In the fallout of the 25 or 10 man raiding arguments flying around the World of Warcraft blogging community I find myself thinking about prestige. The prestige of being part of a successful 25 man guild. And if, indeed, there is any prestige to be found in raiding at all. Is it something we make up in our own minds?
I don’t think anybody out and out said “25 man raiding guilds are more prestigious” but I think that’s the underline belief. That successful 25 man raiding guilds command respect, that their successes are recognised and acknowledged by others on the realm/battlegroup/world and that they have greater influence. The reverse implies that 10 man guilds and their successes go unrecognised.
If you believe all that is true, how do you, as an individual character wandering the streets of Dalaran, advertise that you are a member of this prestigious 25 man raiding club? Visible e-peen meters aside, there are lots of tells:
- the clothes we wear
- by our title
- by our guild tag
- by our achievements
Perhaps I just have my head in the clouds, but I find it very, very difficult to spot the elite 25 man raiders from the crowd. But I’ll bet most people feel much the same as I do: these days everyone is, well, kind of the same.
The Clothes We Wear
Tier armor is more prevalent than ever. Sometimes I can spot a dungeon player wearing Tier 9 or a player wearing full arena PVP gear out of the masses. I’m not too bad at guessing where most weapons are from because Ulduar, Trial of the Crusader and Icecrown Citadel have their own weapon models.
But otherwise everyone kind of looks the same to me. All the Mages look the same, all the Warlocks look the same. Some have their helms set to display and others don’t.
Can I spot the elite? The most geared, successful 25 man raids on the server hanging around in Dalaran? Not a chance. Clothes don’t give you prestige.
What I do notice in the crowd is the very rare, realm first kill titles like Death’s Demise and The Magic Seeker. Surprise, they usually only get handed out to the top one or two 25 man guilds on the server. And on Barthilas those guilds have been around for years so it’s certainly not a surprise to see who has those titles.
But most players you see are wearing Kingslayer or of the Ashen Verdict next to their name. And those titles are not unique between 10 or 25 man raiding guilds. They’re also not that prestigious unless you’re on a server that has very few raiding guilds.
I think, of all the ways we “advertise” our success, titles is the most effective.
You’re in a successful 25 man progression raiding guild? Check.
Congratulations! You’ll never be expected to link achievements or /wave raid leaders to sit through an inspection just to get an invitation to VoA ever again. People from other guilds will listen to you when you offer advice. You alts will be carried right through into ICC – because clearly you know when you’re doing.
LOL. Yeah right.
Even if you’re in a guild that has been successful for years that doesn’t mean that your average player in Dalaran will know who you or your guild are.
Can you name the guilds on your server, in your faction even, that are up to Icecrown hard modes? I can’t. And I’m in one of them. I can name perhaps the two or three guilds that are around the same level of progression/up to the same bosses. I’m constantly surprised when I see unknown guilds recruiting in Trade channel by their 12/12 boss progression. The lesson is simple: just because I don’t know the guild doesn’t mean they aren’t very successful.
I do know which two guilds in my faction vie for server firsts. If there’s any real prestige and benefits to be had by 25 man raiding perhaps those 50 players might know about it.
When was the last time you compared achievements with a stranger in Dalaran? The achievement system is really the place where you can probably compare two players and decide which one is more “elite” than the other – who has completed for difficult raiding challenges.
Sounds like a lot of effort. And comparing Achievement Points earned between players is more meaningless than comparing GearScores.
Challenge, 10 Man Progression and Prestige
Quite a few bloggers have argued that, by rewarding both 10 and 25 man raiders with the same loot, “10 man progression will be viable”. As a reader I always skipped right over this phrase, it was something that I didn’t understand, and I figured that I probably didn’t understand it because I wasn’t a strict 10 man raider.
I was confused because you can progress all the way through Naxxramas to Icecrown 10 Hard modes just by running 10 mans. Kurn was confused over the same thing:
The progression route has been, as far as I can tell, pretty nicely balanced:
25s: Heroics – 25m-T7 – 25m T8 – 25m T9 – 25m heroic T9 – 25m T10
10s: Heroics – 10m T7 – 10m T8 – 10m T9/badge loot – 10m heroic T9 – 10m T10
I think what is really meant by “10 man progression will be viable” is “10 man progression raiding will be recognised“. And if that’s what is really meant, I agree that 10 man guilds really are short changed at the moment.
Part of what makes progression raiding rewarding is that you can challenge your team against other teams. I guess this is the PvP element of PvE play. You find a raiding team that has all the same advantages/disadvantages as your own team:
- raids about the same amount of hours
- has access to the same gear
- is working on the same content/boss
And you try and do just that little bit better. That’s the challenge and reward of progression. And that’s why ranking sites have meaning: they have meaning when your team is on them.
Someone compiles a Barthilas Raid Progression thread on my realm forum. Aside from server first 10 man title achievements (like first 10 man Heroic Lich King kill), only 25 man guilds are tracked and ranked. Perhaps it’s the same on your realm forum?
How do 10 man progression guilds challenge themselves? How do they pick their friendly competitors? Strict 10 man raiding guilds can work off the Guild Ox ranking data. But 10 man guilds that don’t meet the strict criteria (because they dabble in 25s) don’t really show up anywhere – they’re expected to compete with the 25 man raiding guilds.
I don’t know what to expect in Cataclysm, but I do know that if 10 man raiding guilds are looking for prestige and recognition they might not get it. And not because they’re not successful, but because I don’t think there’s much prestige and recognition to be had from other players anyway. We’re only as special as we build ourselves up to be in our own minds.
Unless you’re in the #1 guild on your server, and hold that #1 position for a very long time, don’t expect other players to even recognise your guild tag.
And lastly, I think Klepsacovic said this all in a lot fewer words that I could.