What’s Going on with Mythic?

Indulge me in this observation.

It appears that a number of prominent guilds are starting to buckle and implode. These were once strong, proud guilds who had achieved success last tier during Siege of Orgrimmar. I can’t say for sure what the cause of breakups are, but it’s happening across the board.

Starting to wonder now if we’re walking in with too high expectations of ourselves and then getting hit with a huge dose of reality. Maybe it’s deliberate though since they want Blackrock Foundry to last a while before the next tier (which if history is any indication will be around during the summer or early fall).

Can’t even begin to surmise what’s going on here.

Is the extra difficulty level of Mythic simply too much?

Is it just due to the roster absences?

People getting tired and putting too much pressure on themselves?

I had a thought yesterday. All mythic guilds now were strong, heroic guilds last tier. But it does not appear that all heroic guilds can cut it as a mythic guild this tier.

We started the expansion strong with 27 players. Thank goodness for flex modes, because I feel lucky if I can even get 20 now. Trying to recruit and pickup raiders for a  guild seems insanely tough (and I still think transferring off might do the job).

Allow me to highlight two factors:

  • Too much competition: I’m not referring to other guilds. I’m referring to other difficulties. Between raid finder, normal, and heroic, players can now find the guild that’s raiding at the right pace and difficulty for them.
  • Too much accessibility: The group finder has been a huge blessing and a curse.

Take this nugget of logic below:

“Why bother going through an application and interview process in joining a guild when I can just take a few seconds to browse around on Group Finder or Open Raid and join a group at will?”

– Random Mage, 2015

Years ago, guilds were the only game in town if you wanted to defeat Arthas or tackle raids. No group finder meant if you wanted your moneys worth in the game, you had to join a guild. The only way to get picked up by a guild is by going through their process. The only way to stay in the guild is to not lose your edge and die to every third void zone on the ground. You had to be sharp, you had to be productive, and you had to be skilled otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see content.

The last bit above there ties into something else about individual performance. If you aren’t as skilled or astute with your character, there’s a raid difficulty just for you. During the old expansions, it was play and perform at X level or else don’t raid. Now it’s, why play at X level when I can play at Z level with reduced stress and pressure and still see the same bosses anyway?

Random Mage might be on to something there.

Maybe they’re the smart one. Because you’ve got GMs like me who are wracking their brain and desperately looking for ways to find and retain talent. Other GMs are closing up shop due to lack of resources, time, effort, interest, and so forth.

Take a look at this list:

  • Summit (6/7 Mythic, ceased raiding 1/27)
  • The Horsemen (US 25th during Siege of Orgrimmar for Heroic Garrosh, ceased competitive raiding during December)
  • Blood Runs Cold (6/7 Mythic in Highmaul, ceased raiding in January)
  • Vanlyfe (6/7 Mythic, ceased raiding in January)
  • Victory or Whatever (US 38th, 25 man, ceased raiding)

Admittedly a small sample size, but I’m sure they’re not the only ones that had high hopes and aspirations. But for whatever reason, they’ve stopped raiding. Maybe expectations or other life factors interfered here. Who knows? But something’s definitely going on here.

For the purposes of raiding, guilds are meaningless and may not mean anything significant in finding success in raids because you can still do the same thing via Group Finder.

Someone pointed me over to Stoove’s blog post on Mythic raiding and how it has impacted a 10 man scaling up. Mythic took the difficulties of heroic raids and amplified the difficulty immensely.

It might be time to take a hard look at the mirror and realistically figure out what kind of guild we really are.

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6 thoughts on “What’s Going on with Mythic?”

  1. I love reading these reflective posts: I cannot help but wonder if players are simply growing up? Mythic raiding cannot compete with a new baby or other big 20-30 something life changes. Those serious raiders maybe getting serious about real lives, and if pressure is coming from real-life bosses, professions, spouses, etc., any tiny bit of performance pressure in a virtual world seems unsustainable to me. Maybe I’m just projecting. I’ve never been a great player, mostly adequate and casual, but am thinking about all those 20-30 something (mostly young men) I see at Blizzcon year after year and wonder how a wonderful avocation like WoW can compete with a fabulous adulthood. 

    Maybe I’m just looking through mom-colored glasses.

  2. At least for me, the inefficiency of raiding via Premade Groups (until the tail end of an expansion, I suppose) serves as a powerful incentive to seek out a raiding guild.. there’s no faster way for me to feel like I’m not getting my money’s worth than to spend an afternoon variously wiping and replacing people from a pug…

    The presence of ‘easier alternatives’ provides a way out for the people who were previously raiding at a higher level than they wanted to, but what about the mythic raiders who want to raid on the highest difficulty? I feel like mythic guilds remain extremely relevant and meaningful as long as everyone’s on the same page.

    Currently my guild is battling the question of whether we want to continue progressing in HM alongside BRF. The raid lead refuses to return to HM – not for BiS trinkets, not for progression. He only wants to focus on BRF progression, but there are a sizable number of us who are still interested in working on HM. The release of a new raid instance, while progression in the previous instance was still incomplete, is creating some differences in priorities.

  3. mataoka Wouldn’t be surprised if you’re bang on there. The generation that grew up during vanilla WoW was during a period of time where there weren’t as many choices for games. Warcraft was still just growing. The 20-30s are growing up now and they’re getting jobs and don’t have the luxury to really stay up as much it seems. Or else they have other responsibilities that keep their time commitments in check (you know, the significant other ^^). 

    Smart move by Blizzard though to enable the flex sizes and multiple difficulty tiers to really maximize raid consumption at least.

  4. I know this is a somewhat late comment but I was just
    pointed to your blog post and as I former raider of The Horsemen (and good
    friends with the GM of VoW) I think I have something to contribute.

