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Respect Starts With You

One of the big parts of our guild meeting the other day revolved around respect and knowing your audience.

We have a lot of new people. And with all of those people come a lot of different personalities. So it was inevitable that some head butting was going to happen.
But there’s one thing that really upsets me. Showing lack of respect.

Oh I’ve heard it before! Respect is earned! When they respect me, I’ll respect them! They haven’t done anything to earn my respect! Oh, that’s just the way I am and they need to learn to respect that!

Respect Is Earned!

Yes. Respect is earned. I will not debate that. But a certain level of respect should be earned just by being a living, breathing human being.

You’re a human being. I hope. As such, you deserve a certain amount of base respect. Until you prove to me that you deserve less or more that will not change. But how much respect I show you is entirely up to me!

This is the part where I get upset at people. Just because someone’s a complete ass, doesn’t mean that we should treat them that way. For example, there’s a guy at my work that I have absolutely no respect for. He’s a terrible manager. He’s horrible at his job. I have only found one person that works for him that actually likes working for him. Everyone else has done everything they can to get out of his department. I’ve personally had to work with him several times in the past couple of years and every project he’s touched is plagued with issues that I can trace directly back to him! But the worst part is in how he treats others. He shows no respect and is horrible to most people.

Do I show him disrespect? Hell no! Why? Well I’d get fired for one, sure. But ultimately it boils down to the fact that he’s still a person and given that someone gave him his position he still deserves to be treated with the respect that position requires. He’s the boss. I do what he says when working with him. I may not always agree. I may think he’s a complete idiot. I may know he’s making my life a living hell because I’ll be the one correcting the mistakes when I buy out the job next year. He may not deserve respect, but my not showing any respect will only make matters worse in the long run.

Point: Having respect and showing respect are not the same thing.

When They Respect Me, I’ll Respect Them!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this in game and in real life. Seriously? You really believe this? This is a philosophy you follow? OK then, who starts?

What if they have the same philosophy and both of you treat each other with little to no respect?

Point: You have to start somewhere. Want to make it easier on you? You be the one to start.

They Haven’t Done Anything To Earn My Respect!

Have you given them a chance? Do they know what they’re supposed to do to earn your respect? Are your standards much higher than the average person?

Point: Why isn’t it enough that someone just being a fellow human being earns a bit of respect? Let them show their true colors before they lose it.

Oh, that’s just the way I am and they need to learn to respect that!

This statement never ceases to amaze me at how arrogant some people really are. Why do they need to learn to respect you for who you are and you don’t have to respect them for who they are? The vanity of some people is downright mind-boggling!

Point: Give what you expect! Respect is a two-way street!

Know The Street You Are On

It’s a two-way street! What a cliché! Respect is earned. It can take years to build and seconds to destroy.

Important thing is as a street it’s important to know what street you are on. Knowing the street is knowing your audience.

BoO is full of jokers. Different people have different styles to their jokes. The predominant tendency tends to lie in the extreme range of silly to the extreme perverted. Although somehow I’ve gained the title The Perverted along with my Old Man nickname, you may or may not be surprised to know that I’m not the most perverted in the guild. That title probably belongs to one of our bloggers, and trust me you might be surprised as it isn’t Amber or Frost! 😛

My humor tends to be slightly sarcastic, and mostly one-liners. Apparently during my little hiatus away from all things chat, several people commented on missing my one-liners. But I have to take care because I still don’t know everyone and a one-liner could be taken the wrong way, even on Vent.

For example, Amber’s a disc priest (God only knows why!) and I like to give her a lot of shit about it. So I’m often heard saying that “Real priests Holy!” and it nearly always gets a laugh from others and a “F@#$ YOU, KY!” from Amber. Now to someone who doesn’t know me and the relationship I have with Amber my comment might be seen as demeaning and her comment to me might be taken as amorous. 😉

Now take a new disc priest that joins our guild. He’s nervous about performing well and showing that he has what it takes to raid with us. While on Vent I make the joke “Real priests Holy!” Being nervous enough already and worried about how much he’s under the spotlight, our new disc priest could take offense wondering why we would invite him to the guild if we felt that holy priests were superior to disc?

