Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Random Thoughts

- Being this is the last monday random thoughts before 5.4 I am going to go over some randomness from my opinions and observations of this current tier that is ending.

- From a raiding standpoint I think this tier was well designed.

- With the exception of horridon for a normal mode guild.

- That has to be the single worst fight I have ever had the unlucky privilege to experience.

- But over all the tier was good for me.

- Not gear drop wise but progression wise.

- As a normal mode raider my intention is to finish normals and maybe play around with a heroic or three.

- That is exactly what we were able to do.

- So while horridon was a horror show, the fact it slowed us down made the over all raid work perfect time wise.

- I ended the tier with 5 raid pieces.

- One tier piece, a thunder forged bow, a thunder forged trinket, a heroic trinket and a thunder forged neck.

- I ended up with both the gloves and hands from nalak, but I do consider them raid pieces as they are world boss pieces.

- That might seem like a lot of gear right there, but do not be fooled.

- Of those 7 pieces, 5 came in the last two weeks.

- Including the two most important ones, the heroic trinket and thunder forged bow.

- My luck was horrible, but that is no different from any other tier really.

- The rest of my gear was either valor gear or LFR gear.

- I am really going to miss valor gear.

- When you go through nearly an entire raid tier and only end up with 2 pieces (not counting the last 2 weeks) it really leaves your behind the eight ball on gear.

- But the raiding tier itself worked out nicely.

- My goal is always to finish normal and maybe dabble in heroic before the next tier and I did just that.

- Now on to other tier themed stuff.

- The island was wonderful and I must say I loved it.

- I do hope they put stuff like that in game again.

- A place you can just fart around and kill rares to get coins and valor.

- The summonable mobs were an awesome touch too.

- But they really should have dropped better stuff.

- As it is selling the things you need to summon them is worth more than actually summoning them.

- But the kill three for 150 valor was a nice little touch too.

- I also liked the find one treasure chest a week thing.

- And the solo scenario was a godsend for alts trying to gear up.

- Hit 90, go in, get a key, run the scenario opening every box you can, spam LFR with coins to get extra rolls.

- They should always add something like that for catch up.

- Just wish they could find a way to catch up without needing to do the LFR.

- This tiers LFR sunk to all new lows.

- I did not even think that was possible.

- I tied to do the four ToT LFRs on one of my damage dealers the other day.

- I spent the entire day in queue or in raid wiping.

- And by entire day I mean 6 and 1/2 hours, a massively long time.

- And I did not even get to do the 4th one.

- 9 bosses, wiped at least 3 times on every single one of them except one.

- Saw a 6 determination 4 times.

- A 9 once.

- Not kidding.

- Name one person that is not a dedicated player that would spend 3 hours in one LFR after waiting 40 minutes to get into it.

- So LFR is not very casual friendly to the time limited players.

- Yes, more LFR hate, it needs to be fixed.

- I might have mentioned this before but it is worth saying again, the LFR is way to hard and takes way to long for the people it is meant for.

- To give you an idea how long I waited in queue for those three LFRs I maxed out fishing on that character.

- From 528 to 600.

- All in Org, and I still do not have old crafty.

- At least it is easier than doing it on my alliance characters.

- Thanks to shared achievements I can get it on a hordie now.

- Check that, I can't get it on a hordie either.

- Over all 5.2 was fantastic, with the exception of the worst LFR cycle ever.

- The island was about as close as they have ever come to perfection for hub designed content.

- PvE dailies, PvP dailies, rare spawns, shared tags, valor from rares, summoned mobs, a group quest valor booster, a world boss, lore artifacts, rare spawn treasures, weekly solo scenario, solo scenarios for story telling purposes, pets dropping from mobs, pets unique to the area, flavor items like the sacrificial dagger, you name it, the island was great.

- If they added a little more to it, and some mining nodes and herbs, it might have been perfect, but it was as close as blizzard has ever come to perfect.

- 5.3 tried, but failed, to show us another try of questing hub, but without dailies, just one weekly.

- I loved the barrens, so you might ask why I say it failed.

- For the people that needed it as a catch up mechanic it failed.

