Halion Down and the Failure Rate

After about two and a half hours of wiping, we managed to secure the Ruby Sanctum (25). I have to say, the amount of coordination and movement made that fight fun for me to heal. Unfortunately, the logs for that encounter don’t appear to be fully functional yet. But all the mechanics, the moving, and other stuff helped reiterate to me that the encounter designers still have tricks up their sleeve. We were one of the few early guilds on the server to have taken him down (possibly the first, but I’m not sure). I suspect other guilds were working furiously on hard mode.

The trash is a nice reminder that we still have crowd control and Misdirects to start pulls. AoEing stuff isn’t always a solution. Hibernate comes in handy here (and don’t forget to split up the trash).

Every once in a while, I get a question that sounds something like this:

Hey Matt, why does your guild suck?

I usually interpret it as “Why is your guild behind on progression?”

There’s a variety of reasons. The biggest one that hit us a month ago was the attendance boss. I knew that I had a window narrowing to take down Lich King otherwise it would become extremely difficult to get things going again. I wasn’t just happy when we killed him. I was immensely relieved. It was a lot of pressure and weight off my shoulders because a kill, even with a 20% buff, was enough to help us get noticed. With some luck, maybe we won’t get stoned by the attendance boss.

The failure rate

I am personally of the belief that every player has some sort of failure rate. That is, that player has a chance where they will cause a mistake that potentially leads to a wipe. Whether it happens to be awareness, computer issues, latency (or the fact that the latest patch just destroys their computer after an hour), for whatever reason that player is going to screw up.

No, in fact, every player is guaranteed to screw up at some point. What separates them? The fact that some people don’t individually screw up as much as compared to others. For example, maybe one player screws up 1 in every 5 raids and another player screws up 1 in every 30 raids. And we’re talking minor things like not running out of fire, not dispelling an effect fast enough (for which I am guilty of), or not using a cooldown at the right time to catastrophic errors like dropping a Defile in the middle of the room or missing a bite on Blood Queen and getting mind controlled. Failure rates are going to fluctuate among players due to all sorts of factors.

After being a GM for over two years now, I think I finally learned an important lesson.

  • No matter how much gear you give a player.
  • No matter how much coaching and training you provide.
  • No matter how many tips, videos, and suggestions you send their way.
  • No matter what kind of technology they invest in.

There is always a chance that their success rate will not increase at all. Not every player is going to improve.

Right now, I’m in the midst of internally reviewing everyone. I don’t expect every player I have now to stay when the expansion debuts. Some will move on and change guilds to suit their style or times. Others will have to deal with life stuff like getting married or school. I know that I will be committing to another expansion for sure. Cutting players is something that I still haven’t quite properly learned how to do. I know the process. I know the words. I wish I knew where the resistance is and how to lessen it. I find myself reviewing players and raids, who stands out and who didn’t.

You know what I realize?

Unfortunately, it’s always the misplays, misclicks and mistakes that are engraved in the memories of raid leaders and officers everywhere. We’re built to remember when people screw up, not when they excel (unless when they really stand out and shine). Do you find it odd that when things go well, when everyone is executing as they should, nothing is really mentioned of it? It’s like like it’s completely expected. It’s just another typical raid night. Things are as it should be. Accomplishments and clutch plays just seem to be taken for granted.

I don’t know where I was going with that.

Besides, we still have several months until the expansion. Even though it may not matter as much anymore, it’s still satisfying for me to take down this stuff on hard mode. I often wonder what it’s like in top 500+ world guilds at this point in time. Would they still be raiding? Have many players burned out? At that level, it seems to me that players would eventually just get… bored. There’s nothing else left to do in the PvE scene until there are new bosses available.

Then again, I think that is a different mentality altogether. I know I’d like to experience it once but I also know I could never sustain the energy or the time required.

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.

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