Please read this in full, as this is all very important stuff going forwards, and we would love to hear your comments!
There's going to be some major changes coming up with raiding over the next few weeks as we take a step back from the Orthanc focus and return more towards our roots by raiding everything again and having LOTS MORE FUN!
The Officers have sat down to discuss what to run, and when, and we've come up with the following Schedule:
- Thu - Orthanc
- Fri - DN/Rift
- Sat - FREE
- Sun - Draigoch
- Mon - Orthanc
- Tue - BG/OD
- Wed - BG/OD
Signups never lived up to expectations or original demand. And from day one interest has been steadily declining, we believe due to a number of reasons, including:
- T2 Focus - People are reluctant to sign up to T2. It's hard. It's really hard. Usually revolving doors of wipe hard. And this can understandably be demoralising, particularly if we don't seem to be learning anything.
- Unfriendly Hours - Orthanc raids did tend to go on really late some days. Which happened rather regularly. This means that some people might not want to sign up as they don't want to stay up late. We have a lot of members who for example are two hours ahead. If we were finishing at 11pm UK, that's 1am local for them. Not good on a week night. More on the hours point later.
- T1 loot sucks - 90% of the Orthanc loot is crap. Sure it gives us seals, meds, sigil-frags, maybe a worn cele, but lootwise it's not that appealing. Saruman T1 and T2 do other good loot, but currently its beyond us. Also since you only need to beat each boss once to barter the armour, there is no real incentive to run the content apart from personal enjoyment. And orthanc hasn't been particularly enjoyable for some, expecially those newer characters who have been ninja'ed into the group arguably unprepared just to make up numbers.
Orthanc runs will primarily be T1, with a focus on making our wing clearances flawless, and finally downing Saruman properly. Grim will ocasionally lead runs into T2 Orthanc, and we will focus solely on Lightning wing at this stage. We've more or less entirely worked out trash tactics, so we just need to tighten up and perfect those, and we get our first shot at a T2 boss - which should still be the easiest boss and give us access to a large potion of the loot pool since the first three wings share loot for NM and HM.
We realise that running only one group will mean that competition for certain spots will be fierce. We have therefore decided the best method will be to use a suicide list for PLAYERS. Anyone interested in running orthanc, no matter how rarely, should reply to this thread before 8pm (UK/GMT) on Sunday 19th February with your main character name (Who we know you as, it doesn't have to be the character you most want to bring to orthanc). Make it clear that you are putting your name forward for this list, as their is bound to also be general discusion going on in replies.
Names will be added to the suicide list first-come, first-served. After the date and time above, new people will be added to the bottom of the list.
How signups will work for Orthanc
NOTE: This process does not currently apply to this week's Orhtnac run (Thu 16th / Mon 20th), but will apply for the following week. Also note that the Raid leader is exempt from this process (Though raid leader may vary, and therefore everyones name should be on this list)
- You will sign up to Orthanc as usual, but state your PREFERED CLASS, and then any other classes which you aer happy to bring as an alternative for the benefit of the raid.
- Grim will put your name into the appropriate slot(s) for your class. Later, he will compared the characters signed up to a specific slot (eg, Hunter, Healer) to the suicide list. The highest placed character(s) will be CONFIRMED as signed up, and then SUICIDED.
- Note that you are suicided on confirmed signup, not confirmed attendance. If you dodn't show up, you've already effectively been penalised.
- If you are unlucky and unable to be confirmed on your prefered character (eg Hunter), then we may still have slots to fill depending on what other characters you can bring. Grim will work out the best way to distribute the classes of the remaining people.
- If you are asked to bring a character that isn't your preferred class you WILL NOT be suicided. This rewards people that are willing to be flexible, and means that next time they are much more likely to get the slot they want, as their rivals will have suicide and they will be on top.
Both are relatively easy raids that can be accomplished in 1-day sessions. We agreed that Friday would be the best day for these, to be a great counter to the demanding Orthanc the day before, and because due to social lives, our numbers might be slightly lower on a Friday night. However both these instances can quite easily be beaten with less than a full 12-man raid, so this isn't an issue.
Saturday will become the only Free Day in the calendar. Anyone (including non-officers) is welcome to organise an event on Saturday during regular raiding hours.
