With patch 5.2 about to drop and bring a new raid tier, my guild finally completed Mogu’shan Vaults on normal mode this past week. We’ve definitely been far behind the curve in this expansion. This is very different than our situation in Cataclysm, when we kept up with the raid content (normal mode) as it was released.
This time around we’ve been hurt by the dps checks. We spent a long time on Gara’jal before we could beat his enrage, and then another long while on Elegon with the same problem. Our raid dps isn’t up to par (separate post coming on that) and as a truly casual, friendly guild, we don’t try and pick and choose our raid composition. We take who wants to come, for better or for worse.
This week we will be setting our first steps into Heat of Fear, and we won’t see Terrace of Endless Spring until some time after that. The new Tier 15 raids are in the more distant future.
Unfortunately, our experiences in the remaining tier 14 raids will be somewhat disappointing for a couple of reasons – one that is raidwide and one that is personal to me. Here’s the point of view of a truly casual raid guild on the current situation.
For the raid, the challenge of HoF anf ToES will be vastly diminished on two fronts. First, they are getting nerfed by 10% in the upcoming patch. While we could disable the nerf, it makes no sense to do so. Guild morale will be improved by quicker progress through the raids, and it catches us up to current content faster. Its just a shame that we won’t see the fights as they were designed.
In addition, the new T15 raids will soon be available to us at LFR difficulty. That will allow our raid members to get higher iLvL gear, further reducing the challenge of the tier 14 content. It took us three months to get through Mogu’shan Vaults. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we finished the next two T14 raids together in half that time.
On a personal level, I refuse to enter an LFR raid until I have seen it on normal mode first. I have yet to ever see a single boss from Heart of Fear or Terrace of Endless Spring. I won’t do the new raids on LFR either. My raid-mates don’t have the same stance on this, and they will be gearing themselves up in LFR. As a result, I will personally fall behind them in gear. (although I still expect to lead the raid in dps, for what its worth). That’s disappointing in the short run, but it will all work out eventually.
I think that our current position is not that uncommon. We are currently ranked #43 on our server and #11,155 in the USA. There are still lots of guilds behind us in progression. Here’s the question: is this situation damaging to casual guilds? Will we see guild defections to move to more progressed guilds?
Next week, when new gear is dropping and people are getting new items from the new raids, it can certainly generate gear envy. In a guild that is still working on T14, a jump to a T15 guild might be appealing.
I don’t think this will happen in our guild, since we are a pretty tight knit group.
WoW hasn’t really had the “feeder guild” issue since Burning Crusade. The difference between then and now is the presence of LFR. Back in BC, if you were in a Karazhan/Gruul-level guild, your only chance to see SSC and then Black Temple was to guild-hop. Today, you can see all available content on LFR difficulty. Will that be enough? I really think so. Time will tell.