This may not be the best example because who really would take a statement like that with laughing in the background seriously? But then again, someone might. So it is important for me to think about what I’m about to say or do before I say or do it.

Here’s a generic illustration of the way I saw several events that happened recently:

Guildie #1 says something innocent.
Guildie #2 takes offense and assumes a defensive posture.
Guildie #2 says something back that although correct or just an opinion does so in enough of a defensive way as to offend Guildie #1.
Guildie #1 gets his/her panties in a twist and begins to fight back thinking they’re doing it respectfully, but fails either literally or…
Guildie #2 fails to perceive said respect.
Guildie #3 jumps in on the side of Guildie #(take your pick) and problem escalates.
Officer #1 is in vent talking to Officer #2 completely oblivious to Guild Chat. (OK, this part was me.)
Officer #2 notices something near the end and starts frantically scrolling back up to find out what happened.
Officer #1 grabs Guildie #1 and asks wtf is going on?
Guildie #1 tells his side of the story.
Officer #1 plays Devil’s Advocate and tries to get Guildie #1 to see what could possibly be Guildie #2’s side of the story. Main objective is to just get others to think before they react.
Guildie #1 says you know me, that’s just how I am, and I didn’t mean anything by it.
Officer #1 smacks head against keyboard, begins attempts at smoothing things over, but secretly wonders if everyone in this guild ate paint chips as a child?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a billion times…there are always as many sides to a story as there are people plus one. There’s my side, there’s your side, and there’s the truth.

So remember that just because you’re looking at a situation differently than someone else, doesn’t necessarily make them wrong or less deserving of your respect.

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Pointing Fingers

Like I said my initial post inspired by Beruthiel was getting rather long and I started to break it up. So risking sounding like a broken record I’m going to continue…

Record?

Records! 45s!!

/mutters incoherently…young little…whippersnappers…new fangled…empty3s…i-toons…*

Screw you all! Kestrel knows what I’m talking about!

Anyway…

We had our guild meeting. I think it went well. I think the ultimate source of all our recent problems is and was communication. And I’m not just talking the negative jabs and misunderstandings that have occurred; although that’s ultimately the part that everyone sees. I’m also talking about the expectations, goals, and views of members and officers alike. Because it’s very easy to see how when all of those expectations, goals, and views don’t mesh well, things can get a little out of hand.

So where did it start to go wrong?

Pointing The Finger

On Thursday unfortunately we weren’t able to field a 25-man ICC. We had a record number of cancelled signups due to real life. But the positive is that we had CANCELLED SIGNUPS!!! I for one was ecstatic! I’ll save that for another post though.

So we pugged a few people and plowed our way through ToC25. Then we decided to hit up Ony25 without pugs. And in true BoO fashion we wiped the first time. Although I wonder if that fight was a little bugged because I was nowhere near the tail or Ony for that matter. In fact I was in the middle of a pack of people off to the left side of Ony when I got blasted through the air straight into a whelp cave…

Suffice it to say that a couple of people started to point fingers. Given our recent drama, the fact that we were having a pretty damn good night, and the only reason that I was even in ToC25 or Ony25 was to support fellow guildies there was NO WAY IN HELL I was gonna let a couple of upstarts ruin the night by bitching and pointing fingers! So I said something sarcastic about pointing the finger and blaming each other which got everyone to shut up and we downed her with no problems on the next attempt.

But if I were to point a finger at the problems we’ve been having, I’d point it at the officers.

But I’m An Officer!

Damn straight!

I’m a big believer in if you’re not a part of the solution; you’re a part of the problem. And that goes double for officers! Officers have the power and responsibility to keep things in check.

So where did we go wrong? Where to start?

Up Front Expectations – Officers

I’m going to pick on a few of our guildies that came over en masse and Amber. I wasn’t part of that recruiting. So I know very little about what expectations from our side and theirs was communicated. And who’s to blame? I am.

I remember one night running 5-mans or just hanging out on Vent when our lobby filled up with potential recruits from another server. Amber and a couple of members (non-officers) jumped over to talk to them. I remember thinking to myself, “I wonder if I should jump down there too? Naw. Amber’s got it.” And that’s where I screwed up!