- For me I would go there on my hunter, my monk, my bear, my DK, you name it, and I would round up dozens of mobs and mow them down.

- On a fresh 90 I would have to pull one at a time or die.

- And maybe I would even die one at a time.

- So for the people that needed it the most, it was the worst.

- Unless you can get a group for it.

- Blizzard forgot to keep the solo player in mind.

- Or even the group type player that wanted something to do when no one else was on.

- Even if the game is an MMO they need to remember that a group is not always an option.

- If they made the barrens mobs a little more with fresh 90s in mind instead of thinking everyone would be at least LFR geared that was there, it would have been a success all around.

- As it was it failed to help the people it could have helped most in my opinion.

- Because it was only good for over geared characters or groups.

- Having that one weekly quest which would give you 200 (300 if you had capped another character) valor was awesome however.

- For alts I would make sure to do them all the time.

- For some alts it was the only valor I made all this tier.

- Nope, not kidding.

- The pet, toys, brawlers guild item, and trasmog set were all nice touches.

- So if the mobs were something a fresh 90 could deal with solo a lot easier I would have given it an A but because they would destroy most fresh 90s unless they were either extremely skilled at their class or got a butt load of gear from the AH when they first hit 90 I have to give it a C-.

- A great idea partly designed nice that just did not fit for the purpose I thought of it as, a way to get up alts easily with one new piece a week.

- Because unless you were in a group, you could not do it easily.

- Unless you had 3 hours or more to grind to get all that stuff.

- Heroic scenarios also made their appearance this tier.

- When it comes valor capping it is what the game needed.

- Less than 2 hours from log on to valor cap.

- I think my record for capping valor when I logged in was 50 minutes.

- Yes, 50 minutes, not kidding.

- I love heroic scenarios.

- But only if you have people to go with.

- I'll go with guild members, but not even all of them.

- There are some people that even at a 480 item level have no business being in them.

- But at least I can tell you which heroic scenarios can be soloed by a hunter because I went with them.

- I am fine with that difficulty however.

- It is a premade group, so if you fail at it you only have yourself to blame.

- Sucks for a character you do not have a decent guild with or people to do with.

- My horde hunter will probably never do a heroic scenario even if it has the gear for it.

- But no I do not want there to be a random system for it.

- Absolutely not.

- It is fine as it is.

- Nice small premade group content that can be completed with any group of competent people that offers a fair amount of valor in a quick instance.

- That is exactly what this expansion needed.

- It took too long to cap, scenarios, LFR, dungeons, dailies, all offered way to little in terms of valor.

- So heroic scenarios were a huge boost to this tier.

- Lets hope they never get to the stage of being put into random content.

- I don't want to be stuck soloing every one I get into like I do every time I do a normal scenario because the other two people either have no clue, or no desire, to do the thing.

- I think people queue up for a scenario hoping to get someone like me that will just blow thought the whole thing solo anyway.

- It is really all my DK does and it has soloed every scenario.

- That is why premades work nice.

- If someone acts like that you never take them again and they will get a reputation on the server for looking to be carried.

- The good old days when people actually did not act like asshats because there were repercussions for their actions.

- Welcome back community, heroic scenarios would like to say hi.

- Over all I would have to give the last tier a B-.

- It has some great additions and was decent from a content standpoint but if there were one large draw back I would say it was that blizzard has forgotten who their player base is and how to design for them.

- The LFR being too hard for the masses and the island solo scenarios and barrens mobs being too hard for the under geared or under skilled shows that blizzard has completely lost touch with that majority who plays this game.

- Blizzard needs to design for the 95% and not the 5%.

- Leave raiding where it is, just make the content that is open to the masses more masses friendly.

- To anyone skilled or with current gear the LFR, solo scenarios, and barrens mobs were a joke, to everyone else, they were a nightmare.

- I was being generous with the B-.

- That 95% are the ones that make the 5% possible.

- Designing for the 5% will just alienate the 95%.

- Remember blizzard, this is the x-box generation.

- You are not going to train the 95% to be better.

- You are just going to make them quit.

- So the assessment from me was last tier (5.2 & 5.3) was pretty good.

- For anyone that went to do the barrens quests on a fresh 90 with limited skill I am sure they will not agree.

