Us v. Them: What can I do when guild members disagree?


Yes, I’ll admit it. I’m writing this article as an excuse to showcase Conquest member Lagniappe’s amazing stick-figure artwork. In the midst of other business, Conquest is currently working on a new logo. In my mind, nothing is better than dead stick figures, except for maybe hungry stick figure kitties. Or stick figure vampire kitties. Anyway.

On Guild Drama

Inevitably, even very healthy guilds experience moments of dissent. An organization can easily split into factions, especially when the issue at hand takes on personal importance for the members involved. Right now we’re having some discussion and debate in Conquest over the role of achievements in raiding.

Syd’s Patented Disclaimer

Usually when my students want me to bend the rules, I blame “the department” and claim that I’m “neutral” towards their request. Sometimes it’s a way of hiding my real opinion, but usually it’s a cover for “deviating from standard procedure is a pain in the butt and I’d just rather not.” There’s a window into my personality, I think. I’m going to repeat it again. I’m very pleased not to be the final authority in my guild, because I don’t have to be the one to make this decision. However, that’s not going to stop me from writing about it!

The Achievement Drama

So what’s going on in Conquest? As we get closer to Ulduar and time runs out to complete the Glory of the Raider achievements for the Black Proto Drake reward, some disagreements have arisen among the raiders as to whether the harder achievements are worth trying for. I’ll go on the record saying that I’m “neutral”: and this time I mean that I understand both points of view. It can be very cool to get achievements, and they do require the raid to work harder. However, as implemented in the current raid content, most achievements are a little irrelevant. They don’t award better loot, and there’s no vanity reward either without going for the meta-achievement. For some players, there’s no incentive to extend the raid week for achievements’ sake.

The Allure of Achievements

The main argument for achievements is that they train the guild for harder content. Some people care about the vanity reward, but most of the overachieving guild members are just striving after perfection–there’s not a lot of obsessing about mounts or titles going on. Part of me understands this need for perfection. I think Larísa of the Pink Pigtail Inn is much more eloquent on the subject than I could be, so I’ll link you to her thoughts here.

The Downside

The question here is not “why aren’t we good enough to do achievements?” but rather “are achievements worth our time?” Conquest isn’t the most hardcore guild out there, but we’re capable of doing anything that we 1) plan for and 2) really want to do in the first place. When we fail at a certain achievement, I’m more likely to look at motivations than the skill of players as the cause. We’ve lost some players recently, and we’ve had others take a break. There’s a good reason for this–it happens any time the content goes “stale.” At the individual level, interest wanes, and the die-hards in the guild have to scramble to hold the house of cards that is any guild together until the pendulum swings in the other direction. The moment is coming when our old friends will return and good recruits will be easy to find–and it will coincide with the release of 3.1. However, it will be too late at that point to get a Black Proto Drake.

Pushing the Limits

While I’m sympathetic to the achievement-hungry players, the feats we have yet to accomplish are the very hardest: 6 minute Malygos and Immortal for everyone, and maybe a couple others. To push ourselves to do that now would be to complete those achievements while undermanned and while training new raiders. Our raid leader, who I have come to like and respect despite his caustic attitude, thought we were doing pretty well considering the team we were able to field. I concur. But I will repeat: if we can’t get 6-minute Malygos down now, it doesn’t mean we suck. It means that if we had wanted to do it, we should have started trying while we still had our best team on the field. We’ll do better at the Ulduar hard modes because there are built-in loot rewards for each of them. I know from my day job that it’s pretty much impossible to get people to do something for nothing.

Setting Goals

I think that a raiding guild should always have a goal. Maybe the leadership of Conquest (who are all, interestingly enough, in the we-don’t-care-about-achievements camp) should have made those clearer early on. If I were steering the ship alone (thank goodness I’m not), I would have said let’s work on one achievement per week. I don’t think we need to push ourselves to raid 4 days a week and wipe over and over when we could clear the content in 2. I always believe in the Middle Way–and that might mean one day set aside to Achieve, but not two.

