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Posts with tag progression

Will running five player content be viable in Warlords?

I actually really enjoy five player dungeons. One of my disappointments in Mists of Pandaria was that we never got any five mans beyond the start of the expansion and that they basically became just a means to farm some valor - since no new fives were introduced, they couldn't be tuned to in any way keep up with gear from Throne of Thunder much less Siege of Orgrimmar. They became laughably easy unless you were running them as Challenge Modes, ultimately.

And this bothers me because I'm one of those people who feels like five player content never really had lived up to its promise in World of Warcraft. Especially now that raid dungeons have become so accessible, with LFR and flex making it easier than ever for almost all players to get some level of raiding if they want it, I've always felt like fives need a refocusing. Having normal and heroic difficulty fives really separate with better rewards for fives is a good start, but where Challenge Modes didn't grab me was in their completely cosmetic rewards. I always felt like CM's should offer gear on par with at least normal mode raiding - a group that decided to focus exclusively on Challenge Modes or some other form of very hard five player content should be able to progress their character not just visually, but actually as well.

Why do I feel this way? Well, I'll tell you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Drama Mamas: Progression vs. friends

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

I was going to embed this earworm because of this week's signature, but I just couldn't stomach it. I'm not a fan. So I've replaced it with a different earworm. Everybody clap and point now.
Dear Drama Mamas:

I am an officer and tank in a raiding guild with people I've known since mid Cataclysm. I took a break at the start of Mists due to getting a new job, and came back a couple of months ago to find the guild struggling on Horridon in 10N Throne of Thunder. I wasn't planning on returning to the game full-time and spent most of my time leveling and gearing an alt that I was using to fill a spare DPS slot when the guild needed me. I was eventually asked to come back as a full-time tank to help with progression, and since then we've slowly managed to clear normal T15, culminating in downing Lei Shen the first time a couple of weeks ago.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Are you happy with Patch 5.3's story progression?

Are you happy with Patch 53's story progression
Frankly, as a solidly Alliance player right now, I find patch 5.3 satisfying. I get why some players don't, but frankly I don't mind spending some time exploring the Horde from an Alliance perspective, without having to faction switch or roll a new character. In fact, I hope it's something they hold onto for future content - I'd love to see a storyline where a group of Horde had to infiltrate Ironforge and work alongside some Dark Irons, or even a story that pit blood elf agents against their forsaken allies by using the worgen as catspaws. My point is, getting to directly interact with Vol'jin was pretty fun, getting to bring the war to the Horde itself while setting up the Darkspear to do the heavy lifting made sense to me, and in general I enjoyed all of the scenarios and quests I've done this patch.

But just because I like something it doesn't follow that you all feel the same way. This patch's story is unfolding in interesting new ways - there's no reputation faction to unlock via daily quests, there are scenarios but no dungeons, and quests that don't repeat. It's quite possible to see much, if not all, of the storyline in one day. It's definitely a departure from what we've seen in previous Mists of Pandaria patches.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

What does progression mean to you?

What does progression mean to you
I've been pondering the question of what progression really means a lot over the past couple of weeks. Big Bear Butt mentioned it in a blog post last week, and talked about how the word is defined depending on who you are and what you're doing in game. Whenever I hear the word progression in reference to WoW, I immediately turn to raiding -- but is that the only place that it really applies?

And even if you're a raider, it's not as cut-and-dry a meaning as you'd think. My current guild is a progression raid guild. But we aren't bleeding-edge and we don't push ourselves like it's a second job. My first raid guild was also a progression guild, but it was definitely far more hardcore, with six nights a week spent raiding our hearts out and trying to get those coveted server firsts. Is there really a difference between the two? It certainly felt like it -- but both guilds were focused on progression, so maybe there wasn't quite as much a difference as I'd like to think.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: Extinction event

Direhorns in patch 5.2
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

For some raiding guilds, the last couple of weeks before a new patch is an opportunity to get those last normal or heroic encounters down, earn achievements, or farm for the last few items the raid team needs for the next tier. For others, they are a reminder of how little the guild has progressed. This reminder prompts raiders to weigh leaving the guild. This week's email comes from a raid leader facing this tough situation.

