In Which I Attempt to Bring Order to Chaos

Lich King attempts. Recruiting. Thick skin. Compromising principles. It’s been a while since I last wrote about my guild and I don’t know where to begin.

The Lich King

We’re getting better. With every attempt, we last seconds longer. Phase 1 and 2 have been all but mastered. I play Discipline during the encounters and focus on Infest prevention. At the moment, we’re struggling with breaking through the Defile and Valk phases. Some of these defiles have been absolutely spectacular. It’s difficult for us to set our stuns and slows around the valks though since we just don’t seem to know who is available and who isn’t. Both 10 man groups have also reached Arthas and are working on him as well. One of them managed to reach the second transition phase. If we can just carry that experience and that momentum into 25s, then I expect we’ll see him down soon enough.

In order to do that though, we need to hit that consistent roster. Unfortunately, we don’t have that. I’ve gone on a fairly massive recruiting spree lately. Some of them stick around, others join and then disappear after a week. When our A team roster is here, then we should be able to hit it. Sadly, this is the time of year where real life just manages to slap everyone and the face and show them who is the boss. I got some players that are moving. I got some players who on the injured reserve. Others can’t seem to show up because of a variety of reasons. I suppose I should be glad that we’ve been able to field raids at all.

Compromising Principles

You may wish to check out the Bossy Pally’s musings about a recent recruit before coming back here. Not exactly one of our star hires, but recruiting is extremely tough right now at this time of the year. From what I’ve seen, most players are either looking for hard mode guilds or are just starting to work their way into ICC. This is exactly the same thing we saw during the tail end of Burning Crusade as most guilds were either hard at work on Black Temple, Hyjal, and Sunwell or were just getting their feet into Karazhan, Gruul’s and Magtheridon. Guilds that were in Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep kept folding simply because there just weren’t enough raiders within that raiding bracket. As it stands right now, it doesn’t seem as if there’s any players interested in the late ICC 25 normal raiding bracket.

Ideally, when it comes to players, you want them to possess these three following qualities:

  • Skills
  • Gear
  • Respect

In most cases, players only come with 2 of them.

Skills: The thing about skills is that players will either get better or show zero signs of improvement. You can give them all the theorycrafting, have them watch all the videos, and read all the material. This doesn’t guarantee any improvement at all whatsoever. I call them dead-end players because there’s nothing more that can be done for them. If you want to push on and succeed in later raids, they need to be cut in favor of someone else who is better.

Gear: A lack of gear problem can be easily fixed. It requires players to take an active role and do what they can in farming for badges or getting their gear crafted. When they do come into raids, any holes in their gear can be plugged in appropriately. The problem? You can’t take an undergeared player into Lich King and expect super positive results. It takes time to reduce that gear gap to an acceptable level. These players I take in and have them brought on early bosses of ICC before swapping them out accordingly.

Respect: Sigh. I’m guilty of turning a blind eye to stuff that goes on in guild chat. I don’t like it and it’s not particularly something I’m proud of. But it doesn’t mean I won’t step in if it gets too far. I’ve got principles of my own. And yet, there are times where I have to temporarily shelve them for the sake of getting a raid going. Does that make me an inherently evil person? I don’t know. But my number 1 priority and mandate has always been to get a successful raid going. Sometimes I’ll play with the nicest people and they’re awesome personalities to boot. But they just can’t hit the benchmarks or performance targets I set. So what can I do? I don’t want to hold back 24 other people no matter how nice and courteous some player is. At the end of the day, we’re all about killing bosses.

Don’t misinterpret that as an unwillingness to take action. I’m quite capable of ejecting players when things get out of hand or go too far. What’s different is that my level of tolerance is arguably far greater than most players.

Thick skin

Players need more of this. I see some of the stuff that’s said in different chat channels and it’s like “Really? Of all things, that sets you off?”. I don’t know. Another possibility is that I could be an extremely insensitive jerk. But as a GM, I’ve got to know where and when to pick my battles accordingly. I don’t like having to deal with players who come complaining to me over every little thing. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened. In most cases, players are strong and able to stand up to themselves. No GM wants to deal with baby sitting problems and resolving conflicts in raids. Those are bad problems to have. Good problems to have are issues like deciding who gets to go in raids, which boss to take out, which tactics to use and so forth.

