Raiding on Cenarion Circle

90 Orc Warrior
17225
I have noticed recently that many raid groups on Horde side at least are struggling to push through T15. I've had at least two different leaders of other groups seek my advice on what to do to push their group closer to success. With this in mind, the following post is intended to offer some of my thoughts on the raiding situation on CC and what we, as a server, can do to improve it.

Section 1: The issues

The main problem, as far as I know, is that the birth rate of new raid groups is very low. This is connected deeply to the bigger problem that it is very difficult to enter the raid scene if you do not have experience already, more so than the previous expansion. This compounded with fewer competent raid groups and hence stricter entry requirements, means that there is simultaneously a lack of qualified recruits and a lack of casual groups willing to work with newer/weaker players. Also, leading a raid group is hard work and if the work needed to be done exceeds the benefit one derives from it, the effort will cease. Right now entering the raid scene is very hard as the failure rate of a new group in the current tier raid is high.

Another central problem that have always plagued 25m groups since they introduced shared lockouts for 10/25 and equalized the loot, is that 25m guilds have to become a hardcore progression guild or cease to exist. That is, a 'casual' 25m guild is very hard to sustain since the effort is orders of magnitude greater than running equivalent 10m groups. This problem has now also creeped into running 10m groups: the existence of LFR and a variety of other casual-focused activities have dried up the pool of recruits who only intend to play at a relatively low level. So 10m groups face the same dilemma as 25m groups since Cataclysm... either become a very fast paced progression guild or dwindle and die.

Section 2: Some solutions

I think the best solution is to band together as a server and see what we can do, particularly efforts from the better progressed guilds in sharing their methods and resources. However, the real issue is that struggling groups make the effort to reach out to the community. One person recently asked me to see if my guild had extra bodies to join their raid, which is struggling. They also told me that their raid leader does not read the forums and do not want to use trade or any other venue to recruit. I do not believe this is a unique situation. It is hard enough to stay afloat while recruiting, it is even more difficult if you are not.

So for those groups that are struggling... try to reach out to similarly progressed groups and work out some mutually beneficial relationship. It's better to have one functioning raid with a roster of 14 than to have two dysfunctional groups of 7. Some of this might involve pride swallowing, but in the end it is worth it. For raid leaders that read this: I believe you owe it to those loyal followers of yours to try to make a raid that works, even if it means you are no longer in control. This is a hard thing to do but I believe worth trying.

So I invite everyone from the existing raiding community on CC to participate in the conversation and share their ideas on how to increase raiding participation on our server. It affects all of us, regardless of where we stand on realm progression. A healthy raiding population with a healthy pool of recruits at all levels is necessary for the long term survival of any raiding team.
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90 Orc Warrior
17225
An explanation of the wants and needs of raid leaders and recruits

This post is based on my experiences reading the raid and guild leadership forums. What I find is that many leaders of struggling groups lament that the community has 'changed' and that people nowadays are so 'disloyal' and only want 'instant gratification'. Then I see potential recruits saying group leaders nowadays are so impatient and won't help them. This to me indicates that for some in the community, there is a disconnect between how leaders and recruits perceive the social contract inherent in the raid leader/raider relationship. I will attempt to explain.

Raid leaders are usually very passionate about their group and perhaps guild. Many times they were there to build the group from the ground up and have a lot of pride in doing so. It is difficult for them to understand that others may not care. Recruits are usually looking for a specific place. They might be looking for a specific level of progression or a certain social atmosphere. They are focused on what they want; after all, they're the ones making some pretty big (in-game) life changes to join you.

To raid leaders: no recruit has a vested interest in helping you grow your guild/grow your raid, unless it somehow directly benefits them. Having a dream for a better tomorrow might be a huge motivating factor for you but is worthless to recruits. Few people like to be told "we might be in a rut now, but trust me we will raid next week!", especially when such a 'promise' seems empty (i.e. you have 3 people online at most, and two of them aren't even 90). You have to deliver your end of the social contract, which is a functioning raid, to retain recruits. This means that you have to do everything you can to ensure the raid happens and yes, this means spamming trade for PUGs if necessary.

Note that if you can't start raiding ToT, you can always try your hand at the T14 raids first, and for those you can use sites like openraid or programs like OQ to get off-server people. The principle stands: the most important thing is to make sure you never cancel a raid and that you maintain a steady schedule. People will flow in after that, I assure you.

