The Mystery of Raider Availability
I’m back! Did you all miss me? Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I was really busy for a while, then just really lazy. I was also focused on leveling my Worgen Hunter – she’s level 82 now and I’d really like to get her to max level. Also, there were raids, real life commitments, books to read, etc. So now I have to get back into the blogging routine.
State of the Raid
Last night was our most successful raid night to date. We were only planning to do BoT and TotFW, but we still had 2 hours of raid time left by the time we were finished. I suppose we could have worked on Al’Akir, but we hate his guts. The random number generated unfairness that is his first phase is just too frustrating. Instead we decided to go to BWD and clear some of the farm bosses so we could have more time on Nefarian tonight. We ended up blasting through that place too, so all 10 of our farm bosses died in one night. This means we’ll have four hours of progress on Nef tonight!
The Mystery of Raider Availability
When we first started raiding in Cataclysm we decided to focus on BWD, and both of our raid nights were dedicated to that one raid. If we had time we’d also run BH and Halfus from BoT. Once we had killed every BWD boss but Nefarian, we decided to spend Wednesday on BWD and Thursday on BoT. At this point a funny thing happened. On Wednesday we’d have 12-15 people show up ready to raid, but on Thursday we’d usually have exactly 10 people. We’d had a fair amount of raider turnover by this point, so we assumed that Wednesday was just a better day for people’s schedules.
After a few weeks of good Wednesday attendance and low Thursday attendance, we started to feel bad for those people who were never getting a chance to run BoT and TotFW. So we decided to alternate which day we ran which raid – one week we’d do BWD on Wednesday, but then the following week we’d run BoT and TotFW on Wednesday instead. This wouldn’t impact the core group of raiders much, since they were showing up both nights anyway, but it would give other people with less availability a chance to learn the other encounters.
But a funny thing has happened: We still have high attendance on nights we run BWD – regardless of whether that’s a Wednesday or a Thursday - and low attendance on nights we run BoT/TotFW.
So what on earth is going on? Either some of our members have really random schedules that happen to coincidentally make them available only on the nights we run BWD, or people prefer to run BWD and have no interest in running any other raid. If the latter is true, then I wonder why they would prefer one raid so strongly over the other.
Now, when we first started running BoT, this attitude might have made some sense. BoT was a progression raid, so we’d spend a lot of time wiping and very little time handing out shiny purples. If someone wanted to come in and down a few farm bosses for easy purples and Valor Points, BWD was the night to raid. But this makes no sense anymore. We have 5 farm bosses in BWD and… 5 farm bosses in BoT/TotFW. Not to mention the fact that Cho’gall drops tier tokens. If people wanted to maximize their loot gains, they should be preferring BoT night over BWD in order to have access to completely different loot tables and tier tokens.
I’m baffled. Is BWD just an inherently more interesting/attractive raid?
At Least One Reason That Makes Sense
One of our newest members has only been attending BWD raid nights, but he’s explained his reasoning. He is brand new to raiding with Cataclysm, so he’s just learning the ropes. He came to the officers and told us that he wants to focus on BWD so that he can learn those fights well and not be overwhelmed with trying to memorize ten bosses’ worth of fight mechanics. This makes a lot of sense to me, although I think he might be underestimating his own ability – he’s shown a great amount of raid awareness and skill so far. This player is also generally online for BoT nights and hangs out in vent with us even if he’s not in the raid group – which worked in his favor last night as we were able to sub him in when we got to BWD.
So it is possible that other people have perfectly good explanations for their attendance histories. But unless people explain themselves we are just left scratching our heads, wondering what the heck is going on.
And of course, tonight is BWD night… but we’ve already downed everything up to Nefarian. If anyone does show up looking for a free ride through farm bosses, they are going to be disappointed.