Waste Not, Want Not

12 Jul

I know I said I was going to put this to bed last night, but I still feel like I have a few things to say about it and so I’m going to do just that.

Let’s begin.

It all started with Kurn’s post on how she felt that it was wrong that we as raiders were being asked to farm Heroics and specifically, Zandalari Heroics to get enough Valor Points to purchase new pieces of gear.  For the record, I agree with her.  It does suck that this has become the new normal for us and that this is what we have to do, in order to be competitive.  I agree with her, in that I am a raider and I play this game solely to raid.  If there ever came a time where I couldn’t raid, I would probably cancel my subscription immediately.

I don’t have a back-up plan.  It’s raiding or nothing.  I’m not good at PVP.  I’m not an altoholic.  I have no idea how to play the Auction House.  This is all I have going for me.  Because this is my passion, because this is my reason for playing WoW, I am more inclined to do whatever I need to do to keep that going.  Including making sure I’m capped on Valor Points each week.

I made a comment on Twitter where I said that if you’re a raider and you don’t end the week capped that you’re doing it wrong and I truly believe that.  This led to a post from Windsoar, where she admits that isn’t capped each week and defends her position on why she chooses not to do that.  It’s a wonderful post and she was kind enough to send me a few messages on Twitter, telling me she was using my Tweet as inspiration and asking if she could do that.  Of course, I said yes.  I’ve followed Windsoar for quite some time and even wrote her a guest post once, so I was thrilled to be included in whatever she had to say. 

However, it was this amazing post that got me thinking and stirred enough things within me to inspire this post.  Here is what I took away from Windsoar’s response.

“9 hours a week hasn’t always been much to me, but it’s also been bloody impossible and a commitment I couldn’t keep even when I sincerely made every effort to be there.”

I feel like this is something that could only be said in Cataclysm, in this era of more accessible raiding for all.  I have been raiding since Vanilla and anyone who raided then or even in Burning Crusade will tell you that back then you couldn’t get anything done with just 9 hours a week.  It took nearly 9 hours just to get buffs situated!  If all you had was 9 hours a week to spare, you were not raiding.  It’s as simple as that.  Raiding was a full time job and it was one that many of us were glad to partake in and remember fondly.  If you were there for that, it doesn’t seem so foreign to put in a little more time each week to get capped on Valor Points.  By now, it should be old hat.

“When I’m killing time waiting for my raid, or just finished a nice, tight 3-hour session, the last thing I want to do is put up with shit from stangers. Ok, even on my best day I don’t want to put up with shit from stangers.”

I find it interesting that people who feel that you should be Valor Point capped each week are seen as “tyrannical” or “elitist,” but yet we are the ones who seem to have less of an issue running with strangers and who don’t feel that such a thing is beneath us. 

I have to admit that I can’t relate to the stories of awful PuG experiences and rage that comes from these groups gone wrong.  I have been Valor Point capped for the last two weeks, which I couldn’t have done without running a few randoms.  I have found groups for both Zandalari and non-Zandalari dungeons through the Dungeon Finder and I can honestly say that I had one bad PuG in two weeks of random dungeons.  Just one. 

Don’t get me wrong, there were groups where you had that one bad apple who didn’t know how to manage their threat or not stand in bad.  But I sat up in my chair, politely asked them not to do that or told them what the boss encounter was all about and it didn’t happen again.  Or it did, I let them die and I had a good laugh.  It wasn’t that deep to me or that serious.  Could I leave in a huff and chastise these people for being fail and not good enough to run with me?  Sure.  What good would that do?

“However, I’m just not willing to sacrifice lord knows how much time (you never really know until you die doing it) in the nebulous hope that my dungeon group will successfully kill things and I will walk away with some extra numbers in my character screen when I can just as easily pursue an activity I already enjoy and am committed to in order to gain those same little tokens, albeit more slowly.”

I’m not really sure what runs people are doing that are so time consuming, but I work 50 hours a week, raid two days a week, maintain a social life, an active sex life, a family life, a blog, a podcast, and I still find time to be Valor Point capped each week.

I raid on Thursday and Sunday of each week.  Currently, we are 2/7 and we have Occu’thar down.  That’s 360 Valor Points from raids that I’m guaranteed, per week.  This means I have to get 620 on my own to be capped for the week (unless we down something else).  Here is how my schedule looks on the nights I don’t raid:

Monday
4:30pm – Arrive home from work.
4:45pm – Dinner/catch up on e-mails or other correspondence.
5:45pm – I log on and tend to get my non-Zandalari Heroics out of the way first.  I’ll do two.  (140)
7:45pm – Do dishes, clean the litter box, write a new blog post, etc.
9:45pm – Bedtime.

Tuesday
4:30pm – Arrive home from work.
4:45pm – Dinner/catch up on e-mails or other correspondence.
5:45pm – Log on and do two more non-Zandalari Heroics.  (140)
7:45pm – Chores/writing.
9:45pm – Bedtime.

Two nights in and I already have 280 out of the 620 Valor Points that I need to be capped for the week.  I can’t get any more Valor Points from the non-Zandalari Heroics, so I’m going to have to do three of the Zandalari dungeons to be capped.  I can do those on my off-nights or before a raid (where I’m more likely to go with my guildies instead of doing a random).  I can’t relate to those who say that this process is time consuming or arduous, because I don’t feel that it is. 

One thing that certainly helps is that I don’t do dailies.  More specifically, I haven’t done the new dailies and I don’t have any interest in doing them.  I don’t need anything from them, loot wise or otherwise.  So that’s time that I choose to put towards farming Heroics instead of doing those.  I think if I were someone who needed to do those dailies more religiously I could see where an issue may arise with having enough free time.  Even then, I would argue that most of the things offered from the new daily vendors aren’t that swell and that the upgrades you could buy from the Valor Point vendors are far better than the ones you would get from the new Hyjal vendors.

“I don’t feel that capping out any type of points was a part of my contract with my guild, implied or otherwise.”

I don’t think it has anythin
g to do with your guild.  I think it has to do with wanting more for yourself.  I’m not in a situation where it’s required of me to be Valor Point capped.  This is something that I’m choosing to do of my own volition.  I want to be the best that I can be for my raid and to give myself the proper tools to do what I do, which is heal and keep the raid alive.  Is that wrong?  Is it wrong to want more for yourself and to want to be better

Case in point: going discipline.  I was asked to work towards a discipline off-spec, in case it was needed in raids.  So far, I haven’t needed it and I haven’t been asked to pick it up for any encounters that we have faced.  But that could change.  I have been very fortunate that holy seems to be keeping up nicely with discipline and even outperforming it on some fights. 

Were there to come a time where I was holding myself back or the raid back by being holy and I could show that my performance was lagging by leaps and bounds, I would be discipline in a heartbeat.  I would acknowledge that I can do better, that I can be better and I would be that.  Without hesitation.     

So I did it.  I spent an entire weekend farming Heroics and learning how to be a discipline priest.  It was awkward, messy and I wanted to quit.  I resented being asked to do it.  But I did it and part of me even grew to like it a little bit.  I had fun knowing that I could do it, that I had pulled it off.  That felt incredible.  I couldn’t wait to run and tell my healing lead that I had a discipline off-spec and that I could fill that role, if needed.  It may have started off as something that I really didn’t want to do, but I became a better person and a better player for doing so.

As a blogger, I think it’s great to see a topic like this inspire a lot of passion in the community.  I don’t think I’ve seen anything really stir people up as much as this has in quite some time.  I have enjoyed reading people’s opinions on this and I’m sure more people will come forward with their thoughts on this topic and I look forward to reading those, too.  There’s enough room for everyone to speak their mind and I think the more persepectives on this, the better.   

Feel free to share your thoughts on this here and let me know what you think!

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76 Responses to “Waste Not, Want Not”

  1. John B #

    As being a healer I know I need to have the best possible to keep the guild raiders progressing. Yes it’s a pain but I should have my tier chest. I don’t want to be pointed at for raid failures and I can’t wait for loot to drop for me when we use an epgp system.

  2. Suzushiiro #

    I personally see it as kind of a non-issue.

    If you’re in a more laid-back raiding guild like yours appears to be, you are probably not going to be holding back your guild by a horrible amount if you don’t valor cap. Getting that extra piece of gear or two would be nice, but it’s not going to make the difference between a wipe and a kill on normal Alysrazor.

    If you’re in a hardcore guild, on the other hand, yes, it’s absolutely your responsibility to valor cap every week to make your character as strong as possible. But if you’re in a hardcore guild you are probably already getting most if not all of your valor cap out of raids, and if you can’t, you can probably roll a Zul’roic in a guild group (or carry a PuG) easily enough that finishing out the cap via that isn’t a huge problem.