No, it wasn’t a screw up because I don’t trust Amber. It was a screw up because I like to make sure certain things get communicated when recruiting. But I didn’t know if those were the same things Amber likes to communicate. To appease my own curiosity and concerns I should have jumped down or at least talked to Amber and I didn’t.

How do I know those items weren’t taken care of? Well because of some of the fallout that occurred shortly after they arrived. I remember putting up a post regarding ranks, raid invites, and DKP as a reminder to all of the older members and in hopes of making the newer members feel at ease. I was very concerned about several older members seemingly coming out of the woodwork now that viable 25s were on the horizon and I wanted to protect the new recruits interest and rights to raiding when we wouldn’t have had to recruit if the older members hadn’t disappeared in the first place! But what I did was scare the shit out of the new members!

It finally dawned on me why this happened. I don’t think any of us talked to them about our use of DKP for 25s, the use of ranks, or several other items specifically related to raiding.

But all of this information is on our website!

Um yeah, but is it coherent?

Take a look at this screenshot.

This is pretty much what you have access to before becoming a member. Additional forum access wasn’t granted until after they had already made the server transfer. But all of the information regarding ranks and dkp is there, right? Right.

But is it coherent?

Take a look at our Rules/Policies Forum.

Under Announcements, Brotherhood of Oblivion Raid Rules and Etiquette last updated on Jan 20, 2009: here you can find our rules regarding raiding and it’ll tell you we use random rolls and sometimes a loot council.

Go under the Topics section and you’ll see BoO DKP Rules (As of 04/13/2009). Here we talk about the use of DKP for 25s!

Can you say fail?!

We say two different things roughly in the same place. One appears to be given higher priority by being listed under Announcements and yet it’s older…

It may not be a big fail, but it’s still a fail. For most people in our guild it’s not a big issue. But there might be that one person that really, really doesn’t like DKP and refuses to be a part of it. In that case, who failed?

Make sure the expectations you communicate are clear.

What Else?

How about failing to stop drama as it happens? There were times drama was occurring in guild chat and we as officers failed to do anything about it until it escalated a little too far. Doesn’t that make us just as guilty as the people that started it?

How about the person who continuously pushes the boundaries? Is it not our responsibility to find out why they keep pushing, to help them understand where the boundary lies, and ultimately ask them to leave or remove them?

I’m constantly reminded of a hunter that Amber had to ask to leave. I remember the name. I remember the hunter. I cannot for the life of me remember why or when, but ultimately it was decided that perhaps BoO wasn’t the home this hunter was looking for and he was asked to leave.

Although we were constantly running 10s, did we communicate that we are in fact a 25-man guild? Did we define what BoO classifies as “hardcore”? Do we still really believe our Mission Statement as it is listed in the forums?

It’s very easy to become complacent when leading an established guild. You take it for granted that all the information is there and that all the members, recruits, and officers understand and accept that info. But it’s rarely the case.

Make It Clear

Making it all clear up front does one of two things for you to make your life a hell of a lot easier.

First, it keeps everyone on the same page. This happens by keeping those who are looking for something else out and avoiding the drama that entails when they aren’t happy. It also serves to keep understanding, acceptance, and the happiness levels of current members up.

Second, it allows people to shoot themselves in the foot.

Being in contracting I’m all about mitigating risk. If I can’t control it, put the risk on someone else. In a guild this means that if I can’t control the member, put the risk on that member.

What the hell does that mean? It means I give you all the information, expectations, promises, etc. to you upfront. I do everything I can to let you know what I’m willing and capable of giving you. When I fail to live up to my end of the bargain, then I fail. I cannot penalize you for my failure.

When you fail to live up to your end of the bargain, I feel no remorse in being able to point out that you were given adequate notice up front and you signed up for it. So if you don’t like it, feel free to leave. I can now sleep well at night knowing full well that I did everything I could and apparently there was nothing I was going to be able to do to make you happy anyway.

The point is whatever you do, make sure you keep those lines of communication open at all time. And good luck!

