There is a thread posted on Tankspot by Ciderhelm that Roksi and I have referenced several times to each other over the time we have been working together (actually there are lots of posts like this, but one in particular related to the topic at hand 😉
Here is the link: <click here>
The article is a discussion from TBC about managing your raids time during any given raid lockout and some of the differences between really successful guilds and guilds who tended to fall weeks and months behind in progression.
For the first couple of tiers in Wrath, this post wasn’t really as applicable as when it was first written. There was only one raid instance for the current tier, and for the most part we all cleared through Naxx so many times that the likelihood of anyone needing anything more than possibly a trinket was pretty slim. The prevalence of available PuGs nowadays for previous tiers also renders a lot of the discussion moot.
I think that the article makes a really great point though about the advantages “hardcore” guilds had in TBC that were able to raid ~32 hours during a week rather than ~16. The idea that raiding 32 hours in a week rather than 16 gives you 24 hours of progression raiding compared to just 16 simply because you didn’t have to reclear all the bosses and trash up to where you are “working”
Naxx’s wing setup, and to some degree the number of “optional” bosses in Ulduar and the availability of choosing which order to kill the keepers in addressed this issue to a large degree. Progression guilds were able to focus their efforts on certain bosses without being required to reclear the whole instance each week.
Raid ID extension is something that I don’t really see discussed that much though, and we have found it to be a wonderful mechanism for also addressing the same issue.
We only raid for 9 hours a week. Although we have our full 11/12 hardmode clears down to a single 3hour raid, that is still a full 3rd of our raid week at this point. The recent removal of attempt limits on Arthas means that me will most likely be extending our raid ID until Arthas is dead (20% last week!!!), hopefully in time to also go clear Ruby Sanctum on hard mode as well before the expansion drops.
When we were working on Yogg +1 last year, we ended up extending our raid twice before we managed to kill him the first time. ~140 attempts over ~7-8 raid nights at 3 hours each before we managed to down him was an awesomely rewarding and insanely frustrating couple of weeks. The majority of the raid had only killed him on normal mode once before we started our +1 attempts. Despite several of us wanting to choke the living crap out of anyone who dared to even joke about touching a cloud by the end of it, looking back, I can say that it was a really valuable bonding experience for the whole group. I think those two weeks together, working through something that was genuinely challenging for most of the raid, is one reason why we have had so little turnover this last year.
The goal Roksi and I set for ourselves for ICC was to get our full hardmode clear times down to under 3 hours. By May, we had everything but Putricide and Sindragosa down well below that mark, and we usually had about an hour left for both of those bosses (two hours to clear everything else on hard mode) That left us with two full nights to work on Heroic Arthas. Most weeks in the last couple of months we have met the goal of clearing up to Arthas in under 3 hours, and we usually even have time leftover to squeeze the weekly raid quest in at the end of the raid. We have had occasional setbacks on Sindragosa where everyone seems to have forgotten how to play their characters temporarily, but it’s never taken more than an hour or so of wiping to remind them.
*Note to self: reading that reminds me that I want to write a post about raiding efficiently and dig up link to guide I read a couple of years ago on raiding efficiently… stratfu maybe?