Battle for Azeroth

Hi all, time for another of my posts.

As Legion winds down and the pre-patch looms ever closer the time has come for some reflection on the past months and the expansion in general.

There was a time when writing about an expansion was easy enough as broadly the people you started if off with were more or less the same ones that you ended it with.  These days that’s far from certain or indeed likely in an ageing game and changing player demographic which increasingly pushes burnout earlier and earlier and forces people to move around as guilds revive and die out.

This expansion has seen the largest changes for WW since more or less its inception nearly10 years ago but I won’t go repeating things everyone knows about or can read of in my earlier blog posts.  Despite the upheaval and uncertainty created by these events WW has finished up this expansion more or less where it usually does, namely one or two bosses short of clearing Mythic mode before the pre-patch.  Could we have reached the end this time if we hadn’t had to spend 6 precious weekends rebuilding a viable Mythic raid team?  Maybe, but then again who knows how long things would have held together with things as they were, probably not that long if I am to be honest.

A good fire is sometimes good for the soul and there is undoubtedly a part of me that likes to start fires as much as it likes putting them out.  Maybe because I like putting them out, who knows…  😯

Anyway, so, we’ve reached the end of this expansion and Battle for Azeroth, is due to hit in just over a month with its changes and the levelling and gearing hamster wheels again in front of us after months of phoning play in outside raiding hours being a more or less viable way to continue playing. 

It is a time that many view with excitement but others still with some trepidation and annoyance as we know it will test our commitment to the game as we need to ramp up our play time and focus again if we wish to return to where we were a few weeks ago.  I’ve always been one to dislike the imposition but I must be honest that this time around, with the guild and team unity as it now is, tested and forged by fire, I’m actually kind of looking forward to it, so much so Scabbrox will likely to end up all straight backed with pride and sun-tanned from the short August break!

Team wise I think we’re in a pretty good place currently.  There will undoubtedly be some gaps we still need to fill especially after the re-rolls start to be confirmed, but already I see solidity and cohesion in most roles, strong, varied melee, ranged and healing teams and with the addition of a third tank, we’ll be steady there as well.  This is in no small part due to the number of raiders willing these days to keep more than one character raid ready and to swap roles or specs as needed to fill class or role requirements and cover absences and temporary shortages.

Indeed, this time around we’re actively encouraging players to do this if they are willing and able to and we plan to try and do our best to increase rotation of specs and alts when farming (where feasible and possible) to make sure we keep things fresh and viable.  Reaching the end of an expansion without enough players able to fulfil essential roles on the final, often class sensitive encounters through alts and offspecs is not a workable situation and the best way to combat this in the future is to make sure you have extra coverage before the need arises so we don’t end up calling raids because we lack a needed class or role when they are missing.

Of course, alts will only take you so far as  it doesn’t matter how many alts you have if the player is absent when you need them.  Therefore as we move into BfA I’m going to focus some effort on targeted recruitment for classes and roles where we are vulnerable to absence where past raiding history has also suggested a tendency for less than stable attendance on the past of current players.

It would be very nice of course if we could all be sure we’ll all be 100% available for every raid but I know that life doesn’t work like that, it sometimes requires attention and sometimes WoW has to take a back seat or raids need to be skipped for unavoidable and even just personally desirable reasons so as always we have to look at the broader picture and see people as people and not just raid pegs for raid holes.  That being said, there are some players who without unexpected IRL accidents, emergencies and life changing events can hit close to 100% attendance over 2 or even 3 months* so I am going to be looking to focus on this sort of dedication from raiders in BfA as a key motivation in whether we need to say yes or no to that applicant for a class that ‘Bob’ plays when lovely bloke that he is, Bob only makes 6 out of 10 raids as he’s got other things to do the rest of the time.

To facilitate this and encourage people to try a bit harder to remain committed we’ll be increasing the expected attendance requirement for regular raiders from 75% to 85%**.  Players that can’t manage this level of commitment are still welcome to raid with us, but they won’t normally*** be eligible for regular and therefore Champion rank or be considered as one full raider as far as roster limits go when I look at applications.  Nothing’s really changed here, it’s just got a 10% squeeze in the margin for error that we currently work with as people are coasting below 75% too often and we need it to be higher.

As we head into BfA we’ll also need to start looking for volunteers to take on or continue with the Quartermaster roles and volunteers to help with farming and crafting efforts once more.  More on this as we get past the pre-patch and things become clearer.

Proven former Mythic raiders than want to return to the fray for BfA are welcome to get in touch, just don’t leave it to the last moment to ask as I may not have room then.

All in all I expect BfA to be another successful expansion for WW, our 6th in fact as a guild.   It would be nice to be able to work towards focusing on some of the issues that perhaps keep us from obtaining Cutting Edge on our two day per week schedule if that is something team members want to become a realistic objective for the guild (release schedule permitting), but to do that we’re all going to have to do better with attendance, flexibility, personal mistakes and efficiency in farming.

That can wait for another blog post as this one is long enough.

Thanks for reading!

 *(as I write there are 11 players over 85% attendance for 90 days even at this difficult time of year)

** Only progress raiding days are counted, not flex.  

*** If you have to work a weekend per month and this makes the move from 75% to 85% impossible then we’ll relax this change for you as long as you make it the other weeks.

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