    Regardless, the system of having to run 5s to get raid gear has existed since ToC, and between the cap being added and 1 per day to 7 per week change it’s only gotten less painful for the time-restricted raider.

  3. Oestrus #

    Like I said in the last paragraph, it’s more about people being able to look at themselves and wanting more, wanting to be better. I’m always looking at my talents, my glyphs and asking myself if I could stand to change something, anything that would squeeze out a bit more throughput or improve my performance.

    If I knew that something as simple as farming a few Heroics each week could improve my character and make me better, why would I not do that? To me, it’s a no-brainer.

    I completely agree with your last paragraph, too.

  4. mirlaselderay #

    I completely understand wanting to be better and wanting more for oneself. I’m having a little trouble with the concept of always striving to accomplish that in the shortest amount of time possible when it is not critical to success. If progress is being made at 50% of the maximum theoretical rate, and no one is suffering for it not being 100%, is that not enough for the current circumstances? If the extra 50% would only end up not being needed, then wouldn’t the effort that remaining 50% represents be better spent improving oneself in another area where the improvement would be used immediately?

  5. Oestrus #

    Your comment reminds me of one of those math problems where if train A leaves at 2pm and train B leaves at 4:10pm, what time is it in New Delhi?

  6. mirlaselderay #

    Your post title was “waste not want not”. The implication of that title seemed to be that failing to cap valor points every week was a “waste”. I don’t see that as necessarily being true in all cases and for all people. In fact, racing to the best gear as fast as possible by capping valor every week may turn out to be the waste: a waste of time and a waste of effort. That time and effort may be better spent in a different part of the player’s (and maybe even the guild’s) life. As long as a player is ready when the guild is ready, it would seem that there is no problem with the player taking as much time as is available to get geared up. It seems that being ready weeks ahead of everyone else would be expending energy in an activity that bears little fruit, especially if there are more fruitful pursuits available to the player than capping valor points every single week (either in or out of game). If a player has nothing more pressing than to cap out valor every week, and finds that activity to be personally rewarding as an end in itself, then that’s great. However, why is it a necessity? Why is it necessary to get there as quickly as the game mechanics will allow?

  7. straws #

    Nice article , i will post about it at proper position , but “New Delhi” ? it piqued my interest ,coz I have done similar math problems in school and i am from that place :P

  8. Jasyla #

    Of course it’s not wrong for you to want more for yourself and do better. But gear doesn’t make a raider. It helps, but in the grand scheme of things, sinking a few extra hours into something you don’t enjoy so you can get 1 piece of gear 1 week earlier doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Perhaps it’s just my gigantic healer ego talking, but I don’t think having 1 less piece of gear is going to hold back my raid in any way or limit my personal healing ability. If I was having trouble, with mana, output, or keeping people alive, I’d likely feel differently and do whatever I could to remedy the situation. But I don’t have problems with those things.

    I’m constantly trying to better myself, but for me, capping VPs isn’t the best way to go about that. I pour through my logs and look for ways to improve, I regem, respec, reforge to get the most out of the gear I do have, I try to put out every ounce of healing I can muster on each boss attempt. To me, those things are much more important than capping VPs.

    I’ve played WoW for so long without burning out because I stick to doing the things I enjoy.

  9. Oestrus #

    But it is a way to go about it and if you are already conscious enough enough to re-spec and reforge and do whatever you need to improve, why not include capping out on that list?

  10. Jasyla #

    Because capping this week would mean spending 3-4 hours doing something I don’t enjoy. Respecing and reforging takes a couple minutes and all the research it requires can be done at convenient times like on the train to and from work.

  11. Oestrus #

    Maybe it just boils down to I don’t find randoms to be seething pits of agony. Most people in my raid and the community I belong to also would like to be capped, so I usually have someone I know that I can run with.

    Even the times that I have run randoms, they have been pretty pleasant and the bumps in the road that I did encounter weren’t that serious. Maybe we have different levels of patience in randoms or different standards of what we will or will not tolerate.

    *shrug*

  12. Kuri #

    I gotta disagree here because of the compounding effect this attitude causes. Think for a second if your entire 10-man raid decided that 359 didn’t need to get bumped up to a 378. 359->378 is anywhere from a 2% to 5% DPS/HPS increase depending on the relative stats present.

    That’s a 10.5% gimp on your 10-man raid if everyone did that. 100k raid DPS just turned into 90k raid DPS. You’re short half a DPSer if your DPS can pull 20k. Just like that.

    In a 25-man, that problem compounds even more.

    In Heroic raids, you’re talking the difference between a 5% wipe and a kill on any enrage-tuned boss. Your healers will strain for 30 seconds longer. There’s 30 seconds more in the fight to make an error and wipe the raid.

    Thus, at the end of the day, any raider can and should be maxing out every available slot of gear. Because in the above situation it’s assuming your whole team’s just slacking on 1 piece. The reality is your raid’s probably short quite a few pieces, on top of gem/ reforge/ talent/ playstyle inefficiencies.

    If you’re in a casual guild doing last tier’s raids, this doesn’t apply to you. You’re free to take the lax approach since you’re approaching raiding very differently. But otherwise it’s assumed that if you’re raiding you’re doing your homework on fights (and your role in them), fixing playstyle inefficiencies, optimizing properly, etc.

    The only variable left is fixing your kill strategy with your team and putting on the best gear possible.

  13. Jasyla #

    Everyone’s situation is different. I’m not saying gear is unimportant. I’m saying that the overall difference of capping for the next couple weeks vs not capping is very small. I’ll be buying my chest piece first, and upgrade from a 372 to a 378, not a huge jump. My not capping is the difference between getting that small upgrade at the beginning of this week vs. the end of this week. My current gear, which is half 372s is more than adequate for normal T12 content and by the time I reach heroic modes this issue will be moot anyway as I’ll be able to cap through raids. I’m not talking about never upgrading my gear, I’m just talking about delaying it slightly.

    The important thing is that this is my choice, based on my current gear, experience, raids and time I’m willing or able to sink into dungeons to gain a few extra points. If others have the time or inclination to do this, more power to them. But in the end, I’m not sure how my rate of gaining valor points is of any concern to anyone but me and my raid team.

  14. Jen #

    I’ll leave the same comment I left Windsoar: I’m also doing it wrong and I don’t care. Having 10 more intellect or 5 more spirit won’t make or break an encounter. I’m not in a hardcore guild, I’m getting tired of the grind and I’m a pretty good judge of my fuckups. So far, I’ve failed at getting out of fire, at staying in range, at focusing on the right target… throughput was never an issue and my mana is fine. So, between watching some Monty Python with my boyfriend before the raid and running a heroic… the choice is very obvious to me.

    (As it’s probably clear by now, I’ve never been a min-maxer, I never saw the point of countless respecs and regems, and I’d rather focus on technique – using the right spell at the right time, awareness etc – rather than pure stats. And don’t worry, some of my own guildies hate me for it. My best WoW friend is like you and she can’t understand how I can stand my chars not being “perfect”.)

  15. Oestrus #

    It’s actually a +23 intellect difference between my Heroic T11 chestpiece and the regular T12 one. Some pieces are have up to a +40 stat difference. That’s almost a cloak or a bracer enchant’s worth. Are we saying those are irrelevant, too? Where do you want to go with this, Jen?

    Not everyone is going into Firelands with Heroic T11 gear, either. I’m not saying that to sound superior or create distance, but it’s true. Some people could stand to gain even more by capping out and replacing certain pieces more quickly than others.

  16. Jen #

    Well, I don’t think an enchant is the difference between a wipe and a kill, either… unless you’re Ensidia, which my guild isn’t. By the time we get to heroic modes, where stuff like this might actually count, I will be capping my points through normal boss kills.

  17. Oestrus #

    This is going exactly in the direction that I was hoping it would.

    So, if someone showed up to your raid without an enchant or two you would still take them with you? You would think it was acceptable to be unprepared and for someone to not care enough to be fully gemmed and enchanted?

    At that point, it’s not even about performance anymore, it’s about simply giving a damn.

  18. Imakulata #

    You said it yourself – enchants and gems are not just enchants and gems. They are signs the person is prepared and cares.

    I also feel both sides are getting lost in the discussion. I would say there is a couple of simple rules:

    1. a performance enhacement is an enhacement; that includes gear too

    2. everyone only has a limited time they can spend on their improvement, be it 10 minutes per week or 10 hours per day; tasks that take a long time but only improve their performance by a bit should be cut as ineffective – and that might include getting new gear via getting VP capped too

  19. Dave Gregory #

    Applying to a raid guild is likely going to get you questioned about your gear/enchant/reforge/gem choices. I dont see why that would change once you are in the guild. Even semi-casual guilds will question you about it when you apply, as they should.

