The difference between having 30 attempts per night and 25 attempts per night can be because of a lot of factors. How long the fight is, how long it takes you to run back after a wipe, how long your break is, how many of them you have, and of course the players involved and if they have a lot of personal stuff they need to attend to or not.
Many of these things most people already know how to deal with.
In a guild like mine we take one break of five minutes and when someone goes over five minutes we, of course, gently rib them. It is a nice way of saying, hey, get back faster next time. We are a casual guild so that works. No need to go all medieval on their asses over a 7 minute break instead of a 5 minute one, but you always want to keep stuff like that to a minimum if you can. I'll usually shoot someone a whisper if I see them do it often to address that issue.
Also in a casual guild like mine it is not unheard of to have someone need to step away for a minute or two to take some medication, to tend to a sick wife or kids, let the dog out, bring the horses in, or for an emergency bathroom break, but again, that is something you deal with in a casual guild and it is factored in. Usually if some guy needs to take his medication at 9 server time, he does every raid day, so you work around it. No big deal.
Then there are the factors of fight length, how far you are getting into the fight, and the such. Things you have absolutely no control over. A 10 minute fight will be a 10 minute fight and until you have it on farm and over gear it, it will usually take the same amount of time. But when progressing on it, as we are talking about here, there is nothing you can really do to make it shorter.
The run back after a wipe thing is probably the number one time killer and attempts of any raid team and everyone that has ever raided from the most hard core team to the most casual team already knows that so I will not harp on it.
But there is one killer of attempts that never gets spoken about, at least not that I have ever recalled seeing. The "call for a wipe" factor.
A lot of raid leaders, myself included, are adverse to calling for a wipe early in a fight. They like to keep the "we can do it" feeling going, it keeps the groups spirits up most of the time even when you die. Saying things like, we did really good on that attempt, if only we had not lost 2 people early we would have had it, does go a long way for people to start to feel they can get a boss down.
The thing is, at some point, you need to realize that you will not get the boss. You will not have enough DPS, you will not have enough healing, you will just not be able to do it. You have to cut the "lets see how far we can get" rope and just call for a wipe.
I am still pretty wet behind the ears as a raid leader. I am still learning, always learning as I go, but one of the things I have learned more recently is that sometimes it is better to call for a wipe early than to "see how far we can get". After you get a few attempts under your belt you know what your team can do on the fight and you have to make a judgement call quickly if you want to get more attempts in.
More attempts mean people have more chances to get it right, to learn from their mistakes, to refine how they are doing things. More attempts is how every guild gets a boss down. More attempts as a team, not as some of the team.
I know it took me many years to realize that calling for an early wipe is sometimes a good thing. I used to panic about it, think to myself, if I call a wipe the group will not think we are not doing good and things will fall apart. I should have learned the don't panic, just wipe it motto much earlier in my raid leading career.
The theory is this. After enough attempts everyone knows the whole fight. They know what to expect, when to expect it and how to handle it. But when you are working on progression and mistakes are made people die. That is when decisions need to be made.
You can try to push it and see if you can get it done. It becomes a judgement call and you will learn it as you go. Sometimes you just need to call for a wipe. Calling for a wipe will get you more attempts, just the same as getting people back after a wipe will. People do not need to "continue so we can learn" after a certain time because they already know what to do, now it is the time they need to do it right.
I am not suggesting at the first sign of a problem to call for a wipe. Absolutely not. I've seen way to many kills end up being 9 manned or 8 manned, or hell even one manned, when from the outside looking in you would have been sure it would be a wipe. But that is where your judgement as a raid leader needs to come in.
If you have pushed a boss to the enrage timer multiple times and are just cutting it short than losing a damage dealer early on or even mid fight will mean even if you do everything else perfect it is a wipe. This is the situation I am talking about. Don't panic, just wipe it. It is okay to wipe if it means you have another chance at the kill instead of just another long fight that you know you can not win.
If you keep going you are wasting 2 or 4 or maybe more minutes for everyone to practice basically when the only person that really needed practice is the one that died. You know you will not get the boss down because you were not doing it with everyone up so doing it with one person down is pretty much out of the question at this point.
So lets say over the course of the night you are working on that one boss and this happens even just 3 or 4 times where you lose someone early and keep going through with a long fight you know you can not win. If only you had called for a wipe those times you might have had an extra 2 attempts. Those 2 extra pulls could have been one of the ones where everything finally fell into place and you end the night with a kill instead of thinking there is always next time.
I have read so many articles and post from people telling me ways to get more attempts in. Ways to get people back faster, to get ready for the pull faster, but no where have I ever run across anyone saying that wiping can be used as a timer saving technique. Maybe that is because all those raiders were in better guilds with better leaders that did not want to think of wiping as a good thing. But I am just some raid leader that never wanted to lead raids to begin with in a casual guild, so maybe I look at things differently and I see a perfect way to get more attempts in that no one else ever wanted to talk about.
There are lots of ways to save time to get more pulls in but many people do not realize that knowing when to call for a wipe is a very big one of those ways you can get more attempts in. I am still learning but I believe I have learned the secret of don't panic, just wipe it. Sometimes wiping early when you need to can lead to collecting loot sooner than later. It is just a matter of learning when to call for a wipe.
What do you think? Do you think calling for a wipe early is a good tactic to get more attempts in when you know you will not get it done?