* I kid you not. Just the other night one of our guildies makes a dirty joke that includes a bobby sock. (Trust me, you don’t want to know.) At which point several people ask what a bobby sock is…INCLUDING THE GUY WHO MADE THE JOKE!!! *sigh* When the hell did I get old?!

Ky’s Moral Code (Ky Has Morals?!)

When I was 7 or 8 years old I remember getting mad at my younger sister a lot. She was only a year and a half younger than I and we used to compete in everything. She was a major tomboy and growing up on a farm in Bear Lake, Idaho only served to reinforce that trait in her. Being the younger sister she felt compelled to be better at everything I did. As the older sibling and feeling superior for being a boy (Hey, I was 7 or 8! Boys were better at everything! Besides girls had cooties!) I didn’t feel too threatened, but there were times when she’d just push me a little too far!

I remember one particular morning. I’m pretty sure it was a Saturday. Dad had gotten back from milking the cows that morning, finished breakfast, and was getting ready to head out again. As a young half-Japanese boy I was pretty sure that I was a ninja. So when my sister upset me, I did what any ninja would do. I jump kicked her in the chest and knocked her to the ground! Hai-ya!

Unfortunately young little ninjas are no match for 5’10” 190 lbs of muscle…

My father played football. He was in the Army. He worked on a farm. He chucked bales of hay. He fixed fences. He worked on tractors. He moved sprinkler pipe by hand. I’m talking the 40′ length 6″ diameter bastards! And probably a mile or two of it when he did! In winter time he did this in his army jacket.
In other words, he was big and he was scary when he wanted to be!

So it is no small miracle that I didn’t crap my drawers as he grabbed the front of my shirt, lifted me up, looked me straight in the eye and said in a very calm, but stern voice, “If you ever hit your sister or any girl ever again, I will hit you as hard as I can.”

As I stared at this bear of a man, my life flashing before my eyes and praying for a re-run, I choked back the tears and with a timid gulp replied, “Okay…”
Fast forward four or five years…

We had moved off the farm and were living in Eugene, Oregon. It was a beautiful, sunny (which is a miracle in and of itself west of the Cascade Mountains) Sunday afternoon. Church had just finished and I was looking forward to going home, taking off my blasted tie, and goofing off. Unfortunately, my family had a tendency to take their time once church got out. They would get caught up socializing with people in the hallways and foyers. And with the impatience of a 12 year old I decided I was going to “prompt” my family into going home by waiting for them in the car.

Wading through the sea of people I approached the exit, walked calmly through, and proceeded my way across the parking lot…

“BRIAN!”, came the yell that stopped me dead in my tracks. “Get over here NOW!!!” (Yeah, my name is Brian. How weird is that?)

Turning I saw my father standing at the door to the church in a fit of rage. Wondering what in the world I could have possibly done to have upset my father, I noticed a woman walking through the lot looking at me obviously wondering the same thing.

As I approached my dad he placed his hand on my shoulder and firmly turned me around pointing at the woman. “Do you see that lady?” he asked.

“Yes,” I gulped. Clearly more confused than ever. Secretly wondering if she had told on me for something I wasn’t even sure I had done.

“You didn’t hold the door open for her,” he said.

Blinking I couldn’t believe that my dad had yelled at me from across a parking lot at church of all places for this! Are you kidding me?! How was I supposed to know that she was there? I didn’t see her coming behind me. And I told him so.

“You didn’t bother to look,” was his only response. I could see the disappointment on his face as he turned and walked away.

I normally tell these two stories around topics of chivalry, dating, and the general treatment of women. My dad raised me to respect women and treat them differently than men. I hesitate to say better, because he wanted me to treat everyone with respect, but he did teach me to treat women differently. But for the purposes of this post, I tell these two stories to explain my own views of how to treat people in general.

1 -Just because you can do something to someone else, doesn’t mean you should.

2- Just because you didn’t know doesn’t excuse the fact that you didn’t bother to look.

This post was inspired by a recent post by Beruthiel. It reached a length over 3400 words and wasn’t close to being done, so I shortened it considerably. The other two parts will probably appear in the next couple of days as separate posts.

