New Fish, Old Pond: Where's My Raid Slot?

You have been invited to join <Cool Awesome Guild>.

You accept — you get a few welcome’s and then silence ensues.  You sign yourself up for a raid slot every night this week, and then wait with giddy anticipation for your first raid night with your new guild.

Where’s My Invite

First week, eh?  Don’t panic if you don’t get a raid slot right away.  Raid leaders are notorious creatures of habit — they will take their core team and then add on with their second slot roster.  It is disconcerting to join a guild that states they need your role/class and then find yourself sitting on the bench, but do not under any circumstances start asking questions in /guild chat.

Different guilds have different heirarchies for dealing with new recruits; however, sometime in your recruiting process you should have been ‘handled’ by an officer of the new guild.  Use that contact to remind them that you accepted their invitation to the guild — in most cases, this will not be your raid leader and a simple “Don’t forget the new guy!” will clear up the problem for you.

If it doesn’t, and an officer and/or raid leader is not talking to you about why you are being benched by the end of the first week — step it up.

Talking to the Guild Master

Ask your GM for a few minutes to talk — do not ever bug an officer is the raid is ongoing!  Ask if there is a problem: is there anything more that you could/should be doing to get yourself accepted to raids.  Make sure that you are asking questions, and not declaring what has been happening.  Declaring “problems” is likely to mark you as a quick and easy Drama Starter, and you want to avoid that at all costs.  Most likely your response will fall into one of three categories:

1) Important Progression Ongoing — the guild has set aside certain days for certain raid encounters.  You came in mid-week, and they’d really prefer to try you in Onyxia or early Ulduar, rather than when they’re closing down the week trying their final shots at their current progression point.

2) We Keep Forgetting — you might be in a guild with very small turnover that is not used to moving applicants into the raid core on a regular basis.

3) You’re Backup — some guilds recruit for future needs or always have a roster that holds excess in order to not have any lapse in required buffs/debuffs.

Your response will ultimately decide on how you feel about the guild you’ve chosen to join; however, assuming that you joined this guild team because it was just an awesome match in every way, not just progression-wise, then you’ll likely want to make in-roads to raiding with them!  Despite how you feel about what you’ve been told thank the GM for being honest with you about it!  Then comes your response.

Getting the Raid Slot

1) If it’s a progression issuue (i.e. you haven’t been tested yet by the guild) make sure you find out what days early encounters are located.  That way, come Onyxia clear day, you can be more vocal about asking for a raid slot — even if the ‘standard’ raid roster is full, your raid leader is more likely to ask someone to step down on easy content (or at the very least, easily puggable) than on first kill nights.  This is a fine time to send a /tell to your raid leader rather than directing officers.

2) If the officer core is forgetting, than you need to make sure they know you exist.  Make in-roads to being a vocal guild member — on the forums or guild chat (don’t be obnoxious, just be engaging.)  Silent wallflowers come and go in every guild — don’t be one!  Also, raid day is coming along — try to log on 15-30 minutes before raid team — as soon as the raid leader pops on, send him a message telling him you’re looking forward to raiding with the team soon.  Do not be rude, edgy, or in any way demand a raid slot — the idea is to get your name in the loop, so when raid invites start, your raid leader remembers that he needs to try out that new guy.

3) Backup!  WTF?  At least that’s always my knee-jerk response 😛  Depending on how you feel about this response, you can just follow the steps for being a vocal and visible team member — often times, you can jump yourself in the invite list just by the raid lead knowing your name; however, if you are serious about wanting a regular raid slot, this is gonna require more talking (at least in my experience).

— Find out how serious this backup position is.  Are you number 5 in the list of shamans?  Are you 2nd out of the holy priests?

— Does backup mean you don’t raid unless the other guy doesn’t show?

— How can you earn a raid slot?

Ok, you’re gonna ask that last one, and your GM may or may not actually have a respectable answer for you.  Assuming he doesn’t have any firm answer, or that it’s just a load of malarky — because how you can show your dps is better if you never get to go — there are still things you can do.  I have personally been the official “well if so-and-so doesn’t show, we have this other guy;” however, I can tell you that within a month I had a standing invite for every raid the guild offered. 

Patience is vital.  Knowing your own limits and making connections with your guild is important.

Overall, remember that any decision to bench you without trying you is not in any way personal.

First, be prepared!  Make sure you are geared/gemmed/enchanted to the teeth, have a pack of pots and a parcel of food and are available, ready, and standing in front of the instance on raid night.

Second, begin becoming the name that everyone knows (in a good way).  Not only should everyone know your name, they should take a shine to you, and know that you are an awesome – insert class role here.-  PUG with guildies outside of raid time.  When you don’t get a raid invite, PUG that content outside guild — nothing like being competent enough to successfully PUG content to show your guild that you’re A-grade (as long as we’re not talking Naxx when they’re on HToCG).

