The Casual Dilemma

There are a lot of times when I'm relieved to not be in a hard core guild these days.  I'm currently on a casual 25 player team, with a 30 player rotation.  And it's not that we do a lot of min-maxing as a group,  that is,  there's no "this class has to sit for this fight", etc.   Instead we have a large roster so people can take time off if they need to, which is just awesome.   There's no getting yelled at from a raid-leader who doesn't really know how to motivate people, and really there's very little drama at all, aside from the occasional complaining in /o (but I'm pretty sure that's why /o was invented).

With all that said,  I do miss pushing content.   I don't mean racing for world firsts,  or even realm firsts.  I mean doing content before you out-gear it.  We probably shouldn't need to be pushing 575-580 to down Malkorok. The way this tier is turning out, however, that seems to be what it takes.  

The bulk of the problem is it seems we're carrying at least a couple people every week.   In 25 player raiding,  there are so many people and therefor so many chances for life to get in the way.  One month we lose a good dps, well now we have to go recruit then gear a new player, who may or may not be able to compete on the same level as they person they're replacing.   Then the next month we lose a good healer, so we go through the same process,  recruiting and gearing.  

Another issue is because we are a "casual" guild, a lot of players in the guild think they deserve a spot come raid night, regardless of whether or not they are at all prepared for raiding.  This wouldn't be much of a problem; I don't mind saying "no, you're obviously not prepared",  except occasionally we do need those people to fill in, which means gearing them up, and going over their logs with them, trying to get them to a good place.

Both of these things are fine in normal progression.  It's once we get to heroics that this really becomes a problem.   

For example, last night when we were planning on quickly killing H Nazgrim and getting in some solid pulls on H Malkorok,  we didn't have enough DPS (that is, dps who could pull their own weight) to do it.  We would have had to 6 heal it if we took all heroic-geared players,  or taken two dps who were severely under-geared.   So instead we switched to normal to do a nice and easy farm night.  I actually sat out for most of it since I don't need any normal gear,  but got called back in once they got to seigecrafter so they could have a bit more dps.  

We cleared Seigecrafter and Paragons with one pull each,   but when we got to Garrosh, half the raid team just forgot how to play.  We've had normal Garrosh on farm for quite a while now, and well,  he hasn't magically come up with any new abilities,  but it still seems to be taking people by surprise.   We had several people, each pull, dying to annihilate.   I had begun to think that maybe I was having some hunter bias,  perhaps for less mobile classes the Annihilate mechanic is just to tough,  but after asking around, everyone has assured me that no... no it's not...

These are the trials of the casual raider.   I definitely think it's worth it.  I have fun raiding with this team.  I've just got to remember to check my expectations.   On the plus side of this,  we recently realm transferred a resto druid and are starting to gear her up for raiding, but she's already geared for pvp, so we have another solid healer on our RBG team, and we ran some twos last night, which was a lot of fun.   Got into a couple of epic battles (well, as epic as 2v2 can get).  

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