Thursday, March 23, 2006
Of special interest in the "MMG for Dummies" book I recently reviewed is the chapter talking about guild drama. It says that guild drama is inevitable, and lists lots of examples. I totally agree. My guild has no less than two dramas going on at the same time right now, one involving me.
The drama that does not involve me is a simple question of message board etiquette. Player A posts a stupid spam comment in an otherwise intelligent thread on the guild forums. Officer B deletes the post. Player A gets angry, saying that posts should never be just deleted without notification of the owner, and that he would leave the forums. Some players try to calm him down, saying that effectively it would have been better if the officer just edited out the spam and replaced it by some "edited for spam" notification. Now officer B feels attacked, and announces that he will leave the guild. *Sigh*
The drama that does involve me is more serious, and harder to resolve. We previously had a larger alliance between guilds, where practically only the most hardcore raiders from each guild in the alliance went raiding together. The less hardcore people simply couldn't get into the raids, because raid slots were distributed on a first-signup-first-serve basis, and the hardcore raiders camped the signup calender and always got in first. Much unhappiness by the people who would have liked to go raiding as well sometimes, even if they aren't as hardcore about it. Also one of the three guilds involved was decidedly less nice and less competent than the other two. So the system was changed to now raid partnered with only one guild, giving each guild more slots, enabling other people to participate.
What the hardcore raiders didn't foresee was that the people who hadn't gone raiding before were a) less well equipped, and b) less experienced in raiding, for obvious reasons. Thus in the "new" raids we failed to kill bosses like Geddon, who were previously considered as "easy" by the hardcore guys. That already caused some big resentment from the hardcore towards the n00bs, who had "destroyed" their previous cushy raid arrangements and now messed up their raid success.
Then I dared to suggest that our guilds Geddon strategy wasn't optimal. We are standing in a huge circle around Geddon, thus half of the raid is always out of range of my healing or decursing spells. When the priest in one part of the circle is out of mana (which happens easily if you don't have all that nice purple +int +spirit gear), dead, or is turned into the bomb and has to run, there is nobody who can decurse the people in his group. Thus the casters who get affected by Geddon's debuff which drains their mana and turns it into damage all quickly either die or become completely useless without mana. Thus I informed myself of how other guilds are doing it, and they usually huddle much closer together, and have everybody within spell range.
Of course me being a raiding n00b, suggesting that the hardcore raiders strategy wasn't perfect caused a huge outcry of consternation from them. They claim that this strategy worked perfectly before, and just the n00bs being too stupid to run when they were the bomb caused our wipes. When I didn't shut up, one of the hardcore guys resorted to slander, and claimed that I had exploded in my group 3 times. Well, I might not be an experienced raider, but I sure to have the CTRaidassist Boss mod installed, which warned me every time loudly when I was the bomb, and I'm absolutely sure that I ran each time to the maximum distance that the cave wall allowed me from achieving. So now I'm pretty upset about people telling lies about me. Anybody know a way to log your combat messages in WoW, so you have proof of what actually happened? If me exploding ever hurt anybody, that person must have been close to the cave walls as well. One more reason not to have the hole raid lined up in a huge circle. Being grouped and having a marked bomb explosion spot would be a much better strategy.
My guild suffers from a serious dichotomy of being by design a mature, casual players guild, and having some people who tasted blood in Molten Core who would like to head towards Ragnaros. Delusions of grandeur, in my opinion, we need 5 hours to kill the first three bosses of Molten Core. That is far, far away from being an efficient raiding guild, especially since we don't even use voice chat. So now we have unhappy hardcore people who think the n00bs destroyed their raiding pleasure, and unhappy casual players who resent being shouted at for incompetence.
I hope that situation will resolve itself. Last time when we had a bunch of officers who were only interested in raiding, and the bulk of the guild wasn't following, we had a kind of a putsch: The officers nearly destroyed the guild by all simultaneously resigning. We somehow recovered from that, but it took some time before we were back in shape. I have some doubts about the wisdom of our policy of making all the people who are good at leading raids officers, in a guild which isn't a dedicated raid guild.
The ideal solution would be if the people who love raids would realize that the less experienced raiders will need some help with getting better gear, and some training, before we can hope to achieve more in the raid dungeons. As I mentioned previously, going to Molten Core is not a good way to improve your equipment, the lesser dungeons improve your gear more reliably. And just taking somebody with you on a 40-man raid isn't the best way to teach him raiding either. There needs to be a lot more communication and explanation to make people understand what is going on, if you expect them to behave in an optimal manner. If the hardcore raiders would help the less well equipped, less well trained people in getting better by going with them to the lesser dungeons, it would help both sides in this matter.