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Save the Guild, Save Myself

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering about whether or not to continue with World of Warcraft. The issue I’m having is our raiding guild is going through some growing pains and it’s very frustrating. As such, the game itself isn’t as fun as it used to be.

A few of the choices I have are to fix it, quit and find another guild, give up raiding altogether, and quit WoW altogether.

Raiding with another guild isn’t really an option. I have a couple of friends in guild that I feel I would be betraying and I’m not willing to do that. Not raiding and just PvPing, questing, working on achievements, leveling alts, etc. just isn’t as appealing to me and wouldn’t satisfy me for long even with the expansion. If I were to quit, pre-expansion is the time to do it.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it and putting down in words what was on my mind as well as the minds of other officers and members. As I did this, I started to feel better about the future and perhaps that I could be excited about raiding again, so I posted those thoughts down in our guild forums. I’m actually pretty proud of what I wrote that I decided I had to post it here. Besides it’s a way to get another post. Call me lazy.

Here it is and boy is it long!!! (4130 words long to be precise. You’ve been warned.)

/climb on soapbox

Last time I checked, we had over 140 different toons with over 80 different accounts in our guild. There’s absolutely no reason not to be able to raid. In fact, with over 80 accounts in the guild, there’s no reason to not be able to run two 25-man raids on the same night (barring lack of healers).

Every guild has a purpose. You probably leveled up in a leveling guild when you first started. You joined your first raiding guild when you wanted to get into Kara. You joined a PvP guild if you were building twinks.

ICESTORM is a raiding guild.

I was perhaps the biggest proponent of a “casual” raiding guild when we first set this guild up. In fact, I was so worried about it that I spent hours talking to Sonny and Xinks about it. Until I truly felt that it would be “casual” I was ready to jump ship.

But “casual” only works when people are willing to bring their A-game. People have joked and complained about my BigBrother addon that reports who hasn’t got food, elixir, or flask buffs, but that’s a part of raiding. You want to know what “casual” is? Us not kicking you out of the raid because you don’t have food buffs!

“But Kyrilean, I’m broke.”

I could care less. You want to raid? This is what you need to do:

Professions


First Aid is a must, especially for DPS. A lot of fights require healers to focus in on tanks and themselves to keep the group alive. DPS is lucky to get heals. Learn to heal yourself!

Cooking is simple if you spend the time to do it. A lot of people don’t. Fine. It isn’t the end of the world. Farm what you need and find someone to cook it for you, preferably more than 15 minutes before the actual raid.

Fishing has a lot of great buff food, but it’s long, arduous, and a complete pain in the ass. Again, find someone to help you out if you can’t bring yourself to do it. I have every intention of maxing out this profession quickly in the expansion.

Alchemy and Herbology – great for elixirs and flask. Don’t want to give up your Mining and Skinning? Well you better do something that makes you money to buy what you need or work out a deal with someone in guild that can make it for you.

Farming

There’s tons of stuff to farm. I started farming primals a while back and created Primal Might for sale on the AH. That kept me from going crazy doing the endless daily grind. Roughly 100g per primal is what I get for them and ironically that’s about what I’d do for dailies in a day anyway and it broke up the routine. Each profession has something to offer for sale. Find it!

Back to cooking and fishing. Spend the time to farm your mats for food buffs and any other buffs that are out there. You a pro at these? Work out a deal to make a little extra cash with your guild mates. Just because they are guild mates doesn’t mean that you can’t sell it to them. Just don’t be greedy. Do them a favor and their being prepared is a favor in return too.

Daily Quests

Do your daily quests! I swear if I see you PvPing for hours on end after you complained about being broke, I’m going to vote to /gkick you. I did 5 daily quests last week and finally got my achievement for completing 25 daily quests. The patch has been out how long now?! I’ve done 25 daily quests since the patch came out and achievements became available AND I have over 3000g scattered amongst my toons! Come to think of it I got back to 3000g in a week after loaning a friend a lot of gold. (He reminded me the other day and I’d forgotten. Actually, I can’t even remember the amount, but it was more than 1000g.) DO NOT COMPLAIN TO ME ABOUT BEING BROKE! It can be done. Just get your priorities straight.

Homework

Read up on the fights. Read up on your toons. Don’t waste my time by not being as prepared as you can be.

LEARN YOUR TOON!!! We have people in this guild that couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper sack! We have people in this guild that have the DPS of a wet noodle! We have people in this guild that couldn’t hold the aggro of a squirrel! And we have people that couldn’t heal King Magni Bronzebeard himself being attacked by a horde of level 1 baby Taurens!!!

FYI, this’ll be addressed below, but those that don’t perform are going to find they’ll be demoted in rank until they can.

