Meet Bob. Bob has a new toon who just turned 80. Bob’s new toon is wearing a smattering of greens and level 74 gear. To Bob it seems silly to enchant/gem his crappy green gear. Bob is in a social casual guild. Bob’s guild is currently raiding ToC and making progress through Ulduar. Bob wants to raid ToC and make progress through Ulduar. Bob’s guild puts its raids on the calendar with open signups. Bob signs up for these raids. Bob knows that he’ll quickly get gear upgrades out of ToC and Ulduar and raiding is really easy. So Bob just kind of coasts along on the runs.
Bob’s fairly disappointed when his guild face-plants on ToC beasts. Bob knows that fight is easy (they did it last week) but for some reason the guild just couldn’t do it this week. Bob didn’t really notice that Jane and Bill (two other new-to-80/new-to-raiding toons) were also in the run. Bob’s sure they’ll do better next week. In the meantime Bob decides he’ll go ahead and get the explorer title.. you know.. while he’s waiting for next week’s raid.
Several weeks later Bob’s guild notices that they’re still stalled in Ulduar and can no longer get all the way through ToC.
A) Keep the guild as it is. It’s a social casual guild and shouldn’t have to change.
B) Setup by-invite-only raids and only invite those people who are -ready- for the content.
C) Enforce gear requirements and setup “try-outs” to make sure people signing up for raids are qualified to be there
If you chose A:
About three weeks go by. Bob continues to go on guild attempts. Those attempts continue to fail. Veteran raiders in the guild are becoming frustrated and see that the guild is not progressing. Finally some of them slip away in the night and join more progressive guilds. Bob, Jane and Bill continue to try raiding and continue to be perplexed why they’re not seeing success. Finally Bob gives up and goes to level his new lowbie alt. Leveling is FUN! Fewer and fewer people show up/sign up for raids. Veteran raiders are becoming very annoyed.
If you chose B:
Bob is perplexed why he’s not seeing raids on the calendar anymore. He’s further confused when he sees groups of guildies -in- raid instances. Bob, Jane and Bill dub it the “super secret elitist pricks” and decide everyone on it is a bastard and we hate them. Bob continues to resent the raiders and slinks away to sulk.
Unfortunately there aren’t always enough of the “raider ready” people available so sometimes they have to pug a few people in to fill out the raid. Bob is LIVID that the guild would bring in outsiders instead of pulling from within the guild. The raids happen.. and have success.. but Bob is unhappy.. and talks to Jane and Bill and they’re all unhappy together.
If you chose C:
Marty, a veteran raider, is LIVID! He’s been in this guild for more than a year and now -he- has to “try out” to get into guild raids!! This will not stand! The INSULT! In the middle of a tryout Marty pulls all of his toons out of the guild and with some suitable snippy words, dresses down the guild leadership and informs the guild that “the guild has changed.. and not in a good way”. There is discontent in the guild.
The try outs continue but the group and the guild leadership are a little bit demoralized. They really liked Marty and feel helpless in the face of his rage and /emoquit.
Unfortunately there’s no correct answer. At least there isn’t one that I know of. If you choose A then the veterans are unhappy and either bleed away to other guilds or resent this guild. If you choose B then the green raiders are unhappy and the veterans feel guilty. If you choose C then some veterans are unhappy.. and some green raiders are unhappy. There’s no easy answer.
I’m in this place. Our guild is currently going through this situation and I don’t know how we’ll get out of it. We did A for a while.. and then we tried B.. and now we’re trying C. I’m really hopeful that if we can get past the initial implementation that C will be the way to happiness.
What I want:
I want to successfully raid 2-3 nights a week with raiders I respect and whose company I enjoy. I want the content to be challenging and interesting. I expect to wipe while learning the fights but eventually I expect us to be able to get through the fights without any problems.
I want to raid with people who want to be there, show up on time, have the skill/gear to succeed, who will give each attempt their all and will learn from their mistakes. When asked “what killed you? how did you die?” I expect them to know! I expect these people to have the best gear/gems/enchants available to them and to cheerfully provide their own buffs and food if necessary.
I want to be able to spend outside-of-raid times hanging out in Vent which is a happy fun place with interesting people.
I want to be able to farm mats, play an alt, or not logon on off-raid nights.
I want raiding to be optional and to have the opportunity to have people in the guild who don’t raid and don’t want to raid.
Is that so much to ask?
***All names in this post are totally made up. Any resemblance to real people is slightly coincidental. Aside from “Marty” I was not thinking of a specific guildie when I wrote up this bit of fiction. And yes, “Marty” is based on one specific person.. and yes, I’m still pissed about it.