- That person is the majority.

- That person is who the open world game needs to be designed for.

- Leave any level of difficulty to instanced hand assembled group content only.

- Stop designing stuff like the barrens, the solo scenarios, the LFR, for the 5% and make it for the people it is intended for, nice and super easy for the xbox generation.

- Then maybe they would give you a B- as well.

- Have a great day.


  1. It's really weird what you said about LFR, for now month on my hord toon I just do LFR on saturdays. TO get a full clean (that mean queu time + clearing the wings) it takes me a wooping 4h. That on a French server horde side.

    As for the barrens I disagree with you, the weekly is INCREDIBLY solo and ungeared friendly.....if you are on a decent populated server (which will be the case anyway after the merge). Just go in, always a shitload of ppl on one of those commander. SO just throw a few spells and wait for the kill.

    Since barrens was kinda a test field for blizzard, I think in this aspect it was succeful.

    1. I have not seen anyone attack a Kor'kron commander in over a month now. I am usually alone in the place, and I am not on a population server. The issue is with the gear level - 489. The people who rock the Barrens have a high gear level than that and do the weekly for an easy 200 valor. The new 90's have to grind the mobs one by one unless you are a Druid and can just fly around collecting the loot.

      I agree with Grumpy, but I still enjoyed the content.

    2. I am with bob. I have not see anyone attack a commander since that first week. Not kidding. My guild would grab a team or two (being you could only collect in 5 man groups) and we would go around mowing them down. We would never see anyone else.

      The barrens are about as unfriendly as anything put into the game for recently dinged characters. Perhaps you just are on a much more populated server.

      As for your LFR luck, congrats, you are the exception, not the rule. Most people wait at least 30 minutes if not an hour and most people get groups that take at least an hour to clear. Then you get the unlucky people like me that spend 3 hours in one quarter of the LFR because they really are that horribly over turned for the people they are aimed at.

    3. The thing is, that 4h run to clear all LFR happens ALL the weeks. I may be lucky once or twice, but ALL weeks for 3 month?

      As you said for barrens it's most certainly a server thing, or maybe even a a mentality specific to french. Barrens are indeed much less active on my English realm than it is on my french realm. SO based on that I can imagine how hard it must be for blizzard to design content if content popularity varies not only by region (EU/NA) but even by sub region (France/Italy...)

      I mean on my french server (and the pop is not really high) as soon as someone was 90 he was just going to barrens and stockpiled for like 3-4 weeks worth of weekly in like 2-3 hours of farm.

    4. Might be the time of day you play.

      When I run early mornings on saturday I have no problems, usually quite smooth groups. I can do all 4 in less than 2 hours (not including wait time) without over geared players carrying the group. But later in the day it becomes a nightmare.

      Most people I know that play the game have given up running LFR. They have alts that need gear but they can not stomach it any more. It is not just me, it is everyone.

      Mostly however I get groups like that all the time. Horde side, alliance side, weekends, weekdays, you name it. Most people I know complain about the same thing. At best, absolute best, 50% of the runs are decent. Sure the run I had this weekend is extremely bad, but that still easily happens a good 20% of the time, those extremely dreadful runs.

      We even joked about it in guild. One of my raid teams started the real ToT when I was on the second boss in the LFR. They where done with their raiding night, 2 hours, and I was on the 3rd boss of the same LFR. So yes, absolutely, I am sure of how long that one LFR took. It is not a misjudgement of time based on how bad it was, it took 3 hours in there.

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    1. It is an expression for people that like things in quick bite sized bits of entertainment that they can easily over power if they wish to.

      That is what the xbox generation means.

  3. I can't remember if I made this comment on your blog at some point in the past; nevertheless, I'll do it again, just in case. I've found the barrens lots of fun, in my own way. I've even taken a few newish hunters from my guild out there to practice shot rotation while kiting. The commanders are perfect for that. Most of them are pretty forgiving, but a few of them have different abilities that keep you from just getting lost in your rotation, make you pay attention.

