Monday, June 2, 2008

Casual Raiding: Progression!

Thank you, Frijona, for giving me the proverbial smack upside the head and saying "Quit whining, you're a warlock. Start acting like it!". Okay, that isn't really what she said. But thank you.

(It really involved Unstable Affliction, Deathcoil and her Succubus.)

(And the Black Mageweave set.)

(And the Admiral's Hat.)

(Don't ask.)

Last month I regaled you all with the drama that was Knights of Utopia and our big blowup regarding being a casual guild that wanted to raid.

But then I digressed wildly and only tossed a post here and there about how we were doing. And for those of you who hang on my every word the torment of not knowing how KoU is doing must have been torture.

(Maybe I shouldn't finish this post...)

I talked last time about instigating a set of strict rules. You must have this, this, this and this or you just don't go. And we've stuck to it, though at times it was hard. I think we're the only guild ever that always has tanks and healers, but cannot find DPS. We typically PuG at least two members and if you haven't ever tried to wade through the substandard DPS that tries to get into Karazhan... I hope you never have to. It's a hideous hassle of finding someone, looking at their armory, then trying to explain politely that they don't meet your guild's minimum stats. Especially when the answer is 'w/e'.

But, the short of it is that every single week since the guild blow up, we have hit Kara running. We clear from Attumen to Prince in about 3 to 4 hours. (only twice has it gone over 4 hours, and only once did we have to two-day it.)

(And I know that Prince isn't supposed to be a stationary fight. But we usually do it that way. There's an interesting discussion on strategies that various people use in BBB's blog recently. Considering that this last run we had THREE hideous placements of infernals (they bracketed the tank all three times), we were discussing possibly trying something different (scary! change is bad.) next time... namely the way the fight is supposed to work. Mobile.)

We do not do Nightbane and Netherspite but we are interested in attempting it. Basically we don't due to time issues. As I've said before, we have people in our guild who have babies and jobs and other things that prevent us from raiding more than maybe one day a week.

But we're hitting that stage where with a few exceptions and a few specific items, we're considering Kara as a farm status place. We go in. We come out with 18 badges and some void crystals.

(And this last run Ritssyn's Lost Pendant dropped but I was the only warlock (and I have it) and our holy priest was the only priest (and he didn't want it!). I refused to DE it. As I was the loot master, I just handed it to the holy priest, over his protests. You can't DE that! You just can't! It makes shadow priests and warlocks everywhere make the sound of ultimate suffering.)

Our next goal, as requested by our 'regulars', and as dictated by the interest of not burning out our raiders, is to start hitting ZA.

Now... here's where I expect trouble. You have a group of people that, with few exceptions, one-shots Karazhan on a weekly basis. Suddenly you go into progression mode. Even with people who have been there before, suddenly it's all new. Harder trash. Harder bosses. More strategy. And wipes. Wipe wipe wipe. I expect it. The raid leader expects it. The guild leader expects it. And theorhetically, the raid will expect it too (because we'll make sure they know this is progression. And progression = death.). Suddenly we're wiping on trash. We can't get a single boss down. We suck, OMG! /gquit!

(I don't expect any of our regulars to /gquit. I'm being an exaggerating overreacting blogger!)

Our way of combating this?
Allowing repairs from the guild bank on progression nights (to an extent). (Who minds wiping when your repair bill will be covered?)
Limiting our ZA experience, regardless of success or failure, to 2 hours only. (This way, we don't start getting sloppy and frustrated, which usually leads to more death.)
Making sure all people who sign up from our guild to go read a posted-linked strategy guide and meet our minimum requirements.

We won't be able to PuG anyone for this, likely. (Would YOU join a ZA Progression run? Where you aren't guaranteed to even down a single boss?) So we have to pull in all our people if possible, or find a few very nice and understanding people from our fiends list who are willing to help us progress.

In terms of that, we have gotten three very nice invitee's in the last week. One is a lowish (mid50's now!) paladin tank (Veliuona) that I met while in ZF with my arcane-mage. Two are people we pugged for this last Saturday's Kara run. Gobblez the rogue (and the South Park jokes were rampant.) and Siiro the hunter. Both of them dropped their guild and joined ours. Isn't that sweet? Both of them were informed that Kara is just a once a week thing and we're a casual guild, with minimal raiding. Both seemed fine with that.

But again, digression is inevitable. I mean progression is inevitable! We're moving on. We have the DPS. We have the healers. We have the tanks. Now we just need to get all 10 of them on at the same time!

In terms of Gruul and Magtheridon... Kikidas is in a guild that does those two 25-mans every Saturday. They PuG (in terms of friends lists and their parent guild) over half of the run. My intention is to eventually start bringing some of KoU's people into those runs (if Resolve is okay with that!) Their only stipulation is that the people who come don't suck entirely and that they fit in the roles that are still open. Naturally, guilded and friends come before the new-guildies alt-guild friends.

On an aside... you'd be surprised how in an otherwise well run raid, you can carry one or two sucks along and still do really well. Of course, this is because a certain number of people who are there are so overgeared for the place it's laughable, but still... impressive.

So, to recap: KoU has been doing smashingly. We are looking for a guild with similar experience (Most of Kara, starting ZA, interested in Gruul/Mag but don't have the numbers.) and similar goals (casual raiding, once or maybe twice a week.) to what our experience and goals are and who may be interested in an alliance. It's easier to get going when you don't have to wade through LFG to find those last few people. And with more people to pick from, an allied tank or healer, it allows us to start bringing in a few of our alts we don't normally get to! Bonus.

Casual raiding is WORKING for us. We finally found a core group of people who are on the same page. Casual is great, but when we raid, we're RAIDING. RAWR.

(And damn you, Hellfire Ramparts. I WANT MY BELT.)

(And since you've been confused the last ten times I've been in there, I'm not talking about the Lion's Heart Girdle, I'm talking about the Tree-Mender's Belt. One is plate. The other is leather. Get it straight already! I've been in there so often, that with 3 badges per run I'm almost ready to get the badge-reward belt at 60 badges! Which I'd really rather use to upgrade some other piece of gear rather than something I can upgrade through a heroic.)


  1. Haha, I love your digressing posts! Makes em long and enjoyable :D

  2. Thanks for posting more about this! Veritas is in a similar position, but involves drama with "I thought this was an RP guild why are we raiding?" folks and "I thought we were supposed to be casual and now you're telling me I need better gear?!" folks. We had an officer and his fiance quit because he was upset that we have a "serious karazhan team" because that supposedly means were going to go gearcrazy and run kara while being completely serious and not RP or have any fun, so he started this "non-serious karazhan team" not knowing about the one group a week per person policy and we just don't have enough interested 70s to do two groups.

  3. I don't know the ins and outs of how a RP guild would go about running instances and raids (since how would you explain an instance resetting and the like? Not saying it can't be done, I just don't know how it would work!)

    Better gear doesn't have to be OMG UBER to run Karazhan. And Karazhan will upgrade your gear through badges and drops from the bosses. You can have your cake AND eat it too! Let me find a link we use for our starting Kara stats and link it on your page for you. It really isn't like you need uberepix to start Kara. It's kind of fun, really, once you get into the swing of rawring through Kara. :)