Abstracting from the Situation

I’ve been sidelined from raiding–or doing anything at all–for the last few days, as I injured my cornea (ouch). I had a lot of time to think, and one of the things I thought about was the achievements issue. The bottom line for me is that my guild is important to me. I’ll do things to make them happy that I wouldn’t do otherwise–that darned no-spore Loatheb kill included. I’ll go along with the achievements and I won’t gripe about it. However, I’m going to take a more active role in governing the guild at moments like this. I can’t just defer to Matticus and our raid leader every time. They’re great, and they usually know what to do–but sometimes Professor Syd could be useful. I’ve had to mediate between factions in the classroom and faculty meetings, and if I’m not participating in the decision-making process in game, I’m shirking my responsibilities. In my last guild, I took on too much–I wanted to fix every problem myself, and it backfired big-time. However, now I have to be more active, and at least get involved in the debates. “Out to Lunch” is not a leadership philosophy–so I’m putting in my two cents, both here, on Conquest forums and in-game. Both for myself as an officer and for my guildies, moderation is the key lesson gaming has to teach us. If I have to print “The Middle Way” on a T-shirt and mail one to all the raiders, I will do it. It will also, by the way, have a cute kitty on it, so they can all think of me when they use it to wash their cars.

So, dear readers, how are your guilds dealing with achievements?

44 thoughts on “Us v. Them: What can I do when guild members disagree?”

  1. I feel ya. I guess everyone is finding that people aren’t as motivated as they had been?

    So what are you actually doing to try to mediate? Do you think your guild can find a common ground here?

    My gut feel is that if all the officers are agreed on a position, the easiest thing to do is just adopt that as a guild thing and people who want something different will know to go look elsewhere? (And you’ll probably find loads of new recruits who feel exactly the same way that you do! 🙂 )

  2. We have a few people wanting to do the achievements and we’ll generally take them as they come, but we won’t spend an entire evening trying to get one achievement.

    I’d say you should do what you were thinking and have one “achievement” night and if you don’t get enough people on to do it, then there’s just not enough interest in the guild. You can’t blame people who don’t want to do it unless you’ve specifically stated that you’re a hardcore guild and this stuff is considered important.

    Since you’ve already sort of stated that it’s not, I just don’t see any way you can force half the guild to do something it doesn’t want to.

    And though you may miss out on this proto drake, Blizzard has already said that there will be other unique rewards on the way for achievement hunters, so it’s not like it’s the end forever.

    Holy Duegs last blog post..I’d say my biggest problem is that I’m too awesome

  3. We are going for the immortal personally ,and otherwise ignoring the other ones. Our attendance and morale have been largely high for the most part, but we’ve deliberately gone a bit slower than we could have. Between the server lag and christmas break, we didn’t relaly start on Sarth3D hardcore.

    For the achievement junkies we’ve been mostly working on the 10-man achievements. That seems to placate everyone.

    Kals last blog post..[Druid, 3.1] PTR fun – idol & T8!

  4. hmmmm…slightly off topic…If you are going to put subliminal messages in the blog, take out the highlighted sentences. I get confused easily.

  5. I wrote a several long posts on our guild forums about what I think about the current state of achievements

    The majority of them as they stand now are fluff. They offer no real value other then we can do them so I can pat myself on the back and flash my epeen around.

    I personally have been playing WoW for a long long time and have done pretty much everything this game has to offer at one time or another. I have been on some pretty crazy hardcore guilds and have been hours away from getting world firsts in some cases.

    I was happy at the idea of raid achievements if it meant some tangible reward would be given. Like better level gear or some kind of special access to gear like a better quality gem vendor.

    We sorta did get that with Sarth and we got a whole bunch of fluff rewards for the rest.

    Personally i think its stupid for a guild that raids roughly 4 hours a week right now to bash its head against the wall for fluff achievements on the very first raid instance of this expansion.

    Remember the story of the Hare and the Tortoise?

  6. Our 25’s decided to late in the game to do achievements so we’ve opt’d out of doing it. I have a guildie who still wants to do the 10man achiev’s though and has no problem finding 9 other guildies who want to go with him. Most importantly they want the achievements to so don’t mind putting in that extra time to get them done.

    I like your idea of the middle ground and we will try something like that. Not pushing for the achievements super hard when the next tier is about to come out but doing it slowly. Its nice that there is bonuses (read: gear) for those who aren’t interested in them.