    The guy with the tornados and the totems doesn't really have any abilities that hurt you, but dodging and re-targeting is good practice while kiting. And there's one guy that has an ability that kills you after a few seconds if you don't interrupt it. I like to make a little game of it and see how close I can get when he's about to use that ability, and get silencing shot off as quick as possible while still remaining out of reach of his melee.

    Good times. :)


    1. They were great training tools for those that are willing to learn. When I was trying to get my lock rotation down I used them for practice. It really helped me.

      Even at that, there is a certain level of gear you would need to have to be able to do it. I can solo them without blinking an eye on my 535 hunter but one of my 480 hunters couldn't. Same skill level of course as they are just me, but without more gear they become unsoloable. Maybe I could do some at 480, but not more. They are a little to hard for the people that could actually use the 489 gear, in my opinion.

      I liked the barrens myself as well. I just think they were over tuned.

  4. I have to add an aside concerning low level pugging over the last year: I have NEVER seen it this bad before. Every single group there are toons running ahead and bringing back mobs, healers spending more time dps-ing and letting people die, MONK FAILTANKS OMFG no tank should wear leather without a PHD in tanking first. And even AFTER MULTIPLE WIPES the group still screaming GOGOGO because they can surely handle it. I have ragequit so many instances I casnnot count - once my gear breaks I am done. Last night there was a tank asking for recount every pull because he wanted higher dps....from himself... even though he could not hold aggro... does ANYONE know how to play?? There is NO excuse for this behavior from people in heirlooms!! PS anyone using Recount on lvl 20 trash mobs should be permabanned for asshattery. Rank concluded. I am grumpy as well these days.

    1. Seems you got a dose of what turned me into grumpy to begin with. :P

      I'll tell you a funny story from a low level dungeon from when LFD was first added to the game.

      I was on my bear tank and landed in a group that was already in progress. I came in and rounded up all the adds. The damage dealers, instead of trying to kill the adds I rounded up off them that were killing them went and grabbed more mobs. I did what a tank is supposed to do, I went and got them. So guess what? You got it, they all went and grabbed more.

      All this time I noticed I was not getting any heals so I healed myself. Thank goodness low level dungeons, if you know how to play, can be soloed by almost any tank class, even back then. I would pop out of bear and heal myself and go back to attacking.

      When we finally finished off all the mobs I said to the healer, why were you not healing me and they replied, because you were being a hog and trying to keep all the mobs to yourself.

      This was the week LFD was added to the game. There have always been bad groups but now they are bad for a different reason. Then was because they did not know better, the group concept was new to most. Now it is because everyone thinks they know better. Arrogance if you will, because I have heirlooms you should, because I have done this before, you should have, because I am leet you should be too, that sort of thing.

      You are right, the game, the players actually, are getting worse and worse by the day. Good thing I never dungeon while leveling.

      I don't want to get another healer that won't heal me when I am tanking because I am trying to hog all the mobs for myself.

    2. Mob HOG! HAHAHA! Oh and I forgot the rogue who, i swear to God, somehow macro-ed every single attack button with their jump button. I was getting dizzy just watching them. I am old school tank trained by other tanks to follow three simple rules: If I die it is the healers fault. If healer dies it is my fault. If DPS die it is their own fault. Oh, and taught to give my group one piece of advice: you yank it you tank it. Back in Vanilla my group referred to me as off-tank and my job was to trade aggro on command, protect healers, and basically do whatever they asked. The guild tanks taught me LOS pulling, mob positioning, dealing with adds and patrols, and basically being mentors. Tanking was never done by inexperienced strangers - you had to earn the job by proving yourself. The group respected the tank and he led because he was respected. The tank was the quarterback and he made all the big calls. Blackrock could take an entire weekend so you had to commmunicate and work well together. Wiping the group would get you a reprimand your first time and kicked your second. People were expected to learn from mistakes. sigh...

    3. I learned to tank the same way. Those same rules are what I live by but it seems the world has changed around us. We are out dated.

      As a hunter main my job is to protect healers. Tanks tank, hunters protect healers. I used to always lay a trap at their feet. I would take aggro off anything the healer got and kite to tank and FD there. Or I would MD the mob back to the tank, if I were able of course. MD was not always the be all end all of aggro, but it does work most times if you can apply it the second the mob starts going for the healer.

