A Lack Of Communication…

As I mentioned a short time back, my guild has been going through a bit of a spit about raiding.  I wouldn’t call it drama.  I wouldn’t even call it a spit, if I had a better word.  It is more like growing pains.

Many of your chimed in with support, and I thank you.  But before I get to the solution that we implemented, let’s take a step back to where/how this problem started in the first place.

In The Beginning…

Way back in time, back when outlands was the pinnacle of the game, my guild was formed.  While I was not a founder, I was one of its first 20 (If I remember correctly) members.

Of course, just like most guilds, we were formed under the pretense of being a casual leveling guild.

And I happen to think that we had (or really, still do have) some of the finest examples of players on our realm in our guild.  I am thankful to know every single one of them.

And so we recruited (pretty close to open recruiting), and we leveled.  And it was fun leveling in our guild.  It wasn’t a mad dash to 70.  It was a fun, relaxing, enjoy the flowers on the side of the road, type of leveling.

In The Heart of BC

As toons started getting up to level, some at different paces than others, whispers of raiding (and heroics) started creeping in the edges.

And very quickly we became the classic example of a feeder guild.  Get a toon up to lvl 70, they would leave for a raiding guild.  Over and over again.

And we tried doing heroics and such, but almost always ended in failure.  We were, in my opinion, too casual to do that.  We also didn’t have any idea of how to go about jumping into raiding.  Don’t get me wrong, we had some people in the guild who were doing heroics, and the odd raid.  But as a guild, we couldn’t stick it together.

And slowly, ever so slowly, BC started coming to a close.

Enter Wrath

The great nerf of patch 3.0 came out in BC, and we finally had enough people (and, to be fair, content was nerfed enough to let us play around a bit), to start playing around with things.  We made our first Kara run!  We didnt get past attunemen, but hey.  We tried.

And wrath hit, and we went back to leveling – what the guild does best.  Again, in a very casual manner.  I, myself, took my time on the way up the ladder to 80 – if I remember correctly I Dinged 80 10 or 12 weeks after wrath hit, far behind the general curve.

And soon we started slumping back into the feeder guild mentality.  Ding 80!  BANG, gone.

But there was something going on in the edges of the guild.  Several 80’s had become restless and started to take initiative.  In fact, I jumped right into heroics as soon as I dinged 80.  And so did my sister (who was also my leveling partner).  And then one, and another, started joining us.   Soon 80’s were no longer leaving, but rather trying to get into the swing of things.

If I could identify the one point that was the turning point in the guild, this is it.  We moved away from being so insanely casual, to a more serious guild.  And please understand I say that with the utmost humility.  Our version of serious was to stop laughing when we died, and try to hold a straight face 🙂

The First Rumblings

Pretty soon, we had too many to run just one set of heroics.  And, again, hind sight being 20/20 this is also probably where the first rumblings of people feeling left out started to crop up.

We eventually formed “heroic teams” to try and include as many as possible.  That didn’t last long.  Still being very casual, there was often not enough online at the right time to do a heroic all together.

And soon, very soon, one of our guildies got into Naxx.  He was running with a group from another guild (who, because they do not know I am publishing, will remain identified as “ID”).

A few weeks later, he pulled in me.

A few weeks later, we pulled in another person

It soon became an ID hosted KOTF run, LOL.  KOTF basically had more than half the players in the raid.

And then the guild ID all but dissolved, and we inherited most of the players we had been running with.  Overnight our Naxx raid went from being an ID raid to being a KOTF raid.

Then Ulduar came around, and raiding became not only an aspiration for many in the guild, but also highly visible.  We held it together for a bit, and got all the way up to Hodir.

The Ulduar Schism and Summer 2009

And then hit our Ulduar Schism.  The group blew up.  I won’t go into details, I have written about it before.  So raiding halted.

And after a fair few weeks of no raiding, I took it upon myself to reform and start back up.

However, in the middle of this, the summer meltdown happened.  The two other GM’s were sparsely, if at all, on (and I am not knocking them, just telling a story here).  I, and one other person, were the only officers regularly on.  Hell, at one point for like 4 weeks, we only ever had 5 people who were regularly logging on.

And I was trying to form a raid with this.

