Monday, November 19, 2007

"Winning" with a stacked team

I play on a server where it was a while before any guild killed Illidan. The first, like many guilds, had recruited from off the server. Recruits were players who had already been to BT/Hyjal. When they listed who got drops, none of the names were recognizable. When giving out grats it was like cheering complete strangers on. A few weeks later guilds of server veterans downed Illidan too. We could actually give personal congratulations.

For PvP, players wanted to go where the action was, so many flocked to Battlegroup 9. A group of servers know known for having the best pvp teams. I guess we're lucky so many are confined to one battlegroup. And I feel sorry for any casual players, how often do they get owned?

Battlegroups made queues much, much shorter for alliance on servers like mine, and they did so by introducing names we had never seen before. Rivalries tried to form - "Our server is better than yours!" But without specific names to taunt, they fizzled as quickly as they arose. There are no pvp heroes anymore, because no one knows anything about the battles they have fought and won. When someone won the arena mount (for being in the top percent of arena players) they only way many of us knew was because the player themselves kept posting about it, not because any of us had fell at his hands on the battlefield.

When Karazhan was released there was mention of intra-guild friendly rivalry. Groups formed around cliques, families and schedules. As it happened, color me shocked, those with freer schedules and extra hours to spend, kept going at it until it was clear. There was no competition. The rest of the groups eventually cleared on their own timetables. Something I envy now. Yes I was in the first group.

Recently a few people were cherry picked from the normal groups that had done Karazhan for the past months, to form a "supergroup" to clear Zul'Aman. In the past when the guild accomplished first kills I felt some sense of guild pride. But what obstacles did this supergroup overcome?

It just seems the strategy for winning du jour is stacking teams. Not just in the best guilds where its expected, but for the mom-and-pop guilds who aren't supposed to care as much about progression.

With 25-mans, several guildmates were pushed aside for "better" players, with the intent of bringing them back in when we had a better handle on the new dungeons. Needless to many of those players decided not to come back. Is this how its supposed to be done?


Anonymous said...

Imho, it's a question of whether you want more to win, or to just have fun. While there should be a place in the game for both, they often are at odds. In many raiding guilds you get the core group of players who are there all the time and know the most about what they are doing. Then there are the people who just show up for the fun and socializing of raiding. The first group isn't having fun unless the raid is making progress, while the second group is having fun regardless of progress.

Everyone wants to have fun, and wants to win. But some people are willing to sacrifice a bit more fun in order to win than others. Personally, I think either extreme is bad (though the fun side certainly would be a bit better). I'm currently trying to find a balance between the two ideas in my guild, though for us it's in regard to pvp rather than pve raiding.

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