Tobold's Blog
Friday, October 31, 2008
 
Guilds and raiding

My WoW guild worries me. The officers made an announcement about the plans of the guild for raiding in WotLK, and it contains pearls like "we have too many tourists in our raids and tourists won't make us progress. If people want to be tourists, they should give up raiding or join pugs instead of wasting a guild effort". Oh great, the expansion isn't even out yet, and I have already been banned from raiding and told to join a pickup group raid, just because I didn't apply for a special internal guild rank by promising to raid every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. The raiders are even going to get a super secret forum section, no regular guild members allowed.

It isn't as if this comes as a surprise, as if in the 4 years of guild history I hadn't seen pretty much the same before. But what worries me is that this kind of movement systematically lead to guild splits, big dramas, and nothing but unhappiness, while at the same time completely failing to advance the guild's raid progress. Serious raiding of a small fraction of a large guild inevitably leads to them progressing a bit and getting stuck. By making a strong distinction between raiders and non-raiders, and not taking any "tourists" on raids, there simply aren't any replacements arounds when inevitably some serious raiders leave for some even more serious raid guild.

But I think the fundamental problem in this lies in the fact there are two very different definitions to what a guild is, in regard to raids. My preferred definition is:
A guild is a group of online friends who decided they want to play together. A raid is an opportunity for a larger number of guild members to play together, with the purpose of maximum fun, enabling a maximum number of them to advance their characters.
Features that point into the direction of this definition are the removal of attunements, and the introduction of badges, which enables the more advanced guild members to raid with the less advanced guild members, and still get something out of it. The other possible definition of a guild, the one I don't like, but which is very widespread is:
A guild is an organization with the purpose of advancing as far as possible and as fast as possible in the raid content. For this purpose it is important to have a tight circle of dedicated raiders with a maximum attendance rate to progression raids.
Now these two definitions don't necessarily sound as if they were incompatible. Theoretically it would be possible to have a guild with just exactly the number of raiders and composition of classes needed to advance, with each of them being available for every raid. In the real world there are some serious obstacles to that: Nobody is *always* available, and the right number of raiders and perfect composition might change with time. Typical example was The Burning Crusade, where a guild would have had to organize three Karazhan teams at the start to have enough raiders to continue to Serpentshrine Cavern. In Wrath of the Lich King the initial progression will go from one 10-man raid to the next, but it isn't clear that the perfect composition for each raid dungeon will be the same, and sooner or later all the 10-man raid dungeons will be completed, and then you need to come up with 25 raiders to move on. You don't need to be a great psychologist to foresee that there will be guild dramas in many guilds at that point in the progression.

I believe that a guild run after my preferred definition of purpose not only would have a lot less guild drama, and more fun, it would also have a more steady raid progress. Slower, yes, but more steady. Reality is rarely black and white, a sliding scale of grey tones is more likely most of the time; making a strict distinction between "raiders" and "tourists" is not a good idea. Whoever sets up the criteria always makes them so that he still qualifies as a raider, but in reality there is always somebody playing his class even better, is available more often, and is better informed about each raid encounter. Somebody who can't or won't raid three nights a week isn't necessarily a bad raider, but he becomes useless for raiding if you systematically exclude him from raiding and he thus ends up undergeared. If you have a much larger pool of potential raiders in a guild, each of them participating less often in a raid, raid progress is of course slower. But there is a much better chance of being able to find a replacement if some raider unexpectedly leaves the guild or doesn't show up for a raid.

And then of course you have to think about why you play World of Warcraft in the first place. I always maintain that fun and entertainment are the real purpose of MMORPGs. Social factors, like recognition, are important too. But even there standing with the most leet epix in front of the bank isn't necessarily as rewarding as being recognized as helpful by a large number of your guild mates. Do you want to be recognized as a person, or do you want to be a collection of numbers, stats, a specific role in a raid, and a talent build, interchangeable with anyone else with better stats?
Comments:
a guild where everyone signs up for raids as he likes and so the whole guild progresses like you said, slow but steady won´t work. it´s like communism its absolut form. in theory a perfect world but in reality it won´t work.
the problem with your theory is, that the players in your guild who want to see a bit more of the content and are able to put in more time into the game will join another guild and leave behind a raid of casuals only.
every raid has high attendance members and more casual members, but you always need a core of very active players in certain positions like MTs, raid orga and so on. a football team where the team consists of different players every match won´t win a single match anytime.
the only possible way so that such a team could work is when you take dungeons with karazhan difficulty at the moment as the only raid content you try to master.
 
Your guild sounds exactly the sort of place I'd want to avoid at all costs (not that I'd be accepted as a member in the first place ofc). There should be a health warning against raiding, it obviously screws with people's heads who otherwise started out as completely normal.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the point of having each raid available as both 10-man and 25-man to avoid the Karazhan gap? From what I've heard, you can progress all the way to Arthas with 10 people.

However, 10-man raids are not necessarily more casual than 25-man. I mentioned this on the comments thread of No Prisoners, No Mercy, but when the number of players decreases, the impact of an individual player goes up. For example, having one DPSer die can cut your raid's total DPS by 20% or more. That can easily be the crucial difference between a wipe and a kill, especially if you're using progress-appropriate gear.