    I dunno.. I just feel like, if you can’t be bothered to come to the raid as prepared as possible, I couldnt be bothered to invite you.

    Glad I’m not a RL. :)

  20. Jen #

    Well, I’m glad to be here when you’re hunting for “bads”! Maybe you should consider the fact that I never said missing enchants are OK. There’s a difference here.

    Missing enchants will wipe your raid? No.

    Missing enchants will show the team you don’t give a fuck? Yes.

    Missing enchants will get you declined on a guild app? Yes.

    I won’t reiterate what someone below said much nicely, so I’ll be short: enchanting your gear takes, what, 10 minutes including research? Everyone has time for that, even if you do it while waiting for that last person to log for the raid. It’s not acceptable to skip it. My guild specifies which kind of gems and enchants you need (i.e. the best available) so if someone appeared with green gems and no enchants, they wouldn’t be in the raid.

    Compared to those 10 minutes, the 3 troll heroics I did yesterday (me+guild tank first, complete guild groups the other 2 times) took 4 hours. That’s more than one of my raids. Unlike you, I raid 4 nights a week (from 9 to 12 PM) and I get home at 7-7.30 PM. If I want to actually eat before the raid, I don’t have time to finish a Zul’Something. That leaves me 3 days to do heroics, including the weekends… the weekends which I’m spending with my boyfriend, painting walls in his new flat. I’m happy that YOU have time to dedicate to heroics and make sure you’re capped. I’m sure I’d be able to do that if I raided 2 nights a week. As it stands, it’s not gonna happen. (Yesterday was a canceled raid, which is why I did run them.) If this makes me a bad… well, I’m just happy I’m not in your guild :)

    In case you didn’t figure it out so far, your attitude is what’s pissing people off, not the idea of capping VP or not. But judging by the number of comments, I think you’ve reached your goal.

  21. Oestrus #

    Hi Jen,

    You and I have crossed paths for quite some time, between various blogs. I’ve always been pretty consistent with how I do business and with how I choose to express myself. I have never been that blogger that minds being the bad guy. I don’t shy away from giving an unpopular opinion or saying something that may offend others. I would like to think that I have been clear about that all along.

    I don’t think I’ve pissed anyone off, so much as inspired a lot of discussion and for the most part it’s been healthy discussion. Even on the blogs that had opinions which were different than mine, the posts were well written. The comments were thought out and full of great responses. That’s fantastic.

    Some people choose to inspire others with hugs and “This!” comments and others choose to hit them where it hurts and to make them think in other ways. That would be me.

    I would be lying if I said my opinion on things didn’t change a little bit since this all got started. Several people represented the opposing side very well and that’s what I wanted. I don’t write just to get pats on the back telling me that I was right. I want people to tell me I was wrong and to say why they feel that way. That’s what I look for and that’s what I usually get.

    Your views on enchants have been quite contradictory, Jen. You do say that enchants will show your raid you don’t give a fuck and that your application to a guild could be turned down without them. But then you say that missing enchants won’t cause wipes or even kills to happen. Then you bounce back to saying that your guild requires enchants and that someone could be left out of the raid if they don’t have them.

    So which is it? If enchants really don’t affect your guild getting kills or wiping, which you said so yourself, then why do they require it? And more importantly, why do you follow it?

  22. Jen #

    Oh, I know your style and that’s why I read your blog. I think I actually added you to my RSS reader due to a controversial post about gender roles. But “you’re doing it wrong” without keeping in mine other people’s situations sounded more provocative than usual.

    And I view enchants and gems as a way of showing respect towards the people you play with. That’s why we enforce it and why I follow this policy. I don’t think capping VP is needed to show that same kind of respect.

  23. Kuri #

    Your final paragraph is true if there’s technique left to improve. Most people calling raiding their cup o’ tea have nearly maxed their potential in executing their rotation and playstyle on most fights relative to their gear level. You’re going to fight months or years to make it Paragon-perfect.

    So if you feel like you’re borking up basic rotation uptimes, not properly switching targets in time, using CDs at bad times, or anything that falls in “basic playing” territory, you’re right that gear won’t vault you into World of Logs’ Top 200 players. There’s bigger fundamental issues to solve.

    But if you feel like you’re a great player, then yes, every spare stat makes a notable difference on every fight.

    Now imagine your entire raid approaches fights with this mentality. The effect adds up. The raid’s numerical gains add up. You might be individually seeing 500DPS difference (nothing significant), but your raid as a whole optimizing 500DPS is 2500DPS (1/4 a DPSer) to 9000DPS (1/3 a DPSer).

    Gear’s the easiest and quickest thing to change, bar-none. You do a few dailies, farm some trash, pick up a rep reward, toss the right gems on all your gear… and suddenly your numbers get better. It’s much faster than fixing your playstyle (which takes months and come in the form of small epiphanies like macros, addons, and fight tricks). So it totally makes sense to cap your VP and fix yourself the easy way before delving into the depths of fine-tuning your skeels.

    If you really can’t get behind the mentality that gear will bump your performance up noticeably, just see it as leaving 3k gold on the table. BOE Valor bracers were 25k last week, 15-18k this week, and will probably be 12-15k next week. You’re just losing money letting Valor Points go unacquired.

  24. Orvillius #

    I’ve been going back and forth with how I feel over this the last two weeks. The first week I ran 840 vp worth of randoms and just didn’t manage to get that last heroic on before they reset. The second week I didn’t run any randoms. At all. If I cap every week I can get my 2 piece t-12 in under a month. That would be a big benefit, it would help my survivability and help me cope with the more difficult bosses we’ll face this tier. On the other hand I don’t get home until almost 7pm and by the time I’m settled in it’s already 7:45. I could push everything else back later in order to get a few more heroics in, and the first week that’s what I did, but some nights I find myself in Windsoar’s camp where I just don’t want to deal with idiot roulette. The last night I ran a partial pug I had the healer running up and meleeing to break CC because they didn’t think we needed it. Some nights I just don’t have the patience to deal with that kind of nonsense.

  25. Narci #

    In my heart of hearts, I agree with you, for ME. If I’m raiding, I want to do everything I need to do to be the best raider I can possibly be. When raiding was a little easier in LK, and heroics were faster, and I was less busy, that was easier. I personally can’t manage a non-wow relationship, a job, and raiding. That doesn’t make me dumb or lazy, it’s just the way I am. The major change was ME, but I don’t deny Blizz had a hand in pushing me that direction.

    So I don’t raid at all anymore. I went from a HLK kill to having seen Magmaw once. Because raiding with myself not at full-strength isn’t fun for me, and raiding with other people who don’t or can’t choose to minmax the same way isn’t fun for me either. Fortunately for me I do like casual pvp and I love alts and questing, so I have lots I can do that don’t involve heroics or raids. I putter. I pick flowers. I twink at 10. I reroll on friends’ servers. It’s not the same, but it’s still fun.

    So on one end, there’s you and I. We’re all or nothing people. We gravitate to all or nothing guilds. But I think it’s wrong to say that people who aren’t that type of person are “doin’ it wrong”. There are tens of thousands of raiding guilds, and I’d venture the vast majority are the kind that don’t care if you cap points, don’t care if you love raiding holy and hate disc, don’t care that their hunter is BM, don’t care if the tank needs a few pulls to learn positioning because they didn’t obsessively watch PTR videos.

    If you’re not letting down yourself or the people who rely on you, then you’re doing it RIGHT. You and I aren’t the final word in what other people get to expect from themselves or from their guildmates. Play how it’s FUN for you, whether that’s obsessively reforging every piece, or joining a guild that likes to drag alts in blues through Baradin Hold once a week. No one needs to be told +23 int is better than not +23 int, but there’s no real world equivalent for exactly how much time and pain that’s worth.

    What you, or I, have time for isn’t the arbiter of what others do – Take your schedule and add in raiding five nights a week instead of two. Or add in a couple kids. Or add in working nights. Or add in training for a marathon, or a love of baking, or an elderly parent who you need to visit regularly. Should someone have to choose between raiding at all and having no interests outside of wow? I don’t think so. Should they have to choose between raiding at world progression ranking and having no serious hobbies outside of wow? That’s just a fact, since thousands of people HAPPILY make that choice.

  26. Dave Gregory #

    Thanks for the explanation OO. :)

    I think you are absolutely right. Raiding shouldn’t just be a larger dungeon. It should require effort and being a team player. Seems like a small thing to ask: to be prepared to raid and pull your weight with 9 or 24 other people depending on you. It’s a small thing to ask and anyone wanting to raid should be prepared to gear up, however that may be.

