Tobold's Blog
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Apologies to my guild

The first request in last Sunday's open thread was "you should tell us how your guild is doing this expansion compared to the last one". I would say they are doing great, they have downed 9 out of 12 bosses in Icecrown Citadel. [EDIT: I miscounted. In reality it is 10 out of 12.] Unfortunately that has very little to do with me. I raided with my guild through Naxxramas and at the start of Ulduar, but then didn't like WotLK raiding all that much, took a break, and now my guild is too far advanced for me. I never got to finish Ulduar, and now my guild's raid calendar is full of ICC runs with the occasional ToC thrown in. I still don't like WotLK raiding, and I'm not a huge fan of leeching as a tourist in a guild raid, so I don't sign up for guild raids any more.

I also played my paladin a lot this year, which is on a different faction and server than my guild. So I just occasionally log on a character who is guilded, and if the opportunity arises, I do a guild run to some heroic with them. Thus my interaction with my guild isn't very strong, and I would like to apologize for that to them. I still love you, guys! :) It is just that the interests and activities of the guild have diverged from mine.

I don't think that is anybody's fault, except maybe the fault of game design. Organizing raids is a heavy organizational burden, and thus practically every guild only organizes raids to the place where *most* people want to go, which is more often than not the highest place the guild has "progressed" to. It is simply not possible to accomodate the preferences of every single guild member who might have fallen behind. World of Warcraft doesn't really have much opportunity for players to interact with their guild beyond chat, raiding, and running heroics.

I do have hopes that my situation with my guild improves with Cataclysm. If all the announcements about the changes to raid healing come true, I should like raiding in Cataclysm much better than I liked WotLK raiding. And raid progress will "reset", so we'll all be interested in visiting the same raid dungeon. Thus I might be raiding with my guild again in the next expansion. Fortunately for me they are a rather generous and forgiving lot. Which is why I'm with them since the day I signed the guild charter on release day, over 5 years ago, with some breaks. And who knows, maybe the new guild progress system in Cataclysm will enable better interaction between players and their guilds even if they aren't at the same point of raid progress.
Could you not pug the older raids?
"World of Warcraft doesn't really have much opportunity for players to interact with their guild beyond chat, raiding, and running heroics."

Perhaps you don't engage in any other activity but I'd like to hear you justify this as a generalization for all players.

I know the RP guilds on my server would love to hear the argument about how the game doesn't have any scope for them. Funny that there are so many social spaces, otherwise useless vanity items, and emotes that in part service this segment of players.

The respectably ranked 5v5 Arena players in my guild are rapt with attention as well. This group found each other through our guild and with our guild's support have slowly climbed the ranks. To say nothing of guilds solely organized around Arenas and BGs.

I also must be seeing things, because I think I'm reading "Achievement Night" on the calendar. You know, a guild sponsored event to farm achievements as a group or run older instances.

I've heard tell of guilds holding scavenger hunts and in-game holiday associated events. Must be lies though because there is no room for that in WoW. Those poor, poor game designers just don't understand how to facilitate social interaction in the most popular subscription MMO of all time, the longevity of which is often credited to... social bonds in the game.
"I've heard tell of guilds holding scavenger hunts and in-game holiday associated events."

We used to do that, but they tailed off. It was quite hard work to organise and it turned out that most people preferred to grind badges or run raids. Blizzard doesn't make it appealing to do anything else, it's just seen as a waste of time.

Ask those RP guilds how many people turn up to their events? The larger events on my server are not run by guilds and even then, they struggle to get the numbers.

I remember in previous expansions we used to sometimes get together to take down an outdoor boss. But they stopped making those in Wrath.
there is not "progression" any more. i would say that it is (very generally) a bad thing, an experiment that i'm glad blizz did but hope they pull back from a little.
that said, it is good for your situation if you do want to see the ICC content and play more with your guild.

i think you've mentioned that your old raiding character has a 5k GS (from heroics etc.) and that should be perfectly good enough to contribute to a run without feeling that you're being carried.

your opinion of raiding is your own and i wouldn't seek to tell you that you're wrong but i don't think that the split-second timing aspect is all that strong in ICC. at least not until the later bosses. they do require an understanding of the mechanics of the fight and reacting to events in specific ways but they're a long way from twitch (many of them even on hard mode).

basically, if you _are_ interested in getting more involved in the last few months of wrath i wouldn't feel too intimidated about getting back into it. i know in my own raid group we would welcome the return of a good player since gear can be acquired much easier than skill.
I can understand you in part, Tobold, since I thought, I was in a similar situation last year. I didnt dare give up my main raiding character because I feared, I would get too far behind gearwise.
Thankfully, Blizzard proved me wrong. A few heroics provide enough emblems to buy some T9 gear rings and a few trinkets. Together with the stuff you pick up from said heroics is enough to gear you up for ICC-10.
My healing gear is (according to below ICC 10 level but I single healed the dreamwalker up to full health.
Especially the later bosses are a lot about working together in a well-tuned raidgroup and less of a gear check. And the first bosses are on farm anyways ;-).

So, have a little faith in you and your huge raiding experience. Don't put too much focus on gear. I'd feel perfectly safe with you as a healer besides me.

About the older raid instances ... Organise one. Shoot a pm to our officers and tell them to set up a nostalgy raid in the calendar and you might be surprised, how many people will actually sign up for it. Some for achievements, some for emblems, some for loot, some for the sake of old times.

aka Steppenwind

Btw, I thoroughly despise pug raids. Been too many bad ones and today I avoid them like the plague.
I want to "raid with friends" and PuGs just don't give me that feeling. Its already enough of a burden to pug 5-mans.
I completely understand this, although where I'm currently playing is in EQII and not WoW. I left my raid guild in WoW primarily because I didn't like WoTLK raiding. At the time I left we had completed all the released content up to Professor Putricide.

So I went back to my friends in EQII, only to find I was hopelessly undergeared there and not able to participate in raids.

There isn't a really good way to get the needed gear othr than through raiding. Unfortunately, my time right now doesn't allow me to do the kind of playing I would likely need to catch up using PUG raids or running the harder instances PUG, so I try to contribute however I can, through crafting particularly.

But I still feel this huge chasm between the raiding guild members and me.

It really seems as if when you get behind on gear it's very, very hard to ever catch up.

I play on a RP server though not in a RP guild. I don't have to look far to see some of the events that the larger RP guilds hold on my server. Almost the mere fact that there are server types like "RP", "RP-PvP", and "PvP" puts the lie to the sentiment Tobold was expressing in the original post.

WoW falls on the "Themepark" side of the MMO design spectrum, but it still has plenty of scope and hooks for emergent player behavior and organization.
Why can't you run ICC? It's perfectly doable in triumph badge gear - I went in and tanked it (and tanked TOGC too) with a gear score well under 5k. Tobold has killed Marrowgar in blues.

If you are dps (not sure what your main is) and can pull 4k dps in a heroic then you'll be up at 6 or 7 in a raid boss with the different mechanics and the buffs. That's more than competent.

One of the raiding changes this expansion is that gear essentially resets every instance with the badge changes, so it's impossible to fall behind.
Sorry - Gevlon has killed Marrowgar in blues. Get you guys mixed up.
glad to hear they're 9/12. Is it Blood Queen or Putricide that's holding them up?

I also echo the comments of the other people who posted, if you wanted to try ICC, you could start off in Triumph-level and crafted epics pretty easily and be able to pull your own weight. You definitely should, there are some very interesting fight mechanics as well as the best lore-infused raid zone ever.
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