Well, my guild ICESTORM has progressed a long way in the last few months. And to think it was only two weeks ago that it almost fell apart…
We went from being able to only get one Kara group halfway through to being able to have two groups fully clear Kara each week with another getting most of the way. We can almost get a fourth group going as well. We have now downed Gruul himself and even got Magtheridon down this last week on our fourth attempt, but on our first visit!
But how did we get here? And why the sudden explosion?
The Good Ol’ Days
We have grown from a group of less than 20 players to a guild that now has nearly 125 toons, most of which are level 70, and over 70 actual accounts. We’ve seen people come and go, we’ve lost a few friends, and gained several new ones. But up until two weeks ago we could not field a 25 man raid to save our life and the frustration was building.
I’ve got a friend that is fond of saying “back in the day” when referring to the old 10 daily limit, when everyone had to be attuned for Kara, when heroics required Revered reputation to purchase keys, etc.
You know we walked uphill in the snow both ways in Hellfire before the demons came! Danged kids and their new fangled epic flyers zooming all over Hellfire’s half-acre!! You watch where you’re going, you young whippersnapper! Danged disrespectful…(incoherent mutterings)
Back in those days we struggled with Kara running it for 3-4 hours every night 3-4 nights a week only to get to Curator and constantly wipe. We spent hours every day running heroics to gear up so we could go to Kara. Nowadays we have newly dinged 70s joining the guild expecting, and in some cases demanding, that we run them through Kara like it’s a god-given right.
The Lack of Respect
Through recruiting and growing we now have a lot of people in our guild. As with any recruiting, the good comes with the bad. We’ve had our fair share of both, like any other guild out there. Perhaps the largest problem that I see is the lack of respect.
Respect? What do you mean respect? Just kick ’em out!
All well and good, except it isn’t respect in their guild chat that’s the problem. I suppose some of it could be our own fault as well.
We have members that don’t respect the other members enough to realize how much of an impact they have on said members. They want to run Kara weekly because they know the guild can do it. We have two groups that get full clears in about 5-6 hours with minimal wiping. They receive rewards through loot and badges with minimal effort. Many hit 70 and expect to go automatically into Kara to get their first upgrades without a thought to heroics, re-spec’ing to a more appropriate raid spec, or doing any number of things to improve themselves for raiding.
There are those that do not respect others enough to take the time to research their classes properly in order to maximize their potential. (See my rant on that here.) Obviously you can see the problems with people not pulling their weight. It’s only compounded by the fact that Kara runs smoothly with the overgeared players so it isn’t even noticed. But we sure do notice the problem in more advanced raids.
There are those that do not respect others enough to run heroics and spend their time doing dailies for repairs, pots, reagents, food buffs, or whatever else they need to raid. Inevitably we always have someone asking for food buffs or reagents they ran out of and didn’t bother to restock. How did we ever prepare for raids when we had only 10 dailies?! These guys have 25!!!
We have those that don’t respect the guild enough to do anything other than run in battlegrounds and arenas. As said they avoid doing dailies and lack the resources to stock up for raids. They learn PvP tactics and don’t understand their own toons abilities and limitations in raids. DPS warriors and casters want to crit as soon as possible, as often as possible to remain on top of the DPS and damage meters and some never understand the problem created by overaggroing. I’m talking to you mages that iceblock to save your sorry butt and hunters that feign death. YOU THINK THE MOB GOES BACK TO THE TANK?!! Not on your life!! The tank has lost aggro now and healers and caster dps are the next target. Is that a raid wipe I see?
Respect: Demand It
So what do you do?
I’m glad you asked. This is what we did.
In a nutshell, we decided that we would no longer invite members to our Kara raids that did not actively help us in progression raids such as Gruul’s and Mag’s. So far we’ve never really had a problem with people volunteering for ZA. I can only surmise that people think it’s easier in a 10 man than 25 man, but we have a good majority of the guild that aren’t ready for it.
We are allowing for exceptions from those we know that cannot meet certain raid times or nights due to real life commitments or situations. We already know for the most part who those people are and when they can’t.
We posted the rule on our forums and made a very public announcement to our guild and asked them to spread the word. Boy, did word ever get around fast!!! There was an uproar from several members concerned about not being able to go. Those that complained for the most part aren’t the ones we’re concerned about. The exceptions were explained and it was made very clear that we are targeting the ones that are in battlegrounds, leveling alts, or doing any number of other things at raid times; including showing up 1-2 hours late and ask if we’re going to Kara.
The response was phenomenal! The following day we had 21 people logged in about an hour before raid. At raid time we had almost 30 people and 28 were committed to going to Gruul’s. We set it up and got him down as a guild first for a full guild run! Then Saturday we had enough logged in to try Mag’s and got him down! Amazing what you can do when members show up!!
We’ve also demanded that anyone wanting to participate in progression runs need to be fully enchanted and gemmed. We’re not talking epic gems, but as one GM put it “no cheap-@$$” gems either. Basically anything in the 50g+ range is acceptable.
We’re demanding that people show up on time with elxirs, flasks, reageants, repaired, and anything else that needs to be done before a raid. We’ve made it very clear that we will no longer be babysitting them in progression raids and have no qualms about recruiting others willing to pull their weight instead.
The one thing I’ve avoided is laying down the law, but I also was foolish enough to believe that because I take playing my toons with a certain amount of pride, that others would do the same.
Oh, I’m not talking about Mr. Aggro-magnet, who loves topping the dps and damage meters at whatever cost. No, I’m talking about players who take pride in making sure runs are successful by optimizing their talents, gear, enchants, gems, and buffs for the good of the raid, but even more importantly take pride in being able to adapt to the others so that raids are successful.
Nothing upsets me more when a player will not learn to adapt to their surroundings and group to make things easier for someone else; tanks who believe they’re invincible making it hard for healers, dps that can’t watch their aggro to keep from stealing aggro, or healers that ignore all other stats for the sake of +heal.
I’ve researched it all and to tell you the truth, I STILL DON’T KNOW SQUAT!!! Knowledge is a journey. You have to keep feeding it or eventually you’ll find you know nothing. Every patch, every expansion changes everything.
Bottom line, our guild now demands “respect” from its members. You don’t respect us enough to help in advancing, we don’t respect you enough to hold your hand. You don’t respect us enough to be prepared for raids, we don’t respect you enough to invite you. You don’t respect us enough to adapt as necessary, we sure as hell don’t respect you enough to re-invite you back.
Respect is earned, it’s not a god-given right.