How quickly can I get into Nax?
Hey guys, so to expound on the title a bit, because of real life commitments, I will not be able to raid regularly until late summer early fall. I got all my prebis gear a while ago, and I’m currently pugging the odd MC/Ony/ZG when I’m able to (which is rarely). What I’m really asking in this thread is, assuming Nax will release around the time I’m finally able to raid consistently, will I have enough time to reach the gear threshold to be *a contributing member* of an average raid team so I can experience Nax as a member of said team? Obviously if a guild decided to just funnel all the gear to me it wouldn’t take that long, but assuming that I’m not a cult leader, will this be possible or should I just give up on the dream of being a Nax Raider and focus on other parts of the game that I enjoy?
I think that depends entirely on your guild!
If you're already established in a guild and they are cool with letting you soak some gear from farm runs (BWL/AQ) then you'll be ready in no time.
If you're coming back and wanting to join a guild progressing through Naxx but you still have MC/ZG level gear then you might find it difficult but not impossible, you just might get benched a lot during the first months.
Either way, you will see Naxx eventually.
Depends on your circumstance. My raid team is packed right now with about 50 people on the roster, and with so many people imprisoned within their homes at the moment we have a very consistent core of 40 people who show up to raid night. This makes it very hard for the 10 bench guys to get into the main raid. We value consistency and attendance above all else, so we're not going to bench active players to fit a slightly different group composition unless we absolutely have to, but we got a good mix right now.
Right now the main raid is BWL and it's been on farm since week 1. Our core 40 people show up basically to every BWL, so our bench players don't get to see BWL with our team very often. However, we have lots of people in our core raid group willing to sit out MC and ZG, and we run Ony splits anyway so there is always room for the benched guys to participate there. If this trend continues into AQ, then BWL spots will probably open up to our bench players as core members become willing to sit out BWL to let other guys get in, but AQ would remain pretty much reserved for the core 40 just because they get priority for invites and all 40 are likely to show up to AQ every night for months to come.
Naxx is far enough away that I can't guess at what our raid team is going to look like by then. We got a really solid group of guys, so maybe most of the stick around until then. But player attrition is the real raid boss of this game, and 40 seats in a raid group is a big number to maintain. People will lose interest and disappear, and seats will open over time. But as people from our main roster disappear, we pick guys we know from our bench and bring them into the main raid group before we recruit strangers from outside our group. In many ways, getting a spot on a good raid team is like getting a good job - networking with people, getting to know them, putting in work on the bench whenever spots open up are all good ways to get known. Once spots open up, if the team knows you, then you're the first person they're gonna call up.
The AQ and Naxx release dates have not been announced, so all people can do right now is guess based on whatever insights they wanna use. Personally I'm not expecting AQ to open for another couple of months, so AQ itself may not open until like July or August anyway. You might make it back just after the AQ launch, and have all of AQ to find a raid team and prove yourself with consistent attendance. If you can find a seat on a raid team during AQ then odds are they're going to take you to Naxx with them. My own bare ass guess for Naxx is we won't see it until the end of the year anyway, so even if you start back up during late summer you still probably have a couple months to get in with a good team and gear up.
Remember that the loot will pour in to you if you get in with an established raid team. If a raid tier has been on farm for a while then there's much less loot competition and you get to scoop up nearly everything that drops and you'll get caught up pretty quick. Since gearing individual players isn't much of a problem, most raid teams value players who will reliably show up for raid nights on time every night more than the gear they currently have.
So just start nosing around for a raiding guild when you get back. Network with players you know in the game, see if any of them are raiding, ask if you can get into their guild, and once you're in start asking who the raid leaders are and start trying to help with ZG runs, MC, BWL, whatever raids that aren't 100% full every night. Just being there is a big help to a raid leader trying to get enough butts in seats to have a successful raid. Attend enough of the 2nd tier raid nights and you'll eventually get called up to the main raid.
To add to that, I wanna mention that we routinely bring level 55 alts and new players into our MC raids these days. We're quickly approaching the point where most of our core raid is close to full BWL gear, so there really isn't much loot left in MC. We will always raid MC for items like Thunderfury bindings, Bands of Accuria, Onslaught Girdles, etc, but lots of our guys are willing to sit the raids out. We award players DKP for being online and sitting the bench as long as they're ready to come raid if we need them, so lots of guys willing to sit out MC raids and let new guys in to gear up. We regularly see level 55 players come in and get like half of their MC gear in a single night. It's fun to see. This will probably happen in BWL too once AQ opens up, so don't worry about gear that much. It'll come and it'll come quick.
Thanks for the detailed response Pippina you pretty much covered what I needed to know. Based on your guesses I was overestimating how close we were to Nax release, so I should have plenty of time to find a guild and earn a spot, that was my main concern.