Human resource problems between players? Arguably the worse thing to deal with in the world.

What’s worse is that when there are issues between two players that get escalated by both sides. I attribute that mostly to an ego problem. No party is willing to stand down or lose face. If ego was taken out of the equation, I’d guarantee like 95% of problems would stop before they reached a breaking point. I took a course on policing years ago and one of the chapters was on crisis management. Police officers routinely deal with all sorts of people on a daily basis. There were some important lessons I learned in that class which I’ve managed to carry over into the whole GM thing.

We’ve been bleeding players right now and we’ve hit another rebuilding phase. Some have left due to work or lack of interest. The guild’s at a crossroads right now. My plans for the future have been to carry on into Cataclysm. I face a lot of internal pressure right now, mostly from myself. I want Arthas dead as soon as possible. There are days where I start doubting myself and my own capabilities. Everyone keeps telling me the same thing about having faith and things will get better. It doesn’t always work that way. I can’t just sit back and expect things to get better. I have to work hard for it and attract the right players. Sometimes a little luck helps.

Now I just have to find me some DPS players and healers. It ain’t just for the short term. Players in Icecrown will be auditioning for Cataclysm as well. I’ve got to go look for the long term players who buy into the system and are willing to commit.

I wish Syd was around. She’d always know what to do or what to say. I imagine she’d say something along the lines of “Just listen to yourself” and “You already know the answers and what to do”.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. hakmajik says:

    Great post. As a guild leader, going through exactly what you’re going through, I completely empathize:
    – from moments of doubt and having an officer confidante (in your case, Syd) to bounce concerns/ideas around
    – to thick skin: it’s easy to be tagged as the great satan incarnate on learning nights and combatting the desire to ‘farm’ content vs. pushing the LK is rough.
    – to the need to recruit (always always always)

    But do it. And don’t look back. (Trust me- being a GM is 100% R-L crossover training)

    We’re in the same boat, to a degree, and I felt compelled to just drop a note and say you’re not alone.

    Keep the faith.

    Baidden/Sweetbaboo of Hellscream

  2. Hyacinthe says:

    About having Thick Skin…

    Its far too easy to be tagged as a social inferior if you dont stand up for yourself in a competitive environment. The sort of mature player who doesnt bring their ego to the game is often singled out that way if there is someone in the guild who doesn’t understand personal boundaries and professional behavior. Conversely, standing up for yourself at the right moment is called causing drama.

    When someone with an overlarge ego is picking on everyone else or just one or two people, its the leaders that set the tone for what is tolerated and what isnt allowed. Having a zero tolerance policy on harassment and stupid behavior is the hallmark of good guild culture.

    I don’t know if that is something you are dealing with right now, but it bears saying.

    Hyacinthe
    Risen, Galakrond

  3. Hyacinthe, I agree. The problem is I don’t quite have the luxury to boot out everyone for the smallest infractions. If I kicked out every semi-rude player or teasing player or some such, I still won’t have the players to raid anyway. It’s got to be balanced somehow. It’s hard enough as is to find players.

  4. “Respect: Sigh. I’m guilty of turning a blind eye to stuff that goes on in guild chat.”

    This is a tough issue but can be a slippery slope. In Burning Crusade I was the officer with the thankless job of recruiting and disciplinary issues. When we hit Sunwell, recruiting got so tough that I relaxed my stance so we could complete that instance before the expansion was released. The bad thing was the combined stress of baby sitting chat and dredging the server for competent/energized players totally turned me off from raiding 3-4 nights a week. So I moved from an active raiding officer to casual player in the guild for WotLK.

    The bad thing is the lax attitude I enabled for our success in BC enabled many people to get into the guild that changed the culture of the guild. As the top guild on our server we had always gone our of our way to be respectful of the other people as we knew trolls were just waiting for an opening. Now as I sit on the sidelines, I have helplessly watched as our hard earned reputation has been trashed by new members that love nothing better than to troll trade about their raid prowess. It really makes me sick and wish I had worked harder in BC to keep the idiots in check.