For recruits: You need to look for a group that is a good fit for you. That said, you have to understand that there are two ends to the deal. You cannot expect a group of people that you don't know to 'accept you for who you are' right off the top, when you are unwilling to do what they would like you to do. In this case, if the raid leader of the raid you are looking to join says you must have a certain gear level, that all gear must be enchanted and gemmed, and you need to look up strats before the raid night, then it is up to you to decide whether you want to do that or not. Do not insult the raid leader or any of their raiders for 'making' you do any of this. Find a group with a similar mentality and compatible social atmosphere, and you will do well.

Also, raid leaders don't like having to teach you how to play your class. Raid leaders have a job to explain a boss and its mechanics to the raiders; but not to teach you how to play. I personally have played a warrior, priest, warlock, druid, death knight, and paladin at max level during various points of my WoW career to varying degrees of success; but I do not claim to have any mastery over any class except my current main. I cannot answer you if you ask me how to do DPS as a hunter, or a mage, or a monk... I simply do not have the knowledge. And if you expect me to answer anyway, I can only give you some generic answer I find online. But if I can find it online, then why can't you?

In summary: as raid leaders, your job is to provide a raid. This means come hell or high water you need to make sure the raid runs. Even if the raid doesn't go so smoothly (within reason of course.. 50+ wipes on normal mode stone guard might be pushing it) or worse than you thought, people will appreciate the fact that a raid happened and will be at least somewhat inclined to stick around. As recruits, it is your job to find a good fit for you and if you decide to sign up for a team, you need to be a team player and do what the raid leader expects you to do.
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90 Pandaren Warrior
9365
This is an insightful read, from the mind of a successful raid leader. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

Personally, I will feel more comfortable about putting my team and our goals out for the community when we are in a better position to actually achieve them. We have goaded some RL friends into joining up and have almost filled our 10s. The unusual schedule, small attendance and pack mentality of my guild have lent us to pugging in and out of t 14, to the point where we simply did not have enough (capable) people to complete MSV. I am satisfied with any progress at all, as most of my team aren't experienced raiders. This is their very first shot at end game content.

So I thank the number of guilds we have worked beside for their patience and the opportunities they've given a RP guild trying to catch up with the progression environment. In a couple months, I hope to return the favor.

Regarding raid participation in general; I could fill a 25 man team just with the amount of people I know who have the schedule and the ability to raid, but not the inclination. A couple folks have confessed that they are intimidated by a competitive environment, another said he didn't think he could ever gear up.

One of the biggest hurdles anyone can overcome is their own limited capacity for success. To anyone who just cannot envision themselves pushing through endgame content, consider taking a leap of faith and speaking to a raid team. The content really isn't as hard as you might imagine, and even if it is, you will probably surprise yourself with how much better at this game you can become. Give yourself a shot, and you might find that WoW can be so much more than just a glorified, $15-a-month chat room.
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90 Troll Shaman
14560
Rustled... all the jimmies
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
19535
Great post by Elg.
A few things I've noticed over my years are raiding is that there are 3 aspects that have become quite prevalent

1. Many players are less tolerant of failure
2. Many players think they are better and more knowledgeable than they actually are
3. Many players do want to improve but aren't willing to put in the time and effort to make it happen

It's interesting to see how players are now expecting to stroll into a raid with minimal knowledge of the encounters, beat a boss in <5 attempts, and get exactly the pieces of loot they want every time, then do it again over a few weeks until they have everything they want. I may be old school but this isn't raiding to me. What this is though, is LFR.

What ever happened to the days (weeks, actually) of working on bosses like Kael'thas and Council where knowledge, group coordination, and communication were key in the success?

When it comes to organized raiding, I don't care how your healing or DPS has made the meter lords proud. I don't care if you've raided or PvP'd with the most amazing guilds and players of all time. What I do want to know though, is how you are going to use this knowledge and experience to help push your current guild through the rough times. Success shouldn't be shouldered upon the raid leaders, do your part to make it happen.

“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.”

― Neil deGrasse Tyson
Edited by Envien on 4/3/2013 12:26 PM PDT
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90 Troll Druid
15135

3. Many players do want to improve but aren't willing to put in the time and effort to make it happen

HEY THAT'S ME. Oh wait, I'm already Best Druid US, like no one ever was.

