Raiding - The illusion of choice: What is the correct path of progression?

Last tier we jumped straight from heroic highmaul into heroic Blackrock Foundry and fortunately for us by the end of it we had completed the instance on heroic by the end of the patch.  It seemed logical for us to do the same again.

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?

Comments

  1. I personally like the idea starting out with normal, but that is a personal thing. Some people like to push, I like to spend a few weeks learning to make the push easier. Depending on the group even if two go different routes it is quite possible they would end up at the end at the same time.

    But the reason I actually wanted to reply was for some reason this just occurred to me. My druids original name was Ivan. That is Navi backwards. Weird. Thought I would share.

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    1. LOL actually you have come across the reason my druid is named Navimie. So it's not really that strange after all - except I have no idea why you would name a druid Ivan.

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  2. My thoughts haven't changed on this so I won't respond in full but I'll just add one thing, an extended 3 hour Sunday raid learning new bosses doesn't feel optional. Mains are getting upgrades out of normal so not attending means a gear and GP disadvantage, and attendees need to wait for me to learn the fight in heroic. I don't think we would have progressed as well as we did on gorefiend heroic if most of the raid hadn't already learnt it in normal. So 6 hours over 3 nights has become 9 over 4.

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    1. It is optional. I don't expect you to come on Sunday, and even if the gear is an upgrade you will get it on heroic eventually. You aren't even a slow pickup. It is the responsibility of the officers to attend the Sunday raid and do the learning and help guide the rest of the team in the right direction and strat. For the regular sunday attenders, we already raided 8 hours over 4 days so it really isn't any different except now I can't watch TV on my 2nd monitor or write blog posts during the Sunday night raid anymore since I now have to concentrate.

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  3. I think what we were hoping to achieve with the Sunday raid was to cater to the wishes of those wanting to do normal modes as well as still providing opportunities for our Sunday raiders whilst not detracting from our emphasis on heroics.

    Perhaps we shouldn't be trying to please all of the people all of the time, but I think at the moment, we are having fun, If or when this changes, we may need to change our emphasis. However, I personally think we have had a first rate start to this raiding tier.

    Tyrant

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    1. I think the options are still flexible - for example if someone only wanted to raid 2 times a week they could do Sunday normals and Wednesday heroic and that would be fine. We have never forced anyone to attend all raids (nor do I think we should) but as long as their lack of attendance doesn't hold up the raid because they take forever to learn a fight, then it should be fine. Oh, and as long as their gear doesn't fall too far behind.

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  4. If you feel the normal practice will truly help with your heroic kills then why not make them part of your regular raiding?

    It's possible to do it without impacting too much on your heroic progress time by carrying a couple of non-raiding alts through the first half of the raid and dropping them out at certain later bosses.

    You can then use their raid lockouts in future weeks to jump to your progress boss for a bit of practice in normal.

    Just an idea.

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    1. We are doing it on Sunday at the moment - it's just when you only raid 6 hours a week of heroic we didn't want that to impact on any of our new boss learning time. It just means now that I raid 9 hours a week instead of 6 (well, actually 8) but normal is optional. Besides, as long as we keep ahead of our heroic kills in normal kills we will always be able to be prepared.

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