      Blackrock was a nightmare with pugs after the LFD was introduced. I would always go to LoS stuff and it seemed like they had no clue what I was doing. Even if I would go to type "going to LoS these back" before I could finish typing that someone would step up and body pull. I am so glad they removed some, not all, of the pats in the lower level dungeons.

      Tanking used to be the "superstar" role. Now it just feels like the "meat shield" role.

  5. I did a fair bit of flying around on my worgen druid and grabbing stone, lumber etc. and killing only one to three mobs. When I was grouped with my son to be pulled to Moon guard , the high pop there had groups for commanders but on my troll, (on Moon Guard) there was almost constantly a fair number of people killing commanders. for something to catch up it was an awful lot of work on a low pop server. Or maybe roleplayers just do stuff at the last moment.

    1. On low pop servers it was really bad. They need to design for that in mind and remember not all players are created equal and not all servers are created equal.

      I would do it every week and many time at odd hours when no one was on in guild that wanted to do it so I did it solo. Out of the dozens, perhaps even upwards of 40 or so times I did it solo over all my characters I got invited to a group once because there were other people there. All other times I was alone.

      One good thing about being alone. When ever there was an overturned I got all the loot from it for myself. With every bad there is a good to come from it.

      As for the RP thing, I find RP servers to be a lot more social in things like that. PvE and PvP servers seem to be "I do it with my group only" or "I would rather do it alone".

    2. I was surprised Blizzard didn't turn on their new fangled CRZ tech on the Barrens; that place was torture for undergeared toons with no one around to help. My main could handle groups of enemies like the Demolishers and associated Goblins by herself, but anyone else would get murdered if they got too close.

      I did luck out last week, I was trying to get one more fresh 90 through it, and on Tuesday found a group that were doing commanders. A bit awkward being a lone Hordie following a bunch of Alliance, but still.


    3. I saw the occasional hordie following my guild when we did our passes. He would hug us after each one we downed. Was funny having him follow us around. It was like our own little pet orc.

      I too am surprised they did not turn on CRZ there. The place was a ghost town for the last month or so, and bad even before that.

      I did it on my DK and on my horde hunter on sunday and was the only person there. Whenever there was an over turned I would head there and be the only person at it. Even if I did not rush there right away and waited a few minutes. It was that dead. And that was on a server is that actually pretty decent population wise.

  6. I agree with you about the Barrens. When my DK was geared enough to do well out there, I didn't really need the gear anymore...

    I have not seen a group killing Commanders since the first couple weeks of 5.3 either. I can go out there on a weekend (which is mainly when I play) and hardly see a soul the whole time. Maybe a handful of players out there, if that.

    I've never been able to solo the Commanders. I don't know if I always try the wrong ones or what, but my pet usually gets two shot and then I'm near death just after.

    On to more random topics:
    -Got up over 13000 achievement points this weekend. Did a few achievs I was missing from Wrath dungeons. Only a couple left that I can do solo. The rest require an actual group.

    -Got a Battered Hilt drop while doing the dungeon achievs. Need to see if my DK needs the weapon or not... I think I may have done it already. In which case, it's going to the AH.

    -Solo'd the first two bosses in ICC 10man. Managed to survive a bone spike... :) Next time I'll try to take aggro from my pet to bypass it. (I looked up the strat after I killed him...) Got the Full House achiev when killing Lady Deathwhisper. That was rather tedious. I kept pushing her into phase 2 too quickly before reading more carefully about how it worked. Gave up trying to solo gunship after a few tries though.

    -Only need about 200 more vp to hit 3000, so I'll knock that out quickly tonight with a daily scenario/dungeon and a few dailies. Maybe a HS if I see anybody pugging.

    -MMO-Champion has a good guide up for getting the legendary cloak, so planning to do that tomorrow. Hopefully, can catch a group doing all the Celestials tomorrow, but I'm not sure enough people will be out there.