  5. The problem with “thick skin” is differentiating “thin skin” from “the last straw”. Being thinned skin is being hurt by the slightest criticism, the last straw is reaching one’s breaking point after all the little abuses add up. When someone who normally puts up with everything suddenly freaks out over something small, all you’re seeing is the tip of an iceburg.

    With immature/socially inept/rude people, unless it’s really extreme, it’s hard to tell when to keep someone around because bodies are needed or to get rid of them because they’re causing others to leave. It’s one of those annoying judgment calls.
    .-= Ophelie´s last blog ..Notice anything different around here? =-.

  6. Good luck with the recruiting and with the Lich King attempts! I think, as you say, that so many people are having this issue at the moment.

    Hard mode 10 mans have kept some of our more ambitious raiders busy for awhile, but we’ve just started having people leave to go cross server to hard mode 25 man guilds. (And we’re a couple of bosses behind you, but in the same ball park.)
    .-= Spinks´s last blog ..9 Ways to Justify Changes in the Lore =-.

  7. Saelle: I know what you mean. We’re far from being the top guild on the server. I’d say somewhere along the lines of top 20ish, with top 10 potential. I do keep a fairly close eye on things and the channels of communication are kept clear. The trick has always been to find the right balance and to not waver too far in either extreme.

    Ophelie: The players worth keeping are the ones who have shown that they want to be here. Most of the socially inept players usually weed themselves out with time. It’s all about having fun with players who are similar. Such players usually leave after a few weeks for other guilds that contain alike personalities. It’s been like that for us since inception. They’re not without their uses as they enable us to continue raiding and buy some time for me long enough to keep on the look out for additional players.

    Today for example, we were short 5 players for a full raid and I had to call it early. I hate calling raids. It’s like I’ve failed as a guild leader. If we had everyone here, I know we can get him. But every raid day, there’s ALWAYS something that happens. I can’t make people show up. There needs to be that intrinsic, burning desire to raid. I fear that that feeling is beginning to fade away for many others.

  8. Firelash says:

    When faced with potential problems of not having enough people to raid but only one say 1 or 2 nights a week, I found a solution.

    I approached a hardcore 10man raiding guild, and their raiders were not interested in joining 25mans as core raiders (hence why they were in a 10man raid group), they were happy to help from time to time when we were down on raiders. This was brilliant for us, as we now have a regular place to look for “PUGs” who have experience of the fights and as we use them semi-regularly they are getting to know our team.

    On occasion we have helped them too, when their balance for a 10 man run was not perfect, they approach us to help fill the numbers.

    Overall this meant that we did not have to worry about providing them regular spots and we could also continue our raids.

    Forming relations with other guilds is very important as a raid leader in my opinion, I have had similar arrangements with other guilds all the way through wrath with mixed success, however it has meant that it is extremely rare for us to call a raid (I think its happened twice since the start of wrath)

  9. Hey, I feel your pain Matticus.

    My guild are having similar issues after 4 weeks progressing on LK 25man with no kill people were getting pissed (of those 4 weeks 2 of the weeks had only 1 night of raiding due to no shows), as a result our raiding team has lost a lot of its “core members” this together with other players being frustrated and now thinking our raiding team is dead or useless simply because certain people have left, we have new trials, and our second raiding team managed to kill LK.

    Its a tought time for guilds like ours, and guilds in general ATM. However, as you hint at in your post it’s the norm, or the Life Cycle of WoW Expansions:

    1. You make your team and raids – few new people join – you take them along you keep the good players kick the bad.
    2. New content is released – you have a core team you keep going.
    3. End content comes out people begin to slack, or get fed up, people leave. Clearable content now gets harder and members complain.
    4. You recruit more players – takes time and effort but you gear them clear the content and everyone is happy again.
    5. New Expansion gets released everyone is happy – repeat stages 1 – 5.

    Stick to your guns Matticus and do whatever it takes to keep things going in the direction you are aiming for. My GM put it perfectly the other night on vent when asked

    Member asks: “So does this mean we need to recruit new, under geared players, who dont know tactics?”
    GM Response: “Ofcourse, we are consistently taking in new players and doing this just means we may need to take more trials to raids than normal”
    Members Response: “I think thats bull crap I dont see why we should do that”
    GM Response: “It’s a raiding guild, and I dont know about you but I want to raid. Our options are fill the raids however we can and raid, or quit raiding.”