The Most Important Role Of All

OK, so Gordon ignited a spark under our collective blogging butts which turned into a raging wildfire over the past week with his guest post. The first time I read it something bothered me, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. And to be honest, I thought of it as just another post expounding on the idea that tanks and healers have the most difficult roles and sort of let it slide.

Then the proverbial manure hit the fan! Blogger after blogger had their own say on the topic although the topic has about run its course. Some responses were quite harsh and some were mild, but I think the general feeling is that Gordon is in the wrong.

I know Gordon was only trying to start an interesting conversation, but after reading SlikRX’s post (which I completely agree with btw) it finally dawned on me why Gordon’s comments bothered me.

Tanks and healers are the most important classes for any group. Tanks set the pace of the group, the flow of experience and man the vanguard as they lead the team into battle. Healers mend the broken bones of their companions and keep the tanks a live – without the healers there could be no tanks and there could be no group. These are the two most important classes that exist in any MMORPG. But the DPS? They’re just meat in the room.

This is Gordon’s opening statement. This set the tone of the post. This is why I have a problem with it.

Tanks and healers are the most important classes for any group.

This statement bothers me. To top it off it’s the very first sentence. But before I go on as to why it bothers me let’s look at why Gordon believes it so.

Tanks set the pace of the group…as they lead the team into battle.

I think we can agree this is a pretty important thing to have. But it isn’t tanks that should set the pace,it’s the Raid Leader. Ironically, it just so happens that a good majority of raid leaders are tanks. I firmly believe that tanks and healers are raid leaders and guild leaders because the personalities of those attracted to tanking and healing are more often than not the personalities of leaders. I’ve not personally run into a raiding guild led by a pure dps player that didn’t fail within two months. I have to believe they exist, but I haven’t personally run into one.

Healers mend the broken bones of their companions and keep the tanks a live – without the healers there could be no tanks and there could be no group.

A very true statement. Healers have an extremely important role and I think we can all agree with that. Because of the way the game is set up, there really wouldn’t be a group without the healers.

But the DPS? They’re just meat in the room.

Manure incoming! DUCK!!!

This is the statement that I think really got everyone’s goat and for good reason. He just said that dps doesn’t matter. If this statement were really true, then I want to see an ICC10 raid with 4 tanks and 6 healers. Now I’ll bet there is perhaps a group out there that could figure it out, but I’ll bet 95% of us couldn’t make that work.

Perhaps he meant that DPS are a dime-a-dozen, which is a pretty prevalent sentiment. But the bottom line is he obviously believes that they are less important.

Tanks And Healers Are The Most Important

BULLCOOKIES!!!

We spend a lot of time with our online avatars. We invest a lot of energy, emotion, and pride into them. It becomes very easy to look down on the other guy. It’s human nature to point the finger. It’s human nature to want to feel important. And this is where the whole game falls apart for me.

Why do so many people believe that they’re any more important to the game than any other? What happened to teamwork? Are we all star athletes such that WE individually are the team and the others don’t matter?

It’s a concept that I have a harder and harder time understanding as I get older.

EVERY single player in your group is important. EVERY single player in your guild is important. EVERY single role has worth.

As a healer, I guarantee you that if the DPS doesn’t avoid fire/aggro/baddies, then they will eventually die as I make choices to save others and/or run out of mana. As a healer, I guarantee that if DPS dies and/or overall dps is lower, then I will not be able to heal through the enrage. As a healer, solid DPS players are just as important to me as solid tanks and healers.

NO ONE is more important. It’s the team that counts.

We Did It!

We finally did it! We downed Anub’arak on regular 25! Oh and I made out like a bandit.

Loot rules were one item, one weapon, and one trophy per raid. As usual I was the only shaman, so I generally make out like a bandit anyway. 🙂 Ironic considering I’m the guy that cares the least about gear. (Or is that I do care, but I know I’ll get it eventually anyway so I don’t care? Hmmm.) But I did win a caster ring as my item and the trophy off the same boss. So I was done. Then the next boss drops 3 mail items, the leggings I’d already had and discarded for something better. The bracers(?) I ended up giving to a hunter because apparently he wasn’t paying attention and I was the only offspec roll. Maybe if he’d switch to adds like he’s supposed to he’d be better at paying attention. 😛 And the other item I can’t remember what it was, but I think I got it.