In my opinion, the real problem is that PvE content doesn't really scale according to guild size. Ironically, the much-reviled Molten Core wasn't that strict about raid size after you got your group of core raiders. Of course, it also meant that it wasn't appropriately challenging and thus fun for those core raiders. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
 
"the problem with your theory is, that the players in your guild who want to see a bit more of the content and are able to put in more time into the game will join another guild and leave behind a raid of casuals only"
But this happens anyway. Those who get their enjoyment from progression will always seek "promotion" to the fastest progressing guild on the server. At least Tobold's way leaves you with some people with raiding experience to replace those who leave. If you lock them out, your raiding capability will die altogether.
 
I think you have neatly encapsulated one of the big problems with WoW raiding. Your guild sounds a bit mean, labelling people as tourists though.

But yes, I think there be a lot of guild upheaval at the start of Lich King raiding.
 
As a sidenote: My guild doesn't enforce attendance, but they do expect you to honor your word if you sign up for a raid. Or at least notify the raid leader ASAP if you can't make it, so he can adjust raid composition accordingly. Gear is of course an issue, but it's not something that attending a few farming raids won't fix. Senior members can and will even skip minor upgrades if it means that the other guy can get up to par more quickly and be useful in progress raids.
 
Your guild sounds exactly the sort of place I'd want to avoid at all costs (not that I'd be accepted as a member in the first place ofc). There should be a health warning against raiding, it obviously screws with people's heads who otherwise started out as completely normal.

Agree on raiding screwing with people's heads. But the reason why I'm still in the same guild I signed the guild charter of in the first week of WoW Europe is that during most of the time they aren't like that. We have a raid calendar where anyone can sign up for raids. But over those 4 years we got occasional episodes of small groups of hardcore raiders to set up rules that would enable them to advance raiding faster. Usually that resulted in a short progression spurt, followed by getting stuck a bit further on, then some people leaving for an even more hardcore raid guild, and the whole effort collapsing. The people complaining about "tourists" today are inevitably those who'll have a different guild tag in 6 months.
 
Why can't those hardcore raiders just join a hardcore guild in the first place instead of screwing with what is working well in the first place? Do they basically just use the guild they are on at the moment to get the gear and then move on to "greater things"? It kinda hurts just to think of it...
 
"The people complaining about "tourists" today are inevitably those who'll have a different guild tag in 6 months."

My old guild was a great mixture of raiders and casuals. Many raids would not have gone ahead at all if the casuals members had not made up the numbers, especially on older or already completed content.

However, as the guild progressed the elitist hardcore attitude became more prevelant and the casual members were pushed out. Even to the point where ZA runs were turned into bear mount conquests for the top 10 raiders only and casuals were denied gear drops even on the raids they were allowed to go on. Progress stalled again, hardcores transferred to other servers and the guild collapsed.
 
The wife and I are attempting to start up a casual guild to see the 5-man and some 10-man instances in Wrath for US EST shenanigans. Recruiting is very daunting because everyone is an alt of an alt and there's more expectations of what the guild should be than there are available candidates. :) And since we expect people to "promote" themselves up and out of our guild, we'll have to be recruiting constantly. I don't envy your guild's position, Tobold, and from someone at the other end of the scale, you have my sympathies. // Zoxe
 
Our guild is more social and casual, and yes.. very slow to progress. But we've come up with a happy medium.
Our core members, including many of the officers, love the social aspect of our guild. We do what we want, when we want, and have the numbers to do as we please. But because we're not hardcore, we progress slowly.
This holds back some of the longer playing members who're eager to see the higher level raids. The solution... Simple;

We let our players join other guilds and still consider them one of our own, they've always got alts with us, and spend more time with us than with the 'raiding' guilds, simply because they're social players, and raiding takes place only at set times. Everyone's happy.
And this means that we have a couple of highly skilled epic players we can call on to lead our raids, and help the less hardcore of us to progress that little bit further.

The only time it's ever been a problem is when a raiding guild demands that all alts must be in their guild, in which case they've told them to stuff their raids and found another one.
 
Yep - damned if you do and damned if you don't just about sums it up. I want to see the high-end content in WoW as much as the hard-core guilds but I want to do it in a guild where I am friends with the people in it. Is that so much to ask?

My guild (and Tobold's)is a well-regulated, friendly guild by and large which has a lot of respect on our server. If we wanted to be a nursery guild for the more progressive guilds, then following Tobold's logic would lead us very neatly in that direction. But I don't want us to serve that function - and nor do a lot of my guildies. Its a dilemma and the guild management has worked hard to try and provide an environment where everyone is satisfied. But this seems to be impossible..
 
This is why I have zero faith that the switch to 10-man raiding is going to do very much to improve accessibility. No matter how good your raiders are, there is ALWAYS an incentive to boot off the weakest link, right up until the point where the group stops being viable. People seem to think that the new 10-mans are going to be like an old-school 10-man Baron zerg, and Blizzard's comments on how they're planning on itemizing the raids suggest the opposite. The sad part is, as others have pointed out above, the people pushing to make the guild more hardcore are the first ones who will walk out the door WHEN the new, no-tourist group hits the wall.
 
'I believe that a guild run after my preferred definition of purpose not only would have a lot less guild drama, and more fun, it would also have a more steady raid progress.'

If such a guild was possible within the WoW gameworld, one would exist somewhere. You can no more voluntarily choose to ignore the mathematical consequences of the rules of the gameworld (raid caps, group sizes, class requirements) than you can choose to ignore the mathematical consequences of the laws of physics. Any temporary success is misleading and unsustainable: you can jump, but you can't fly.

