My effort to creating a decent 25 man raiding team on a small server that has none and very few options to recruit from is still undergoing as my 25 man has finally started to show some progress. They have still not passed horridon but at least they are now getting to him. I think next week we will put the final nail in the dino's coffin.
We are still light 5 damage dealers and a tank. I picked up three more damage dealers this week when another guild folded. As anyone knows, being it is not just my server, guilds are dropping like flies. I am just playing the part of the opportunist and picking out the pieces I want to use and adding them to my efforts of making a 25 man.
I am currently still tanking which is fine with me. I've learned to accept that is who I am most of the time like it or not. Would I prefer if my hunter had a tank spec and I did not need to switch characters? Yes. But that will never happen so you work with what you have.
But this is not about what will not happen, this is about what is happening. And with 5.4 comes a bunch of changes that actually will help my fledgling 25 man raiding team actually become a real one. Two changes come to mind as the highlight for what could be the cure to my issues moving into 25 man raiding.
This will allow me to see more people in action, to train more people, to gear up people up a little faster. Even if I was where I am right now, with 18-20 solid people for a 25 man, flex raiding could be the cure for all my problems. Even with the lesser players and fills in at least we can still one shot the first boss.
Perhaps the difficulty of horridon is not such a bad thing in a way. It really tests the people that say they want to raid and separates them from the people that actually want to raid. There is a big reason why those extra spots are filled with different people each week and it is not because I told them they were not doing enough and they could not come. It is because as much as they say they want to raid, they are not raiders and can not stand wiping. Good. Horridon is a trash disposal. It gets rid of the garbage players that have no heart for raiding.
If anyone is willing to stick it out even if they are bad then I know they have potential to become a raider with perhaps a little more experience and a little more gear. This is where flexible raiding comes in. Now I can get them some of both. Gear and experience in a situation that their inexperience and lesser skill level will not hinder the group as much as it would in the real raid.
It will not only give us a venue to allow them to experience a real raid environment and get them the experience and gear they need it will give us time to bond as a group. One of the biggest things I preach to all my raiders is that we need to have the same people here each and every week. The more we raid together the better we get to know each other and we learn how we all react to things and move during times of movement. Never underestimate the power of a group that thinks as one.
You will never develop that in the LFR and it is a lot harder and takes a lot longer to develop that in the real raid. Flexible raiding allows us that free extra lock out to work with. A slightly easier path to successes. And most importantly. Another day we get to work together and in a less stress filled environment to boot.
To get a solid 25 man going you need at least 30 people. We will still be running 2 10s, so we can offer the ones that sit from the 25 that week an outlet to raid still, if they are actually ready and if they aren't, we have the flex raid that we can run any night as a fill in with any number of characters between 10 and 25. Yeah, that is a good thing.
Lets not even forget about recruitment. I pugged 2 people last night to try and fill some spots. One of those 2 ended up joining the guild afterwards. I kind of knew he would and just wanted to see what we were like while raiding but his guild just died and he needed a home. Works out that I really need damage dealers that can do more than 50K and he can do over 100K and get out of the bad, so he was a good fit even before he stepped in. I was sure he would be joining and he did.
Flexible raiding will allow us the opportunity to try new people out and for them to try us out. Something we have not been able to do since wrath. It was always great to be able to pug. Pugging was the ultimate recruitment tool in the game and if I could draw one connection to the fall of raiding and capable raiders, as we see it, that line would go directly from the lack of pugged content.
When you could make a second run with your mains and you did so you always were recruiting people. Even when you were not trying to recruit people. After the run someone was bound to come to me or one of the other guild members and ask to join the guild if they had liked us.
No pugs meant no seeing new people, seeing new guilds, testing out the waters. It was luck or word of mouth that got you a raiding gig. So flexible raiding means more opportunities for recruitment.
Our 25 will be well under way by the time 5.4 comes out if we keep up at this pace. It is brutal to build on a server that does not have many to choose from, but we are working with what we have. But just because we will be well under way with it does not mean we don't want to keep recruiting. People come and go and to make sure we never get caught shorthanded I need more people to work with. Good thing we will have more tools to get those people and test them out, like flexible raiding will be useful for in the future.
But that is not the only good news for our 25 man. The virtual realms really puts us in a power position at the moment when it comes to 25 man raiding on our server. As the only 25 man guild on the server, even if our 25 team is only 1/12, we are sadly still the #1 25 man on the server. Kind of hard not to be #1 when you are the only one.
The virtual realms will give us a larger pool to choose from. More people to recruit. Maybe even better people than the ones we have on our server as it is. When that time comes, even if there are better guilds out there and we are #8 over all on the server, 10 man of course, we will be the only guild that will be stepping into the new raid with a 25 man team.
