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Posts with tag raid-progression

The danger of assuming personal experiences to be universal

The danger of making personal experience universal
Whether or not you can believe it, there are players right now who have not finished regular Dragon Soul. Some of them raid less often, some of them started later, some of them lost players, and some of them just raid more slowly than you.

And yes, you may be a better raider or have a better raid group than they do, a more skilled collection of people. You also might have a better class comp or have gotten lucky on a few occasions when they didn't. Some groups lost key players at the worst possible time, had real-life issues to contend with, or simply started later than everyone else.

Why do I bring this up? This forum thread on the EU forums, where Draztal ( who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite CMs) is constantly forced to deal with a mindset that does not seem to understand that each raiding group's experience is personal to that group and cannot always be extended to the game or all its players as a whole. Now, not every poster in that thread has that issue; there are some good ones in there, and you should read it. But it's a mindset I see over and over again.

The game is large, and no two raid groups have the same experience playing it. Some raid groups loved tier 11; others were bored or hated the fights. Some raids had fun in Firelands; others found it repetitive or disliked the zone's tendency to be all one color. (I still say Bastion of Twilight had exactly the same problem, but that was alleviated by its being one of three raids at launch.) Some folks have enjoyed Dragon Soul; others dislike the mechanics or the use of Wyrmrest art assets.

Having these differences of opinion is a fine thing and can be good for the game and its community -- when you acknowledge that they exist, and when you realize that your own strongly held opinion about the raid finder, heroic modes in raiding, or the superiority of this fight or that fight is rooted in personal experience to some extent and that experience will never be shared with everyone. That goes for things you love and things you hate equally.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm

How do you prepare raiders for a new expansion?

How do you prepare raiders for a new expansion ANY
Raiding last week was tough all around for my guild. Between completing all of Dragon Soul on heroic, the release of Diablo III, and the simple nightmare of trying to field a 25-man raid guild these days, it's not easy to keep everyone's spirits high. My guild does a remarkable job with it, but the main issue isn't really the content itself, which we can easily clear. It's keeping raiders interested and logging on so we have a full team to work with.

Mists of Pandaria is just over the horizon, however, and for the first time since I joined the guild, we've got a fairly substantial amount of time to farm until we're blue in the face. Heroic Lich King died at the end of Wrath of the Lich King, but we didn't get more than a few weeks to breathe before we were all hurriedly leveling through Cataclysm and preparing to throw ourselves at the raid grind all over again.

With my previous raid guild, we pretty much called a halt to raids after umpteen Black Temple clears, a few months before Wrath of the Lich King launched. While Sunwell seemed interesting to me, the rest of the guild -- who had all been around far longer than I, mind you -- didn't feel up to the challenge. It does make me wonder, though, how different raid guilds handle prepping for that new expansion experience. Is there protocol to follow?

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

Ghostcrawler blogs about raid progression

After a bit of a hiatus as a public face, Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has returned to us with a post on the WoW community website about the current state of raid progress in Cataclysm. After discussing dungeon difficulty, Ghostcrawler has set his sights on tackling players' responses to the current tier of Cataclysm raiding.

Ghostcrawler discusses how there is a fine line between too easy and making the raid game feel shallow, as people want and expect a challenge but don't want to grow more and more frustrated over time as the tier of raiding winds to an end. The sweet spot, according to GC, is making it feel like every raid group can make some kind of progress.

One very interesting point that Ghostcrawler makes is about encounters nerfing themselves over time, as people learn new strategies, disseminating those strategies amongst the player base, as well as UI mods. Making specific mention of UI mods lends to the overall theme that the UI is moddable for a reason. Also, as we have suspected, Blizzard does like to nerf content slowly over time so that accessibility continues to be the name of the game.

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Filed under: Raiding, 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

The shape of raids to come: Guild leaders look ahead

Now that we're past the initial shock of Blizzard's revelations about the balance and progression path of 10-man and 25-man raids in Cataclysm, it's time to saddle up and move forward again. We may not know exactly where the guild progression path ultimately leads -- but experienced guild leaders are already moving into position, planning for the journey ahead with insight and a steady hand. We tested the temperature of guild and raid leaders in guilds across Azeroth as they look ahead to the shape of guilds (and raids) to come.

Competition: A good thing

The issue my guild will be facing will be the unified lockout each week. While it makes sense to only kill each boss once per lockout, regardless of raid size, my guild has been running two or three 10-man raids in addition to our 25-man raid group. This allowed a higher flow of gear and emblems and allowed the 25-man raid group to gear up at a considerably faster rate than if we could only run one size of the raid each week.

