Time for raiding

A guildie proposed a mentoring system in our forums and it’s a good idea. The basics: Take people through older content to show them how their class works so they level up learning.

The fundamental reasoning behind it is to get people raiding, which is something the guild needs to work on if we’re to face the Lich King one day. As a corollary, it’ll help people learn their class so they’ll be proficient enough when it comes time for Icecream Citadel to hold their own and not cause a wipe. Bonus reason: See old content.

Tic toc

I don’t know how well the idea will fly in my guild because I don’t think a lack of mentoring is a reason why more people don’t raid. I think it’s time and interest. Namely: Not enough people have enough interest to take enough time.

Even with the breaks Blizzard gives us to gear up with the emblem system, the LFD tool, daily quests, weekly quests, and ToC there is still a fundamental obstacle to raiding: Taking the time to actually get emblems, do a random, and go through ToC.

You must be at least this tall…

In order to enter Icecream Citadel you have to spend a minimum amount of time gearing your character. You have to be at least proficient with it to adapt to everything that goes on inside. There are actual minimum requirements to go on that ride and—as we learned the hard way—you can’t let anyone in.

A different guildie offered a truism:

ICC 25 is not the time to inform someone of the strategy of an encounter. They should already know it from ICC 10.

Tempus Fugate

Like all casual guilds that raid, mine suffers from an age-old problem: people who want to raid more and people who want to raid less. The raid more (RM) group tries to cobble together enough people to make it happen but falls just a bit short and fills things in with guild alliances and PUGs.

This is sub-optimum. There is definite advantage to raiding with the same people and knowing who you can count on and how they play. Filling people in from outside sources upsets that. RM morale can suffer.

Although not critically important to me (thank you, emblem system!), there is also the point of gear. Someone from outside is due gear that drops because they worked to get it like everyone else, but that also means that drops are going away from the guild, as it were. It’s a loss.

Clique

The raid less (RL (this acronym being especially appropriate since it’s usually real life that’s used as a reason for not playing more)) group also suffers because they’d like to go on the raid too. They may not want to spend the time gearing, or want to do the research learning the fights, but what they do want to do is spend time with the guild doing fun things.

They see the RM people as splitting off and doing their own thing and not including the RL folk, thus diminishing the guild, thus harming their morale. The RM folk haven’t formed a clique, in a negative sense, they are just enforcing the restrictions that tangibly exist (tangible in the sense that if you don’t adhere to the restrictions it costs everyone in wasted time).

Rewind

So how to make it easier for RLs to RM? The mentoring system might actually work because it addresses a few things at once. RLs spend time with RMs, which includes more people in more things. RMs get a wider pool of people to draw upon to go on raids, and more gear stays inside the guild.

The Olde Ways

Unfortunately my experience is that if someone doesn’t want to raid they’re not going to because they don’t want to. Engaging in raid-type activity (gearing up, doing research, trying to optimize a talent build) is a dedicated activity that’s distasteful for some.

It doesn’t matter how easy or hard it is or how much time it takes, the interest is either devoid or the attitude specifically hostile.

Rather like me and PvP.

If there is a solution it’s this: Get more RMs into the guild while mentoring RLs who really do want to RM.

Because I don’t believe there’s a way to get someone entrenched in RL into becoming someone who wants to RM. Believe me, I know—I used to be a staunch RL.

The New Ways

What changed me? Finding a guild with enough people that doing a raid was actually possible at all while keeping the sensibility of a casual environment, and the emblem system.

But if someone has that and still isn’t wanting to do what it takes to enter Icecream Citadel? Call me monkey’s uncle but I don’t think there’s a way.

And you?

Have you faced this problem in your guild? What happened?

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Geek. (But so are you!)

Posted on March 22, 2010, in World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great post, and good food for thought! Nom Nom Nom

    I wanted to add one bit of feedback to the “truism” point about learning fights in ICC10 so you walk in prepped for 25. In our guild, as you know, we have a fairly solid core group of people who pretty much always show up on raid night, ready to go. Those people have put a LOT of attention into their gear and have studied up on the fights, and worked together to learn those fights up close and personal in ICC10, coming back week after week, watching it get easier and easier as we worked together.

    A “problem” that the guild faced is that we would commonly have 12 or even 15 people wanting to go, and those over 10 would have to get waitlisted. If a waitlister were lucky enough to come in, they were joining at a weird place in the raid and trying to adjust to our dynamics on the fly. We talked of forming a second ICC10, but didn’t have enough tanks or healers.

    I think ICC25 pugged runs were created, in part, with those people in mind. Let’s get everyone involved who really does want to go, and before long, we’ll be able to run ICC25 as a guild without having to worry about pugs as we get deeper into progression.

