Preparing for Absences

Things get a little frantic on my end during events where I’m cut off from both my guild and my blog. Everything needs to be planned out to make sure there’s enough stuff to do.

Tomorrow, I’ll be driving down to Laguna Seca in California for work and to check out these motorcycle races.

Remind me to bring ear protectors as we’ll be next to the track. I’m also going to need stuff to do on the way down. Anyone have any suggestions? I’m bringing a few books and I’ll have my Macbook with me. I’m not going to get much in the way of internet. I suppose I could collect some Sudoku or crossword puzzles from newspapers.

From the guild side of things

Knowing when you’re leaving and how long you’ll be gone for is a big plus. It’s good to take stock of the roster during the 6-8 weeks before leaving to see what sort of gaps need to be filled. Knowing that my guild will be down a healer, it’s smart to have an idea of who can step in to fill that position temporarily. I recruited a couple of extra players (who can play multiple roles adequately) so that the raids will continue unaffected.

For my raiding guild, the bottom line for me has always been that the raid must go on.

The next thing to do is to delegate any extra responsibilities you have to other people who both can do it and want to do it.

I usually direct the healers. Someone will need to liaise between the healers and the officers. I picked one of my Priests to do that as he’s done the job before.

Lastly, you also need someone that can cover your position and roles in raids. When the opportunity presents itself, I’ll try to rotate and shuffle healers around. I might put a Resto Druid on Infest healing or a Shaman on tank healing. I’ve placed my number 2 Disc Priest on Infests while I went Holy and raid healed. The goal of the exercise is to give everyone one or two shots doing something that they otherwise normally wouldn’t be doing so that in the event they have to, they won’t be confused.

Always build redundancies.

I think the greatest fear of every guild leader when they need to step away for a while is that they return to a smoking ruin with a pillaged bank and the guild in complete disarray with half the roster size.

And for crying out loud, designate a de facto number 2. Make sure you have witnesses. Tell them something like “This guy’s in charge while I’m gone. Treat the words coming out of his mouth as if they were mine. He’s got my full support and I trust him to do the right things for the group.”

Guildmasters, what’s on your to do list when you know you’ll be gone from the guild for a while?

From the blog side of things

I’ve pre-written a bunch of stuff. I think I’ve written more in the past few days then I’ve had in the past month or so. With more beta information released, there’s been more ideas and stuff to discuss.

I also updated our About page (finally) to include the new guys to the team as well as add some interesting facts and tidbits about ourselves. You might actually find it interesting! 

If you’re interested in being a part of the team (whether permanently or just want to contribute a guest post), check out my guidelines, and then contact me. I love guest posts. And I’d certainly love to feature some over the next week and a half.

AFKing with Etiquette: 4 Things to Remember

AFKing with Etiquette: 4 Things to Remember

Image courtesy of nintaro

It’s inevitable. Everyone needs a break at some point. It’s difficult for a vast majority of people to sit still for hours on end without having to get up at some point while raiding. There’s a certain set of hidden rules when you decide to disappear for some time. Following them ensures that you won’t be viewed as an ass and that you’ll be on top of the raid invite list.

1: Announce it publicly – Let the raid know you need to disappear for a while. No one appreciates it when a player stops all activity without warning. If you were in charge of something important like healing the tank, then announcing that you’re sitting out is crucial so that another player can temporarily fill the role that you had.

2: Provide an ETA – ETA stands for “estimated time of arrival”. In other words, how long is it going to take before you’re back in front of the screen and mashing buttons? In some cases, it can be difficult to gauge how long you’ll be gone. It’s still courteous to provide a quick estimate.

3: Give a reason (within reason) – Although it’s not necessary, it’s been an observation of mine that players want to know the reason behind actions and AFKing is no exception. Whether it’s to grab a drink or saving a cat from a tree, it’s reassuring to the other 24 players to know what’s going on.

4: Offer to bench yourself – If you’re going to be gone for a prolonged amount of time (over 20 minutes), offer to hearth out. This provides the raid with an option of bringing someone else in. If you’re in the instance AFK, you can’t exactly be kicked and auto-hearth’d out (if you’re saved to it). Don’t worry about getting back in since a recent patch allowed Warlocks to summon players individually into instances.

Even though WoW is a game, never forget the fact that there are real people behind the virtual characters. Show them respect for their time and I guarantee that it will be appreciated.