Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4.0 raids and casuals

The Pug update:
Wowprogress says we are around #7500 (changing fast with updates). Pot was 20K on the boss and 15K on trash.

We had a boost raid run this weekend. We had 3-4 boosters and 6-7 new people, which is very good ratio. The boosters ended up with more than 4500 gold over 4 hours of run, which isn't bad. Most of the gold was of course paid for T11 shoulder and helm. We will definitely run more boost raids, they will be regular on the weekends.

The nerfs are just atrocious. A list of nonsense:
  • 1 guy instant killed at Halfus (normal). Still, new record kill
  • Valiona meteors survivable, blackout needs 2 people to stack on target to be OK
  • Council can be killed with one huge blue patch in the middle
  • Cho'gall can be killed with full worships, people 50+ corruption in P1 and all kind of crap you can imagine
  • Magmaw down with every single chain failed, except the last one when 2 healers jumped on it
  • Omnitron oozes do 50K damage on hit, easier to kill them by walking into them than by spells
  • 12 adds on Maloriak tank and I did not notice it as healer. Nor the guy who stood in the fire breath with debuff.
  • Atramedes was always easy but now you must purposefully stand in the fire to get 100 sounds
  • Chimaeron's double attack barely hits offtank
  • Nefarian adds just die, P2 adds cast over 8 seconds, lava damage so little that people could swim from one pillar to another (and they did as healer died on one pillar due to not being able to get on it)
Does it means 4.0 is casual friendly? I doubt it because of three things:
  • If you are casual, you have trouble doing 7/7 troll heroics a week (if you don't, you are not casual). Your time is better spent in 3 troll runs that drops 24 ilvl 353 for 5 people, 420 valor points, 1200 justice points than in 4.0 where you get 20 ilvl 359 for 10 people, 0 valor, 700 justice.
  • Finding 9 other casuals is an organization nightmare. You will most probably have to go with 3-4 M&S and that's really bad since trash is not nerfed. 6 casuals and 4 M&S might be able to faceroll Halfus but can't get to him. 
  • There are still mechanics that needs a few people to do it right, especially tanks. So reading up on the boss, at least in the dungeon journal cannot be skipped. You can do it a bit slow, get a few ticks, outheal once, but not always. All out on shielded robot, interrupting aberrations so they swarm at P2, not stacking on droid offline, not gonging searing flames, not interrupting Nef P2 adds or standing in his fire and many more will still wipe the raid. And we know the casual response to wipes: "sry g2g".
Who will benefit from this change:
  • Alts: for a bunch of raiders it's very easy to have an alt-gearing run. I guess they could do 12/12 in 3 hours with 330-340 geared alts.
  • Non-raider ranked (casual) members of raiding guilds as they can tag along with altruns.
  • New recruits of raiding guilds, as the guild can run initiation-BWD runs: some officer go with 6+ recruits and based on their performance promote them to members or kick them without risking progression time on Firelands.
  • Good people stuck with "friends", as they can finally clear 4.0 raid content.
  • New members in our guild, as we have paid boost raids. I think many good players believed they are not good enough and now gave it a try. I'm sure they both got confidence and raiding experience.
So Blizzard managed to do something good, but the M&S, and unfortunately the casuals won't really benefit from it. We will.

PS: second bidder rule is not used on our boost raids, explanation here.


    Coralina said...

    You are correct again.

    I would describe myself as a non-M&S casual. My four toons (3 tanks, 1 healer) are all now around 355 to 357 ilevel despite having never entered a raid dungeon in Cataclysm.

    I believe Blizzard felt that these T11 changes were for players like me; players that raided a lot in TBC/Wrath but haven’t so far in Cataclysm. They are wrong. Why? Well why do people raid? In no particular order:

    1, Social experience with friends.

    2, Upgrades.

    3, Sense of achievement from killing bosses/to see the content.

    Ok so let’s look at those three factors and analyse why I won’t raid T11:

    1, Bar one or two, my friends no longer subscribe, my old guild is dead for which I blame this expansion. Pugging offers me no social pleasure and neither will running with my new guild that adopted me – who no longer want to run T11 anyway!

