The Benefits of Geared Alts
This is mostly in response to a post that was put up a few days ago on World of Matticus by Lodur. I think there are some very valid points that are brought up with respect to an alt in a main raid, or even running alts through 10 mans with some mains to help them along, but what happens when you have a progression raid guild with a multitude of alts that are VERY geared. What I mean by very geared is that my alt, who is a lovely little hunter, is more geared that two of our main raiding hunters. With the exception of my trinkets i am in 232 and 245 gear. And I am the officer that hates leveling with a passion more than the others. Each of our officers has an alt that is fully capable of beating out some of our main raiders in their respective duties, and we play them as well as our raiders.
When it comes down to it, this is a huge benefit to the guild and the raid as a whole. We probably have about 15 alts that are geared to the level that they can one shot any boss in ToTC, and we do every week. Now our guild isn’t as hard core as others. What we do is we run our main raid with our best 25 and we clear all of ToTC on Tuesday. Sunday we come back with our Alt raid, plus the 5-10 other mains that did not make it into our Tuesday raid, and clear the instance again. We save all trophies till the end, and we allow all the mains to have one trump card so to speak. They can claim one piece of gear over anyone else in the raid, what piece is up to them. Also we give out the Trophies based on this same system. Everything else is rolled off equally.
As a result we net 10 trophies per week from 25 man raids. Add that to the three 10 man HM ToTGCs we run and you have 22 trophies a week. This is a major gear level upgrade for the guild as a whole. Now we never bring alts to the 25 man hard modes, but they do server their purpose in gearing up our main raid, and in the end, become very geared as well. This type of gear distribution leads to a very geared raid, very quickly. We have the ability to have more gear in the main raid that is physically possible if we would only run one 25 man raid a week. This results in some amazing performances from our raiders.
When is an alt ready for our raids
For the most part we do not allow under geared alts into our raids at all. I for one hate it when people want to be carried right up to the best tier of gear on their fresh 80. What we look for in our members when they want to bring an alt is that they have a vast knowledge about the class they want to play, they are geared and gemmed appropriately, and they have their rotations down. Now you would think that this is a lot to figure out, but its much simpler than you would think. Between our officers we have a Prot, Ret, and Holy Paladin, a Resto Shaman, an Ele Shaman, a Holy and Disc Priest, a Hunter, a Lock, a Mage, a Prot Warrior, and a Frost/Blood DK. On top of the fact that we have that wealth of knowledge, most of our best raiders are on their alts and calling out other people if they are doing something completely off base. As for the logistics of the raid, we have some ground rules for that as well.
We tell people that they are allowed to bring an alt to our 25 man alt run, but once they have decided on which one they bring, they are locked into that class, just as they are on their mains. Any switching of alts would require a formal request just like if they wanted to switch mains. This is really for two reasons. First, the distribution of gear is not spread too thin. If you allow someone to bring a different alt each week, none of their alts will perform to the level that is expected and the raid will suffer as a result. Where as if they bring the same alt ever week, they learn the encounters from that point of view, and they continually collect upgrades that increase their ability to contribute.
The largest problem that we have is class balance. If you look at the trends for alts, most healers and tanks want to switch it up a bit, and try their hands at dps. Now I’m not saying that there aren’t people that are extremely passionate about what they do, I have two tanks, and I love to tank, our GM has three healers! But when it comes to dps, they are usually very selfish and will roll nothing but another dps class, because healing and tanking don’t show you pretty numbers popping on your screen. When we first started invites to our alt runs, we had something like four locks, four hunters, four rouges, no tanks, and two healers. We are a bit more balanced now, but for the most part we have to sit the dps for healers. Our tanks on our alt runs are Mains, and they are two of our main tanks in guild that dont make it to the normal 25 man on Tuesdays.
All in all, any guild that can successfully pull off another 25 man ToTC should be doing it, even if it is a pain in the butt, because it will net you a lot more gear and a lot better performance week after week.