If you want to have fun playing a MMORPG somewhere in the spectrum between exclusively soloing and mandatory attendance at scheduled events, you need to play a game that supports that kind of play-style. Maybe WAR isn't for you, but if I were you, I'd look at eq2, LoTRO, or whatever.

It will be interesting to see if the problems caused by the (probably unintended) anti-casual nature of WoTLK will cause the WoW developers to get a clue and manage to revamp things, decoupling guilds from raid organisations, allowing players to be a member of both.
 
You can no more voluntarily choose to ignore the mathematical consequences of the rules of the gameworld (raid caps, group sizes, class requirements) than you can choose to ignore the mathematical consequences of the laws of physics.

The laws of physics tend to stay the same from day to day. The rules of the gameworld change. As I mentioned before, I believe that TBC raiding would have looked *a lot* different if Karazhan then would have had the same rules that Karazhan has now: 30% less mob health, no attunement. As far as I know Naxxramas has no attunement either, and from what I hear from beta testers there are at least some wings that are relatively easy. I know there are PuG raids to Naxx in the WotLK beta, not sure if there were PuG raids to Kara in the TBC beta.

But I agree that there are still rules that prevent more experienced raiders to help out less experienced ones. For example raid IDs. "Sorry, we cleared that raid dungeon yesterday, I would come and help you do it, but I can't".
 
Most guilds have charters. At least the ones on my server do, and they go a long way in spelling out just exactly what the guilds focus will be. 100% of applicants are required to read, understand and agree to abide by it. My guild has a "no change clause" included in our charter, which prevents any of the current and future leadership from changing the guild focus. It has worked quite well for us due to the screening process we go through, and the way we rank and promote our leaders.

The way I see it, is that if a person has a vested interest in the well being and concurrency of their guild, they should become an active and contributing member. If something happens like Tobold describes in his post, then someone was obviously not paying attention. Things like that dont happen overnight without a lot of prior discussion and feedback from it's members. Maybe you were playing too much Warhammer to notice? =P

We let our players join other guilds and still consider them one of our own, they've always got alts with us, and spend more time with us than with the 'raiding' guilds, simply because they're social players, and raiding takes place only at set times. Everyone's happy.
And this means that we have a couple of highly skilled epic players we can call on to lead our raids, and help the less hardcore of us to progress that little bit further.


The guild I belong to is identical to yours. We are the oldest active guild on our server, and we have had several dozen people who have outgrown the social aspect of our guild and moved on to the top raiding guilds on our server. Many have left and come back several times in the past 4 years, and are allowed to do so without exception.

One would think that after 4 years the guild leadership would have developed a sense of understanding about the needs of its members where the social and raiding/end game aspects are concerned, and just how often these shifts in their memberships can change.
 
I had a short stint in a guild that didn't even let everyone in a given raid do every encounter. Some of us sat out on a bench, out in front of the raid instance, and waited to be brought into the dungeon for a specific encounter in which our spec and class were ideal for that particular fight. I hated it. The guild as a whole got to see every part of a raid instance, but certain players, unless they had the time to have multiple well geared 70s, only saw certain parts. They were not mean about it, but it was the mentality itself that bothered me.

The designated hitter approach to raiding falls into that second definition, where the players are expected to sacrifice their many of their own goals for the good of the guild. People can only do that up to a certain point before they realize they are not doing the things they wanted to do and having fun, which, as you say, is the point. 10 man raids might even expand this issue, if the fights become the kind where the ideal make up changes from fight to fight.

This is especially troublesome when the developers are constantly changing the specs and classes, as well as the fights, so you might start from level 1 with the intention of using that character for a specific role in raiding, only to get to level cap and discover that you are no longer ideal.

I like my present guild. We do not progress quickly, and we did not make it out of 10 man content very often, but we all had fun, all learned to work well together, and no one was asked to sit on the bench or asked to make specific weekly time commitments. We are only expected to show up on time if we sign up, bring the necessaries, have a fair knowledge of our class and the fights, and listen to the raid leader. I believe our guild falls into your first definition, which is the one I prefer too.
 
The removal of attunements is one of the factors that makes WoTLK raiding less, not more casual. Everyone on a raid got an attunement: attunements are an unlimited resource, getting them is a positive sum game, limited only by the raid caps. Loot, on the other hand, is zero-sum: one person getting it means another doesn't. Playing meaningful zero-sum games in a social environment is always going to cause problems. You can have fun playing big-stakes poker in a trusted casino in Vegas amongst strangers. Play for the same stakes with your buddies over a few beers, and you risk losing not just your shirt but your buddies.

Even though it's not tradable, high-end wow loot tends toward the effective value of the wages of a part time job, something on the order of a second hand car (or, in some cities, a 2 bedroom house). With friends, you buy rounds of drinks, split the bill for a meal. You typically don't say 'lets all pool our money and buy a bulk order of the same car': the strain on most friendships would be too much.
 
Yet you still keep playing a game that it's own players can't all agree on what the damn game is ABOUT. Much less how to play it.
 
Yet you still keep playing a game that it's own players can't all agree on what the damn game is ABOUT. Much less how to play it.

And how would that differ from any other MMORPG? Most of the current discussion on WAR is exactly of that "how to play it" variety. I even had commenters here that said that WAR was a PvE game and WoW a PvP game. As long as you have multiple players in a game, you will have multiple opinions, that isn't limited to WoW.
 
Well, so far it seems like they are removing the issue of certain classes being best for certain fights. Hopefully that continues.
 
The raiders are even going to get a super secret forum section, no regular guild members allowed.