    The problem with having an expectation that people would have “already learned” from ICC10 before ever stepping foot into 25, in my opinion, is that they wouldn’t have had a chance to. I agree with the concept of those individuals having had an opportunity to PUG along the way, yet I don’t think it’s an environment terribly conducive to learning. When thrown “in with the sharks”, you almost want to just do your best not to stand out as having screwed up, rather than truly perfecting your performance.

    In my experience, when you join a pug, the raid leads aren’t forgiving, they expect you to know what you’re doing and how to do it, and it is incredibly fast-paced. This…er…”job” of teaching people is truly a guild responsibility. I don’t think they’re going to find a “community” of patient people willing to help them creep along in content so they REALLY understand the fights, if their own guild isn’t willing or wanting to do it. 🙂

    About this part “Engaging in raid-type activity (gearing up, doing research, trying to optimize a talent build) is a dedicated activity”…I could not agree more. I personally get a THRILL out of reading countless blogs, taking advantage of resources out there, trying different gear sets/specs. For me, it’s a hobby and totally fascinating. For others, they would rather poke their eyeballs with hot pokers and go in to work a 14-hour day. 😉

    As for the “problem at large”…the overall point of your article…it truly is a conundrum. One could suggest that we simply need to get more people in the guild who are ready to go rock the LK. If you look at our numbers, though, there are a TON of people in the guild who are Level 80. We are definitely not short on numbers.

    I have noticed one issue that might change things around a bit if it were addressed. If we say we’re going to start at a certain time, many guilds are literally ready to make the first pull at that time. In our guild, we don’t generally start building the raid until that time, and then it takes maybe 30-45 minutes of putting it together while people wait. It’s all part of being a “casual” guild. It’s possible, however, that unless or until some kind of system set in place where we know what we’re getting involved with when we’re logging on, people just won’t commit…IDK!

  2. Sync, just to address your last point:

    Having led Ahro for 5 years I can tell you that having a set time to pull actually works in the opposite way. Rather than have people log in a few minutes late, get organized and fill up the raid, we have had a major drop in attendance when people realize they can’t make the 6:30 PM pull and don’t bother logging in at all that night, or take their time logging in. We don’t encourage people to be late but neither do we penalize them. Ahro is casual and that includes start times.

    The good news is that so far, the guilds we ally with who fill our numbers (or pugs we find that are awesome and maintain a connection with us to raid) are actually pleased with this pace and don’t mind if things start a bit more slowly than hardcore guilds.

    I think that Ahro’s forte is shifting and changing guild schedules and policies around the raiding population at any given moment. Think back to when you first began raiding with us. MT was Yoegi most weeks. Now he won’t be there for a while. Healing was Dae and Orest, now Dae is tanking and we need others to step in to heal like Ari. The interest in the game and the raiding waxes and wanes. We have to be flexible enough that we can roll with these numbers and moods or we’ll flop. 😉

    Abeth you have hit the nail on the head – it IS a dedicated activity. However, we can’t ask or demand any one guild member to join us in that dedication. We can only lead by example… 😀

  3. PS. WTB that DK that was there 2 weeks ago plskthx.

  4. I don’t normally do this, so here it goes… (Forgive me if I ramble.)
    In response to the timing issue that has been brought up. While I don’t want to subscribe to the draconian policies of my last guild where if you weren’t there on time, they had already replaced you with a PUG, I do keenly feel the issue of not starting on time. I am two hours ahead of server time and it is the joy and bane of my existence. It’s a joy because I love Ahro and all of my friends in the guild and it’s a bane because we only raid on nights where I have to work the next day ie. week nights. Compounding the issue (not the guild’s fault) is a 45 minute commute to where I work. On nights, like last night, where it takes a long time to get a group together, I feel the minutes ticking away, knowing that soon I will face the choice between the experiencing the fruits of the time I have already invested in coming online and getting ready or leaving prematurely to get 8 hours of sleep. As a healer, I feel the additional desire to stay because my leaving can potentially kill a run that I have already committed to by joining in the early stages thus leaving my other raid members in a lurch. Long story short, when it takes a raid 30-45 minutes to spin up, I feel penalized because it eats into my time to wait for others and I feel the (perhaps, self-imposed) responsibility to see it out for my other raid members. I am not sure that a “first pull at the scheduled start time” is a good policy for Arho, but I do like to believe that there is a happy medium in all issues. One idea could include incentives to be online before the scheduled start time. I am sure that whatever I could come up with would be limited and would be happy to hear if anyone else had some ideas that could help. Considering that we have a broad mixture of east coasters, west coasters, and everything in between it would be nice to try to expedite the “ramping up” phase of the raid as much as possible that would still be somewhat convenient for all. 🙂

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