2nd Kara Group

We have been doing some HEAVY recruiting latley (actually our recruiting hasn’t changed much, we’ve just been very sucessful latley).  We are up to 25 lvl 70’s and I think all but 2 or 3 are keyed for Kara.  We are looking at starting a 2nd Kara group.  How do you go about deciding who goes in each group.  Because of the raid id issue, players are not interchangeable once they have been saved.  As I see it there are 2 basic options

  1. Group 1 gets all the best geared and most skilled players to maximize progression
  2. Best geared and most skilled players are split between the 2 groups so both have a good chance to progress.

Obviously there are ups and downs for both.  In the first option you are most likley dooming the second group to large repair bills and lots of frustration.  However, this may be the best option if your guild has a lot of players that can’t commit to a set weekly raid schedule.  The second group is cobbled together with whoever can make it that day and give it the old college try.  You also have the problem with people who feel slighted at being put in the second group.  With the second option both groups may have trouble with content that the better geared group from the first option would have had little dificulty with.  This may be a good option for a guild with a large base of players that can commit to regular raiding.  Both groups would progress at the same rate and be ready for 25-man content at about the same time.

Our original intention was to go with the second option when we were ready to start a 2nd group.  However, we have enough people for the second group before we anticipated.  I think our issue is that we don’t have enough expirenced raiders that have some gear from the second half of Kara to split them up.  We still have some trouble in the first half if (and i hate to put it this way, but it accuratley describes our situation) we have too much dead weight.  In last weeks Kara runs we had several undergeared, new players and it was really messy.  Lots of wipes and bosses that barely went down.  When we’ve got better groups it goes quicker, smoother, and cheaper.

I don’t really have a conclusion here other than to say that you’ll have to figure out what to do with the players your guild has available.  We still haven’t decided what to do with the second group (and actually we’d like to wait until we have 30 keyed players to ensure that both groups have enough players every week).  This is a really hard thing to decide and it seems to me that the guild leadership has to pick what will be the lesser of 2 evils for their situation.

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16 Comments on “2nd Kara Group”

  1. Kirk Says:

    My 2 cents worth… two roughly equal groups will do you better in the long run.

    You hit most of the problems with both. But what you forgot was, “what happens after?”

    What happens when one group is darn near sleepwalking through Kara while the other is still caught at Curator? In most guilds, what happens is that more than a few members of the “first team” realize it’s going to be weeks (months, never?) before they see Gruul or, well, you get the idea. And rather than bored repetition, they jump to another guild.

    By keeping the challenge – and more or less keeping 20-30 players at about the same pace – you’ll be more likely to have a fully qualified team for the later 25-man raids. Short term pain for long term gain.

  2. Bruthah Says:

    My guild just went through this around three months ago. Come to think of it, it really hasn’t stopped.

    Definitely, with 25 people you are going to end up with some scheduling issues, so you’d better find out who can can go when before worrying about group composition.

    After that, if you don’t have a group already farming seven kinds of purple heck out of Kara, you’re in luck. We did, and boy are us ‘old timers’ sick to death of Kara.

    However, we DID see Gruul (and now farm him like the giant hideous epic-dispensing yak that he is) and we do still run two Kara groups. Some of the leadership is missing a ton of sleep, but that’s what we signed up for, I guess. 😉

    We split up our best folks into the two teams and concentrated on teaching the new people everything they needed to know in order to help us kill Gruul. We made it plain to them that the intention was to go beyond Kara, and that this was their opportunity to get geared up and hone their raiding skills.

    And once a month we had the “A” team rip through Kara so fast we just pushed Prince off his ledge, so the old crew didn’t get despondent with the trainees and some of the shinies that were still needed could be tried for (loot from Nightbane/Netherspite and Aran).

    I’m sure there’s a ton of ways to get through it, but I thought I’d share what has worked for us.

  3. Calandris Says:

    Well, I have seen this and been there and done that.

    When I saw it, group 1 sounded further than what you are saying your group 1 is at. Here were our results.

    Group 1 went gung-ho, did really well. Group 2 started with no one from group 1 in it. Group 1 got really frustrated that they were ready to move on to Gruul and Mag. Well having 11 or so geared players does nothing for a 25 man raid. Group 1 is unwilling to help out group 2. Guild failure results because half of the raid team is in one spot and the other half is in a completely different spot.

    How about option 3. (I’m just throwing an idea out there it may not work I don’t know)

    Take 5 people from Group 1 and 5 of the new people. run those 5 through lower Kara for 2 weeks. Taking the whole of group 1 to the upper portion. After two weeks Group 2 will be so much better off with people seeing the fights and getting a few upgrades. Kinda like a helper push. Are items being DEed in lower Kara from group 1? That’s not good.

    Maybe after 2 weeks or so of option 3 then go to 2 weeks of option 1 and then go with option 2.

    The thing to remember is that while Kara is great and getting those 10 people really geared up sounds great. Well you still can’t do a 25 man with 10 people. If you want the whole experience then you need those folks. If you don’t want to help them then expect to wait…bored for a while till they catch up. <–this usually won’t go well. you’ll loose your geared players to other guilds, or you players you just got.

