HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest


Prestigious 25 Man Raiding Club guild tag in Dalaran

Why won't you /bow down before me?!

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:

  1. the clothes we wear
  2. by our title
  3. by our guild tag
  4. 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.

Guild Tag

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.

Our Achievements

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

22 Responses to “Prestige”

  1. KeevaNo Gravatar says

    I always wear my Magic Seeker title, because it’s so rare (obviously).

    But I don’t really feel elite wearing it. Most of the reason I have it is because my guild levelled fast, and got in there before others did. Perhaps we still would have won, regardless, but I don’t ever consider it a huge badge of honor, considering the fact that speed probably played a big factor.

    It’s nice to get people asking after it, though.

    I want my Herald of the Titans title. Now there’s a title I’d be proud of.

    I remember writing that post on TBJ. I was so mad that my guild was in limbo – couldn’t be classed as 10 strict, because we pugged on weekends occasionally. Couldn’t hope to compete with 25s. Just.. stuck in the middle, with no identity – and called cheaters when I asked for a 10 man ranking ladder on the forums.

    Kudos to the strict-ers, definitely – but I always hated that if I wanted to jump into a 25man for fun, it would ruin things – and people basically call you a cheater.

    I think mostly this will be fixed in Cataclysm, since pugging 25s on weekends will have absolutely zero bearing on whether you can do 10s (unless you count extra badges), and there won’t be a distinction between “strict” and normal 10 man raiding (although I do wonder if the strict 10s will be upset that they lose THIS prestige label?)

    Doing 10s most of the time but deciding to pull together a 25s next week for fun won’t mean you’re “cheating” by claiming to be a 10 man guild during the week while gathering 25man gear on weekends – because the gear will be the same.

    It remains to be seen whether 10s are balanced and recognised as being equal to 25s, definitely. But if I were to return to 10 man raiding and dabble in 25s for a change of pace, it will be good to know that I won’t be some kind of weird third-class citizen for doing it.
    .-= Keeva’s last blog: Make a Memory of Azeroth =-.

  2. KeredriaNo Gravatar says

    As a 10 man raider, I am certainly not looking for prestige and recognition. Folks like Kae and Vidyala who are among the top strict 10 guilds in the world may have a totally different take., but I am willing to bet most other 10 man raiders also are not looking for prestige and recognition. From my perspective, I wonder if its the 25 man raiders who want to protect their prestige and recognition.

    For me, “viable” means thinking of 10 man raids as a viable alternative. That the choice to take a different path to raiding doesn’t translate to something of a lesser choice.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I guess the myth I’m trying to debunk here is that you’re not missing out by being in a 10 man guild now because 25 raiding teams are really treated more specially by the community. At least, that’s been my experience. It hasn’t gotten me any extra influence or fame.

      • KeredriaNo Gravatar says

        What I disagree with, is the idea that 10 man raiders are looking for influence or fame., which is why they are for this change.

        I think its very hard to explain to anyone who is not a strict 10 man raider, or anyone who prefers 10 man raiding, the concept of wanting to be looked at as a viable alternative. It’s not about “fame”.
        .-= Keredria’s last blog: So when are the Girl Scouts following suit? =-.

    • LathereNo Gravatar says

      I think you’ve missed the point of this article which is, prestige is in the eye of the beholder. While you think 25 man raiders are the majority and aren’t happy for strict 10 man raiders – I think that’s wrong, kudos to any strict and organised guilds regardless of their size for downing hard content quickly and efficiently.

      The people who should be upset by this change and I don’t think they’ve actually clued into this yet are the 10 man raiders who still wear 264 gear because they pug 25s, these guys are the ones who are going to lose out by not having a gear advantage to get through content. Pugging 10s casually will be gone until they introduce nerfs or buffs like Strength of Wyrnn (not sure what its called horde side) because like any successful guild content is managed and downed by good communication and strong players.

      What Cass is trying to say if you read it fully is that from the outside we’re all pretty much the same already whether you be a 10 manner or 25 manner we’re all raiders and most people don’t give a damn about progression meters.

