Holy Cow, 25 people!

Over the past several months my guild has completely given up on 25-man raids.  We went through a time in the Spring and Summer when we scheduled 25-man raids every week and never had more than 17-18 sign up or log on.  After a while we stopped scheduling 25-man raids and settled into 10-man progression, getting quite far (to Yogg in Ulduar + some hardmodes and clearing ToC).

This Friday we had a surprise when there were over 25 people logged on at raid time.  Many of them are new 80s, alts, or undergeared mains with limited raid experience, so there was no way we could do current-tier content with them.  In the interest of guild unity, we got a 25-man raid going and went into Eye of Eternity and downed Malygos.  It was a first for a lot of players.  Much fun was had.

Now we have a quandary.  If we pursue the means to return to 25-man raiding as a guild, there is a lot of gearing-up to be done.  In my casual guild, we won’t insist that they gear themselves up on their own time through chain heroics – that won’t work.  So we’d have to go down a tier (or two) in content to get anything done in 25-man raids.  That means back to 25-man Naxx/OS/Ulduar.

While that would work for the greater good, it means that those of us who are at the current level of progression (Ony/ToC) would have to go back into the places we’ve done a hundred times.  That could cause some discontent among the well-geared raiders in the guild who want to push for more gear before Icecrown drops.

Act for the good of the entire guild, or act in the interests of progression?  Many guilds have been put in this situation.  Some crash and burn in the resulting fallout.

Rock and hard place?  Yep – between ’em.

Our guild does have a Mission Statement, though, and it clearly states that we want to be in 25-man raids.  So that makes the decision clear.  We need to do what we can to bring new level 80 players through the tier 7-8-9 gear path so that they are eventually ready for Icecrown.  The trick will be keeping the top raiders in the guild content through that process.


8 Responses to “Holy Cow, 25 people!”

  1. 1 Larslol
    December 1, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Dilemma indeed. Do you have the attendance to keep pushing 10 mans, even while clearing low-end 25 mans? That could be a factor. There is also always the possibility to PUG the content in which you are looking to gear up from. There won’t be long anyway before you could gear up from some heroics (3.3).

    Best of luck to you whatever you decide to do.

  2. 2 Thimble
    December 1, 2009 at 11:30 am

    The good news: Even if you’ve got some pretty undergeared people, they can hop into 25 vault, and probably 25 Onyxia and you’ll still get them down, assuming you’ve got a decent core. There’s also a ton of gear that people can pick up with conquest badges that they can grab in any heroic nowadays, plus H ToC, which should put them at a gear level where they can at the very least succeed in most of 25 Ulduar, and depending on the rest of the raid, you might even be fine in 25 ToC. Gearing up is quick nowadays.

    It’s funny to read what you wrote there. Sounds a lot like my guild: Got to Yogg in Ulduar, and a couple of hard modes, and cleared ToC. It’s stunning to me how much faster and easier ToC is than Ulduar. There’s nothing in ToC that even approaches Mimiron for difficulty and complexity, and we’ve not gotten past phase 2 on Yogg, so I can’t even say just how hard that fight is.

    I, for one, would love to see a return to an Ulduar-style raid for Icecrown. I think it’s a lot more interesting when the cutting edge stuff is something you need to do with the same group every week, and downing a new boss is a great accomplishment, instead of something you can pug in 2 hours.

  3. December 1, 2009 at 11:55 am

    This is a tricky situation to be in. Our guild used to progress quite well and at one point we were 3rd Horde guild on our Realm. However, towards the end of holiday season we hit a bit of a wall.

    Some players were not on so regularly. Luckily we had enough to keep a solid core group running 25-mans and the regular raiders managed to gear up relatively quickly.

    Some regulars have stopped playing and some have decided to take a break so we started to recruit new players. Now the dilemna we had was, with some of our regular fully geared raiders gone, we need to get our new recruits up to speed.

    Soon enough we had too many members eager to raid so we changed tact and moved away from the core group and split it in 2 taking half regulars and half new players in each group.

    For the new members this was great. They were all able to gear up through ToC picking up everything the regulars didn’t need (obviously regulars had more EP than newbies and therefore had priority).

    However, the big problem is the regular core raiders weren’t being challenged. One-shotting through ToC25, Ony25 and VoA25 in a matter of a few hours (with breaks) became… well… it became boring.

    So for the core raiders and some of the “new core” we went off and tried our hand at some of the Ulduar hardmodes which was great. We kept up the challenge and felt we were getting somewhere in terms of progression.

    We’ve been attempting to clear ToC 10-man hc for a few weeks having got a decent group together (when we’re not running the gear-up raid) and last week we cleared it. It was absolutely great and that one achievement has now spurred on the regulars to continue on.

    After conquering ToC 10-man hc, last week, we managed to get the Beasts down on 25-man hc. Again, it was great and having geared up the newer players we now have a lot more options when it comes to running hcs.

    I’m expecting to get up to Twins after reset at the very least.

    It’s funny how one evening making a little progression has filled the guild with more energy now and the old regulars are happy progress is being made.

  4. December 1, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Honestly, I would give Onyxia and Trial of the Crusader a shot. If you have a solid core of about 10-15, you should be able to do those instances even if many people are undergeared.

    And they give the best loot, which would catch you up. Encourage people to run heroics for badges to improve gear levels.

  5. December 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Well, what you could do is look for a smaller guild that is running Naxx 10 or Ulduar 10, and ask them if they want to form an alliance. Those new toons/alts that need gearing can start running in the guild alliance, and as they gear up you can transition them over to hard mode 25s with your main raiders. Just make sure that the other guild knows that’s the plan, and that you both agree on a fair loot system. Honestly, I know my guild would jump to do something like that (we’ve lost a bunch through attrition, and now are having troubles fielding a 10 man some nights).

    Alternatively, do at least one hard mode 10 man a week, and let the alts/new toons know that as soon as they’ve got enough gear, you’ll transition to hard mode 25.

    Also Ony and Vault are really good ways to gear while carrying people.

    Good luck figuring it out!

  6. December 1, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    All good suggestions.

    We try to avoid pugging raid spots, and while we have done guild alliances before that’s not our current direction.

    I think we’ll forego Naxx and take one shot at 25-man Ulduar. If that goes well (as far as people following instructions and knowing their class) then we’ll probably try 25-man Ony.

  7. December 1, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    and we’ll do hard-mode 10-man on off-nights to keep the high end players happy – another good suggestion.

  8. December 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    At this point wouldn’t it be better to wait and gear everyone up in icecrown 5 man? I mean the reg mode gives better loot then all of tier 7 and the heroic is on par with ToC 10… I would think maybe spending one or 2 nights farming these as a guild would quickly catch up the new people.

    That is of course, if gearing is your only concern. New players may not grasp a lot of raiding concepts so this may not provide a good grounds for them to learn… but then neither is carrying them through old content when you vastly out gear the encounters.

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