  27. Cynwise #

    So, I already know about your highly competitive nature, which is where I take this post as originating from. It doesn’t surprise me in a bit. :-)

    I’ve been thinking a lot about my time spent playing Warcraft, and doing things related to Warcraft, lately. Not just the unexpected appearance of a 40-50 hour Honor Gear grind in PvP, but also: how much time should I be spending playing, really? What’s an acceptable chunk of time? What am I giving up by playing?

    Unlike PvP, which is really suited for individuals with short periods of time to play, raiding requries 1) long chunks of time and 2) a supportive group. I think these two elements are where a lot of people’s problems come in with raiding.

    Raiding, as an activity, requires a few hours of uninterrupted time. Generally speaking you need at least 2-4 hours, often at night, to be able to raid effectively. If your schedule allows for these kinds of blocks several times a week, then you’re in good shape. If your schedule has more big blocks of time than you have raid nights, then you’re in even better shape, because you can spend an hour running a Zulroic or two on the off nights.

    But everyone’s schedules are different. Sometimes carving out those two nights a week to raid gets tough, or you can get online, but you’ve got 30 different things you’d like to do in addition to raiding. Or you’re PvPing (to improve your raiding, naturally!). Or, you can get online but you can’t be committed to a single task for an hour or two. (If you’re hanging a DND sign around your neck every night of the week, your spouse is going to get really pissed. Just FYI.)

    The other component of this is that raiding requires a supportive group around you. I’m not talking about emotionally supportive – emotions are for the weak – but rather that having a group around you who is pursuing the same goals, with similar intensity and schedule to your own, is important. If you can run a Zulroic before a raid with the guild, that’s great. If everyone only logs on for the raids and not when you’re on, you may be at the mercy of the queue. And I’m not talking about the mercy of bad behavior, but rather time – DPS have long queue times, a given PuG may fly through the dungeon or may struggle and take 2 hours to complete it. Premade groups (usually from a guild, but any premade works) cut out the DPS queue time and generally work better through the dungeon. They have voice communication and social ties to help ensure good performance.

    There’s always someone who has better gear than you. That’s a lesson that has been drilled into my head in countless leveling BGs whenever someone starts complaining about other people’s gear – there’s always someone with better gear. Unless you are twinking, there’s always another improvement you could make. If it’s not gear, it’s race. If it’s not race, it’s having enough gold to buy crafted epics, it’s your computer, your network speed, your addons. I might have enjoyed my warrior twink as a dwarf, but the human racial is superior for level 19 FC and roughly equivalent to Worgen for DPS. My personal preference has nothing to do with it – there are superior racials for each class. Yet, generally speaking, guilds don’t force players to make race changes for advantages in raids.

    Where do you draw the line? Here’s a value question for people: I spent $50 on my twink to get +5 Stamina, which turns out to be about a 2% increase when all is said and done. Would you do this for your raid? What if your guild required it from you, would you do it?

    Then flip the equation around – what if you make $25/hour? $50/hour? How much time would you spend to get that 2% increase? (Consider 2% more Intellect for my Warlock is +90 to +100 Intellect.) Time is money, friend, after all!

    I’m going to agree with @Suzushiiro here: if you’re in a hardmode raiding guild, then you are already expected to not only cap out your valor points each week, but choose a race that gives you the best benefits, purchase the best computer you can, get the best internet service available, and have enough gold available to purchase whatever the best enchants are.

    But if that’s not what you’re doing, then every individual is going to have to make a judgement call on how far they’re willing to go. Sometimes, you don’t have the time. Sometimes, you don’t have the money. Sometimes, you don’t have the guild to make it work right.

    Sometimes, good enough is good enough.

    Folks need to make up their own minds as to where that line is. :-)

  28. echoesofvalhalla #

    I agree with Narci’s long bit of a post. I raided a lot in LK despite the fact that I was a college student, because I had the time. In cata I have moved on more to PvP.

  29. Carina #

    The capping/not-capping debate is actually like the casual/hardcore one all over again.

    I splurged 60k on getting BoE fireland gear that’s BiS (or close) for my tankadin in the last two weeks; it was my decision, but it would be silly from me to expect others to do the same – or chastise them for not doing the same on their chars?

    But the point being… If you’re so adamant on valour point capping, would you expect your guildies to play the AH (or buy gold!) to do the same, provided they’re one of the classes saddled with a rare-drop craft/BoE as BiS?

    How far are you willing to go for min-maxing? Would you race-change back and forth with the buffing and nerfing of racials (I had a guildy, who did exactly that, racked up quite a bill)? Maintain three different raiding toons with appropiate theorycraft and highly geared, so that they can bring the most ideal class for their role in an encounter (had another guildy who did THAT)?

    Players are different. Everybody has a sweet spot between reward and effort and different length they’re willing to go to get success.

    Some players expect from themselves than you do, some less. Others are just… totally different.

    But people (as averaged, individuals differ) tend to see those with higher expectations as no-lifers with unrealistic views, those with lower self-expectations as bads holding back the “proper” players and then you end up with the “you casual bad, shame on you for not doing enough!” “you elitist numbnut, shame on you for doing TOO MUCH!” arguments all over again.

    And of course people tend to assume that THEIR sweetspot is the best – because, well, it is – for THEM.

    If you can cap, fine. If you can’t, fine too. Neither of us has the right to dictate what other people are doing in their gaming time. It’s between them and their guilds.

    But I really have to object to your formulation here:

    “I find it interesting that people who feel that you should be Valor Point capped each week are seen as “tyrannical” or “elitist,” but yet we are the ones who seem to have less of an issue running with strangers and who don’t feel that such a thing is beneath us.”

    If your pugs are fine, more power to you. For other people they aren’t. Your pugging experience is NOT the pugging experience of other people, and it’s faulty to assume so. Some people are incredible lucky with their pugs, others not so. It’s double faulty to assume that all people deal as well with the pressure of pugs as you do. Some things you can easily shrug off might be horrible for them. Again, people are different, so are their circumstances.

    But to think that just because you’re doing fine, those who don’t must be haughty and thinking about pugs as “beneath them”… That’s victim blaming, you know? It smacks way to much of “if they were a better persons, pugging wouldn’t bother them”.

  30. Imakulata #

    Carina, regarding bad and good PuGs…

    First, I would like to apologize if my tone insults anyone. I tried to avoid insulting people by the tone I say what I’m going to say or by the way I do so.

    You say “Some things you can easily shrug off might be horrible for them. Again, people are different, so are their circumstances.” yourself, so you hint that you realize this is not a matter of probability. I have also seen a blogger share a “horror story” which I did not consider “horror” at all but I simply saw the “guilty” party as someone who did not learn – either because they were lazy or because they were not aware they did something wrong.

    I’m not saying my attitude is superior. I’m definitely not perfect, most of the time I don’t bother with teaching people even if they appear receptive because I’m just lazy. But I get valor points without getting very angry even if I’m faced with the same kind of groups as the other people. And I’m not going to be easily convinced otherwise.

  31. Oestrus #

    I was in a random last night where the melee DPS and the tank couldn’t manage to avoid falling off the ledges in Grim Batol. They did this multiple times! How do you manage to fall off repeatedly?

    This was something I could have gone to blows over, but I didn’t. I asked them to stop, made a few jokes at their expense and then thanked them for the group before I left the party. Then I arrived back in Orgrimmar and re-queued.

    Maybe I have more patience than other folks do or I have different “triggers” or things that make me more upset than other people. I’m not sure.

  32. Windsoar #

    I have no problem with the value statement: I should be doing everything I CAN to help my raid. But what your personal best / outside raid time investment vs. my personal best time investment are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. That’s where I had the original problem with your statement, and where I continue to butt my head against the wall.

    I feel that everyone should do their BEST to make their raid successful, but those options are not going to be the same in every situation, and gear, while a component in any guild’s raiding success is NOT and will never be the penultimate decider of whether your raid succeed’s or not.

    With my limited time I choose not to gamble on whether or not I’m going to enjoy an activity in the game, I make sure of it. I’m either in a raid, prepping for a raid, or playing another character. Most of my “outside raid time” time is only available in 30 minute to 1 hour increments, so running a dungeon (in overall use of my time) is the least likely to be successful.

    I’m happy that farming VP in dungeons works for you. It doesn’t work for me. I absolutely refuse to bow down to the pressure that my judgement in choosing to raid is impaired because of it :)

  33. Solaril #

    Hmm, I read Kurns post via the link from your layout and found it interesting. I agree with the amount of Valor given is wonky, but access to the gear is a non issue to me.

    She also made mention that it was unfair that casuals could get gear at the pace of a raider, but in reality they will still get it slower. As bosses are dropped gear is obtained. A raider gets teh boss gear and the VP to spend on pieces they want.