Hi Scott.

I've become Raid Leader of my old guild. Which, is driving me crazy.

This raid team has been through thick and thin, through multiple Gm's and having lost multiple strong raiders I came back to the guild to help them and to join the team as Raid Leader. I've been having a really tough time though. Progression is non-existent. We're stuck on Blade Lord due to a lack of strong dps players and the new people who show promise need to do Mogu'shan Vaults to get gear for Heart of Fear. The raiders who've been on the team since the start of this tier are bored and have had enough of no progression and Mogu'shan Vaults. They're mainly all thinking of leaving the guild and if so, it'll mean the end of this guild, which I love.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Drama Mamas: When casual raiding is neither casual nor raiding

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

There is a common misconception that "casual" is synonymous with being inconsiderate or incompetent. Perhaps this is because many raiding guilds that take long breaks, don't show up on time, and don't read strategies before new encounters call themselves casual. What category does the letter writer's guild fall into?
Hey dear drama mama's

I'll try not to make any mistakes in my language since English isn't my native tongue.

I've read your colum/posts for a long time now and I always praise myself lucky that I've been spared of that drama.

Unfortunatly I'm in a conundrum.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Choosing between raiding and friendships

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

In the video above, Candace's friends are off having fun without her. Since she is unwilling to find her own fun, she takes a portal to Mars to hang out with strangers -- and breaks into song. There are parallels with this week's letter (except for the song part).
Hi Robin & Lisa,

I'm finally writing in with my own dilemma. Since I started playing this game in mid-Wrath, I've played with my girlfriend and our mutual friend. We have a strong bond and truly enjoy playing together, and GF and I have even met our friend IRL. In Wrath, I led our 10 man raid group, and we loved every minute of ICC. Once the Cataclysm was upon us, we expected to continue raiding. However, things rarely work out as planned, and we missed T11 completely, mostly due to the dissolution of our guild. Eventually I became frustrated with lack of progress and quit the game for a while.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Exclusive: Watch "Race to World First" documentary free through Feb. 3

In a game where tools like the Raid Finder have democratized raiding, how does the mindset of players in top-echelon guilds pushing for world firsts differ from yours and mine? How much time do bleeding-edge guilds really put in? What tricks help them push past wipes and overcome raid challenges? How do they make up time and nudge past other guilds to claim world firsts? And why do other WoW players love to follow the action?

The whole sprawling scene plays out onscreen in the feature-length documentary Race to World First -- and you can watch it free right here at WoW Insider now through Feb. 3. (The film is also available at for a small fee.)

The Looking for Group Productions film, begun back in the day when clawing to a top spot on raiding progression charts was perhaps at its cut-throat peak, follows a handful of top-tier WoW guilds in their sprint to the top. Producers John Keating and Zachary Henderson conducted some of the early interviews for Race two years ago at BlizzCon 2010's WoW Insider reader meetup, including familiar faces like WI Editor Adam Holisky and GM/actress/huntress extraordinaire Michele Morrow.

Get a peek at this film for free while you can right here at WoW Insider. Who knows what in-game challenges you might feel up to tackling after seeing that much fiery motivation in action?

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Raiding

Spiritual Guidance: Progression vs. farm, identifying the right raid spec

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests, while her archenemy Fox Van Allen handles the shadows (and laundry.) Dawn also writes for, produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Not a raiding tier goes by where the forums aren't littered with posts from novice healing priests asking why some well-known priest from some high ranked guild doesn't have a cookie cutter talent spec recommended by the community's leading theorycrafters. The post always goes something like this ...

"I looked up Lawliesthesiaspec from on the armory today and I just don't understand why she took three points in Inner Sanctum and only two points in Twin Disciplines. Shouldn't she max out Twin Disciplines for the extra healing? Am I doing something wrong? Should I copy that?"

