The Raid Observer: Week 3, Back to Normal(Heroic)?
Week 3 has started off and it looks like guilds that had been affected by the widespread suspensions are working on catching up. Also something interesting is *still* happening with Yor'sahj on heroic mode. Talk about a drama king.
Looking at the Top Tier Scene
Welcome to Week 3, where things are back to normal, or are they? Well, maybe we can never call Unlucky Tier 13 normal, but a number of the guilds impacted by the suspensions are now enjoying having their full roster back and are making a comeback on the 25-man raiding side of things. This has left the Tier 13 10-man race kind of in a holding pattern since many of the top 20 guilds in the 10-man race have gone back to 25-man raiding and none of the actual 10-man raiding guilds have broken the 6/8 wall down yet. I wonder which raiding size will be the first to topple the Spine.
The same holding pattern remains true for the 25-man race, where while the top tier of the raiding ranks is starting to flesh out nicely once more (compared to its somewhat sparsely populated state last week), we still don't have a picture of top guild rankings that resembles Firelands or any other ranking snapshot in recent years. That's not to say that the currently top-ranked guilds won't be able to hold their spot, but they'll have to keep the hungry guilds coming up from behind at bay by continuing their progress which appears to be stalled at the moment. And what of those hungry guilds? Well some of them are doing fine work of catching up to the other 25-man guilds at 6/8, with many of them having achieved 4/8 or 5/8 within a day or so of raiding. And while a few guilds (with a notable example being For the Horde) may have dropped out the race entirely, the ban could prove a watershed event for these guilds that are free to try and catch up. Can they regroup and dedicate the necessary time? Have the suspensions only made them more determined? Everyone loves a comeback story, after all. Or has this experience proven too frustrating and aggravating for some raiders who just can't come to any resolution about what they may have felt was an excessive and unfair punitive reaction to a widespread practice? Group cohesion could likely be tested during this period and raiding skill may not be the only factors in those guilds' ability to comeback.
And the guilds to rejoin the race could be more focused than ever. These are definitely the days where the otherwise incorrect stereotype of top tier raiders "raiding all the time" may have a shred of truth to it. As much as they are able to squeeze out of themselves and their ability to keep a viable 25-man group together, stay awake and remain (I trust) well hydrated, these guys are going to be going at it. I believe the eloquent way it's been put to me is everyone is going "balls to the walls." The main reason, however, that I dispute the urban myth that "these guys raid 24 hours a day" is that outside of these crazy days of intense raiding, many of these guilds attempt to keep to a once a week raid clear along with additional runs, possibly, for any alts that need gearing up as well. So intense time commitment now for the promise of a lighter schedule down the road and the potential reward of world firstness (yes I just made that up).
But I digress.... the current situation is that we continue (as of this morning GMT) to have only a few 25-man guilds (13) at 6/8 and 38 ten-man guilds up at 6/8. (But that's still accounting for the guilds that did 10-man raiding last week, so take those numbers with a grain of salt.) I think until we either see a shift to 7/8 by a guild or two or more of the typically top 20 guilds shifting up to 6/8, the race remains a bit of a "catch up" for those behind while those at the top are taking advantage--one might presume--of their still one-week advantage over the other guilds and need to keep those hungry wolves at bay. Race on, ladies and gentlemen!
More fun with Yor'sahj
Remember when I showed those sexy graphs last week with that striking deviation in Yor'sahj kills between 10-man and 25-man groups? That appears to have been addressed through some nerfing and raiding race equalization, at least theoretically, with the boss now (well based on the data we captured this morning) being killed only 11 times more on 10-man mode than its previous 27.5 times ratio. As I've said before, due to the current scope and nature of the race, it's hard to be completely certain that this now means Yor'sahj is not as "easy" on 10-man as in comparison to 25-man raiding, but a simple glance at the comparative ratio of 10-man to 25-man kills on heroic Yor'sahj definitely seems to be saying something! Look at the party going on at Heroic Yor'sahj in the fetching graph below and tell me what you think is going on:
*Note: The whacky purple line doing the manic dance of joy is the Yor'sahj heroic encounter.