Sad thing is we should have done this weeks ago. What did it? We went back to our old tanks for adds. I’m sorry if it offends our newer tanks, but it really boiled down to add control especially the little buggers. Zoja was able to slow them and keep them occupied long enough to allow dps to down them before they killed people. In fact, he was doing such a good job that I don’t think I even got hit by one. I’ve usually had 8-9 stacks on me before… Healing through those stacks on everyone is a bitch! I know we’ve got to be one of the last guilds to finally do it, but whatever we finally did it!

We struggled a little bit, wiped once on Beasts, wiped twice on Anub, and had a little drama as tension increased. I know we’re all a bunch of well-educated, knowledgeable people always wanting to help others who don’t know any better, but there are three things to remember in a raid:

    1) If you’re a pug, keep the advice to yourself. You might know better, but you’re the “guest” so keep your trap shut and don’t offend your hosts! There’s only one exception to this found in #2;
    2) If the raid seems to have lost direction and appears to need help OR if they ask for advice, then “make a suggestion”. Yes, I said “make a suggestion”. That does NOT mean say, “We shouldn’t have used Heroism/Bloodlust during the 2nd phase. That was a mistake.” It DOES mean say, “Hey might I make a suggestion?” And if they say no, KEEP YOUR DAMN TRAP SHUT!!! And;
    3) You may feel that mistakes were made, but remember unless you’re the Raid Leader those mistakes aren’t yours to make. I strongly believe that there are no mistakes made by raid leaders when leading a raid. So calling for Heroism during the 2nd phase because the RL is not sure we’ll make it to 3rd phase without it isn’t a mistake. It was a choice. If it had worked, we would have been praising the RL for making the right choice because we would have failed otherwise. But since it didn’t you called it a mistake. Oh noes! What a terrible one too! Especially considering your Exhaustion debuff lasts through death…oh wait no it doesn’t! /sigh

The funny thing about last night was it infused a new spirit of raiding in me. Something I’ve struggled with for months now. We made progress. I made progress. Abandoning Ulduar was not progress…hell I still have only stepped into Uld25 once.

But either way I had fun last night and am glad it was a 25 because I would have attempted to wiggle my way out of it if it had been a 10. Call of Duty has a strong siren call. 😛

Anyway, gratz to BoO members for finally making more progress! 😀

A Newbie Raider’s Guide: Picture Of A True Raider

Raid Leaders often take for granted that everyone understands raiding like they do. What they forget is that “once upon a time”, they were just as ignorant…

So what’s a true raider look like? A picture’s worth a thousand words…

persistance1

persistance2

persistance3

persistance4

So I count four thousand words there, but they all say

PERSISTANCE.

Persistance is not banging your head repeatedly against a brick wall. Persistance is taking the brick wall apart piece by piece.

*For those of you wanting to know what the hell that rope’s made of…that’s a Titansteel Rope! 🙂

A Newbie Raider’s Guide: Multiple Raiding Toons

Raid Leaders often take for granted that everyone understands raiding like they do. What they forget is that “once upon a time”, they were just as ignorant…

*This post was inspired by Amber’s A Tale of Two Mains.

I started playing WoW about 6 months after BC’s release. I was a total newb! But after months of leveling and frustrations trying to figure out how to play a paladin, I finally hit 70! It was exciting, but what now?

I remember not even really understanding what heroics were. Raids? I’d seen something about 10, 20, and even 40 man raids in a book I bought. Atlasloot? I don’t think I’d ever installed an addon before level 70!

I had absolutely no healing gear when I was 70. I had leveled Protection in some twisted mixture of Prot and Ret gear. I had no idea what stats were ideal, what I should be doing. I just went with some misguided notion of what to do for leveling.

So when my computer decided to crap out on me and I had to have it sent back for repairs, I found all kinds of info about this damn game on the internet! I got my WoW fix over the next two weeks by researching and planning what to do next. So it’s no surprise that the next several months consumed all of my time as I prepared my journey for raiding. (For those of you just now starting to raid at level 80, there was a time when you hit 70 you had to prepare just to get into heroics. Forget raids!)

