Team A vs Team B mentality

Something that people misunderstand about this game is that to accomplish a lot of goals there are both controlled and random factors. You can get lucky and gear up a toon in a week (my Bear was unreal when it came to drops of his healing set, but in week 4 of trying to get him tanking gear he is still barely able to do normal raid encounters.)

The part that can be controlled, your rotation, your rep gear, your reforging, enchanting and gemming means a lot. It means the difference between 60K and 100K DPS. Same gear in the hands of someone with a perfect rotation and maximized stats and there is that huge gap.

Our guild has never and will never be hardcore, however the game did shift some of what used to be heroic content to now normal level content. Normals are now LFR in many respects.

Right now we are thinking of progressing through ToT and this does not mean that you have to do it or will be pushed to do it in any way. If you want to play at current level, yes there are simple requirements as to what the math has to be. However, if you are not interested or feel that you should be at that level we are going to continue to run the previous raid and progress through that as well.

I remember in ICC when the whole “gearscore” now “iLvL” started to come up, and it was true, unless you had a certain level of gear AoE effects from the Putricide wing would pretty much one shot you. Nothing to do with your capability at all, the boss abilities just would eat your health up. A lot of people did not progress to EoE and it was partly because there was a boss ability that unless you had 18K health you would simply just die in that Whirlwind, and if you were lucky to have druid healer it could save you but not guarantee it.

ToT is similar to this weird gear gating that happens at time. Horridon, the second boss requires not only a lot of DPS, but tons of gear for tanking and healing… dispels, and disease and just a mess. If a group was doing heroics the last tiers, it feels like a cakewalk, but if people simply did not finish the last tier they will be kind of behind.

I write this so that nobody feels pressure to raid at that level, we will do ToT and complete it with everyone that wants to, that is the goal… but be patient, let me take a group through it first and continue to work as a guild to gear up and get the numbers needed to the level it will work. If you don’t get to a ToT group when we are doing new bosses, don’t feel left out, or team A vs team B, simply realize that we are all in the same team and downing bosses to keep moving means that we will all get there. Just ask the guys that killed the LK with me… we took 6 different groups through that fight when it was out, I hope we can do the same thing in ToT. Just have patience and think of this as a team effort.

The Current State of WoW

Pandaria

Some days I feel like not playing WoW anymore. There are tons of things to do in the back yard, a lot of more reading I want to do, learning another language… the list goes on and on. Then I actually jump into the game and use it for what I have always used it for, catch up with a friend about their week. Since I started playing WoW the social aspect is what has kept me logging in again and again.

I got really close to quitting WoW last week. Weather is getting nice, I just got back from a quick bike ride and I thought, man I really don’t want to log into the game at all. Then I realized something, I was not enjoying the social aspect of the game anymore. The game to me has always been about doing things with my friends, be it raiding, PvP or just the grinding of questing was all done with friends and had a blast. I was raiding with a group I was getting to know and liked, but the format (25 man somewhat progression oriented) and the pace (3 days a week) was simply not for me. I started to dislike the game and it made me take a step back and look at why I was playing the game.

Cataclysm really killed the game for me in many ways. MoP revived it in some ways, but the daily grind killed it for many of my friends. We were left with a small group of people that still wanted to play but simply not the numbers to do so. For a while we struggled trying to do the raid thing until people just not showing up became an issue. We thought a larger group will be the solution but it really was not.

Blizzard is getting better and better about tuning, not just raid bosses but the game overall. It does not take a whole expansion to fix the big issues but rather a patch.

The beginning of MoP gave us a wonderful new place to discover until the moment we started to play our alts and realized that we had a lot of content to redo with them… the problem was that it was the same content we already did with our main. Cataclysm had done a huge disservice to all of us getting us used to instant catch up for alts, instead we were met with the reality that if you wanted an alt with a max profession you would have to not only get that toon to 90, but you also had to do the whole reputation grind. If you wanted to get that toon ready for raiding… good luck, drops are not easy to come by and the valor gear is double gated (valor points + rep to buy them). It really punished the people that got used to having a stable of max level characters to raid with… I think it hit harder the medium level guilds like ours that relied on alts to do more than just one raid group a week. While you can argue that LFR is for those people, the fact is that LFR unless you have 25 people you know is an exercise in patience… I dread joining LFR… LFR is worse than pugging.

So that burned a lot of people out.

Then this last patch came out and things got a little more stable again. There is no instant catchup like there used to be, but you can very easily jump from regular to heroics to LRF now. The drop rates are way more forgiving and the last 2 rep grinds are almost enjoyable (unless you want to do them on an alt.) This is a great time to come back to the game. In one week of Shield Wall dailies and new Thunder Isle with some luck you can be ready to join a raid team. The story part is also pretty amazing, and if you want to take your time and just do one part at a time it is actually quite a great piece of story telling.

I know this post is all over the place but since I have not blogged in so long I just wanted to put some of it down just to get it out.

I guess what I am trying to say is that overall I am enjoying WoW and mostly because of the social aspect. I still love playing with my friends in a relaxed environment. I am not interested in heroic raiding anymore, just normal raiding seems to be a good difficulty. Getting Firelord or two healing Spine before MoP came out were not the experiences I thought they would be… mostly because I was not doing it with my friends. The most fun I have with this game is downing a new boss with a group of my friends. I have to keep that in mind and continue to have fun with the game, I have never cared about geared and I already proved it to myself that I can play at a more hardcore level… it is just simply not for me. I have a lot more fun making fun of Froto or Kati for standing on something or blinking off the ship :)