The Time Bomb Every Guild Leader Holds

The Time Bomb Every Guild Leader Holds

The original Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clockface that first originated in 1947 by some really smart people (directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists). The closer the clock is to midnight, the closer the entire world gets to a global catastrophe. Right now, the clock is at 5 minutes to midnight. As nations attempt to find ways to secure nuclear weapons, time gets added. If they’re unable to agree or if additional nations become nuclear capable, time gets removed.

Have you heard of the guild doomsday clock?

It’s this internal timer that GMs have. When it hits zero, the guild collapses in spectacular bits. The progression clock is naturally about raiding. If you recruit new players or get progression kills, time is added. If you lose players for any reason or wipe continually to bosses, time is subtracted.

This is not going to be apparent to most people. But every guild leader has that internal pressure on them whether they realize it or not. They have a mandate to uphold and goals to achieve. Every failure adds more pressure until they can’t take it anymore and disband. I’ve seen it to happen to guilds that I never would have expected to shut down. I run this organization everyday wondering if it’ll be the last and it’s been like that for the better part of a year. Fear is an exceptionally powerful motivator.

How does time get added and removed from the doomsday clock?

Subtracting time

  • Losing players
  • Losing officers
  • Excessive wiping on normal mode
  • Suspending progression
  • Missed raids
  • Drama issues resulting in splintering

Adding time

  • Gaining players
  • Officers who are stable and not burning out
  • Farming bosses in one shot
  • Meaningful, visible progression
  • Positive attendance
  • Overall satisfaction and happiness

Over the past year, I’ve seen the clock hands gradually tick forward to midnight. Officers have become burned out. Players schedules and their lives have changed. I’m not able to adjust fast enough. I still have no viable raid leader I can pass some of this load to. That alone is my biggest need and there’s no job board or recruiting forum I can go to for something like this. It’s hard to grow a raid leader if no one has the time, desire, or skillsets to do it. Stable raid leaders are a premium.

Thankfully, wee were able to raid with the bare minimum with 25. The fact is that there are still people here who wish to raid and see more of the game. I’ve almost all but written off this tier and am in the process of retooling for Siege of Orgrimmar. This is the time of year where it’s so hard to recruit because players are firmly entrenched in their raiding guilds or they’re taking a break to enjoy the sun. Thankfully, we’ve picked up a few more players in the past week and added some time to it but we’re still extremely close to midnight.

Senior man cutting grass with shears

It’s like cutting grass with garden shears, isn’t it?

Our current roster is just not quite there for hard modes. Some of the players don’t have the experience. Others don’t have the gear. I’ve had to make the unpopular decision to temporarily suspend hard mode progression until the bottom end can catch up appropriately. Everyone who has been here has been farming normal modes for months. We’ve been able to 22 man our way through most bosses past even Dark Animus. We took a player’s alt Ret Paladin which started off with a 460 ilevel and ended the night at 502. They didn’t really do much DPS, but they were a body and and an Aura Mastery. The fear? That people at the top grow impatient and have no desire to stick around waiting for the bottom end to catch up and repeating the cycle.

It’s pretty damn sad.

I’ve been in similar situations before in the past. But there was always a clear, well lit path forward. I had a large and familiar group of officers more experienced than I was at the time who helped steer me the right way (like Syd). But man, it’s super lonely right now. But like any true leader, you can’t show weakness. It’s easy to repeat that everything’s going to be okay. In the back of mind, I don’t like that because I like having actionable steps and plans to move up.

The best I can really do is recruit and pray.

A stable and sizable raid roster needs to be the first fix. But it’s going to be for naught if I can’t get a raid leader somewhere. Throne of Thunder may very well be the most disastrous showing for this organization since Ulduar. We’re an above average normal mode guild. But this roster has much to learn about heroic raiding. It’s the difference between the regular season and playoffs. Have to find that ON switch.

Tick tock.

Emergency AFK? 6 Ways to Handle It Like a Pro

Emergency AFK? 6 Ways to Handle It Like a Pro

Have you ever heard of the perfect storm of raiding?

Not a single cloud in the sky. Calm and steady waves. You have enough players present even though 1 or 2 players have signed out for the day. But you can’t quite shake that feeling it’s just too good to be true.

For us, it started out much the same. But then, a series of unfortunate events occurred. Lodur had a computer shortage. I had to race through the streets to pick up mom. Some people were going to be a little late due to overtime at work. We were ultimately left standing with 22 people. What could we do until everyone had returned to their battle stations?

