In Vitare we don’t seem to fall prey to loot drama. I remember that there was a little dissent over a gun in Ulduar, and whether Warriors should be allowed to outbid Hunter trial raiders.
But we most definitely do fall prey to 10 man drama. Are you in a 25 man guild? How many times have 10 mans been the source of your guild drama? I’ll bet a hell of a lot of the time.
It doesn’t really surprise me anymore. Splitting your 25 man group into two teams (and lets not forget the 5 people who are completely left out) and pitting them against the same content, often side by side at the same time, is bound to cause conflict.
Vitare has one fairly steady 10 man group. Not two, just one.That’s because:
- A percentage of the guild don’t have extra nights/time to give to 10 man raiding
- A percentage of the guild just don’t enjoy 10 mans as much
- The left over 15 players (not already in a 10 man) aren’t a very good class/role makeup suitable for a second 10 man raid
I’m okay with there being only one 10 man group. I believe that the raiders who are the most determined to do 10 mans are already in this group.
Four nights is enough raiding for me. I don’t enjoy repeating content in 10 mans. And of the left over 15 guild raiders 3 of them are Priests. That’s a lot of Priests for a 10 man. There are a couple, maybe five, raiders who want to complete 10 man Icecrown Citadel every week, even though they’re not in the 10 man group. Those players usually PuG 10 man ICC.
Occasionally (usually at the start of a Patch when Emblems are important) the 15 left overs will try and group together to complete the occasional 10 man run. When we do, it’s usually pretty enjoyable and it’s nice to bond and build a bit of camaraderie with your guildies. But the group makeup is terrible. I’ve written about it before in posts, but we learned the hard way that you just can’t really complete some hard modes without a certain class or with an imbalanced ranged to melee ratio.
Because these runs are infrequent it’s not uncommon to depend on someone to bring an alt or play an offspec in order to meet the 2 tank, 3 healers and 5 DPS (preferably a nice mix of ranged/melee) format. But this further weakens the skill and success of the group.
To completely change the topic, I think I also need to tell you a bit about my Wrath of the Lich King Wish List: the incomplete achievements/encounters that I want to do before Cataclysm is released:
- Earn an Ironbound Protodrake
Completing the last few Ulduar hard modes has been number one on my list since… well… since Ulduar was released. Unfortunately they just keep releasing new raid content which really messes this up.
- Kill Anub’arak in Trial of the Grand Crusader
I don’t want to leave it at 4/5 ToGC. So close yet so far!
- Earn the Champion of Ulduar title
This one would be nice, but I’d be quite happy to go without. Can be completed on 10 man over multiple lockouts but requires people to stay alive.
- Earn an Bloodbathed Frostwyrm
This requires me to complete all the Heroic mode fights as well as a bunch of achievements in Icecrown Citadel on 10 or 25 man. Don’t think our 25 man group will take the time to do the non-heroic achievements… not when then 10 man team is working on it already.
And that’s pretty much it. The first two items on my Wish List are 25 man raiding achievements requiring, you guessed it, 25 people.
When Trial of the Crusader was first released, when it was gated and not taking up much raid time, there was still a lot of interest in completing the Ulduar hard modes for the mount. On one occasion we even went back and wiped on Razorscale to get Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare. On that same ID we pushed through and finally got I Choose You, Steelbreaker. Then we started ToGC and had no more time for Ulduar.
We never went back.
We were stuck at 4/5 ToGC when Icecrown Citadel came out. And nobody wanted to wipe in ToGC anymore – certainly not on Anub’arak (does anyone love this fight?!). But after our first Lich King kill we had a couple hours left of raiding for the week and went back to give Anubarak another go. We wiped. And it was painful.
We never went back.
Now I’ve given you all that history, let me tell you about Monday night. We finished ICC earlier than expected with a couple hours still left in our raiding schedule at the end of weekly lockout. We knew that we were going to kill the Lich King earlier than anticipated – our first attempt brought us straight into phase 3, but we had a few too many DPS dead to keep up. The night was still early.
Some players, like me, were pretty excited. A chance to raid something other than ICC 25!
I started throwing out ideas in Raid and Guild chat, even before we came back from our first wipe: “Ulduar here we come!”
Some other raiders were getting excited too. I heard someone say the words “Rusted Protodrake”, another player suggested “TOGC for BiS trinkets” and someone else chimed in “ooooh maybe we can finish our 10 man”. We killed the Lich King and ran around Dalaran waiting to hear what our next destination would be.
An officer suggested that we do a quick clear of the 4 farm bosses in ToGC, joining up with a PuG group that was forming on the server at same time. It was put to vote. Just over half the raid said yes, several did not vote and perhaps 4 or 5 said no.
We then voted on Ulduar hardmodes. Same response: about half the raid said yes, several did not vote and perhaps 4 or 5 said no.
There were a few more “comon let’s finish our 10 man” suggestions from the players who are in the core 10 man group. I could feel my chance at ever achieving my wish list items slipping away – when would we next get the chance to revisit old content during our raid schedule?