    Loved your post, not something I would have expected to find here but still well worth the read.

    Xeonios last blog post..3.1 Build: 9704

  7. My feeling is that we can’t afford to just lose the achievement minded players–many of them are our best players! They are thoughtful guys and I like them all. Conquest is a pretty friendly guild, after all. F U is not our leadership strategy. That’s why it has to be the Middle Way.

    For this tier, we may not make it to proto-drake, but now that the leadership knows achievements are an issue, it is my hope that we’ll plan for them and do them gradually (i.e. not 4 weeks before the drake reward disappears).

  8. Highlighted letters – I’m thinking it’s Matticus…”this will be another project”.

    I have to admit, I’m intrigued.

  9. We have some people that want to do them and have brought it up in raids, but the guild leaders have made it clear that they don’t care about achievements and that they aren’t going to waste time on them.
    This does concern me a little bit, because if they don’t want to challenge the guild now, what will happen with Ulduar? Would we be cut out to do hard mode content?

  10. Great post as always Syd.

    Now I’m going to go on a big TLDR post with my feelings. 🙂

    I think that the when Blizzard decided to let everyone play these beautiful raid instances that they spent so much time on it created a huge hurdle for the hardcore players. Now when I say hardcore, I don’t mean “I play 7 days a week 12 hours a day” hardcore, I mean, “I raid to the best of my ability and consider myself to be among the top 10% of skilled players” hardcore.

    Now that making a raid harder is optional we are quickly finding out that a lot of the people that were T6 raiders weren’t there because they wanted a challenge, they were there to get the best in game loot. You may be really good at what you do, but it seems like a lot of the raiders nowadays want to do the bare minimum and just get their weekly epics. Then you have the true hardcores that are constantly pushing the envelope and are looking for a new challenge, not just net results.

    Without people challenging themselves we wouldn’t have all of these great videos that we talk about. The priest that solo healed naxx 10, the gnome warlocks that tanked patchwerk in demon form, the mage that solo’d naxx, rogues tanking Illidan… etc. These were people that went out looking for a challenge and with no real extra incentive decided to impose restrictions on themselves and play outside the box to show to the community that crazy things like this CAN be done.

    A personal problem I am currently running into is that it seems like there are very few players out there that want to go for the hard stuff, and its been extremely discouraging. We have the skill to down Sarth3D, we’ve done it before, yet we only do it when an officer’s alt needs the title because people don’t want to put the extra burden on themselves “only for a mount”. The toughest part of the Heroic Glory of the Raider for me hasn’t been the actual encounters, it’s finding 24 other motivated individuals that take their gameplay seriously.

    I either need to start looking at a different, more populated, more “hardcore” server or the other option I’ve been considering is taking a break until 3.3/3.4 and then just doing all the content all at once so I can say I did it. One option will cost me $25, the other option saves me about $75.

    So to answer your question Syd, how are we handling achievements – we don’t. If it’s easy, we may try it. Anything harder than the Four Horsemen achievement isn’t even attempted. And that makes me sad.

  11. I am an achievement whore. Thankfully several of our officers go for achievements as well. We’re making good progress on 10 man achievements, but there are still several guild members who just don’t care enough, and do things like pull aggro right after an aggro drop while we’re trying to do an immortal run. Doesn’t matter that there are 3 Hand of Salvs in the group for them, they just couldn’t care less.

    Over all, we go for achievements but only a few each week. Those achievements that we’ll be going for are usually notated in the guild calender and players who don’t want to do achievements have the option to not sign up, and we’ll take players who do want to. As people are on their 2nd and 3rd offsets, the only thing those players are missing are a couple emblems of valor.

  12. Dear Sydera,

    I hate to be herald of bad news, but your guild will split up. Maybe you can hold them together now, maybe even for the 3.1 achievements, but it’s only matter of time when they jump at each other’s throat calling each other “no lifers who waste time for a stupid pixel drake” and “noobs who are just not good enough for the HC content”. The achievers and the “just bosskillers” cannot share a home just like as goblins and a loot council.

    A middle way here is something they disgruntedly accept until they have better option. If you stick to the “middle way”, you’ll gonna lose both kind of players. I think you have to make a yes or no decision here and let the other side go. You have enough time to recruit acceptable players for Ulduar to their spots.