On the perfect day, none of these things would have happened. But every so often, you get that day where the universe just likes to screw with you and cause havoc for players. As the GM, I admit that feel uneasy and anxious when not raiding. All that time is being wasted just by sitting there.

stormcloud

What do you do if you don’t have a full crew to work with? Are there options when someone needs to step out briefly for a few minutes?

If there’s trash still up, go do what your parents yelled at you to do when you were younger and take out the trash! By the time you clear it, the player should be back in business and ready to go.

1. Switch another player in

Easiest solution. Is there any other players online that you can pull in? Most raiding teams have a bench or maybe you have a recruit who is willing to step in. Activate the members you have around who you can grab.

2. Make some attempts in, even if it’s short handed

Just because there’s a player out doesn’t mean you can’t at least get warmed up and give exposure to your players. Have them get a handle for the opening phases. Start practicing some of the mechanics. Get them thinking about how they’re going to react to the different phases. By the time your other raider gets back, they’re the one that has to play catch up.

3. Downshift and clear (Heroic)

This is generally not a first option. I’d only consider this under a few circumstances. First, it’s clear that the players gone aren’t going to be back anytime soon. We’re talking an internet outage or a computer exploding or some other case where it’ll take longer than the rest of raid to resolve. Second, the raid group is nearing the end of the raid week. Maybe the raid is on a day 2 or a day 3 and it’s clear that there won’t be enough time left. Lastly, if there is still valuable loot to be had in the rest of the instance. Certain trinkets, weapons, or 4-piece drops that players are missing will warrant an instance clear.

4. Alternate content

Within instances like Naxx or the first tier of raids in Cataclysm, you had options on where to go and what bosses to do. Throne of Thunder is completely linear. In previous instances, your raid could have switched to a different wing and gotten down a different boss (preferably one on farm) while you waited for the lone player to return.

5. Wait and call an early break

Easiest solution on the planet. Give people a breather. It’s not uncommon for players to switch screens or alt tab and browse other sites (like this one) and catch up on other things going on. If you’re on a progression boss, the wait can allow players to catch up on additional information. Or be like me and sneak off to grab a quick bite from the fridge. It’s free time to spend!

6. Flex it up

Enough said. I’ve written about it a few times here (and here). No need to elaborate here! But it’ll be available in the next patch as something to kill prolonged time with.

Don’t despair like me at the thought of an underwhelmingly numbered raid. There’s always something that can be done until your group is back to full strength. However, if you find yourself consistently at less than capacity, then you’re going to want to start addressing that.

The Art of Chaining Cooldowns

The Art of Chaining Cooldowns

Want to increase your raid’s overall DPS?

How about expanding it’s survivability?

Or keeping enemy packs incapacity and stunned for longer than usual?

This is one of the basic raid tactics you can use. Chaining cooldowns refers to players using similar abilities one after the other. Stacking cooldowns means to use them simultaneously. How exactly should a raid chain their cooldowns together?

Offensive

As a DPS player, you have your own personal DPS increasing cooldowns. In most cases they’re fired off all at once to raise your damage for those brief seconds that the abilities are active. It’s kind of a no brainer isn’t it?

But when you’re dealing with many players, you may not have that luxury. What happens if two players stun the target at the same time with two Hammer of Justices? The target still gets stunned for 6 seconds (too bad the other stun doesn’t carry over and add 6 seconds on top).

(Un)Fortunate enough to have 5 shamans in raid? You can use their Stormlash totem one after the other for 50 seconds worth of extra lightning DPS. Bonus marks if you pull this off during a Heroism.

If you’re working on challenge modes, then you’ll have to chain your cooldowns together to get through various trash packs. In some cases, you may need to combine both offensive and defensive ones based on your group composition. My challenge mode group is stun heavy with a Death Knight, Monk, and a Shaman. Like clock work, the Monk opens with a Leg Sweep while the Shaman drops his Capacitor Totem at the same time (the stun detonates after 5 seconds) before the Death Knight finalizes with Remorseless Winter. If we still needed more time to finish off a pack, I dropped a Power Word: Barrier to help. Like any form of crowd control, targets will be affected by diminishing returns.

Defensive

Structuring healing cooldowns does need a little more thought. Should you use more than one at the same time or layer it one after the other? Bosses tend to have signature mass DPS abilities which affect the whole raid. Your decision on stacking or chaining all comes down to how intense the damage is and how long that boss ability lasts.