    2, I only need a couple of items. Odds are that due to M&S in pugs we won’t even kill the boss I need. Odds are that due to the completely arbitrary drop system my items most likely won’t drop. Even if they drop there is another arbitrary roll for the item and you can guarantee that there will be many others to roll against. Also because you will be pugging with a different group of players each week there will always be new players to roll against and no dkp. In short I could raid for months and never see the item drop let alone win it. I will simply waste time and gold on repairs/flasks.

    3, The T11 raids are old news. They no longer have the buzz; everyone is now talking about Firelands. They have been heavily nerfed so there is no self respect to be gained from killing them. Indeed I would be embarrassed and humiliated to have the achievements viewable on the armoury where people could see I got them after the nerf date. I definitely won’t feel a sense of achievement upon killing something – more likely a sense of frustration due to (2).

    So I will spend my play time running the new dailies on each of my toons and ensuring I reach my VP cap each week from 5 man HC’s/Trolls. Running T11 would be sub optimal.

    The changes will only benefit fresh ding 85 alts that are boosted by guilds. They can gear up quicker than spamming 5 mans due to getting 359 drops and JP at the same time. For players like myself by the time you have the ilevel required to join a pug group you will require so few upgrades as to render it pointless and of course will no longer need the JP.

    Lunaru said...

    "1 guy instant killed at Halfus." What do you mean?

    "Council can be killed with one huge blue patch in the middle". That is just doing the achievement. In my guild (25m) we preferred to do it that way.

    "12 adds on Maloriak tank" Easy if you know how to kite.

    "lava damage so little that people could swim from one pillar to another" I dont think this got nerfed. You could do that before the patch.

    "Does it means 4.0 is casual friendly?" Yes it is more casual friendly. They can now make pug raid that will be somewhat successful. They do not care how fast they get loot. It is the feeling that they are doing raids and getting raid loot.

    Anonymous said...


    The same people who were raiding ICC last month will now raid BWD, loot upgrades notwithstanding.


    While finding 9 other casuals is a logistical nightmare that is what pugs are and have always been. Nevertheless, one of the new recruits in my guild arranged 3 pugs to BWD (us older guildies not wanting to even look at that place for a few weeks) this reset and finally got his Neffy achievement _in a full pug_ made of people who were missing said achievement.

    As for gearing raider alts... I'm not sure I'll bother. Capping VP weekly and getting faction rep + some BoE's will have a new alt ready for Firelands. and there are only so many raid nights in the week - why waste them in there while we can be killing stuff in Firelands?

    I do think the nerfs were a good idea and will more or less do what Blizz wanted: allow the BH+ICC crowd to move into BWD+BoT. We'll see.

    Grim said...

    Running dailies and capping VP on 4 chars and you call yourself a casual?

    You, sir/miss are a nolifer.

    You obviously have plenty of time for hardcore raiding, why not do that? Is running the same 2 heroics literally hundreds of times still fun in any way shape or form?

    Anonymous said...

    I must agree with Grim here, not even on my main will I be running the troll instances to cap VP and my guild is doing FL and yet a "casual" that has time to do 28 runs (4 alts *7runs each) wont run any older raid content because it will take too long to get any drops from it and he gets no pleasure from doing that content since it was nerfed, isn't really a casual.

    Coralina said...

    To answer two points that were levelled at me:

    No the people that were running ICC will not run T11. That is a poor comparison. T11 is now the equivalent of TOC last summer and not ICC. ICC was the equivalent of Firelands – the best gear and emblems in the game with the buzz of being the current tier.

    T11 drops obsolete gear (I just upgraded my 333 wand to 378 by doing 5 mans) and worthless emblems just as TOC did when my casual guild were running ICC. With gear out of the equation and the buzz gone from it being the latest content I just can’t see the surviving casual guilds going to the trouble of organising raids purely for the social experience.

