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Most Efficient Way of Gearing up a Guild for PvE Progression?


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#1 Fimbo

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 05:02 PM

My guild has never reached the heights of many of the people reading on here. In fact we are still struggling into BWL at the moment.

One of the reasons for this is that in the past we’ve, well, we’ve been to nice, to considerate.

It’s been a mark of pride that we let people spec how they like, and we’ve been so interested in fairness that although we eventually instigated a DKP system we were never willing to prioritise key classes and players over the others.

I love my guild and it’s ethos of friendship, fun and the mature people; but the officers have come to realise that we have a tabula rasa in TBC, a chance to start again with a blank slate. We are trying to work out a plan for the most efficient way to “gear up the guild” to speed up our PvE progression in TBC, and maximise the efficency of the gains we make.
We hope we can do this and still keep a good ‘spirit’ about the guild. :)


Would people agree that it is best practise to kit up a group of Main Tanks first? Over all other classes?
I was thinking perhaps 2 Warriors, 1 Druid (we have excellent tanking druids already), and possibly when available (we’re horde) 1 Paladin?

Would it be then worth prioritising some main healers as well? I’d like to – but the token distribution (as shown below) strikes me as making this somewhat irritating, as our two main tanking and healing classes both share the same token (would be easier to prioritise a shammy or two at that point…):

X of the Fallen/Vanquished Champion = Paladin, Rogue, Shaman.
X of the Fallen/Vanquished Defender = Warrior, Priest, Druid.
X of the Fallen/Vanquished Hero = Hunter, Mage, Warlock.

How are other guilds planning on managing their progression when TBC comes live?
Do people have any advice from their experience in managing progression in the existing PvE content?

#2 Dwargue

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 05:31 PM

this post could have seen some real benefit from a spell checker.

that aside, the "most efficient" way of gearing people up will depend heavily upon your guild, and the people involved. is the guild basically F&F (friends and family) or is it people on the server that you otherwise don't know IRL? without that external connection, loot can very easily get in the middle of things, especially when you prioritize loot order.

another thing is tBC focuses on 5 and 10 man, with raiding w/ 25. how are your other 15 people going to be handled?

if you're talking about the 5~10 man stuff, loot really shouldn't be an issue, as common courtesy generally goes a long way here.

I think more background about your guild would have to be had before anyone can give good advise.

#3 Khalan

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 05:40 PM

Best Practices: Loot Priorities?

Out of interest, what size is your guild? Are you smallish (50-70 people) with decent attendance from everyone, or are you numbering in the hundreds with lots of one-a-week raiders? Gear dilution is exacerbated with higher numbers of people to spread gear around, especially if DKP means that for example your main tanks are missing out on a lot of tanking stuff or your most reliable healers rarely ever get drops they need.
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#4 zeidrich

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 05:41 PM

In my experience, giving priority to gearing main tanks has always been a poor idea.

It creates a sense of entitlement, if only subconscious, that the tank deserves more than other players just because he is the tank.

It also gears the tank up too quickly so that you end up playing catch-up with all of your other classes, while the tanks sit around with their full sets, and negative DKP. Having no incentive to raid makes it pretty boring and with the fact that you've been handed everything to start, to lose that for a good while while people catch up is frustrating.

It creates animosity within the other players, especially if you're doling out all of the tank-like tokens to some classes instead of any others. Take the Warrior/Priest/Druid tokens. Now you have planned to distribute Warrior/Druid tokens first, priests are a class with a fairly high burnout rate, and you're forcing them to wait until you've geared out 2 other classes with their tank gear before they can start to get theirs, that's not going to help matters.

It's also putting your eggs in one basket. If you've spent your time gearing your tanks up and they're left to sit around while other classes are catching up, they might get bored, and decide to take a break, or stop raiding. It's going to be a tumultuous time for everyone when expansion raiding starts, and some people probably will flat out not like it. If you lose a tank that you've focused all of your efforts into, you're losing a lot of time.

I've always found that gearing the raid evenly (Mind you I've never seen 4h or anything, and the dreadnaught stacking that had to happen for that, so it might be different) has always been a better overall situation.

The tanks are competing for their gear with everyone else, so the playing field is level, if you notice that someone who used to be a big raider stops playing so much, this will be immediately reflected by his dkp, and you haven't invested an unusual amount of gear in him.

I firmly believe that any DKP system with built in priorities for classes, and especially players is doomed to failure, or at least drama. If you are dead-set on setting priorities, use a loot council. Priorities and DKP are so contrary that they just dont work together. When a class has 5x the points of another player, and both want a drop but the player with the lower points gets it, it's not a DKP system any more, and it's especially frustrating for the person who has 5x the points.