    Your guild brought these people in order to go further in progression, Help them help you. I assume they want to succeed so give them the tools.

    I don’t know what you meant by dead weight but usually, that’s got to change. If you mean gear wise then that’s where your guys jump in and help. If you mean skill then teach them if they want to learn. If its unwillingness to learn or attitude then they should be dropped.

    Running a Raiding guild is just like running a business. If you brought in 10 new cashiers and said “there’s the cash registers, have at it” Would you expect them to get up to speed quickly? Those businesses fail.

    Read BigBearButt for this entry. It’s different from your situation but something good to look at.

    Check out Matticus at this entry. LOL I have a comment here to.

    I hope everything goes well for you guys and I wish you the best of luck in this tough situation.

    Calandris – Priest
    Necroleanan – Mage

  4. Galadria Says:

    @all
    I think I should have explained our situation better… my brain is only working at about 1/2 speed today.

    @Kirk
    You are absoutley correct. Since I’m thinking short term at the moment I only described short term scenarios… the leadership team as a whole is thinking long term. Our goal as a guild is to progress as far as possible before the expansion comes out so long term thinking is where we need to be.

    @Bruthah
    We definatley have scheduling issues. One of our guild policies is that everyone is above 18 and most of us have regular 8-5 jobs and families. That is the main reason we don’t want to start the second group too early. We’d like to have 30 people that are keyed so that each group has 15 to mix and match as schedules allow. What you did sounds like what we are likley to do… we need to get the “A” team better able to help the “B” team get through Kara.

    @Cal
    Again, probably fairly close to what we will do. What I mean by “dead weight” is undergeared AND underskilled players. The only reason they are in on the runs at all is to get them gear and expirence. We try not to have anything DE’ed but it hapens now and then anyway. One of the things we do is trade out players for indvidual fights. For example Hunter A has the crossbow off of Attumen and Hunter B does not, then we will probably take Hunter B for Attumen and bring in Hunter A (who is better geared and skilled) for the rest of the run to help in progression. Once we explained everything 3 or 4 times everyone in the guild saw that our intentions were to get those that need it gear and expirence so we can progress as a group.

    @All again
    Thanks for your input and advice. This is one of those decisions that can make or break guilds. Our plan is to try and decide what will be best for the goals of our guild and try to make sure everyone in the guild understands that.

  5. Adely Says:

    /delurk

    We did almost the same thing that Cal mentioned. We used to run Kara over 2 days, so for day 1, we’d take about 3 people from G2 and run them with G1. At the same time, the 3 people from G1 who were missing out would be on their alts in G2, helping to explain the bosses, co-ordinate fights, give out class/role specific tips, etc. If those 3 people were needed on day 2 in G1 (say if there was trouble downing a boss due to lack of healing/dps/tanking), we could still cycle them in on their mains. This actually minimized the “dead weight”, cause 3 people can be easily carried if the rest of the raid knows what they were doing. Also, the added experience from the people in G1 that were playing in G2 helped a lot, they cleared bosses in about half the time G1 took originally.

    Of course, you need a few altoholics in your guild for this to work 🙂

    /lurk

  6. Galadria Says:

    @Adely
    Glad to see you! I was begining to think it was the same 6 people who visit and then only for the movie quotes 🙂

    We don’t have all that many alt-aholics… but we do have a lot that have expirence with other toons (on different servers mostly). Thanks for the input!

  7. Nobs Says:

    This will be our 3rd week of running 2 Kara groups.

    What we did was, leading up to the 2nd Kara group starting, we began cycling in new people to our “A Team”. They were undergeared but could be easily carried by only letting about 2 in a raid. This let them jump in gear fast and learn the encounters. We did that for about a month. Now we are running 2 Kara’s a week. We are doing Option 2, but for an important reason.

    We have a large number of alts now that are 70. This is good due to the fact that they are happy in the “B Team” and they know the encounters.

    PS We use a Druid and Paladin to MT everything… with no Fear Ward. Horde FTW!

  8. Brem Says:

    Please tell me how to do this. I’m facing the exact same conundrum in my guild right now. But my +healing is higher :o)

  9. Galadria Says:

    @Bremm
    Shoot me an e-mail, galadriapriest@gmail.com and give me some detail on your circumstances and I’ll try to help you work out a solution.

  10. krill Says:

    I think you should make two ‘equal groups’. Why?

    1. Faster progression through kara for one group ain’t that important in the long run. Kara is basically a big instance which let’s you gear up and train up for the real 25-man raid instances. You need 20+ decent equipped and experienced people to do those. So 10+ people with kara on farm on 10+ stuck on the curator is bad thing…

    2. Making two groups from which everybody knows group 1 are the ‘pro’s’ and group 2 are the ‘hopeless’ isn’t really motivating for the second group. It might lead to disgruntled people and less preparing. Why should they, they are not expected to progress ….

