Lately I’ve found myself get into several circular discussions with various people I game with: my GM, my spouse, my friends who play with me, and my friends are taking a break from the game. Unfortunately the topics all tend to be those which multiple points of view can be valid, but it’s really rather frustrating to realize there is not firm answer to a particular problem. Such as:
Every team needs its own management team, and when it comes to your raid, the raid leader IS the management. PK is the only raiding guild that I have been involved in that does not an official raid leader(s). De facto management of the raid falls to the GM, and certain duties, such as raid instructions, are passed to differing members as the need arises. There IS a tank coordinator, so at least that is no longer a one-person job; however, healing assignments, raid strategies, and putting together the raid all fall to the GM.
To some, this may seem a natural course of events, but as a previous GM and officer, it just strikes me as a good way to burn yourself out. Part of the problem seems to be that no one seems to want the job; however, I think in most people’s minds, no one even knows that there is a job to be filled, because it is being managed adequately as it stands now.
The other problem, as I see it, is one of giving full control to another member. While we’ve had some people “in charge” of the raid for an evening, they weren’t really given full authority. When the person with the job before you is standing their giving instructions (in tells or vent), you really question your ability to do the job right, or even, what’s the point of doing the job at all.
While I have encouraged my GM to find herself a raid leader (or two or three–attendance is pretty optional for our guild structure ^^) I haven’t done a very good job of expressing HOW to hire a raid leader. I’m going to give a quick and dirty job here, and perhaps come back to it if the mood strikes me later:
- Recruit in-guild if you’ve got the talent–we do, check
- Take applications–it may seem silly, I mean, you already know your good players, right? However, you don’t know who WANTS the challenge of being a raid leader, and who takes on the job merely to “help out.”
- Give ’em a test drive–the best way to test a raid leader is to let them lead. What’s one night of progression against having a dependable shoulder to rely on when you don’t want to be the leader? Your applicant gets at least one full raid night, from invite to disband, to make the decisions pertaining to the raid. You are not allowed to speak in vent or send /tells to anyone in the raid with instructions, suggestions, or anything else that can be construed as “leading.” If you get a /tell about joining the raid, direct it to the assigned raid lead for the night.
If that doesn’t find you a raid leader, then you don’t have the right person in guild, and it might be worth recruiting one. Seriously. Raid leaders are awesome.
And while we’re on the subject, because it bears repeating, no one was never irrevocably harmed by being criticized. Not berated, criticized. Apparently that’s a bad word or something, but if you don’t know you’re doing something wrong you can’t fix it. And if you keep it all private, than the person you don’t even see doing the same thing wrong doesn’t know he needs to fix it either. Leading is about more than giving boss strats, it’s about being a teacher, something I think many a screaming meanie-head forgets, and bumbling mumblers fail to grasp.
What Is It With This Guild?
I’ve been pretty unstinting about my happiness with my guild situation. Last night, I was in a random on my priest and actually ended up getting a potential recruit. What’s funny to me about this situation, is that I am currently in crisis about my WoW time, not in whether or not I want to play but in how I want to play.
My guild comes exactly as advertised: a social guild that raids. The guild has been around a long time, which was a big selling point when I was searching for a new guild after having leveled Windsoar, and while not a progression guild by any stretch of the imagination, they do manage to see most content each cycle.
The other reason I joined this guild as opposed to a progression guild, was the ability to raid when I wanted without consequence. Want to take a month off for a holiday? No problem, I’m still a raider. Want to go out for a movie on a Friday night? No problem, I can still raid Saturday. In retrospect, this was a wonderful choice considering I took a two-month hiatus due to my leg, and I still feel like I have a spot and that I’m pulling my weight despite the long lapse.
Of course, my inner-raider loves to mock these kind sentiments whenever it gets a chance. Progression (world/server) means very little to me. I don’t really care how I compare with raider XYZ, because I enjoy the activity of improving my own character and seeing new content. However, progress does matter to me very much, and spending a month or more on the same boss fights and seeing the same errors, or a general lack of skill on the part of a player (i.e. they can’t crack the dps minimum if you gave them a free set of [super awesome epics]) makes my eye start twitching and my blood pressure start going for the upper decks.
To keep my inner-raider satisfied I was raiding with our 10-man group on the weekends, which alleviated the stress of having to deal with our full group, and got me down to a tighter, more focused team which is just my cup of tea. I joked with a friend that 25-mans were my penance for enjoying my weekends so much. Apparently, I wasn’t joking. Being out of commission for such a long time lost me that 10-man slot, and now I’m totally reliant on our 25-man raids if I want to raid in-guild (which to me, is the whole point of having a guild).
I am now coming face to face with the reality of the trade-off I made: progression for when I feel like it raiding. Is it worth it? Yeeeeeees….. I think so. Am I thrilled about it? Not really.
I Have an On-line Social Life?
I’m guilded, that means yes, right? Well, not exactly. There’s probably two people in the guild that I talk to on a regular basis. There’s probably 10 that I chat with on an “as-needed” basis (i.e. raiding buddies). Out of the six people who transferred with my from my doomed 10-man guild, only two are currently playing. That has been a life-saver honestly.
While I’d game whether my husband did or not, how I’m gaming has changed because my husband and I are not playing together very often right now. He’s working a second-shift job, and I’m… not working much of anything, so that leaves me a lot of play-time. My husband and I have gamed together since we’ve met. When we were “dating” we often pursued solo activities because it was enough to be talking.
When we first lived together, we only had one computer, so we would trade off who played and who watched t.v. or mooched around–but our computer was in the living room, providing “together” time even doing different things. When we got a second computer we returned to a pattern of exploring things together.
While we’ve always had our own “pet projects” we’ve also had characters that were more attached at the hip, and were played together. While I’ve generally been the first to move a character for raiding purposes, we’ve always ended up on the same team, and we’ve spent many a night raiding or running heroics together. While there’s always plenty of free time for solo projects or just goofing off on “our” characters, it has been a shared activity. Right now, WoW has become primarily a solo activity for me, and because of this, the game has lost some of its allure.
Add to that my lack of connection with my guildmates as friends, and really, the only thing keeping me in-game is actually the game itself. So far I’ve done pretty well finding projects to keep myself amused, but I’m definitely looking forward to Cataclysm to liven up the game-side as the social side seems… lacking at the moment.*
*To clarify: I’ve never had or considered a large social component a necessary part of my MMO experience. I make on-line friends slowly and relunctantly, much like in real-life; however, I do realize their importance in keeping me attached to the game world when I’m bored >.>
This has a post all its own coming out whenever I can get my husband to eyeball and make the last minute corrections to our talks. However, it’s been a rather long-winded and overly pondered discussion the last couple of weeks among friends and officers, and I’ll, frankly, be glad to have my input in and put away.
TL;DR: QQ. How about you?