How is Your Guild Handling the Holidays?

2009 has almost come to an end.

I’ve observed that a number of guilds have entered a brief hibernation mode and ours is no different. We’ve had to shuffle our roster and raid days around so that they wouldn’t coincide on Christmas Eve or New Years Eve either. High attendance days are usually reserved for progression content on the 25s and farm raids have been suspended until after New Year.

In the past, the guilds I’ve been in handled their winter breaks differently:

  • Completely call off raiding for two weeks
  • Disband (due to abandonment)
  • Combine with other guilds and organize pickup raids
  • Achievement running

My guild recently picked up a hunter.

What’s so special about this hunter that deserves a minor mention?

She has more achievement points than I do.

Time to fix that.

In any case, guilds aren’t the only ones taking a break. A number of bloggers are taking a much needed break over the holidays. I’ve taken a few days rest but I still have a number of posts to complete.

What is your guild doing over the winter break?

Little Things of Joy

Little Things of Joy

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Those that have followed my posts here since I started writing know that I’m a two-faced WoW player.  =)  I don’t mean two-faced in that way.  I mean it in another sense.

I belong to two guilds.  Unpossible, and Team Sport.  Both guilds are fantastic, and I’m so proud to be in both of them.  I always consider myself a multi-faceted player.  I like progression, and I also like casual.  Each guild provides me with a different part of that.

We’re all in the mood to pound our heads against the new content.  Whether you’re struggling or conquering, it’s always exciting to battle new bosses and collect your new rewards.  It’s something we’ve all come to love about raiding or just gaming in general.  What about some of the little things that bring you joy?

Unpossible

Lodur and I have definitely bonded since we started talking.  I had been looking for a new place to send my priest, since my last guild wasn’t working out.  I wanted a place that was progression-oriented but had the same “family” feel that Team Sport does.  When we started talking about Unpossible, my eyes lit up.  It seemed (on the surface) like everything I was looking for.  It wasn’t brow-beating its members into submission.  Family and real life always came first, but they were all there to conquer the endgame content.

The application process was complex but well worth it.  I was being asked to join raids, main nights as well as off-nights.  This is one of the oldest surviving guilds on the server.  Most of this team had cleared Vanilla WoW content together.  Needless to say, I felt like an outsider.

There were two moments that absolutely solidified my feeling of being a member of Unpossible.

The first, was our first walk into Icecrown.  No one had seen the..

Instance not found.

Our palms were sweaty with anticipat…

Instance not found.

Okay, let’s at least try to get a warlock inside so we…

Instance not found.

Sweet, we’re all in!  We manage to get the first couple of mobs down until the huge Skele on the wall spawns.  Almost reminiscent of the terror that the Statue of Liberty spreads in Ghostbusters II, we lose a couple healers and a couple DPS.  It’s okay, let’s have them rez and run back.  Everyone rebuff…

Instance not found.

You get the point.  All joking aside, stepping into Icecrown and figuring things out from scratch made me feel like I was truly an Unpossible member, even if we only got one attempt in on Marrowgar.

The second solidifying moment came a week later.  Now that the initial instance server issues had been somewhat resolved, it was easy to actually get our whole team in there.  We cleared Marrowgar with little difficulty, and it was time for Deathwhisper.  With our raid leader hollering out orders, demanding we step it up and get the hell out of Death and Decay, Deathwhisper’s health dwindled.  People died to the invincible ghosts.  Healers started to drop.  We were seconds away from the enrage timer.  Then, she enraged.  Tanks were one-shotted.  Healers were brushed into non-existence.  Two people remained, and the DoTs were ticking away.  1%.  0.7%.  100k Health. 47k Health.  6k Health.  The final raid member at 4,000 health.  “You have defeated Lady Deathwhisper.”  Screams echoed through Ventrilo.  It was the first time I had been there for a guild first.  So satisfying.  I’m truly a member of Unpossible now.  Killing a tough boss is one thing, but bleeding and sweating for that first kill with a new guild is amazing.

Team Sport

I’ve been gaming with most of these guys since early BC, when my warlock was 40 and had just gotten my first mount.  We’re a rag-tag group of knockarounds, but we love the game, and we love trying to do our best at it.  There may be people that disagree, but people generally really enjoy adding us to their raid.  We’ve got about 18 members with varying schedules, so it’s tough to get our own raid together.  We don’t mind.  We all knew this signing up.  Anyone that applies to Team Sport (yes, we even had someone server transfer to play with us) knows this as well.  This doesn’t mean we’re lackluster about raiding.  When we can get enough people on, we jump all over it.