And completely off topic. I believe that if you're struggling in BWL it's not to do with loot distribution.

Believe it or not, I'm sorry it came to this. Not really intensely sorry, but that kind of mildly disappointed, resigned sorry that happens when I see a puppy walk head-first into a window, back up, stare bewildered at it for a second, then walk head-first into the window again.


#5 Nork

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 05:42 PM

I expect that the first part of the expansion will be a return to the 'golden days' of WoW. Looking at the crafted items and the items available from non-raid sources (Heroic instances and such), I'm guessing that the defining factor in your raid's progress will not be the way you distribute the 8-10 pieces of Tier 4 gear you get in any week. The key factor will be whether your members are hitting the 5man instances to get the other upgrades they need.

The closest example I can think of is back in our MC days. While most of the guild was debating the best distribution of our Fiery and Lava Cores, about 10 of us just went out on our own and got the other gear that was available. Sure, it was annoying killing Vectus 20 times for Skullsmoke Pants, but it saved enough cores that someone else could get their gear instead. In the end, the people with the best fire resist also had the fewest items that were crafted from MC mats.

I'm afraid I've rambled a bit, but the key point is that I think that while the raid zones with the seven day lockouts may have the best individual items, you should focus on the 5man zones and crafted items.

#6 Phalanx

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 05:49 PM

this post could have seen some real benefit from a spell checker.

Yours could have benefited from some capitalization.

As for the topic, gearing up your tanks is always a good idea. I can't think of any encounter where it's not beneficial. That said, don't put all of your eggs in one basket. Gear your most consistent and well-played tanks. Of course, I state all of this based on current raid content.

I've not access to a Beta key and any of the encounters in the expansion, so if the focus is more on healing (ie. mana pools, +healing, +mana regen) than it is on tanking, forget what I said. To clarify, as it stands in Naxx from what I've seen, gearing your tanks for the first half of the instance seemed to be priority 1. Healers in Transcendence/some Prophecy never seemed to be the hindrance of progression. Where as higher defense and overall mitigation helped you with Maexxna, Patchwerk, 4H -- though I've no experience with the latter. In fact, I think it's safe to say better geared tanks made healing 'better', if that makes any sense.

Also, I've not really kept up on the items on the road from 60 to 70, but I hear there are some choice tanking upgrades. I can't say I've heard the same for healing (or even spell damage, but I digress..).

Edit: I think I should mention that while I think it's a good idea to gear up tanks quickly, we don't do that in our guild. Our warriors and rogues geared up relatively the same during our stint in Naxx and it worked well enough for us given our schedule and DKP system. At the end of the day, talk it over with the rest of your guild. You might even be able to fish out the hidden loot whores in the discussion.

#7 zeidrich

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 05:52 PM

Best Practices: Loot Priorities?

Out of interest, what size is your guild? Are you smallish (50-70 people) with decent attendance from everyone, or are you numbering in the hundreds with lots of one-a-week raiders? Gear dilution is exacerbated with higher numbers of people to spread gear around, especially if DKP means that for example your main tanks are missing out on a lot of tanking stuff or your most reliable healers rarely ever get drops they need.

I think this is a very good point and should be emphasised. Gear dilution can be a really big issue if you have too many members. Depending on your DKP system though, your main tanks and most reliable healers should still manage to get their gear the fastest. If you have a bunch of one-a-week raiders, they're rarely going to have more DKP than your, here-for-every-raid main tank. Thus the DKP system should sort it out, and you wont have to resort to priorities.

The problem with priorities, IMO is that your one-a-week tank might end up winning token drops from your most reliable healers.

Believe it or not, I'm sorry it came to this. Not really intensely sorry, but that kind of mildly disappointed, resigned sorry that happens when I see a puppy walk head-first into a window, back up, stare bewildered at it for a second, then walk head-first into the window again.


#8 Nisu

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 05:54 PM

Honestly, loot priority means little to nothing unless you are a hardcore guild at the very top of content. My guild, which I've been with since we started on MC, is currently on Emps, with Spider wing in Naxx cleared. We have never, ever done loot priority, with the slight exception of asking (not demanding) that our rogues consider passing t3 tokens to tanks first. It's an honor system that trusts that people will be careful when choosing loot and not constantly bid on things that could be better used by another class, but that hasn't stopped us from having several Shadow Priests with 400+ damage, a pair of well-geared Feral druids, etc. If it wasn't obvious, we don't force spec, either. Forcing either gear or spec is indicative of not trusting players to think for themselves as to what would be best for their own and the guild's long-term goals and gearing and speccing to match. Have good players who are there for the game, not the purples, who are willing to look up boss fights, addons, and consumables, and the rest will follow - and you'll have a happier guild to boot.

