With the recent opening of level 90 and all the assorted events, you know that we’re drawing ever closer to a Mists release. All that’s left to do is tuning numbers of abilities, finalizing both PvE and PvP content, and polishing the rest of the glitches still in the game.
Personally, I’m ballparking the expansion to debut at some point late in the summer (or September). I hope they don’t shoot for a Christmas release again.
Every GM is thinking about (or at least, gave some thought) to what their guild is preparing to do for launch. Some have strict time tables, others a little more lax. After getting through two solid expansions, our raiding plans aren’t going to change much.
Every raider will be instructed to get to max level as quickly as possible. Those that can pull off the all nighter grind can and those that need a little more time can do so. Our bottom line is that the sooner we have 25 players available to raid (with a respectable composition), we’re going to raid.
The 10 man plan
Before that, we’ll dispatch the first 10 players into raids quickly. They’ll be able to gain two things:
- Experience: A better understanding of mechanics. They can see and interact with various bosses. They get to be familiar with the little nuances and how to get through different phases and then pass that knowledge on to others as they level.
- Gear: It’s all the same ilevel still between 10 man and 25 man encounters. If one of our healers gets a trinket or a weapon in 10 man, it’s one less item the raid’s going to need when we hit 25 man. It could also mean one less epic item to craft. Even if the drop isn’t the best in slot, at least it’ll be high enough that it can still do the job. No sense in replacing epics with epics so early on when the rest of the raid can benefit.
Realistically speaking, it’s going to take roughly a week to get everyone up to 90. It’s also going to take at least another week before the raid has the collective gear and stats. That’s the way it’s been for us in the past, and I don’t foresee that changing.
What about raid finder?
The raid finder tool wasn’t present at the dawn of Cataclysm. Here’s where it’s going to get fun. I can’t recall if raid finder was going to be enable at the start or not. My guess is that it’ll be available, but there’ll be some sort of cap or limitation imposed (as in, no access to end bosses or first half of instances only). Raid finder means that both 10 and 25 man raiding guilds have the option to provide their guilds with another avenue to get raid ready loot.
Obviously isn’t going to be as good as the normal quality stuff in raids. But it’ll be superior to the dungeon heroic items we get.
What I think I may do is gather as many max level characters as possible for a massive group queue into raid finder. Maybe do that on a Monday to buy people as much time as possible to get to 90. Good way to get in there and get the lay of the land and see at least some of the challenges we’re going to be up against, even if it is going to be slightly weaker than the real thing. After that, establish a group for 10s and continue to develop characters that way as well until we have enough players to run 25 man consistently.
The opening weeks are going to be interesting.