Is each and every member totally top notch?  No.  No team is totally perfect.  Even I’m not completely on my game (I’ve had a few too many “Diet Cokes”).  Personally, I was a little worried about some of the coordination needed for some of the ToC fights.  After initial struggles with tanking Northrend Beasts, we made it through Icehowl, and one-shotted Jaraxxus. 

Here’s where it got interesting. 

A lot of guilds have CC rotations and full-on strategies for Faction Champions.  Druids, Warlocks and Mages alternating their crowd control.  Rogues and Warriors locking up healers.  I initially tried to craft a CC plan.  We tried it, and we failed.  So we did it the Team Sport way.

Team Sport is known for our love of PvP.  We have various Arena Teams, and we do Battlegrounds galore.  Our pally tank, Dralo, is one achievement away from his Battlemaster title.

“Everyone go into your PvP spec, and let’s just kill Horde”.

And we did.  In one shot, and it was easier than any Faction Champs fight I’ve ever done.

This, was my moment of pride with Team Sport.  We’re still struggling on Twins, but we annihilated the Faction Champions with ease.  Yes, I know this was after the nerf.  Yes, I know that overall it’s easier.  Still, we got such a kick out of doing that fight, because we did it the Team Sport way.  We trusted all 10 of us to know what to do, and we came through.  THAT is some group synergy right there.

How about you?  Is there a little thing about the game or your guild that makes you happy or brings you pride?

ThespiusSig

“Big” image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

How Our Guild is Handling Primordial Saronite

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Primordial Saronite is the item that’s required for the next level of crafting gear out of Icecrown. There’s all sorts of methods of picking up this stuff and our leadership’s been hard at work figuring out what our approach should be. There’s a few things that are high on the priority list.

Shadowmourne, for one, requires over 20 of these. While going for another Legendary isn’t required, it makes a statement about the guild (not one but TWO Legendaries after all).

Our tanks can get an early boost to their gear and not have to rely on random drops from the different bosses. The better those guys get, the easier time we’ll have moving forward.

As we’re packing a number of sharpshooters in the raid (4 hunters), they’re also going to need some heavy artillery. The recipes for bullets and arrows will cost one Primordial Saronite to learn.

There’s lots of different ways we can go about spending Primordial Saronite to maximize raider utility.

Our approach

In a recent thread on the WoW forums, Ghostcrawler was clarifying a question regarding Shadowmourne. At the same time, he wanted to know this:

We’re also interested to see how various groups handle the Primordial Saronite issue. We designed it so there isn’t necessarily a right way to handle the material and we don’t want to over-prescribe your social dynamics anyway.

I found out over the weekend that Blizzard devs do read this blog. Wyn and Lodur kept bugging me and insisting that they did, but I remained a disbeliever until one of their guys pinged me on Twitter about it. That was too cool!

So here’s our answer:

Prioritizing Saronite to the tanks – Our tanks will get first crack at the Primordial Saronite that they need. The better their gear gets earlier on, the easier time we’ll have heading into Icecrown. I think they’re shooting for the boots first, but I can’t be sure of that yet. I’ve created a queue list on the forums where the tanks put down what they need (not necessarily what they want). I’m not sure how the legs are. If they beat the tier legs, then I’ll devote more Saronite to it. Until then, the queue list is just for the tanks and once they have all that is requied, the list will be opened up to the rest of the guild.

Ammo recipes – This is another one for us but it won’t happen until later on. Not only do you need the Saronite, the engineers need the reputation to purchase the recipe. It’s Goblin and Gnomish right? One crafts bullets and the other does arrows? Once our engineers have the requisite reputation, we’ll send one their way as well.

Shadowmourne – The Shadowmourne quest line is fairly extensive. The last step involves taking down Sindragosa which isn’t going to be anytime soon. Not only that, you have to perform a variety of tasks at different bosses (like standing in fires while surviving for a prolonged period of time). This step can wait a little longer before we invest.

On the other hand, there is some speculation that you need to be on the opening quests before you get the Shadowfrost Shards from the bosses. We don’t know how often the drops are and there is no confirmation.