      • KeredriaNo Gravatar says

        I did read the post, I just choose to disagree with it. Or actually, I think what gets me about the post is the tone.

        Ok, prestige doesn’t matter in 10 man or 25 man. But when I read “if 10 man raiding guilds are looking for prestige and recognition they might not get it”, it sounds to me like trying to teach 10 man raiders that prestige and recognition doesn’t matter, when that isn’t the reason 10 man raiders want the raiding change to begin with.

      • ShivaNo Gravatar says

        I don’t know. I definitely know the effects of my guild tag. I suppose it helps my guild (Exodus) has been on the server since the days of Molten Core (I am a transfer).

        Exodus has always fielded renown pvpers, trade-chat trolls, forum-monkies and of course done decently well in pve. We weren’t always #1, but when we weren’t, we were #2.

        I strongly disagree with the “lol yeah right”. For me, there is a huge difference the guild tag makes in regards to alts. I honestly _do_ get the benefit of the doubt, I don’t need to link achievements, or gearscore or what not. I don’t often offer advice, but for the most part when I comment something about the healing-setup being inefficient or what not in pugs, I find they often tend to listen.

        I think however, some of this has to do with how much good will your guild generates. For example, during the Sunwell era Exodus was legendary in propping up the price of Sunmotes. People were actively farming for sunmotes exclusively to sell to us because we were paying 2,000 gold for it. We also had a reputation of selling gear throughout Black Temple and even Sunwell.

        Even in the age of Wrath, we organized pug runs (And at one point, we were organizing several pug runs). Like the other top guild on our server, we’ve also taught the pugs how to “do” certain bosses. We more or less openly shared our non-hardmode strategies. We’ve openly “taught” other guilds how to do fights (for example, we’ve taken several “officer cores” from about 2-3 guilds and showed them to Vashj fight when it was hard).

        These aren’t my merits, but my guild has generated a good deal of good-will on the server. And as such, it’s definitely recognizable to a decent amount of people.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      But this is where I get confused. What do you mean by “viable”? Aren’t they viable now? I mean, you can progress all the way up to and including killing the Lich King just by doing 10 man raids right now. There’s no point where the content is designed in a way which forces you to do 25 mans in order to step into a higher 10 man raid.

      I don’t think it’s a lesser choice. I think it’s a personal choice, and always have. If you feel that the majority of WoW players look down on your choice to raid in a 10 man format, or you believe they think that it is inferior, isn’t that all about recognition? That doesn’t mean that what you have already isn’t viable, that’s something much more difficult to define – cultural opinion.

  3. Prestige is a relative term. I doubt 10 man guilds will gain all that much, but 25 will lose. That moves 10 ahead. I know it sounds like “I win if you lose” logic, but… that’s what happens when measuring social constructs.

    Guild tags might actually start to mean more for a while. A lot of 25 man guilds will break up with the raid change, and that’s likely to mean the dumping of a lot of mediocre players, those who only did 25s for the loot rather than for the challenge. You know the type, they aren’t loot-whores per se, but they do seem to show up most with a newly reset raid with all the easy bosses alive… Those guilds which survive will have gained the invisible “Survivor of the Shakedown” title.

    Maybe that will only apply to 25s, contradicting my earlier claim, perhaps 25 man raiding will gain even more prestige if it becomes the track done by the old, sturdy guilds, rather than that 10 man track done by all the young whippersnapper guilds.

    Thanks for the link! No thanks for writing something that I MUST counter-post!

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Oh no! I’m scared to read your rebuttal! I hope you’re playing Devil’s Advocate because I agreed with your post (the one I linked) 100%. It echoed a lot of what I was writing in this article, which I eventually deleted because I thought it rehashed too much of the past (when spotting someone in Tier gear was the exception, not the norm).

  4. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    I’ve gotta disagree with part of your posting here Cass :(

    I think that much of the respect which is gained for your place in a top 25man guild, is from the other 25man guilds who are competing with you.

    For the people who aren’t competing, e.g. PvPers / Casual players, they don’t care, in much the same way that I don’t really care much about who’s the top arena team, or which guild smashes out the best organised battlegrounds. Just as we don’t know/care who the top horde PvE guilds are, or who’s top of other servers.