Third, do not log off if you don’t get a raid invite.  You want to be available to fill a slot as needed — it might be your first, and last, chance to make a good impression.

Fourth, after the raid, talk to the raid team!  These are the people you are most interested in spending time with, so talk about what happened, strats, and all the other goodies.  If you show yourself interested and halfway knowledgeable, chances are, those members will start rooting for a slot for you.

Fifth, when the time comes — be it two weeks or a month in — give your regrets to your guild leader.  Make sure you impress upon them how excited you were to be a part of their guild, but you joined as a raider, not a general member.  I would definitely be giving these regrets by the end of the month if I had not managed to get into a single raid.  Many times, your resignation will garner you an immediate raid slot.  If you really DO like the guild, take it — but make sure you show your stuff because it might be your last invite if you fail.

What Now?

If you’ve given your resignation and it doesn’t garner you a raid slot, it is time to move to another guild.  For whatever reason, the guild has recruited you without any intention of using you except as a last resort — and if you can’t get into a raid in 30 days, then it’s just not worth your effort to stay around.  Hopefully, in that time, you’ll have made a good impression, and you absolutely gave your guild the chance to test your skills.

That being said, IF you got the all-important first invite — you cannot screw up.  Screwing up is starting at ground zero in terms of waiting for the next invite.  If you waited two weeks for this invite, I guarantee you will wait two more weeks for the next one as well.  It doesn’t mean you’ll never become part of the raiding core, but it does mean you have to make that first impression again.  D’oh!

On the other side of the boat, you got the first invite, you excelled, and you are still sitting around in another two weeks with one raid under your belt.  If this unfortunate event happens, haul back to your GM and talk about how you can get invited to more raids — if your guild raids twice a week, ask about raiding every other week — if your guild raids 3-4 times a week, ask for a swap in 1-2 times a week.  If you cannot get any traction or assurances that your value as a raiding member is seen, then it is time to suck it up, give your resignation, and see what you get.

This is my personal sugar coming out — if you are not able to garner a raid slot after going through all this effort, then it is not your fault.  It also does not mean that you are in anyway disliked by your guild.  Chances are, your guild made a boo-boo when they recruited you.  Guilds cannot retain members if they kick established members to the curb to make room for the new guy — and if they did, you wouldn’t want to stay there anyway!

All in all, the goal is for you to raid and your raid team to get a solid member.  If you can’t reach an accommodation in a month (a fairly standard though rarely used initiation time frame) then it’s time to find better green text!

Post-note: This post is specifically geared towards raiders seeking to raid with their guild every night it is available.  For those of you who only wish to raid once or twice a week, it will likely to be much easier to get a random slot on your raid team if you are available on multiple days.  If you really only have one day a week that you can raid, make sure that you will talk to any potential guild long before you join to make sure that you can raid on that day.

7 thoughts on “New Fish, Old Pond: Where's My Raid Slot?

  1. Interesting read Windsoar. I must admit I couldn't probably keep waiting for as long as you suggested in your post, because the content is coming and going so fast that standing somewhere doing nothing for one month means you loose on all the "progression" of the fights.

    However, it was nice poke for me as I am currently a recruitment, PR and HR officer and this is one of the posts that make you make mental note of "watch out and don't let this happen" – so thanks for the reminder.

    • I'm still a very old school raider — ToC bit every recruitment officer a bit in the butt with how fast that content patch dropped on all of us after the *yawn* that was Naxx no less.

      Now, a month is the absolute longest I'm willing to give a guild to get their respective head out of their butts and realize "Hey bud, you were recruiting X class, I'm here, where's my raid spot!" I realize with 10 AND 25 man raiding available, it's a lot more fluid environment for raiders and a month might actually be TOO long if you joined a guild on good faith that you were going to be a raiding member.

      However, as silly as it may sound from such a jaded old fart, some guilds really are worth the wait.

  2. I get both players that stick around and those that don't in my guild from time to time.

    People that stick around are the ones that are online before and during raid time. They are on vent, they do things with the rest of the team outside of raid time, and they don't mope around if I don't slot them into the first run of the week.

    Moping around about being excluded in guild chat is a good way to get excluded.

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  4. @Zan
    I agree — its easy for players to get so focused on well, themselves, that they don't consider other players. There's definitely an etiquette to being a good guild member!

    Having been on both sides of the ship, I can't say how frustrating it is to be hounded mercilessly by new guild members that want to get started, or being a new guild member and feeling overlooked. Patience helps everyone stay happy!

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