Getting saronite

To that end, we’ve decided to increase the chances we have of obtaining Saronite. Sundays have been opened up for a new alt raid. We’ve been doing this for a while now, but we’ve decided to lay down some ground rules for it.

Why an alt raid?

For one, there’s many players with nothing to do on Sunday nights. We could either jump on our alts and join a pug with a 50-50 shot of succeeding, or organize our own with a higher chance of it working out. We like having multiple geared characters!

Our alts are almost as geared as our mains and it gives us a nice “break” from our normal duties that we have to do on our main characters. It’s nice for me to randomly destroy stuff on my Ret Paladin or my Elemental Shaman.

As I said earlier, extra Primordial Saronite is a plus. We can channel the results of those into the main raid. Not only that, since they’re alts, the players that are comfortable with it can spend their Emblems of Frost that they have to purchase Saronite for their mains if they need to.

Our main raids are overstaffed. We do this in order to ensure that we have enough players to raid. This inevitably means that some players are going to sit out during the week.  I don’t want them to fall too far behind us in gear. So any main raiders that don’t get to come in during the week are able to come in on Sunday in order to use up their lockout period. At the very least, they’ll get some Emblems.

We’re still working out loot systems for the time being. Last Sunday, when we walked into ToC 25, we had 23 alts in total. The other 2 were friends of the guild. The one thing that we’re lacking is another tank for our alt runs. If we can field a full crew for 25, then I can definitely apply loot council rules and prioritize main readers who need loot and balance it with the alts.

If you’re a tank out there with nothing to do on a Sunday night, come and check us out. Of course, anyone who feels that they are exceptional healers and DPS are welcome to apply regardless.

Let’s take down Arthas and move on to Deathwing already!

What do You Look for in a Guild Website?

This is a great question asked by Nibuca on Twitter which was brought to my attention by Gnomeaggedon.

Guild websites can be a great tool for communications between guild members and detailing raid accomplishments. You can use it to hold information for prospective recruits, keep track of loot that has been awarded and set up forums for active discussion between your players.

So here’s today’s questions for you all. I’m actually in the midst of writing a long post about guild website essentials, so consider this a research post designed to see if I’m on the right track.

Does your guild have a website? Do you use it or not, and why? What features would you consider important or expendable?

One Year of Conquest

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Conquest celebrated its one year birthday several days ago. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since the guild’s inception.  We’ve had our share of high points and low points. Some days it was difficult to get through a raid. Tempers were flaring, players would be upset. Other days, we worked as a relaxed but cohesive unit where we exhibited an aura of unstoppability.

It wasn’t without it’s lessons.

Things I learned

You can’t keep everyone happy: If a player’s happiness depends on a course of action not in line with guild goals, then they should just be released. They won’t be satisfied anyway and there’s no sense in keeping them chained by doing things your guild isn’t doing. Whether it’s super hard modes or PvP or so forth, they’re better off finding an organization that aligns with their desires.

Recruiting is a constant: Real life will intrude on the lives of people and it could keep them sidelined indefinitely. Don’t believe for a moment that your roster is ever going to be complete. The ideal roster is one where all 25 players show up every raid without being affected by anything going on in their life. Unfortunately, that isn’t reality.

People will come and go: Not everyone is going to be in for the long haul. The team I took down Kel’Thuzad with is different than the one which eliminated Yogg-Saron. Anub’Arak was knocked out with a different crew as were the hard mode variants within Trial of the Crusader. Nothing permanent is set in stone. I think there’s about 7 players who entered Naxxramas with me who are still actively raiding to this day.

Follow through: Always make an effort to follow through on everything you say or else it will come back later. It’s fine if you fail, but at least you tried. Believe me when I say there’s nothing better for progress than a GM or raid leader who has the resolve to replace underperforming players and has players to replace them with.

Things I should have done differently

Care more about 10s: Having three groups of 10s that were capable of clearing out ToC 10 and 2 groups clearing out ToGC 10 added a lot of firepower to our raid. For whatever reason, it was something that never occurred to me. The groundwork is already being laid down for multiple Icecrown 10 groups.

More time: Sometimes it just seems as if we didn’t have enough time to set out to do the things we wanted to do. With 9 hours, you can only do so much.