This will most likely make us require our raiders to "put up or shut up," letting only the top 25 performers into the 25-man lockout for increased valor points and more chances at loot. The remaining raiders will be designated to the 10-man version, where they will most likely have to run more daily heroics in order to gear up at the same rate as the rest of the guild. Each week the rosters will churn a little bit, allowing players to experience both versions of the encounters amd also creating some healthy competition for the "more valuable" 25-man spots. -- Scott Carson

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Filed under: Guilds, Raiding, Cataclysm, Guest Posts

When to move up to the next raid

I like this post over at Tank Like a Girl that raises the question of just when your guild should make the big step to move on up the raiding ranks. Just last night, my very casual guild headed into Ulduar for the first time, and even though we'd never been in there before (we've been doing Naxx, OS, and EoE with some regularity, though when I say we're casual, I mean we're really casual), I think we did it at exactly the right time. We made it up to Kologarn -- enough to know that we didn't go in too early (and come out empty-handed, unable to down any bosses) or too late (and breeze through the place).

Now obviously, every guild is in a different place raiding-wise (and most guilds are way ahead of ours, I know), and TLaG is dealing with a different dilemma: whether to take down Yogg-Saron before moving on to ToC or not. And in her case, she's got the added "gotta catch 'em all" thinking. But it's a tough thing as a raid leader -- you don't want to move on past content you know you can do eventually, and progression always beckons. In the end, you've got to figure out what's best for the guild. And of course, the content's not going anywhere -- if you can't drop a certain boss this week, there's always the next raid reset.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

"For the Horde" gets world-first A Tribute to Insanity-10

With the heroic versions of Trial of the Crusader going live yesterday, raiding guilds are already venturing into the more challenging versions of Tier 9. As of evening Tuesday EST, the European guild For the Horde has claimed a world-first A Tribute to Insanity-10 (a no-wipe full clear of the instance) on 10-man heroic Trial. Unfortunately, I don't speak German so I might be missing some of the finer points related on their website (anyone who can shed more light on this, please drop a comment!) but it looks like they weren't deliberately aiming for the achievement until they reached Anub'arak with all 50 attempts remaining, and then decided to go for it. Next in achievement progression? A Tribute to Dedicated Insanity -- repeating it without any gear from 25-man ToC, which is broadly equivalent to the Herald of the Titans achievement. Ouch.

Boubouille at MMO Champion has since confirmed that the Swift Horde Wolf and its Alliance counterpart the Swift Alliance Steed are drops from the tribute chest upon completion of the no-wipe clear, and it's quite possible that the mounts also drop from the 25-man version as well. However, I doubt we'll be seeing A Tribute to Insanity-25 this week, as none of the guilds doing the heroic-25 mode have reported a wipe-free experience thus far.

We'll keep an eye on guild progression for you, and congratulations to For the Horde!

Filed under: Realm News, Ranking, Guilds, News items, Raiding, Achievements

Alternatives to WoWJutsu

It's very, very rare that pioneers are actually the best at what they do. They have great ideas, and those ideas revolutionize their field... but they're just ideas, concepts. It's not long before someone else improves those initial concepts and makes them the new standard. This more or less describes the situation around WoWJutsu.

WoWJutsu was once the number one guild ranking website, tracking progression, boss kills and all of that great stuff. Unfortunately, it hasn't kept up with the times. WoWJutsu's tracking relies on the Armory, crawling the whole thing and using gear that characters have equipped to determine progress. In order for your guild's Malygos kill to be marked down, members of your guild need to have Malygos drops on their Armory profile. This is the only way, as far as I know, that WoWJutsu will list your kill.

What does that mean? Well, it implies that guild progression isn't tracked properly at all. The first guild on a server to clear all of the content can easily come in third or fourth or twelfth on the ranking list. If your armory page doesn't update right away, that alone is going to throw your guild's progression record off. As minor as it may seem, it actually has some bad side effects, specifically when it comes to recruitment. If you claim your guild has cleared the hardest content in the game when you're looking for applicants, and people check WoWJutsu to make sure you're not making false claims... well, WoWJutsu's inaccuracies could imply that you're lying, when you're not at all. It's damaging.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Fan stuff, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: Do you pay attention to 25-man progression?

Naxxramas was the last time I was near the bleeding edge of raid content. This is usually how it went. Still, I continue to keep abreast of what is happening in the raiding game. I was having a discussion with my brother yesterday, and he was telling me that he really doesn't pay attention much to the raid game anymore. Back in Everquest, he used to be a pretty hardcore raider, part of a giant guild that could field raids of 100 or more people, ready to track down and kill bosses the minute they spawned (since they were never instanced, you only got kill each boss around once per a week on each server). Because so many people were needed, and you might not even get to kill some bosses some weeks because other groups would beat you, you might go months without loot.

Because of this, he says, he doesn't really care any more about server firsts or world firsts. The 25 man raids don't really interest him, and he doesn't feel like 25-man raiders are worthy of respect. They get loot at a much faster rate than he ever did, and even if they don't get the drop they want, they still get badges. There's probably other people like him. There's also other people who may ignore 25-mans because it really doesn't affect them. They run their 5 mans, maybe an occasional Karazhan, and they really don't care what people do beyond that.

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Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Raiding

Essence of the Immortals gone from the Test Server

While we reported a while back on the use of the Essence of the Immortals as a method to unlock the Sunwell Plateau 25-man, progressive patching has continued its march, as Tigole explains to us in a recent forum thread.

