Sep 222010

If there’s one thing I really dislike about WoW, it’s assembling a PUG for a raid. If there’s one more thing, it’s that PUG just not being up to tackling the raid at hand, leaving everyone feeling like they’ve wasted their time. This happened last night after Cody, Kt, Steve, and I did Wintergrasp, in anticipation of running VoA-25. It took a while to assemble the group, with the usual one-off people randomly dropping throughout the recruitment drive phase. Once we had our group together, we get rolling…only to have Toravon curb-stomp us. Turns out a lot of our ranged DPS folks didn’t know you’re supposed to attack the three swirling frost spheres that Toravon generates.

As a general rule, I never mind having new people along on a group endeavor like this. Everyone’s new at some point. What I do mind is people not thinking to ask, “Hey, is there anything special I should know about this?” Granted, WoW has built itself a culture where asking something like this often results in being the target of scorn and derision. That sucks in its own right. New people end up walking a fine line between either asking when they don’t know and getting mocked (or even excluded completely1) for never having done something before, and not asking and getting mocked and derided after the fact for performing badly. Still, one of these is guaranteed to cause the group to fail, and that’s the one that’s inexcusable to me.

Once the whole “kill the snowballs of death” thing had been explained, we tried again. This time, two of our healers died immediately, but we still managed to persist on for quite a while. We got Toravon to ~15% before all hell broke loose. My Taunt missed, which caused Frostbite to build up to 5 stacks on the main tank. I managed to get Toravon off him once Taunt came off cooldown, but it was too late, and he died. I wouldn’t last long against Toravon alone—the fight requires two tanks, after all—and predictably dropped not long after that.

Then the group disintegrated. A good hour and a half or so wasted.

When Cataclysm comes out, the raid lockouts for 10- and 25-man raids will be shared. Loot will be the same between both raid sizes, with 25 simply dropping more. This is probably one of the things I’m most looking forward to. If there were no benefit to doing a 25-man raid over a 10-man, I would never do one again. Managing that many people results in too many assholes concentrated in one group and inevitably leads to failure. I much prefer the 10-man groups, which are much easier to assemble and tend to run much more smoothly.

  1. This is particularly stupid in the realm of things like ICC, where you’re required to post the achievement for having killed a boss to even go on the raid. How do new people break in? The raid runners don’t care. I’ve read up on every single ICC fight and probably know some of those fights better than multi-run veterans, but I’ve yet to step foot inside ICC. []

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