  13. It seems as though a number of guilds are in the “To achieve or not to achieve” boat these days. While I would typically wear a “The Middle Way” shirt 99% of the time (size large, in black with the lucky asian cat plz) I reside decidedly in the “To achieve” camp. I believe that achievements and hard-modes are the new progression and it seems that based on what the blues have posted lately, that is their intent. I believe Hard-Modes and Achievements are Blizzards way of dealing with some of their long-term issues, but the ripple affects of doing so are causing a couple of issues that I believe are at the heart of Syd’s post.

    Blizzard’s decision to make the content accessible to everyone is a great idea; however, the affect of doing so allows many players to essentially “Win WoW”. Did you clear Malygos, kill Kel and Sarth? You just won WoW. The new content will be out in April, come back and see us then. While this is a foreign concept to someone reading a blog about all things healing in WoW, I believe that it’s a very normal concept for the majority of players out there. If you look at the non-MMO gaming model: Game comes out, people buy the game, people win the game, people wait for game 2. That’s been the typical gaming model for decades and one that everyone with a WII can attest to. Those raiders who left until Ulduar, might subscribe to this way of thinking. They won’t admit to it, but it’s very likely.

    While the addition of Hard-Modes and achievements has increased the re-playability of the game for many, the current lack of a tangible rewards has left many with little or no desire to complete them: “Let’s run 6 minute Maly! — Why? — To get the achievment. — Why’s that? — Becasue it’s cool. — I don’t care about acheivements, let’s just do normal so we can get out of here.” There’s a very small carrot on the stick right now and many people would rather have two nights off then wipe for two nights, for a mount or a title. There’s only one hard-mode in-game right now and the rewards aren’t overwhelming: the title, improved gear for some classes, additional badges of Valor and (in a fair guild) a 1 in 25 chance at a shiny mount. There are no legendaries, there is no tier gear, there are no encounters that you NEED to farm gear or drops for. Other than “climbing the mountain, because it’s there” there is little incentive out there for most to stick around for hard-mode/achievement night..

    Put all of this together and what do you have? A game accessible to everyone, yet one without a clear identity. Some think the game’s over when you down the bosses, some think acheivements and hard-modes are the new progression. It’s a new wrinkle to the casual vs. hardcore debate and one that’s honestly leaving a lot of guilds in limbo. In my previous guild we had such low turn-outs for acheivements and hard-mode runs that I actually went in search of a guild who’s concept of progression, was somewhat similar to mine. In talking to my friends and reading realm forums, many guild are on the verge of mergers, transfers or disbanding due to the differences in progression phiosophy.

    I believe Blizzard is correcting some of this with Ulduar, as there will be hard modes for most of the bosses and as Syd pointed out: gear from each of those encounters. Additionally adding a boss that’s only accessible after completing a series of hard-modes will definitely sway more people from the middle over to the (insert your political direction here). Hopefully the larger carrot on the hard-mode “stick” should entice players to think of hard-modes a little differently after 3.1 and hopefully resolve many of the issues guilds and players alike are having today.

  14. Ah Gevlon, always the Debbie Downer of the blogging community.

    I’ve seen guilds survive a lot worse than this. I think we’ll be fine. As I hinted in my argument, this is less a player issue than a design issue. The Achievements are like the rebel without a cause–or a clue. They’re an interesting design bit that wasn’t fully thought out. Once a decent reward structure is back in place with 3.1 we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled common goal. The problem is Blizzard’s, not the raiders. They changed the progression model without putting in a fully-fledged reward system. Tsk, tsk. It’s no wonder that it really took them a tier to catch up to themselves.

    Besides, in my mind Naxx and all of tier 7 is pretty much fail. Re-used content with a cherry on top. The hard modes don’t always “make sense”: with Ulduar, achievements have always been part of the design, so I look for encounters that are more like Vashj and Kael (beautifully coordinated beach volleyball matches) than damn silly ways to do things (ahem, 4 horsemen achievement).