    -I went on WoWProgress just to check how my server stands. Out of the Top 10 10man guilds, four no longer exist (I'm in what's left of one of those 4)... So there is one horde side that is 11/13H and one alliance side that is 10/13H. The other remaining ones are 3/13H, 2/13H, 1/13H, 11/12, and 6/12. The 10th highest guild is only 6/12 and they're still behind 4 guilds that no longer exist... My server really needs some new life... And no, we don't have 25mans. There are 3 and they are just from when the 10man guilds decided to pug a 25man; highest is 2/12...

    -I went on RealmPop to check out the guilds with higher pops on the server to try and see if I should ask for an invite in any of them. I realized rather quickly that I know none of these people... After playing here for over 2yrs, everyone I've known on the server has gone somewhere else... The guild I'm in is still the 10th largest guild on the server and it's dead. We just had 200+ active toons leave the guild within the last month and we're still the 10th largest and 8th most progressed with the remaining toons...

    -Mount Hunters is the largest, but they're a totally casual guild. I don't think they even raid; they're not listed on WoWProgress.

    -Legion of Madfellows and DÀRK GLORY have done some raiding at least. Guess those are my top two candidates. I at least recognize a couple of names from them. I'll try to see if they're going after the Celestials tomorrow and see if I can tag along.

    -The highest progressed alliance guild, Reduxx, is exclusive for just the 10-man team + alts, so it's a very small guild and they aren't recruiting.

    -Really hoping that we get 'connected' with another realm that brings in some life; otherwise, I need to find a new server, which means that I'll probably just quit. Don't really want to invest the money to xfer several toons plus a guild vault to a new server unless I find a really good group of people.

    1. - Just another 4K to catch up to me. ;) Congrats.

      - Your server seems like mine. None finished heroic, none even came close. But mine seems better, at least 8 finished normal and 7 got at least into heroics even if they did not make it far.

      - You could either transfer to a high pop server where I am sure they will be pugging flex on week one, or a medium pop server where flex mugs should start coming in a few weeks. Or do what most people on small servers like mine are doing, hold out and see what happens with connected realms.

  7. Jaegar,
    I would suggest you to move your main, and gold for, that will cost you 50$(guild + char transfer to same faction but different realm)
    Because changing to an active highly populated realm can do wonders to your game play experience. To give you an example, I was on a highly populated alliance heavy pvp realm. There were no decent pugs only couple of 5.0 raids forming here and there, but full of activity if you are a pvp player.When I moved on to a pve oriented realm (#1 eu side ) the difference was of night and day, 3-4 hc ToT pugs were a norm, few 10+hc pugs occasionally, and all sorts of other raid grps forming.LFM HC scen requests filling up faster than you can respond. Barrens oh lord barrens, 40 man organized lesser charm farm group. Got 100 charms in under an hour there. I am really happy now,even if i have to level all other alts from ground up again , i don't mind it as i know , I am at a good place ,I can get groups to do any kind of pve content at any time of day.
    Got my second alt to 90 this week , (on wednesday) , a feral druid,as i posted earlier about it , spammed arena to get to 472 ilvl. Did some hof/toes lfr to get to 480 then hc scen, tot lfr and a msv normal run this sunday.Now its at 496 with a 450 ring, which i will replace with a pvp ring soon so will hit 499/500. Thats in 5 days of dinging the alt. I think catch up is working pretty fine with a bit of luck and research.

    -straws,champion of cupcake club.

    1. I am so jealous of your server. On my server most pugs still can not get past horridon on normal. Not kidding. Even the best pugs on my server only get maybe 6 down and that is when they are mostly guild and hand picking the best of the best available.

      I have alts on servers like yours, not maxed. There are always pugs going for full clears, at least half heroic. What a world of difference a server makes right?

    2. @Anon

      Did you actually PARTICIPATE in any of those advertised raids? You mention MSV normal but I'm not sure if that was a PUG or not.

      I have a toon on a highly active PvE raiding server, too, and I've been watching trade during slow times over the past couple of weeks... yes, there are a LOT of pugs available, both players and runs, but I see a lot of warning signs:

      * I see what seem to be the same raids advertised over multiple days, even "@IQ 12/12 quick clear i510+" runs that should be appealing to a TON of players.

      * Every run seems to expect to go 12/12, even the ones who are short 2 tanks, 2 healers and 3 dps. I'm not talking about one or two, there are a significant number of raids that are barely half populated who seem to think they'll have massive success with a bunch of pugs filling in.