The Essence of the Immortals itself is now gone, and instead, all gates will open automatically over time on each server. Tigole explains that although they like the idea of cross-server competition, and plan to implement in the future, The Essence of the Immortals concept wasn't working out as well as they'd hoped. Of course, servers can still compete to unlock the daily quests the fastest.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Quests, Raiding, Forums

Officers' Quarters: Kicking and screaming

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

The past 12 months have been some of the toughest for raiding guilds since WoW went live. When The Burning Crusade launched, the PvE path was riddled with speed bumps: lengthy, complex attunements; massive consumables requirements; subpar loot rewards; fast, punishing trash respawns; luck-based encounters . . . I could go on and on. In comparison, the PvP path was smooth sailing: get your 10 Arena games in and you'll eventually get all the loot you want with no additional farming to cover consumables or repair costs. Run the battlegrounds for the other slots at your leisure and convenience. As a result, raiding guilds have taken a beating as more and more players have thrown in the towel. Gradually, Blizzard has undone most of those speed bumps (while making some of the top-end PvP a little more exclusive). Now, in patch 2.4, it looks like they're really getting serious about bringing guilds back into the 25-player dungeons. They're increasing the amount of gold and loot tokens bosses drop and lifting the attunements for Mount Hyjal and Black Temple. If that wasn't enough, they're also bringing Heroic badge rewards up to par with Black Temple/Season 3 Arena gear.

I've got a backlog of e-mails, so I thought this week I'd address two. Both officers are having problems motivating their guilds to give raiding a try. It seems like they have to drag their guildmates into Karazhan kicking and screaming. So maybe the changes in 2.4 will help them out. Let's see if we can, too.

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Filed under: Guilds, Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: Gearing up for the patch

With all the buzz about patch 2.4 notes and the public test realm it's time to start gearing up for the Sunwell Plateau. Those brave enough to enter the newest high end raid will be getting a shot at some pretty awesome loot. Many players are chomping at the bit to see the new end-game content and add to their repertoire of daily quests.

The patch will feature a brand-spanking-new 25-person instance that finishes off the Burning Crusade raid progression. The new instance will prove more challenging than the Black Temple. Players should be adorned in Tier 6 gear, and can expect better drops including the legendary Thor'idal, the Stars' Fury. Even after the patch goes live, it will take some time for guilds to unlock the final bosses. The first three bosses will be available to all adventurers, but players will have to perform daily quests for Shattered Sun reputation before the last three bosses become available.

Are you ready for the new challenge? If you're interested in seeing the end game content, but not in a raiding guild, be sure to check WoW Insider's GuildWatch. Our Mike Schramm regularly serves up information on guild progression and recruiting. If you're currently in a raiding guild how is your guild preparing for the new raid content?

Filed under: Patches, Guilds, Breakfast Topics, Quests, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: The Zul'Aman speed bump

Zul'Aman. Heard of it? Noticed a lot of folks trading in their Kara gear for some rickety pieces of wood held together with twine? ZA has been live for some time now and most of us have had the chance to check out Blizzard's latest 10-man offerings. So here's the question: Is Zul'Aman worth the trouble? Sure, it's fun. The bosses are nifty and whatnot. But is it progression?

A number of guilds have graduated from Karazhan in the last month or so, but instead of moving into 25-man content, the majority are turning to our new favorite troll town. Of course some of them are dabbling in Gruul's Lair but I dare say Lady Vashj isn't getting as much company as she used to.

There is definitely something to be said about the fact that ZA is 10-man content. If you have a great Kara guild but not enough numbers to move up, ZA is a blessing to say the least. But is that a good thing? Ultimately, if you want to see Black Temple, you're running out of time, and postponing 25-man content is not helping your cause. The expansion will arrive sooner or later and when it does, people will not be interested in killing Illidan anymore. They'll want to see Northrend. If you've tried to put together a Naxx run lately, you know what I'm talking about.

So what do you think? Is ZA helping people get the gear they need to succeed? Or is it keeping them away from the prize?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Raiding

Progressing through Zul'Aman

Zul'Aman was released with the rest of patch 2.3 two weeks ago today. Due to its place in the progression chain, many guilds were able to burn through it on the first day it was released. Downing Zul'jin is nothing when you're raiding in Hyjal and Black Temple, apparently. Of course, the intended audience for this dungeon seems to be those raiding groups that hadn't seen much action past Karazhan.

My own guild has had some success in ZA. While most of us have at least one or two pieces of tier 5 quality loot, we're not up to Vashj or Kael yet, so ZA still holds some challenges for us. We are still dedicated to pushing through the twenty-five player raids, so we haven't spent a lot of time in ZA, but we've been able to take down three bosses without much difficulty. It's a nice change of pace to face encounters where there is a learning curve, but still a lot of room for error. We haven't had much luck at all with the timed aspect of the dungeon, often with silly mistakes costing us those precious few minutes we needed to rescue the prisoner.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

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