    Many of my old guildies never saw Ulduar or TOC (I did them in a raid guild) and there was not enough interest to put together a raid for them last summer. In my experience these guys need all three of my factors (the upgrade one in particular) to go to the trouble of organising a raid and actually get people to commit and turn up. Like it or not that is how it is.

    Secondly with regards to my play time; I am an ex-raider that went casual. It is more about the type of play time and commitment than the sheer quantity. It takes 1h 20 to run the dailies on my four toons and I can come and go as I please and do them when I want.

    I only aim to VP cap on my main (sorry I didn’t make that clear) and I can do that easily. I run the other toons when I am bored. I have the skill to raid but don’t want to commit in advance and organise my life around to so much “dedicated 100% glued to the PC” time. Raiding ICC in my casual guild was fine, a couple of hours each Thursday and maybe a follow up on tues. This was a raid team where 3 players would be welcome in most good raid guilds, 3 players were average and the other four might as well be AFK. Could we have run Firelands now? No. Would there have been enough interest to run T11 now? No.

    I am not whining though, I like many others are simply choosing not to bother running the content. It is just ironic that raiders complained about these T11 nerfs and blamed it on us for demanding that it happen. In reality we don’t care, we don’t want them nerfed, we don’t want to enter them at all and the only people that will benefit from the nerfs are those very same raiders!

    I think Blizz will be disappointed at how many new (as in haven't been there before) account holders start raiding T11. It will mostly be alts of those that already cleared it. I can also see many of the more casual raid guilds that had say 8 bosses down before 4.2 actually not finishing it despite the nerfs. I think their sign-ups for T11 will dry up and they will stop where they are.

    Not working as intended but easily predicted!

    Anonymous said...

    You missed some things on Nef and made a small mistake too.

    1) There is now only 4 adds instead of 6... and you hinted at it but their reset timer is now 30 seconds down from 55.
    2) The Blast Wave cast time is 4 seconds not 8.

    Anonymous said...

    On the topic of the 4.2 nerfs, Al'akir p2 got the most ridiculous nerf of them all.

    Over a 20-second cycle, he has one stack of Acid Rain for 15 sec, and none for the last 5. Yes, he resets the acid rain before it can gain another stack, meaning that he doesn't have any sort of "enrage" mechanic whatsoever.
    Though I've noticed, after puging the place, that pug members still have all kinds of problems with avoiding the squall line.

    Also @Lunaru

    The damage increase from each stack of the magma debuff you gain from the lava was reduced by 90%, meaning you will barely see any increase in damage whereas pre-nerf a few stacks were liable to get you killed in combination with the shadow bolts. (Which have also been nerfed)

    maxim said...

    Something inside me just cant shake the feeling of the overall colloseum-y of this raiding tier.

    Small amount of bosses not accompannied by Sunwell level of difficulty is not my cup of tea.

    Also the gear is as easy to get as it was in Argent days.

    Incidentally, there is an interesting gear progression change. In 4,0 you did normals for loot 26 ilvls behind raiding tier, heroics for loot that was 13 ilvls behind raid loot and could upgrade to raiding tier with rep, craftables and valor.

    In 4,2 you get loot 13 ilvls behind raiding tier by doing daily quests and get loot 26 ilvls behind by raiding normal 10 mans. However, raid quality loot is entirely shifted to farming runs of either firelands, or troll places.

    I think i liked having reputations to grind better.

    Not sure how this works with m and s versus casuals versus goblins.

    Anonymous said...

    Same anon as before here.

    Dont really know your server, but even at the tail end of wrath there were pugs doing ToC every weekend, granted that it may have been because of boredom and not much else, but give it 4 months into FL and let me know about it.
    And really this weekend on my server that is almost dead on alliance side I saw at least one pug forming every hour for BwD/BoT( slight exaggeration since I was not on-line all the time but you get the point), don't know how many were successful, but the point is that there is interest in running that content, be it for gear or achiev or lols.

    So my advice is the same as I always give to everyone, Don't judge other persons behaviour for your standards because the world is made of very different ppl with different standards, just like I would never feel comfortable in guild like "The Pug" I would never criticize it (say that they could have more boss kills if one rule was changed I will say though)nor say it could not happen. Each to it's own should be the motto of more ppl.