    Keep up the good work dude.
    .-= Panzee´s last blog ..WARNING: Changes Ahead =-.

  10. I’m an officer in a guild thats currently 10/12 in ICC25 HMs. We’re currently number 2 on the server and are working on Sindragosa in the effort to take number 1 spot back before Cata. This wasn’t always the case our guild was rebuilt from scratch at the beginning of wrath after it had imploded in Sunwell. I realise a lot of the below is only possible with a good skilled core.

    We got incredibly lucky with the disintegration of another raiding guild on our server halfway through Ulduar. We picked up 5/6 really good guys which enabled us to “performance manage” other people out of our roster. It’s been a slow process picking up good players to enable us to be stricter. We’ve gone from having a couple people we’ve hated having on Hardmodes to very few.

    The thing is success takes a while. Getting the drama free people with the commitment is tough and relaxing rules to get better people is not often the best way. If you are doing this I’d say get stricter. Having 10 Pros is better than 10 pros carrying 15 idiots. We took this lesson from my alt25man runs where being strict meant the run was ranked top 10 on the server for a while. By threatening punishments people who sucked didnt progress because they felt it was “unfair” and good players got to gear up (a couple of whom even joined our main squad).

    Gearing up – I wouldnt gear new people in ICC. I’d expect a certain level of commitment to craftables as well as heroics. I’d also expect performance. Alt runs can be useful. I tend to adapt the system so that the mains pay epgp but have no priority so alts can pass for them if they feel.

    Respect – I’m guilty of this too. But the assholes whilst they require more work are often very good at what they do and highly motivated. I know one of our raiders who can be an absolute tool at some points but provided he’s managed properly I’d say most of the guild hold him in a sort of affection which wasn’t possible 3months ago when most of them hated him.
    .-= Echo´s last blog ..A reminder of why I still raid =-.

  11. You really need to stop worrying about hurting peoples feelings if you want to progress

    First and foremost if you want to succeed the guild has to stop worrying about being “buddy buddy” and start focusing on the goals of downing bosses. It doesn’t mean you have to get nuts on vent on in guild chat but a simple “stfu” and a second “get the fuck out” and things will fall in to line.

    Right now and I said this before is in your guild right you have too many people who focus on the wrong things. They are not interested in your goals but in making sure they do what they want.

    You have chased away people Matt. You chased away the “assholes” in favor of not upsetting the others. The bad part is it was the assholes that probably carried the guild through most of the encounters.

    You also bring up that one “recruit” and for all the wrong reasons. That one simple and silly thing had people in an uproar. Again focusing on things that DID NOT MATTER. For me at least that was the sign that I could not stay in this nice little casual guild any longer. It had become a place were the real gamer was no longer welcome and more of a place were the average casual gamer could come and sing Kumbaya around the campfire

  12. Firespirit says:

    Whatever did happen to Syd?

    All of a sudden she stopped posting. Did I miss a goodbye post?

  13. Do you have me on a wait timer Matt

  14. I think part of the issue is the focus of the Guild is way way off now.

    Part of the reason I no longer play with you is because I felt that this current group is not capable of doing what I wanted to do. My reasonings are two fold

    1. They are not skilled enough. Now this can be overcome if the people are savvy gamer types. The problem is most of them are not.

    2. They can not really handle the harshness of tougher content emotionally. Sounds like a mouthful but to simplify “if you focus on stuff that isn’t important because you are “offended” or it “upsets” you then what are really going to be like when real adversity strikes?”

    What you end up having is a guild that is very much not a progression guild anymore. You have a guild full of players who can’t handle pressure and are not savvy enough to figure things out on their own.

    What has and will continue to happen is that your Savvy and experienced gamers will either quit or migrate away from your guild because they will become increasingly frustrated by everyone else. Yes everyone else may be nice tree loving non assholes but guess what nice tree loving non assholes don’t kill bosses like Lich King.