And you're going to put up with that? The minute that nonsense became official, I'd leave the guild and never look back.
 
"And how would that differ from any other MMORPG? Most of the current discussion on WAR is exactly of that "how to play it" variety. I even had commenters here that said that WAR was a PvE game and WoW a PvP game. As long as you have multiple players in a game, you will have multiple opinions, that isn't limited to WoW."

This has nothing to do with WAR. WoW fosters the idea that it's players shouldn't all agree on what the game is about. You can make a case that people SHOULD disagree about how to play the game, but you should never have people in the same game who disagree about what the game is. Otherwise, you just end up with people trying to map friendships AND their game goals into the same game supplied groups (guilds). The game generates drama because of this.

Look at a game like Planetside. No one argued over what the game was. They argued over how to capture bases best, but no one argued that the game was about PvE ... because the game made your goals clear. If you weren't capturing bases, you were not playing Planetside.

If you want to play in a game where people can dispute what the point of playing is (not HOW to do it), then you are going to have to live with people causing drama with their expectations and entitlement issues.
 
I must be one of the lucky ones, becuase my guild is exactly the type of guild you are seeking. They are are a bunch of friends who have been friends for years and enjoy both raiding and socializing. Raids are always optional. If you don't want to raid on a raid night, but want to, say PVP instead, the guild leaders never pressure you to join. They say have fun and kill lots of alliance. Most people opt for raids anyways, because it's fun and a great way to socialize on vent.

They never ask someone to change specs. You just play the way you want to play (of course if you do play a wierd off-spec, you have to play it to the best of your ability...no goobering off!). Again, no pressure. Sure, we don't progress as fast as some guilds, but we did manage to clear Hyjal and most of BT before the last patch.

I think a lot of it starts with our leaders. They are all married 30+ somethings with kids, so they understand about RL time commitments and issues that crop up. For them, WoW is all about relaxing and having fun, not being number one. Loot Drama? Never. Quite the opposite. Most times we end up begging for someone to grab loot, because no one cares that much about it. To a member, we would all be just as happy if someone else got some nice gear rather than ourselves. The attitude is like, we will run this instance again, (insert item here), will drop again.

All the leadership asks, is just to be mature and respectful of others, but frankly, if you are not, then you pretty much aren't asked to join in the first place. It's all about the expectations that are set up. For us, Raiding for fun > Raiding for progression or loot.

Tobold, these guilds DO exist out there. Don't give up. You can have a fun social experience and raid.

-Ari-
 
I have a question for you Tobold ... Where were you during the last 6 monthes when we weren't able to gather 25 men to have a raid going ? When over our 3 weekly raids we had to cancel 2 of them ? Where were you when we lost some of our raiders due to lack of raiding activity ? When many of our raiders were close to leave for greener pastures ?

At some point, the guild was about to abandon raiding completely. If that's what you want us to do, then you might as well click on the guild disband button yourself, because with no doubt, the real raiding population of the guild, including officers will just leave for a guild that is raiding.

Why should we focus on 25 men raids when over the last 6 monthes we've had 4 or 5 full raids ? Why should we focus on 25-men content when over our current 30 raiders population, about 1/3 aren't raidfocused at all ? I'm getting tired of all this ME ME ME ME ME ... "I want to raid, but I don't care about others" - "I want epics !" - I want this, I want that ... This is all bullshit. We have some raiders who want to raid and who want to progress, not keep looking backwards because tourist_1 wants to raid or tourist_2 wants loot of boss X.
 
I spent the better part of three years as a hardcore raider stuck in a social family oriented guild. I lead many of the small jumps that Tobold spoke of in terms of progression and constantly pushed and pushed players further than they ever thought possible. I held the hands of players through their first Kara run and watched them blossom and move onto bigger and better things.

It was a frustrating and soul-sucking endeavor in which I constantly butted heads with the casual officer core and fought tooth and nail for any changes to help the raiding side of the guild. Finally it came down to a head to head match where we could not push further into PVE unless drastic changes were made to the guild policies.

I am going to have to agree with the members of Tobold’s guild that want to change things for the better PVE wise. It is not the player’s fault that Blizzard designed end game PVE around building up exclusive groups of players willing to play as much as possible together. If Naxx is like the 3.0 Kara then all the better for everyone. But if the instance after Naxx is similar to the ramp up in difficulty from Kara to ZA, then I fear that many players will be stuck in Naxx similar to how many guilds ended up being stuck in Kara.

Eventually at some point Blizzard has to draw a line in the sand and tell players that they have to L2PVE to step over it. Players are going to min/max. Players that are willing to spec optimally for PVE, gear themselves out with the best available loot from quests, reputation rewards, questing, crafting, PVP, etc, and organize themselves optimally for a given encounter should be rewarded for their efforts. The decision to punish players unwilling to do the above is a game design decision and has NOTHING to do with the guild members who are simply aware of the rules of the game.

The decision that designers have to make is do we balance an encounter around a standard setup of 2 tanks 5 dps and 3 healers in average gear or do we balance an encounter around 2 protection warriors, 2 mages, 1 shadow priest, 2 rogues, 2 resto shaman and a CoH healer all in the absolute best gear available at that progression level?

I don’t think WoW will ever solve this problem. Perhaps in some future MMO boss abilities will be tailored to specific groups based on the class and gear makeup of the members present. The more DPS that a group puts out then the more health and mitigation that a boss will present. A group that is lacking in a lot of healing power will find that that boss does substantially less AOE damage than if they had brought in some more powerful healers.