    Coralina said...


    I am going to do something you won't like, I am going to judge other persons behaviour:

    “Only morons pug T11 in 4.2”

    Now wait! Before you fly off the handle hear me out! I will try and give you rational justification for it!

    Last week I did a dozen quests for which I was rewarded a 365 back, 365 boots and 365 neck. The quests were easy, solo – so I couldn't get blocked by M&S and the rewards were 100% guaranteed.

    Blizzard now give me some options:

    1, Continue doing the quests. They are easy, can't be blocked by M&S and give 100% guaranteed 365 rewards.

    2, Click a green button and do 5 man dungeons. It requires no effort or organisation, is semi-M&S proof, I get a bag with gold/mounts/pets/flasks and I get 100% guaranteed 378 rewards.

    3, Pug T11 for a couple of pieces of lowly 359. Now I don't have the achieves to get in a pug. I also want to increase the chances of success (make it M&S proof) and avoid being ninja looted so I guess I will have to organise it myself instead of spamming “LFG” in /2 like all the M&S. I must put time and effort into finding 9 other people on my realm that want to do it and are not M&S. I get no bag of rewards for doing this.

    Then we have to spend a couple of hours solid raiding. During this time we have dangers. After the first boss someone who wanted an item that didn't drop may just quit. Or after the second boss we may discover a member of the team is a child who got called to dinner. In this case I have to recruit more vetted members which will be difficult as people may not want to get saved halfway in. Others could get bored and quit whilst we wait. I have then just completely wasted my time/gold/flasks that I could have spent on 1 & 2.

    If we finally get to the boss that drops one of the two items we need and if we actually kill it we come across another issue. You see the reward is NOT 100% guaranteed! Statistically the odds are stacked against us as it comes down to an arbitrary RNG drop. If it doesn't drop -odds are that it won't - I have then just completely wasted my time/gold/flasks that I could have spent on 1 & 2.

    If however we are lucky enough to reach the boss I need, kill the boss I need and if against all odds my items drops....I then have to roll against a number of other people for it! This again is completely arbitrary RNG and odds are that I will lose the item to someone that put in less effort and probably didn't perform as well as me. In which case I have then just completely wasted my time/gold/flasks that I could have spent on 1 & 2!

    Now Gevlon talks a lot about “M&S”. Well I can tell you even the “slackers” are not so lacking in intelligence that they would fancy the odds of being rewarded for the extra efforts demanded in option 3!

    That leaves the “Morons” which brings me back to my original statement! Only the morons who sit in /2 begging to be invited and praying against all odds that the RL doesn't inspect them, praying against all odds that they don't get called to dinner, praying that the other 9 people are not fellow morons and they can get boosted and finally praying that they get lucky with the RNG would try and pug it!

    Anonymous said...

    Meh...there's also the...
    Has time for 1 troll heroic a week...
    Doesn't need gear upgrades (basically) from normal 4.0 raids...
    But...would like to see them once.
    Of course, I'll probably do each raid once...just to see the bosses.

    maxim said...


    The only hole in your reasoning is that some loot is only available in raids above 353 ilvl.

    Specifically, head and shoulder slots.

    You can make the case that 6 ilvl upgrade over Zul alternatives is not worth the time invested (and Zul alternatives come more or less as a free side effect of valor farming). You can also make the case that 4x tier is a better upgrade than anything you can get until 2x next tier (which might take 3-4 weeks).

    Furthermore, if you are like me and absolutely abhor doing dailies for marks, putting together a decent 10-man pug (2-3 hours) and then going 10 man normals (4-5 hours) is a similar time investment to actually doing the dailies every day, for not necessarily slower speed of ilvl upgrades. It won't grant you best in slot pre-raid gear for most slots, but it'll get you the "good enough" set.

    Coralina said...


    There is no hole, I am shocked that Blizzard doesn’t get it either.

    If you read my comment you will see that I alluded to the “two items that we actually need” and was of course referring to the head and shoulders which as you point out are only a 6 ilevel upgrade although there is a set bonus.