  15. Firespirit: Syd got owned by real life :(.

    Kimbo: I know and I’m aware. If I make it to Cataclysm, I’ll probably have to let some players go. But for now, I have to get there.

  16. Horde Matt Horde

  17. Well to go from being able to one shot the Lich King and getting 9 of 12 Hardmodes down in 2 weeks to struggling with you guys is a big difference.

    Reading different blogs I sometimes wonder how alot of guilds that are working Hardmodes who say there environment is full of tree loving hippie do gooder super aweseome fun time friends can actually succeed. I don’t think I have ever been in that situation with those types of people and succeeded in gaming.

    Don’t get me wrong it is not like we are cut throat gaming here but there is a distinct level of competition and also a certain level of expectations that everyone in the guild expects out of there fellow guild mates. Those expectations are not worrying about whether I can say “I love Boobs” in guild chat more like do you know what the hell to do on Heroic Professor.

    • @Kimboslice: Yup, I agree on all those points. I want to eventually turn this organization into such a guild. But we need those skilled players to get there first.

  18. We had a similar problem during the “TOC Era (ugh, never again please)”. The lack of real content really gets to people after a while. We lost a lot of good players to burn out, RL, etc…

    We also stalled on Arthas for about 3 weeks, and morale was at an absolute low point. People getting frustrated at each other over simple mistakes (“The Immortal” anyone?) – players zoning out, people having some great “excuses” for why they didn’t show up.

    How we’ve always kept members though is through community. Zug Life’s been around for 4 years! Since we’re not cutting edge in terms of progression (9/12HM), and never have been, we look for good people first. You can mold a raider (most of the time). You can’t mold someone into a person who will stick around for wipe after wipe.

    My best piece of advice to you Matt, would be to find out what you can offer new recruits that other guilds can’t. For us, even when things were bad, our sense of family within the guild was strong enough for a lot of people to keep showing up. We all WANT to be better for each other.

    Sometimes it takes a full on “Come to Jesus”, but you’ll get it.

    Good Luck!
    Canes
    .-= Canes´s last blog ..Zug Life > Disconnects, Tail Swipes, and RNG =-.

  19. I really like that you’re willing to admit that you turn a blind eye to the social side of things sometimes for the sake of raiding.

    It seems like there’s two kinds of guilds out there. The zero-tolerance kind that often struggle to fill rosters but aren’t a “hostile play environment” and the kind full of horrible offensive racists who somehow kill bosses like the bosses are made of warm butter.

    It’s interesting, my former guild struggled with Festergut for weeks until we finally kicked a horrible offensive racist for being a horrible offensive racist. He went on to form his own guild, poached all our members, and with the exact same team are now well into the third wing. I don’t understand how changing the culture to cutthroat and jerkville makes people perform, but somehow it just seems to.

    It seems like your guild is trying to walk the line between. I’d really like to see a guild succeed at that, because it’s such a fine line and probably the closest to a “real world” attitude you get in wow. Even in strict no-harassment workplaces, people get away with the off color jokes… but nobody is a flat out horrible offensive racist if he wants to stick around for long.

    Anyway, the point: I like that you admit what you’re doing instead of trying to be all pc about it. If raiding is priority, then it is. And if you have to turn a blind eye to guild chat to get it, you will. +10 for honesty.
    .-= Rhii´s last blog ..My Cataclysm Wish List: Update Account Banks =-.

    • @Rhii: Yeah. Again, not exactly my finest moment. This whole GM thing? Not easy at all. As for the hostile play environment, I have several theories about that. No one wants to be labelled a wuss or a really crappy player. Sometimes, you just have to light a fire under them in order to get them going which happens to involve saying things.

  20. Thats part of the problem Rhii

    Different strokes for different folks

    What offends you may not even bother 20 other people. What I find that ends up happening in a gaming world is people latch on to other people’s emotions and it just sort of gets bigger and bigger.

    What you have to understand what happened was not “Hey you stupid bitch you are a stupid whore blah blah” Thats not what the issue was. It wasn’t calling someone the N word or anything like that. What it was was an over reaction that avalanched as it grew.

