Much as I've done with Patch 3.2 and other major patches in the past, I'd like to examine what 3.3 will mean for officers. All major patches require some forethought and adjustment, and this one just happens to be a doozy!
The ultimate raid of this expansion, Icecrown Citadel is poised to be one of the most exciting raids that Blizzard has ever released. As such, I can virtually guarantee you'll have long-lost players coming out of the woodwork to get back into the raiding scene for a chance to face off with the Lich King. Make sure you review your guild's policies for inviting players to raids to make sure that slots will be awarded in a way that's as fair as possible while still giving your raid a solid chance at success.
One debate that's sure to rage among officers and raid leaders this time around is whether to extend lockouts until you beat the zone and unlock the hard mode toggle or to reset the instance each week to farm the early bosses. I'm still not sure how my guild is going to handle this. It will certainly depend on how quickly we can clear those first bosses and which bosses present more of a roadblock. If we're clearing quickly, we'll probably keep going until we hit a boss we can't beat. Then we'll reset and farm up more loot and Frost Badges.
Frost Badges and Raiding Quests
Just like with Triumph badges now, everyone will want to stock up on these come 3.3. Prepare for a new round of enthusiasm for Heroic dailies.
Remember, also, that 3.3 will introduce weekly raiding quests that reward 10 Frost Badges. The targets are Sartharion, Malygos, Noth, Razuvious, Patchwerk, Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, Ignis, XT-002, Jaraxxus, Anub'Rekhan, and Icecrown's first boss, Marrowgar.
I take issue with Marrowgar being included on this list. If you've cleared him and you don't want to reset Icecrown that week, then you can't complete the quest. The other bosses,
Looking for Group
Welcome back, LFG channel! Hopefully we raid leaders catch on and leave the overtaxed Trade channel alone. With the new LFG interface and cross-server instancing, filling those last slots for raids and Heroics should be easier than ever before. If your guild needs to recruit players, these tools should be a big help in finding people to fill out a group who might be interested in joining your guild afterward. You can even recruit players from other servers this way, if they're willing to pay for the transfer. Just remember: poaching is wrong!
The new system includes a Vote Kick feature. It will no longer be the sole realm of the raid or party leader to decide who's not cutting the mustard. I'm not sure if the leader can also be kicked this way, but please treat your raid or party members with respect and courtesy regardless.
Sick of waiting for Rebirth to be available before you try hard mode Anub again? Apparently Blizzard is, too. Many class abilities frequently used in raids are getting a shorter cooldown. The list includes the aforementioned "battle rez," Tranquility, Army of the Dead, Divine Intervention, Divine Hymn, Earth and Fire Elemental Totems, Reincarnation, and Soulstone.
For hard mode fights in particular, it will be reassuring to know that almost all class abilities will be active for every attempt. That will lead to less guesswork in combat and less waiting around between attempts (especially in attempt-limited Coliseum hard modes). Thank you, Blizzard!
Not much is known about how we'll obtain Shadowmourne at this point, although some associated quests have been discovered (link = spoilers!). One thing is certain, however: This item will cause drama, somehow, somewhere. Don't let your guild succumb to the allure of orange pixels. However this weapon is obtained, use common sense and fairness to decide who should receive it. Communicate your plan ahead of time so that no one is surprised when the first critical item drops. Don't let your guild become the next Vicarious.
Gearing Up Guildies
Post 3.3, gearing up your guildmates will be easier than it's ever been in the lifetime of the game. You'll have Triumph Badges dropping from every boss and Frost Badges from dailies. Then you'll have the three new Icecrown dungeons that will drop Coliseum-level gear. And, of course, Trial of the Champion isn't going anywhere, either. Its items are Ulduar-level gear, but they still beat what drops in other Heroics by a long shot. Runed Orbs and Crusader Orbs should plummet in price, making crafting those items much more affordable. Let's not forget the as-yet-unknown Quel'Delar quest line reward, too! If you're really bored, you will be able to teleport directly to Sapphiron's chamber for a few easy drops. Finally, all of Wrath's factions, especially the despised Sons of Hodir, will have faster reputation gains.
With some luck from our old friend RNG, a player will be able to go from mostly quest greens to mostly epics in a matter of days. Of course, they'll still need more loot to optimize their gear set and work their way up to Icecrown-worthy stats, but it's still way faster than it was to upgrade from greens to epics via Karazhan runs and Badges of Justice back in the day.
Odds and Ends
- Gathering guild members around the world will be much easier now that meeting stones will be usable on any player over level 15. I can only assume this is a godsend for RP guilds.
- Players that are level 10 or below can no longer join raids. If you're planning any guild events that involve level 1 toons, you'll have to either use voice chat, create your own chat channel, or invite them all to your guild in order to communicate.
- The new fishing derby is Wednesday at 8 p.m. If your raids normally begin at 8, and if the derby only take a few minutes to win or lose, you might consider delaying the start for 10 minutes to allow players to participate.
Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!