Monday, September 14, 2015

Mythic guilds and their woes

There is a post on the forums about a mythic raider who is complaining that they have had 3 guilds fall apart this expansion.  Prior to that they had been a raider since vanilla and had only had 3 guilds fall apart, due to end of expansions wind downs, as opposed to end of patch wind downs. This person has a bunch of 6 or 7 friends who they enjoy playing with and are yearning for a mythic guild where they can play together and not have to stress about constantly trying to find replacements.

Now that's a very common scenario don't you think?  I think I've been hearing stories like that ALL the time, but especially since Cataclysm.

There are a myriad of replies, but some of the replies are more interesting than others. I am going to highlight a couple and add my two cents.
This is a great example of why I'm not really interested in raiding Mythic.  You're either a feeder guild, or you're the top guild on the server.  There's really really no in-between.
I have had a few of my friends in other guilds complaining about being feeder guilds for the big guilds on our server.  I feel bad for them, but they're still doing ok.  There are 3 big guilds on my server and they are always pulling good players from the other guilds. From the feeder guild point of view that's pretty sucky. From the big guild's point of view, it's survival of the fittest, and trying to do their best to survive.  Evolution in nature works the same way, right?  The trick to surviving that is to have some edge, some evolutionary trait that will ensure your survival.  It's up to the leadership of each guild to try to figure out what that is.
Time has taught me that raid guilds have more in common with a job and coworkers than it does with a circle of friends.  You may have some coworkers who are friends, but most are coworkers.  So it is with most raid guilds.
That comment hits it right on the head. I've often thought that raiding has a lot in common with a job - you apply, you show your "resume" or what you are capable of doing, then you slot in the team and do your best to get along with those around you. You need to turn up on time and do your "role" and you need to show commitment to it. If you think about your workplace, do you have a high turnover? Are people constantly leaving or joining?  Interestingly, in my workplace I see that a lot, as people move to better jobs, or get better offers elsewhere and jump ship. A lot like the high end raiding scene.
Another thing I partially blame is the removal of server communities. Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying there wasn't guild hoppers in classic.  But I feel when server communities were stronger and you needed guilds for more than just mythic raids you had people that cared about their guilds a lot more and would stay with them through tough times.  Now when it's so easy to join another guild even on other servers or pug cross realm and there's no accountability for your previous actions, people are more willing to 'loot n' scoot'.
It's true that you can just PuG and get further in a PuG than you can with your own guild, and it's relatively easy to do if you're a good players.  You can imagine that most people would think why bother with a guild who is struggling and wasting time being unable to down a fight when you could just join a PuG and get it down quickly? What ARE the benefits to being in guild anyway?

It's different for everyone, but there are things I like about being in a guild.  I like seeing my friends and finding someone to do the things I enjoy outside of raiding with. I like that I know the people around me and even if they are not my closest friends, I'm familiar with them and can trust them. However, there are people who don't care about having friends, who just want to raid and get somewhere. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion or a choice. Without LFG, some of these people wouldn't get to raid, or at least, would have to show more commitment before they would be able to. Or, they might not be playing the game at all, and doing something else.

Let's go back to the parallels with work situation again.  Think about if you were in a job, and it pays you $100 a day washing windows.  You see an ad in the paper to wash someone's windows and its a one day job and you will get $400 for washing their windows.  Not only will you earn in one day what you would do in four, but you can do the job and then leave, and you may not know anyone and they won't care about you as long as you can do the job, right?  How many people are not going to jump at that opportunity? And of course, if you can earn the same in one day as you earn in 4 in your normal job, what's the point of turning up to your normal job?  Sure, if you have good friends at your work that you enjoy hanging out with, you'd still want to go to work.  Also, if you had a bit of a conscience and if you didn't turn up to work, it would make it harder for your other mates at work because either they would have to pick up your slack at work and work harder for it, or find someone else who can wash those windows. And maybe you don't care because you are making more money anyway.  THAT mentality is what we see in the raiding culture and it's no different to what happens in real life.
Many progression raiding giulds are not providing LFR and normal mode raiders the opportunity to experience more difficult content, thereby ensuring that the shortage of Heroic and Mythic raiders will continue.  Sometimes this is because the guild cannot complete the harder content itself; sometimes it's because they feel that their progression will be greatly hindered by having a raider who is not "already there" with the rest of the team as far as performance. 
Many guilds no longer seem to be willing to accept players who do not already meet the gear and knowledge requirements.  I call this "poisoning their own well" because they are turning away many applicants who would be great potential raid team members simply because they don't already have AotC and 7xx ilvl.  The candidate might have the skill, and the time, and the enthusiasm, but they don't have the gear or the achievements.
In the place we are in now, it's very difficult for a new player to be able to play the game and be good at it. If you start from scratch, then who would you play with?  You'd level solo, then do some LFR and then from there try to get into a guild - and if you were an amazing player, nobody would look at you until you had some gear or some kills. But how would you get those if not given the opportunity?  But then, how would one know if someone was good or not if you never try them?  It's a vicious cycle and only with sheer luck can someone break into a good guild coming from nothing.
Seriously how pathetic is someone's life if they actually SCHEDULE time to play a video game?
Honestly, who says this kind of thing? Ever played sports? Everyone turns up at the same time to play together.  In a social game, team play is why you need to be organised and make times to play. It's like saying "Hey I want to play basketball right now" and go out at some random time and find oh, there's nobody to play with. So um... yeah scheduling is important, if you want to play a TEAM game. Solo games are different of course, and that comment is from someone who would want to play a solo game.