    I can say with some certainty that the idea of exclusivity
    in raiding was not a major part of The Horsemen’s collapse.  There are very few former TH players in
    non-mythic guilds, most people who left TH went to other mythic level guilds or
    quit the game outright because they didn’t they could find another guild they’d
    enjoy raiding with.

    You are absolutely right something is going on here but I
    don’t think it has anything to do with competition from lower levels of
    raiding.  If you’ve raided at a high end
    mythic level stepping down to a much lower level of progression is rarely
    something you want to do.

    I also don’t think it is about generations of players as
    mataoka mentions.  In MoP there was a
    great adjustment in US raiding, longer hour guilds that couldn’t raid at a top
    10 US level started dying and lower hour guilds, typically 12 hour, TH was 9
    hour, started to move up the ranks.  In
    SoO there were 3 12 hour guilds in the US top 20, Refined, Temerity and Obscure
    Reference and something like half of the US top 40 were low hour (<=12 hours
    per week).  12 hours per week is still a
    fair amount of time but still quite manageable for many.  I know that during SoO TH had 4 parents on
    our roster who were able to raid just fine and I don’t think we were that out
    of the ordinary for low hour guilds.

    I think there are two, somewhat interrelated factors at play
    1) The long SoO farm period destroyed rosters.  This is a complaint you see from a lot of top
    end guilds, including those that are still around and progressing well.  The average high end raiding guild loses
    about 1 person per month, this isn’t a huge problem normally, between tiers you
    lose 3-4 people who can be replaced. 
    Typically once a tier ends most guilds start trying to bulk up their
    rosters, slightly over-recruiting to make sure you can get through the next
    tier without needing to recruit (trialing people on progression is hard).  The long SoO farm period broke that, in the 10
    months between when we killed Garrosh and WoD came out we lost half our roster
    and we couldn’t really trial people on hard content.  If you killed Garrosh in December by the time
    you were trialing someone in April you’d been farming Garrosh for so long you
    couldn’t give anyone a good trial.  This
    lead to a lot of “soft recruits” people who you didn’t actually know if you
    could on during real progression.

    2) Blizzard made low hour raiding a lot harder.  I know Watcher said in the developer interview
    on Friday that they see most mythic level guilds have stopped raiding normal
    and are starting to stop raiding heroic but that misses the amount of farming
    they’ve done to get there.  Split raids,
    running multiple raids with a mix of mains and alts to double farm for the
    week, during MoP were something just top 10 US guilds did, now they are done by
    pretty much every guild in the US top 50. 

    The first few weeks of raiding this expansion were tailor
    made to cause burnout, during the first week of Mythic we ran a normal raid, two
    split heroic raids plus our normal mythic progression, the next week we again
    did partial split clears that would have become full split raids if that guild
    hadn’t fallen apart by then, again on top of mythic progression.

    When people in top end low hour guilds worried about what
    three levels of difficulty would do to our guilds this is what we were worried
    about, we would have to run much faster and we’d still be losing ground.  Those two 12 hour guilds that finished in the
    US top 20 (25 man) last tier, Refined and Temerity, are US 63 and 86
    respectively. Part of it is 10 man guilds sizing up and adding competition but
    even if you merged the 10 and 25 man rankings from SoO Refined and Temerity
    would have been US 23 and 24.  The real
    culprit here is that Blizzard’s raid design is killing the low hour guilds from
    SoO, 12 hour guilds have become 16 hour guilds, and 16 hour guilds have become
    20 hour guilds.  Many guilds are still
    pretending they are 12 hour while actually being 16 or 20.
    Part of this can be blamed on the raiding player base, the
    rat race mentality that has to keep up with the next guy but Blizzard bares a
    lot of responsibility for this change in attitude.  In MoP they supported low hour raiding pretty
    well and it thrived in the US (less so in the EU for I believe cultural
    reasons), in WoD they didn’t support it and now it’s dying.  The Horsemen died because the game we were
    playing, top end progression while raiding less than anyone else, isn’t
    possible anymore.

  5. Fierydemise That is some amazing insight there, thank you! I never considered what impact the length of Siege had on rosters. Low hour raiding is another factor that I considered, but wasn’t sure because I see a number of guilds who list they raid 9 or so hours a week. But if there are 12 hour guilds logging an extra 4 unofficial hours on top, then it stands to reason some of these 9 hour raid guilds are pushing in more.

  6. @WorldOfMatticus @Fierydemise In MoP most low hour guilds
    kept to their schedules, you pushed things a bit, one more pull that takes you
    10 minutes over here and there but you basically kept to it.You kept to it because there wasn’t a ton to
    be gained from an off schedule night of raiding, sure those extra pulls are
    nice but you’d probably end up missing some people with schedule flexibility
    and putting in pulls on a hard boss with a suboptimal comp generally wasn’t
    worth doing.
    WoD changed that, now if you can get 80% of your raiders for
    an “optional” off night raid, or couple hour early start you can still do a split
    farm heroic run in that time.Its
    flexible so missing people isn’t a huge deal, it’s not on the same lockout so it
    doesn’t mess up progression and the gear is always helpful.Some guilds are using off-schedule
    progression nights because hey if everyone is already keeping the off night
    clear then may as well schedule a raid there.
    It isn’t perfect but you can often figure out if a guild is
    BSing their hours by looking at logs.Some
    guilds will avoid logging off-night farm raids but the desire to rank is often
    too strong so they will anyway.Just
    look at the logs and count the hours, if they match it doesn’t guarantee a
    guild is keeping to their hours but its more likely.If a guild has private logs I tend to assume
    they are BSing their hours because there is no reason a guild outside of the
    world top 20 would need to hide their logs because once the top 5 release their
    videos the strats are all basically well known.


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