The Raid Observer: Special Sunday--The Round Table Podcast!

In this very special issue of The Raid Observer, Ladan meets up with members from four of the top raiding guilds to discuss the current race, the LFR ban drama, and the alleged US/EU guild tension!


Cataclysm history in the making: Podcast with four top tier guilds

So I sat down today with eight members of four of the top tier raiding guilds to discuss the recent LFR ban, the current tier 13 raiding race, and the so-called conflict between the US and EU guilds. The guilds and members that participated are:

  • Killars (Rogue) and Grafarion (Warrior) of US-guild vodka
  • Xenophics (Priest) and Arx (Druid) of EU-guild DREAM Paragon
  • Tekniqz (Shaman) and Ennuo (Warlock) of US-guild Exodus
  • Sco (Warrior) and Rogerbrown (Hunter) of EU-guild Method

We laughed, we cried, we even disconnected at a few points. In fact, I have to just point out a few salient points here:

  1. The participants literally span the globe, all the way from Las Vegas in the US to Auckland, New Zealand.
  2. We used technology and even had to defeat the lag and DC monster during the podcast. (That's my way of saying there are some slight variations in sound quality in the interview, but I hope you'll be understanding.)
  3. And this is the first time that these guilds can remember having a sit down discussion with so many different guilds at the same time.
  4. As well behaved as they all were, there is a wee bit of good spirited playfulness at the end that I hope you'll take in the spirit of fun. :)

So what did we discuss? A few highlights:

  • The recent LFR ban and the subsequent impact on the top tier raiding guilds
  • The overall issue of exploits and bugs and what might be done to deal with them in the future
  • The current Tier 13 race
  • And whether the US and EU server guilds really "hate" each other.


Note: If you'd rather skip the background and introduction to the topic that I present and just get right to the group discussion, you can jump to 07:20.


Raid observer round table Dec-11 by ladanc

Special thanks again to the guilds and members that participated and an additional acknowledgement to xenophics, Tuutti, Olog, and Fenchurch for technical advice and support. And for more information about my research, please visit


Interesting round table!

It would be great if these (and other) top guilds could work together to convince Blizzard to take a more consistent and responsive stance on bugs in the future. Maybe an open letter to Blizzard, signed by members from both banned an non-banned top guilds?

I fear merely hoping for Blizzard to be more firm and consistent in the future will be in vain.

"History in the making: Podcast with four top tier guilds"

I wouldn't go that far, as totalbiscuit interviewed people from nihilum, forte, method and death & taxes at the same time (in a round table style) in BC.

The fans and followers of guilds seem to be a lot more vicious towards each other than the actual guilds themselves.

@gwaga: Very fair point! I should revise it to say "Cataclysm history in the making". Thanks for the correction.

Must congratulate Ladan on 2 two barbs aimed at us normal wow players who arent in the top hardcore raiding guilds.

First one was on the 3.59 mark:
"while top raiders commented that this was only a normal sort of business and a necessary evil that has to be dealt during the raiding progress ... a much more educated crowd (quote/ unquote) isnt really having any of this"

Must love the use of parentheses with the word "educated" when talking about the wow players who were upset with the top gear raiding guilds using the exploit. Basically its a indirect way of saying that we are idiots.

Second barb comes at about 4.04 mark:

"and decided that they would like to order some subsequent lunching"

So after Paragon has posted an official apology about exploiting Ladan is still terming people as having a lynching mentality towards the guilds that exploited?

Hereby i officially name Ladan as the new minister of information for Paragon. Ladan is doing spin worthy of Saddam Hussein´s former minister of information (there are no tanks near bagdad....everything is in order)

Really nice to hear some of the main actors in the race/LFR-exploit talk about the situation. It shows how the guilds think about it all and how there's not hate between them.

A+ to Ladan for this one.

Like it or not, "us normal wow players" ARE an ignorant bunch with regards to the bugs encountered by top players during progression raids. By the time we get to those fights many of the bugs have already been hotfixed, and our use of DBM with ready-made strategy guides masks the rest of them.

People should have the self-knowledge to recognize their own limitations. Unfortunately, many lack that ability.

You were never there.