Achievements: This one’s a bit difficult to go for as not many others share the sentiment about achievements. I supposed if we had more time, it’s another route we could’ve taken to help keep ourselves busy. But with 9 hours, the focus was placed moreso on boss kills than anything else (which is understandable).

As long as I continue to blog, I’m certain the guild will still remain for another year. To hell with the naysayers who said when I first started that I’d crash and burn and wouldn’t last a year.

I’m Taking My Guild With Me!

I’m Taking My Guild With Me!

Scott Johnson and Randy Jordan of The Instance podcast struck some geek gold when they had a chance to digitally sit down with Tom Chilton of Blizzard Entertainment!  You can find the interview in their latest episode, downloadable at their website.

Although most of the conversation revolved around the new Blizzard Pet Store, and it eventually evolved into Blizzard’s pay services.  Right now, we have Name Change, Faction Change, Race Change, and Server Transfer.  Chilton then began to put his two cents in about a possible future service.  This is where my ears perked up:

“…as far as other services that we’d like to see in the future, there’s not a whole lot that we’ve really talked about at this point.  The one that I think that’s kind of obvious, that stands out, is that it’s a real pain right now to move your guild from one server to another. So, I think we’d like in the future to develop a way to do, like, a guild transfer from one server to another.  So that you can move your guild bank and all that kind of stuff at the same time.  And I think that’s going to become more important in Cataclysm, because, in Cataclysm, we’re introducing the concept of guild leveling, and all that kind of stuff.  And, that would present an even bigger barrier to moving your guild from one server to another, if suddenly you lost all your levels and all that, because you had to disband and re-form your guild.  So, to me, that one kind of makes sense, although it’s not something that we, you know,…actively have people working on right now.  This is something that I think is a likely candidate for the future.”

Now, I’m a HUGE fan of the guild leveling process.  As I’ve stated before, I’m a huge fan of a family-style guild and the aspect of raiding as a team sport.  I think it’ll be a huge benefit to the cohesiveness of guilds in the game.  It definitely discourages “guild hoppers”, since the speculation is that you’ll be able to have guild-only crafting patterns that you can only wear if you’re in the guild that crafts it.  If you leave that guild while wearing a full set of guild-only regalia, it goes into the guild bank for another guild member to wear.

The idea of a Guild Transfer service takes the stress off any established guild to stay on its server.  You, as a guild, can put all your effort into tweaking your guild.  If you decide it’s time to move to greener pastures, you’re not penalized for it.

A couple questions come to mind:

  • Does cost depend on guild size?
  • What about a guild with a lot of alts?
  • Will the charge be per account, per character, or just one lump sum?
  • Can there be “half-transfers”?  Say only half want to move, is one side penalized?

Now, if only I could get  Unpossible and Team Sport on the same server.  Then again, Zul’jin is a PvE server and Nazjatar is a PvP server, and both guilds like where they are.  =( 

How do you feel about the speculation of a Guild Transfer Service?  Is it something you would look into doing?

ThespiusSig

Email: Elder.Thespius@gmail.com | Twitter: @Thespius

PTR: Fond Friend or Venomous Vixen??

PTR: Fond Friend or Venomous Vixen??

wizardmario

The PTR.  Public.  Test.  Realm.  It’s been our best friend and our worst enemy.  People will flock to it, and then people will cry outrage or joy at its contents.  Some avoid it like the plague, while others spend more time in its embrace than in the game itself.

I have a huge innate sense of curiosity.  I love learning things.  When it comes to this game, I try to learn everything there is to know (without delving into theory-crafting and copious amounts of number-crunching).  There are different healing styles, different add-on preferences, different philosophies on gameplay.  I’ve learned to love the variety of them all.

However, the idea of the PTR has me torn between love and hate.  I don’t harbour a global hatred for it, but I have my reservations about it.  It is both a blessing and a curse.  And I’ll tell you why.

Friend

Patch Notes have become a huge cornerstone of the WoW community.  We read them every chance we get.  We get Twitter updates about them; entire blog posts are dedicated to them.  They help us get accustomed to our class.  If we need to change our playstyle, we get a heads up.  If our class is getting nerfed to oblivion, we know to spend more time on an alt.

We can see what gear we have to look forward to.  We drool over gear models, agonizing over the ever-changing nature of new tier set bonuses.  Our dreams are peppered with new craftable items, new patterns, new glyphs, new gems/enchants.  It’s like waiting for (insert related holiday with presents)!

