Raiding Effort:Reward Ratio – Is Blizzard in Sync?

Recently, Blizzard has begun the announcement of Patch 3.3 which will signify the end of WOTLK. With 3.3, will come Icecrown Citadel and Arthas which will be the culmination of this expansion. If you’re interested in seeing the patch notes or what’s coming soon, you can check out MMO-Champion or WorldofRaids for the latest news. This stirred up some of my thoughts on how WOW raiding is currently.

What defines a guild as hardcore/progressive these days anyways?

Based on achievements, I would say anyone that has completed Call of the Grand Crusade (25 Player) (hard mode if you weren’t sure) would fit that criteria. However if we look at GuildOx we can see that this is a very small elite group of guilds. Worldwide there are ~100 guilds that have accomplished this with #100 being on Oct 5th. In the US only 49 guilds have accomplished this feat to date. According to GuildOx this is 0.68% of the world’s 25 man guilds.

Lets consider some projections for the future.


Lets think about the current time line. Patch 3.3 details have already started coming out and is already available for testing on the PTR. Lets guesstimate that Blizzard will release 3.3 within the next 3 months (sounds reasonable right?). If that is the case, this gives all remainig guilds (hardcore or casual) 3 months to clear the remaining content.


Now lets look at how reasonable this is, first lets look at your guild as a whole. Lets assume you have 25 raiders (what a dedicated guild right?) and lets say that 75% of these people are interested in 4pt9 and the remainder are only interested in 2pt9. Specifically I am referring to the ilv 258 T9 (T9.5) which is the highest ilv T9 available (232, 245 and finally 258). This specific T9.5 is a token that drops from the tribute chest that is obtained from the successful completion of Heroic TOGC with the following criteria:

Now based on the assumptions above, you would technically need 88 trophies to gear your whole raid with ilv 258 T9.5. Another factor to consider is that the Regalia work on the old Vanquisher, Conqueror and Protector system so there is always a chance that you may get shutout of the tokens you need but for simplicity sake lets assume that whatever token you need will drop.


Ok, so lets assume your guild is above average and you’re already pretty close to killing Anub on heroic mode. So lets assume next week you already managed to complete TOGC with 45 attempts left, or in other words, giving you access to 4 Regalia tokens a week going forward. Based on the fact that your guild needs 88 trophies, this would take you a total of 22 weeks to completely gear your raid or… are you ready for it?


Ok, now I bet the first thing you are thinking of right now is “well not everyone needs to have 4pt9 or 2pt9 and not everyone needs to have ilv 258 since you’ll have ilv 245 T9 already so your argument sucks!”. This is true, but you need to take into account human nature. Nobody wants to do anything unless there is something in it for them, or simply people will only go to TOGC if they are going to get the loot they want. If it is going to take that long to get what you want, a lot of people will naturally decide that the gear they have currently (from TOC 25 etc) is sufficient.


The point of my rant is the EFFORT:REWARD ratio doesn’t quite seem to make sense right now. If it will take my guild 5-6 months to reward everyone, what is the point if 3.3 will be arriving in 3 months? Now I know that 3 months is an assumption and I could be completely off base, but I don’t think PTR testing has ever gone on for that long and definitely not 5-6 months. Couple this to the fact that the EFFORT:REWARD ratio for TOC 25 normal is ridiculously good, you can have extremely good gear without every stepping into heroic mode. Finally add to this the fact that all the gear is exactly the same except for a little green “heroic” tag and better stats, meaning there isn’t even an aesthetic reason to do heroic mode.

I’m not trying to say that you should stop raiding and that there’s no point to hard modes, quite the contrary and I do enjoy doing content and am continuing to work on hard modes as we speak. The problem here lies in that not everyone will put in that extra effort and the writing is on the wall in that there’s really no reason to bust your balls hard because by the time you do get to the fruits of your labour (and most likely before you get there) 3.3 will be here, there will already be higher lv of gear available with a much lower EFFORT:REWARD ratio.


9 Responses to “Raiding Effort:Reward Ratio – Is Blizzard in Sync?”

  1. 1 Kal October 7, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    It’s probably worse than you think. The longest PTR to patch time Blizzard has ever had was 7 weeks, and that was the 3.1 patch. Normally it’s 6 weeks – or less.

    I’d bet on this being closer to 7 weeks this time around. But even then, you’re looking at 6 more weeks of doing this. And yeah, this means that for most everyone out there, they don’t have a gear-related reason to try and pwn Anub on hard.