    I am not from a hard core raiding guild but I can assure you that I have seen people who are and guess where I see them…..running 5 mans even during raid week. The actual hardcore players are junkies. They are the ones that NEED to be doing something in game. If they are not raiding then they are whacking away at a 5 man run. They are farming for mats or hammering out achievments all in between raid times.

    I do not feel bad for Kurn when she makes the comment about how hard it is to run a guild and setup raids and what not. As someone else said, delegate.

    The fact remains that those people who are not raiders still wont raid that much, even with the new VP gear. And even if they eventually do it will be in a PuG down the line. You are either a raider or you are not. Stepping into a PuG once a week does not make a person a raider, it just means you haev raided. For those that do not grasp the difference, you are probably the PuGer, and I say that without belittling anyone, or atleast meaning to.

    Someone having gear comparable to mine cannot and does not belittle any accomplishment I or my guildies have done. If I get that piece of gear that gives me 20 INT or SPI a little slower than someone who runs 5 mans, then so be it. If for some reason that makes me unable to heal all of a sudden, then it aint the gear I need to look at, its me. I mean if your Gleader is kicking you from your raid because you have an item less than the next healer even though you are still getting the job done, then you are not being judged on ability but on your gearscore.

    I guess I should be leaving this on her site, but I read your site regularly since having found it and since this is tied into her post I dumped in your area. I hope you are not offended as I enjoy your blog and learn from it.

    Forget about other people, enjoy your guild and friends, down some bosses and reap your rewards.

  34. Oestrus #

    Hi Solaril,

    I wasn’t offended by your post at all! I don’t write posts just to get approval for the way that I feel or the way that I may look at things. I *want* to hear opposing viewpoints and I’m OK having someone tell me that I’m wrong or that I should see something from another perspective. That’s never been an issue for me and I’m glad you said what you did.

    On that note, while my current Firelands progression may be behind what I’m used to or what others are doing, I do have a clear history of being a raider and I don’t think that can be disputed. I wouldn’t consider myself a PuG person, even though I am doing them to assist with getting gear.

    My group has been dealing with some attendance issues that are perfectly natural for the summer season and I would like to think we’re getting a handle on those and that they shouldn’t be an issue for much longer.

    I also don’t need to always be doing something. Quite the opposite, in fact. The guild I was in before this also raided two days a week and that was it. I wasn’t on the other five days a week. I didn’t see those people unless it was a raid night and I’m not big on playing my alts. I just now dusted off my druid, because I was considering VP farming with her to get the bracers for my main.

    So when the dust settles and I *can* take those nights off, I absolutely do. I don’t log on unless I have to, when I know I just need to raid and that’s it. I am completely fine with that.

  35. Solaril #

    Yikes, I hope that did not come off like that was directed toward you individually. Sorry if it seemed I was questioning you personally, it was meant as a genral reply to the discussion.

  36. Oestrus #

    I didn’t take any offense to anything you said, so I’m not sure where you would have gotten the indication that I did.

    The only thing I would suggest going forward is to clarify when you’re using the word “you,” as to whether you’re referring to a person or people, in general.

    ;)

  37. Borsk #

    If you don’t like doing Al’akir, you’re doing it wrong.

    *sprints quickly in the opposite direction*

  38. Oestrus #

    HA HA HA!

    You’re still short. I can catch you!

  39. Cynwise #

    /applaud!

  40. Dave Gregory #

    In awe of the intelligent responses! This just resounds the issue I have been having for the last month. This is what I am hearing from y’all:

    1. We should be doing what we enjoy in game.

    2. Raiding is a team sport, with a wide array of competitiveness, varying from “if we down one boss” to 12/12 heroic or bust!

    3. Finding a group of folks that have the same Raiding attitude and time slot as you, is hard to find.

    4. Being competitive requires alot of prep time, VP cap, WOL reads, etc…

    5. If you dont have the time to put in all the effort, you might want to re-consider raiding atm.

    I am in full agreement with Oestrus that if you want to progress in raiding, you need to put in team effort, which means doing all you can. I believe that includes getting geared. The difference 3 iLvL’s makes is astounding to me. And that difference equates to your team effort. Progression minded? Put in the effort or GTFO!

    And that’s where my issue comes right now. Having a family, and working extra hours etc.. puts me at a point where my desire to raid progressively is at a standoff with real life. As Cynwise said, hanging a DND sign around my neck 3x a week may leave me sleeping on the couch!

    Personally, I am progressive in the fact that I want to 12/12 normal mode, heroics if possible. But this requires time that I just dont have right now.. so it’s starting to settle in my head, that I may not get to raid. As Narci pointed out, If I cant put in full effort for the team, I may as well not raid. I’m not happy with this, as I have leveled 2 warlocks to end game for the sole purpose of raiding; yet not understanding exactly what it meant to be a raider during that time. Specifically the difference between casual, progression, and hardcore raiding; and where I fit, in that range. (desire-wise, logistics-wise, and guild-wise) Right now, I’m more frustrated than anything.. wondering if I should just forget it and dabble in PvP or tanking low level dungeons instead. Or should I setup a raid schedule with my wife, and a concerted effort to appease her need to feel more important than WoW in my eyes. (a valid concern).

    I’m sad to say, it seems to be going the way of not raiding T11 or T12 right now. :(

  41. Dave Gregory #

    I have to disagree with you Windsoar, when you say:

    “…and gear, while a component in any guild’s raiding success is NOT and will never be the penultimate decider of whether your raid succeed’s or not.”

    Try a 10 man with 2 DPS that have 333 gear level, to a boss with an enrage timer. There is no getting around the fact that gear does matter and can stop you from accomplishing a boss. Now I say 2 DPS with that gear level, because I think you can drag one thru the raid. (i’ve been that one before)

    Understood.. you probably weren’t talking about THAT much of a difference in gear. Still. .. gear does matter.

    For me, the difference between 333 and 346 is almost double DPS. (not including my armor and health increases) and I still woulnt consider 346 raid ready.

  42. Oestrus #

    Gear matters. I think it’s certainly up for debate how much it matters, but it does.

    You’re right, we wouldn’t be raiding Firelands if we were in Justice Point blues. Doing Ulduar in blues was an exception, certainly not the rule and I don’t think holding that up as an example of gear being less important really works.

    For example, Kurn. Apotheosis had iLevel requirements for both regular and Heroic level content that you had to meet or you could be subject to being sat or something else. I know other guilds that felt the same and they have every right to do that. I support that.

    Same goes for if someone is applying to your guild. What’s one of the first things we all do? We look at their gear.

    I’m open to discussing how much weight gear really does hold, but I’m not open to the whimsical notion that gear doesn’t factor into our success at all, because it does.

  43. Windsoar #

    Hence why it’s a factor, but not the ultimate decider in whether you’re successful or not. In your guild’s case, you have players in gear designed to be successful in T11, not T12, but I don’t know which environment you’re raiding in at this time either.

    I have no problem with having gear requirements. I have no problem with requiring gemming/reforging/chanting. My post was more about whether or not MY GUILD and I agree on what I should be doing for the team effort, not about making a blank statement about every player’s/guild’s goals in/out of game; however, I think the quotes taken here focus more on the ME aspect and less on the GUILD (which I admit was rather narrow in terms of the overall post.)

    I’m in a similar situation to (I think) many players who were active T11 raiders, and went into T12. My guild is pretty much in T11 heroic gear, I don’t necessarily need it to be a successful and productive team members. Others might be trying to break from heroics INTO T12 and that’s a completely different story in terms of the NEED to cap out valor points for being able to raid NOW.

    My original issue remains that if you want to raid you have cap VP. That depends entirely on your situation, and one I think every player must make for themselves when considering: their own gear and their guild’s goals/requirements for raiding.

  44. Nobody Imp. #

    Great post.You write so well and have managed to highlights your position brilliantly. You are also blessed. You have a good life, that has allowed you to balance the game, your personal time and space and more. However it’s entirely your own pov. There is no effort, to recognize what holds true for you, maybe far from what holds true for others. ‘Shrug i can manage it, so can you’, is what anyone at first glance, will draw from this post.

    There-in a lies the cognitive dissonance and ultimately is the undoing of this otherwise wonderful post.

    Please step back and recognize that fact. Taking a small e.g. A lot of us here have been hardcore raiders. Some more than others. A few of us have taken a specific class obsession to crazy heights. There are others who have treated raiding, like a full time second job that needed to be done, until a boss could be ‘downed’with the precision of a surgical strike, who worked 75 hours in a week, raided 55 and then spent their off days pouring over raid logs, so as to eke out that 20 dps more. We did this for 5.5 years, till we lost sight of what made the game, fun in the first place.