2. Many players think they are better and more knowledgeable than they actually are
Hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.”

― Neil deGrasse Tyson

I bet you got that off Imgur last week like I did!
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
19535
“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.”

― Neil deGrasse Tyson

I bet you got that off Imgur last week like I did! [/quote]

Actually I have him on facebook, I'm only a lowly follower though.
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90 Worgen Death Knight
11680
Elgunaz, your timing couldn't be better as I was just talking to a friend about CC's raiding environment. The bit about RL's not wanting to teach raiders how to play their class really struck me because I was telling my pal about how dpsing/healing/tanking in a boss fight is really half the job once that pull timer goes off. And I think this is a growing issue amongst many players since LFR mechanics encourage bad habits.

The other half is considering, "What is my spec's synergy with this fight? How can I make the most of my toolkit to help the raid's progress as Disc? Blood? Affliction?" I think when this mindset develops is when the confidence level and self-reliance of the individual player starts to rise. Which brings me to the part about finding the right fit.

When Elg says, "You need to look for a group that is a good fit for you," it couldn't be any more plainspoken. Start with where you're most comfortable then work yourself up from there. Simplify your goals, even if it's something as basic as, "On this fight, I'll keep Mind Blast on cooldown without delay," or "I want to work on my positioning so my run-speed CD will always bring me to safety!" When you feel satisfied, move up a rung to the next issue that's bothering your play. And it's when you find and play with people who are discovering nuances about their class (and raiding) at the same pace as you, from positioning to parsing on worldoflogs, then you won't feel like you're sandbagging anyone or playing with people that are far below your capabilities.
Edited by Ishapore on 4/3/2013 2:55 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Warrior
7400
Contact any officer in my guild if you need more people to raid. We've got several that would like to start raiding and soon.

[EDIT]Felt like I should add more to that comment, we're a small guild starting out with members of our old guild that fell apart due to a corrupt raid leader who was rarely around and felt they had to keep the only officer left limited in power. From the looks of our roster and the times we have people online, we don't have enough to field a 10 man raid group and with only being a level 10 guild recruiting new players or even people looking to start raiding we're working from a deficit there as well. I want to see the members of my guild raiding and gaining experience that they can bring back and use to help our guilds raid team progress.

You should also point out that if you're guild doesn't have active guild leadership raiders won't become geared or learn mechanics.
Edited by Tylandandor on 4/5/2013 6:58 AM PDT
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90 Orc Warrior
17225

[EDIT]Felt like I should add more to that comment, we're a small guild starting out with members of our old guild that fell apart due to a corrupt raid leader who was rarely around and felt they had to keep the only officer left limited in power. From the looks of our roster and the times we have people online, we don't have enough to field a 10 man raid group and with only being a level 10 guild recruiting new players or even people looking to start raiding we're working from a deficit there as well. I want to see the members of my guild raiding and gaining experience that they can bring back and use to help our guilds raid team progress.

You should also point out that if you're guild doesn't have active guild leadership raiders won't become geared or learn mechanics.


This is a misguided view point... it is not the just the leadership's job to make sure raiders learn mechanics or get gear. See my PUGing guide: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/8568397110

Also, it is usually a bad thing to say 'take my guildies into your raid, give them gear, so they can bail your raid and come help me start mine'. You are not doing your guildies any favors; if they are taken then they are only there to fill in for a night and not to be taken on a permanent basis, since any reasonably smart raid leader won't keep them for long knowing that as soon as their own guild does raids they're gone.
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90 Blood Elf Warrior
7400
I didn't mean to make it sound like we wanted you to gear and make our members part of your groups just that if you need to pug you can ask us. As per your advice in another post we are going to start lfr guild runs and pug along the way until we can start our own pugs and eventually raid team. Are there any plans on posting the boss strategies CC guilds use on the forums? I am excited to startthings rolling in my guild now.
Edited by Tylandandor on 4/6/2013 2:33 AM PDT
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90 Night Elf Death Knight
9825
I'll second much of what Elgunaz said in this thread. At this stage of my WoW "career", I personally have no real interest in being in a progression guild; the attitudes just don't mesh well with mine. I personally get twitchy the instant someone else starts trying to tell me to select certain talents, have certain enchantments, have specific gems, etc. Whether they realize it or not, I know what I need, and if I don't have it, there's often a very good reason why. At other times I've had to deal with raid leaders who were stuck in old modes of thinking that don't really apply anymore. One great example was the guild I was a part of on another realm during Wrath of the Lich King, where the raid leader categorically refused to let Death Knights use Army of the Dead on raid bosses, despite being told repeatedly that the ghouls didn't taunt raid bosses. You can only bang your head against a brick wall for so long.