In this, I’m a huge fan.  I love having to save up money/gems/mats for new enchants, or re-speccing to take advantage of a new spell bonus or counteracting a nerf.

Foe

I’m averted to the large exploitation of the upcoming raids on the PTR.  I don’t “hate” it, because I understand its purpose.

I get a huge adrenaline high from facing a new boss on my server with my guild, without really knowing what to expect.  I have to think on my feet.  The raid has to be ready to adjust and listen to the raid leader for directions.

Remember the climactic scene of the movie “The Wizard”?  The kid and his nemesis are the in the final battle, about to play a game that no one has ever seen before.  The curtain is lifted….SUPER MARIO 3!!  I was a kid when that movie came out, and I just about crapped my pants.  Neither the kid nor his nemesis had any experience with this game.  Both were going in totally blind.  No tricks, no strategies, just shutup and play.

It’s that mentality that I crave for the community when it comes to releasing a new raid.  The new content is released and has been tested by a representative sample of the community under a confidentiality clause.  My team goes in on patch day, bags filled with flask/food, ready to conquer.  Our gold stash resembles Scrooge McDuck’s money pit in “Duck Tales”.  Let’s learn this boss our way.  We can be as hardcore as we want to be.

The Toss-up

In spite of all my rantings, I understand that living on the cutting edge of raiding needs every advantage.  World and Server Firsts are a big deal to a lot of guilds.  They need that edge–the ability to practice something, even if it’s not in it’s final form.  Guilds can strategize what needs to happen before the boss actually hits the live servers.

My proposal, though, is to assign a smattering of raiders the ability to do a closed testing of these bosses.  Start the difficulty of the bosses high and slowly bring it down as needed, but not so much to make the boss one or two-shottable.  Keep in mind it isn’t too interesting for us to go in and down bosses in our current gear.

My random thought of the day: Would we complain as much about the ease of boss killings if we didn’t have a head start?  A marathon is a piece of cake if you only have to run a small portion of it on the actual day, right?

What do you think?  Would you rather train in the PTR, or save the workout for after a new raid goes live?  How do you feel about the ability to test and learn a boss ahead of time?

ThespiusSig

Two Applicant Paths Diverged in an Azerothian Wood

Two Applicant Paths Diverged in an Azerothian Wood

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Once you decide you’ve reached the raid-ready threshold, it’s time to find a place to do that.  Aside from the risky and unpredictable nature of PUGs, the most plausable option is a raiding guild.  Whether casual, progression, or hardcore elite, you’re bound to encounter some form of an application process.

The process always varies from guild to guild.  Each one is slightly different, but I’ve always seen three common practices:

  1. (Trade Chat) “Lvl 80 LF Raiding Guild” -> “So-and-so has invited you to join the guild: Such-and-such”
  2. An application of varying length, seemingly focused on gear, skill, and experience.
  3. The Applicant Period -> Includes a formal application, and a “waiting period” or “trial period”.

The first of the three is relatively self-explanatory, and is usually frowned upon.  I don’t take raiders seriously that look for guilds that way, and I don’t instill a lot of confidence in raiding guilds that subscribe to that method.  This is all just from personal experience.

Just like I’d apply for a job to pay my bills, I’m applying to a guild to fulfill my raiding passion.  I want to know that the guild I’m vying to be a part of isn’t accepting just any ol’ package of pixels.  I’d be really worried about credibility if the guild just said “Yes!” without screening me or requiring any sort of “test drive.”

My personal preference is the 3rd option.  Every guild leader has their own preference, and that’s absolutely encouraged.  Each guild is obviously different.  My choice is based on permanence and personality.

I’m hugely averted to what are known as “guild hoppers”.  I’ve never been one, and I get a pit in my stomach anytime I come across someone that might be one.  I look at my guild as a family–people who work together to achieve a common goal because they enjoy that camaraderie and team work.  I invest in you, you invest in me.  Someone that sees guilds as stepping stones to higher echelons don’t interest me.  I feel it’s selfish and takes away from the “community” that I’m so fond of.

Secondly, if we are going to be spending large amounts of time together, I have to get along with you.  We have to be able to crack jokes, share stories, and simply enjoy each other’s company.  I’m not too keen on running with someone that is demeaning to other players or constantly fluffs their own ego at the expense of others.  Admittedly, if I don’t wanna hang out with you, I’m probably not going to jump up and down at the chance to raid with you.

