With Legion looming on the horizon and the great Sippy Cup Mythic Experiment a seeming success it is time to begin to mentally prepare for an actual season of Mythic raiding. HFC saw us dip our toes and eventually belly flop into the pool of serious raiding and now it seems that there is a hunger for even more.
Opening tiers are great places to start an overhaul program. The pool of people who want to cut their teeth on serious raiding is larger enough to feed the hungry guilds and the reputations of old aren't as weighty upon those guilds. The race begins a new. Our plan seems to be to cruise through normal modes and then slow up just a touch for heroics. Its been discussed that we will take between five and ten clears before we hop into Mythics though I have a feeling that the addiction for hard content may kick in sooner and we may see Sunday night turned into an exploratory expedition into the harder content.
But...with a hard limit of twenty raiders it is imperative that we do a proper job of evaluating hopefuls before we get into the meat of the Mythic raids. We want to insure our best foot is put forward and that no one is unduly burdening the rest of the group with a covert carry. Expectations need to be high. Our guild is in a great position though by offering two raid groups.
Two raid groups can be done in several ways each with pros and cons. The direct competition model pits both teams against each other which uses competition to drive performance. The downside is that the team with the stronger political leader will tend to end up with the better players and the secondary team ends up being a reserve group. Morale plummets and eventually many Qs are QQed. A second approach is to actually label one team as the A team and the other as its lesser brother the B team. This allows for evaluation of players in a known lesser progressed group who sets out with the knowledge that they are not the top of the top. The downside is ego and much QQing.
Our approach is actually a compromise approach. One group is defined as a progression group with expectations to push content and require performance while group the second is a social group with a more laid back schedule and more lenient performance requirements.
The thing to remember in this case is that just because someone is raiding on the more laid back social schedule they are not prejudged as being any better or worse than a member of the progression team. Anyone who has spent time in the theory crafting community has come across some of WoW's brightest minds and best players who raid normal because that is what they enjoy. And anyone who has done any progression raiding has seen players in the hard fast group who are being drug along simply because there isn't another warm body to replace them with and honestly their pitiful performance is just marginally better than running with the spot empty.
Another benefit is that the social raiders who hope to one day enter the progression team have an avenue to log performance, hangout with the guild, and be ready once an opening presents itself. On the flip side having ready takers means the progression team has the ability to cut the cord on those who are not performing. Yes you may be in one group or the other due to availability or performance but you aren't defined by these limitations. A check on hubris is important even among top raiders.
Warcraft logs will remain the gold standard for evaluating performance. I will also be watching to see if AMR provides some extra utility and will continue to follow all resources that are aimed at log evaluation. While I log every raid I attend and will be looking at norm and heroics for placement of mythic raiders it is the Mythic logs which will provide the rankings and formal evaluations for our raiders. Getting as many on board as possible in terms of eyes scouring the logs is a goal of mine as well. I hope this next tier we will be anticipating and preempting performance issues before they become an ingrained and difficult to correct problem.
Most of all I am personally looking forward to competing in a much larger pool. As players generally tend towards the path of least resistance there were very few holy priests to compete with during HFC due to the specs low overall performance. With Blizz retunning the spec into the healing juggernaut it is often touted as being I anticipate every Dick, Harry, and Disc will be switching into the sped. Of course Blizz has made promises before...