Jin’rokh’s Lightning Storm? We started chaining two cooldowns one after the other (example: Smoke Bomb followed by a Power Word:  Barrier).

Iron Qon’s Fist Smash? We stacked two cooldowns at a time as Rising Anger continued to increase.

Addons

If you don’t have it installed yet, get RSA downloaded and set up. It’ll help you and your fellow raiders as it announces when you activate your own raid cooldowns and when they end.

rsa-config

Bring up the configuration and go into the General Announcements tab. The drop down on the top right let’s you adjust which spells and abilities you want to use. The checkboxes let you choose where you want the start and end points broadcasted. In most cases, it’s going to be either a Smart Group or a Whisper. You can choose to override the output channel if you wish.

In Conquest, there’s a dedicated shaman channel where they organize their own Stormlash Totems and that’s where they set their macros and announcements to.

This simple technique is going to help you shave time off your kills and help you beat enrage timers. A little organization and communication ahead of time with your players is going to be needed, but it’s well worth the effort! To really stretch this out though, look through each boss and find out what the best time to chain cooldowns will be. Look for periods in a fight where your raid can stay still and unload their arsenal!

Why do You Need a Professional Guild Site?

Why do You Need a Professional Guild Site?

The Conquest Gaming website received a much needed facelift a few weeks ago. A special thanks to Altered Innovations for the design work that went into it. You’ll see many guild sites aiming for predominantly dark colours. I wanted to go with a different approach and go in a brighter direction instead.  Functionality aside, today we’ll be talking about pure aesthetics.

The looks.

The feel.

The sex appeal.

Why do you need a good looking website?

One of my raiders suggested adding more Comic Sans to help make it a little more “fun”. I shot that down without zero hesitation.

“What’s wrong with Comic Sans? Why do we need such a good looking site? Why does it have to be professional? I mean, we’re not getting paid or anything like that.”

Those are all excellent questions. You don’t actually need a polished, quality site. But attracting players is like trying to pickup women: First impressions matter! You can aim for something that’s clean. Or go for something more bold. Or have a little fun with it! No matter what, there’s something to be said for good design.  Rules and other information should be easy to find. The “apply” page should be in an obvious location.

I’m not trying to be shallow or anything. I’m not saying that the quality of your guild depends entirely on the look of your site. Your guild should have a little substance to it. Your guild is defined by the players, the culture, and the activities. At the same time though, your guild site should showcase those aspects. For progression raiders, it’s all about how many bosses that guild has taken down and when. With potential recruits visiting, a good looking site determines whether or not they’ll leave within the first second.

Just like in real life, adding a little more care to appearances goes a long way.

A few of the other raiders echoed those sentiments. If the site had an old school Geocities or Fortune City look, they wouldnt’ve given it a second glance. That brings back memories of scrolling or flashing text (depending on Netscape or Internet Explorer — My how times have changed). Don’t forget the embedded Real Player.

Or frames.

I digress.

When I’m browsing around other guild sites and I see one that catches my eye, I can’t help but be impressed. Because there’s a guild master who gets it. It’s another way for that GM to express their dedication for their guild. If a GM didn’t care, why bother investing the time or the money in creating a unique site of their own? If you’re a recruit, you can think of that as a positive indicator when you’re shopping for a new guild.

Not every guild has access to the tools or designers for sites. I suspect this is true of smaller guilds. But their activities and communications are coordinated around Facebook groups or Google+. That’s okay too, but I’ve found it harder to find information about them. Then again, most of those groups tend to be invite only.

if you actually are looking for a custom layout with spoilers and rims, I recommend looking into Altered Innovations (check out the portfolio). If you’re already on Enjin, then it’s a bigger bonus as he does specialize with Enjin sites (and that’s what allows the rates to be reasonable). Most of the coding is already built into the Enjin infrastructure which saves time on development.

Besides, these guys actually do  get paid. It’s stipulated in the contract. One drink at BlizzCon*. They just need to be there to redeem it!

* Redeemable for active raiders only or at GM’s discretion.

