Thursday, February 4, 2016

State of the Union: Aug 2011

The 25-Man progression team celebrates their clear of
Firelands by returning to clean-up Heroic: Chimaeron,
Blackwing Descent
The following post was made to the "Descendants of Draenor - Announcements" forum on August 12th, 2011.


25-Man Progression: Update

I'd like to take a brief moment and acknowledge all the hard work and dedication that has gone into the 25m Progression at the start of 4.2. As you may or may not know, Blain laid out plans for our approach to the 25m Firelands work in his "Upcoming Plans" post. In a nutshell, he expressed concern about self-doubt and complacency that was inadvertently set in motion during WotLK, with players becoming "crybabies" about gear and not believing enough in their own skill and performance to pull off boss kills. The adjusted approach was that we would be pushing progression much harder, in lieu of weekly clears, so that we could get on to the real work: 25m Heroics. 

The result of that behavior shift was a full clear of 25m Firelands broken down by the following weeks:

Week 1: Shannox, Baleroc, Beth'tilac, Lord Rhyolith
Week 2: (Extended) Alysrazor
Week 3: Shannox, Baleroc, Beth'tilac, Lord Rhyolith, Alysrazor, Majordomo Fandral Staghelm
Week 4: (Extended) Ragnaros (attempts)
Week 5: Ragnaros defeated.

Without going back through the calendar and totaling everything up, I can say with reasonably good accuracy that our clears of 25m Blackwing Descent and 25m Bastion of Twilight took an order of magnitude longer...and an official 25m clear of Throne of the Four Winds didn't even happen until the last week before 4.2 was released!

You should not have to be a statistician to see that this is an improvement of astronomical proportions.

I'm very proud to see that the 25m Progression Team has buckled down, changed their attitudes regarding the "gear-crutch", and focused on what really allows us to be successful--taking personal responsibility for themselves, their play, their skill--and pushing each other to do the same. This has resulted in teamwork that only Fortune 500 companies could dream of having.

...but we're not done yet!

Mature successfully executes all
named targets in a bombing run,
Molten Fields
Now that the officers and I are comfortable that the team is on board and ready to dive into 25m Heroics without the gear excuse at their side, we are pushing our team-polishing direction toward the player him/herself, and more aggressively holding players accountable, not just for their play, but for their attitude and behaviors. I don't like dealing in abstracts; I'm more of a concrete thinker, so if you are the same, here are some real examples of things we're going to be looking at, and taking very seriously moving forward:

- Players with wonderfully positive attitudes and fiercely loyal dedications to the raid and guild...that are not improving their play. Attitude and Skill go hand-in-hand in team-based exercises. We need both at the top of their game, and as much as we love people who love to be here, we cannot handicap progression by poor performers who remain poor performers. Remember, this guild is about empowering you to improve. Do it, and problems are solved. Remain in denial -- and we will be benching you. This holds doubly true for players that disconnect a lot. In many cases you are at the whim of your ISP, but there are many settings on your computer and network can be tweaked, and most players do not realize this. Your DCs handicap progression so if you are DCing, take ownership! Make it a project to do what you can to research / resolve anything about your connection.

- Players who debate officers openly in public (Vent or Raid Chat) about strategy and decision-making. During a raid, it is inappropriate behavior. It slows our attempts and can serve to break your team rapport down--Remember, the officers are in their role for a reason: they have demonstrated sound knowledge regarding strategy and role management--and if you're not comfortable with their decisions, take it to them (or me) after the raid. If you think you can do a better job, maybe you should push for a promotion? Just...not during a raid. Keep in mind that you have 24 other individuals who are most often on the same page as the by you openly debating them, you only serve to alienate yourself...and that's the start of team breakdown.

Mature and fellow guild members try to
get a patch of nature to sprout,
Molten Fields
- Players who are defiant in taking suggestions / recommendations about adjustments to their specs / gear / UI / play. You are not a WoW God. If you were, you most likely would be in a world-first raiding guild. A perfect example of this is healers who insist on using default raid frames for healing, as opposed to investigating the wide-array of mods available to assist you in your duties. Yes, it is very true that there are extremely good healers who use the default raid frames, and you might even see that a lot in kill videos...'s because they are world first guilds. They have mind-numbingly FAST reflexes. Do you? Before you answer...check our WorldOfLogs guild reports. Have you ever died accidentally in the fire? If so, I don't believe you have lightning-fast reflexes. Consider an addon. Work smarter, not harder.

- Players who are not a part of the team. Signing up every week, being rotated in, doing your job and doing it well are all fantastic attributes...but they mean nothing, if you aren't respected by the rest of your team. Respect is earned, not granted via a rank in the guild. Respect comes from being credible. You are credible if you do what you say...and say what you do. It is not enough to say that you are respectful to your fellow have to prove it by your actions, and how you communicate with them. Demonstrating laziness, passive-aggressiveness and/or narcissism are all very fast ways of losing respect from your fellow guild. When that happens, the team has fractured and you need to be benched, even if you are a star player.

In summary, the officers and I are going to be actively looking into these issues more aggressively into 25m Heroics. As always, I am constantly recruiting and bringing new faces into the mix who are passionate about WoW and Raiding, and would love a shot at your spot. If you want to keep your spot, we want you to as well! And you can do eliminating the behaviors listed above.

-- Hanzo


Anonymous said...

Hi Shaun;

Thank you again, nice to come back from a holiday and see another post ready for my eager consumption.

I noticed that there hasn't been many comments on the past few posts... don't be discouraged by that. We're still here and still reading. This epic journey we've been on with you is nearing it's conclusion, and you can put it in the bank that we're all still following along devouring the content like a World First guild.

Keep it up good sir, your work IS appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Whoops... Shawn.



Shawn Holmes said...


I appreciate the loyal readership! Working very hard to keep to the original weekly schedule as much as I can, as we're heading into the final stretch of the story.

Angelo said...

These are the posts that I always fear the most. The moment the GM has to draw a line in the sand and actually write out his expectations. The problem is, people will interpret them the way they want.

Shawn Holmes said...


The clearer you are, the less room there is to interpret. Strive for clarity!

Billy Fredlund said...

That was the thing with DoD. You always knew what was expected of you. Hanzo made it clear from the start. The guild leadership was gracious enough to pull you aside when you were blowing it. Plenty of chances with plenty of expectation