As you know, I’m one of the Discipline Priests on Lodur’s healing team in Unpossible.  Their application process is a rather complex one, but its payoff is knowing they’re a great fit for me, and I’m a good fit for them.  It was because of their application process that I got excited, because it’s near identical to my casual guild, Team Sport.

To summarize, an interested Applicant must acquire a Sponsor.  This is done through gaming and socializing via a chat channel made specifically for the guild.  It is the Sponsor’s job to get the Applicant invited to off-night raids and bring them along on heroics or other guild activities.  This is designed to get the guild acquainted with the Applicant.

The Sponsor then solicits enough votes from the guild (along with the Applicant’s Class Lead) to invite the Applicant into the guild on a trial basis.  This begins a month period where the the guild and the Applicant get to know each other.  The Applicant can be invited into raids and has access to loot drops.  At the end of the month, the guild votes again whether the Applicant becomes a full member or not.

At any point, I can withdraw.  If I don’t feel like this guild is what I want, then I can move on.

What an application process like this does is allows me to know what I’m getting myself into before I’m fully in the mix.  It lets them sniff me out and make sure that I’m not a “guild hopper” or someone there to grab gear and run.  Like I said, I’m into the family-style guilds.  This, I feel, promotes that.

What about you?  What kind of guild process you feel best fits your style?  Are there certain styles that attract or deter you from joining a guild?

ThespiusSig

3 Proper Steps to Switching Mains

Throughout my tenure as GM, I’ve had to address a variety of challenging situations. One of the questions that GMs will undoubtedly face in their reign is the topic of switching mains.

Allow me to provide a scenario.

BarryManaLow is an Arcane Mage. He’s one of the main staples in the DPS lineup. Barry routinely comes in consistently as top 5. For his efforts, the council of Elrandom rewards him with the items necessary to contribute.

And then it happens.

Tragedy strikes.

Barry needs to take a 3 week leave of absence. Let’s say he’s got some real life issues and it’s the time of year where school exams are going to strike and he needs to focus and get it out of the way. He’s also getting slightly bored with the game and wants to recharge a little.

The boss signs off on it and brings a call up from the lower ranks to substitute in for good ol’ Barry. MissilesMcGee does an admirable job. He’s not quite top 5, but he’s coming in at a respectable top 10 placement.

Fast forward 3 weeks and Barry returns from leave. He discloses that he wants to switch mains. He’s not satisfied or happy playing on his mage. Barry has an alt Death Knight that he’d like to raid with instead.

Now it’s perfectly normal for any GM to be annoyed at this point. After all, you’ve spent time gearing the player up only to find that gear is going to go to waste and isn’t going to be contributing anymore.

So before you flip out and completely lose your cool, stop for a moment and breathe.

Step 1: Determine if there is a need

Is there a current need in the guild that needs to be fulfilled? Are you missing a tank or a melee DPS? Maybe you’re low on a healers. At this time, Conquest was lacking a solid third tank. We knew we would need one heading into the recent patch and we were doing what we could to find potential players to come in. Not many players responded because they didn’t meet our tanking requirements or just couldn’t fit our raiding schedule.

Barry provided an alternative as a Death Knight tank. He already knew the fights and our procedures. That solved that question. Chemistry wouldn’t be an issue since he knew how the guild operated. We wouldn’t have to worry about his in game smarts. This would bring up two more concerns.

Step 2: Can she hold her own?

Does the player demonstrate that they know what the heck they’re doing? If I were to switch from healing to tanking, I’d fail pretty hard at it because I wouldn’t know what the heck to do. When dealing with main switches, find out if the player has done the job before. An agreement was made where Barry had to work his way through a few lower level raids to prove his ability to tank.

You can think of it as a modified trial run. After all, Barry was re-applying to the guild with a new character after all.

Step 3: Is their gear on par with the content we’re doing?

Bite back the urge to say gear doesn’t matter.

Because when you’re a tank, it does. A Naxx level tank is going to have a tough time working on Trial of the Grand Crusader. I stipulated to Barry that if he wanted to get into our raids, he’d have to work on gear himself which meant pugging what raids he could and crafting any other pieces necessary. Emblems of Conquest allowed him to purchase items he didn’t win from pickup groups. The condition was that Barry had to bring his own character up to an acceptable raiding standard before we’d insert him into our primary lineup.