The Dragon will continue to be run and killed as usual on his regular Sunday slot. We agreed that loot from Draigoch was actually useful to characters, and helped promote movement on the loot list, so we want to keep this going even if it is light on tactics.
These are the "middle-tier" raids. They are difficult, and require tactics, unlike most other raids, hoever they are significantly easier than Orthanc. While like DN/Rift, we shouldn't need a full 12-man (except perhaps for challenges), we will need a more full raid, so we decided these would make good mid-week raids. Both these raids require two days to beat, in order to spend enough time on them, and not spend too many hours each night.
We also discussed Watcher, Norman (Turtle), Hele and Skirmishes in our rotation. Unfortunately, the calendar is already pretty full as you can see above, with the exception of Saturday. While we could do these on the Saturday, they are all relatively short and can be fit in around the other content. For example, why not kill Norman at 7pm before a raid? He only takes 15mins tops.
As a Kin, we also have a grudge to settle with the Watcher, so lets go kick his ass. (Do squids have asses?)
Skirmishes, granted, there might not be time now to spend an evening to blast out 4-5 skirmishes in one sitting. But it doesn't take much time/effort to throw one skirmish together whether it is organised on the forums in advance, or filed ad-hoc in kin chat.
Helegrod is basically a skirmish with added boss tactics, So the same applies here as for skirmishes. However it would be great to get a 24-man Thorog run going at some point (You need to beat all three other wings of Helegrod at least once on a character in order to unlock Thorog).
We also want to do some silly stuff, like all burglar turtle runs! Why? BECAUSE IT'S GOOD SILLY FUN! It's what we like.
General Raiding Changes
We've agreed to limit the hours on any one night. If we're starting at 7:30pm UK, we want to finished at 9:30pm UK, 10:00pm absolute latest.
Going back to an old thing we used to do, Where possible raid leaders (and indeed others) will do a debrief in the appropriate signup thread to discuss what worked, what didn't both as a whole raid, and for individual characters. Comments are intended as constructive criticism to help everyone improve as players. We are not saying "OMG! You're a noob". We are merely pointing out things that might have gone wrong, or ways you can improve, and hopefully you can take that on the chin, accept the wealth of experience on offer, and all improve as players as a result. Which in turn when it comes to Orthanc and particularly T2, it means we are in a much better position to suceed at the content.
Suicide Loot List
Will be used for ALL raiding. EVERTHING scheduled, Skirmishes, EVERYTHING that is 12 or 24-man content.
Skirmishes have most of the best jewellery in game at present, so it makes sense to use the list here to help with movement.
Older raids granted there might be less desire to suicide. I for one would more than happily suicide for some of the cosmetics, because the old cosmetics rules, and the new ones mostly suck . Newer, low-level players also might wish to suicide for gear that they can actually use. In both cases, applying the loot list to this content will help a little bit more with movement, and perhaps see more interest in older events as someone can sign up safely in the knowledge that they can finally get that Rift helm they've been trying to get since day 1.
Helping/Encouraging/Supporting the Lower Level Players
With the recent and understanble focus on running Draigoch and Orthanc (both exclusively open to lv75 palyers), we've neglected to incorporate those players 50+ who would be intested in raiding, but can't since they don't meet the requirements of what on offer.
This arguably has meant that some have rushed to 75 to join in, possibly not learning their class as well as they would of as a result, and they've in some cases been thrown in at the deep end on Orthanc T2.
By going back to our roots, and trying to get new players into raiding at lower level, easier raids, we can help them learn and grow and be a serious force in our efforts for the hardest content such as Orthanc T2.
As such, I think it's only fair that as far as older content is concerned, where lower level players express an interest, they should take priority in the signups compared to a level 75 player tagging along. I'm sure all of our lv75 players wouldn't mind giving up their spots in these raids in support of this either.
Please feel free to express your thoughts on these changes.
And as highlighted in red earlier, if you are currently level 75 and EVER interested in tagging along to Orthanc, you can add your name to this thread clearly expressing an interest to be added to the player suicide list before 8pm UK/GMT on Sunday 19th Feb. After this time, pre-signups will end.