You Shouldn’t be an Officer

You shouldn’t consider being an officer…

  • If you can’t commit the time
  • If you view it as a simple title without responsibility
  • If you have thin skin and cannot handle flak from anyone
  • If you cannot be objective
  • If you get extremely frustrated
  • If you are impatient
  • If you set a poor example for other players
  • If you are not willing to act
  • If you cannot control your temper
  • If you don’t have the energy
  • If you have absolutely zero sense of tact
  • If you are routinely and consistently late to events (raids)
  • If you are unable to put yourself in the shoes of others
  • If you cannot be objective when it comes to guild matters
  • If you have a flair for drama
  • If you are only good at delivering criticism without feedback
  • If you view it as a free ride to loot
  • If you’re too new and haven’t gained respect from your peers
  • If you are not available for players to reach you (within reason)
  • If you are not reliable
  • If you just don’t care
  • If you want to date the GM (Hah)
  • If you don’t want to

I’m sure you can find exceptions and success stories of those who do fall under one or two of the above bullet points. Think of these as more general guidelines. It’s nigh impossible to find the perfect officer. They may have a few flaws about them but a shrewd GM can find ways to minimize their shortcomings and capitalize on their strengths. The process of becoming an officer is going to vary. With Conquest, it usually happens when I ask someone directly. I actually prefer it if players communicate their interest in assuming more responsibilities and I’ll observe their capabilities and interactions. Makes it a little easier, I think.

In the history of Conquest, I’ve had the pleasure of working with 13 different officers since the inception of the guild. We formed during the fall of 2008, when Wrath of the Lich King came out. We’ve been around for 5 years. That’s a rate of 2.6 officers per year. Now I’m curious, how many officers have served in your guild total?

 

 

Discuss: How transparent should a guild be?

Discuss: How transparent should a guild be?

We’re now 11/12! One more kill will seal out the normal mode tier and allow us to start putting in work on the heroic modes of Throne of Thunder. Some of the players were curious as to what our goals after should be. Do we spend a little more time farming out the normal modes or do we immediately push into heroics? At first, I wanted to spend some time to farm out the week and try to get more weapons, trinkets, and 4-pieces completed. I felt that we could use a little more beefing up. But a player brought up an excellent point that you won’t actually know how much DPS you need until your raid starts hitting enrage timers of a boss. If that happens consistently, then it’s time to downshift and get the gear to help beat that timer.

The good

In that sense, it’s a good idea to share your vision for where you want to the guild (even if it’s just the short term). It seems that almost everyone has something that they want to contribute. In a 10 man, I bet that the feedback’s a little more manageable. But in a 25 man guild with a 30+ roster, it can get a little overwhelming when everyone has their own ideas. But nothing’s wrong with transparency when it comes to guild goals or even philosophy. At the very least, those who disagree with it know ahead of time what they’ve gotten themselves into. They can either embrace your style or move on and find another organization that best suits them

  • Goals
  • Values
  • Upcoming plans

The bad

Now what happens when transparency revolves around disciplinary action taken on a guild member by an officer? They may have been forced to sit out a night or become demoted because they were deliberately offensive to someone else or exceptionally poor raid play. I’m against sharing with other players why someone was punished. Frankly, I don’t think that’s their business. In my past experience, when an officer mentions in passing why someone was disciplined, people start talking about it and then sides start being taken which turns into a massive mess of a headache.

It’s not that big of a deal. The guy screwed up once and now they have to face the music. It’s not exactly something that’s up for debate. Having disciplinary action up for debate just causes more trouble than it’s worth. There’s no point in publically mentioning it either because then it turns into a point of public shaming (which could further exacerbate the issue and even cause them to leave). GMs have to periodically release players from their roster and there are good reasons to do it but it doesn’t have to be shared and not everyone needs to know.

I remember a really long time ago when one of my players came to me and said that they wouldn’t be able to raid that night (or for the next few raid nights). I asked if everything was okay, and she said no, she had been sexually assaulted. Immediately, I told her to take as much time as she needed, we’d still be here. Naturally, when a veteran who regularly appears in a raid stops showing up for a few nights, people notice. I started getting questions and out of respect, I had to deflect it. Even this information was withheld from my own officers because I didn’t know at the time if it was something that they needed to know. True, she never said “I’d like to keep it private”, but I felt I should’ve erred on the side of caution anyway. This is definitely one of the cases where one doesn’t have to be as transparent.

  • Private player matters
  • Disciplinary action

In the end, it’s beneficial to be as honest and forthcoming as possible. But recognize that GMs will occasionally be put into a really tough position. I’d wager most GMs are loyal to their guild first and will do just about anything to preserve it – even if it means slight deception.

