The Dedicated Few

Or… The value of Ten.

We’re still fighting the sign-up boss, and this week we found ourselves getting downed by the show-up boss. I’ve made the mistake of assuming that other members are as tenacious, loyal, determined, and thrice-cursed stubborn as myself.

What do I mean? I will raid come hell or high water. If I tell you I’m going to be there I will be there. If there’s even a shadow of suspicion that I might not be there I’ll let you know about it. Every time that’s happened though, I’ve managed to meet my commitments.

Last night we had 25 people firmly rostered, but come raid-time two were missing, and we had no way to fill the gaps, and at our level of gear and performance there’s no way we’d be able to run Ulduar under-manned. And so, we split into tens.

It finally became clear to me that our failings aren’t personal ones. I’m not responsible for these members not showing. I cannot control their actions. Their failure to show, while it affects me (and 22 other people) was not caused by me.

It’s also obvious that to sucessfully raid 25-man dungeons we don’t need 25 people, we need something more in the ballpark of 35. Beyond having a guaranteed minimum of 25 for every raid night, it’s valuable to have the luxury of benching someone who under-performs, or benching someone by way of punishment for unacceptable behavior, or flakiness.

At the moment we don’t have that luxury. We have to squeeze rocks to make them bleed, and bring along every scrap we can find.

No Longer.

Last night we split into 10s. We had some extra, so we asked for volunteers to sit out. Those volunteers will find themselves raiding tonight, and possibly tomorrow night as well.

Last night showed me the value of 10-man raiding. I always knew we would find value in it, but I still rejected the idea. After last night, however, I’m determined to make the best of what seems like a grim situation.

We killed five bosses last night and I believe the second group found similar success. After we took out Auriaya it was 9:15 so we rotated back and took out Razorscale. By that time we had 10-15 minutes left so, instead of going to look at Ignis, we decided to poke our heads into something completely different and ran off to cavort with Hodir’s trash.

We didn’t quite make it to Hodir before raid time and a few people needed to leave so we left it there. Tonight we’re going to start on Freya.

The point is, we saw success. Success for us has been a very fleeting thing in the 25-man arena. My dogged determination to run 25s at whatever the cost has been hampering our progression as well. Now, after one night, we’ve gone as far as we ever have and we’ve got two more nights to raid. Instead of attempting to strong-arm people into doing 25s this week (and taking a further step back in progression), we’re dedicating ourselves to 10s and striving to get as far as we can within a full raid week.

I also noticed a curious side-effect. And no, I’m not talking about people getting to learn the fights and see the encounters. That’s our main goal with rushing through in 10-mans this week.

No, this side-effect is the gearing of off-sets. Almost all of us are fully kitted out in 25-man Naxxramas gear with goodies from Malygos and Sartharion 2D. There’s not a whole lot of upgrades for us in 10-man Ulduar. But for off-spec?

The upgrades are falling like rain.

With the advent of dual spec we now have the opportunity to ask people to run their dual-spec if we need them, and raiders have the opportunity to try out something new if they want.

We’re not shoe-horning anyone into a role they’re not happy with, by any streach of the imagination, but it’s nice to have the option of rotating members to different roles as well as getting them gear within those roles.

Tonight, and tomorrow night I’m goint to see the keepers for the first time. I’m actually excited. Maybe after dedicating this week to 10-mans instead of hoping for 25s we’ll be able to get the sign-ups (and show-ups!) to really sink our teeth into Heroic progression next week.

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  • Comments (2)
    • Copernicus
    • May 6th, 2009

    Our guild has issues with 25 man attendance as well, but our situation is somewhat different.

    We started out with one 10 man Naxx run, then soon added a second. Within a month we were getting enough people signed up for the first and second run to throw in a third ten man. At this point we decided it would be better for all involved if we combined our efforts and just ran a 25 man; good in theory, but it collapsed three weeks in a row.

    We have finally gotten it together, but we have yet to kill Kel’ Thazad in 25 man, even though we’ve got dozens of 10 man kills under our belt. It’s frustrating, to say the least. I believe a lot of it comes from the differences between me and the main raid leader. The poeple that like my raids think he’s a inconsiderate jerk, and the people that enjoy his style think I’m slow and boring. When the two different groups form into one, they do not work well together.

    Currently we’re running one ten man group in Ulduar with me off tanking, but I think I’m going to bow out and go back to running Naxx groups. Progression raiding isn’t my style. I much prefer running people’s alts through Naxx.

  1. A “casual” raiding group definitely, DEFINITELY needs ~35 people. Even the tightest group will have people drop out (usually at the last minute) due to family illness, work insanity, cars breaking down, freak weather, and so on. We try to rotate active, good raiders in throughout the week, and we had 38 people attend a heroic raid in the past 60 days.

    I think if I had to come up with a perfect number, I’d want 29 signups for every raid. That number has a little flexibility for drop outs and class balance, and gives the raid organizers that buffer to act upon poor performance or behaviour. (Right now we have tooooo many people, which is also bad because reserves start to get cranky. I recruited based on pre-3.1 attendance numbers, and then everyone and their dog came back for Ulduar. Sheesh.) I find that guild recruiting is like a shark — it always has to be moving forward, even a little bit. You never know when a tank is going to decide he wants to go back to school, or Ms. DPS will be given a ‘game or me’ ultimatum by the husband.

    And 10-mans are great! I miss doing more 10-mans in my current 25s frenzy. Not only do they gear up off-specs, but also there are some pretty nice items that drop from Ulduar-10 for main specs too. It’s great for you as a raid leader, because you’ll get to see these fights before taking a Heroic team in, and that experience can make all the difference between a wipe and a win.

    Anyway, grats on the Ulduar stompage!

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