  15. i would actually like to do a huge post about this but i’ll try to keep it short.

    the way my guild deals with achievements and hard modes:
    ~4th week after expansion:
    roughly 14 hours after wipes (in that week alone) on 3d sarth we finally downed him. we were not going to raid naxx that week till he died.

    as a (true) raider, i balk at this idea that there isn’t any reason to do “hard” achievements yet, because they take a lot of raid time or because their is no loot insentive. my opinion is that a raider doesn’t raid for the shiny purples. he raids because for the challenge of the encounter and the satisfaction of accomplishing something extremely difficult. naxx is joke. for the last month my guild has done 2 20 man groups for additional loot and we still do 3D sarth and whatever maly achievement people need in one night. does that mean we do the 4 horsemen achievement every week? no. but we do keep doing 3D sarth- possibly for the mount but also b/c it is the only real encounter atm (10 man is even better!) and it allows the leaders identify who is good and who isn’t so they can determine who belongs in ulduar. the additional loot and title are just perks.

    there are many valid reasons to do the hard modes and quite honestly if your guild is doesn’t have the desire to do the easy current ones without gear incentive, they will have problems doing real hard modes even with gear incentive. they don’t sound like hard-core raiders. all of this is “imo” of course, so take it with a grain of salt.

  16. We had the same issues, part of it is guilds have had the last 4 years to self sort themselves into various degrees of casual/hardcore on raiding and most players have a pretty good idea of where they sit in that spectrum . But acheivements is different from raiding and the most avid raider does not mean they care the slightest about achievements.

    Personally I would encouage trying for immortal, we still dont have it due to 18% on kt being our best effort:( But if you cant get immortal then your never going to get the meta and if you do have it then everything else besides 6 min malygos is easy and the carrot is more obvious, I beleive you dont do 10 man content? But perhaps encourage the more hardcore to think about 3d sarth 10 as all other 10 man acheivements are puggable including 6 min malygos.

  17. I play for the love of the game!!!

    …I propose we remove all salaries from the NFL/NBA in these difficult recession times and see how many people still play.

  18. @apoketino: Your comment sounds very judgmental. Where did I say Conquest was the most hardcore guild ever? However, we killed Sarth 3D many weeks ago. Our debate isn’t about whether we can do hard content, it’s about whether achievements are genuine progression or just busy work.

    @kata: given a choice, wouldn’t you go with the stick figures? Hard to put boobs on a stick figure.

  19. There are two views of loot: Loot as Reward, and Loot as Investment. You are clearly espousing a Loot as Reward policy, as you are choosing not to do achievements without material reward, and indeed, see no point in having Achievements without reward.

    There is now conflict with your Loot as Investment players. To them, the entire point of gearing up was to be able to tackle achievements like 6-min Malygos and Immortal. To them, loot is merely a means to an end, and thus it doesn’t matter if the end has a material reward or not.

    There’s nothing wrong with either type of player. The problem comes when they are not on the same page. The big issue is that Conquest has signaled that it is a Loot as Investment guild. You use Loot Council. You have an emphasis on tackling new content. Those are hallmarks of the Loot as Investment philosophy. So naturally, some of your raiders are confused that you appear to have abandoned the Loot as Investment ideas.

    I’m sort of in Gevlon’s camp on this. This is a fundamental difference in philosophies here, which will cause a rift. More so because the officers seem to be unable to recognize the underlying clash.

  20. In my guild, we have done some achievements but have not tried others. These others being the ones where you have to do an entire raid with less than the maximum amount of people. We’re the #2 guild on our server, but we have a lot of casual members because the raiders want their family and friends in the guild, too. Thus, if there’s not enough of our core group around to do 25-man naxx, or if people are just disinterested in the current content, we have plenty of people who haven’t seen the content and would like to. My GL doesn’t want to exclude them just for an achievement, which I completely understand. Which is why I don’t expect to ever get a black protodrake. However, that won’t stop me from doing the 10-man ones. 😛

    I currently have a 10-man achievement group going, and we got the Undying titles last week. So, I think we might actually be able to get the protodrake before 3.1 hits if we keep at it every week.

  21. TJ: I don’t read BRK’s blog and therefore I cannot steal his ideas.

    Gevlon: If the guild splits up, then the guild splits up. Whatever happens, happens. If I lose people over one trivial thing then I’ll continue to recruit people who will buy into the system and share the same beliefs as the others who stay with me. I don’t know why you have an issue with Conquest or myself. You certainly give off that impression and have been issuing doom and gloom comments for the as long as I can remember. Even if it does break up, at least I’ll have terrific memories with some great friends. Even if it does break up, it will not be because players hate each other or anything as petty. It would be because we have a difference of interests that we wish to pursue.