The one thing during all that time that really blew my mind was people with multiple 70s! How had they found the time, let alone the desire to work on so many alts?! I started my old guild <ICESTORM> with a guy who had 5!!! I barely had one and the next was 50 levels away from that!

But time has passed and as I write this I now have 2 level 80s and 2 more that are close. Short of someone that has just recently joined the game, most everyone I know has at least 2 level 80s.

So how do you handle multiple toons you want to raid with? I have several guidelines you should consider when wanting to raid with multiple toons.

perspective2

Two sides to every story.

A Raiding Guild’s Perspective

  • We’re here to raid.
  • We have multiple level 80s wanting to raid.
  • We take pride in knowing how to play our toons.
  • We want to be the best* guild we can possibly be, down bosses, and get the best* gear possible.
  • We all pay our $15/month and want our money’s worth!
  • Aside from drama, two things really cause heartburn for raid leaders and officers: lack of attendance and pugging raids.

    Lack of Attendance

    Two things generally happen that cause lack of attendance. The first is progression raiding. A lot of “so-called” raiders are unwilling to wipe more than 2-3 times on any given boss. This is when the mysterious illnesses, change in work schedules, school assignments, and personal life issues arise.

    The second is when a player gets all the gear they need. At that point they no longer have any desire or drive to continue in the raid anymore and begin looking for other things to entertain themselves. This can often manifest itself into leveling alts, arenas, battlegrounds, or hanging around the bank in Dalaran.

    Pugging Raids

    Most raiding guilds will not tolerate pugging of any of the current scheduled raids, at least until such time that it’s obvious they won’t be using you. If your schedule changes such that you won’t be able to make any of the scheduled raid nights for that week, then most guilds are at least understanding and will allow you to pug a raid that week without any repercussions.

    Guild Frustrations

    A raiding guild exists to raid. Their ultimate goal is to bring like-minded and hopefully skilled players together to enjoy the end game. With the current state of the game and most guilds attempting to field 25 man raids, that means there are 24 other REAL LIVE people counting on YOU to perform and help them.

    Progression raiding is part of any raiding guild. It takes time to learn the fights and to get the necessary gear to progress. So you find that those 24 other people are counting on you to show up and suffer along with them for the good of the guild. If you don’t, then the other 24 must scramble to try to find a replacement, stressing about finding a pug, or can’t raid at all. See why they’re upset? You’ve turned something that should be fairly easy to set up into a monumental task and they want to just sit back and enjoy the game as much as you do!

    Either way it doesn’t matter if you’re already geared to the teeth and need nothing or if you just don’t feel like going. You joined a raiding guild and if they need help on scheduled runs, then they feel you should be there to help.

    So let’s assume that you’re all geared out from the current raid and don’t need anything else. You have been running the raid for a while now and would like some time off. By this time it’s easily pugged anyway as most of your fellow raiders are geared enough and know enough of the encounters to carry any slack. So you think to yourself, why shouldn’t you get a night off or be allowed to run with your alt?

    Guilds hate this because they have to look at it from the standpoint of the guild which probably consists of more than just the 25 people. In your case, you were fortunate enough to get your gear near the beginning. The others who helped you get that gear are still waiting for their chance to get the last few items they need. The guild believes you owe it to them to return the favor by continuing to help others out. Now this may allow for your alt to come, but if not at the very least you should be making yourself available on your main if no one else is available. Most guilds will be very appreciative of your willingness to sit out should someone else really need to go in your place.

    A Player’s Perspective

  • You like to raid.
  • You spent time leveling more than one toon to 80.
  • You take pride in knowing how to play more than one toon.
  • You want all your toons to be the best* they can possibly be and have the best* gear possible.
  • You pay your $15/month and damned if you aren’t going to try and get what you want!
  • There are two primary reasons players want to raid with multiple toons: they’re already geared and/or they’re bored with their current role/class and want to try something new. The latter primarily seems to manifest itself in burned out tanks and healers wanting to dps, but it does happen to dps as well.