It's important for players to find a group that meshes well with their own personalities, and they need to understand that sometimes it might not happen on their current realm. Battle Tags and Real ID now make it very viable to form cross-realm premades and hit content, so the pool is larger, but the effort still has to go into finding those people, and while we have great methods for grouping up with cross-realm friends, we don't always have great methods for finding those friends in the first place. The third-party efforts like Open Raid are brilliant, IMO.

Some raid leaders are going to be parsing numbers very finely. They often do this when they have a surplus of applicants and have to find a way to skew things in their favor as much as possible. Other times they do it because they want to get their group to a higher level, and don't feel it can be done without reaching certain minimums. It's their raid group, they've the right to set whatever requirements for entry that they like. If a player doesn't like it, nothing is forcing them to join that group.

It doesn't always sit well with players who are on realms that don't have a diverse raiding pool; sometimes a player has to weigh things, and if they're on a realm with a smaller raiding pool and they still absolutely have to raid, they may be looking at a realm transfer. There are realm forums for a reason: they should be hopping on those forums and asking around.

At the same time, in my nearly 8 years of playing this game, I've seen some awful raid leaders who don't understand that the avatars on their screen at home represent real people with real feelings on the other end. I still recall my first WoW raiding guild back in Classic; the guild had finally gotten to Ragnaros in Molten Core, and the raid leader lost it in Vent when someone tried to note they had been knocked into a lava pool and were under a shelf of rock, unable to move or see what was happening. There's never a justifiable reason for losing it on someone in your raid. At the end of the day, it's a game, and while it's always admirable to want to put forth your best effort, "progression" has meant "We wipe repeatedly, with the boss' health a tiny sliver lower each time, til it tips in our favor and we start killing the boss more often." If someone's personal pressure valves aren't calibrated to deal with that, perhaps being a raid leader isn't for them. That's fine: not everyone is good at every function in the game. I'm awfully good at being the DPS who doesn't stand in the bad, tries to manage my cooldowns, and I do my best to make life on the healers and tanks easier when I'm in a raid. I've had others tell me, when I was leading my own raid guild, that they appreciated how calm I remained in Vent, and how patient I was with people who made mistakes. Even in spite of all that, I recognize that I'm not cut out to be a raid leader. I make a good soldier, but not a good sergeant. I'd rather someone just tell me what needs to be done, and then leave me alone to do it.

It's why Raid Finder is great for people like me: I get to raid (which I like to do), I get to upgrade gear (which is fun), and I get to do it at my own pace and largely under my own authority.

Raid guilds are, as Elgunaz has noted, a two-way street. The right players need to find the right raid leaders. When that happens, magic happens.
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90 Blood Elf Warlock
17885
Thank you Elgunaz, for taking the time to write this out.
Reading it the other day was kind of the push I needed to get motivated recruiting, not just for our raid but for the overall health of the guild.

You were kind enough not to out me but I'll stick my foot firmly in it...still looking for a caster dps with a heal off spec...but hey, you didn't see me advertising that in the forums, right ;)
Edited by Arizza on 4/7/2013 1:42 AM PDT
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90 Orc Warrior
17225
A good post recently made on the dungeon and raid forum is the following: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/8568378519

Here the OP identifies that there seems to be a trend of increasing raid mechanics over time. This is inevitable; if raids continue to have few mechanics and thus 'simple' they will no longer be challenging for veteran raiders outside of DPS/healing requirements (which is a tactic often scoffed by the raiding community, as it is very lazy design. A good example of this is heroic spine of Deathwing where the main difficulty was doing enough burst to down the tendons in two lifts... the mechanics otherwise were very simple). However, if the fights get too complex they will be too difficult for people not experienced in raiding.

I recall a post on these forums a long time ago from a veteran raider. He said that there is a lot of benefit in recruiting experienced raiders because it makes explaining fights much easier, as you can refer to previous experience. There has been many 'recycled' mechanics over the years. In particular, veteran raiders often have most of the mechanics in the game stored in their long term memory and can easily pull them out and adapt them to the current fight.

