It means just one thing – moving further than you’ve gone before. Or does it?
In World of Warcraft it’s usually used to talk about raiding, but it’s not just what boss you’re on.
I’ve been raiding on my Beastmaster Hunter now for a few months, and I’m fortunate enough to be playing with a team that has been able to successfully (and repeatedly!) kill all the bosses in Mogushan Vaults.
So, progression. We started with no bosses, and kept working on them one at a time, getting better each week until now we’re able to clear the entire raid instance in a single 2-hour run.
Some groups out there are far further along than we are, killing bosses in harder raids or heroic modes, and some folks out there aren’t yet as far along as we, still working on earlier bosses.
The fact remains, we have progressed and succeeded. We haven’t fallen apart, we haven’t had a lucky kill that we can’t duplicate, we’re still moving forward.
I’m very happy about that.
But that doesn’t mean everyone in the team is happy.
It’s about expectations.
Last night we had a rough night in some respects. There are bosses we have on farm that we usually one-shot, well we had some wipes to ‘em. We still killed them, but it slowed us down more than expected.
I could tell it was disheartening. I could feel it, some folks felt we WERE moving backward, falling behind… losing progression.
We didn’t fall apart into whining and finger pointing. We dug in and went again. And again. And we succeeded, killing them all and ending the day with another complete clear.
not just a clear, but the last fight of the evening on Will of the Emperor was also one of our smoothest ever. The timing on the end phase was freaking perfect. Not a close one, not a squeaker, we destroyed Will of the Emperor.
What was the progression that made me happy? We didn’t kill any bosses that we hadn’t done before, and in some respects we were slower than usual.
The progression came from doing better on the fights that we have the least experience in. Sure, some of the early ‘farm’ fights were flopping around, but Elegon and Will of the Emperor were great. Better than we’ve done before.
On a purely personal level, I had a great night.
I’ve been trying to do my best as a Beastmaster Hunter on these raids each week, and my DPS has been okay, even good, but I’ve always felt that I was not coordinating my cooldowns and priorities and Focus management quite right. I could do better.
Last night, on every pull I tried my hardest to nail down my timing, figure out where I wasn’t hitting the right transitions.
Frostheim has said it before, and it is so true, we have a lot of buttons to manage. A lot of things to prioritize, and every attack or cooldown you use is a GCD that means everything else waits a skosh.
Last night my goal was to get every single one of them perfect. To have my Focus at the exact point that the moment Kill Command or Glaive were up, I was using them, no moments wasted. Cobra Shot used only as much as necessary to get the Focus needed, and no more.
No wasted GCDs. Uptime of the best shots. That was the goal.
I’m sure most folks don’t think it’s that big a thing and do it as a matter of course, but not me.
I worked hard on it, and I had a few good runs last night where I feel I nailed it. And I also learned what was working right and what rhythm helped me move in sync with my cooldowns.
At one point, I used all of my utility, did everything I was supposed to do, hit every point and ended with 86k DPS for the boss fight. I was so damn happy with myself, I had to whisper a friend, bursting with excitement, “86 freaking K freaking DPS, bitch!”
Keep in mind, other folks in our group regularly have higher DPS that I do, and last night was no exception. Monstre alone came in and did over 250k DPS on one of the fights last night. So I’m not whispering because I’m el numero uno head honcho. I was genuinely delighted because it wasn’t about being better than someone else, it was about setting a new bar for me to reach. A damn good bar. I played in the zone, as perfect as I could, and THAT was where I was at. From now on, that is the new goal for me to try and beat, and every fight I’ll still be looking at my abilities trying to see where I can switch something or prioritize something to do better.
Bosses were going to die anyway. In reality, I probably could have been half drunk and pushing buttons randomly, and we would have still won, and at about the same pace.
My progression, my satisfaction was in doing better than I had ever done before, and that left me on a natural high.
Well, goodie for me. I talked to one of our raiders a little later, just a quick chat about next week, and she seemed really down. I was genuinely surprised, we cleared all of Mogushan Vaults, whole thing in two hours. Sure, could have been faster, but in my book that ain’t failsauce.
I’ve been in first half LFRs that have taken longer than that, no lie.
But they were still down about it. Sounded kind of bummed. And that comes back to expectations and what progression means to each of us.
Just because I’m happy we cleared MSV, and just because I had a good time because I felt I was improving my skills and refining my technique doesn’t mean other people in the raid group had the same goals… or the same measure of success.
If your goal is to reach a certain point, clear a raid just so you can have a certain number of attempts on one difficult boss you’d like to get past before the new patch reduces the challenge, then anything less than meeting that goal is a failure, isn’t it?
What if you have your heart set on reaching Garalon? You don’t expect any difficulties in getting there, you’re not concerned with the old stuff, you have your sights set on this one goal. Get Garalon.
If that’s what you need to feel you have progressed, then not reaching that goal will suck. It will be a big downer, because you failed to reach that goal when you expected to.
Same raid team. But some are going home happy and others are going home depressed.
It’s just something to think about. Everyone has their own goals and definitions for progression and success, and while you are focused on trying to meet your own goals, it’s good to take a look at what the goal for your TEAM is, and do your best to make that happen too.
If your goal is to be better at your own role in the group, but other people in the team have the goal of reaching Garalon, then part of being a good teammate is doing what you can to help the whole team get all the goals met, not just yours.
So, yeah, we ended the night well. We didn’t slide backwards, we didn’t choke on a boss or hit a wall.
But we ended the night down, because we could have gone further, faster. And for at least one person, we didn’t progress. And that SUCKS.
Next time, hopefully we’ll get it done and meet the goals everyone has, and then everyone in the team can walk away happy, feeling that glow from a job well done.