    People change. It happens. Life goes on. Guilds are formed and broken up on a daily basis.

    Rohan: You’re partially correct in your loot as investment. Except we’re not gearing to tackle achievements. We’re gearing to be prepared for Ulduar. The question isn’t whether or not the investment is wrong. The question is about the definition of what investment is. Investing gear just to do an achievement like doing Loatheb with floating spikes? I’m positive we can do it. I know its easy. But there’s just no incentive to do it. There’s no real reward. 10 points? For what? Can I cash them in for something? Yeah they’re nice and all. Yeah they mean somethings. But they only mean something to certain types of players.

    Lets say I got a Civic. I have the option of painting the car red with racing stripes at some cost to myself. The performance of the car doesn’t change. It doesn’t accelerate any faster. It doesn’t handle any better. It just looks different and it stands out amid the crowd of black and white Civics.

    On the other hand, if there were some type of miracle paint on the market that some how causes less drag and improves my fuel efficiency by 5%, then it’s something I would consider.

    And lets make the assumption that officers don’t recognize the underlying clash about anything. Syd derives inspiration from various events in Conquest both as learning and as teaching experiences for other guilds and players in similar situations.

    That’s not to say we’re blindly turning away from the problem or outright ignoring it. There is a mistaken belief here that what Syd has placed is the whole picture.

    It’s not. You don’t see the forum discussions. You don’t hear the vent talks. So don’t assume that this is an issue that’s being untreated.

    You should know I’m better than that.

  22. meh my last post failed and wall of text got deleted. So a shorter version.

    – I left conquest a while ago due to lack of interest in achievements, and I fear from reading this article you may have others that feels the same way. I would understand that feeling though as it feel like you’re trapped.

    – I’m sure people take the same stances now as they did when I was there, so there is obvious disparity there.

    – My experience after Conquest has shown for myself how achievements can strengthen a guild/raid. Especially Immortal. Immortal is a different train of thought and changes every encounter.

    – There are of course a couple questions you have to ask. Is gear everything? Especially now when it’s trivial (Ridiculous amount of people with full 213 gear). Do you want your guild to push its own limits? Is spending extra time on achievements going to cause burnout? Or is it going to make raiding more interesting?

    – I still wish the best for your guild even though I still disagree with how some of the things are being run but I miss you guys *sniff*

  23. I forgot to add what do the guild members want?
    Some people like me, like having nerdy status symbol mounts like the black proto-drake. With the removal of it in 3.1 means it’s going to be unique. Some people just want gear others actually like having rare companion pets/mounts like the upcoming sandbox tiger etc.

  24. Good luck with the middle road. And I also hope that Ulduar achievements are a bit less random than some of the current ones.

    I disagree about the 4 horsemen achievement though. Of all the ones we’ve done, that was by far the most fun. I enjoyed working on the strategy and it was a pretty exciting fight on the execution phase, esp once they get down below 5% and you’re waiting for the last meteor/ tank switch at the front to unleash hell on 4 bosses at once.

    Wouldn’t want to do it like that every week but I think people really enjoyed it. (Unlike Loatheb which people thankfully voted not to bother with.)

  25. I think the reason Conquest’s officers are all in agreement on less emphasis on achievements is that this is the way our charter was written. We promised progression, but we never said raid achievements–largely because they were (and are still) poorly designed. It’s hard to know just what they are. Also, there’s a heavy sense of practicality. We’re undermanned most nights as many (good) players are on break of one kind or other. You can’t put a camel through the eye of a needle. I know I’d be more in support of achievements, I’m sure, if I thought we could complete them with the people currently raiding. It would be pretty awkward to do a huge recruiting drive to, say, get Immortal done, and then be faced with an Ulduar team that’s 10 people too big. Conquest is not the most hardcore guild in the world. We have good players, but you can only push them so far before they break. We’ve been letting people have nights and weeks off, which is, or used to be, common practice for many guilds between tiers.

