LFM Bodies: The Challenge of Summer Raiding

24 Jun

As a raid leader, its a challenge and a frustration to be short people. Last night we brought in every guilded member who was online and one applicant. That gave us a raid of 20.

With a skilled set of players and the well oiled team we have, 20 people with a 25% buff is more than enough to down everything but the Lich King, but I can’t help but wonder how much better we would have done with 5 more players at the same skill level.

Our guild has 30-35 people in it worthy of a raid spot. Some of them are “retired” and are waiting for Cataclysm. Some have either just had children, or are changing jobs, or are taking a vacation. One of our OTs actually took a night out of his vacation to help us field a raid last night!

I think its important to continue to raid, not because we need the loot, but because it builds momentum. In the mean time, I’ll talk to our recruitment officer about working on finding more people!

What do you guys think? Is it best for a guild to call it quits and break over the summer, or do we keep going strong so we haven’t forgotten what a raid looks like when Cata hits?

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4 Responses to “LFM Bodies: The Challenge of Summer Raiding”

  1. GIG June 24, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    You know, this is a problem that’s currently plaguing many guilds. The problem is amplified especially if you play on a Low or Medium population server. I personally have several 80 characters, spread across Mal’Ganis (Horde), Burning Legion (Horde), Wildhammer (Alliance), and Scarlet Crusade (Alliance). The differences between servers is simply astonishing. On Wildhammer, as an example, there are only two guilds that have killed the LK in 25 man mode. Everything else on that server amounts to a mass of failed guilds, misguided leadership, and an overall lackluster player-base, which when combined with the lower/medium population results in disaster.

    As you get into more highly populated servers, such as Mal’Ganis, the problem dissipates, but there are still problems that exist. On Mal’Ganis, I’m in an 8/12 HM 25 man guild, and we rarely see a full roster for any given raid. We’re usually just running around with 20-22 people just to get things done. On a good evening, we can get 24 people. Recruitment for specific classes has become increasingly difficult too, as a mentality that currently exists is one that seems to be one that is looking forward to the changes with the expansion.

    As early Cataclysm previews on MMO-Champion have indicated, it looks like the mid-range (or maybe even baseline) blue items may start at ilevel 300 (at last check, the new enchants require an ilevel 300 or higher item). That’s already a step above Heroic 25-man ICC gear, and while the itemization won’t be as good until we start getting into the tier sets (85), we’ll still see our characters becoming more powerful as things begin to take shape.

    A conversation that I’ve had with several of my friends and fellow raiders has gone along the lines of, “Why should we move forward when we’ve seen the same bosses in 10 man and 25 man mode at least 15-20 times now?” The item levels of gear become less compelling especially when you start to shape up a character with a 5900-6300 gearscore.

    I think that another issue is that while many people will go on an outcry of how “easy” this expansion was, there are many other characters and decent players on new/underpopulated servers that haven’t even cleared the plague wing of Icecrown Citadel. Speaking from my own experience, outside of Mal’Ganis, the “Kingslayer” title is seen few and far between, as are characters that have actually killed the Lich King. These characters are essentially getting burned out too and they see Cataclysm as a way to start “fresh”. It doesn’t matter if you have full 277+ gear right now, because within the next 5 months, Cataclysm will be out and the gear bar will reset.

    I too have admittedly felt the burn and see myself logging on less and less as the days move forward. Not because it’s the summer time, but because outside of Sindragosa HM, Lady Deathwhisper HM, Professor Putricide HM, and the Lich King Hard Mode (25 man), I’ve cleared all of the bosses – several times. I’m sure that there are others that are in the same boat, as these encounters can be extremely frustrating and stressful.

    In closing, while I applaud Blizzard for this expansion, I can also see why Blizzard is “exposing” more content to “casual” players, rather than simply catering to the Hardcore folks. I can also understand the burnout that’s happening with the “hardcore” population. I challenge anyone who thinks that this expansion was “easy” to hop on a low populated server and then take a look around. Perhaps the expansion was “easy” for someone who was already in a great guild with other great players that were excited to take on the challenges. Having been on both sides of the coin (with a good guild and with several lackluster ones), I personally believe that without a guild of adept players, this expansion and especially the final ICC Raid has been one of the more challenging ones – yes, even with a 15-25% buff. Buffs don’t fix a lack of player-skill, unless Blizzard offers a 150% buff so that we can just tank and spank everything and not worry about mechanics…

    … but that’s probably a pipe dream, right? 😛

    Best,
    GIG

    • calsong June 24, 2010 at 10:41 am #

      I agree with you, pretty much on all counts. I play on The Underbog, which is one of those infamous low to medium pop servers.

      At the moment I’m raiding to keep a guild together and to get my frostwyrm.

      I love the feeling of victory after a tough kill. Our HM Putricide kill felt glorious. The guild’s first Firefighter kill was the same. That said, wiping on a kill we’ve had before makes me sad. And I’m not talking about one or two wipes, but a progression level of wipes.

      I’m focusing on bringing in and keeping entertained a solid core for Cata. It’s what we’re all looking forward to, so I’d like to have engaged raiders when those doors open.

  2. Frozenstar July 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    My guild just took a month break while one of the main officers was away (we’re a 10m group)

    We’re going to start raiding again though for the summer, and I think momentum is important. (also, a lot of us stopped playing as much when we weren’t raiding, and my guildies are people I like hanging out with, so that was a bummer.)

    So I say, keep raiding through the summer. Raid old content for fun if you haven’t done some of those fights. (I would still love to see all of Ulduar–I came to raiding late this expansion)
    For instance, I was floored when I finally saw AQ ruins. I had no clue Blizzard had thrown in an Egyptian theme. That was fun, and I got to hear people tell stories about 40m raids comprised of all mages blizzarding their way through AQ.

  3. calsong July 6, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    We do monthly guild meetings where we do a 40 player raid or two. Its pretty awesome, and most players haven’t seen the content before.

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