There is information galore on the net. I’ve posted blog sites and websites in the various class forums and yet as of today, I see that there have a been a total of 7 views in the Druid Class Forum, 2 views in the Hunter, Mage, and Warrior class forums, 3 views in the Rogue class, 4 in the Paladin class, and only 1 in the Priest, Shaman, and Warlock class forums. Those 1 views are me posting my items there. So no one has looked at those.

I’ll bet you not one person (not including Dyna) in this guild can tell me the future status of Sharpening Stones and Wizard/Mana Oils. Take a second. I’ll wait.

Head on over to this post and find out. Every raider needs to be aware of this kind of stuff, because it affects your play. Anyone who doesn’t think so or thinks it’s such a minor thing it doesn’t really affect them needs to find another guild to raid with.

Just because you’re in a “casual” raiding guild doesn’t mean you get to coast along while the rest work hard at progression. We let that happen in Burning Crusade and as Dyna says above, we’re not letting that happen again. We had people in this guild that felt entitled to spots in raids we had on farm and were upset when they didn’t get invited and quit the guild over it. What they failed to realize is the three months prior when trying to learn and clear Kara, ZA, Gruul’s, and Mag’s is that they didn’t make themselves available for that part.

Don’t contribute early on and in the middle…and by default you won’t contribute near the end.

Real Life

This is a game. Everyone has real life issues. Currently right now, I’m stressed at work. I have a stressful family life because my sons are testing their parents’ patience. They aren’t bad kids, but they’re kids. I probably spend too much time in the game and need to look at spending more time with the kids. I need set raid nights that people will actually make on time rather than waiting for a couple hours each night hoping for a raid.

We have lots of different age groups in this guild. We have school, family, work, social activities, etc. WoW cannot be the dominate force driving our decisions all the time and we accept that. It’s a game!

But as a game, I have the right, along with everybody else, to do what it takes to enjoy it. For me and many others that enjoyment comes from raiding. When someone else hampers my experience with raiding due to an inability to learn, listen, take direction, or prepare themselves for raiding that is not OK.

Some of the best raiding experiences I have had have been complete wipe fests for three or four hours. Why? Because everyone brought their A-game and it was obvious. Everyone was learning and having fun.

Some of the worst raiding experiences I have had have been no wipe farm raids because people don’t listen, go AFK constantly, don’t bother to buff up, need to repair after their second death, pull stupid stunts, and on and on.

Because we’re no longer willing to allow others to bring down our raiding experience, we’re headed in a new direction.

New Direction

Everything said after this point is subject to change, but since Dyna has let the cat out of the bag so to speak, I feel it only fair to let people know in advance some of the things the officers are discussing for the new direction this guild is going to take.

Raiding

First thing to keep in mind is that we’re a raiding guild. We’ve got all the time in the world to finish WotLK. We’re here at the beginning. That means everyone that wants to raid and is dedicated to bringing their A-game should get a shot at all the loot they could possibly want. This is where the patient will succeed. Give up, get the loot you want, and move on will get you nowhere fast, but it’s up to you.

Rank

I haven’t logged on in a couple of days because of spending time with family and my sister’s family during the Halloween weekend, so I don’t know if Dyna has already done the demotions of those that aren’t raiding, but here’s what we’re looking at rankwise.

Loot is tied to rank, because the last thing we want is to gear up the new guy that lasts for two weeks and moves on. We want this guild to progress. We could care less about Guild X. By the way, if you have other raid toons in other raiding guilds, please decide which guild you’re going to raid with. I don’t know that we have a lot of members in this situation, but you owe it to us and the other guild to make a choice. If you have another level 70 toon that doesn’t raid, that’s different.

We’ve not been consistent and have been way too lenient with Raid Member rank. Expect in the future to see some set in stone requirements for attaining and retaining Raid Member rank. No more showing up for two weeks to get the rank and then disappearing for months..

Going on vacation? We’ll probably give you a by. Go away because you got family problems, school, etc. for a couple of weeks or more? We’ll play it by ear, but expect that if you’re gonna be gone for a while to have your rank immediately reduced. It’s nothing personal, it’s practical.

Officers gone for an extended period or not making attendance requirements will not necessarily, although it is still possible, have their rank reduced, but they will have their loot privileges altered to be fair.

Recruiting

Tied to rank is recruiting. We’ll be watching and seeing where we need to recruit. We already know who the dedicated raiders are and who aren’t. We also know which members will be actively trying to get into raiding with us at the beginning because of all the new loot, but will also mysteriously disappear once we get to a certain point. We’re not stupid.

One of the things we’re looking at is mains. Everyone will probably level the toon that can get to 80 the fastest or the toon they like the most and it may not be that person’s current main. We’re looking at allowing that to change based on who you want to be your main in the expansion. That said, once the mains have been selected we’ll have to recruit accordingly. The idea is that no more will we have to rely on alts to come heal raids. Competition will hopefully be fierce.