    Ill be honest I knew what was going to happen and wanted it too. Bad way to prove a point but I wanted to say “SEE THIS IS WHAT WE ARE CONCERNED WITH” which is someone’s e-feelings.

    I know what your thinking we have to respect each other and blah blah other feel good nonsense. FUCK that. I will respect you when you show me how good you are at gaming.

    • @Kimboslice: I refuse to believe that being a good gamer is synonymous with being a dick. We’ve got some skilled players on the team and they don’t go out of their way to aggravate other people. I personally don’t see the point in just setting off someone else for no justifiable reason. On the one hand, you don’t have to get all worship-y or anything. But on the other, there’s no sense in just starting something for the sake of starting something. One of the hunters we picked up recently was from a more progressed guild on the server. You’ve probably seen him on some of our meters. He did not like the way those raids were run and subsequently left. I firmly believe it’s possible to build a group that doesn’t need to rely on blatant disrespect to move forward. I know there are guilds out there that exist like that. There are players out there who don’t give a shit about other peoples e-feelings and simply run their mouth and are also terrible players. Attitude and gaming skills are independent of each other. You mentioned it earlier. It’s possible to have a group of players sing kumbayah and take down hard modes. It’s possible to have a group of players who don’t give a shit about each other and down hard modes. It’s incredibly difficult to blend both and achieve the same results.

      But that doesn’t mean I think you’re completely wrong. I do believe you’re right on several aspects and some of which I’ll need to rectify.

  21. You know I just posted something. Does it need to get approved because I swore in it?

  22. I think people mistake confidence for assholeness though Matt

    If you have people who are not very good and know it and someone is very good and they know you will get a clash

  23. Imalinata says:

    I feel your pain with recruitment; being stuck between a rock and a hard place sucks.

    With regards to the respect/thick skin thing, you need to decide where your line in the sand is. For us, we flat out say in all of our recruitment blurbs that people need a thick skin (i.e. sense of humor). This is further explained in a vent interview should the applicant get past the written application. For us, a thick skin means that you can give as good as you get. You can’t be hyper-sensitive. We yell at people when they fuck up in raid (not a Troxed soundboard, but we won’t beg people to L2Play and hold their hand). But the line in the sand for our guild is at racism. Racial slurs are not permitted and if I see them in chat or hear it over vent people are talked to about it and warned. Thus far I’ve had minimal issues with people crossing the line and those who made the mistake once, haven’t made the mistake again thereby forcing a gkick. The result is that we continue to have our irreverent gchat where we can joke around and give each other shit without having to worry that someone’s going to get their ass kicked because they live in the wrong neighborhood to have racial slurs coming out of their speakers.

    Once you figure out where your line in the sand is, it makes it FAR easier to explain it to prospective applicants. Make it clear that you expect your guildies to resolve their own interpersonal conflicts while at the same time keeping the lines of communication open so that if there are weird little warning signs, you’re hearing about it before they become the catalyst that forces a large chunk of your membership to leave because of the perceived change in guild culture. If you don’t tolerate racism, say so. If you don’t tolerate sexism, say so and explain what you mean (since more people have a difficult time figuring out what is/isn’t sexism). If you don’t tolerate people being anti-gay/handicapped/etc, say so.

    If you’re having to relax your standards, be upfront and honest with the guild that since you all want to continue to raid that you have to do it but that the intent is for it to be a short-term fix. But, you might also want to create a forum that only “full” members can see to provide feedback or observations about the new trial members so that you can see if there’s a consistent problem with someone. I like to have our long-term members of the same class keep an eye on the new trial members because they are typically the first people to see a problem as it is developing. This in turn helps clue the officers in so that we can make sure we’re providing appropriate feedback to either curtail the negative behavior or as backup should we decide they didn’t pass their trial.

    As for the gear issue, there is absolutely no reason that players shouldn’t have 4pc badge T10 at this point in time. With the buff in ICC, you have a bit more wiggle room to bring in someone who is putting out a little bit less dps/hps, but who knows exactly how to get the most out of their character. In all honesty, if you’re having issues with defile and the valkyrs, bringing in people who know how to stun/slow in rotation, can focus the valks in the proper order, and who know how to gtfo defile (seriously melee, strafe right or left if you get defile and you’re on valks; it’s not hard and you losing personal dps is better than the whole group trying to run out) is far more important than having people in T10 token gear.

