The Rude Awakening

I came to a conclusion last week while my group was Raiding.  We’re not ready.  Seeing multiple attempts fail around the same time and in the same way wasn’t pleasant and it was unexpected for the veteran raiders in my group.  I won’t be cliche and repeat the title, but you get the point.  I did some thinking, and had two completely opposite reactions to the issue.

My first reaction was to think, they’ve really overtuned this.  I  honestly thought: hey, I’ve got mainly the same players that I had when we had progressed through Lich King, there’s no way this should be this hard as the first tier of raiding.  My team should be able to handle this easily, and Blizzard has obviously overshot with the difficulty of its encounters.

Then I slept on it and realized that yes, the new raid content is more challenging than anticipated, but my guys should be able to handle it.  That being said, we weren’t.  As such, I began to write a letter to my group for our forums implementing some basic requirements for our raid group.  They are:

  1. Cataclysm Dungeon Hero Achieve
  2. Minimum 346 ilvl equipped
  3. All gear enchanted with Cataclysm (Wrath if appropriate) enchants
  4. All gear gemmed with uncommon quality gems

We’re not raiding again until we’ve got 10 people who can meet this requirement.  I personally have yet to reach these goals.  I have two heroics that I just can’t seem to randomly queue for and will queue manually for them, and I’ve got a belt buckle to obtain.  Other than that though, I’m ready.

To some people these might come off as elitist, but really, are these requirements too much to ask?  We have a large guild with the resources to make obtaining these four things all but trivial.  A time commitment is all that is really necessary.  When you’re talking about encounters where one person has the potential to wipe the raid, you want people with you that have worked hard to earn their spot and will give 100%.

I pose this question:  New content or not, if your group is consistently wiping in the same manner, even after identifying the issues, how would you handle the situation?

– Sam

15 Responses to The Rude Awakening

  1. Dinaer says:

    I think those are pretty reasonable for a raiding guild. My guild, which is uber-casual, is asking its raiders for enchanted and gemmed gear and proper flasks. We’re not going to insist on the 346 iLvL, but at the same time we are doing organized guild heroics to gear up so we might get close to that anyway.

    The most refreshing thing is that you recognized that you weren’t ready. Many other guilds, when faced with failure on their first raiding attempts, are complaining that its too hard and that Blizzard should start nerfing it. That sense of entitlement is a carryover from Wrath. Its nice to read someone who realizes that the content will still be there in a few weeks, and that its not impossible if you are patient.

    My guild is making its first raid attempts (other than Baradin Hold) this weekend. We’ll see how it goes, but win or lose we won’t be complaining about the content.

  2. Finnei says:

    Seems fair. I wish I had the power to implement those rules in my guild. You’re lucky that your raid group survived the expansion, because 7/10 of our LK raiders ditched due to various reasons.

    I know our current group (usually 3-4 pugs) can’t handle with the lower gear levels. I can’t blame the pugs either. We just fail at mechanics on one boss and decide to call it, while we come to a stalemate on another boss with good mechanics and keep trying. Sounds like leadership issues. Also, I’m wondering if Wrath setup some people to look better than they were and they are now getting exposed. Sadly, the Raid Leader isn’t seeing the sub-par performance due to the success from Wrath.

    If your group is really tight, try bringing in one player from a raid group that has been able to progress to act as a guide for the fight. They may see stuff you haven’t been seeing. Rotate in for a different type of player (melee, ranged, and even heals or tanks) until you start seeing significant progression again.

    This probably isn’t your problem, but one flaw in logic I’ve seen is where raid groups build their raid composition in preparation for all the other bosses and can never get past the first boss. That will eventually be VERY important, but you have to get a kill first. Once you find a rhythm with the first boss you can substitute in different classes to attain one raid group for the whole raid encounter.

  3. adgamorix says:

    In my opinion, 346 iLvl is honestly rediculous, and you’re going to set yourself up for failure. While many items can be purchased for JPs, several of the key items cannot. Wands and weapons are the first two that come to mind. While a 359 will counter a 333 item (to give you an average of 346), if the only wand you’ve been able to snag is the normal drop from BRC at 308, well – that’s a lot of ground to make up with epics.

    My question would be where are you failing, and what is the issue? Post a log file and ask folks to look it over. Are people taking too much avoidable damage? Are your healers using ineffecient spells? Tanks using all CDs? Have you considered making a slight strategy change?