#9 Elerion

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 05:56 PM

Unless your guild is extremely progress oriented, I'd advise against gearing main tanks first. The exception would possibly be extremely beneficial and unique tank items like Lifegiving Gem. Giving them consistent priority on loot will just make the rest of your guild unhappy.

It works when everyone places progress above all, but if that was the case, you probably wouldn't be in BWL.

#10 Latham

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 06:03 PM

loot council

As long as the people in that council are fair it seems to work for the best for progression. With dkp systems you sometimes have people who show up 50% of the time slowly racking up dkp and then decide to spend it all on an item that would have been better on a 100% raider. The 100% people know they are getting loot first and the 50% people know they will get it second. If they want more loot they show up more. It makes it very hard for people to cry over loot if you have a good loot council since there were probably a good list of reasons on why they didn't get their item. I'm also biased since my old guild broke up without ever downing c'thun while watching the "scrubs" get loot and the guild i've been for the past 4 months has finished naxx. For example, it made it very easy for the guild to gear up the 8 warriors for 4H with 4 dreadnaught using this system. You put progression as the #1 priority and people who dont like that idea will eventually leave.

#11 Lavode

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 07:12 PM

The most effective way to gear a guild for progression is "whichever way causes the least drama" There is nothing that can hurt progress more than drama does. So avoid it at all costs. if you have a drama free loot system? Change nothing. For the love of the goddess above, change nothing. Having people who know the fights leave hurts progress far more than pretty much anything else does. Except possibly having people nursing hurt feelings while raiding. Drama is the levithan, it gets in the way of having fun and killing things. This is even more true if you are not the most progressed guild on the server, and cant recruit geared out people from lesser guilds. Internal peace and harmony makes raidbosses die. Nothing else will help you in the long run.

#12 Oneiros

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 07:51 PM

The best thing you could possibly do is simply to use a fair loot system. Fair means it rewards those who spend the most time, make the most effort, and play the best.

Having 3 people in full tier 4/5 or whatever you're referring to isn't going to be that much of a benefit if the rest of your raid is virtually naked. This also puts, as a previous poster put it, all your eggs in one basket. What happens when the MT, the main healers, and the main DPSers that y ou gave all this priority to decide that they are sick of carrying the casual players in the guild on their shoulders and they ditch you? The best thing you can do is distribute things fairly so that everyone gains a sense of responsibility and a sense of caring how far and how quickly the guild progresses. Also, by giving priority on items, the worst possible thing you could EVER do is build an attitude of dependence on a few key players. You do not want your raids called because no one thinks you can do it because that MT you geared out can't be there tonight. By prioritizing things that would naturally sort themselves out, you simply cause way more problems than you think.

In a fair and perfect world, you could probably put some type of priority system in that would benefit the raid the most. However, even in the most unselfish and progress-oriented guilds, it is a much better idea to let a fair loot system sort it out.

In conclusion, read the Loot Practices thread and base your system off of that.

(Oh, and I would also suggest using a bidding system over a set points system now that I can honestly say I've been in a raiding guild using virtually every basic system of DKP.)
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#13 Lord BEEF

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 07:57 PM

The class distribution on their token system is so bad currently I'm surprised they haven't changed it. Having 7 sets on one token and 3 on another means that there will be raids going back for alternate sets, and yet the hunter/warlock/mage pieces will rot since they'll have their sets already.
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#14 Cathela

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 08:50 PM

The class distribution on their token system is so bad currently I'm surprised they haven't changed it. Having 7 sets on one token and 3 on another means that there will be raids going back for alternate sets, and yet the hunter/warlock/mage pieces will rot since they'll have their sets already.

On top of that -- and I just realized this reading one of the posts above -- the classes are split in such a way that it's easily possible to get boned in one of your three raid needs (healing/tanking/dps) with an unlucky drop distribution.

1. Warrior/Priest/Druid. That's two of your three tanking classes (including the class that's arguably meant to be the primary tank) and the two strongest healing classes. If you don't get many of these, you're likely going to be hurting for both tanking and healing.

