What does 3.2 mean for us? A guild leader’s perspective.
Of all the roles I fulfill in the World of Warcraft — shaman, healer, raider, recruiter, even blogger — the one I consider most important is guild leader. I feel a tremendous amount of responsibility to those who wear my tag … not to mention the adorable, purple and blue themed Angry Totem Tabard© that recently replaced our traditional Maple Leaf.
(Contrary to popular belief, we are not changing our name to <Surreality, eh?>. But we may take Canada Day off, since most of our American raiders are heading out of town for the weekend anyway…)
… Where was I going with this?
Oh, right. Because I am, first and foremost, a guild leader, it should come as no real surprise that I view all of the upcoming game changes with one question in mind:
What does this mean for my guild?
Optional extension on raid lockouts
I’m not sure how to feel about this one. As frustrating as it is to come within a few measly percent of defeating a new boss on the last attempt of the lockout, I like the sense of urgency that accompanies a looming reset. Surreality downed Kael’thas and Mimiron on offnights, after the weeks’ raids were officially over. If we’d had the option to extend the lockout, I’m sure we’d have taken it — but the same energy and determination that brought the guild together at the eleventh hour also contributed, massively, to our success.
I’m going to miss that.
I’m also not looking forward to the decision itself. Do we extend the lockout for a week so we can progress through new hard-modes, even if it means losing a shot at loot from a boss we’ve already downed? Flame Leviathan drops the best-in-slot DPS caster neck and boots, and I know there will some very disappointed mages, warlocks and shadow priests in my raid if we opt to extend. And yet … if we’re going to make significant progress on other hard-modes or eventually unlock Algalon while raiding only 10 hours a week, we’re either going to have to pick and choose (doing some hard modes each week and forgoing others) or take advantage of the new option to extend.
My guildmembers are all adults, and very reasonable people. No one is going to /gquit in a fit of pique or throw a temper tantrum if we end up skipping — or extending — a particular raid boss or hard-mode. But, as a leader, I will struggle to reach an acceptable compromise and inevitably feel that I’ve let someone down.
Universal tier tokens
There will be no slot-specific tier tokens in the next raid instance, and all but the highest ilevel of T9 gear will be purchasable with Emblems of Triumph.
This is an interesting change, and one that I’m actually looking forward to since it will reduce the amount of loot that goes to off-specs or shards. I imagine it will also minimize the impact of the RNG, marry the guild’s ilevel to its actual progression, and make farming the first few bosses of the instance feel like less of a chore, because the loot they drop will still be useful. (I’m assuming there’s some sort of linear progression to the Crusader’s Coliseum, but for all I know it will follows VoA’s “boss buffet” model. There’s a spoiler-rich post on WoW.com that might shed some light on the subject, but — alas! — I can’t access it from work.)
I’m not sure yet how universal tier tokens will interact with my guild’s loot system. We use EPGP, a ratio-based model of loot distribution that assigns a priority ranking (“PR”) to each raider that is equal to the amount of time they’ve put in (Effort Points, or “EP”) divided by the level and quality of the gear they’ve taken out (Gear Points, or “GP”).
It usually works out so that our more consistent raiders have a higher priority on new drops, simply by virtue their superior EP — but the fact that each token currently has limited usefulness means that our casual raiders are able to pick them up relatively quickly, in spite of a lower average PR.
The change from slot-specific to universal tier tokens may prevent some our more casual raiders from obtaining tier gear, or — coupled with the Emblem of Conquest change — it may have the opposite effect, as our core raiders farm the heroic dailies for Emblems of Triumph to purchase their tier tokens, maintaining PR for off-set drops like weapons, jewelery and trinkets.
BoP items tradeable for a small window of time (to others who were elligible to receive them)
I’m sure this will lead to item-selling in PuG raids. A few of my guildmembers — brave souls who PuG’d into another guild’s Uld25 last night on alts — saw an early preview of this when a shaman in the hosting guild rolled on a ring with spellpower and spirit (!) and then nobly passed “to any guilded priest.”
We /scoffed at the move in guild chat. What’s next? my boyfriend speculated. Priests rolling on tanking shields and then passing to “any guilded paladin”?
It won’t be allowed in my guild. All loot decisions will follow EPGP, and anyone caught selling or trading items will be /gremoved. (Not that I expect this to happen, of course. The closest thing we’ve had to loot drama since our crazy tankadin de-guilded — mid-SSC! — has been me complaining about losing Vulmir, the Northern Tempest three weeks in a row. Granted, it’s off-spec for me … but I lost to another resto shaman, an ultra-casual enhancement shaman and a combat rogue who, together, raid less as melee than I do. >.<
Of course, karma smiled on me the very next week when the Golden Saronite Dragon dropped from our first hardmode Flame Leviathan kill … and lo!, not an enhancement shaman or mace-rogue in sight! Suffice it to say, I won’t be crying about Vulmir anymore.)
Paid faction changes
WTB Holy Paladin, PST!
No, really. Our sole Healadin is in five-piece T8.5 and substantially all of our spellpower plate is going to a Death Knight’s holy set. (Surely, Tirion will redeem him someday. /cough)
Surely, I can lure just one of you humans or dwarves or spacegoats to the Dark Side!