    Geared Raiding Toons

    With the exception of a few raiders, content becomes very boring once a toon has become “geared enough”. Being geared enough means different things to different people. For some it might mean getting all their tier pieces. For others it might mean just getting 4 pieces for their bonus. For a few it might mean just enough to get through the content with relative ease based on the raid’s overall gear, ability, and success. If they aren’t struggling, then they’re good enough. For others still it might mean getting every last best-in-slot (BiS) piece out there for all 3 of their specs.

    Bored Players

    Some players just need a change of pace. I myself found I wanted a change of pace from healing when my priest finally hit 70. I initially was going to switch to Holy, but a friend convinced me to stay Shadow as we had no spriests.  I eventually came to love dps’ing with her and she’s remained shadow at 80. To this day I’ve never healed with her.

    For me, Ky will always be my main and I love healing, but I want to raid with Maedchen as well. I’m even getting a bug to finish leveling Erdkrieg and switch him to heals for raiding. The latter two will probably never get quite the love that Ky will, but who knows?

    What Guilds Should Consider

    Guilds should consider their players’ wants. Burned-out and bored players make for poor raiders. Things need to be mixed up from time to time. Whenever possible alts should be allowed into raids, even when things might not go as smoothly as they otherwise would. This will keep players’ interest in raiding alive and keep them around so the others can go. I do not advocate that an alt should ever be placed above a main though. Not everyone has the luxury of multiple toons.

    perspective

    Just because you see it one way, doesn't mean others do.

    Finding The Happy Medium

    In Amber’s example, two guild members removed their alts from the guild and placed them in another raiding guild. Now one might ask why would they do that? Why not keep all their toons in one guild? The answer: because their current guild cannot provide enough opportunities to run all their toons through raids on a regular basis. There is nothing wrong with having multiple alts in multiple guilds, even raiding guilds, and keeping those alts active on a regular basis; that is until it conflicts with the interests of the guild.

    So let’s assume that the two guilds have completely different raiding nights. The raids are posted, these two members sign up and show up for all, both guilds are happy, the raiders are happy. This is the best case scenario. Given that the raiders can make this work it’s perfect!

    Ah, but we don’t live in a perfect world. If we did there wouldn’t be any lag! 🙂

    Let’s say now that the two guilds share a similar raid night, but the start times are one hour off. The raider decides he wants to go to the earlier run because he wants to raid with that toon tonight. So he checks the raid signs up and everything looks good. The second guild has enough signups he won’t be needed. He goes to the earlier raid.

    One hour later.

    The second guild sends out invites. Unfortunately someone doesn’t show because of a last minute emergency. There’s no one to replace her. The officers start looking for a replacement and notice that our raider is on his alt in a different raid. He’s online. He’s available and yet he’s not! Now 9 people are severely disappointed that they either have to call the raid or pug. They aren’t happy. They become bitter! If that raider cared about more than himself, he’d be over here! Drama ensues.

    If you want to put your raiding toons in multiple guilds, you have two options. First, make sure you won’t have conflicts by either letting both guilds know your exact availability on whichever toon for whichever guild. Allow them the opportunity to voice their opinion and if it doesn’t appear it will work, then find another guild. 

    The second option, and perhaps a little underhanded, is to make sure no one–AND I MEAN NO ONE–knows who your alts are. Even your real life friends will spill the beans eventually, so don’t let anyone know. Once it’s out there the drama ensues. I highly recommend not even letting people know you have alts, especially raiding alts, on other servers. I’ve experienced raiders who once geared disappeared mysteriously due to real life issues only to have friends tell us they were on another server leveling alts during our raid times. Imagine the drama!

    Bottom line, whether you’re the player or the guild, prepare to make a few sacrifices to keep each other happy. Be honest and up front about what you both want, what you’re willing to give, and how far you’re willing to bend. Neither party should have to bend over backward to get what they want, but neither should anyone have to accept less than they need.

    *Remember that best is relative. Hardcore players will want the absolute best of everything out there. More casual players will want the best that they can possibly hope to achieve given their circumstances and available time.