“Naxx 25 Immortal run?” I elaborated over vent: “God I just want a change of scenery – anything but Icecrown Citadel”. My Naxx 25 suggestion was also put to vote, although I never intended that we actually run it, I was just mad keen to do a 25 man raid other than Icecrown Citadel.
Most of the vote came back no or unanswered. A surprising five or six were keen. The same four or five people who voted no to all the previous votes voted no yet again.
Eventually the vote turn to “Who wants to do ICC 10?”. The same four or five people who had nixed every suggestion thus far finally voted yes. A few people who aren’t in the regular guild 10 man also said yes, which I thought was a bit strange. Did they think they were going to be invited to the 10 man ICC run – which was a continuation? I don’t think so.
By now the 25 man raid group was in shambles. It was announced over Vent that we would be disbanding to do ICC 10. And then it got interesting. Drama. Everyone had an opinion on the decision and let loose. There were arguments over Vent, arguments in guild chat, arguments in raid chat and, I’m sure, arguments over whisper and in Officer chat.
To sum up, the arguments were like so:
PRO splitting down to a 10 man
- Never enough time on Friday night (the scheduled 10 man night) to complete it
- 10 man progression kills are for the guild
- 10 man heroic loot helps the guild in 25 mans
- 10 man progression helps us learn those encounters for 25 man
- The 10 man group is close to earning their Bloodbathed Frostwryms
- There’s no loot worth having in ToGC
- You can pug ToC/ToGC
- Mounts are a waste of time
- Ulduar hardmodes are a waste of time
CONS to splitting down to a 10 man
- Only 10 people (at most 20) can participate
- Not the right classes/roles left over to form a second 10 man
- 10 man progression has no meaning in a 25 man progression guild
- 10 man progression loot is equivalent to our regular raid gear and worse than our 277 raid gear
- 10 man progression kills only teach the 10 players involved
- What makes the ICC mount more important than the Ulduar mount?
- A small number of raiders (healers most especially) still need loot from ToGC loot – even with ICC loot factored in
- You can pug ToGC but you can’t ensure loot stays within the guild
- Completing Ulduar hardmodes and ToGC hardmodes still give us ranking points
The most interesting thing, in my opinion, is that almost everyone took a side. I discovered so much more about the people that I raid with in 15 minutes of arguing than I have raiding with them for months. I lost respect for some players. I gained respect for others. I revised my mental list of who I could approach for help, and who I shouldn’t ever bother to ask – unless there’s something in it for them.
I learned who had their head in the clouds: the people who thought there were two 10 man groups and also the players who thought that we could even form a second group considering that we only had 2 main spec tanks online.
I discovered who can actually argue intelligently. I discovered who was quick to realise that they had walked into a political mine field and inadvertently said the wrong thing… and who was slow. I discovered who was particularly hot tempered (to be honest, I really was just confirming something I already knew).
I also discovered, without a doubt, that I could kiss any hope of completing my top two wish list items for Wrath of the Lich King goodbye.
Raiding is selfish. The best way to get people to do what you want is to lure them in by promising them the chance at something that will benefit them as individuals. Most of the time that’s loot. Occasionally you can try and find large groups of people who want a particular achievement or mount, but that’s much harder.
But raiding in a guild is a long term selfish proposition. One night you might do something that has no personal benefit to you (which is why I even bother to show up on our Lich King nights) because eventually you know that other people will still show up when you need something in the future.
There is no item in ToGC that I need. I hate Trial of the Crusader. I hate the instance. But I would have gone and completed ToGC if our healers say there are BiS trinkets for them in there. The last time we went I remember how thrilled one of our new Mages was when got a new weapon and cloak – infinitely superior to what he had. Why deny another player, a guild mate, someone I might even call a friend, that thrill?
I don’t believe that the players who refused to do anything except ICC 10 are loot whores – which is what they were called by others. However, I do think that they were weighing their own wants and desires much more highly than those of others. They waved off the notion that others might need loot in ToGC. I think they waved it away in order to make their conscience clearer, their argument stronger.
I’m not a member of the core 10 man ICC group. And I just can’t fathom how their successes really benefit me. The best gear for us comes from ICC 25 hard modes. Perhaps there is some BiS items from ICC 10. But those items will only ever go to the players in that 10 man. Yes, I do believe that the 10 man group is getting a bit more practice at difficult encounters but the 10 man group isn’t leagues ahead of our 25 man progression – actually they’re exactly the same right now.
And, most importantly, on the rare occasion that the 10 man group had more knowledge than the rest of us this just made our 25 man wiping more upsetting and frustrating. The 10 man players were irritated that we couldn’t do something so simple, and the rest of us were left feeling stupid for being unable to do something that was, as we were told, simple.
So what did I end up doing on Monday night? Well I didn’t log off in a rage (I was too disappointed). A few of us banded together out of boredom, called in some favors, called a healer and begged them to log in, had a few people swap to alts and eventually ended up with a 10 man raid. We ran ICC 10 to fill in time. We completed it. We had a good time, and our alt tank got some gear, but I’d be happy to never do it again.
Perhaps I should try and find some individual achievement worth having and stick that on my Wish List. Right now Cassandri the Insane seems more achievable than anything on my Wish List.
If I only count on myself, then it just might happen.