This means that the raiding population will become more and more segregated by raiding experience and thus a greater need for guilds to come into existence that are formed by new players and for new players.

Thank you Elgunaz, for taking the time to write this out.
Reading it the other day was kind of the push I needed to get motivated recruiting, not just for our raid but for the overall health of the guild.

You were kind enough not to out me but I'll stick my foot firmly in it...still looking for a caster dps with a heal off spec...but hey, you didn't see me advertising that in the forums, right ;)


Best of luck to you!
Edited by Elgunaz on 4/9/2013 10:08 AM PDT
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90 Troll Warlock
9575
I think a lot of this can be attributed to one big factor, the invention of LFR. I'll get to why in a second but to understand that you need to know a little backround information for my anecdotal evidence. When I was still on CC I was Oroborous, if anybody remembers me from mid-wrath you would know that every week I was raiding with a different guild as I made myself into a mercenary esque position. I got my name around and I was considered one of the better DPS dks at the time (I'm sure some of the whisperings also said I was an elitist !@# but meh). During this time that I was puging around all over the server I learned a lot about how to be a good raider, and I learned a lot about how a good raid is ran. It also allowed me to look at guilds for which I would eventually like to join. This experience of repeatedly pugging is what made the game interesting to me and what got me from being a completely wet behind the ears noob into where I was.

Beyond that though when I did finally find a home even though the progression was pretty bad (clan remembers those days) it allowed me to raise my skill even more so that when I finally betra- I mean left to greener fields it kept the raiding scene alive on the server as it meant some new player like me could join and get better. With the advent of lfr there has been zero pugging on this server and that loss of a low skill level outlet for people is what is causing this server to begin it's spiral down. Yes I would agree the spiral started at the begining of cata but lfr was it's final death knell.
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90 Troll Druid
15135
Holy !@#$, hi Oro! Hows things... are you still bad?!

Don't worry, I'm doing Meep proud by going horde and progressing better.
Edited by Clandestine on 4/10/2013 10:58 PM PDT
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90 Troll Warlock
9575
So are we, my guild transfered over horde on uldaman partially due to the problems outlined in this thread. They then made me reroll warlock (ok not made but "can't guarentee you a spot as a warrior"), I think I'm pretty good seeing as I'm only ilvl 490 and pulling 100k as destro just starting out.

I think I am developing carpal tunnel however... !@#$ so many buttons my index finger hurts bad after spending all day playing this char.

Also if you feel like adding me or really anyone from CC battletag is Oro#1409
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90 Orc Warrior
17225


With the advent of lfr there has been zero pugging on this server and that loss of a low skill level outlet for people is what is causing this server to begin it's spiral down. Yes I would agree the spiral started at the begining of cata but lfr was it's final death knell.


I also believe the death of PUGs is a huge part of the problem; because it removed the 'bottom' of raiding which is an essential part of the ecosystem. A similar event has happened in arena where newer players simply don't try anymore. In response to this I wrote a guide in the raid and guild leadership forum which hopefully will encourage more PUGing.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/8568397110
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
13095
I just find that the majority of our great raiders are gone off the server, minus a few from the Top end guilds we have here. I know the guild core I was raiding with in the beginning of Cata is all but gone, with a few members still around, but I think they are even raiding on another server completely, but keep alts here for fun times.

I also see a lot of "We are better then so and so" going around, and it started at the beginning of this expansion. People form cliques in guilds, that turn into the Ten Mans, and thus make it very hard for newer members (who may even be better then the members in said ten man), to progress into a ten man because of the attitudes in the group. "Bob wants to join us." "HAHA. BOB. HE's A HORRIBLE WARLOCK. I'M MUCH BETTER." "Lawl, he's still whispering me, what do you want me to tell him?" "Ignore him, he'll get the hint." And I have heard that in vent before, in a guild. And I constantly see the elitism attitudes from mostly just one guild.

I'm always up for filling a group if need be, but my two "top geared" toons are both still severely undergeared due to the fact LFR hates me and I can't get loot. [Seriously, 3 months, 3 drops.] Once I get this new job I was offered, and my schedule becomes frequent and not some random crap my manager wants me to work, I might be looking for a new raiding group, as I can't lie, I do miss it.

Also, always looking for PVPers. >.> <.<
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90 Troll Druid
15135
Everyone knows Bob is a bad warlock.
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