Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Blind Guild?

How viable do you think a guild that insisted on doing content "blind" would be? By "blind", I mean not reading boss strategies or watching videos. Maybe not even using Boss Mods.

I've greatly enjoyed the few times I've gotten to tweak boss strats. But I'm not really in the first stare of Royalty guilds, both by talent and inclination. So I don't really have the opportunity to do things like that in the natural course of play.

I guess I'm just looking at Cataclysm, and idly thinking about what I'd like to do in that expansion. I like my current guild, but I'm just wondering if I would perhaps enjoy something different.

There are a lot of issues with a blind guild, though. You'd have to get people who would not cheat. Progress would be a lot slower. Probably would be a lot less loot.

As well, you'd have to consider the type of people who would be attracted to this sort of guild. Would they use the no-strat policy as an excuse to slack off in other areas? If you're already handicapping yourself by not using outside resources for boss fights, would people still be willing to use outside resources for rotations, or insist on full consumables.

Sometimes it feels that people are "efficient" in all things, or efficient in none. I think that this is a point which is under-appreciated by those people who wish that people were less concerned about spec or gems. The choice is rarely between a 100% efficiency player and a 95% efficiency player, it's between a 100% player or a 50% player.

The thing is that the players you need to make a blind guild relatively successful are also the players who will seek out strategies, watch videos or ask people who have already beaten the fight.

I think you might be able to get a 10-man normal blind guild running. But I like 25-man heroics, and that may be a bit too much to ask.


  1. We did this for a few bosses when ICC launched. It was a truly amazing and exciting experience. We're not a pure blind guild though and everyone didn't enjoy how it slowed down our progress compared to guilds on the same level as ours. So after a few weeks we went back to standard procedure. I'm glad to have tried it though and I'd happily do it again, given the opportunity. and yes, it was in 25 man.

  2. I think it sounds fun! But the other difficulty around not cheating is that you're effectively telling people they can't raid on alts (ie. where they might learn the strats before your guild does, or be in raids led by people who had read the strats.).

    So you really would need people who were all very keen on the idea of the blind guild and didn't mind slower progress as a result. Unfortunately much of the player base judges raiders purely based on their progression and achievements so your raiders would be passing up the chance of some in game status as well.

    It would actually be quite a revolutionary concept if you could make it work. As well as fun.

  3. Experience content on PTR or when it's fresh and "spoilers" don't exist (if the encounters were not on PTR, and even then, the amount of information available is very limited, especially on the more difficult fights) and your problem is solved

  4. Back in classic when information on raid bosses wasn't so widely available, it was a bit like this.

    You realize as romantic as it sounds, you end up in a lot of really stupid arguments over different raider's interpretation of how boss' abilities work, or how to fight in an encounter.

    Rogue says dps the caster, they die fast.

    Tanks say dps the hardest hitting guy, they need to die first.

    Healers say dps the weakest adds, so there's less adds on everybody.

    Caster says dps the melee guys because they have crazy cleave, and hardly any magic resistance.

    People want hunter to kite, they just want to pew pew.

    It was a nightmare. You end up either blindly trusting a few selected guys to lead the raid (often into complete wipeouts over bad/wrong understanding of the strat).

    And then someone digs up wow-wiki to "proof" his point (or the leader's error.

    Anyway, don't give up your current guild for this doomed-fantasy

  5. I think you need to distinguish between 'blind' on strategy and 'blind' on information. Most guilds ignore the actual strategies of leading guilds in favor of developing their own. However, they still use the information gathered by those guilds (boss special abilities, phases, etc.) because it saves them an enormous amount of time - time that is, frankly, not very fun.

  6. Don't listen to Mr Sadface up there.

    You might actually find that people learn fights faster. First off, you'd be filtering out people who aren't motivated, since lazy people who only chase loot wouldn't join. Second, since people would be figuring out the strats, they'd make sense to them. Too often strats sound like "run over here then run over there" and there's no logic behind it, but when people know "add spawns over at this side which we need to drag into the magma over there", then they can understand and learn the fight as more than just muscle memory. That also means they can adapt on the fly if things go wrong and when they do, they can better understand why they went wrong.

    I also think a raid of engaged players who are encouraged to think about the fight might be more loyal than a bunch of mindless drones being told what to do by another mindless drone reading off a guide.

  7. I actually actively looked for a blind guild last year when I was guild shopping. I've heard of such guilds existing but I couldn't find one. I love debating strategy and reviewing logs for hours and hours, so a blind guild would be right up my way.

    A blind guild would have to consist of very like minded people, which would be pretty difficult to get together. If you are able to find those people, I think a blind guild can work very well, at least for 10 mans. 25 might be pushing it.