    3. You want motivatied, happy and experienced people who know what it is to ‘wipe grind new bosses’ in the 25-man raid instances. Having to run through kara with flexible groups week on week, where you sometimes will get stuck on ‘easy bosses’ due to new people and/or gear issues is a fact of life in a raiding guild. So don’t try to avoid it for your ‘top raiders’. how I see it they are not ‘top raiders’ if they whine about it.

    What we did is we made a signup page where all who wanted to do Kara hat week could sign up and the two raidleaders between themselves divided the players between them. This way they could classbalance both raidgroups (very important) and also could divide the newcomers a bit over both raids. Worked like a charm and the guildies had the added charm of doing the runs with different guildies each week.

  11. Matticus Says:

    Unfortunately, Karazhan isn’t as forgiving in class swapping as it would be in the 25s. There are certain classes that you absolutely MUST have for certain encounters to fulfill certain roles in order to maximize the win. That’s the main root of the problem. Unfortunately, not all of our Guilds have optimum class numbers. Johnny Smash’s Guild might be overloaded with 7 mages and two warlocks, while Markus Meltyourface’s Guild runs with only 2 Paladins, a Priest, a Druid, and 2 Resto Shamans.

    You could consider consolidating your forces to one raiding group for now. Swap in the lower geared players for the first half of Karazhan, (so they can get what they need) and then swap in the upper geared players for the latter half of Karazhan (Nightbane, Spite, and Prince). This way, your lower guys get the gear THEY need, and the upper guys don’t have to waste hours defeating bosses for Enchanting Shards. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where the lower guys can stand on their own two feet and can then split up the raid in two elements.

  12. Galadria Says:

    @ Matticus
    I think Kara can be forgiving to class swaping. I’m not saying we go in there with 7 mages and 2 warlocks, but you can do any of the fights with a balanced group. Yes, certian fights are much easier with certian groups (Shackle on Moroes, Holy Pally on Maiden, melee on Shade, casters on Prince, to name a few) but I don’t think there is a MUST have for any encounter anywhere, at least I’ve never seen one. As long as you have a balanced group, any group can be sucessful with a little ingenuity.

    What you described is exactly what we are doing at the moment. We’ve got enough now for a 2nd group but haven’t started it yet so we have the flexibility to swap players in and out for specific boss fights where they need loot (I’m talking 1 or 2 players here, not 5 or 6) but we always have some of the A-Team around to help thing go smoother.

  13. TJ Says:

    I think one of the big things with raiding is that you let everyone have a go… by all means, dont take 5 rogues but in the same respective, if there is 5 rogues wanting to go, at least take 1 or 2 in a group. It is also a good idea to try and have 6 Tanks. Warrior/Pally/Druid (Prolly wont have a pally so 3 of each between the 2 groups) and make sure that you swap them in and out…

    Currently we have 1 tank with lots of awesome gear and 1 with bugger all… so we run are going to run the lower ones till curator/shade and then bring the well geared one in to help the rest of the group finish it till the lower one brings his gear up to par. (Has all the best pre kara stuff like gromtors charge and the bot shield but only 1 kara epic sofar… and no kings defender :()

  14. Matticus Says:

    I’ll have to disagree there =). I’ve been doing too many 25s and I’ve lost sight of things, so allow me to elaborate a little bit. It’s easier for DPS classes and healer classes to be interchanged on that level (25 man). The difference between 8 to 9 healers is marginal, as is the difference between 11 to 12 ranged DPS. But it’s not as easy when you’re restricted to ten.

    It’s true that you don’t need a Shackle on Moroes. And you won’t need a Holy Paladin on Maiden (I was able to heal that fight Paladinless while in my PvP gear with strategic use of her consecrate). I believe a fight like Illhoof would most definitely merit the use of a Warlock (with that many demons, it would be suicide not to have at least one). The point I wanted to make was this: I believe that class importance is inversely proportional to gear. Certain classes do some jobs better than others, like Moroes. A shackle does a great job. A hunter’s trap could do it too, but I think there’s a cool down, if I remember. A mage can frostbolt kite. A rogue can evo-tank. Eventually, you’ll reach an equilibrium where those classes can fulfill that shackling role. But gear makes it easier to do. I imagine that a team that’s geared with mostly blues, several epics, and a smattering of greens would have a hard time in Moroes without two Priests. There’s all sorts of examples. The success rate increases when the right class for the right job is present in the early stages.

    But if your team has the gear and packs serious firepower (IE, full tier 5), you could go in there and manhandle Karazhan and slap it around with a large trout =).

    I think my worst Kara group I was in involved 5 Warlocks, 3 healers, and 2 tanks. Packed a lot of punch, that’s for sure.

  15. Jaco Says:

    Im afraid kara has split our guild open we finally got to a stage where we can clear it in one night. with help from another guild we had a go at gruul and downed him.But what has happened now is that other players in guild who are keyed but not fully geared want run Kara but the the better players want to run higher raids now and want guild to become more hardcore which dosent suit a lot of our players who obviously have committments.So 2 days ago the main core of our raid team including our gm has left guild and left us to struggle on ourselves and moved on to more hardcore raiding.This was a guild nearly 2yrs running now split apart.:(


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