    Here’s an example. When we first were learnign Magmaw, we were getting rolled by adds and flame pillars. Once we moved all the DPS into melee range, and left a single hunter out to dodge fire and slow the adds – it went like clockwork. We often two heal things instead of using three healers, because we’re hitting an enrage timer. Unless your group is raiding in greens or Wrath era epics, my guess is that it’s not a case of not enough gear.

    Now requiring that your raiders be revered with the appropriate faction for their helm enchant, and have at least the honored Therazene enchant is certainly understandable. I would be more inclined to look at what the group is doing, as opposed to what they’re wearing first. Oh, and is everyone in the optimal specs?

  4. Rohan says:

    1,3,4 are very reasonable. However, i346 is a little high. My guild set an entry point of i340 to start raiding.

    However, as mentioned, your bigger problem is doing adequate dps and moving properly. The fights this time around seem to be very focused on proper movement. You might even consider attempts where the dps doesn’t seriously attack the boss, but just moves and avoids the negative effects.

  5. Mitchell says:

    We just this weekend went into our first organized guild raid. And we wiped. A lot. On Magmaw-10.

    I’m looking at the combat logs and seeing that it’s some execution, but tank gear (that’s my fault as I’m MT) and healing assignments (also my fault as I’m RL). I do like your rules, though, and am going to set them as my goal before next weekend when we try it again.

  6. Zinn says:

    My definition of elitism is “asking more of someone than what is needed to complete the encounter”. I don’t think your demands fall under that definition. Blizzard have set the bar of difficulty, no one else. If people want to experience that content they have to gear/skill up to the challenge. Nothing elitist with that.

  7. Ruhtra says:

    I like those achievement actually. The only one I would consider being slightly more lenient with (and I believe it was mentioned in other feedback) is the item level requirement. However, I would expect them to have a good reason why they cannot obtain a better piece of gear. In the past, there have been times where taking a lower piece of gear proved more beneficial for certain classes.

    One thing I would also try to do is talk with them and find out exactly why is that they are struggling? I noticed you said that the attempts were failing around the same spot in the same way, is it a specific mechanic or is it a specific person who is off. It may not be a fun thought, but is it one or two people who are at the root of the issue? Would you be better served addressing the issues on an individual level versus a raid wide level? Can you use these requirements to filter out the root cause of the issue? Hard questions to ask and even harder to deal with, but it is something to consider.

  8. Priestess says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if there could be a problem with people’s expectations. I thought I heard that Blizzard wanted people to spend a lot of time gearing up this time around, and I don’t think two months is asking too much. And this isn’t Wrath, so having the same timeframe expectations for raiding doesn’t seem reasonable.

    What if, instead of saying “We want to raid so let’s go!” and then bashing your head against the wall for a few hours a week, that time was used for group heroics with potential raiders on a fun, maybe even competitive basis, practicing mechanics, reviewing meters, getting as much gear as possible, and so on. Then theoretically, people will already have a feel for each other, be better geared, be more well-trained on not being fire-standers, and feel more prepared when raids begin again.

    On a different note, I don’t think the ilevel requirement is too high unless your real focus is getting into raids as soon as possible. If your focus is to raid successfully, I think having higher ilevels across the board will allow more room for other errors. But then, if you have more time to practice while gearing more, maybe fewer of those other errors will even exist?

    Overall, I think that the requirements are very fair and will contribute to a more prepared and more likely successful raid group. Good luck!

  9. Bokino says:

    I think you are missing one very important frost deathknight that carried your group through icc

  10. Samueltempus says:

    I’m pretty sure there was this Rogue that beat you an the meters more often than not…

  11. Maker says:

    Lower the ilvl to 340. The heroic achievement isn’t necessary. Not everyone needs gear from every heroic.

    If you’re failing at the same point every time, it’s an execution issue. At the very least, you should have decently geared groups going in and clearing BH to try to get some gear flowing into the guild.

    Omnitron and Magmaw should be your focus. Halfus might wind up being a bit of a challenge depending on the drake comp.

    The first boss of Throne is viable as well.

    If your core isn’t at the level you’re requiring at this stage in the game, then they’ve been slacking (or had bad luck with drops). Consider looking at other guildies who are eager to raid and prove themselves.

    Some of the fights are a bit easier on 10man.

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