Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Reflections on 10-man Strict

This may be because of Vidyala's post about whether or not not her guild should give up its 10-man strict qualifications. This is also because last night my raid downed heroic Sindragosa for the first time.

Next week we're going to start working on the remaining achievements for [Glory of the Icecrown Raider] and our Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquishers. Not everyone is going to get theirs at once. It might take us three lockouts to get everyone their frostwyrms (two rounds of the achievements on normal to cover our eleven raiders, and one more heroic round to cover the people who missed the H Sindy kill), but I hope we get everyone their wyrms in that amount of time.

Our server is not terribly well progressed, so we're actually the second Horde guild of any stripe to defeat Heroic Sindragosa. It's a nice badge to have, especially being 10-strict. I admit it's going to be fun when the group of us park our frostwyrms around Krasus Landing like a bunch of giggling teenagers and people wonder just who the heck is Be Your True Mind anyway and why are they so good they get to have frostwyrms.

Being 10-man strict means that you fly under the radar a lot.

Certain people seem to acknowledge us. The top Horde raid guild in our server seems to think fondly enough of us. I remember getting congrats from a couple of their guildies, complete strangers, after we downed Lich King. We also got grats from someone in one of the top Alliance raid guilds after we downed heroic Sindragosa.

But by and large the general population of our server has no idea who we are. We are in a position regarded as a prestigious among a very select group of people.

Nobody thinks "Hey, that person is in Be Your True Mind! They must be good!" Now that at least thirty guilds on our server have killed the Lich King, Kingslayers can be found aplenty, even in guilds that have never managed the Lich King on their own.

Kingslayer is still a token of respect, but it's not quite a strong as it used to be, especially as Kingslayers leave their raid guilds for more casual pastures. Just because a Kingslayer is in a guild, doesn't mean a guild is good. Certainly, we've seen plenty of guilds take in a Kingslayer so they could start working on heroics before they could even kill the Lich King themselves.

Be Your True Mind has never been about the prestige though. Sure, we like it when we can get it. There's no reason not to be proud of one's accomplishments. But when my 25-man guild broke up, all I could think about was how I still wanted to face the Lich King and how I wanted to do it in the small 10-man environment I enjoyed most. I would have made a 10-man guild even if the strict criteria hadn't existed.

It took months of starts and stops, and we wouldn't have made it if not for former guildies and their friends who so kindly plugged the gaps in our roster until we reached a (mostly) self-sustaining number of eleven. (Sometimes we'll have two absent, but we have more non-raiding members now who are happy to plug gaps.) Even then we lost people to real life, and we've recruited replacements. Out of the group of eleven that became Kingslayer together, eight remain.

We're still a close knit group though. Our former raiders remain in the guild, occasionally come as backup, and two of the replacements are really friends we're raiding with once more. Only one replacement came to us as a total stranger, and though he had some skeptics, he's working out and impressing us despite being the worst geared out of all of us. Finding someone who won't count against us in 10-man strict is hard, and finding someone who is actually good, is even harder. In that way he's a gem.

I honestly don't know if we'll ever down heroic Lich King. I mean, he's the final obstacle between us and having beaten all the content, it's natural to want to bash heads against him, but it's discouraging when I look at the 48 10-man strict guilds ranked above us and see that none of them have beaten him.

Does it mean that it's impossible? Did Blizzard tune this one too high for a 10-man guild in 10-man gear? How far have those guilds gotten? Are they working on Phase 2? Phase 3?

The 30% buff went live last week and it's not going to go any higher.

If I never kill heroic Lich King I won't be disappointed. I already accomplished my personal goal in founding this guild when we killed the Lich King on normal. As far as we've gotten with heroic modes and in working towards our frostwyrms is just a bonus. A bonus I'm totally enjoying, of course, but it wasn't what I originally set out to do.

I'm sure the group of us are going to stay together for Cataclysm. It's fun listening to people talk about what they're going to do. Surprisingly we have at least three people who say they want to become goblins, and our bear druid wants to become a troll (if he does we're going to be able to find him from all the way across the map with those skins!).

I'll still be Hana, the tauren moonkin druid, because she's too much of my WoW identity to change, but I already have a name saved for my baby tauren priest, because I've never played a priest before and I have a fondness for the moo-cows.

Not that I would race change Gillien now that paladins can be tauren. Gillien will remain a pretty blood elf.

Once Cataclysm comes, there will probably be no in-game distinction between a 10- and a 25-man guild, we'll have our progress ranked together. The 25-man teams should still progress faster though due to getting gear faster, which probably means that we will fall in our standings, quality of players aside. If skill and encounter difficulties are equal the guild getting gear faster will progress faster.

Besides, we only raid two nights a week, which already puts at a time disadvantage. Even other 10-man strict guilds generally raid more than us. (I like to think that we manage our quick clears by yelling "Pull! Pull! Pull!" to our obliging tanks over vent.)

We'll probably do well for ourselves in Cataclysm, even with the raid gear and lockout change. If all the Horde guilds on our server broke into 10-man raid guilds we'd probably be in the Top 5. We won't be so unique anymore, and it'll be difficult to earn firsts of any kind, but on the bright side, if everyone is running 10-mans, maybe we'll be noticed for the accomplishments we do earn.


Klepsacovic said...

Until then, you can add me to your tally of "people who recognize in some way the accomplishments of strict 10-man guilds".

Hana said...

Thanks. :)

Gelfling said...

I think you under estimate the respect you do garner on Skywall to be honest.

Perhaps the trade trollers don't acknowledge what you have achieved, but do you think that perhaps that is because they don't fully understand it? And really, do you care about them?

The decent raiders, and decent people most certainly know what you have accomplished, and give kudos, however like a lot of human nature not to your face.

I for one, gibbered like an idiot that Val would think I was of a standard to just fill in with you guys (not that I'd ever tell him that!!). It was an honour to run with you, and I tip my hat at where you are now.

Kylie (Keemara).

Hana said...

Thanks, Keemara. I had no idea you'd found my blog. Gasp! :D

And you know we're always happy to have you fill in a spot for us if we need it.