    Still i must say, you are still a few steps away from the crossroads, between the abyss of despair that the game becomes and the outright joy it can be. There is an assumption in this post that, what hold’s true for you, holds true for others. You have not yet suffered the extreme cynicism, the burnout and the sheer weariness you will guaranteed develop at some point.

    I have so much more to say, more to relate too, the pug scenario, the current badly flawed raid system, the utter mess that is PVP and other esoteric details. However i would be falling prey, to the same issue i have said you have failed to ack.

    ‘My experience does not match yours’.

  45. Syl #

    I’ve already left a relatively long comment on Windsoar’s post that I don’t feel like repeating. :) but what Cynwise said – good enough is good enough. it’s great if someone feels better by maximizing as much as he can, but if you can achieve just the same things in the game without that sort of drive, well then that really makes maximizing something you choose to do (and maybe get kicks from) and not something you ‘need’. I think these ambitions are self-imposed which is fine really – there was a time when I was a similar raider myself, but yes: self-imposed. not the gospel truth everyone needs to follow. not even to progress at a good pace.

    if you liked to be really provocative here, how about turning the table for argument’s sake: if you need gear that much to be successful, maybe you’re doing it wrong? ;)

    personally, I feel silly to beat a boss in epics that others can beat in less. my own guild often outgeared encounters and it always left me with a lacking feeling.

    performance trumps gear for me – I’ve seen that be true way too many times in WoW. there’s something like the ‘solid basics’ which you do need of course, but after that it’s vanity to argue over 15 points more or less on an item. the only time gear would matter to such an extent was if every player in a raid was otherwise completely identical in every other respect – so, never.

    All that said, 2 raids a week doesnt strike me as such a busy schedule, so from that PoV it seems doable to keep up with the VPs if you choose to. I really did struggle with dailies and tokens runs in Cata myself, but I raided more that that, pvped and was trying to keep a guild going on 25man despite it being a lost cause.

  46. Ophelie #

    *shrug* When I feel like and have the time to valor cap, I valor cap, when I don’t feel like it or when RL throws me a curveball, I don’t.

    If I raided seriously, then I would be HAPPY to valor cap. Preparing for a raid is almost as fun as raiding itself. I don’t have that kind of time on my hands (yes, 9 hours a week of WoW time is WAAAAY more than I could manage over the past few months) and thus I play with a guild who doesn’t really care about progression. Whether I’m in heroic gear or in blues, we’re going to wipe on Magmaw anyway.

    So I guess it’s like a package deal. Raiding seriously involves more than just raiding.

    On the “OMG CAPPING HEROICS GIVES MORE VP THAN RAIDS” topic, I haven’t seen Kurn’s post, but I dunno. I run a lot of heroics. And I find that running randoms is more tedious and more challenging than raiding, at least as a healer. (I know raids are really tough for raid leaders, but for your average player who just shows up? Meh) Heaven forbid we reward that hard work with valor points!

  47. AliPally #

    If your guild is seriously pushing progress, then I do think the onus is on you to max your gear, no matter how tedious it is. I remember back in vanilla people saying how tedious mat grinding was outside of raids. I guess that part has not changed. If you want to be the best, you have to put the effort in outside normal hours. That is true for most things.

    Luckily for me, my guild is fairly casual (12/12, 1/13hc T11), and there is no pressure to be VP capped every week, but I still feel guilty that I didn’t make cap 2 weeks running now.

    I raid 6-8 hours a week and I don’t want to be spending another 6-8 hours a week doing dungeons for VPs. I don’t want to be pugging Troll heroics at all actually. I managed 4 this week, and that was plenty.

    I prefer to play on my achievement alt when I’m not raiding (pet collecting ftw). If I’m runnng heroics for VPs, it means that I can’t do that (sad face). I already get enough hassle from my other half for spending too long online as it is, I just can’t give WoW any more of my time, so when Im online, I want to be doing things I enjoy, not things I don’t.

  48. Oestrus #

    Ophelie,

    Yes. So much of your reply. Just. Yes.

    <3

  49. SophieRach Wilkinson #

    To me it truly seems to come down to a series of basic points

    1) The argument that “it’s still easier than vanilla” is redundant. It’s a different game with a very different playerbase, expansions are essentially sequels. However what is correct is what was stated – raiding is now less of a time constraint, yes.

    2) Some people are very lucky to have such a relaxed schedule – many are not. The one you seem to be running along at the moment seems quite relaxed.

    For example I’m up at 5:30am, to walk the dog, feed the animals, get ready for work, sort the house out, I’m in work 7:30 til 4, I get home at 5, walk the dog, feed the animals, have some dinner and then do some of my university work as I’m studying for a degree as well as working full time. That makes it 8-9pm. By which point I’m exhausted and haven’t seen my friends yet. I had to make the choice 6 weeks ago about whether or not I wanted to nurture my blossoming social life and sacrifice Warcraft completely, or lose my social life and continue to live in the game. I made the right choice for me and gave up the game as it was simply not possible to do everything I needed and wanted to do – however the other option is a perfectly legitimate choice for other people. Life is, after all, about enjoyment, not about misery.

    3) In the Cataclysm expansion it is perfectly possible to raid successfully and not spend so many hours online and the people who do so should definitely NOT feel guilty about not being “perfect” (Jen, Windsoar). It is therefore perfectly fine for people who do want to be “perfect” to put in those extra hours. BOTH options are fine but nobody should be feeling bad about their choice, and nobody should be looking down on anyone else for taking a different path.

    4) There is a LARGE difference between “enchanting some gear” and “capping your VP every week”. Enchanting some gear = 15 minutes maximum time involvement. Capping your VP by doing heroics/zandalari instances = hours of a time involvement. These are two different things and are therefore completely incomparable, in the same way a person cannot compare their relaxed schedule with the schedules of others – people have different constraints on their time and their hobbies and should be allowed to do what they want with their time…

    5)…and as a final point – that extra bit of gear taking an extra month to get will make no difference for 99% of the raiding playerbase. I was always one of the “worst” geared in my guild throughout LK (as I didn’t join a progressed guild until very late on in the expansion) and throughout Cataclysm, as to be honest by that point my desire to raid and game was waning and I didn’t *want* to put in the hours anymore, however this NEVER affected my performance, I was one of – in fact THE top – resto druid (including in comparison against a Val’anyr wielding druid in LK) in a couple of previous guilds and in my most recent. My performance excelled and was very good, regardless of often being 4 or 5 ilevels below the people I was playing with.

    Everyone has very valid points and every right to make them…and to be honest it’s relatively nice to see a reasoned discussion without angst and whatnot.

  50. Oestrus #

    Hi Sophie,

    I feel as if abstaining from the VP capping is at the top of a very slippery slope. Some people have alluded to this here and others have done it, elsewhere.

    It starts with not capping for VP because they’re “good enough,” as is. Time requirements and other restrictions I can understand, though I would still think that *some* attempt to get more VP could be made with the time you do have available.

    Then it becomes “Well, I’m using green gems instead of blue gems. That shouldn’t matter, should it?” No, it does matter. Use blue gems or even epic gems, if they’re available.

    Next, it’s “I don’t have to enchant everything, do I?” Yes. Yes, you do and you should.

    “What’s the big deal if I don’t eat before the pull?” “Why are you calling me out for not flasking?”

    Some may think that not being VP capped and an overall sense of people not being prepared aren’t connected and I feel the opposite. One can very easily tie into another and you can’t deny that there are a *lot* of players out there who are sorely unprepared for doing these instances.

    Stand outside of an instance portal some time and inspect the people around you. You may be surprised/horrified at the folks you see trying to get into the same instance portal as you are.

  51. SophieRach Wilkinson #

    I guess this is where we differ – for me, it comes down to time.

    When I was a raider I looked at it this way:

    I can upgrade my gems, enchants and whatnot in a short period of time pre or post raid. This I would always do because it equates to being well prepared and to doing my best with my time constraints.

    However I can’t run heroics with my time constraints – in not running them I am not lacking in preparation or effort, I’m just doing the best I can, and I think the best I can was more than good enough.

    If I could do more, I would, but I don’t have the time – there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

    There are, most definitely, people NOT doing enough. However those that are reading blogs and doing their research are probably already doing everything they can and not getting 280 VP extra each week will not make any difference to their abilities, skill, preparedness and coming to raid.

    I guess it’s hard being a blogger etc, because the people you’d *want* to start doing more, be it research, gemming, enchanting, running heroics – won’t be reading.

    That comment probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I sort of know what I mean!!! :P

  52. Oestrus #

    No, it made perfect sense and I’m glad to see you replied so fast!

    It does make me sad that more people aren’t utilizing the resources that are out there. I think that while raiding has also become more accessible, so have the tools that one can use to become a better player. EJ is less intimidating than it used to be, the WoW boards have gotten better, etc. You don’t have to be “in the know” to get help for yourself.