    You’ve said Cass that you don’t know who the top 5 Alliance guilds are on the server, but I bet that you do :-P I could almost guarantee that 90% of our raiders would guess at least 4 of the top 5 guilds (If any were wrong, it’d probably be because they said a guild in 6th or 7th place by mistake).

    Now whether they respect them or not, that comes down to more than just bosses downed. Since it also comes to attitudes, both inside and out of raiding, as well as any personal incidents they may have had. But I’m sure that they will both know and recognise them.

    In Cataclysm I’d say that it’ll be along the same lines too, so 10 man guilds will compete with 10 man guilds, 25s with 25s. I’ll probably always attach more guild prestige to 25man content, but 10man guilds might see it from the other side, since although there’s less organisation required, the margin for error will also be that much smaller.

    • ShivaNo Gravatar says

      I think there is a good deal of truth to this.

      It’s worth noting, when we (and by we I mean me and my guildies) initially set up pugs or “events” (acheivements, pvp tournaments, fun galas, etc) it’s fairly customary we look at the top 4-5 guilds first, and get friends. We don’t go to the “public”.

      For example, we’re trying to finish up some Ulduar acheivements, on my server we’d fire off with /who Exigence, /who Reckoning… but we already know those are the same type of people to us. The people who care about this stuff.

      In my eyes, this is kind of like a professional sport. The Miami Dolphins might have a strong rivalry with the New York Jets; but no matter how you slice it, both teams are going to respect each other. Someone on the Dolphins might not know a thing about the Arena Football League or heck even Basketball, but they’ll definitely know about the Jets.

  5. GarethNo Gravatar says

    I was going to resist commenting but thought, bugger it.

    Do you really need to let everyone know that you are a “Strict 25 man raider in a progression guild”? Does it really matter that much what people think? Does the accomplishment in itself not make people happy enough? Who cares if there’s no visible way to identify someone as a leet, uber raider. As you already said there are ways for people to tell if they need to; Gearscore (abominable I know but it has its uses), accomplishment comparison, realm forums, ranking sites etc.

    If you are after the very visual indicators to show how awesome you are, why not just run through Dalaran spamming your latest achievment links. If anyone really wants to find out they can, theres really no need to have something that equates to waving epeen.

    Sorry if this offends, but I just commented on what I felt. Stop caring that everyone knows your achievement visibly, you know and they can too if they care.
    .-= Gareth’s last blog: Where is my WoW going? =-.

    • LathNo Gravatar says

      I think you didn’t really read this post properly hey which is a bit disappointing. Read it properly and stop looking for the negatives that aren’t even there. I didn’t even write this and the skimming is annoying me.
      .-= Lath’s last blog: Prestige =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Ah well, I was actually poking fun at myself (especially in that screen capture). The underlying messing of the article, at least how I intended it to read, was:

      There is nothing prestigious about 25 man raiding.

      • GarethNo Gravatar says

        My apologies ladies, my own tiredness is playing a factor here and hurriedly reading from work -blushes profusely-

        I get that what you are trying to say is that the impression of a 10-man raiding guild shouldn’t be any different from a 25. Honestly, my bad … but at the very least I made a point about people epeen chasing.

        Let me clarify a little then by saying that the people who are chasing after “showing off” are also generally the people you don’t want in a serious progression raiding guild anyways …. the types that are constantly annoying and often pretty unskilled anyways.
        .-= Gareth’s last blog: Where is my WoW going? =-.

  6. KaeNo Gravatar says

    The “prestige” that guilds like mine are looking for is not so much in the way of “hey look we’re better than you, aren’t I shiny?” sorts of prestige, as it is about just being accepted as skilled players rather than thrown in the dirt simply for our raid format choice… to be recognized, as you say, as something other than a bunch of weak noobs who “can’t” or won’t touch 25-man content.