As for the "lynching" comment, I read numerous people call for a permaban, and many others expressing satisfaction with the 8-day ban. Considering 3 days the normal max, that's pretty descriptive of a lynching mob.

Well at least we normal raiders with our "limitations" know what an exploit means and we know usually not to use them in-game.

Maybe it would have been good for the top raiders to also recognise this and not to use an exploit. Especially with their so called superior intelligence.

An 8 day ban is a very appropriate punishment for people who were aiming to get a full 384 tier set by exploiting a lfr raid. They could very well have used Blood Legions method of gearing their people with a combination of using mains and alts in LFR raid. Instead they chose to use an exploit.

The weird thing is that the top guilds using this exploit tought that they could get away with it. Instead of reporting the bug to Blizzard they did the opposite. Should we allow them to use exploits because they report a lot of other bugs for Blizzard?

The right way would have been to report the bug to Blizzard. That way they could have stayed in the race from the start. But I guess that morality for some people is more shades of black than shades of white and gray.

Is this available in podcast form? - rss / link to mp3 or on iTunes. I would like to listen to this but I don't see any valid links on my phone. It looks like it is some kind of flash video . Is it possible to make this In the same format that you used for the previous podcast with the 2 paragon members that one worked great.

Oops my bad found the link to the sound stream page - sorry couldn't figure out how to remove my previous comment

Qaz is that you bro :)

@Tirpe: When people made a decision you believe is stupid, there are three possible explanations.
1) Individual lapse of judgement - everyone does something stupid, occasionally.
2) Widespread stupidity.
3) Considerations you either don't understand or haven't bothered to learn about, which supported the decision.

The first one is out, because so many top guilds were involved. The second is out too, because these people are smart - that's one requirement for high-end raiding - and experienced. Which, by a process of elimination, leaves the third explanation.

Unfortunately, most people prefer raging/complaining, instead of investigating.

But if you followed the entire podcast, then you know these top raiders all want Blizzard to take a clearer and more responsive stance on bugs.

For record, I think it's misleading to refer to this round table as "unprecedented". There is a precedent for this, I bring it up because I always thought it would be nice to have a follow up to it, so I'm glad this was made.

The precedent I refer to is the old WoWradio one-off "The Four Horseman", from Vanilla times, still available at WoW Radio Shows/thefourhorsemen/wow-t4h.mp3

Corrected link: - moderated by TotalBiscuit, and with members of Nihilium, Death&Taxes, Forte and Method.


But it was a lynch mob. I think I saw some comments saying that a permaban wouldn't be enough. Really? Exploiting world first kills has netted 3-day bans previously. Numerous other widespread exploits like Atramedes and Magmaw have amounted to nothing. I hardly think it's rational behavior to demand a permaban (or more!) for the LFR bug -- especially considering that if you did LFR normally again this week, you'd have way more gear by now than with the bug.

Hence, a lynch mob of *overreacting* players. Not everyone. It's perfectly fine to think that an 8-day ban is appropriate. Personally I feel 3 days might have been a better choice given the context, but I'm okay with 8 as well.

<3 Arx :)

Btw arx I love the sound of your voice too whahaha

@Snowolf, thanks for clearing that up! I had mistakenly thought fewer guilds were involved in that discussion and am glad to be corrected. And very glad to see the link too. I'll check it out! I hope everyone else does too, if you didn't hear it back in the day. Some still call that the golden age of raiding.

And I'd like to address a couple things from the podcast:

A few have asked why more guilds weren't involved in the podcast and a few have been making remarks about the fact that Exodus--which only ranked 19th in the previous tier--was involved. There are a few reasons for both of these things. First of all, I'm the first to admit to being quite inexperienced with hosting large group podcasts over a VOIP involving players from all over the world. I thought keeping it to just several guilds was more manageable for tne first time. Also, by limiting ourselves to 4 guilds, it prevented the discussion from going over an hour and allowed pretty much everyone chance to say something of substance. Then I'm guessing you're wondering why not just have 1 member from a guild, thus allowing you to have 8 guilds represented. Well, I felt--for right or wrong--that the depth of discussion would be more compelling if you have more than one member from a particular guild. It gives you a bigger idea of what guilds think. After all a raiding guild is not made up of one member but dozens of members. If you end up putting together lots of people from lots of guilds, trust me, you don't get a lot of people with a chance to speak. In my ethnogrpahical research I've found when I've done a group interview with over 12-15 people there are 4-5 who will speak quite openly and the rest just listen. That's partly due to personalities and dynamics, but also due to time and opportunity. Some people are just more vocal than others. That didn't seem like a good outcome for something like a podcast. But since this was the first one, hopefully (if guilds are willing, of course!) we can do more and with other guilds down the road.