And he did. He got into as many heroics as he could to farm badges. He transferred money to purchase mats to craft tanking items and augments.

After about 3 weeks of solid gear acquisition, Barry was ready to rock. We gradually threw him in our 10 mans and kept a close eye on him before bumping him up to the 25s. He’s just about ready to tackle Trial of the Grand Crusader.

Final thoughts

There’s nothing inherently wrong with main switching. Players do get bored from time to time or maybe they undergo the grass-is-greener complex. View this as an opportunity for them contribute in a different capacity. To raiders, there’s nothing wrong with switching mains as long as long as you keep these 3 things in mind:

  • See if the guild has a need: If they don’t, you’re going to have to leave and go elsewhere. If the guild has 9 healers to select from, it’s not likely you’re going to see any action as a healer. There’s simply too many. You’re better off playing a role that a guild is lacking. The leadership will be much more receptive.
  • Prove your skills: Show that you know how to play the class and role. Prove that you’ve done your research. Take the time to be familiar with how your role might be different in certain fights. DPSing Freya is certainly different than tanking Freya.
  • Get your own gear: Different guilds handle this differently. But under my watch, if you’re going to switch mains, you better be willing to get your own gear. The guild might contribute a few BoEs or enchants for a discounted price or something, but it’s up to the individual to put in the effort. Show your willingness and passion for the class. It also proves you know what you’re doing. What kind of message does it send if Barry the Death Knight did nothing but pick up gear with shield block on it?

Officers: Who Watches the Watchmen?

watchmen

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

I realize not many readers understand Latin. It basically translates to “Who guards the guards themselves?”.

During one of my earlier years in university, we studied up a bit on Plato’s The Republic (ethics and government stuff). Who protects the people against the protectors? Plato responds by saying they have to guard themselves against themselves. Ideally your officers are going to be just individuals who won’t become greedy or evil.

Your officers

In a majority of cases, your officers are simply normal people who have invested their time (and perhaps money) to handle guild tech or infrastructure. They’re busy tackling things that no one wants to deal with like personnel, scheduling, and what raid operations to carry out. Policy has to be continually updated. Loot has to be awarded and DKP systems have to be managed.

To be frank, the officers are the overseers of the guild and possess the power along with the responsibility.

The level headed ones have no desire to go all political. They’re leaders of a loose organization of gamers, not the mafia. There’s no backroom deals going on. With luck, there is no maneuvering or behind-the-scenes backstabbing.

Red alert!

Now something has happened. Maybe one of your leaders committed some kind of grievous offense. You, Joe raider, happen to take exception. You don’t agree with whatever they did. Maybe they completely screwed over a pug in loot. Or they might have completely dished it out to a raider one day who was undeserving. The reasons could number beyond infinity.

In any case, whatever the reason, you’re upset enough to the point where you want to do something about it.

Your options

Now here’s a list of things you can do and what might possibly happen if you go down these roads.

  • Do nothing. It’s the easiest choice. Keep it to yourself. Don’t say anything. You don’t want to rock the boat. This is something I’ve observed most players doing because they perceive there is too much at risk by doing anything else.
  • Speak to your GM. Have a chat with the boss and see what she says. Perhaps they don’t realize it’s an issue and maybe they can talk to the officer and try to resolve what happened.
  • Speak to the officer in question. Directly confront the officer in question and let them know what they did wasn’t cool. I don’t advise doing this publically. Do it privately in whispers. When I was just a grunt, I preferred taking the direct route and telling officers personally that I thought they did something wrong. It has a stronger effect then you might think.
  • Change your reaction. This option isn’t quite the same as the first. This involves a complete philosophy change on your end. Is their offense that serious? Does it really matter that much? What if you changed your reaction to the point where you could tolerate it and ignore it? The guild my alt is in has a raid leader who randomly calls people morons. I get called it myself once in a while because I can be a touch slow getting out of fires periodically. I don’t take it personally because I simply don’t care enough (It’s my alt’s guild for one).
  • Leave the guild. It’s fairly self explanatory. Be prepared to leave the guild. If you cannot accept what the guild is doing or if speaking to the GM and the officer prove to be futile, then the last option you have is to change your environment entirely. Not every guild is suited for every personality.