Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Raid invites

I'm so lucky that I don't mind playing a priest. Because that way I avoid one of the recurring problems many people have: Not getting invited to a raid you'd like to attend. It always surprises me that most guilds have elaborate systems for distributing loot, but their systems to determine who gets a chance to find that loot, by being invited into the raid in the first place, are often a lot less elaborate.

The problem usually is that the class mix of the guild (as a whole, or just those online) isn't identical to the ideal class mix in the raid. My raiding priest is usually one of just two to four priests online from my guild at any given raid time. So it is not surprising that every time I asked for a raid invite, I got invited. And then, with so few priests in the raid, whenever a priest item drops I have quite a good chance to get it, for simple statistical reasons. But with my level 60 warrior, who is in the same guild, I don't even need to try. It is likely that I would be one of 15 warriors out of 60 players asking for one of the 40 spots in a MC raid. Some warriors always have to sit that raid out, and even if you get invited as a warrior, your chance to get loot is statistically low, just because there are more of them around.

I'm happy that I'm not a raid leader, because selecting who gets invited and who not is hellishly difficult. If one class is under-represented, you simply take everyone of that class who applies. But how do you distribute raid invites fairly among those of a class from which there are too many players? Doing a simple round robin or waiting list system doesn't really work, because you will want to have a good mix of experienced, well-geared people with some less experienced people that still need all drops. Especially with warriors the "main tank" is a big problem. Taking somebody less well geared and less experienced for that role is likely to at least slow down the whole raid, and can cause unnecessary wipes. But if you always take the same one or two people as main tank, nobody else is learning how to do it, and the guild is in trouble the day the MT leaves for some reason.

There is some tendency in a guild of the problem solving itself: People of a too numerous class that have difficulties to get invited and then have a low chance to get loot tend to get fed up after a while and leave. But that process isn't painless. So most guilds recruit people based on class, but of course recruitment is never perfect, the classes you need are likely to be rare everywhere else too, and then there are always people you invite who turn up for raiding less often than you had hoped. And if somebody wants to join the guild who is a real life friend or something, it is always hard to tell him he can't join because he is playing the wrong class.

Now all this sounds as if it was just problems of guild management, and had nothing to do with Blizzard. But of course class popularity depends a lot on game design. For example a significant part of the rarity of druids can be explained by the fact that only one race of each side can play this class. Not everybody wants to play a night elf or tauren, especially the latter, there are too many cow jokes. And I am pretty certain that the priest class would be a lot more popular if it appeared more powerful in soloing. Blizzard should have an interest in making all classes equally popular, because that would make assembling groups and raids a lot more easy, thus adding to customer satisfaction.

And a great part of the responsability lies with the individual players. By now everybody should know which classes are too popular for their own good. Being a bit flexible and making an alt of a more desirable class can solve a lot of your raid invite problems. It is a bit sad, I really would like to go raiding with my warrior sometimes, but demographics are hard to beat.
Priests have the advantage to join raids at any time and are sought after.

Th eproblem on our server is that so many people started "Dwarf Priests" because of their Fear Ward that we are full of them right now. Its like the free market: demand - supply.

We dont have a rarity on druids, we had. Now we got too many.

We had a rarity of Warlocks, now they flock in pairs around our server and train to 60.

Strangely we had a limit on Paladins at one time.

It seems that many players on my server have too many 60 twinks and rarity depends on what char they currently like to play. But it varies.

I remember seeing only 3-4 dwarf priests around about 6 months ago. Now when I log in during the main Raid times Ironforge seems to be a Dwarf Priest city suddenly.

Btw, the next rarity are good rogues here. Not many of them around and Naxx cries for good damage dealers.

Care about equipment? Get your T0 with your class which people look for, join their raid and 2-3 weeks your T1 is 80% complete, then BWL and your T2 is added.

Our record was 5 items in one raid for our new druid. Boy was he happy.
Priests, or whatever the primary healing class is in the game, always have a bad rep as being hard to solo and/or boring to play. I'd guess it's EQ that pounded this mindset into people since CH was such a huge albatross.

I found the WoW priest to be quite soloable, and very fun to play. I had the preconcieved notions, and I challenged them. I rarely grouped until late 50's, and except for a few nightmarish pugs, only with guild groups. I found it almost as easy to solo with as my hunter was, and easier than the mage.

And after 5 years of raiding in EQ as a necro, with no true raid role, being a raiding priest works for me. It's nice to be wanted rather than a third wheel.
It is even getting worse for raid leaders within BC.
We fixed this problem for our guild by kinda merging the loot system with the sitting/attendance system. First thing we do is that we give DKP to people who sit as if they were in the raid. Of course, there are some rules on that, if you want your DKP while sitting, you have to remain available to switch in the raid for the full raid duration. We all know it happens that someone has to leave mid-raid, so having someone waiting in the sidelines is useful, and it seems fair to give rewards to the people who do wait in the sidelines. Now, sitters are chosen based on who is more likely to get loot in that raid. Takes 2 things into account, first, does the bosses drop anything they need (i.e. we have lots of members in full Tier1 that does not need anything from any MC bosses... So they'll be sitted instead of a new member, even if they're more experienced, so the new member has a chance for loot and will get raid experience). Second is their position on the DKP list. If you're the last one on the DKP list, chance you'll get loot is low, so you'll be sitted. Now, one last rule, the same person can't be sitted twice in a row.

Theese are very simple rules, but worked very very well for us... We never had any drama over sitting, even when we had to sit lots of people.
Teut, it's funny you mention rogues on your server like that. I remember being frustrated when I first tapped 60 because of the massive number of rogues, and how long it took me to build a decent reputation so that I'd have less issues getting into smaller instance runs. I eventually got into a raid guild, and had many friends in other raid guilds, but the general consensus amongst rogues was that if you were in a raid guild you were one of the lucky ones.

Fast forward to 3 months ago, and suddenly multiple guilds are putting out feelers trying to steal myself and other rogues away from their current guilds due to their rogues quitting the game. Fast forward to now, and those guilds have filled those spots with rogues that I know for a fact are sub-par. I've done open runs with them and they honestly can't hack it (and are now in guilds progressed well beyond where my guild is). It is an interesting circle.
I've had talks with a guildmate who is a hunter. We both envied each other.

I was hoping our guild would cut back the amount of raiding we did because I couldn't keep up with the demand for priests, he wanted us to raid more so there would be more chances for hunters.

I got slotted for all of the raids I signed up for and even those I didn't sign up for! He had to get rotated out several times so other hunters could come.

I got slotted so much I burnt out to the point I almost wanted to quit the game. He got to the point if he didn't get slotted more he was going to quit the game.

Grass is always greener.
I've played both a hunter and a priest. That's exactly true, heh.

Heck, last night I got 2 invites from raids in UBRS because despite them having 9 other people, only 1 was a priest. The one I accepted killed Rend, moving me closer to my Onyxia key, yay!
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