The 300 Stat Food Question

The Heroic version of Blade Lord fell to us on Thursday. The last few wipes were edge-of-your-seat attempts largely because we kept wiping with less than 5%. Players had a hard time making the run from one side to the other. We had some deaths early on and I ran out of battle res’s for them. Tornadoes were snatching up people out of the air. We hit the enrage timer multiple times. Eventually, we scored the kill with around 11 seconds left before the berserk.

After one of our close attempts, one of our officers made the comment that players should be busting out their own 300 stat food instead of the usual 275 stats.

Kudos for making a fair point.

We were a couple of million health short of finishing off the Blade Lord at the time and there are no arguments from me saying that if the players alive had those extra stats, it would have easily translated into a kill. The combined 600+ stats would’ve turned those low percentage wipes into a kill.

As the GM, I could “demand” the players make the necessary changes and effort. But deep down I know that’s no small feat. How am I supposed to enforce a directive like that? This is one of those things where I have to appeal to them. Your GM needs to make the case to you that this stuff is important and the time and energy to get this steroid food created is worth it.

Now if I go down this route, I’d have to ask players to valor cap as well.

I know for a fact that not everyone valor caps. People are sick of doing their dailies and their faction grinds. I get that and I had to bite my tongue for the longest time. Even though I personally just suck it up and do them to get my coin rolls and stuff, I find ways to deal with it. I’ll watch something on Netflix while mindlessly knocking them out. Not everyone has time to grind these out either because people have to work or they have family obligations or other things and don’t have the capability to commit that time to them.

Raise that bar too high and you run the risk of alienating (or worse, running out of) the players that you raid with. It’s a fine line to walk.

I’ll be completely frank.

As GM, I’d love it if every player did the following:

  • Valor capped on a weekly basis
  • Provided their own potions and flasks
  • Pushed their dailies enough to hit exalted with all the factions
  • Continue pushing dailies to sustain bonus rolls on a weekly basis
  • Did their own cooking with their personal supply of 275 and 300 stat food

But this is not a realistic expectation for a guild of this calibre as much as it pains me to admit it. We’re not the kind of organization with those level of demands. Based on that list, the average player does maybe 3 or 4 of those tops.

Hitting exalted with the Pandaria factions has a high value early in the expansion but it greatly diminishes as you gain gear from raiding. It’s just not as important in the late stage.

Further analysis of our raids and our logs showed that we can improve our performance in other areas with greater effect without exerting that much time and work. Using Phoenix Style, I discovered that while a large majority of our players were already pre-potting, there were still a small number that were not. That’s unfortunate because if they had been, it would’ve easily been enough to secure the kills earlier!

This is partially my fault to blame. Our raiding roster often has a turnover and sometimes you expect players to do already do things like pre-pot, but some people don’t because they don’t have access to the herbs or don’t know an alchemist who can make this stuff for them. Personally, I think potions and flasks are much more accessible nowadays than they were in the past. I don’t think there’s any reason or excuse at all to come to a raid without a supply of your own. I did not make that expectation that players are to utilize pre-pots but I set the record straight on that one shortly before Blade Lord dropped.

Where does this leave us with the steroid food?

My thought was that if we were consistently pushing bosses into the enrage timer with all players alive and executing near-flawless, that’s when the super food should be used. If we’re just learning a new boss or if players continue to die to simple things, then we shouldn’t use them just yet because we’re getting outskilled and need to tighten up our play.

Going back to that Blade Lord example, we were consistently getting better at not dying in the first 80%. But had we perfected our survivability on Blade Lord, then this discussion would not have come up.

Eventually, a compromise was reached. It just so happens a small group of players are chefs and just love cooking, farming, and fishing. They generously volunteered their time to stockpile the bank with a large supply under the conditions that these items should only be used in the event of an imminent kill. Of course, the raiders were asked to provide the necessary items like the Black Pepper and Rice Flour items which are only purchasable with Iron Paw tokens.

Our next step is Wind Lord. This guy seems easy — In theory.

By the way, thanks for the Blade Lord pointers, LedonLite! They helped!

7 thoughts on “The 300 Stat Food Question”

  1. For a progression guild, some of those are reasonable to expect, some less so. I’d say that 300 stat food is a reasonable expectation, as is having tokens and portions/flasks. Valor cap each week is a bit much unless your working on the second set of Wrathion quests, in which case there’s no excuse not to be capping each week. For reputations, revered is more than enough to get full access to raid boosters.
    As for getting that done, most of it will happen concurrently. Valor goes with tokens and rep, and in my experience one you have 90 lesser charms there’s not much left to do for valor cap that a few dungeons or scenarios won’t handle. Bonus points for running them with guildies to fill up the good back coffers.
    All that said I’m rather old school in these expectations. I grew up raising in vanilla when you had to farm far more than we do now, so all of that is far less odious to me than it may be to others.

    • JThelen That’s probably why I’m not as moved by the amount of “work” that needs to be done this tier. Because I’ve done much more during vanilla and so forth.
      * Farm your TUBERS. Need 40 per raid.
      * Farm your Dark Runes from Scholomance or buy them. Or Demonic Stones (the soulbound ones that restored mana at the cost of health)
      * Fire resist pots. Farm the mats, get them made.
      * Farm Runecloth, sell it for gold.
      Can’t remember the rest, but I think those were the main ones.

    • mattuzzi JThelen Yep, and for healers it was even worse, since we had to make sure we had enough gold to swap between the farming spec and the raiding spec each week.

  2. Grats on the kill! Glad some of the advice helped.
    I almost had forgotten about the 300 food debate. I’ll probably re-encourage people to try and keep a stack in their bag for when things get really tight. Most things have been more execution for us recently then dps.

    Windlord really isn’t bad at all, but we have 2 shd priests and a disc priest making the CC 3 amber shaper strat work well. If people can avoid windbombs, Keep CC up, it should be one of the easiest fights outside of overgearing MSV heroics.

  3. I believe its all about expectations.  Just announce to the guild before hand that the raid has the following policies; you come with at least x amount of pots, at least y amount of 300 food, etc.  You will announce in raid when you’ll be pre-potting and when you’ll be using 300 food, etc.  I really believe this cuts down on the drama dramatically.  When people can be prepared because they know what’s needed ahead of time and with time to do it players at that level are highly skilled at finding an efficient way of just getting it done and its really not all that hard with a plan.
    Its when things go unmentioned, and some players are pre-potting, or using 300 food and noticing that others aren’t (for whatever reasons) that the issues start to creep in and drama ensues.

  4. I was going to suggest a compromise similar to what you mentioned at the end! My guild is more casual (just attempting heroics this week) and it was hard to even get people to bring flasks each week at first. I ended up just making a mail order system on my alchemist alt: they send me 3 golden lotus each night, and I send them back appropriate potions and dump the procs in the guild bank. I think you hit on the trick, which is to make it EASY for people to do something – they’ll be far more likely to do it, then!


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