      * There are always a bunch of i520-i540 players looking for runs, many who would seem to be obvious fits with the raids being advertised... but they never seem to actually connect. Seriously, would it really be tough for someone who's i535 with 8/12H experience on that toon to find a raid? I see those guys in trade for HOURS.

      * Almost all raids and pug raiders have partial clears. Yes, this would make it a bit more difficult to find a fit (bit of a counter to my point above) but I wouldn't expect it to be a huge issue, I'd rather do the last 4 bosses than sit in trade for hours (or days).

      * The only raids that I see that seem to stop advertising quickly are FRESH raids and there are precious few of those, I'd say maybe 5% of the raids on offer are fresh runs. I'm not sure there are more LFM fresh raids on that server than my much quieter normal server.

      So in my experience trade-watching, at least, while populated servers do look like they have more pugging going on, I'd question whether there IS actually more pugging going on. There are certainly more raids and players looking for a connection but I'm not sure those connections are generally happening. I tried offering myself up to a few runs that I qualified for based on the stated requirements and never got a response back and all continued spamming trade afterward.

      The old requirements are back, too... must already have any gear that's available from the instance ("i525+ only!" "ToES gear run, i510+!" (yeah, I actually saw that last one yesterday)) and have the completion achievement ("we're doing Horridon progression!"). Basically, they only want players who are statistically BETTER than they are. Not exactly a recipe for success. I checked a few random folks who were requiring 12/12 for their runs, NONE had actually gone 12/12 on their posting toons. It's possible that some were on other toons but all were on raiding toons and ALL of them being on other toons? Unlikely.

      I think for a quality but unexceptional player it'd be easier to find a raid spot on a LESS populated server... not dead, but not top of the pile. It's easier to stand out in a smaller pile as a potential raider. Plus, raids on smaller servers will likely be hungrier for fill-ins... on big servers there are tons of players available so they can just pug when they need someone. On a smaller server they'll be more likely to make a connection with possible fill-ins which could lead to future opportunities.

      I'll agree that it's nice to do Barrens commanders at any time, day and night, and that world bosses are constantly being killed but I'm not sure the benefits of an active server extend far beyond those perks. If a player overgears the content he's looking to run and has completions then it might be possible to be a successful pug on an active server but I don't think most of us fit into that category. I'm looking forward to the i540+ requirements for flex raiding tonight on that server, too... even my raiding main isn't even close to that iLvl.

    3. No I did not participate in any of those advertised 10HC pugs ,or lesser ones as my main char raids with guild and my druid dinged 5 days back so it wasn't possible for me to do so.
      What I meant from those examples was that there is an ample pool of geared and good players to choose from when you are on a really active highly populated server.
      Secondly I have a lot of experience pugging so I could figure out a good group from bad just from the amount of spamming and the content of spam. In my previous server I had a big list of players/guilds not to group with when it was active in pve. I had made that list after being burned by ninjas, geared morons doing bullcrap dps while failing on mechanics. Those are the perils of pugging, cest la vie . You live and learn. But in your case you cant even participate in any pve group content outside of guild groups.If your guild is doing fine and you are satisfied with the guild runs only then you can stay where you are. In our case the lack of pugs, difficulty to find good recruits and massive queues were the reason we moved.
      PS: every time you see someone asking for ilvl higher than drop obtained from the instance, then inspect them, 9of10 cases they wont have that much gear themselves, and they are looking to be carried. Occasionally its a grp of geared players just looking for quick clear for valor and mount drops.And this is not something specific to highly active servers, the morons like that are everywhere.
      kazzak eu

    4. I agree with both of you.

      @ Anon, yes, a lot of those groups might be fail groups and I have seen them advertising while in a city for hours on end. Many just do not get of the ground. But as Straws said you get to know what groups can do stuff and what groups do. So you at least have the option to pick on choose from which you want to reply to.

      On my server you could have spent the better part of 8 hours on a weekend in a city looking for a group and not even find a fail one.

      So having lots of groups, even if they do not all get off the ground at least gives options where on my server you have none. You either raid with guild or don't raid.