    Your way of looking at things sounds really healthy and smart and I’m glad you spoke up on this subject.

    :)

  53. SophieRach Wilkinson #

    Information is *definitely* more accessible, however for a new player it can truly still be bewildering. I mean my first ever raid (proper…I set foot in kara like, once) was Naxx-80, and I went in there in all greens and a full 71 point resto spec.

    I didn’t know my arse from my elbow and had no idea what I was doing, but I was determined to learn and so I started researching…I found 4 Healz and BellBell first I think, and then Phaelia, then Beruthiel. It was a spiral that resulted in my beginning to blog and developing myself into a competent healer.

    However, even at my peak I found EJ almost impenetrable, I found the resto druid thread just used to make me go, “O.o” and often the information was available elsewhere…however that is probably because the resto druid blogging area is saturated with quality resources and incredible writers willing to package it into bitesize chunks that are easier to understand than weighty forum threads. I feel sorry for rogues and warriors, I could never find a good warrior blog.

    I’ve actually just started Rift, and found myself swinging wildly between two areas. Part of me wants to be the 71 point talent tree noob again and truly learn by doing, as I did with WoW, as I think it worked and it was an organic way of learning. However…part of me swings to wanting to know EVERYTHING now. I get exasperated sometimes at my lack of understanding of the cleric souls, and worrying about whether I’m using the most effective spells for my class/environment. So I tend to bumble on and then have a panic about whether or not I should be spamming Bolt of Depravity, try and do some research but then find out there’s nothing really out there that’s all that great.

    It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place – when is it better to learn by doing and when is it better to learn by hunting things out possibly before I really need to know them?

  54. theanorak #

    Cyn said it well, but I feel the urge to paraphrase, parrot and possibly distort.

    What constitutes “enough” preparation for raiding is a matter for your raid. *YOUR* raid, and *MY* raid, and each individual raid group. One of the things you get to do, as a raid leader (or a guild leader, depending on your organisation) is decide what constitutes “enough”.

    You might require your raiders do everything possible: cap VP, raid the PTR, min-max in all ways. You set might set some basic minimums (>350 ilvl, gems/ench/raidbuffs). You might have the requirement be “Funny on Vent, can usually find the entrance to the instance”. It’s your choice when you start your raid/guild.

    There are so many different ways to play the RAIDING game, and I don’t think any of them are invalid per se, even if they’re not I like to play.

    I’d say the only time a chosen playstyle is “wrong” is if it conflicts with the rest of the group. If someone can play for a maximum of 5 hours a week and wants to raid, they can do it, if their guild raids once a week or has no attendance requirements. They just can’t complain if a guild like yours (O.) looks at their application and says, “sorry, no thanks”. Equally, if want you’re looking for is to be in a raid where everyone has capped VP and knows their spell coefficients to three significant figures, then don’t join a friends-and-family raid and lose your temper because the hunter is running in BM and picks his pet to match his armour.

  55. Torn #

    “Not capping VP means you’re doing it wrong” assumes that one ought to spend one’s play time working towards faster raid progression.

    That’s a value judgement I don’t share. It’s fine for you to spend your play time focused on doing what you can to gear up faster and be the best raid healer you can. No matter how reasonable it might be to get valor capped, I’m willing to accept slower progression if it means I don’t have to grind heroics. If my guild is OK with that as well, I’m playing the game I enjoy and my decisions aren’t betraying the expectations of others who matter. Yes, there are steps each of us could take so the group could wipe on later bosses but doing those things would feel like an obligation and compromise our enjoyment of the game.

    If you find your satisfaction in raid progression and can tolerate everything that goes into that, more power to you. If you insist that raiders must share your point of view, perhaps “raiders” aren’t as cohesive a group as your judgement implies. Personally, I see little difference between spending the night wiping on one boss v.s. another.

  56. slice213 #

    Nice post as usual O.

    As others have mentioned there is a fineline between fun and progression etc.

    As usual you will have those who will cap cause it drives them or those who have guilds who require them to do so, and that is sad imo. The drive to improve yourself should come from within, not external forces.

    As far as not capping i can see that arguement as well, you still want to have fun etc. But know the lack of pure stats can slow down progression etc.

    But I guess what I am trying to say is the best solution is for a raid to work together, play how you wish to play and have fun. Its a game :)

    I myself will do dailys and cap VP as much as possible. Its what I like to do and is fun. Constant improvement is nice, striving to be the best is awesome.

  57. Oestrus #

    Hi, Slice!

    Yes, I’m under no obligation to be capped. While I know many in my run probably feel the same way I do, it’s not mandatory. It’s not expected.

    I can’t help but wonder how many people have been raiding since the beginning, because raiding has always had a slight element of masochism to it. I read these shiny, happy posts about everyone holding hands, singing while they raid and I’m thinking “What the hell kind of raid are YOU in?” Because my experience with raiding has never been that bubbly and I don’t think I would like it, if it were.

  58. slice213 #

    I agree with you there. I am a relatively newcomer to raiding in WoW, so i never went thru the hours of grinding for mats etc.

    the majority of my time raiding in a more “masochistic” fashion was in FFXI. Everything in there was a grindfest. To even get to endgame content was a challenge.

    I do think, with WoW’s model it can be a bit too easy for everyone to test the raiding waters, but that is Blizzard’s business decision, and it paid off for them. I can’t help think though it will bite them in the rear end at somepoint. when you have 2 groups “casuals” and “hardcore” you cannot keep both sides happy at all times.

    I do find it odd that, for 4.2 (as Kurn pointed out) that non raiders can get 980 VP, more then a raid clearing all of 4.2 bosses the BH boss.

    The inital start of an expainsion should be rough and I agree with that, but makes me wonder (I am not trying to be offensive to anyone or their personal time, I myself cap when i can and when I dont feel like it i wont) why people are making an issue about VP’s. It was the same from T11 and other LK content, when new stuff was released you would need to grind and spend time to initially get to it. How is T12 any different? The grind is an efficient gate/mechanism to prevent players to blowing thru it too easily.

    But enough rambling lol.

  59. Minstrel #

    ————————-

    I find it interesting that people who feel that you should be Valor Point capped each week are seen as “tyrannical” or “elitist,” but yet we are the ones who seem to have less of an issue running with strangers and who don’t feel that such a thing is beneath us.

    ————————-

    A bit of a strawman. Not wanting to PUG heroics doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with being elitist or feeling that heroics (or strangers) are beneath one. It can have to do with not wanting to put up with the potential social grief that many (not all or even a majority) of players subject their random teammates to. It can have to do with social anxiety with strangers (which may not come into play when raiding with people you’ve come to know).

    Most people I know who dislike running heroics dislike it for social reasons, not because they “have to subject themselves to the bads” as you imply.

  60. Oestrus #

    Most people I know who dislike running heroics dislike it for social reasons, not because they “have to subject themselves to the bads” as you imply.

    Except when they clearly say that in their posts.

    “The last night I ran a partial pug I had the healer running up and meleeing to break CC because they didn’t think we needed it. Some nights I just don’t have the patience to deal with that kind of nonsense.”

    AND

    “If running a heroic one night is just going to make me angry because no one seems to understand the basic mechanics of CC, not standing in bad, and waiting for the healer to have mana, then I’m not running the heroic.”

    I could go on if you would like. Granted, most people have been pretty vague about why it is they have an avoidance towards Heroic 5 mans. But I highly doubt it has to do with everyone being a shrinking violet and more to do with people getting frustrated, due to poor performance or lack of quality from those the Dungeon Finder groups them up with. I would bet my Val’anyr on that.

  61. Minstrel #

    I highly doubt that most people avoid heroics due to elitism. I wasn’t suggesting that no one is, so quotes from specific people, while interesting, don’t prove or disprove the point.

    Regardless of whether you are right that most people dislike heroics for that reason or not, your attempt to paint people who dislike heroics, en masse, as elitists is pretty obviously off-base (as any en masse characterization is bound to be).

    Obviously, though, you tend to be a bit condescending to anyone who doesn’t enjoy it (whether scorning them as elitists or shrinking violets). Of course, I also disagree with characterizing those guilds that do require valor-capping as “tyrannical.” So I guess you’re just trying to name-call in kind? :)

  62. Oestrus #

    “Tyrannical” was used in Jaded Alt’s original post.

    Nice try, though.

  63. Minstrel #

    In your rush to be defensive, you didn’t really read my post carefully. I said I disagree with people who do that and suggested you were name-calling *in kind* (i.e. retaliation). Therefore, I was not claiming you said it. I’m fully aware it came from Windsoar’s post, I read her’s first actually.