Sometimes there is an amusing theory about why the priest has taken the talent, or an accusation that the player must be terrible at the game. Whatever the tone of the post, the question is ultimately rooted in the inability of many players to identify one talent spec from another. Today I intend to fix that so you're all prepared for Firelands in a few weeks.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

How far have you progressed in Cataclysm?

The other day, I logged on to an old realm of mine to chat for a bit with a few friends and old guildmates. (I do this periodically, since I'm not a big fan of using Real ID for anyone other than very close friends.) Whenever I'm there, I casually poke around on a character that was once my prized raiding toon in early Wrath of the Lich King. "Poking around" consists of organizing my bank and doing about three to five quests. I figure it would be nice to have another 85 that I could play casually, but I lose interest in it too quickly.

Anyway, at some point in the middle of a conversation with a mage friend, I said, "At a rate of three quests per night that I actually log in, I should be 85 in two years."

"It really gives you some perspective on how much you have to play this game, doesn't it?" he responded.

I hadn't been serious about the statement I made, but it made me think about the hours I had to play to get to 85 on my main. It occurred to me that if you only play WoW for an hour or so every few days, it would probably take a couple months to get to level 85 from 80, and that's only if you're completely focused each time you log in.

This got me wondering how far into Cataclysm everyone else is.

How far have you progressed in Cataclysm?
I'm leveling my main.764 (4.9%)
I'm leveling my alts.2321 (15.0%)
I'm gearing up my character(s) in normal and heroic dungeons or unrated battlegrounds.3946 (25.5%)
I'm raiding normal 10- or 25-man dungeons on one or more characters.5887 (38.0%)
I'm raiding heroic 10- or 25-man dungeons on one or more characters.1211 (7.8%)
I'm PvPing in rated battlegrounds or arena.597 (3.9%)
I'm waiting for the next major content patch.764 (4.9%)

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Breakfast Topic: The kill shot and other boss downing traditions

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

So, you and your guildies have been waiting for this moment for months. You've leveled up together and run heroics until the sound of Ozruk's voice was haunting your every dream. You took all that fancy blue gear, watched some videos and made a couple nights of attempts. Now you stand at the body of some freshly killed behemoth wondering exactly what the hell a worm was doing with a fancy pair of pants (It's because he's jealous of your legs -- classic Little Mermaid syndrome.) Congratulations!

Once all the purple pieces have been passed out, though, it's time to memorialize the occasion. Guilds have long participated in the time-honored tradition of posing for screenshots after they down raid bosses for the first time. If you need further proof of this phenomena, simply do a Google image search of any current tier raid boss, and you'll be assaulted with pictures of avatars, standing together proudly.

Something else you notice about these pictures, though, is that they can be -- let's face it -- kind of boring. Personally, I've seen enough boss kill screenshots to last a lifetime, so when my guild succeeds in killing something new, I don't even take one. Instead, my wife mocks up a Photoshop like the one above to commemorate each victory. It's silly, but it gives us something to look forward to as we progress.

Does your guild take screenshots of first kills, or do you document the occasion in some other way? Perhaps you write an exciting RP blog entry recounting your band of heroes' legendary triumph? If you do take the tried-and-true screencap, what does your character do to shake things up? Extra points if you always pop a sandbox tiger and ride it in furbolg form!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Cataclysm 101: Zone and instance progression

If you're sitting there at your keyboard right now violently coveting your upcoming Cataclysm experience and daydreaming of all the places you'll go, we here at WoW Insider would like nothing better than to aid and abet you in your wacky escapades. And since Cataclysm is launching on International Matthew Rossi's Birthday, who better to help you figure out where you intend to stream like an unstoppable torrent of locusts? Well, there may be lots of better options, but I'm doing it anyway.

Cataclysm has several new zones to experience and quite a few new dungeons to crawl through. Let's take a look, shall we?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Cataclysm raid progression update

Valnoth comes to the rescue of a forum poster wanting clarification on the intended progression path for Cataclysm instances and raids. Since we figure this is information that will interest a few of our players, here it is in pog form! (Note, it's not actually in pog form.)

