World of Warcraft Wednesday – I’d Rather be Raiding
Questions by Meredith Watson, OnRPG Journalist
Answers by: RocknRoll and Selamine, Outlaws Torn Guild Representatives
Raiding is serious business. Or so the hardcore World of Warcraft raiders would have us believe. If a guild wants to be number one in the world and clear all the content in the first week or month then raiding is very serious business. Not every guild is hardcore though. In fact, very few are. Most guilds in the World of Warcraft are casual raiding guilds or social guilds.
I’ve had the opportunity to talk to the guild leader as well as one of the raid leaders of Outlaws Torn, a casual raiding guild, to find out how they have succeeded as a guild for seven years and how the game has changed for the raider. Outlaws Torn is led by Rocknroll, a level 85 Tauren druid. They are currently one of the top horde guilds on their server Emerald Dream EU.
Can you tell me a little about yourself and the guild’s background?
Rocknroll: I’m Rocknroll, the server’s arch-druid and only remaining immortal. The guild’s almost as old as I am, started in 2005 by my brother, our friends and myself purely so we could play together and enjoy the game a bit more. Initially, our guild started out as our friends. We extended to people who like heavy metal, then people who like beer, then anyone who can stealth, then we stopped drinking so much and actually made an effort to raid since we had a good group of people.
Selamine: Yes, hi. I’m a post doc at Warwick uni, just finished my PHD in graphics end of last year and got into WoW through a fellow researcher. A wrath baby as the term goes. Outlaws Torn was actually my second guild, first non-leveling guild.
You raided in vanilla. What challenges did you face finding 40 players to raid?
Rocknroll: Aye we did, although we never finished clearing Naxx. Primarily, our main issue was that our server, at the time, had a low population with 80% Alliance. We didn’t want to go through the logistical (and we deemed entirely unnecessary) steps of recruiting 50 people to get a solid 40 people every night. So, we worked with other guilds for 40-man raids, letting each bring in 5-10 people and it worked really well. It worked so well that people were joining us to join the co-op raids and eventually we inadvertently were taking 30 people from Outlaws Torn and needed less and less other guilds. But we didn’t try very hard. We’ve always had kind of a casual ethos.
What was your most memorable boss kill of vanilla?
Rocknroll: Personally, it was our first kill on Venoxis in Zul’Gurub. It earned my nickname “supermoonfire” since everyone was dead and I was left standing with the boss, killed it with moonfire. Started trying to tally how many bosses I could get killing blows on with moonfire as a healer.
Selamine: He’s still on the fingers of one hand.
Rocknroll: Yes, four.
How did you transition to 10 and 25 man raids in The Burning Crusade?
Rocknroll: Karazhan really suited us. At the time we had the perfect setup for two 10-man raids.
Were you able to do 25 man raids?
Rocknroll:Yes, it came really naturally after doing well in Karazhan with two teams.
What was the biggest difference in TBC raiding versus vanilla?
Rocknroll: I can’t say that we felt much difference at the time, other than numbers of people involved. Smaller raids made it much easier to organise and sustain. A lot of our guys still look back at TBC raids as the glory times. We had a lot of active people and new things to do. It was more comfortable than vanilla. We stopped trying when we started Sunwell, I think. The other guilds on the server seemed so competitive and I just don’t want involvement in stuff like that.
How did you plan for the introduction of the DK in Wrath of the Lich King? Did you allocate a certain number of spots in your raiding roster for Dks?
Rocknroll: Well, I’ve always been given beta access for each expansion. A lot of people go on beta and just moan about the changes to their class but I went and invested some time learning how good they’d be, how to play them and such. Before every expansion we do a “summer transfer” style period where we give people the opportunity to tell us if they aren’t enjoying their role, class, and such so we can prepare for them to re-roll or change specs permanently. We’ve never dictated what someone should play. If people are forced to roll a spec then they won’t enjoy it and won’t perform as well as they could. If they enjoy what they’re doing they’ll turn up more often, they’ll stay in the guild longer and remain a part of the team. It’s done us well over the years
Selamine: Although, with the expectant flood of DKs, I’d say it was the opposite. We never really had enough.
Rocknroll: Yeah, we all made one but very few made the DK their main character.
Compared to TBC raiding what was the biggest change in raiding in WotLK? Selamine, did you start raiding in WotLK?
Rocknroll: Really I’d say the raids felt a bit more gritty. The devs really did a good job (for me) in making the raids feel like you were in Northrend. It felt like we were pushing for a reason and didn’t mind getting our asses handed to us a few times.
Selamine: Yes, I started to play about a month before TBC ended and joined Outlaws Torn for Naxx runs just as they were downing KT.
What was your greatest success in Wotlk?
Rocknroll: Sel’s probably going to say our first LK 25 kill.
Selamine: Maybe Bane pre-4.0, that was hard. But LK25 did take some coordination it has to be said.
What about the differences between Cataclysm raiding and the other expansions?
Rocknroll: I think we’ve found the introduction of “flexi-raiding” a bit erm…well, it’s been fun.
Selamine: In the early stages, it did seem to be more along the lines of resource management towards sustainability, which is what Blizzard said they would be pushing. That has declined massively as we went through Cataclysm. Gear always had that effect.
Outlaws Torn is currently a top Horde guild on Emerald Dream EU. You must have been working hard to get there.
Selamine: We have always been casual. I’ve had month breaks through Firelands while submitting my PHD. We hardly work hard at it. Just a bunch of decent players with a similar ethos and mindset.
Rocknroll: At the start of Cataclysm we were the only really social guild that was doing well in raids on our server. At the announcement of 25 and 10 dropping the same loot, same achievements and stuff, a lot of the old guilds ditched people to fit into 10-man for easier content.
Are you looking forward to Mists of Pandaria? The monk class?
Rocknroll: We all are.
Selamine: Yes MoP is another milestone. It is still an enjoyable game. And I will be rerolling monk myself.
Rocknroll: Seems that over the years our guild just gets on with stuff and now we’re accidentally at the top of the pile on our server.
It was a pleasure meeting you both. I wish you much continued success and thank you again for chatting with me.