  64. Minstrel #

    Also, I should note that you have an odd concept of elitism to judge from your first cherry-picked quote. Not enjoying someone purposely trying to hurt the group (a healer purposely breaking CC) is a case of elitism? Really? ;)

    In any case, I’m sanguine with people who choose to cap valor and those who chose not too. I cap my valor, because I like to progress as quickly as I can, but I understand that not everyone has the time or the social inclination to do so. As long as they don’t join a guild that asks for full dedication, that’s fine.

  65. Oestrus #

    I read as much of your post as I needed to (i.e. not very much).

    You’re well within your rights to not enjoy something, but you can choose to educate someone (who may or may not know better) or you can call the whole thing a wash and drop group at the first sign of trouble.

    People have different thresholds for how much they can tolerate in a random and some have more patience than others. I feel like I get more out of the experience if I try to correct the problem, versus immediately saying what’s wrong with them as people or players.

    If I know I’ve done everything I can (and really everything I can), then I would leave the group and re-queue. But I do try to make a good show of it before I do.

  66. Minstrel #

    Well, your attempt to take a dig at me nonwithstanding, I actually agree with your belief about how to comport one’s self in dungeons. If someone is honestly having a problem, I have no problems trying to help them through it.

    Simple malice (like breaking CC on purpose, as per the first person you quoted) is something completely different. I don’t begrudge anyone having a problem with that. It’s not elitism in the remotest sense.

  67. Nativewonder #

    I read the article this article is a reply to, and i posted this as a comment:

    this is total bullshit, because not giving a shit about how many vp you have is slowing your guild’s progression rate, yes it can be argued that gear isnt everything, but you can also argue that if nothing else, gear helps you kill shit faster, the healing will be better which means less wipes, the tank’s mitigation will be better which means less wipes, the dps will be better which means less wipes, all of that added together means less time spent on new content which means faster progression, all lower gear does is make everything harder for everyone, and by not caring about your vp youre just saying fuck you im too lazy to make all of your lives easier, it would be one thing if ur questing, by urself, where your actions only affect you, but in a raid, which is a team effort, your actions affect the whole team, which means its not just about you anymore, its about the team

  68. Jem #

    What irks ppl is the “you’re doing it wrong” judgement. I think Cynwise probably summed up my view pont best. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and to be told that I’m doing it wrong because my time and options don’t pan out the same as yours is judgemental.

    Your schedule is lovely – that time you have to run non Z heroics is the time I’m putting my daughhter to bed :) You can’t say “I can do it, so you can too” with such disregard for other peoples’ lives.

    My personal raid prep for new content is a mix of things, I have the craft mats for various items already ready to go before the patch hits, because that’s the kind of thing I can do in the spare gaps I have that a heroic doesn’t fit into. Capping VPs each week is soemthing that is hit and miss, because I’m not able to interview a recruit and heal a Z heroic at the same time, I’m not that capable.

    I have lots of ppl in my guild with your competitive attitude, and I agree ppl shoudl be focused on improving their raiding toon, however, I am more willing to accept that what I can do in any given week isn’t the same as others – some do more, some do less. I don’t judge them for it, either side.

  69. queldan #

    I’d think it’s more of a optimisation choice:

    With limited ressources, how much of a gain can you get?

    Heroics are high investement/high return kind of thing, whereas proper gemming/enchant/reforge is a low investement/high return. 30 mins EJ is also low investement/high return. 30 mins training dummy is low investement, but its returns tend to sharply drop off after the second session or so. BoEs on the AH, on the other hand, are high investement/low return, and probably lowest on most people’s priorities.

    So it’s all about proper inverstement of ressources. If you’re slacking off because you can’t be bothered, it will show in other places than your gear. If you made a conscious choice, you may not already have your first Valor T12 piece, but you’ll still look like a serious player to anyone that will bother to dig a bit deeper than just average ilvl – well, if they INVEST their time in acting as a leader.

    Me? I’m capped, and will try my best to cap. But I won’t lose any sleep over not capping.

  70. straws #

    I am the one who constantly sims his dps and uses shadowcraft to keep pushing my theoretical max dps upwards.I think if I am not geared/gemmed correctly and have obtained the best possible gear then I am not giving my 100% .So when I sim the new T12 2pc and see that its 800dps increase for me then I am driven to get it as soon as possible and at whatever cost. So capping Valor points it is not obligation for me , its a means to an end , end being always at my 100%. The question here is not of obligation its of motivation , if you are motivated enough than you wont mind doing 7 ZA/ZG heroics every week ( if your guild hasnt started firelands yet coz of holidays like my guild). The whole issue around capping Valor from ZA/ZG seems to be a bit elitist, people are miffed ’cause non raiders will get same valor as them.

  71. Oestrus #

    Exactly. I definitely think elitism factors in here somewhere. Maybe it’s my opinion that others should be and could be striving for more. Or it’s the idea that people are incensed that there is a more casual approach to getting current epics than raiding.

    I think you and Ophelie also brought up a good point. Taking the opportunity to be better for yourself or your guild is something you should be happy to do. I have never been that raider that thinks she can’t be replaced. Quite the opposite – I can always be replaced. Because I’m not overconfident in my spot, I know that if I want to raid, I have to earn that spot and I will do what I can to keep it.

  72. spinks #

    I wonder how you would have felt back in TBC when in one patch, the best raid weapons came from PvP. And yes, in my guild, we did all grumble and spend a weekend in the battlegrounds. Yet I have never forgiven Blizzard for ‘making’ me do that.

    I think since then, I’ve been much more laid back about chasing points totals. I also am much more confident about my raid spot – it ain’t that easy for me to be replaced so they’ll put up with my quirks.

  73. Oestrus #

    Oh, I was there for that and I did my PVP to get it. Granted, I was a resto druid then, so it was a bit easier. Or it least it felt that way.

  74. ironyca #

    I’m surprised at the lack of criticism of the system in this post. Cynwise asked “where’s the limit then?”. This limit is sewn into what you could call “the most optimal strategy for a raider” and it requires a good portion of work outside of raids now.

    I’m surprised at the people who readily and without contemplation accept the new and higher benchmark, and I’m even more surprised someone would go out and moralize to the rest, that now that the benchmark has been raised, they need to get going and do what’s “needed”. So at the end of the day, we all sit here and squabble over this while never really discussing the actual speed of the treadmill we’re all on.

    I’ll repeat Cynwise and a few other’s question “where’s the limit then?”. If the grind was open, no weekly or daily caps, what then? How would you negotiate an open grind with your guild? And by what measure would you then judge laziness?

  75. Kuri #

    Ah, but there are limits. Limits instituted by Blizzard, set at levels that after much testing demonstrated a reasonable amount of time to obtain items.

    If there weren’t limits (weekly raid lockouts, daily quest caps, etc.) then you’d be responsible for optimizing your character as quickly/efficiently as possible to reach your guild’s goal. If you want 2800 in 3v3 and you’re rolling an alt for a new comp, you’re expected to grind AVs until you’re full S10 ilvl 371 and arenas after that until you’re full Ruthless. If you’re pushing Heroic raid progression you’d be farming Valor Points, Firelands trash, and reputation rewards until there’s no more upgrades available outside raids. These would be fairly hellish grinds, but there is a definitive end: when you can no longer obtain upgrades to your slots outside organized raiding.

    I wouldn’t even really consider trash farms applicable. They are an exception because they do require raid-level organization and the efficacy of farming is left to a) chance (BoE drops) and b) reputation levels (it slows significantly after Friendly). So the limit would fall to Valor farming and getting the odd quest items that’re better than last patch’s 359′s.

    But there *are* limits in place. And they’re reasonable limits (a few hours a week of time invested to optimize your character’s raid potential). Much like if you were on a basketball team aiming to win a tournament, I doubt your team’d appreciate you skipping 4 hours of practice a week because you just felt you were adequately prepared. Your raid, similarly, wouldn’t appreciate you leaving gear slots un-upgraded because you didn’t want to do a few Zul’roics.

  76. Oestrus #

    Hi Ironyca,

    Sorry for the delay in responding to your comment. It’s interesting that people say that raiding is so time consuming now, because raiding has *always* been time consuming.

    I hate to keep going back to this, but those of us who have been raiding since “the good old days” expect raiding to be a bit time consuming and we understand that there has always been work that needs to be done outside of your time spent in the instance portal. I don’t think I have ever had my raiding time fit nicely into the two or three days a week that I’ve been scheduled to raid.

    Believe me, *nobody* is happy about the new system or the way things are being done. But some of have chosen to accept it, because it’s what we feel needs to be done. If I didn’t have to do the Heroics, I wouldn’t. Sure, I enjoy them. But I love to raid more. That’s where I would prefer to get my points from. Until my group clears Firelands entirely, that isn’t really an option for me or one that I’m OK with settling for.

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