Our guild (Hellscream Horde) is in AQ40, we've killed Twin Emperors twice and are experiencing some setbacks (drama and burnout). Some of our guild members are getting sick of AQ40 - the endless, painful trash and sidegrade loot, and are saying skip AQ40 and go straight to Naxxrammas, and are arguing that even once we kill C'thun we'll spend 3 nights a week to farm AQ40.
Now, the question I want answered is, just how fast can guilds with everything in AQ40 on solid farm (AKA, killed C'thun the week after the retuning and Ouro shortly after) full clear the instance? Horde in particular if it makes a difference. I think it should be doable in about 6 hours with excellent playing, but I'm curious to know what the actual times are. For comparison, how fast is a BWL clear for such a guild?
And a related question: a lot of people are saying that wipes to the Twin Emps are inevitable, because of the randomness (specifically, the Melee emp sometimes just flattens our MT in a second, he seems to save up melee attacks and then unload with several regular hits and a UB strike at once). I remember the same thing being said of Vael back in the day, and I think that with better gear and more practice a group should never be wiping on the Emps, in theory. Am I correct? Are there horde guilds that one-shot the Emps every week?
We do aq40 (well, everything except Viscidus because we never managed to kill him without something like 4-5 wipes if we didn't have 7+ shamans) in 4h-4h30. A good timing to aim for is 1h-1h30 to reach and kill huhuran, 1h to twins dead (can be faster depending on anubisath combos), 1h to clean post emps trash, and 1h to kill c'thun + ouro. There is no secret to improve clear times : don't wipe, collect dps loot, pull faster...
We never wipe on emps. Well, ok we do wipe on emps once every 3/4 weeks but it has everything to do with raid awareness. Emps are not a random fight at all if you have 2 well geared MTs with flasks and other consumables. It's just a heal and dps game. If your MT is killed by the melee emp with decent gear (t2 lvl), then someone is playing bad. Do your healers keep their pw:s/swiftmend for UB strikes ? Do your warrior use shield block after each UBS ? Demo shout up ? Your MT should never ever drop below ~2k health on emps with good players.
For the record, we used to clear BWL in something like 3h before naxx release. I'm pretty confident we could do it in 2h with the best geared players and optimized raid lineup but anyways, we don't do it anymore and if we'd do it, it would be to gear up alts/casuals.
I'd expect the times to go shockingly far down once the raid is in full t3, of course, once you are, I'm not sure you'd want to go there much. Atm we do AQ40 from 19:00 on saturdays (due to attendance problems, it was sunday instead this week). Usually cleared in around 5 hours. This was with 2 stupid wipes and 1 that while not stupid, was avoidable, normally we dont wipe on those spots, while places we do at times wipe, we didnt. With no wipes I'd say pushing it down toward 4 hours should be within reach of most well organized/geared guilds.
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works ye Mighty, and despair!
T3 will indeed massively improve raid dps (6/8 mage, rogue bonuses...) but a few weeks in naxx are more than enough to enhance your raid dps when you can drop 65+ dps dagger/maces from trash mobs and stuff like that ;p
we do AQ40 on our off raid day (sunday), which generally reduces our efficiency. still, we can usually clear through c'thun in 3-4 hours, though last night we had an ugly mess of a raid that lasted over 6 due to multiple wipes on viscidus and missing a number of our key members. we actually had one of our mages stay on his alt warrior who he comes on to get trash rep simply because we were down to 3 warriors from people having to leave.
Last night we went back to AQ after about 4 weeks away from the zone. Since we were rusty on C'thun and Ouro, it took us 3 tries on each boss. Combined with 1 wipe on the Anubisath Defenders (which was stupid), and 2 wipes on the post-emps trash (also stupid), it took us just under 6 hours to finish. Assuming we one-shotted C'thun and Ouro, I expect we could have been out of there in 4 hours.
Now, a couple thoughts on AQ and raid zones in general after taking a step back from it:
# Thin out the post-emps trash. Seriously. Trash serves two purposes: 1) train players in a particular tactic or concept that will be used for a later boss, 2) reward you with a boss after you're done.
In the case of post-emps trash, it doesn't really teach you anything new. Kill mindslayers away from the raid? Hi, we learned this in ZG with batriders. Losing control of your character for prolonged periods isn't fun, either. Being repeatedly mindflay/feared is stupid. Being mind-controlled isn't so bad because you get to watch yourself kill your friends. As for the effort required to reach the boss, it's overkill. C'thun and Ouro are difficult enough that you don't need to innundate us with repetitive, boring trash packs.
Take out 2 packs before the first nullfiers, and remove the 2nd to last Nullfier pack. Now, if there were some real reason for this trash to be there, e.g. they dropped quest items necessary for the quest armor, then I could understand it. As it stands, they're just tedious and boring.
# Guilds whine about the loot because almost no one uses an upgrade system for their DKP. Since we adapted EJ's upgrade system, not a single piece of loot rotted last night. Everything was greedily snatched up. It's completely reinvigorated our DKP system. Seriously, thanks to EJ for devising this ingenious system. Hopefully, the concept of an upgrade system will become more mainstream and catch on with a greater portion of the playerbase. It goes a long way toward addressing the cautious power inflation of WoW's itemization. The CMs should really sticky their loot system in the guild relations forum.
# No more sprawling linear raid zones, please. Naxxramas is awesome because of the multiple routes a guild can take. It also eliminates the wasted time of running back required by Ahn'Qiraj. The teleporters to the Emps room was too little, too late. A lot of people are fucking bitter about it. That little gnome bitch should repair all your armor for free and leave a mint in your bags while she's at it. "So sorry! I could have done this anytime but it just didn't occur to me until 5 months later, tee-hee!"
The only thing really out of place in my perspective is the post-emps trash. Everything up to and through the Emps isn't too bad. The trash is a joke up until post-Huhuran, and that trash isn't that bad, considering the overall difficulty of the zone. However, the post-Emps trash has a drain effect on the raid. There's a lot of it and it doesn't fit with the pacing of the trash earlier in the zone. Prior to Huhuran (arguably the Huhu->Emps trash too) the trash is an interlude with some semi-interesting abilities to look for between bosses. After emps...it just seems like someone hit copy-paste a few too many times.
Well, ~3:20 was our time today. We 1-shot everything except Huhuran, who we wiped on once (oops), and our Frank kill was a little messy. This is skipping both the bug trio and Viscidus, though. I suspect with a more DPS-heavy raid (we field 15-16 usually), 3 hours is possible...maybe even not skipping anything (though we don't bother with Visc).