I’m going to throw this topic out to you guys. One of the factors most prized about guilds (from applicants) is that of transparency. They don’t want to be left out in the dark. But exactly how much do you really want to know? Is there anything that can be left off the table?

How Safe is your Guild Bank from Social Players?

How Safe is your Guild Bank from Social Players?

Imagine my surprise when I received a note from a fellow on the same server one lovely morning. One of my players was accused of stealing loot from a different guild’s bank and before promptly quitting.  The accused’s alt just helped themselves to various items. I’m not actually sure what items were taken or what the full value was.

Most GMs are bound to deal with guild bank thefts at some point in their careers. Either their bank gets stuff stolen from or a different guild’s bank gets raided (via alts) and they’re left dealing with the offenders.

In a fair number of cases, the accused would’ve simply been kicked out. And I’ll be the first to admit, it’s the easiest solution. You kick the player and your hands are washed of having to deal with them ever again. Your guild’s reputation is left (relatively) intact.

I responded back to the accuser saying that I’d look into it. But this is a player I didn’t have much interaction with as they were on our PvP roster. In the end, I notified my PvP team leader about this because the player was under their division.

“One of our players was accused of this. Any ideas about them? Here’s the guild they were in and here’s the character of the accuser.”

What happened?

Apparently, it was a misunderstanding. Our guy mistakenly took things that they weren’t supposed to thinking that it was open and free to anyone. They returned the goods (and compensated accordingly). As it’s their first time offense, I have to assume that there was no malicious intent (and there’s no evidence to show that there was).

As the player

Before taking stuff, ask.

Or at least, check around and see if there’s a banking policy. There may be certain limitations based on ranks. Sometimes the GM makes a mistake and places you in the wrong rank and you’re not actually supposed to be entitled to certain tabs. If you have access to rare items like enchants, recipes, or other craftables, it’s a good idea to check with someone higher up before helping yourself to it.

As the GM

Lock down your stuff.

Check the permissions.

Check the rank access of the permissions.

Make sure the right people have access to the right tabs. You have a responsibility to ensure that. It’s noble to assume the best out of everyone but it’s also quite foolish to leave the door to the vault wide open and expect it to be respected. Have your bank rules outlined somewhere on your guild website or your forums. Go over the ground rules with all new recruits with regards to withdrawal policies.

Speaking of banking stuff, which one of you left these stacks of Wool Cloth and Volatile Earth’s in my guild bank?

The Pro Sports Team Guide to Recruiting

I have watched my Vancouver Canucks rise and fall over the past seasons. I watched as they routinely got stomped many years ago to the powerhouse that came so close to winning it all in 2010. This city needs the cup so badly.

When a team is in a full rebuild mode, they trade out their remaining valuable assets to try and get younger in order to prepare for the future.

When a team is in playoffs mode, they look for the few pieces to help them get the championship.

Like sports teams, a guild’s recruiting strategy will often gradually shift from time to time depending on their current goals and needs. If you convert the guild’s raiding progression into different stages, you can classify your guild’s recruiting strategy to better align with the guild’s goals.

Stage 1: Early game, normal

Full rebuilding year. It’s time to start planning for the future. They know they’re not going to be in the running for a few years. Time to go young and select players with high potential. Give them the experience they need in order to flourish. Edmonton is a good example of this a few years ago. Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Yakupov are slated to give my team a run for it’s money in the next few years.

This is the stage most new guilds are at especially at the onset of a new expansion with a depleted or non-completed roster. You haven’t finalized your tanks, DPS, healers, or combination thereof. Your leaders will recruit anyone that can make your times and have the minimum gear levels needed to make a dent in the raids. They don’t have the necessary raiding experience? That’s okay, they have the room to grow! They can learn with the rest of the players. Raid experience is going to vary wildly from the top end down to the bottom. You’ll even see this in World of Logs as the spread from 1st place to 17th is going to be a huge gap. Maybe it’s their first time in a structured and organized raid environment. Might not see many (or any) players with legitimate heroic raid level experience.

Most of their gear is going to consist of quest blues, dungeon blues, or crafted gear. If they’re showing initiative, they’ll have worked on maxing out their professions along with acquiring valor level gear. Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, they could just be in a mash of greens and epics with reforging that doesn’t entirely make sense.

But whatever right? They can commit to the posted raid times and that’s all that matters. The goal here is to actually get into the raid instance and start wiping.

