Tier 11 Normal Completed
Just my work-addled musings on where we are at the moment, and what the future holds for Team Epic PCG.
Team Epic's first raid boss kill of Tier 11 was the Omnitron Defence System, on December 20th 2010. Our first Nefarian kill, netting us 12/12, was on 7th March 2011. Less than 3 months after our first boss kill, and less than four months since the launch of Cataclysm. We are the first team in the SWC Horde to clear all the 10 man normal content.
This has exceeded even my wildest expectations. I know there are mitigating factors, like Good Fortune sticking to 25-man, but we've still done really well. I think it's worth asessing what we've learned, mistakes we've made, and where to go from here.
The plan, back at the end of WotLK, was that we would work as a team from the outset of Cata. This meant supporting each other levelling, forming instance groups and, most importantly, pooling our resources for tradeskills. The whole point was to get raid-ready as quickly as possible. This worked really well; Klog was realm first 85 DK, and Zerne was realm first max enchanter. Zerne also used our pooled tailoring resources to produce epics for the other casters before himself, helping us to gear together. We were able to get a raid team together within 3 weeks of launch, whilst most guilds were still levelling. Not all of our designated Epiccers were ready at the same time, but no one reported feeling left out or behind, and as soon as each player was ready, we rotated them in.
Some of my plans have worked out; splitting each raid into two seems to work well, with individual signups being really beneficial to players who can't make the whole night (thanks for that brainwave, Denika). The original 'cauldronner' plan was messy; I think the current system of everyone simply sending 3 flasks per week to me is working out better. I'll be reviewing this very soon, to incorporate lobster baths too, but my aim is to keep things simple, and fight my instincts to over-complicate.
My plan about using a loot system never happened; it never seemed necessary. Loot drama has been almost non-existent, hopefully because we've had a strong teamwork ethos, rather than everyone being afraid of me kicking them. The only loot rule I've imposed has been to get the tanks their Tier Shoulders first; this is because we've had absolutely atrocious luck with loot, and it's no good having undergeared tanks if you want to kill Nefarian. I'll be making more arbitrary rulings as circumstances dictate.
We haven't generally had an attendance problem, and no one has dropped below the required 4 signups pr week. Whilst our roster has been as large as 15, I don't think anyone has felt too left out, and no one's seen less than 3 raid shifts per week, with the average being 4-5. I know everyone would like more raiding, but the big problem with 10-man raiding is the requirement to have quite specific compositions for the harder encounters.
Since Cata launched, we've lost 3 players from our roster and gained 2. We now stand at 3 tanks (with one reserve), 3 healers (with 2 reserves) and 8 DPS. I think the balance is about right, and I'd like to maintain these sort of numbers.
10-man raiding necessitates some close teamwork, and it can lead toward cliquiness. We must never forget that Team Epic is part of the wider PCG Guild and Community. I think we've done pretty well at that, specifically by:
- Lending several players to Team Win when they were first raiding
- Sending our unwanted BoE Epics direct to other raid teams
- Making our alts available where possible
- Supporting our monthly 25-man raids; I'm proud to say that Team Epic have been the most represented team at all 3 25-man raids, and on each occasion we've been able to kill bosses that at least one team hadn't previously killed.
So, where to next? Tier 11 normal mode may be over for us, but there are still 2 objectives: Tackle some heroic modes, and continue farming so that we're ready for Tier 12. I'd like everyone to be as close to BiS as possible once Tier 12 raiding launches, which means a couple of months of farming these bosses. It also means taking on heroic modes; probably at a pretty sedate rate of one or two new ones per week. I'm not setting any objectives on heroic modes, and the meta may not be realistic, but as long as we keep taking on new challenges, I'll be happy.
I'm very proud of my raid team; we've done well not because we're the best players in the World, but because we've worked properly as a team. It's been great leading you, and I hope to continue to do so for a long time yet.
Last edited by Darieth; 03-08-2011 at 11:18 AM.