And just about the general idea or concern about why Exodus was included on the podcast when they are not as highly ranked as other US guilds or on the global scene. First of all, they are in the top 20 in both tiers, which does mean they are experienced with the kind of raiding experiences that other elite raiding guilds have (you don't have to ranked the first three to qualify for that experience, in my observation) and second of all, they've had the unique experience of having members being given suspensions at different points in their raiding history. And they were the highest ranked US guild to have been given some suspensions in the current situation. And finally, they are currently ranked 2nd on the raiding rankings and have gotten through the content as quickly as everyone else. And since this was a discussion about the current situation, this made them just as qualified to contribute to the discussion as everyone else.  Does that mean they will be #1 in the end? That's anyone's guess, as that can only be claimed by one guild and who knows, it may be not any of the guilds I spoke with yesterday! :)

And in relation to the concern about me being anti-normal players. I have to say I'm really sorry if my words did not carry through as well on the podcast as what I thought I'd written down in context of the discussion. I would never ever portray myself as anti-normal players or raiders. I am a normal raider myself and I spent the first two years of my research time working with raiders on casual, serious, and more hard core levels. I am not an elitist when it comes to raiding guilds (even if my own failure at expressing this properly with words has led one to another conclusion), I was just trying to paint a picture of the timeline from the elite raiding guild perspective and from the perspective of what I felt (opinion and observation only) was happening on quite a few of the discussion threads. And because the reaction to all of this has been focused on the elite raiding guilds. The at-times overreactive stance of some posters on those discussion forums (who do not, I firmly believe, represent the vast majority of players or raiders out there) was fueling the fires of some pretty extreme statements and allegations, which began to feel to me a lot like a lynch mob. And when I said "educated" I was meaning it in an ironic sense, as in the very metaphorical suggestion of a lynch mob implies that the "mob" is rarely keen to fully appreciate or empathise with the full scale of a situation.

If my comments offended any raider out there then I am truly sorry, I was just trying to capture the mood of those strange days. We had a lot of tempers flaring and emotions expressed and it certainly seemed like some were out for blood. Demanding a widescale permanent ban on all accounts, for example, is, in effect, the WoW sense of an execution. And a few voices wanted that outcome.

And finally, about the idea of a ban and how those subjected to it felt. I'd say that in general, the raiders in the podcast were all quite acquiescent in the face of their punishment and understood why it had happened. Of course not all of those punished feel that way and not everyone out there will ever believe that they really do feel "sorry" for what happened. All I  had wanted to do with the podcast was put some human voices to the situation as I've often found that applying a degree of humanity to any situation can allow or enable us to, hopefully, look at the same situation from perhaps more than one perspective than our own. At least that's always been my hope and as those wiser than me keep reminding me my hopeful outlook is not always in sync with the mood and climate of the interwebz.

That was an interesting podcast. Thanks Ladan for hosting it.

I always though that the hatred between EU/US was community generated rather than the actual guilds who participate in world first. It's nice to know that top guilds will communicate with each other more.

In this patch end game boss divided into two encounter. In podcast you guys said its about getting last boss down and in most patch you guys most focused on last boss. What you guys feel about this patch? In future people would like to know about who killed Deathwing world first? Does it count both part of encounter or only Madness of Deathwing? If it only count Madness of Deathwing please justify why YOU think so?

"The community is behind most of the tension" is complete bullshit. I've actually pretty much stopped hanging out in #paragon because of the top guilds members, in particular Method but also others, who kept on propagating the unfunny and annoying BL "Everyone's banned - WF guys!" meme.

@gwaga Method being in both interviews is kind of cool...