Blizzard’s solution thus far is to spread abilities out more evenly amongst classes and to redo raid buffing to combat class stacking and strict class specific requirements for a given encounter.
 
The problem with having a large gap between your most hardcore and your most casual raider is that hard feelings arise. If one of your raiders shows up at all 4 days a week, always knows the tactics and never fails to move out of the fire and another raider shows up on one day if you are lucky, needs every boss explained and wipes the raid an evening or two on every new boss thats a huge gap. And even if most Lootsystems favor the the more hardcore raider, the day will come when the more casual raider will get a great weapon before the hardcore one, and even if he will smile and congratulate him, most people just think "Why him? I'm infinitely more valuable to the guild and if everyone played like him we couldn't even tackle a simple heroic, he should get nothing before me and if he gets those items at all its more than enough."

It may not be the most generous thought, but it occurs very often and the only 'cure' seems to be to minimize the gap.
 
> Raiding for fun > Raiding for progression or loot.

Wise words, too bad not more guild follow them.

> Somebody who can't or won't raid three nights a week isn't necessarily a bad raider, but he becomes useless for raiding if you systematically exclude him from raiding and he thus ends up undergeared.

Tobold, the last part of the sentence is not relevent, IMHO. Raiding, even progression raiding, is almost never about gear. Serious raiders don't wait until they are full T4 before progressing to T5 content. Casual raiders who can't come to all raids are bad because they rarely know the fight and will usually cause a wipe. Not from lack of gear, but from lack of being able to do what is required of them.

I've wiped many times on Lurker because people who had not raided him in a while forget to jump in the water when the spout starts, even when reminded of the tactics before the fight. For serious raiders, this sucks.

Everyone wants to raid for fun, most especially to raid with friends. Few are lucky enough to have 24 people they can call friends available and able to seriously raid. I don't think this is a fault with WoW. If you want to have meaningful challenge, some people will not be able to step up to that challenge. Some of the people not being able to step up to it will be your friends.
How you deal with that issue, both from the hard-core and from the casual side, is all part of being a grown human and interacting with others. I'd like to say though, the responsibility for dealing with this issue should be a burden not just of the hard-core raiders but of the casual players too. Saying "it's all the hard-core's fault" is not constructive...

Just my 2cents worth :)
 
True. But this player has to have reasonable expectations. Someone who either isn’t very skilled or isn’t willing to put the time into their character to progress is probably better of in battle grounds and 5 man dungeons anyway. Time away from game counts as well. Learning strategies, staying current on patches and changes, watching videos etc. are all as much of a raiding requirement as farming up gold for repairs and buff food.

Calling these players tourists is an accurate term. They aren’t willing to put the time in and do the work to get there but they expect and demand access to the same content. In my current guild I am more or less a tourist until WotLK comes and then I hope that if I work hard enough I will make it into the main raid force.

It is not the raiders that make up 1/3 of Tobold’s guild that are holding back the casual members from raiding. It is the other way around.

We understand. You want it. You want it now. You want it on your terms. How very American of you.
 
I have a question for you Tobold ... Where were you during the last 6 monthes when we weren't able to gather 25 men to have a raid going ? When over our 3 weekly raids we had to cancel 2 of them ? Where were you when we lost some of our raiders due to lack of raiding activity ? When many of our raiders were close to leave for greener pastures ?

Now that one is easy to answer: I was left behind by the same policy I'm complaining about here. I had a warrior who never even got Karazhan gear, so when the guild's main tank left for another guild, I couldn't possibly have helped out.

I'm getting tired of all this ME ME ME ME ME ... "I want to raid, but I don't care about others" - "I want epics !" - I want this, I want that ... This is all bullshit.

Thank you for exactly describing the attitude of those who left for another guild to advance in raiding faster.
 
Wait, I think you are missing the point. The point isn't about the casuals holding the hardcore back, or some casuals wanting to get into a raid now and again.

Its about guilds totally dislodging old members, new members, who don't fit into some paradigm.

i.e. WoTLK comes out, and now the guild is going to be a progression guild, trying to be cutting edge, rather than about going in with *everyone who wants to go in*. A guild, as Tobold describes his ideal, would be one in which people like playing the game together. This isn't about having a mandatory raid sign-up sheet that would limit who gets a slot in a raid. Its about a guild pre-fracturing into the "hardcore raiders", and "everyone else".

Maybe if the guild is old enough it can stick together. But any time a guild starts to restructure to "get more serious", the people who get more serious often find themselves looking at their current guild as something not suited for them, because not everyone wants to get more serious.

In less words, maybe the game is just designed that way. There is a slow, medium and fast speed to PvE and PvP. Guilds usually formulate around a few individuals and grow. But, people change, their gaming habits change, their expectations change, and when the guild doesn't change to suit that individuals needs, they change...guilds.

I for one think guilds are fine as-is. Theres been discussion before about making guilds more permanent, attempting to stop guild-hopping, guild rankings of players, etc. I for one think that allowing someone to leave a guild and join another for whatever reason is the best available solution for any type of online, multiplayer game.

If you think the us against them thing is disheartening now, imagine if you were stuck in your guild via an in-game contract or something similar, and had no choice but to play in that guild. I think by allowing people to freely leave a guild when they aren't happy in it is a good thing. As the game changes, so the guilds change. Its inevitable.
 