    Which is a shame, because the encounter is deceptively awesome and difficult.

    • 2 Vallen October 7, 2009 at 5:55 pm

      I was thinking 3 months would be extremely generous and I guess I was right 🙂

      While I understand that Blizzard needs the time to properly test content or face the wrath of millions of people complaining about unpolished content (see pre tbc), as soon as they mention 3.3 or say anything about 3.3 a lot of players out there just turn off and just say “screw it I’ll wait for the next content patch” which is extremely frustrating. At least in the case of TOGC, with no trash there still is a possibility that folks will continue to do the instance for upgrades since the time investment required is a lot lower other instances.

      • 3 warscreamer October 8, 2009 at 7:04 am

        I agree with Vallen.
        3.3 will not show up in two months.
        this is the very last part of WotLK.
        Because Cataclysm release date is not even announced, we shouldn’t expect that Blizz will put 3.3 live, and then wait eight months just counting our monthly fee 😉

  2. 4 Rahl October 8, 2009 at 7:58 am

    You know sometimes i think that Blizz just cant win.

    In BC we complained about how long we had to wait between patches, so what do they do? Speed up the output giving us all fresh new content and new loot to aim for in a relatively quick time but then we get the arguments that you have put across above. Im not saying that you are wrong or that Blizz are hurrying things but no matter what they do i think people can make justifiable comments.

    My main worry would be that with the impending release of the new patch before the new year are we really going to have to wait 6 – 9 months for new content in the form of Cataclysm?

    • 5 Vallen October 8, 2009 at 10:34 am


      I completely 100% agree with you. Blizzard as a company is responsible for keeping it’s subscribers happy, but with 11 million worldwide there is just no way to make everyone happy. People play this game for a multitude of different reasons and unfortunately you are going to piss someone off. All you can do is try and make majority of your user base happy and I think Blizzard is doing a good job of it. Whenever my fellow guildies complain about how content is watered down or easy etc I always ask if they would prefer current day content or vanilla wow content. Who really wants to wipe for months at a time to kill 1 boss? Clearly that model doesn’t work on a 5 year old game.

      In regards to Cataclysm, I would definitely think we would need to wait at least 6 months. As Kalon mentioned the longest PTR is around 6-7 weeks so even if we go with my guesstimate of 3 months Blizzard would most definitely milk Arthas for as long as possible which would mean they would leave that content out for at least 3 months. So get ready for the long haul, its going to be a while before Cat comes out.

  3. 6 Jacemora October 8, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I think Icecrown is going to be a return to the size of lets say Black Temple or SSC with lots of trash packs… so even good guilds with little issues will stay have to spend quite a bit of time in there to clear.

    Great post, makes a lot of sense. I think really the small number of guilds that have cleared ToGC 25 speaks more to how difficult it is right now to get 25 good dedicated players. Many more guilds have cleared 10 man ToC Heroic and although it is easier that 25, it is the ability to put together strong 10 man teams that make it happen.

    My personal WOW Utopia would be for 10 man versions of the instance to drop the same gear as the 25 man. I love 10 man raiding and find it much more enjoyable and accessible as a social guild that lacks 25 hard core talented individuals that all have the same schedule week in and out.

  4. 7 RW October 10, 2009 at 7:02 am

    You are making the hefty assumption that the only reward is gear, and that nobody does hard modes because they enjoy the challenge

    • 8 Vallen October 10, 2009 at 11:52 pm

      Actually as I clearly stated at the end of my post, I am still actively doing hard modes because of challenge.

      I made plenty of assumptions in my post and assuming that people want to do content for gear is more reality than assumption for the masses.

  5. 9 Avrand November 4, 2009 at 5:50 pm


    I have a similar wow utopia, but granted mine is a bit different.

    In wow, (especially WotLK) the emphasis is on the individual player being a hero (vs WC III where legions were the hot shit) when we step into northrend we, as individuals turn the tide of war.

    I think this concept should spill over into raids. I think 10 mans should be more tightly tuned and difficult, granting better gear, and the 25s should be easier and grant lower ilvl gear (think of a mob of villagers vs something like a swat team)

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I’m Retired!

As of 04/04/2011, I have officially retired from WOW. This blog will remain as a archived resource for those who know that CAT DRUID IS 4 FITE!

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A blog for the ramblings and thoughts of Vallen, a full time raiding cat druid from Auchindoun-US with a passion for raiding & achievements. An avid wow player since 2004.

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