Bear in mind, especially for healers and tanks, that if you switch your main to a DPS toon, be prepared to compete for raid spots. Healers are a commodity right now and about the only raider that isn’t competing. Up to you.

Be Prepared – are you a Boy Scout?

Food buffs, elixirs, flasks, repairs, on-time, flying to stone and not waiting for summons, etc. will all be taken into consideration regarding rank. Again, we don’t know the details yet, but expect a first time warning, second time demotion, and a potential third time to the Hold rank. Those with Hold rank will get invited to raids only if and when there is absolutely no one else available to PUG.

“Did he say PUG?!”

Yes, I did. If you get yourself to the Hold rank, first you deserve to lose a spot in raiding. Don’t bring your A-game and you’re wasting our time.

Raiding and Raid Times

Dyna says we won’t kick you for not raiding, but here’s your warning:

If you’re in this guild and online at the time of raid invites and it is determined we need you to make the raid happen, whether you’re a Raid Member or not, you better accept the invite if you plan on being online during the raid. If while during the raid, you did not accept the invite, but remained online, whether on your main or alts, you better have a damn good excuse for not raiding or you will be removed from the guild.

Remember, this is a raiding guild. If you want to be a part of it, regardless if you are a regular raider or not, you need to make yourself available to raid when needed. The exception that I will push for is all allowed PUG raids. Once we’re to that point, anything goes.

This has been a problem in the recent past and continues to be one. If you are fortunate enough to be one of the few that gears up first, you better damn well make yourself available to helping others gear up afterwards!!! If you don’t, you are in serious danger of getting kicked from the guild. I bring this up because there is at least one member right now that doesn’t know it, but almost got kicked the other night for refusing to help gear others on a raid and the consensus was this person decided not to raid because they already have all the gear from that raid they could possibly want.

Performance

One thing we’ve noticed is a severe lack of performance from certain people.

I’ve heard Warlocks claim that they have to spend all their time banishing and that affects their DPS. Sure it does. I’m not disputing that, but I also know a particular Lock that was able to assist in banishing during Mag’s and put out over 1000DPS when the other locks were barely breaking 600DPS with slightly less gear, not enough to account for 400DPS though. This example applies to other CC’ing toons as well.

I’ve seen DPS toons with 800DPS or more at the top of the DPS charts and yet their total damage is less than the tank’s. This cannot be!

I once ran an heroic instance with Maedchen, who just barely dinged 70. She was all in greens and only a couple of blues. For those of you that don’t know, Maedchen is a Shadow Priest. Shadow Priest DPS generally cannot equal the other DPS classes, especially pre-patch 3.0, as they really are more of a support class and there I was in greens and blues. I put out as much DPS and total damage as another in our group that was completely epic’d out and according to Be Imba! was geared for SSC and TK.

On the other side, those that constantly pull aggro will also be considered. You may have the highest DPS in guild, but if you die because of constant crits that drive your threat above the tank, then you won’t be invited either. If you know you crit, you can guess at how often, and you can watch your threat accordingly. Wait 5-10 seconds before starting DPS and allow that tank to gain aggro, then crits aren’t a problem.

Is this rocket science?! I can’t believe I feel like I have to point this out!

I’ve been against posting of damage meters in raids, guild, etc. and I still am to a degree. But it’s something that’s going to start happening, as I think I’m getting out voted and/or convinced that there’s a need. The only people that should post the results of a damage meter are the officers and/or Raid Leader. IF YOU’RE NOT AN OFFICER OR RAID LEADER THEN DON’T POST IT!!!

The advantage of posting a meter is hopefully it will encourage others to do better. Most people that post damage meters are often the guy at the top who’s trying to brag. I don’t care about you. I am concerned about the guy at the bottom.

Any DPS that’s below the tank has a serious issue, even if you are CC’ing. And we’re not just talking DPS, but damage as well.

Any healer that’s running out of mana and is at the top of the overheal meter is a concern. I could care less about overheals as long as you aren’t running out of mana.

Oh and don’t be an ass about it when it is posted. Let it do its job to show where people need to improve and leave it alone. You’ll learn who you can joke with and who you can’t. So if you dish it, make sure you can take it too. We all know who I’m talking about. Quitting over a posted damage meter or getting teased about it is quite possibly the lamest excuse for quitting a guild I’ve ever seen.

PvP

We’re not a PvP guild. If that’s what you want to do, then by all means go find another guild. Will we kick you for PvP? No, but you better not ever get caught doing this activity and then using the excuse you didn’t have time to farm mats or run dailies.

Drama

Don’t get caught in it. Don’t bring it here. Keep it to yourselves. Avoid it at all costs.
Drama happens. People get upset. People get feelings hurt. “Tough titty,” said the kitty, “milk’s all gone!”