    I’ve gotten no end of comments on my blog from 25-man raiders who laugh that I cast anything other than rejuv and wild growth. Who laugh when I could make use of Nature’s Grace but couldn’t give up Living Seed for Celestial Focus, prior to getting closer to the haste softcap. Who are confused by the possibility that I might not have all the raid buffs in my raid, or might need to spam nourish on a tank in some boss fights while healing the raid at the same time. Who say, “why the heck would you want to only run tens?” Who often also say, “Tens are easy, you must suck.” It is born from ignorance, supported by their wish to feel better about themselves (bullying), and not quashed by the general community as a whole (though in turn, mostly due to lack of understanding or care).

    It’s not all 25-man raiders who act like this, of course. Just a significant enough portion of them, enough so to be a constant thorn in the side of anyone who talks about ten-man raiding. The bullies and trolls are always out there for any topic, but most of the community and moderators don’t care enough (or understand) about ten-man raiders to do anything about it when those bullies start bashing on 10-man guilds. Ten-man guilds are a minority in WotLK: strats built for ten-man guilds are extremely rare–rarer than they should be–because all too often the IDEA of ten-man raiding is questioned or laughed at when these are posted on large sites.

    TBH, I think ten-man guilds will still be behind 25mans in progression in Cataclysm due to Blizzard’s stated wish to have the 25-mans gear up more quickly overall. It doesn’t really bother me. Those looking for the firsts should be looking at 25-man guilds, simply due to that expected gearing speed… it’ll be the rare, exceptional 10-man guild on a server without world-top-ranking 25man guilds to get server firsts, same as it is now.

    So, from my perspective, ten-man guilds just wish to be recognized as skilled (and, in some cases, as fair or good-hearted) players by other guilds, especially guilds held in high respect by the rest of the community… but as you say in your post, that recognition only really comes through conversations and actually playing together, rather than any rank, title, or gear graphic.

  7. KrikketNo Gravatar says

    I felt the need to do a response post to this as well.
    .-= Krikket’s last blog: What I mean by “viable”: =-.

  8. LenNo Gravatar says

    This makes a lot of sense – prestige is definitely something that you perceive (or perceive as being important…) Personally a lot of my current (very minor) gripes with 10 mans are largely about the limited gear I can access (doesn’t matter about ilevel, more about variety and suitability for different classes/specs/slots). Not much I can do about that, I raid what I raid and get the rewards associated with it.

    My other ‘issue’ has been that 25 man guilds can clear the 10 man content incredibly easily compared to those that don’t do 25 mans. However this relies on my perception – that it matters what other guilds do, that it’s not ‘fair’ that they get such a leg up when tackling 10 man content, or that it’s somehow important to distinguish between people who clear 10 man content with appropriate level gear and those who don’t. In the grand scheme of things none of that matters as long as I am happy within my guild and doing what I enjoy on WoW.

    I’d assume that many 25 man raiders have similar types of issues (if coming from an opposite viewpoint) based on personal, subjective and relative perceptions, which are leading to more of the conflicting arguments than cold hard facts.

  9. I guess I would see the “viable” meaning “able to do this path without suffering snark and vitriol about your ability and your choices.”

    I don’t raid either 10 or 25 man with any regularity. I will chose a 25 man for loot, and a 10 man for personalities, but I’m not invested in either. Generally I will take whichever is available.

    I will say there is a general cultural “look down your nose” attitude towards players that prefer to run 10 man. “Not good enough” or “not smart enough” or “not dedicated enough” seem to be the underlying implied reason.

    Can you tell any of this by looking at GS, EG or a *quick* armory check? Nope. Nobody is running around Dalaran belittling individual 10-man players. But read the blogs and forums and the attitude is VERY prevalent.
    .-= SlikRX/Balthazario’s last blog: Wild Horses and Other Oddities =-.

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lathere & Cassandri. Lathere & Cassandri said: New blog post: Prestige Enjoy! [...]

  2. [...] Cassandri over at HoTs & DoTs was a little confused about what exactly is meant when people are getting excited about 10 mans being a viable progression path in Cataclysm. She points out that Blizzard did design 10 mans to have their own progression path.  But there were a few problems with the way it actually worked: [...]

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