"Do you want to be recognized as a person, or do you want to be a collection of numbers, stats, a specific role in a raid, and a talent build, interchangeable with anyone else with better stats?"

Ouch, why can't hardcore raiders be both? Why can't I be a person at the same time with awesome stats? Hardcore raiders got feelings too =).

What is your guilds goal? If you are not in line with it I suggest you a.) leave and find one that suits your playstyle b.) Make your own guild. Remeber you're here to have fun.

Tobold I think your guild officers are just trying to find people with the same attitude towards raiding and ones who has the time to put. I don't think they think Tourist players = bad players it's just that they want to progress and see more content and in order to do that they need capable and likeminded raiders.

One thing I recommend for them though is instead of shutting people out is over recruit!

@Centuri Spoken by a true raider =). Yes people need to l2p and I don't mean that in a bad way. Like I said before if the other 24 got their consumables, read ths strats, set a time for the night and you come in with half ass consumables and you don't know the fight ... how can you even look at them and click ready on that ready check.

Homogenization(sp?) of classes was their answer for Raid leader picking a certain players not because they were better players but because of their class.

Min/Maxing will always happen but now it's just gonna be a lesser problems with guilds but will always have a place in a guild that is really serious about progressing.
 
I don't think there is a clear cut answer here, but it does seem that it has been very tough in WoW to come up with a happy medium.

Mathematically speaking, there are only so many spots in a raid. Also, people give up their evening to do so, so it can be frustrating when some people don't even read up on boss fights or don't otherwise prepare properly and thus the run suffers because of it. These same people get upset and annoyed, causing drama when they aren't allowed to run. On the other hand, people too focused on progression (guild or personal) can come off pretty rudely and selfish.

It's one of the big reasons I don't know if I will ever go back to WoW, even though it has some of the best PvE content out there. I just find the entire raid organization a bit frustrating.
 
Tobold said:
"And then of course you have to think about why you play World of Warcraft in the first place. I always maintain that fun and entertainment are the real purpose of MMORPGs. Social factors, like recognition, are important too. But even there standing with the most leet epix in front of the bank isn't necessarily as rewarding as being recognized as helpful by a large number of your guild mates. Do you want to be recognized as a person, or do you want to be a collection of numbers, stats, a specific role in a raid, and a talent build, interchangeable with anyone else with better stats?"

I *think* everyone plays for fun and entertainment. But I prefer to see it as a question of how people have fun. Showing off your cool gear can be fun. Competeing with the other guilds on your server to kill bosses first can be fun. Simply strategizing and organizing in order to solve the "puzzle" of beating a boss can be fun. Or simply participating with your guildies in killing the boss. Or witnessing the ends of some of the epic storylines in the game.

Any time you have a group of people together, you're going to have disagreements. In a guild's situation, it's often about what is fun. For some people the most fun thing is succeeding, which means the priority is succeeding. For others it's just simply playing. I don't think there's really any way to avoid this sort of conflict among a group of people who play together regularly. And removing guilds would be damaging in a different way. Remember your posts, Tobold, about how scenarios and public quests were good at grouping people together, but never created any real sense of community or teamwork.
 
Raiding is pretty much broken for casuals at the moment as far as I'm concerned. Trash respawns and a strict 1 week reset cycle make taking it all nice and slow impossible. Tourist raiding is only possible after the hardcore have cleared an instance and gathered enough gear to cut the rest some slack so the mentality you describe is a given. I'd love to be able to raid as slow as I want to and still take it seriously but for whatever reason raid locks are designed the way they are. My current plan is to forget about raiding in WoTLK and play the 5mans until I get bored.
 
As I understand it's not that your guild starts kicking out casual players. And as I understand it's not that the guild master forbids you casuals to organise a casual raid.

I also play in a big guild which is trying to keep raiders and casuals happy at the same time. But casuals always have the last word. So if someone signs to raid, he is always allowed to roll for a spot. The result was, that we needed one year of tries to clear Karazhan, because in every 10-man raid there were 3 or 4 people who just joined to see a raiding content and did not bother to read up or stay focused. We lost many raiders during that year. And I cannot blame them; how long can you have fun wiping on Moroes because priests just cannot reshackle in time... Probably your officers want to prevent situations of this kind. Maybe that's not the best way, but there aren't many better ones.

Why don't you organise 10- man raids for casual members of the guild. Maybe you should have an officer who would take care of that? Maybe you, Tobold, would take care of that?


And, just on a sidenote. I tanked Lurker with no Karaz gear. Only pvp/badges/heroic loot gear. If you want, you can. Maybe that's the main difference between a raider and a casual? That the casuals tend to wait for the opportunity and dedicated raiders create the opportunity?
 
My main problem with raiding is that it has become one of two things, either your progressing through instances, or you are farming instances. Honestly that's ok, but rather my problem is that there is alot of content I miss because a guild is in farm mode or progression mode, which I understand.

I've never been hardcore into raiding, but I have always had alot of fun when doing it!
 
