Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Raiding and Recruiting

Tobold is sure that the raiding population is in decline. I am not sure I agree with his assessment, and he does not really provide any sort of proof that this is the case.

First of all, it's still fairly early in the life of TBC. People are still levelling and working on 5-mans and all the non-raiding content. Raiders are used to devouring content, so it may not seem like a lot, but there's a lot to do.

Secondly, I'm not sure that the actual number of people raiding is decreasing. Judging by the Guild Progression sticky on my Realm forums, I would say that there's at least the same number of people raiding as there were pre-TBC. The only difference is that they are spread across three or four times as many guilds.

However, one thing that is not in doubt is that existing raiding guilds are having troubles recruiting. All raiding guilds suffer from turnover, but there used to be a constant stream of new recruits that would make up for it.

What I think is happening is that people are not leaving their levelling guilds. Pre-TBC, your average levelling guild would maybe get up to 10 level 60s. They wouldn't be able to do anything however. A few would quit the game, a few would reroll alts, and a few would apply to the raiding guilds.

But now, that group of 10 70s will attempt Karazhan. Maybe they won't do very well, or proceed at a much slower pace than the raiding guilds are used to, but it's preferrable to having to leave your friends in the levelling guild.

But the downside of this is that a significant source of recruits for the raiding guilds has dried up. And raiders see people leaving their guilds through natural attrition, and no new players joining, and so complain that there is something wrong with TBC content. That raiding is dying.

But it's possible that raiding is healthy, and may become more popular than ever before.

In any case, what should a raiding guild do for recruitment? My only real thought is to conduct recruitment on a guild level. Allying with a guild that is doing one run of Karazhan could probably net enough people to do the 25-mans.

I think that before we can substantively conclude that "raiding is dying", we need more solid proof. It's possible that raiding is indeed dying, but it is also very possible that the situation I have outlined above is correct, and raiding is healthy. It also accounts for the perception by raiders that raiding is dying.


  1. I'm with you; I think your analysis was solid. I noticed the claims of decline, but the discussion on Tobold's blog went another way, so I didn't comment about it.
    I think it is a bit early to start digging a grave for WoW/TBC!

  2. What if raiding was dying... there would certainly be something to replace it.. migh even be more fun than coordinating 25 people over vent =)

  3. Raiding takes:
    * too much time
    * too much scheduling (long blocks of uninterrupted time)
    * too much cost (repair, consumeables)
    * loot drama
    * I don't want to raid (spend lots of time) knowing Blizzard is going to replace all that with the next expansion.

    I'm having alot of fun with 5 mans, battlegrounds and arenas.

  4. Meh, Raiding isn't dead, Tobold is just burntout and thus he assumes that all of us are as well. If one were to read Tobolds blog from a year ago, you will notice many posts that are much like the post you linked.

    The guild I am in has about 20 people who are ready to raid in BC- only 4 raided pre BC- so the crop of new blood is certainly there for my server.

  5. Raiding isn't even difficult. With the nerfs to Karazhan a complete PUG of folks (Hordeside btw) downed the prince in a total of 3 weeks. It's relatively easy, and I can only assume that it will continue to get easy as people progress.

    Raiding is a ton of fun and is a really good group experience if you can sit around and laugh and enjoy wiping and not be caught up in the drama factor (there is no drama if you don't create the drama).

    In short, Raiding is awesome and will never die, WoW is based around raiding despite what it's doing in the PvP areas, it's really a PvE/Story driven game.

  6. While I wouldn't say raiding is "Dead"... It's certainly declining. I do think the recent nerf to Kara will allow more people to get into small raids but I know of VERY few guilds who have even attempted a 25 man on my server. We have a few hardcore guilds that have downed Vash but for the most part Kara is the only option for casuals. I think what hurts for casual guilds is that you used to be able to get stuff done with friends that weren't the best of players... but they are your FRIENDS. You can't just tell your friend he sucks and to join another guild. He will get invited to raids and the raid will go badly. You shouldn't be so heavily punished because everyone can't devote their lives to a game.

    I agree with the folks who say there should be "easy mode" dungeons so that people can at least SEE the content. Why put in the Black Temple if only 2% of the population will ever step inside. If the game is story driven why doesn't anyone get to see the story?

  7. I agree with proudfoot. I hated how the WoW developers spent a year creating Naxxramas (and say in interviews that it's their "favorite instance"), when less than 1% of the WoW-playing population ever got to even go inside.

    I'll be downright happy when the hardcore raids of the past are finally dead. That was one of the problems with this game -- the developers spend too much time on that stuff when they could be making better solo and small group content. I'm pretty happy with BC so far, except that all the big-name lore bosses are still in the hardcore 25-man dungeons.

    At least they gave us lots of 5-mans to do and a nice 10-man to keep us busy until we find another guild to ally with. It's so much easier for small guilds made up of friends to actually raid now. Down with hardcore raiding guilds!! Now if only they add in some kind of guild alliance system so we can do these things officially.

  8. I will have to say that I dont think raiding is dead. Comming from my expereince, my guild has found that we are at a point in raiding where we need to gear up a little more to help us over our hump. So now we have "unoffically" put raiding on hold and are working more twoards heroics.

    I think that most guilds may doing the same. Seeing that with there current gear and wanting to raid, they need to get better gear. Even in the old content you couldn't go straight from MC to BWL when everyone wasnt geard properly and expect to perform like you used to.

    I havent been into Kara since the patch to see first hand of the nerf, will know tonight, but Kara is a gear check so you dont get pwnd going to other raid encounters.

  9. I agree with much of what was posted here.

    As a "casual" player, while I want to get to 70, the demands of raiding are never going to allow me to get in those instances. Heroics seem like a much better option, especially since I'm in a small guild. If I can only play seriously one or two nights a week, no raiding guild would ever let me in, and I'd never be geared properly.

    I agree that there should be raiding content, but like Proudfoot said, what happens when only a small percentage of the players will ever see that content? More 5-man heroic content makes a lot more sense.

  10. I think raiding is on the edge.
    Not dying but teeteering. Too many people rushed to 70 and burned themselves out and quit. thus a lot of old timers many of whom were bedrocks in thier communities are fading away.

    at the same time on a lot of servers,(especially the low to med pop ones), it is nearly impossible to get a pug for a 5 man. I've got a friend who after leveling his main is now trying to get his alt (a prot specced warrior) through the 5 mans he didn't do when he levled. No one wants to run them. PUGS are dieing a slow death and the increased pressure from 10 mans requiring every one in the raid to be in thier game 100% of the time is making raiding not fun for all but the most hardcore. Add that to the fact that they forced a linear progression on everyone when the populace was "raised" in a more open ended game and you have a bunch of generically disgruntled players.

    In the expansion blizzard fed the truely casuals and the truely hardcores but all the In-betweens (most of the population) are really kind've left out.