Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Farwell to Hard Content*

While normal Ulduar has created a moderate enough challenge for most raiding guilds the hard modes have been a true measure for only the elite of the elite. When we last left this topic, WoW Progress was lending some numerical insight into the 25 man raiding scene. A quick update, 20,067 guilds have completed the Siege of Ulduar to date and only 755 of those guilds have gone as far as unlocking Algalon's room, with only 268 actually doing the deed. How does revisiting this topic warrant a new post? Only 1.3% of all the guilds who are even taking Ulduar half serious have killed all of the bosses offered within. Yet today marks the fifth week of Trial of the Crusader.

At a certain point raid schedules will have no incentive to keep going back to Ulduar. Gear in the 245 and 258 ilevel range offered up for no trash and limited attempts will eventually cause a tipping point for most of the community. To date even the most casual of guilds have cleared all four boss encounters offered. Tonight Anubarak will be offered up as a final sacrifice to the casual Gods and then it is game on for the actual progression race. Trial of the Grand Crusader is the five man heroic equivalent of normal ToC and promises to offer an actual challenge.

The catch is a limit of 50 attempts (read wipes) per week. So that means you could spend 50 attempts on the Northrend Beasts or get to Anubarak unphased and put in 50 on him. Or anywhere in between. After clearing the instance once on normal easy mode and then spending your 50 attempts however the hard core raiding Gods see fit on heroic modes, you are still left with a good chunk of the raid week intact. For my guild that means heading back to Ulduar to work on hard modes via the new raid lockout extension feature. Eventually, my guess is, we won't be able to sustain it.

Why burn calories going after ilevel 239 gear when the equivalent or better upgrades simply fall out of the sky. Sure there is the thrill of progression that some of us feel (myself included), but most guilds that have a casual core (ours) aren't interested in old progression for sub par gear. The crux being that if your guild is hard core enough to actually care about going back to Ulduar, to tie it up with a neat little bow. You've probably already done so.

Guild Progression
Speaking of the salad days of Ulduar, we have been going back to try hard modes in the weeks leading up to ToGC. We recently downed Lose Your Illusion in what has been a tough Summer of low attendance raiding. It felt good to actually put a hurting on a boss that has been just out of reach for us for going on two months. Our ten man has unlocked Algalon and set out to conqueror him twice now without success. It is a tough fight made even harder by the one hour limit per week. It takes it from rough going to viciously brutal in 60 minutes flat.

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