Just showing up would net you an extra 10 DKP, plus 10 more for every hour of wipes, plus an additional amount of DKP at the end of the night, even if we hadn’t downed the content.  Downing it for the first time meant 50 DKP.  This was a very big carrot.  It sort of worked in that it brought a few extra raiders to the table for progression fights, but we were still consistently short a full raid on progression nights and always bursting at the seams for Naxx fights.

So the next idea was that there was no longer a single Naxx night, but instead we would turn Naxx into part of the carrot.  We started each evening on progression fights, once we had wiped for a couple of hours on those, then we would do Naxx as a reward for those who had stuck it out and at least tried.  This system worked better and we were able to finally start doing regular progression fights, but that didn’t mean we were a force to be reckoned with, oh no, not at all.

The fact is that the difficulty from Malygos or Sarth 2D to 3D scaled dramatically.  This meant that people who had been coasting through easy raiding content suddenly found themselves having to actually pay attention and make sure they were doing things right.  It wasn’t faceroll time anymore and people are regularly failing at void zones and flame walls.  Now yes, Sarth 3D is crazy with stuff happening all over the place, but fact is, it’s not impossible.  Other people have done it, so why can’t we?  We’re good enough, we’re smart enough, and gosh darnit, people (who aren’t alliance) like us!

So here is where the stick came out.  The first thing that came into play was a death tax.  Basically this meant that if you died to a flame wall or a void zone, you had to pay 25g directly into the guild bank.  Reason was, if you died before a wipe, you contributed to the wipe, therefore, you had to help pay for everyone’s repairs.  We went from about half the raid dying on the first flame wall (sad, but true), to about three or four immediately after this was announced.  After a few progression attempts with this rule in place, people were focused enough that we could sort of forget about the death tax unless for some reason it was just a failtastic evening all around.

Of course, though we were able to get progression shots in regularly, we were still having problems getting full raids on every raid night.  People were still ducking out of the harder content or only coming one night a week for whatever reason.  Again, the stick was brought out and it was decided that you had to come to at least 2 out of our 3 raid nights a week otherwise you were deemed a “casual” member and would not receive raid invites.  A little harsh, yes, but it also meant we weren’t bringing along and gearing out someone who was going to sacrifice the work the guild put into him or her in the interest of just being a “casual raider” (whatever that means).

Because a few of our semi regulars lost their status, we were forced to take a few weeks off from the only progression we had left, Sarth 3D, and bring in some new trial members who could meet our new standards.  After letting them prove their worth (which they most definitely did), last night we went back in and finally progressed like we had been trying.  The main differences?  Last night people were focused and professional, paid attention, did their jobs, accomplished what needed to be accomplished, and basically acted like a raid team.  The fight, though not easy, felt much more doable than it did in the past, and I could definitely tell after the first wipe that it would be our night.  An hour and a half of wipes, and the job was done.

Now that I look back, I can see that it took an equal amount of carrot and stick to get this accomplished.  At first we tried to be all carrot, and that certainly helped to a small degree, but all it did was encourage people to show up, it didn’t encourage them to do it right.  When the stick came out, it caused people to focus and to understand that though we weren’t going to be a harsh, tyrranical guild, we were going to progression guild and if you weren’t interested in that, well, good luck to you elsewhere.  We lost some members along the way, but normal attrition to real life and burnout will do that regardless, and besides, we gained some excellent ones as well.

So now I ask you, how does your guild handle a lackluster raiding force?  Are they all carrot, hoping people will fall in line for rewards alone or do they bust out the stick and start whacking away at stupidity?  Do you think one is better than the other or does it have to be a fair balance?  Opinions are good, so leave yours in comments!

-Dueg

PS:  Today is Ambrosyne’s b-day, so wander on over to her siteand wish her a very bubalicious year!  Happy Birthday Bubz!

29
Mar
09

Twilight, Consider Yourself Vanquished

twighlight-zone

As of 10:25pm EST, March 29, 2009, <NEED A DISPENSER HERE> of Darkspear server, Horde side, has officially cleared all current content of Wrath of the Lich King.

"Mmm, yes, let me taste your tears of infinite sadness!"

"Mmm, yes, let me taste your tears of infinite sadness!"

How sweet it is.

-Dueg

17
Feb
09

Lies and Slander

Ah, Monday evenings.  I enjoy Monday evenings and I’ll tell you why.  On those nights, Mrs. Dueg has a class until about 9:30.  I come home, make myself something that she certainly would never let me eat, fart around for about an hour then do a little guild raiding.  Yes, Monday nights are Dueg nights, and really, those are the best kind of nights.

So I log on and skip my way merrily on down to Obsidian Sanctum for a run at Sartharion before the reset.  We all gather, talking excitedly about whether we’ll have enough people to do three drakes, but certain that no matter how many drakes were up, Sarth was going down tonight.  And thus I zone in, brimming with confidence and ready to take on the world.  The screen switches over and I look up to see… nothing.  No Sarth, no drakes, no guildies, just trash mobs eyeing me hungrily and tumbleweeds blowing by.

Uh... que?

Uh... no?

You see, gentle jerkwads, it turns out that it’s so easy to get saved to raids these days that apparently 10 mans will save you to their 25 man counterparts.  The previous night some guildies and I had gathered to do Sarth 10 man and zoned in only to discover one of us was already saved to a Raid ID.  He swore up and down that he hadn’t done a 10 man OS in weeks and didn’t know how it happened, so we all shrugged it off, marked it up to bad luck and dispersed for the night.  It never even occurred to me that this travesty to Duegkind could happen.

I did a cursory search on the bug forums and surfed around to other game sites, but couldn’t find anything quite like the problem I was having.  Some people had reported similar bugs such as being saved to the 25 man version with the same ident as the 10 man and were able to actually exploit it and run the 25 man version multiple times in the same week.  Of course, I don’t condone such action and should you get caught, you’ll most likely be banned, but why can’t that be the kind of bug I get? 

So here’s how I see it: Blizzard has cost me a title and a new epic flyer with their blasseiz-fare attitude and reckless non fixing of my problems in advance.  Quite frankly I’d prefer not to have to punish them by forcing them to hand all this over, but if I don’t then they’ll never learn.  I’m sure it will arrive presently and will keep all of you updated on my status.  Till then, I’m forced to wonder if anyone else has had these problems or if this is karma for all those allies I tossed in the lava outside of LBRS with my Mind Control spell earlier this week.  I really hope not, cause that shit is hilarious every time.

-Dueg




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