We invited raiders to offer their opinions on whether we should be doing normal first and then going to heroic. Many had no opinion, happy to go with whatever we decided. We did however, have a few wanting to do normal, but we had a greater number wanting to do heroic - myself included.
There were early stumbles, sure, as we tried to find our feet, and we found them after a day or so. On a personal level, I liked the challenge. It was at a difficulty that was just hard enough to make us work for it, and the reward for the kill felt... well, it felt like we had worked for it.
However, it was pointed out to me and the other officers that it may have been wiser to do it differently. Many other guilds were doing farming normals first, getting their 4 piece tier from normal and then coming back to heroic with a greater understanding of the fights and also with better gear. We were going in there with our BRF gear and whatever we could glean from our heroic HFC kills and our 2 hours of normal that we did on Sundays.
Last week we only just did Kilrogg on normal, and this week were up to Kilrogg and I thought "Gee, I would like to be ahead on our normal kills so we know what to expect!" It certainly helped for our Kilrogg attempts (and I'm hoping it will go down today).
I wondered, had we wasted our time in previous weeks, not doing normal when we could have?
Yesterday, we decided to try to improve the siutation a little. We discussed with some of the Sunday raiders about extending normal, and even making Sunday a longer raid. The casuals were of course going to be coming, so we wanted their input. Kyxyn thought that they would like it to be extended, I wasn't as sure - Sunday raids are supposed to be fun, not wipefests. For someone who only raids a few hours a week, wiping for hours is not a productive way to spend that time.
However, another opinion was offered, which I hadn't considered. Casual raiders would like to finish a tier, and see the end boss. That is fun, that feels like accomplishment, and maybe extending raids or longer raids on the Sunday would make that happen.
So last Sunday, we started an hour earlier (8pm) and we raided till 11pm. We made good progress! We got our usual bosses cleared and then worked on Gorefiend which we got down for the first time and then Iskar, which we also got down by the end of the night. That was really exciting!
Yuuda pointed out to me the little phoenixes chained to the pillars - they would be cool to have as pets! Iskar, however, drops the Corrupted Nest Guardian, and I was lucky enough to be given one by Aimei who got one as a personal loot from that boss.
What I was wanting to say was that even though there are many ways you could decide to raid, but it sometimes feels like if we raid differently to others, we're "doing it wrong". I know that technically, we aren't doing anything wrong, but we might be making it a little more difficult for ourselves. Should we be making it easier for ourselves and are we a laughing stock because of the way we have decided to do things?
I suppose it's at least good that we have a choice. Before, you'd have to finish normal first before you go to heroic, but these days you can just enter them without having completed the previous difficulty of raid. Is that a good thing? I must admit, I think that it is. Though sometimes, the choice is a difficult one and I am fearful of going down the wrong path, and wasting time. This tier though, we took a gamble on doing heroic and I think that it's a gamble that has paid off. We are happy with how we are progressing, but the only drawback is that I feel like we are a bit more reliant on Sunday raids to be progressive than the laid back alts/casual raiding that I initially made it to be. Evolution and change are natural and healthy - it obviously works because that's what happens in nature - and I guess maybe we are moving into a slightly different guild mindset now. I worry that we will lose the fun and casual feel of it, but I keep forgetting - there is nothing as morale boosting as killing a new boss and getting cool loot.
I wonder what raiding choices others are doing? Has everyone gone down the do normals first and gear up and then doing one day a week of heroic?