If something happens, talk to an officer when you get a chance to calm down. Don’t do anything rash like quitting the guild or even the raid. I can’t tell you how often I’ve gotten close to doing it. I’ve even spent hours each day over the past few weeks considering not even buying the expansion and letting my account expire.

Frustrations happen! Take a deep breath.

We’re not here to babysit. I kicked a member that ninja looted on a broom during Hallow’s End. His argument for getting back into the guild consisted of “I’m a teenager and can’t always listen to adults.” Yeah that went over well. He can’t listen to adults, who by the way are running the guild, and that’s going to make me want to invite him to a raid where he might not pay attention…

I kicked a member who refused to stop using the F-word repeatedly. Did I kick him for cussing? Not really. I kicked him for refusing to stop. I asked. He said no. I asked again. He said no. He was kicked.

People cuss. Zeza misspells the F-word all the time, on purpose. Dyna cusses. I cuss. I’ve used the F-word on vent even. It happens. Just don’t overdo it. We have people in guild it offends; actually, I should say the ones that complained to me before are no longer in guild having since quit (which offends me more than anything else, the bastages)! I personally don’t like the F-word used often, but don’t care about most of the others. JUST DON’T OVERDO IT!!!

Bottom line, you do something that offends and it creates drama. Constantly bring drama to the guild and you’ve bought yourself a one-way ticket out.

We’re not here to babysit you. If you do something that could potentially get a lot of good raiders to consider quitting, I’m gonna boot you even if you happen to be the best at your class on all WoW servers combined.

Occasional Raiders & Non-Raiders

If you’re here to “casually” experience raiding and just have fun, great welcome aboard! I understand and accept the need to have people in the guild that are “backups”. Not all the officers feel the same as I do here, but like Dyna said at this point we won’t remove you. When a raid is on farm and anyone can go, that’ll be your time to experience it. In the meantime, don’t expect anything else.

Also, don’t expect us to level you, level your alts, run you through group quests, or even 5-man instances. This is not that type of guild. You can ask for help, but don’t spam it!

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE start spamming guild chat for help running PUG raids, 5-man’s, group quests, or any other activities within an hour of raid time!!!

I’m of two minds on this subject. Remember, this is subject to change and right now we’re talking my personal thoughts.

First, if you’re a non-raider I don’t really care if you do run something and take a couple of guild members with you. So on that side of the token, I don’t care, because raiders should be smart enough to realize that raid time is upon us and they need to get ready. Any raider not smart enough to figure that out is quickly going to find himself or herself demoted and no longer invited to raids anyway.

On the other hand, it does cause a little bit of a distraction and several officers get upset about it. I only bring it up because it may present itself as something you shouldn’t be doing.

A word of advice. Fifteen minutes before raid invites, I’d leave whatever groups you are currently in and work on getting your butt to the summoning stone. Raid invites are 15 minutes before the hour and that time should be spent getting people organized and buffed. At the top of the hour, the first pull should be occurring. Be prepared to see a trend in this direction.

What to Expect

This is perhaps a harsh post and something I wouldn’t have considered posting months ago. But there’s a lot of frustration amongst a lot of raiders in this guild and we’re doing something about it. Notice that I didn’t say “trying to do something”. We’re doing something to fix it.

How do I know that we will be more successful at enforcing these new items? Because in the expansion we will have 10-man and 25-man versions of all the raids. We already know we have about 18 regular raiders. This means we can run the 10-man raids for quite a while and be successful at it. Sure the gear is better in 25-mans, but we’ll have time to recruit the dedicated raiders and WE WILL GET THERE! Question is, will you be there with us?

Expect this guild to go a little more “hardcore”. Expect to update your add-ons regularly. Expect to have Vent up and running (only one person is exempt from this). Expect to have to sign up for raids ON THE WEBSITE CALENDAR!!! Expect to be prepared or removed from raid. Expect to perform!!!

You expect us to provide you with the opportunity to raid. We expect you to do everything you can to contribute.

/climb down from soapbox

2 Responses

  1. Looks like you guys are headed to a good start =). Casual raiding guilds making the switch to a more serious raiding guild take the steps that you mentioned maybe more rules or less.

    Key is to find likeminded players who’s goal is inline with your guild.

    Being a casual player is not an excuse to not pull your own weight or expect everyone to carry you all the time.

    I’ll make a post today or tomorrow on how our guild handles bad players and our plans on wrath.

  2. /applaud

    I’ve been reading back on some of your older posts, don’t mind me ;)

    This is a great step, and something I’ve struggled with myself as a raider (never a raid leader).

    We have people in our guild who simply don’t take the time to make themselves better. They have no interest in playing smart. Meanwhile, I prefer to raid 3-4 nights a week, not 5-6. And in those 3-4 nights a week, I’d like to actually feel some sense of accomplishment! That’s hard to do when only half of your raid is really prepared.

    Best of luck!

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