    As for the commenters–I’m never sure why people feel the need to be hostile to me, Matt, or my guild. I just write them off.

  26. Some of our guildies are craving for achievements, but I think they realised by now that they won’t get them all. Still, we try to go for a few achievements along the way, if we find to have the time, group and patience for it. (Just can’t get enough is hilarious btw!)

    Still, progression was the key concern in our raid schedule over the past month. Now that we are nearing the end of this progression schedule, we might open up a spot for an achievement run. But most achievements are still earned on the go, for now.

    Ohh, and the ‘subliminal’ message so far reads:
    This will be
    Another Project

  27. What Gevlon fails to realize is the core of our guild consists of people that have played games together for years now

    The truth of achievements right now is by the time Arthas decides to rear his ugly head most of this will be mute anyways. Only the cream of the crop of guilds will be able to do that encounter (trust me no matter what blizzard says about wanting everyone to see encounters we all won’t be seeing Arthas in a 25 man) and after doing Kologarn last night in Ulduar and having my faced kicked in, ya its going to be tough.

  28. I agree with Kimbo. I think that achievements are always going to be secondary to boss kills in everyone’s eyes. Once Ulduar is released, our guildies will be back to work on the common goal. Even the achievement crowd realizes this!

    In the meantime, I think working on achievements to the point that we extend to three–but not four–raid nights has been a decent compromise. For myself, I continue to reserve the right not to care about a flying mount. Perhaps I’ll make a separate post about this, but I’ve learned my lesson on vanity rewards and I’m not likely to slobber over one ever again.

  29. While I agree that Boss kills are always secondary to achievements, it’s interesting that Sarth 3D is seen by nearly everyone as a progression boss kill, but when looked at objectively it’s just an achievement. The boss kill, for all intensive purposes, would be downing the three drakes and then Sartharion. There is no reason to take down Sarth 3D, except for the achievement. There is no additional gear, it’s simply a vanity reward: a title, a 1 in 25 chance at a mount and an achievement. So by all definitions, it’s simply an achievement – just like Immortal or Undying. It’s interesting how nearly everyone sees this as progression and the final real clear of content in Wrath (myself included) when at heart it’s simply just another achievement.

    I’m curious if we will be having a similar discussion 2 months into Ulduar: If most guilds “clear” Ulduar by downing the bosses on Normal mode, how many players who’s interest waned after 2 months in Nax will want to spend an additional 2 months in the same instance, attempting the same encounters on a higher difficulty? While there will be additional gear, AlGore the Raid Destroyer and the legendary drops (which probably warrants it’s own post Matt and Syd) will those things be enough of a draw for everyone to keep up the good fight and down the same bosses again on the hard modes? Definitely something to be conscious of over the next couple of months.

    As far as Conquest goes, I have no doubt that the leadership there will be able to handle whatever situations come up. From everything that I’ve read on WoM and Plus Heal, Matt and Syd are are extremely rational, they think things through and make solid decisions. Conquest will be fine and they’ll soon be posting about their first kills in Ulduar.

  30. syd,
    i apologize if my post sounded judgemental. i do understand that your point of the post is whether or not you can accomplish the hard modes but whether or not these achievements are geniune progression or simply busy work.

    my point is whether we like it or not blizz has place these achievements in instances in order to gauge a guild’s progression. like you pointed out some of the naxx achievements seem “silly” but doing the 4 horsemen achievement (for example) does require much more skill than blowing heroism and downing the 2 front horsemen in under a minute. achievements are not only a valid way to determine the skill of a guild; currently it is THE only way to determine it, as even casual guilds easily clear all content.

    with this in mind i simply commented that a raider who doesn’t want to do the achievements now because they it takes too long and they don’t get loot is raiding for the wrong reasons (in my “raider” book). my guess is that these people have voiced that once there are proper incentives in place (ie loot) they will be more than happy to take the necessary time to do the achievements. my guess is after hours of frustrating wipes/repair costs/consumables/time they are not going to want to stick with the attempts and will once again take the easy way out. am i judging them? i guess i’m just evaluating the type of player they are and guessing what their reaction is going to be to real encounters. my guild wiped for about 10-15 hrs straight on KJ for 2 months but we kept going. i think that is that attitude that will get you places (if you hunters know how to target orbs, that is).