I am an offcier in Tobold's guild and the current Main Tank
and i would like to clarify things a bit here
as there seems to be some misunderstanding

The idea behind this whole proposal is that you can not expect to walk into any new raid instance
with a group of random people that change every week, and be successfull

The same was done at the start of TBC

there was a time when our guild was not able to down even Moroes or Maiden in Karazhan
In order to beat those encounters two dedicated teams were formed

Once the instance was on farm...the hardcore moved on to T5 instances to break that open
WHILE AT THE SAME TIME declaring Karazhan open for all the guild

The Karazhan progression teams were then disbanded and an SSC progression team was formed

You now have 20 experienced people who know ALL the encounters in Kharazan
and who can take any casual along and thus get more and more people geared up
and get every person in the guild the chance to experience these encounters

The same will be done in WotlK with a bit of finetuning

The general idea is...that every guild needs pioneers

They are the ones who break new ground
to get the instance on farm , for ALL the guildmembers !!
For each and every person in Tobold's and my guild

But in order to achieve that...you first need a few hardcore people
a dedicated team, people who want to advance further and open new places for everyone in the guild

people that read up in advance, people who come buffed, people that dont mind going in there 4 days a week,
get enormous repair bills, who are focussed all along the way
who learn the dance on each new boss encounter
and then pass this knowledge on to the rest of their guildies

People dont mind failures on new encounters, this comes with the game

but people DO mind when 20 people are giving it their best shot and 5 people cause the raid to fail
because they are making the same new mistakes over and over again
and the next raid you get another 5 new people in on the encounter

This leads to dissapointments...to the people leaving for greener pastures
and those who remain are set back once more

Its never the issue of excluding anyone
If someone wants to go hardcore...he can join one of the teams
But the teams expect dedication , focus and determination from that player then

If the player is not up to that, he is still our guildie
and he is by no means regarded as less
but he should wait to see that place untill the instance is broken open
and then he can join in on a run whenever he wants to

The whole idea is to let each and everyone in the guild see as much of the game as possible
abd we believe this is our way to achieve that goal

And about the socalled "secret" forum...it will not be secret
Everyone will be able to read it
We want new blood also in the raiding teams, so it will not be a secret place

sofar my explanation

I have made this post in the hope it clarifies some things
and to get some facts right
Nobody has to agree with this offcourse (and i expect many have different views on the matter)

I respect that
If people see it differently, thats their choice
and how any guild deals with matters like this, is up to each guild themself

In the meantime...WotlK is close
there are new lands to be explored, new bosses to beat, new things to craft
I expect the guild to be very lively and thriving in the upcoming months

In (allmost) 4 years of WoW now, the guild has managed to walk the line between casual and hardcore
and give a pleasant home to players who favor each
We as officers see this as our main task, to give a home to players of each preference
In the past we have done this, and in the future we will again

For this you have my word

From Tobold's guild, i greet you and i wish you all the best in WotLK
 
A word to Tobold's guild leader ...

I can say I did the same thing for my own guild. After months of screwing around with open raiding, I put a system in place to build static raiding teams. After wiping on Aran for months, Kara was cleared in weeks by the team. It wasn't enough. I put together a larger team for 25 person content. I had people who did not care about killing bosses, they wanted to GO ON THE RAID. They didn't care about playing well. They wanted to BE INCLUDED.

My advice, from seeing your plan and having enacted it myself, is to start a new guild. It's going to be painful and difficult to make your inclusive guild into an exclusive guild. Granted, you will be getting what you want. You will be meeting the demands of some people. But, it's better to leave, than to try and hamfistedly make your current guild into something it has not been in the past. You are going to force people to leave because of how they feel, while you are forging the guild into one that meets the gaming needs of people ... not their emotional desires for a social guild.

But, if you are convinced to go down this path. Then kick out every single person who does not agree with how things will work. You will be saving yourself a lot of headaches and for those people you force out, they will have to go find a guild that suits them better. You can not balance the goals of the progression minded game players against the social desires of the more casual players.

People don't participate in guilds because of their ideological beliefs. They want what they want.
 
Sad to see thing moving on into a stricter way again...i still love my (and Tobold`s) guild although i`m not there atm (busy with my wife on a different server). But i happily await the 13th when i will come "home" with my deathknight. Hopefully i won`t see a guild drame again (still trying to forget the 1. one)...some will leave, the rest will stay and the fun in our guild will survive (i hope)
 
@Ticker: we did this before, splitted the guild in 2 (a casual and a hardcore) only to realize that it`s impossible to split the spirit of our guild and the willing to raid. We are first of all an online community and second a raiding guild. The main reason we survived all that time is the spirit behind our guild-tag !
 
"a guild where everyone signs up for raids as he likes and so the whole guild progresses like you said, slow but steady won´t work. it´s like communism its absolut form. in theory a perfect world but in reality it won´t work."


This is bull...

We have a large casual guild, keeping it at about 100-110 accounts. We raid slow, compared to leading guilds, but taken tries-per-kill we are not slower than the ever so serious guilds on the server. You automatically get a basis of players who are always available, and many many people who go once per week, or twice per month. This slows down the total progress, yes, but it allows for every single guild member to put RL BEFORE a game. If you want to see the very endboss of the game, we are prolly not for you, but everyone who has a Real Life finds a place at our fires.

We are doing well with this system. Since WoW came out and raids became an issue, of course we have lost a lot of wannabe-pros, who went to more serious raiding guilds, but who cares? I like to say we have very-casuals, normal-casuals, hardcore-casuals and pro-casuals, but if you break it down, every single member can play when he wants to and when he has the possibility to.

Maybe we are just lucky, though. ;)
 
"Thank you for exactly describing the attitude of those who left for another guild to advance in raiding faster."

Oh Tobold, it saddens me that you think I left because I only wanted epics. It was never about getting phat loot or raiding -faster-. I still love my old guild, but that doesn't mean I can't go explore? Broaden my views. Seeing things in another perspective can be healthy.