2. Mage/Lock/Hunter. All dps here.

3. Paladin/Shaman/Rogue. Seven sets. Two healing classes and one tank class.

The only real saving grace is what was mentioned above: The level 70 5-man gear is vastly superior to level 60 5-man gear relative to the raiding gear at each level. Still, this could be painful.
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#15 Cathela

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 09:02 PM

I expect that the first part of the expansion will be a return to the 'golden days' of WoW. Looking at the crafted items and the items available from non-raid sources (Heroic instances and such), I'm guessing that the defining factor in your raid's progress will not be the way you distribute the 8-10 pieces of Tier 4 gear you get in any week. The key factor will be whether your members are hitting the 5man instances to get the other upgrades they need.

The closest example I can think of is back in our MC days. While most of the guild was debating the best distribution of our Fiery and Lava Cores, about 10 of us just went out on our own and got the other gear that was available. Sure, it was annoying killing Vectus 20 times for Skullsmoke Pants, but it saved enough cores that someone else could get their gear instead. In the end, the people with the best fire resist also had the fewest items that were crafted from MC mats.

I'm afraid I've rambled a bit, but the key point is that I think that while the raid zones with the seven day lockouts may have the best individual items, you should focus on the 5man zones and crafted items.

This is a really good point, and I think it's going to be even more true in TBC, because the gap between 5-man and raid gear will be much narrower there than it currently is at level 60.

I think the best thing you can do in the short term is get your guild up to level 70 and running the endgame 5-mans as efficiently as possible. A big part of this is ensuring that 5-man groups are available on a regular basis, and getting people through critical progression quests at the same time. (Raise your hand if you got sick of having to cobble together 5-man groups for each new person to get their Ony key.)

To that end, we're going to be replacing raiding nights with grouping nights, probably focusing on one zone per night on some kind of pre-announced schedule. (e.g., "This coming Thursday we'll be doing Netherstorm group quests. The relevant quest chains are A, B, and C, which start with NPCs D, E, and F. Please try to get the early quests done by Thursday so we can get the group quests out of the way.")

The more people you can get through these things together, the less time you'll have to spend helping along the stragglers later on.
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#16 Jubling

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 09:28 PM

The class distribution on their token system is so bad currently I'm surprised they haven't changed it. Having 7 sets on one token and 3 on another means that there will be raids going back for alternate sets, and yet the hunter/warlock/mage pieces will rot since they'll have their sets already.

On top of that -- and I just realized this reading one of the posts above -- the classes are split in such a way that it's easily possible to get boned in one of your three raid needs (healing/tanking/dps) with an unlucky drop distribution.

Maybe the drop rate for each type of token isn't equal, but skewed towards the tokens with many sets?

Though having equally many sets on each token, or even one token for all classes would be much easier.

#17 Fendryl

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 09:41 PM

The most effective way to gear a guild for progression is "whichever way causes the least drama" There is nothing that can hurt progress more than drama does. So avoid it at all costs. if you have a drama free loot system? Change nothing. For the love of the goddess above, change nothing. Having people who know the fights leave hurts progress far more than pretty much anything else does. Except possibly having people nursing hurt feelings while raiding. Drama is the levithan, it gets in the way of having fun and killing things. This is even more true if you are not the most progressed guild on the server, and cant recruit geared out people from lesser guilds. Internal peace and harmony makes raidbosses die. Nothing else will help you in the long run.

I cannot stress this point strongly enough, even if you dont read anything else in this thread - read & reread this paragraph, it's extremely correct.

#18 Vema

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 09:45 PM

Though having equally many sets on each token, or even one token for all classes would be much easier.

17 sets doesnt divide evenly into 3 tokens with 3 classes. No matter how you rearrange things one of the tokens is going to have 1 less set.

#19 FunBall

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 10:18 PM

The class distribution on their token system is so bad currently I'm surprised they haven't changed it. Having 7 sets on one token and 3 on another means that there will be raids going back for alternate sets, and yet the hunter/warlock/mage pieces will rot since they'll have their sets already.

If they make the drop rate higher for hybrids, the current distribution would be pretty good.

We've always used a bid DKP system (I know a lot of people were using zero DKP). It was a problem in Naxx to have Warriors bidding on a tank set against rogues bidding on their only set. Same thing with Druids/Paladins/Shaman bidding against hunters.

If the drop rate is NOT higher for the hybrid sets, then yes, it could potentially be pretty ugly. I know a lot of our hybrids want a non-standard set, if not more than one.

#20 Oggie

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 10:56 PM

My guild's system has probably 'hindered' us in some fashion- we gave 'some' warrior priority through initial MC, but mostly just with the DI/crafted sets, and only through the first 3 tanks (then swapped it to melee priority b/c of Rag). But as a rule we use almost pure DKP single silent bid, FCFS at the zone line gets invites. It's a little wierd, but scrupiously fair.

And wow are you right about the distribution set. Let's hope and pray those are not equal drops.

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