    Also, your sidebar on the blog says you’re looking for “backup” players. No one wants to play as a backup especially at the end of an expansion. If you are having issues with people being unable to show up, look at the attendance of your raiders over the last 60 days. If you have people who aren’t sustaining the attendance level that you require, recruit their spots. Then recruit about 20% more people. Make sure that you have enough people and then tell your “core” or your “veterans” that everyone is going to start sitting out sometimes if they’re not already. Summer is coming and fewer and fewer people will be deciding that it’s more worthwhile to kill e-dragons than it is to go outside and have a social life. If you don’t already have people who are being rotated in and feel as if they’re part of the group, you’re going to have an even harder time recruiting as exponentially more people decide that they’re only going to transfer to a 10-12/12 HM guild (even though they’re only 6/12 normal) to “win” the game before Cataclysm is out.

    As for getting people interested, I’ve found that a simple:

    “We’re looking for [your class/spec].

    Progression
    Schedule
    (we put that we’re 18+ here)

    For more info (or to post apps), check out our website [www.yourwebsitenamehere.com].”

    has done more for us that posting our massive recruitment wall of text. People who are looking for new guilds are already reading a ton of information in the individual guild threads as well as the responses to their own post. Give them the distilled version of the most important information about your guild. If they’re interested, they can read all about you on your forums and then they’re already in the right place to enter an application. Small posts in individual threads on the WoW recruitment forums draws the eye because they get separated out from the walls of text easier.

    Anyway, that was longer than I really expected…oops. : /

  24. Ah, Recruiting bites right now. Those issues you listed about being middle-of-the-pack in terms of progression are partly the reason my last guild failed.

    Have you considered running with a smaller guild (say, a primarily ten man one) until you can down the content to push you into HMs which will push your desirablity WAY up for potential recruits? That way the smaller guild (who of course has atleast 12/12 in ICC10) can run 25s, and you have the players you need to continue raiding. Best case is that the ten man group just becomes part of your regular team, but even if you decide to part ways you’ll have the experience off server recruits want.The early HM’s are fairly straight forward compaired to the 25man LK fight.

    This is basicly what the guild I’m in now did right before my old one fell apart. They jumped from being 11/12 regular to being 9/12 HM within the next two (I may be wrong on the timeing, but it was very recently after they downed LK) or so raid lockouts. Last night we had 40 people online for raid, compaired to when they had issues even filling a group.

    Just a thought! Good luck finding raiders. If for some reason this guild implodes in a horrible pixelated fire, then I’ll come looking for Conquests guild application.

  25. @Kimboslice – Fair enough to only respect me as a PLAYER after I prove myself. General respect as a human being should be basic to everyone. I don’t want to be treated like a princess or have people walk on eggshells around me. I do want people to treat me like a person, not an NPC, and to scale it back a little if I tell them they’re crossing a line.

    What I really liked about Matt’s post is that he’s saying some people’s lines have gotten crossed but that’s not first priority for him. Letting guildies work it out on their own has its merits too. Especially if fielding enough warm bodies for raids is the stated focus.
    .-= Rhii´s last blog ..Old Homes, New Homes =-.

  26. I was thinking a lot about this post, and how my post on the new recruit guy seemed to hit a nerve I wasn’t intending it to hit. What was really a “some new guy was rude to me, why do I have so much trouble e-smacking him across the face?” post (with a rather sensationalistic title and tone, I admit) started way more discussions than I was anticipating.

    So we had one recruit who had the maturity of a 10 year old kid. One. Out of the many who recently joined. And he was only using us to get logs so he could join a top guild anyway.

    I wonder how much feeling guilty for not looking at personality before player gear/skill is worth the stress it’s obviously causing you. I know some people are far more sensitive than others, but I’m a pretty sensitive person and I’ve very VERY rarely been upset by the behaviour of guildies. When I have, it was almost accidental (and oddly tends to coincide with finals week). I love to write about “conflict” and “bounderies” and “respect” and “teamwork” and “holding hands, singing Kumbaya”, what can I say, I’m fascinated by anything that involves social interactions, but it doesn’t mean that I feel oppressed or that I’m surrounded by jerks, not at all. While I certainly don’t want to be a guild full of jerks, in the 6 months I’ve been in Conquest, I’ve never, ever had that impression. Is your feeling of guilt really justified?