It was interesting to see a lot of comments asking for 10 man mythic to be returned, because people couldn't make the magic 20 number, and were struggling and eventually collapsing.  Also, people were asking for mythic to be xrealmed, like the other difficulties, to help the mythic raiding scene.

I'm sure I will get a lot of criticism for this but...

I don't think that mythic should be made for 10 man.  I don't think it should be cross realmed.  The whole point of that mythic difficulty was to have something that was super hard, for the top players in the game.  I liken it to... say earning 200k a year.  Everyone wants to earn that much, right?  Everyone thinks that they are smart enough, hard working enough, innovative enough.  But there are other elements to it.  There is dedication.  You need to be able to be that much better, that more hard working than someone else.  You have to work long hours, and prepared NOT to have holidays.  And you have to not whinge about it because someone out there will be wanting your job. Yes, it's just a game, but if you want to participate in the most elite part of the game then you need to put that effort in, right?

So the game isn't challenging enough for you and you're bored?  Well, you could spend a ton of effort to be able to raid - find an established mythic guild, be prepared to stick it out and be benched without getting upset about it - or just stop playing and find something else to play.  A lot of people are whinging about the raiding scene. I think that's because they are not willing to sacrifice something to get what they want.  You want to play with your friends but can't make a big 20 team?  Then you all need to go togther and join a team, TOGETHER.  So a few of you get benched for others, but if you're patient, you'll get your turn to play together.  If you're not happy with that, and only want to play with your friends, then you will have to sacrifice that mythic raiding you hold so dear to just play heroic, or go play another game together. Personally, I favour the latter choice - my guildies and I like to play together in other games too if we're not playing WoW.
I mean, look at it another way: What if someone was in a guild that was legitimately holding them back. (Eg. Carebear leadership and not replacing underperformers or most of the raid doesn't have skill level to go past X boss). What else are they going to do?
If you play mythic you need to be hardcore, I guess you would have to weed out the stragglers. I think for mythic you have to be.  For heroic, definitely not. I like being a carebear leader, though most would not agree with me, and wish I was a bit more feralbear. I think being a feralbear can bring it's own stresses, and being a carebear makes my conscience ease somewhat.

There was a lot of chatter about Method having a major split - the raid team has splintered off and formed a new guild, Serenity, with Slootbag from Midwinter moving there as well. Even the best guilds in the world are not immune to the problem of mythic raiding.  As said in the forums, the pool of players with enough skill and time to dedicate to mythic raiding is ever decreasing, making it harder and harder for replacements to be found (and a lack of people willing to be able train up new ones).



So is there a solution to what is going on? Should Blizzard do something about the mythic raiding scene to make it more viable?

I think, at the end of the expansion (like in Siege of Orgrimmar) it would be a good gesture to make mythic cross realm just so people could get some closure in Hellfire Citadel.  Maybe in the last month or two before Legion hits.  I think that a few people might come back and aim for their kills cross realm, but they will need to remove that feature once Legion is live.

I don't think they should change mythic size. It's supposed to be difficult.  It's supposed to be elite. Only a tiny % of all WoW players get to do it, so if they want it, they should work for it and if they want it badly enough, sacrifice whatever they need to get it.  Move servers. Sit out a bit and wait your turn if you go with your friends to a new guild. If you're a guild recruiting, think about how you can make your guild more attractive to mythic players - progress is one thing, but treating them fairly is another.  If you want to sit people out regularly make a roster so people can plan their lives - there's nothing like cancelling your date with your partner to turn up and find you are sitting out that night.

If you want to give up because it's too hard to find a mythic guild, then that's ok too!  But giving up easily makes you a pretty lousy mythic raider, I have to say. Mythic raiding is about working hard, and persistence.  If you give up after failing with a guild a few times, how are you going to be when you're wiping for 100+ times on a boss?

I wish you all the luck, if you're still trying to find your mythic guild.  I'm so glad that I don't have that worry!  Makes me glad that I'm not a mythic guild! My only worry is about being a feeder guild but because we recruit so infrequently, we are very unlikely to have that situation occur.

1 comment:

  1. I disagree with you that mythic shouldn't be cross realm, but for a different reason. Sometimes you just don't fit in with a guild that you try and you really shouldn't have to pay money to trial and then more money to trial someplace else. Especially the really high end mythic that require multiple characters. Personally I think servers should just not matter or transfers should be free though. I have so many alts now that the cost to transfer them would be enormous. I can talk to everyone cross server, why should I have to be on their server to join the guild and raid with them. I know as far back as BC I had friends that basically gave up on raiding at the level they wanted because they didn't want to pay to move all their alts. Some friends have paid hundreds of dollars in transfers just to try and keep doing high end mythic.

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I hope these comments work! Not sure why people can't comment lately, it makes me sad :(