  31. Matticus, unfortunately for you, almost all the other high-end guilds have defined progression in terms of Achievements. That is reality. Your Investment players expect to be working on Achievements because that is progression.

    You can attempt to justify it all you want, but in the eyes of a lot of players, not even trying for Achievements shows that you are not a “serious” guild.

    Second, I don’t think Achievements take as much time as you think. What we do is have every Naxx start as Immortal, and leave Construct/Military wings for last. Then if Immortal gets broken, we pick up achievements like Shocking, 4Horseman Achievement, 100 Club, and the Abom one. Similarly for 6-min Maly, set a time limit for the evening. If you don’t have it by then, just kill Maly normally.

    The only Achievements which require a lot of juggling are the Undermanning ones. And since Immortal is the hardest Achievement, you can leave the Undermanning ones for after Immortal.

  32. I don’t care for achievements much, and I don’t consider them “progression”. Progression to me is what it has always been – killing bosses.

    But suddenly, if you don’t do XYZ achievements, you’re not *really* hardcore. You might have killed Sarth3D months ago, but if you can’t get Immortal, you’re not as good as another guild who has it.

    That drives me crazy! I’m here for boss kills, not chalk marks on the wall to say how many achievements we’ve done. I wrote a big ramble about it one day, particularly because of the 10 man Sarth fight being included in a lot of people’s idea of “hardcore progression”:

    This is where I agree with Rohan though. If the majority of people consider achievements to be a natural part of the progression ladders and rankings, it’s very hard to escape from the obligation of doing them. I don’t care one whit about raid achievements – but if everyone on the outside looking in considers my guild to be less progressed because we haven’t done X achievement, then I feel obliged to go push for it.

    I never want to do another 20 man run or Immortal again.

    Keevas last blog post..The Empress’ New Clothes

  33. Amen, sister druid.

    Ironically, Conquest is now doing the achievements. I just have to laugh, because otherwise I might go insane.

  34. Before Blizzard announced that they were removing the drakes, I put my foot down.

    No stress over 20 mans and Immortal – gearing people up for Ulduar is our priority. We’ll come back later and do that stuff. We’re not kicking 5 people out (twice) for this stuff – it’s not top on our list of things to get done. Progression is kills, not dragons. And the guild was mostly fine with that, honestly. They understood our priorities.

    But then Blizzard removed the drakes… and we had three weeks of turmoil while we tried to juggle achievements for everyone because we didn’t want to deny people their drake rewards. Asking them to wait until later is fine; telling them they can never have it is another thing altogether.

    The 20 man runs are terrible. I hate them. Possibly more than Immortal. They cause stress for the organisers, bitterness for the people who have to wait for the next one, and just generally make everyone feel bad for the night. They’re not fun, they’re not challenging, they’re just a chore.

    It’s exhausting!

    Keevas last blog post..The Empress’ New Clothes

  35. Well, I got Undying by accident, and I love the title, but I could care less about a mount. I have to keep my playing time down, so I’m not working on 10s. The point is actually moot in my case–on 10s or 25s. I injured my eye last week so I’m not actually up to many hours of playing at all. Anything “extra” is not being done–at least not for the 6 weeks or so it will take for my vision to return to normal!

  36. My guild became very stressed over this issue. Our raid leader turned from a funny and caring guy with a lot of edge to him into the guy from Onyxia Wipe Video. Just after we finally got Sarth 3 down it hit me I really wasn’t enjoying being shouted at all night by a leader so stressed he was pushing us to work faster rather than smarter. After a night wiping on Sarth 3 again because he refused to acknowledge that calling the cooldown usage over vent might be an idea I gave up my Pally, my guild and my friends. He was so stressed and angry that he wasn’t able to hear good ideas.

    I think there is a very fine line between pushing people and pushing them too far.

    As for Gevlon, just think Matt. You know why he trolls you guys. To get his feed up. I like his blog and think he has some very interesting posts sometimes but when he trolls you and Tobold and states that people in the third world are poor because they’re stupid it’s all about post count and it clearly is working for him.

    Best wishes to Conquest and no, you won’t fall apart over this although some may leave and some new people may join.


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