This is the (re)build stage. My guild went through this in Firelands after a split. I knew that competing in Firelands was not going to happen so we planned for the long game instead.

Stage 2: Late game, normal

The team is starting to play well together. Players are getting used to each other and their tendencies. The deals being made now are for classes or specs that are still lacking. Maybe the team’s missing a consistent performing goaltender or needs a few big bodies on the blue line. They’re going to passover that high rated goal scorer and address their needs specifically. Washington has great franchise players with Ovechkin, Green, and Backstrom but the team is looking horrible so far this shortened season. They need help on the backend.

At this point, recruits are expected to have a certain level of gear and experience. Your guild is working on the late stages of an instance. Maybe you’re working on Elegon or Will of the Emperor. Or else you’re wiping to the Sha of Fear or putting shots in on Empress and Amber Shaper. The players have farmed the early half of instances and can play their responsibilities without too much guidance. They understand the challenges and mechanics of the early set of bosses and can pick up new obstacles within a couple wipes of seeing it.

These recruits shouldn’t be rocking anymore blue gear (or at most 1 or 2 pieces because they’ve gotten unlucky with drops). They’ve played the game for at least over an expansion and understand the struggles that a raid group is going to face. When looking at players like this, as a GM you want to ask yourself if these players are going to be able to help you get over that “hump”. If there’s any doubts at all, it should be a decline. You can take a chance on one or two “project” players who are a little behind in some area (gear or experience), but a certain time limit needs to be set. Either they make it or they don’t.

I firmly believe there each player in WoW has a skill cap and each boss has a minimum level needed to get through it. That skill gap and floor rises with each new progression boss and players absolutely must rise with it.

The talent is slowly coming together. You’re outside of the playoff bubble and looking in. But more importantly, you know it’s within reach.

Stage 3: Early game, heroics

Now you’re in the playoffs. The team has a great group of players. Each one knows what their roles are and where they fit in the system. In the event of injuries, the call ups are there to help. Detroit is on a 21 playoff appearance streak is a great example of this. They’re expected to make it 22 this season. Even though the team isn’t always making it to the conference championships, they’re a proven playoff contender.

Your roster is largely stable. Everyone that’s signed on follows the guild philosophies and are all excellent fits for the guild. There’s a couple of pieces missing. Maybe you’re missing a specific class that you really think will augment your raid group. Now you’re selectively recruiting talent that’s definitely geared and experienced. As much as you want to give the blue geared player a chance, you know that your “window” is closing. Maybe a certain patch is about to drop soon and you want to secure as many progression kills as possible. If you’re lucky, you can recruit “up” and snag a player that’s coming from a guild which is more progressed. You should have a couple of heroic modes under the proverbial guild belt. You may not be actively open recruiting but you’re still scouting for key piece players to outright replace the people who have hit their skill cap and are at a level where they just can’t get it done.

Players are willing to put in the time and the wipes as long as they see some form of progression. It’s not uncommon to wipe anywhere from 30 to 100+ times. They know their classes innately. They can play their classes intuitively and can slip into any spec with ease. There is no Arcane Mage or Fire Mage, there is only a Mage who picks the best spec and talents for the job. Just because they have their favourites doesn’t mean they’re incapable of doing anything else.

You are a consistent playoff team. You’ll always hit top 16 and are capable of scoring upsets.

Stage 4: Late game, heroics

You’ve hit the dream team. You’re happy with them. If no one applied for the next year, you’d be okay with it as long as the main nucleus of the guild stays together. Unfortunately, real life always has plans. Things will always change from year to year. Now you’re recruiting in advance because you can tell someone’s losing interest in the game or they have other responsibilities preventing them from maintaining that high raid standard you set in place. Nothing is forever. You still have a powerful group of individuals but you’re in headhunting mode. Recruiting is going to be at an all time low because you can’t justify pulling new players in. They’re not going to be seeing much raid time (unless they’re okay with playing second string and backing up).

Your warrior is quitting the game because he’s getting married. Someone from the bench gets promoted or you start looking elsewhere for a player that’s heavily geared with multiple heroic kills. They can seamlessly step in and take over for the guy that’s going out even though they’ll never quite replace the departing personality.

At this stage, you’re guild is tacking the hardest bosses in the game or pursuing specific raid achievements for the meta.

You are heavily favoured to win the championship and either come really close to doing it or manage to do it.