    But as I pointed out there are too many hurdles to make it an effective use of time. The greatest of all being arbitrary RNG. Even if you clear the many hurdles prior to killing the boss there is the statistical fact that the tier item you need will in all probability not drop. Then if it does drop you are also liable to face another completely arbitrary roll for it. You could stack the group in your favour by not inviting any classes that share your tier but your main priority will be filtering out M&S and if you add class discrimination into the mix you will be reducing an already limited pool of potential recruits down to virtually nothing. So you could be faced with rolling against two or three other people.

    As I also pointed out you will likely be pugging with a different group every week – the guy who out-rolled you on the tier piece certainly won’t be coming back. Therefore losing out one week does not increase your chances of getting the tier item the next time it drops. You will have completely new and needy players running with you who of course are also there for the same tier pieces.

    Given that in the past I have raided for three months and not seen my tier item drop and given that when it does drop you can lose the roll every time, pugging T11 for the head and shoulders would be the text book definition of moronic. You could spend a year pugging it and get nothing.

    You don’t even need the tier items anyway. You don’t need them to kill Firelands bosses and I’d put it to you that if you were in a guild capable of doing this you would have been raiding T11 with them for the past 7 months anyway… Of course if you are pugging T11 then clearly you are not the type of guy that will likely be running Firelands until the next patch – at which point it will be nerfed to the ground and you will be swimming in 378 purchased with JP.

    Therefore Blizzards idea that nerfing the previous Tier upon release of the next Tier would somehow lead to large numbers of M&S and Casuals running the content is highly flawed. The Casuals won’t run it, the Slackers won’t run it, it will just be groups full of morons and we know how likely they are to succeed. Sure you might do one achievement run (I won’t – it would be embarrassing to have the achieve dated posted 4.2) but that will be ONE run. I suspect most of my casual friends wanting the achievement will run it nearer the end of the expansion or early in the next one – as they did with Ulduar/TOC/LK.

    I am sure I read a blue poster or maybe GC stating that we had to give it time but eventually T11 runs would ramp up and a lot of people would be doing them. They will be disappointed if that was really their intention and it shows a disturbing lack of customer understanding on their part if they seriously believed it would happen. In the meantime it is a nice boost for raiders alts. I don’t think the goblin will be able to earn much more from T11 boosting although I see he has moved on to selling T12 trash runs.

    maxim said...


    First of all, the notion of "if you're pugging t11 you're not the kind of guy who'll be running Firelands anytime soon" is highly flawed.

    I recently rolled a new warlock and i fully expect to make at least a couple t11 pug runs with him when he hits 80 before i move into Firelands.

    Further consideration is that most people will be capping their valor weekly and doing Hyjal dailies diligently. M&S more so than anyone else. Thus they will rapidly outgear t11 pugs on pure ilvl terms, thus the bosses which were already doable in 333 item level loot will become complete faceroll for 360+ geared people, combined with the massive nerf they received. The new arena season will also contribute to them, providing access to relatively easy 378+ pvp epics even for most fail arena teams.

    Furthermore, you need to accept that once you are done with valor farming, dailies and FL rep runs, there is really not much you can do towards getting higher-than-353 pve loot outside of proper Fireland raiding.

    359 loots will be the only upgrades available to most M&S and casuals. It will be the only way left availalbe to satisfy their thirst for character progression, hence they will get done.

    And, before long, some of them will figure out that stuff like Halfus, Magmaw, Chimaeron, Artamedes and possibly Maloriak heroics have become completely facerollable thanks to gear boost from Fireland rep, Hyjal dailies and easy 359. Hello 372 loots, which are the actual pre-Fireland BiS. This will boost pugging even more.

    Finally, there are pug leaders out there that over the years of pug experience got pretty adept at M&S handling. They were in hibernation until now, but might come out with the nerfed raids, which will further bolster the pugging scene.

    Long story short, i won't be surprised if myself, pretty much a slacker casual, will be doing t11 pugs on a more or less regular basis for a while on a new character.