It meant heading back to naxx, and inviting basically a LOT of people, who in all fairness, were never ready for raiding to begin with.  Yes people, I made a huge mistake here.   I was a nub raid lead.  But it isnt the first time I have screwed something up, and it wont be the last, so dont look so shocked.

As people started trickling back in from the summer, I started inviting more and different players.

But as I have said before, the guild is UBER casual.  And reliability is (and still remains) an issue.  On top of this, the Ulduar raiders started trickling back in.  And because they were reliable, they generally replaced players that were less reliable.  Mistake number 2.  Eventually we were pretty much back to the way we were before the Ulduar schism.  But with a lot more people in the guild that got the taste for raiding, and wanted more.  We pretty much continued this way through ToC and Ony, occassionally inviting people when we were missing a player to fill in.

Enter ICC

And ICC drops, and we have all these players clamoring to get into ICC.  And fair enough.  A lot of people are invested into the storyline of arthas, not the least of which is me.  But we have the added issue of having LOTS of people who have tasted raiding, and want to get in.

And so, we started rotating people in.  And it was, for the most part, disastrous.  And of course, kaboom came along just a few weeks ago.

So, that is the story, or the vast part of the story.  We held and officer meeting to just hash out what had gone on, and what needed to happen.  And here are the perspectives:

The Raid’s Perspective

ICC is HARD.  It is the pinnacle of raiding in the expansion.  And every time we bring a person on, they don’t know something about their toon – decursing, healing, whatever.  And we end up wiping.  Wiping on farm bosses.  Why do we have to be charitable when we have worked our asses off to get to this point?  And for that matter, we CAN’T be charitable without re-learning all of these bosses and losing all of our progression.  We want to progress, we want to move forward, not backward.

The Guild’s Perspective

We have raided with you before, and done a good job.  ICC *is* hard.  You have to give us time to adjust.  Hell, we don’t even know what you expect.  We don’t know how to get in the rotation.  We dont know what you expect of us once we get in the rotation.  Then we are kicked back out before we get a chance to learn bossfights.  How am I to preform when I don’t know WHAT you want me to preform?  It feels a bit like a guild of 10, and then the rest of us.  The raiders being the guild of 10, the rest of us just here to fill in when you need a warm body.  We are left to either pug or leave the guild for greener pastures.  But I don’t want to leave my guild just to raid.  I want to stick with it.  I love the people here.

The Outside Perspective

Because we always know there is three sides to any conflict….

The raid has not been forthcoming about requirements.  And they haven’t been great about a reliable rotation system.  However, we do need to get some people in the guild to practice their talents.  And the place for that is not in ICC, especially the last bosses (which is where the raid group is right now).  The place for that is in Ulduar, Toc, Ony, and Naxx.  But since we don’t host very many of those anymore, you don’t have a chance to learn and practice.  Plus, the raid group is a little more hardcore than you are used to.

A lot of the issue here is communication.  In both directions.

So there it is, all laid out.  I am interested to hear your guy’s solutions to the laid out issues.  We have already implemented a change, and I will detail that more, later.

3 Responses to “A Lack Of Communication…”
  1. zelmaru says:

    Ugh I hear ya. We had a bunch of raiders leave because they felt like they were being “held back” by having to rotate people in. But if we didn’t rotate people in, we would have lost those people who were constantly warming the bench. It was a no-win situation. There was an article on wow.com a while back about this, and basically they erred on the side of pandering to the better players, reasoning that you’re going to have people leave anyway, so might as well have them be the worse players. I don’t agree with that.

    Having said that, it’s a little late in the expansion for people to not have their shit together. If you want to raid ICC at this point, there’s NO EXCUSE for not having full 232 gear. There’s NO EXCUSE for not studying up on a fight before you get in there. You want to raid, and muscle in on the group who has been slogging the hard fight for weeks while you weren’t online? You’d better be prepared to WORK to catch up.

  2. Sougent says:

    Probably the best thing would be to form a 2nd raid group if possible and start with the pre-ICC raids to get used to one another, then move on up to the good stuff.

  3. Nymesis says:

    While scrolling through your older posts I came upon screenshot you put up. It is now the background on my work computer. As much as my bosses ask for my opinion to just do the exact opposite, I feel it’s appropriate. Why would you ever ask the person that actually does the job?

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