The First 120 Days of Conquest

This is a quick look back at the first three months in the life of the guild. The first 120 days are usually indicative of how the guild is going to be down the road. There were a few milestone moments. Let’s see how our Loot Council is doing using Kel’Thuzad as a benchmark since he drops some of the most powerful stuff in the game presently. Specifically, we’re going to look at weapons.

We picked up:

  • 2 x Torch of Holy Fire
  • 4 x Last Laugh
  • 3 x Calamity’s Grasp
  • 5 x Journey’s End
  • 4 x Wall of Terror
  • 1 x Betrayer of Humanity
  • 3 x Envoy of Mortality
  • 3 x The Turning Tide

Pretty good on Druid staves and our tanks are well equipped. Hunter’s look like they’re in good shape. So do the casters. Our plate DPS is hurting some with only one Betrayer. Anyway, these are all the high level weapons we picked up from Kel’Thuzad.

Now of those, how many do you think this guild has lost?

Turnover is something to be expected especially in a guild as young as this one. I called it the 30% rule:

30% of loot obtained in raids will be lost.

It doesn’t really matter why it’s lost. It could happen for a multitude of reasons. Items could get disenchanted because no one in the raid wants it or is eligible for it. I’ve lost players to other guilds and real life. In such a competitive server, it’s to be expected. Let’s break down the losses, shall we?

Items lost:

  • 1 x Torch of Holy Fire
  • 2 x Turning Tide
  • 1 x Last Laugh
  • 1 x Wall of Terror

The guild has lost 5 items to players that have decided to leave the game or leave the server. I know what you’re thinking. How on earth could you have let this happen? How could you have looted items to players that were going to quit the game or the guild?

Simply put, it’s not always easy. We don’t know that players are going to leave. Even the players don’t know they’re going to leave. These decisions were made with the thought that players would stick around and commit. But I had a player declare himself inactive as he had just moved out of his house and got piled on with extra work shifts a couple of weeks after he picked up a Torch. I had another player lose interest in the game and wanted to focus more on life after we gave him a Turning Tide during the week of New Year’s. Another caster left the guild because he felt that the guild’s goals and his goals didn’t coincide taking another Turning Tide with him (he wanted more than I was prepared to offer). We lost a Last Laugh and a Wall of Terror on a tank who got hacked one day whom we never heard from again.

Is it disappointing? Yeah, I’m not going to lie. It does hurt seeing players walk out. But it’s something to be expected. If I had to do it all over again with the same information, I’m certain the council would have ruled the same way.

It could be worse. All the players who earned those could have been lost.

Attendance and demotions

In hindsight, I should’ve worked a little harder in getting an attendance tracker up and running. It took me around a month and a half before I was finally satisfied with what I had. Up to that point, most of the attendance was tracked mentally and on an excel spreadsheet. I had a pretty good idea of who was present on progression nights, who wasn’t present, and who failed to relay the fact that they were gone.

A lot of players message the GM weeks or days in advance telling them they won’t be around. But as a GM, I have so much on my mind that I often forget. This can lead to misunderstandings. I often preach to my players that if they’re going to be late or if they’re going to miss a raid, leave it on the forums. This way, there’s clear evidence that they made an attempt to sign out (we don’t use a sign in system).

A raider is a rank of privilege. If you’re a raider, you’re expected to show up to every raid. It’s assumed that you will be there on the nights and times that we raid. Obviously there are going to be things that happen in life that causes you to miss a night or two. That’s understandable. But this is the expectation. My E-Office is always open. I’m probably one of the most accessible guildmasters out there as there’s a multitude of ways to reach me. I’ve had long distance calls on my cellphone and text messages from raiders who tell me traffic’s come up or work’s keeping them busy at the last minute. If a player doesn’t login for 20 days without notice, I’m not going to fish them out and try to coax them back in. I leave it to them to come to me and explain what’s up. I’m perfectly capable of understanding and trying to work with people. But if I’m left in the dark, I don’t have a problem demoting and looking for replacements like Resto Shamans.

I’ve got another player who picked up a job recently. The job schedule varies from a week to week basis. Sometimes they might not make a raid night, sometimes they can hit all three nights no problem. But as a GM, I cannot plan raids around that sort of unpredictability. It’s situations like that which cause a loss of rank. It’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to the guild. And that’s something I need to put a little more thought into going forward. But I do appreciate the fact that I was informed about the change because I can think ahead and figure out what our guild needs are.

It’s not an easy feeling. I’m friends with many players. And it’s not fun for me to demote them or tell them that they’re sitting out. Ideally, I’d have a guild with 24 other players that were capable of committing every night. But it’s virtually impossible.

I had a reader message me the other night. He was in a tough spot. He had a small 10 man guild going that all consist of friends and family. What should he do if one person can’t make it but really wants to come along? Does he try to accommodate to the chagrin of the other 9? Or does he roll without him and tell him “try again next week”?

And these kinds of decisions suck. If you decide to go, you piss off one person. If you decide to hold and end up not raiding because everyone’s schedule doesn’t work out, you piss off everybody.

I told him that it’s a tough situation to be in. I told him you can either be a good GM or a good friend. Often times, it’s difficult to be both.

I deliberately wrote this into my charter. Above all else, Conquest is a progression minded raiding guild, not a friends and family guild. When players protest about being benched, I remind them that it’s what they signed up for and it was a question on the application if they were okay with being benched from time to time.

By the way, kudos to the players that were able to find the Conquest website. I don’t exactly openly advertise the website on the blog. I can tell the really determined players because they’re able to navigate through the blog and find the places where I did link. Heck, it’s not even on the realm forums guild directory.

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.