Now that is a recruitment magnet. Want to raid 25 man? We have the only one going on our server. While the other guilds can start building to a 25 and will surely eclipse us if they can duplicate their 10 man success, we do have our foot out the door before they do and a head start can't hurt us at all. Not like we need a lot of help to catch up. The top 10 man guild on our server is only 2/13.
With the roughly three months we have before the new patch, which in wow time is really not a long time, we can really develop as a team. If we can at least keep 20 of the 25 if we are not able to fill those last spots with decent people, the virtual reams will assure us that those last 5 spots will be filled by quality players the second 5.4 comes out.
25 man raiding is an attraction. It is why I get roughly 50 whispers a week asking if they can come with me this week. This is on a server that probably only has 50 or so decent players on it. People want to do 25s. People like 25s. I just tell them, guild first, and if I have some space I will keep them in mind.
In the past four weeks I have invited a total of 4 people that were not in guild to join us. One of those 4 had an alt in the guild to begin with and two of the other 3 have since joined us. That third will follow, I am sure of that.
When I have those few spots open I use them wisely to invite the people I have seen raid or know can raid and hopefully I can interest them in joining us.
It is amazing what a decent group of people can do. We had someone that was 11/12 leave their guild to join us even after we never got past the second door on horridon because, as she said, you guys are not jerks about wiping like my old guild was, you try to get better and help each other. I'd rather be here with less progression and be 1/12 25 instead of 11/12 10 any day. And wow, she was a great pick up too, an amazing healer that has not one but two geared healers and a long history or raiding. Something very rare to find on my server. I am sure with virtual realms we can grab a few more like her in time and that is why it could very well be a great addition for us.
But one thing I worry about is that it could be a double edged sword. I could lose the entire group I have been trying to build just as easily. What if a guild on one of those servers wants to build on their 25 and is doing heroics? I just have to keep working and building and hope I can keep what I have. It is a risk I am willing to take but not like I have a choice. Virtual realms are coming and they could be good or bad. I think they will be good for a group like us.
Anyone reading here will know the hell I have had working on making this group and finding people that will show each week. You will also notice that we have been moving slow. Really slow. But we have finally made it to wiping on horridon and not on the doors and that is progress. Now if only I could fill those last 5 spots with people that knew how to get out of the stupid and do some decent damage we would have downed it last night.
Another week and more shuffling around. Perhaps next week I can dig up a few more people to fill out the roster. It is times like that I wish I had more to choose from than what my server has. In 5.4, I will.
So setting up for 5.4, here is my todo list.
Keep recruiting to fill out that main 25 man. Get the second 10 man up group caught up to the first which is 3 bosses ahead of it. Keep recruiting for the possibility of fill ins. Get to the point where we can run 2 25 man flex raids at some point so I always have a selection of player to choose from to fill in and can continuously view new players in a controlled environment.
Then when 5.4 comes out, take advantage of flex raiding and the virtual realms to boost an already set up and ready to roll 25 man raiding guild.
I can't tell you how good it felt that first time downing a boss as a full guild group on 25 man. It has to have been about 3 years or more since I can say we have done that. It was a nice feeling. I just hope it all turns out as well as I envision it could. But I will not hold my breath, blizzard does have a way of screwing things up.
I am looking to start a raid patch as a 25 man guild. I honestly can not recall ever doing that before. Ever. Not once did a patch come out and I knew who all 25 players would be. I think I have a chance for that happening now. I real chance, and I like it.
The 25 man started really late but we have three months left before the next patch. My goal is to be at least 10/12 25 man normal by the time 5.4 comes out. It seems a realistic goal now. Just one short month ago with half the people struggling to do 40K it did not seem like a possibility. But a few weeks passed, a few new people were added, and now it looks like we will be moving ahead again.
It took a lot longer than I would have wanted it to but it does look like it could be a reality now. Moving into 5.4 with a fully functional 25 man raid team. Some people might look at that and think 10/12 is nothing to be impressed with and while I might agree most of the time I have to point out that we are the only guild on the server that has even managed 1/12 25 man. So yes, 10/12 on my server would be a huge success with the changing coming only meaning it could get better.
We are surely setting ourselves up to be in a good position when 5.4 comes out because we will already be doing 25 man runs. How odd is that? We were doing it because we wanted to and now it seems that it will end up helping us get better thanks to flex raids and virtual realms. Makes you think I knew those two things were coming and that is why I started to do this a month ago, doesn't it.? ;)
There is always a method to my madness. Or is that a madness to my method?
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