  8. I like the idea of a blind guild, but that said I lead a 10-man guild I would not give up, so joining a blind guild on an alt wouldn't be proper, because my own guild would be rolling ahead and I'd know the fights even if I played blind without mods.

    One of the things I like doing is making up strats and I love it when we do something I haven't read on WoWWiki or Tankspot, or other strat sites, so a blind guild would provide opportunities to make up things that no one ever thought of before. It wouldn't be for everyone, but I could see that being appealing to a certain type of player.

  9. Having done this through much of Ulduar and ToC, I can tell you that it is enormous fun. The keys to make it work:

    First off, your group has to be made up of people that want to do this, that think that the *fight* is the fun thing, not the *loot*. You have to do more than just not mind wiping, you have to go in with the mindset that we will wipe, and discuss, and learn, and then succeed. Maybe weeks later.

    Related to this is you have to not worry a wit about progression. You are not a progression guild! You are doing your own thing, in your own way, at your own pace. We found that, in putting together a bunch of people that wanted to do the raid achievements, we ended up with a group that was happy to try stuff "blind." Obviously, you are more likely to get a solid 10 man group than a 25 this way.

    Secondly, you have to have solid leadership. After one or two wipes on "lets see what this guy does" someone has to come up with a plan, and everyone else has to implement it, and everyone has to be OK with it not working out right. If everyone has to be the chief, this might get ugly. You need one or two chiefs, and a bunch of braves. We found that disagreement was OK, but needed to not be in the heat of battle, and honestly needed to not be between every attempt. Sometimes execution is rocky enough that it is tough to tell if the strat you've come up with might work.

    Finally, we had to give ourselves permission to give up. There were a few bosses we "ran out of time on," and looked them up so we could move on to the next content. When ICC came around, we started off by looking at strats as we wanted to give ourselves time to get Arthas down. Your mileage may vary, but it really worked for us as "this is fun until it isn't."

  10. While it is an intriguing idea, would the goal still not be to progress? Earlier this year, I decided to go to a "casual" raiding guild. While not exactly the same as a blind raiding guild, I think the end results are still similar. I originally thought that wiping on bosses in a casual guild wouldn't be frustrating, because they all play together as "friends." However, I was wrong. After so many wipes on the silliest of things that are easily preventable, it got to be even more frustrating than "hardcore" endgame. I am thinking it would be the same in a blind guild. A more intriguing question, however, is if the already established raiders would be as good if they were raiding blind. It would be a nice experiment, but not something I think is worth wasting time on with my main character.

  11. While it can be fun, it's very hard to actually realize in practice. it probably works best if you promote yourself as a strictly-blind guild, but even then I'd have my doubts.

    I've been to a few blind runs and personally the fun of it wore away rather quickly; I think you'd need a bunch of players that are all on the same page for it to work properly (for example if you have people with very different learning curves in the same raid, it can become frustrating rather fast).

  12. Our guild usually gives it at least three or four tries blind, on the assumption that you don't really understand what you are reading until you see the moving parts working together anyways.

    I can certainly see the allure, but I suspect that "cheating" would start within seconds of the second wipe.

  13. Bosses should be played by blizzard employees. I mean, like you get to the Lich King, and it's Ghostcrawler sitting on the other side controlling him. Think wintergrasp, but the player has tenacity x400. The only problem would be that taunting, and therefore tanking wouldn't mean a damn thing. I'm just mentioning this because I think it'd add a variability to fights on each encounter, so that it's not such a scripted square dance each time. But I guess that's what pvp is for right?

  14. Actually, my guild raids mostly blind. That is, there's a core group of people who enjoy raiding this way (including me and my husband) so we run one set of raids like this.

    If you ever liked figuring out puzzles in adventure games, it's sort of like that. Except that you have to read buff/debuff info and parse combat logs to figure out the fight mechanics. Plus observe the movement in the fight. It's really not that hard frankly -- although, of course, slower than just reading up on boss abilities and/or fight strategies.

    We're a friends and family guild doing 10-man stuff, and just starting to tackle the Lich King. Since I'm not motivated by progression or loot, this suits me since I find it more fun.

    Here's a link to a 10-man guild that raids blind:


  15. Such a guild is certainly viable but will be unable to kill certain bosses. Of course, Lich King is a prime example - it can be done without boss mod only by sheer luck.
    There is 2 critical abilities in phase 2 - summon Val'kyr and Defile. To counter Val'kyrs, raid needs to group up in the center of area, to counter Defile, raid needs to disperse before cast.
    To complicate things these abilities are on CDs of different lengths. Sometimes Defile is cast in 3-4 seconds after Val'kyr take their victims. All raid members need to know when CD on both of abilities is nearing an end, and without boss mods, you will need a person who runs 2 stopwatches, which could affect performance and raction time.