In the last story, you listened as the budding guild leader had finished a guild merger. Things were looking good for a while. Bosses were going down cleanly. But it wasn’t going to last because the attrition boss reared it’s head again. Something is up with this expansion causing guilds to collapse. My suspicion is that guilds that used to cut it during heroic came to the start conclusion that Mythic just wasn’t in the cards. Players that excelled in heroic suddenly couldn’t execute at the level demanded in Mythic and lacked either the perseverance or general skills to proceed. In any case, my players were beginning to show signs of fatigue and disinterest.
Coasting: To move easily without exerting power or force. In Warcraft, doing the minimum required to defeat a boss simply because you can overpower it easily.
With raiders, it’s apparent that once you reach a point in the tier where enough players are equipped and the content doesn’t pose a suitable challenge anymore, many mechanics can simply be brute forced. Like it or not, players will naturally take the path of least resistance. Why bother structuring all these intricate defensive cooldown rotations when player health has reached the point where it can withstand a major boss attack without casualties? Reluctantly, I began putting those away and giving free reign to the team to revert back to the tried and true strategy: Kill it first before it kills you.
Okay, back to the story of the server transfer. At the rate we were losing players and recruiting them, I did the math in my head. We weren’t going to make it to Hellfire Citadel in patch 6.2. No way in hell. I explained this to a few of my officers and they all agreed that something had to be done because recruiting wasn’t getting us anywhere. A few of my raiders proposed tabling the idea of transferring servers again.
This is a massive decision which can overwhelm even the most seasoned of leaders and cause them to freeze up or stick to the status quo. We’re going to put a pin on this because I want to share a story that helped with the decision process.
Did you know that Intel used to be both in the memory and microprocessor industry? It was many years ago but it’s true. Except their memory business was absolutely haemorrhaging money.
Former Intel president Andy Grove faced the toughest decision of his career: Whether or not to kill the company’s memory business. Intel originally had been founded on memories. In fact, it used to be the only company that manufactured memory. However, whole companies had started manufacturing and competing in the memory business just before the 1980s. The microprocessor came along later after a small R&D team developed and presented it. They caught a huge break when IBM selected Intel’s processor chip to power their personal computers.
Now you have a company with two major products: Memory and processors. At that time, memory continued to be the primary source of revenue for Intel but they were starting to have problems competing due to the threat of Japanese companies.
“The quality levels attributed to Japanese memories were beyond what we thought possible,” said Grove. “Our first reaction was denial. We vigorously attacked the data.” But they eventually confirmed the claims, said Grove, “We were clearly behind.”
In the ten years between 1978 and 1988, the Japanese companies doubled their market share from 30% to 60%. There were leaders within Intel who wanted to buff their manufacturing. Another group wanted to hedge bets on some new tech that they felt the Japanese wouldn’t be able to compete with. A last group wanted to stick with the strategy of serving these speciality markets.
The debate continued to rage while Intel kept losing more money on the memory business. Grove continued discussing the memory dilemna with Intel’s CEO, Gordon Moore. Then Grove had an epiphany:
I looked out the window at the Ferris Wheel of the Great America amusement park revolving in the distance, then I turned back to Gordon and I asked, “If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what do you think he would do?” Gordon answered without hesitation, “He would get us out of memories.” I stared at him, numb, then said, “Why shouldn’t you and I walk out the door, come back in, and do it ourselves?”
This “revolving door test” provided a moment of clarity. From the perspective of an outsider, shutting down the memory business was the obvious thing to do. The switch in perspectives—“What would our successors do?”— helped Moore and Grove see the big picture clearly.
It’s called the “revolving door test”. To an outside person looking in with an objective mindset and no ties, killing off the memory business was the correct course of action. Asking — “What would our successors do?” helped the two men see the big picture.
Naturally, many of their colleagues within the company opposed it. But they held firm and the sales team was forced to explain to their customers and clients that Intel would not carry memory anymore.
Of course, one customer said, “It sure took you a long time.”
I’d say Intel has done well since then with a good share of the microprocessor market.
When you’re shopping for a car, you have to consider a number of important factors. You tend to think about the initial cost, the mileage, maintenance, safety, and other features (Bluetooth is a must, in my book). Not only that, each factor might be weighted differently. Safety over maintenance or fuel economy is an example.
But in major decisions, there tends to be the emotional element that’s missing. With the Intel story, Grove’s decision had plenty of information going around and alternative options. It was agonizing because he felt emotionally conflicted. He was torn about the future of the company and the loss that comes with dropping a historical product.
Short-term emotion can seriously affect decision making. Going back to server transferring, there are multiple factors when it comes to choosing servers. The question the GM needs to ask themselves first is, “Is it time to transfer off?”. It’s an agonizing question. Maybe you have history on the server. Perhaps you or your guild are well known to the server or you’ve developed a bit of a reputation. If you’re still conflicted, then the next question to ask yourself is this:
“If it were my best friend’s guild, what would I tell them to do?”
You can actually use that “What would I tell my best friend to do?” question for a personal dilemma.
A little perspective might be just what you need. Just being detached will help conquer that emotional component.
Once the decision to move has been green lit, now you’re faced with additional factors with server selection.
- Realm size
- Faction population and ratio
- Realm progression
- Realm type
- Realm latency
WoW Progress provides a nifty snapshot of realm information. You can glance at the information and use it to figure out what your next move should be. In my case, I wanted a server with a really high and healthy population. On the other hand, I didn’t want it too high either to the point that it affected our capability to login and play. In addition, the server either had to be completely Alliance dominated or PvE. I was sick of potential recruits turning us down because they weren’t down for playing on a PvP server and I wasn’t prepared to go Horde. A server with strong raid progression is a plus because it tells you that there’s enough players on there who take it seriously.
In the end, Kel’thuzad looked like the winner. After our last raid, I started making all the preparations for the transfer. Players were informed of where we were going and what we were doing. I knew that not everyone was going to come with us. Anywhere between 25% to 40% would either not transfer over or quit the game.
All in all, we had about 15 raiders ready to go. But our work still isn’t done. Mythic raiding starts at 20 and we had many slots to fill up. Attrition problems didn’t go away though. We continued to recruit and even though there was a high population of raiders, we had to continue filling in players for group finder and the like. I guess we weren’t the only guild that had the same idea of moving to a more populated realm.
And then the bot banwave hit and our prayers were answered.