I was in your guild for a long time, I know they listen to their members, and if you aren't happy, why aren't you taking this discussion to your guild instead of... here? It's like having a row with a friend, and instead of talking to your friend, you put it on your blog and hope it'll solve it? :)
 
This is my private space, my refuge. It's like having a problem at work and bitching about it with friends in the pub, instead of shouting at your boss. I was thinking about posting this on the guild forums, but the negative feedback there turned me away from the idea.

it saddens me that you think I left because I only wanted epics

It saddens me that the hardcore raiders think I only want epics. The phrase you quoted from me is a direct response to some anonymous hardcore raider saying that if I don't help with progression raids, I'm selfish. All I'm saying is that this person is exactly as selfish, if not more, than me. I'm proposing that the guild raids there, where the majority of the guild members wants to go, a democratic decision. The hardcore raiders say that they will only participate in the top edge raids, and if there aren't enough of those, they will leave. Who is selfish there?
 
"The hardcore raiders say that they will only participate in the top edge raids"

And this, my friend...is exactly where you perceived matters wrong.
This was never said and never intended
I have tried to explain that, maybe in my post i should have made "WHILE AT THE SAME TIME" even a more larger font size....but it seems you still want to see it in a way that is totally untrue and unfair.

You have that right offcourse to understand things as you want to understand them

I feel sad you see things in this way...but after all this is your personal blog
and never have you stated other than that the things you post are entirely your own views

I will therefore stop looking here, and i will stop trying to explain how things are intended.
No explanation can take away a personal perception

Regards,

a fellow warrior
(you know how to reach me should you wish to)
 
As someone who has seen people come and go due to this, I do get a feeling of schadenfruede out of most of them. Very few of the people that I've seen leave either of the two guilds I was in to get more into progression raiding were very successful at it. The first set never found a guild and ended up quitting the game. The next set ended up joining a few guilds that ended up collapsing and came home with their tails between their legs (this was very, very amusing to me at the time) The last set joined a guild that, while it saw a bit more success than ours, didn't conquer anything noteworthy before 3.0 hit, even though they had a good head start pulling in T5 geared raiders from other guilds. I've seen a grand total of ONE person find success after moving on during this expansion.


Me? I'd like to get further in raiding, but I like the people in my guild, and I take pride in what we're capable of doing. We aren't the most hardcore bunch, but if we hadn't gotten set back by so many things (we never fully recovered from college finals, for instance), we would have probably downed Illidan before xpac-itis set in. Sure, that's no Sunwell, but then Sunwell was just Naxx 2.0 except even more exclusive.
 
It saddens me that the hardcore raiders think I only want epics. The phrase you quoted from me is a direct response to some anonymous hardcore raider saying that if I don't help with progression raids, I'm selfish. All I'm saying is that this person is exactly as selfish, if not more, than me. I'm proposing that the guild raids there, where the majority of the guild members wants to go, a democratic decision. The hardcore raiders say that they will only participate in the top edge raids, and if there aren't enough of those, they will leave. Who is selfish there?

This in the end was what led me to quit wow. I was in several guilds one very successful one. But it was my general experience in every single guild. Even the good ones that the hard core raiders that showed up for every raid and got the most epics were the first whiney Type A's to blame everyone else that had different priorities for being selfish. But heaven forbid you should ask those "non-selfish" players for help outside raids to catch up. They were so unselfish and busy they had no time to help anyone if there weren't epics in it for them or they weren't gearing up a hard core raider. The really sad thing is most of them sat around in shocked dismay when the guilds imploded blaming other people and not realizing in thier own way they were just as much to blame.

And unfortunately the game only recognizes and rewards the hard core so that broken mentality is reinforced at every turn.
 
Based on my humble experience with BC, in the "irrational exuberance" of expansion content landing, couple of things will probably happen:
- leveling is an inclusive activity: more will apply to be guildies, more will be recruited, guildchat will be super fun, and there will be a great sense of camaraderie
- unfortunately, endgame will come all too soon, and suddenly guild activity (raids) becomes exclusive and divisive. This is a simple result of raid comp and numbers.
- cliques formed during leveling will have to break at endgame to reform a raiding clique. This is the point where drama usually occurs. Drama that can split a guild.
- the cold hard fact is: players who excel at leveling MAY NOT be good at raiding; the converse is also true.
What Tobold's guild is doing is simply pre-empting that point where the WoW leveling game becomes WoW the raiding game.
 
Guild drama, I'm <3 it. It just shows how much people takes this seriously and take this whole grouping at a personnal level. Best thing to do is get out of the whole guild circuit, get some friends, and play with them, either in WoW, or in another game. We usually go with WoW first, as long as we can. But at some point, if we can't continue because the raids requires 25 peoples... then we stop, and play something else.
 
Gosh, imagine after 6 expansions -- level cap would be 120 and characters would have 111 talent points. Your whole interfce would be a jumble of action bars!!
 
This post and all the comments attached to it remind me why I quit playing WoW, and why I don't ever want to go back to raiding.

The end-game requires you to 1) grind PvP for honor or Arena points or 2) to grind raids with 24 of your bestest forever friends (heh). Option 1 gets boring really quickly, and option 2 is the most frustrating "game" on the planet, bar none.

I say this as someone who "hard-core" raided in EQ, in WoW from MC through BT. I'm debating whether to reactivate to level a toon and see the Northrend content - Blizzard does an okay job at that, and it's always fun to see new zones.

But grinding raids? Never again.
 
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