Disconnectors: Internet Impaired or Pug Menace?

I went on my first pug raid in quite a while: a full Kara clear with my most­ly-bat­tle­ground hunter. It was decent­ly fun; Kara’s a good time although by now I’ve spent entire­ly too much time there. This being sum­mer and all, the raid chat­ter tend­ed to cen­ter around gen­i­talia and bod­i­ly func­tions.

Over the course of the 3.5 hour run, a total of five of the ten ini­tial raiders left dur­ing the raid, every one of them by dis­con­nect­ing with­out warn­ing.

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Raiding does not mean Skilled

(Relat­ed post: Max lev­el does not mean Skilled.)

There’s a class of play­er who feels that their sta­tus in the raid­ing game means that they’re Right. They label oth­er peo­ple noobs, and the sil­ly thing is that peo­ple believe them. “I have this awe­some item, you don’t, there­fore I know what I’m talk­ing about and you don’t.” This frus­trates me a great deal.

My guild recent­ly brought in a new recruit. Her main is a holy priest, just like me! I’ll call her Mary. She was very per­son­able, online a lot. She had raid­ed a lot in the orig­i­nal WoW, all the way through AQ40, which I’ve nev­er seen. She had tak­en over a year off from the game, and in her return was look­ing for a more relaxed play­time require­ment while still play­ing at a high lev­el. A per­fect fit!

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Max level does not mean Skilled

(Relat­ed post: Raid­ing does not mean Skilled)

World of War­craft, and every game like it, is real­ly two dif­fer­ent games. I first read this thought at Pen­ny Arcade (can’t find where because their search func­tion is weak). Basi­cal­ly, you have the lev­el­ling game where you start at L1 and then play until max lev­el (cur­rent­ly L70), and then the game that hap­pens after the lev­el­ling game, which is filled with group activ­i­ties of all sorts as you improve your max lev­el char­ac­ter.

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Officers should all have Tanks and Healers

(Relat­ed post: Take the Group Role)

The fol­low­ing state­ments are all true for raid­ing guilds:

  • The health of a PvE guild is dic­tat­ed by its abil­i­ty to progress through the game’s con­tent at the guild’s expect­ed rate.
  • Groups and raids live or die based on being able to assem­ble, launch, and progress. A suc­cess­ful raid has all three roles (tank, heal, dam­age) filled to suf­fi­cient lev­els.
  • The ratio of tanks/healers/damage in a typ­i­cal suc­cess­ful raid is some­thing like 2÷3÷5.
  • The ratio of tanks/healers/damage in total avail­able, raid-ready play­ers on my serv­er (and I have no rea­son to think this is unique) is along the lines of 2/3/25. I just made these num­bers up, but this is what I’ve seen. You can always, always find anoth­er dam­age-per­son to come along.
  • Offi­cers are invest­ed in their guild’s con­tin­ued exis­tence and suc­cess.

The log­i­cal sum of these points is that offi­cers of PvE raid guilds, even casu­al ones, should take up the roles that are most need­ed to keep their guild raid­ing, name­ly tanks and heal­ers. Even if the char­ac­ter is not their main, they should have an alt ready to step into one of these need­ed roles should some­one decide to retire from the game, lath­er up with crazy sauce, or just hit the next stop on the pro­gres­sion train.

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The Downside of Endgame Guilds

I’ve been read­ing Tobold and Pot­shot late­ly. They’re talk­ing about loot and game design as it relates to endgame guilds, specif­i­cal­ly guild hop­ping and pro­gres­sion prob­lems due to it. I haven’t seen a decent expla­na­tion of the prob­lem, but as a guild officer/leader I’ve seen it in action twice now, once with the orig­i­nal WoW endgame and now with the TBC endgame. I don’t have a solu­tion, but I can frame the prob­lem.

For me, the most fun time in WoW is right after an expan­sion hits, when there’s lim­it­ed col­lec­tive endgame explo­ration. All the con­tent is new and fresh, then I find myself group­ing with not just my long-term guild friends, but also my friends who left to get on the pro­gres­sion roller coast­er. It’s glo­ri­ous! This is what the first two months of TBC was like.

Then, endgame progress starts to hap­pen, and a tiered sys­tem begins to form.

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