    I suspect there’ve been incidents other than the one I blogged about, but I think personality conflicts will happen whether you have a strict “maturity/respect” recruitment rule or not. Even when I was in a very casual, rather homogenous guild that was picky about applicants, personality clashes still happened. They weren’t about racial slurs or misogyny or calling people out during raids, but they still happened.

    On different note, to the observation that “jerks often seem to play better”, I’ve noticed that too. Thing is, I don’t find those people to really be jerks, just very competitive. Competitive people also seem to excel when others around them act competitive. It doesn’t work for me personally (I just get discouraged), but I can certainly appreciate what it does for others. There’s a difference, though, between being really aggressive in a competitive setting and just being inconsiderate and selfish at all times.
    .-= Ophelie´s last blog ..Notice anything different around here? =-.

    • @Ophelie: You have to understand something. I’m a chronic worryer. Every situation, every angle, every scenario, every possible outcome gets played in my head. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. It’s both a strength and a weakness. Guilt is just something that’ll be experienced, whether I like it or not. Sometimes its justified, and depending on who you speak to, otherwise it won’t be justified. Regardless, I can handle it. It’s a burden but its nothing I can’t resolve. Personality just adds an extra dimension of consideration. On top of skill, gear, attendance, and all that, I have to factor in attitude and potential interaction with guildies as well. It’s just an extra variable. I ask myself, “What’s the worse thing that can happen if this guy says something? Or if he pisses off a certain set of guildies? If I get issued some ultimatum, which one do I keep and which one do I release?” (Signs of an idle mind, for sure). Granted, I wish I didn’t have to worry about it. I wish players could thrive on being competitive and lighting fires under each other. When I highlight mistakes and failures, I don’t do it out of malice. I do it for players to learn and to get better. I don’t like seeing the same mistakes get repeatedly and we’re starting to see misplays getting repeated. We’re not making the right adjustments to account for it, and that’s been partially my fault for not spotting and acting on them.

      Believe me, I love to give people a swift kick in the rear to get them going. The only question is how long it takes for them to pick themselves off the ground.

  27. @Kimbo – You have a point but higher end guilds aren’t populated exclusively with total raging douchebags. I think you might be mistaking a lack of social skills with assholeness, mind you. My guild isn’t particularly hardcore (world 600ish) and yet I find myself regularly wading into issues that wouldn’t exist if people took a step back and thought about what they were arguing about.

    You can still maintain a positive atmosphere, I just think going too far evil douchebag Raid Leader is almost as bad as being Mr Huggy Raid Leader. Of the two Alliance guilds progressing on HM on my server there’s us and a something awful guild. Being a small server, a LOT of us have guilded before etc and the pure fact is this. A lot of people prefer us to them, because we’re not the assholes shouting you down in the raid for standing in fire. We’re the assholes performance managing your arse out of our raid squad if you don’t improve. The difference is huge IMO
    .-= Echo´s last blog ..A reminder of why I still raid =-.

  28. Imalinata says:

    I think my comment yesterday afternoon got eaten. 🙁

    But for the Cliff’s Notes version, yes recruitment sucks, especially now. Being stuck between a rock and a hard place is never pleasant.

  29. “my number 1 priority …has always been to get a successful raid going. Sometimes I’ll play with the nicest people …But they just can’t hit the benchmarks or performance targets I set. –I don’t want to hold back 24 other people no matter how nice and courteous some player is. At the end of the day, we’re all about killing bosses.”

    I am sad you do not offer the opposite point of view.

    “why should I subject 24 other people to this person’s bullshit?”
    .-= @valkyrierisen´s last blog ..listening to "Metric – Help I =-.

    • @@valkyrierisen: I never said I didn’t. It all depends on how extreme the circumstance. These kinds of things need to be judged on a case by case basis. If it gets to that point where bullshit’s intolerable, I have no qualms about ejection.

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