Officers Quarters
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warlock tier 20 mythic

Officers’ Quarters: Is Mythic raiding worth it?

The Tomb of Sargeras is open and guilds are now firmly into the progression phase of a new raid zone. Many guilds start with one difficulty level to farm for gear and learn the fights, and then jump to the next level for the real challenge. This week, a raider asks if it’s worth making that extra jump to Mythic difficulty.

Anonymous asked
Is mythic raiding worth it? I come from a non-mythic raiding guild, we push heroic just fine with a group ranging from 18-22 people and managed to clear heroic Gul’dan in mid-April. Now that Tomb of Sargeras is looming and we’ve been bored of Nighthold of course the talk falls to mythic. I had a horrible experience transitioning from a 10 man heroic guild in Mists to mythic in Warlords. It destroyed the core 10 man we had as we slowly were replaced by people from a guild we merged with and only the GM and a healer were left from our 10 man. Mythic requires this extra level of elitism that I don’t think is worth risking raiding with friends. My current guild while competent probably only has a good 16 mythic quality players and they don’t show up all the time. While we first downed Gul’dan in mid-April we still aren’t one shotting farm nights with multiple raiders dying to the same mechanics each week. I think the length it took us to do heroic keeps us entertained enough to not merit the hassle of mythic raiding (having to sit players, recruting higher skilled players who may have different expectations, etc).

Is Mythic worth it? I raided back in the days before different difficulties when basically everything was Mythic. Back then, it was — only because that was the only game in town. You either raided that way or you missed out on the experience completely. My guild opted in. It wasn’t always fun. It wasn’t always healthy. But we did it anyway.

I’m glad that WoW’s endgame raids are no longer so exclusive. Guilds have a choice about the level of commitment that’s comfortable for them. Today, I would urge officers to think very carefully about whether Mythic is worth it before they decide to make that leap.

sinestra in bastion of twilight

The pros and cons

Let’s look at the pros and cons of Mythic raiding.

Pros:

  • The ultimate challenge: If you can progress in Mythic, you know your raid team is among WoW’s elite units. Little else in WoW feels quite as satisfying as clearing a Mythic raid zone when it’s the highest current tier. You know that Blizzard threw everything they had at you and you still emerged victorious.
  • The “intended” versions: Many Mythic bosses have extra mechanics. Typically these mechanics were stripped away from easier difficulties because they proved to be too complex for the average raid group. Raiding in Mythic allows you to see every encounter the way Blizzard originally intended it to be designed.
  • Extra bosses: In the past, Blizzard has included extra bosses in a raid zone that have Mythic-only difficulty, such as Sinestra and Ra-Den. These predated the current raiding paradigm, but they might return in the future.
  • The best and shiniest gear: Duh. Recently Blizzard has even been tweaking tier sets to have extra-shiny Mythic-only versions, as seen above and below. Blizzard’s artists have really outdone themselves with the Tier 20 Mythic sets!
  • Easier to recruit top-notch players: Mythic raiding guilds attract the top talent — but only if you progress.
  • Extras like titles and mounts. It’s just another way to show off how badass your raid team is.

Cons:

  • New expectations: Players who are used to slacking a little bit, whether it’s in terms of mechanics during encounters or grinding AP outside of raid times, may suddenly find themselves being asked to do much more. They may not be able to adjust.
  • More stress: Mythic progression is never easy, even for the world’s best. You will hit brick walls at times. You will have emotionally and mentally devastating wipes. You will have more finger pointing, more frustration, and more pressure.
  • Loss of flex sizes: You can bring 20 and exactly 20. Any fewer and you don’t raid. Any more and they sit. You lose the convenience and flexibility built in to Normal and Heroic difficulties.
  • Less time between tiers to relax: When you’re only running Heroic and you know you can run Heroic, you are likely to have some time between tiers where you can farm Heroic and relax. You can even takes a few weeks off between tiers to let everyone recharge, if people want to, or relax your attendance requirements. With Mythic, especially for your first Mythic tier and probably for quite a few after that, you are unlikely to clear the entire zone before the next one releases. This can lead to feelings of failure, of falling behind. Beyond those intangibles, that failure to clear can cost you recruiting opportunities. You may end up with the raiders who aren’t good enough to make the cut in the guilds that clear fully, and that means you are less likely to clear.

mage tier 20 mythic

Making a choice

So, given this analysis, is Mythic worth it? It’s a question that speaks to the entire purpose of your guild’s existence. Is that the type of guild you want to be? Do the pros above outweigh the cons for the vast majority of your raiders? Do you have a raid leader who’s willing to tackle the extra complexity of Mythic encounters? Do you have more than 20 reliable and talented raiders who are eager to take on greater challenges? Maybe Mythic is worth a shot!

Become a Watcher

If you can’t honestly answer yes to all of those questions, however, you may be better off in the long run if you stay put in Heroic. For Anonymous’s guild, I have a feeling that you will be better off that way. You will eventually lose a couple of your better players to Mythic guilds if they grow restless. From the sound of it, though, you personally don’t want to make the trade-offs to run Mythic raids. If most of your raid team feels the same way, I don’t think you guys will be happy in Mythic. It also doesn’t sound like you have the personnel for it.

rogue tier 20 mythic

The self-selection of raiders

My advice for Anonymous: Let the restless raiders move on if they want to. Preserve the environment of your guild. Ultimately raiders self-select the raid difficulty that feels best for them. Every guild loses raiders this way no matter what difficulty they run. It’s bit more painful for Heroic guilds because you end up losing your best raiders sometimes, but it’s inevitable. That’s part of why I encourage officers to recruit even when they don’t have to. You never know when the next exodus is coming.

But it’s better to lose a few raiders than to lose your entire guild or raid team if you make a formal decision to run Mythic and it backfires spectacularly.

Don’t let me discourage guilds from testing the waters, however. If you clear Heroic early in a given week, there’s no harm in giving that first Mythic boss a shot, just to see where you stack up. But you shouldn’t force your raiders to go along if they don’t want to. Remember you can always run earlier Mythic tiers in an expansion instead of the latest if your team gets bored. They’ll be easier with your team’s increased ilevel.

Making an official transition to Mythic is a complicated endeavor, but that’s a topic for another column.

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/salute

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