3 Approaches to Guild Progression

Progression

Does this sound familiar? Your raiding Guild has been at the same boss for a while and you’ve reached a wall. Night after night your Guild continues to throw themselves at the boss to no avail (Does 40 raids and 40 wipes sound familiar?). Some of your raiders begin to show signs of frustrations to the point of threatening to leave if there are no additional signs of progress.

Some players are so inherently selfish and don’t seem to understand what progression truly means.

The Definition of Progression

My Guild has been stuck on Kael’Thas for the past several weeks dating back to early December. I know I’m not the only one that had problems with him. But we killed him and that’s the bottom line.

Or is it? Are boss kills the only way to measure progression?

That’s the first thing that needs to get changed. Your perception of what progress means has to change. As boss encounters become more complex, the measuring stick must also become more complex.

Progression used to be measured in boss kills a week. Some Guilds and players still follow this old school belief.

It’s time to change it. By changing your approach to progression, then you will a suitable way to benchmark your Guild and set realistic targets . Consider looking at progression in 3 different ways.

Percentage

Last week, you took Lurker down to 80%. This week, you brought him down to 50%!

Congratulations! That’s progress!

Players appear to be a lot more negative lately from what I’ve been noting. It’s either “kill” or “wipe” and nothing in between. Thinking like that is poisonous and dangerous.

The bottom line is that your Guild knocked a progression boss down by 30%. Don’t let the naysayers get you down by saying “but oh we didn’t kill him this week!”

Use that criticism as motivation to edge him down another 10%. Start thinking glass is half full and not half empty. By chipping away slowly at the boss, you’ll eventually kill him

Phases

Bosses like Lady Vashj and Al’ar within the encounter. There are different steps to take during each phase in order to reach the goal of downing a boss. I like to think of them as mini bosses similar to the last boss in Arcatraz.

Think back to your days in school when you were assigned to write a large paper. Instead of rushing from start to finish, the boss fight should be broken up into chunks.

Your progression can be measured by how far you get through these stages. You beat down Lady Vashj phase 1 and now you’re working on getting the cores to the generator to shut down her shield. Think of each successful core as an individual step along the way. Last week, you got down 1 core successfully. This week, you were able to get 3 down.

That is progress.

Player Survival

As a healer, I have always preached about this in my blog:

I don’t care how much spell damage or healing you have. If you’re dead, you’re useless to the raid.

The longer people stay alive, the easier the encounter is. Simple concept right? This can also be applied in the Zen of progression. What’s the difference between having 3 DPS dead and 3 DPS alive between the transitions from phase 3 to phase 4 on Kael’Thas? They represent 12% more player activity. Sure you can easily get to phase 4 with only 3 players dead. But if you have them alive, it sows confidence that yes your Guild can this with the healers you have available.

I measure my personal progression how many players I can keep alive until the raid buckles.

To Summarize
  • Don’t be a downer
  • Look at the bright side of the raid
  • Progress in any shape or form is good
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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. quote [ I don’t care how much spell damage or healing you have. If you’re dead, you’re useless to the raid. ]

    I agree with this so much yet it is so hard to explain to some people. Its like they get tunnel vision and just want to keep adding +healing or +spellpower and never take into account the health that is needed to survive some of the more complex encounters.

    Thanks again for another great write up.

    Bel

  2. Bel,

    I know what you mean and it’s incredibly frustrating. A lot of Guilds just might not have as much trouble if they got that extra bit of stamina gear.

  3. Im not yet raiding but soon. Progression for me on the day that I can actually play WoW and being too busy working, sleeping and working is running at minimum one Heroic for my 5 badges. At best 3 Heroics if I can for 12 Badges. That for me is progression because I’m working toward my Badge reward gear for tanking. And since I don’t PvP or do BG’s running Heroics daily for Badges is my way of progressing myself.

    But you say Guild progression and how is that guild progression. Well if I’m better geared as a Tankadin besides with upgraded gear it benefits progression and make the encounter a little easier Tanking wise when I get there.

  4. words to live by. My guild was just discussing progression a little today. Thank you for this timely and relevant article 😉

  5. [It’s either “kill” or “wipe” and nothing in between. Thinking like that is poisonous and dangerous.]

    I am guilty of being the wipe and quit guy. I am one of the remaining original team of raiders in the guild that has lost and gained a lot of players. I cannot spend hours wiping on raids that we previously had on farm. I now pvp while others L2Raid.

  6. One of the killing attitudes for progression are the guys that I personally don’t like running anything, including 5 mans with. The minute someone dies, they quit and are running for the door.

    Keep your head in the game and do what you can to keep working on that boss. It may not be an ideal situation but if your guild is adept at changing with the circumstances you may still see progression. I don’t want to hear “we can’t do this.” I want to hear solutions and can-do attitudes. And as my mom always said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

  7. GB: Ouch, but your attitude seems to have been the product of an unfortunate circumstance. I know I would tear my hair out if I had to “relearn” an instance that I had on farm for months.

    Arduanne: Indeed! A lot of players think they can get away with free loot. But they can’t, because WoW doesn’t work that way.

    What on earth can we do with quitters? =(

  8. @matt: Yeah, i am just bitchy and jaded overall. =)

    When you lose a team you really enjoy it is very disheartening.

  9. Molmyris says:

    Very nice article. I’d like to quote it for my guild’s forum, since we’re starting late Karazhan and I want to avoid the wipe-n-quit attitude.

    With your permission, of course.

  10. Molmyris: By all means.

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