Valnoth - Re: Can we get some info on Cata-Progression
Q u o t e:
So with raid testing in full swing, i think it's a good time to ask what the planned progression path will be concerning raids.

Will we be allowed to directly do heroic-modes or are we forced to do normal first?
Will there be any kind of gating?
Any Info on Sinestra? Try-limited? Time limited? Not limited, just hard?
Also, will there be heroic-mode testing in Beta?

Below is the basic progression map. Obviously your mileage may vary, i.e. If you're Paragon or Premonition you will be able to skip some of the below and/or mix and match at your discretion.

*Normal Dungeons/Crafting/Questing to get full set of 85 blues (non-heroic) to do Heroic dungeons.
*Heroic dungeons to get full set of 85 Heroic blues to do Normal mode raids.
*Normal raids to get full set of 85 epics (non-heroic) to do Heroic mode raids.
*Heroic Raids to get full set of 85 Heroic epics, which will presumably help a bit on Sinestra and the next tier (when released with patch 4.1.0)

*Badge vendors to help fill in gaps at all tier levels.

*No real gating to speak of for ship.

*Sinestra opens after Cho'gall is defeated on HEROIC mode. No timers or attempt limits, but she will pound you relentlessly. She has better than Heroic epic level gear (half a tier better).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

Officers' Quarters: Emotionally invested

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available this spring from No Starch Press.

When you're frustrated with your guild, it's tempting to jump ship. But sometimes it's also difficult to let go. This week, one officer asks, can you be an officer in one guild and a regular member in another?

Dear Scott,

I am Raid Officer in a casual raiding guild. I attend the most raids and am one of the highest output players on each raid on all my characters. I am one of the most active, hardest working Officers in the guild.

We have always been lenient with who is allowed to raid -- we have some healers who do less than 50% output of other healers who are similarly geared, we have DPS that do less than half of what they should be doing (with "casual" expectations, I don't expect everyone to do 10k DPS but 4-5k is low for a well geared player in ICC with the buff). Even members of our A-team have been slacking a bit. Many players don't pay attention to the leaders in Vent, don't react well to constructive criticism of their gear, spec etc. PUGs are further progressed than our guild is.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: Banging our heads against the wall

As a raider, you tend to encounter that one boss that will kick your butt night after night. In Burning Crusade, my guild saw Teron Gorefiend as our bane. Week after week, we wiped on him for at least three hours a night. All of the raid members did the famous ghost simulator many times, but still we had people who had lag issues when they came to the encounter. We also knew our DPS was not up to par, but our raid leader at the time did not want to run Mount Hyjal to get some of the gear people needed. It wasn't until the patch 3.0.1 nerf that we were able to overcome Gorefiend and move on in Black Temple.

Fast forward to Wrath of the Lich King, a different guild and a different server. We have found our proverbial wall in the Lich King. Many of us have successfully downed him in 10-man, but the 25-man fight is a different story. Our problem seems to come from executing phase 2 right, with having a stun rotation on the valkyrs and placing the Defiles in the right spots away from other raid members. Yes, we have the lag monster come out during this phase, but it is mostly an execution point.

In both those cases, I have seen my guildmates get so frustrated that they either leave the guild, take a break from the game or even not show up to raid on those nights we are focusing specifically on that boss. They just don't want to be hitting their heads against a wall all night, even though it would be for progression.

Raid leaders, how do you get over that hurdle? Do you just keep picking away at the boss until you get him down, or do you take a night where you go through old content to give your raiders a break? Raiders, how do you handle constant wiping on a boss? Are you the type who stays with your raid group through thick and thin, or do you jump ship when you are stuck on that one boss?

This article has been brought to you by Seed, Aol's guest writer program that brings your words to Watch for the next call for submissions and a chance to submit your own article. The next byline you see here may be yours!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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