Recruiting is a tough and draining job. Make it easier on yourself and narrow down exactly what you’re looking for. What does your guild need? What players are it missing? Then head to various community sites and start tracking them down. The best success I’ve had was the WoW official forums and word of mouth via the raid finder or simple referrals.

Be very careful with referrals. Put stock in the recommendations that you’re given, but look at that player independently and objectively. I’ve been offered referrals that don’t pan out and some referrals who turned out great. It’s not uncommon for people to say that they want to play with their friends even though they might not consciously think so. Stacking a raid with 10 people who know each other really well can also put you in an uncomfortable position where the group has an amazing amount of leverage. If one person doesn’t get their way, they may subtly influence their friends to come to their aid and boycott a raid night. The GM hat must always come first before the friend hat.

One of these days, I want to try a football analogy. I just wish I understood more of the game and the little nuances so I can pull it off well :(!

What Michael Jordan Can Teach Us About Winning

6 NBA championships.

14 NBA All-Star Selections.

10 NBA scoring titles.

Ranked No. 1 by ESPN’s Top 100 Athletes of the 20th century.

His all-time leading scoring title in one All-Star game history was recently broken by one Kobe Bryant.

Michael Jordan played the majority of his career for the Chicago Bulls before taking over a front office position with the Washington Wizards.

Have you heard of a TV show called Suits? It’s my favourite drama to watch from the USA network right now and they’ve just started airing new episodes a couple of weeks ago. There are some minor spoilers in today’s post from last week’s plot.

Here it goes.

One of the leading characters, Harvey, is a senior partner in the fictional law firm Pearson-Hardman. He goes up to his boss Jessica, and says to her that he wants his name on the door. She then proceeds to tell Harvey a story about Michael Jordan because she knew this day would come.

Looking up from her desk, Jessica asks,“Harvey, what was Michael Jordan’s record on the Bulls?”

“664 wins, 285 losses.” Harvey confidently responded.

“More than twice as many wins and losses. Do you know what his record was in the front office?”

“No.”

“185 wins to 291 losses. Almost twice as many losses as wins.”

The lesson Jessica was getting to is that just because someone is a star on the court doesn’t mean they can translate their skills off the court.

Next time someone asks to be an officer and you don’t think they’re quite ready for that role yet, tell them this story about Michael Jordan that Jessica relayed to Harvey. Some people are better off playing than they are managing.

Success on the meters doesn’t always translate to success in a leadership role.

Why a World Top 10 Guild Doesn’t use Loot Council

I received a lead on a potential recruit the other day as a guild member referral. The fellow had a few questions about the guild before he submitted a formal application. He’d been out of the game for a while having not played since the early tiers of Cataclysm. I set aside my in-game responsibilities so I could devote my full attention and answer whatever his concerns were.

  • What were our immediate class needs?
  • How is Mists raiding?
  • Is it okay if he applies sometime before patch 5.2?

I answered him as honestly as I could. Our immediate needs are DPS warriors, resto druids, and mistweaver/DPS monks. Ultimately it depended on what he wanted to play the most. Mists raiding is engaging and fun. Yes, he can apply specifically for 5.2.

We chatted a little more. I went over his guild history and made attempts to verify his accomplishments and affiliations as best I could. After I was satisfied, I asked him what loot system his previous guild used. Conquest has always utilized loot council from the beginning.

“We used DKP.”

My eyes widened. I was quite surprised. Normally, I expect cutting edge guilds to rely on Loot Council or some other similar system to maximize the effectiveness of loot on their players and to make sure it goes to the right people.

But DKP? I didn’t think this was the type of guild to use it. Why did they choose to use DKP?

“We originally used Loot Council for a long time. However, we eventually realized that it took an extraordinary amount of time to really add all the potential stats gained for different players. It simply took too long for the officers to make the most effective choice even though they were all quite knowledgeable of the different classes. Plus once we entered farm mode, the loot drops would eventually sort itself out since we were raking in tons of drops a week making gearing the raid up easy.”

In our raids, it can take a little longer than normal to get through select items like weapons and trinkets so I can see where the interest of time comes from. When you’re in the race for world first, you need to really be on point with time management. No one wants to lose out on world firsts because they were busy distributing loot.

I’m not planning on shifting loot systems at the moment but I found it a fascinating insight into how top tier guilds work. While each loot system has it’s distinct specialties, it’s up to you to select the right one for your guild.