I’ve talked about some of the things that’ve gone on within my guild in past posts. We’ve had a little drama, we’ve had a mass exodus because we finally took action against favoritism, and we’ve looked towards the future of the guild.

Legatum Ignavis doesn’t have any kind of soviet ’5 year plan’, but there is a definite intention in the direction of the guild. The guild leader, the raid leader and most of the officers are actively working towards preparing the guild for 25 man content.

There are a couple of different things in the works to do this.

More after the break…. go ahead, you know you want to…..

Raiding for gearThe first thing is to have weekly ten-man raids in Karazhan, as much of a full clear as possible, to gear up our existing members that want to raid. There was even enough people on this last weekend to have two Karazhan teams running at the same time. We’re also running new content, in the form of dedicated runs into Zul’Aman.

As an aside, those two Kara teams did not include me. We had Zul’Aman on Friday evening, and we spent 5 hours in that instance. We took down the first two bosses with little trouble (although my DPS kitty butt died on the eagle boss, and the rest 9 manned it), but the clear through the trash to boss three, and the many, many attempts on him, took quite a bit longer. By the time it was done, I pretty much didn’t have it in me to do a full-on raid in Karazhan the very next night.

Anyway, so the first thing that is going on is running Karazhan raids each week, with an eye towards getting those that need it gear upgrades, and experience in working together.

Analyzing performance

The second thing that we are doing to prepare, is, as guild leaders, taking a closer look at the raiders’ class specs, gear and installed addons.

We only started with a few people that had strange DPS results, and ourselves as officers so far. Before offering any critique of anyone else, even the most harmless question on gear goals, it’s important for us to analyze ourselves and make sure we are where we need to be.

Towards that end, we are using Recount to take a look at general figures, and WowWebstats will be implemented fully among the officers for an after action report breakdown.

Now, we haven’t actually DONE this WoWWebStats thing yet. Things have just been crazier than a shit house rat around my house, and it probably won’t happen tonight either because I have a meeting with a school to attend, and this during GOP Caucus time! Damn it! But my son is going to start Kindergarten the next school year, and by george we’re gonna be ready!!

I am confident that we as a guild will be able to implement WoWWebStats successfully, because I have this starter guide by Kirk of Priestly Endeavors fame to cling to.

Now, that post is awesome, but it’s not the only kickass guide to using WoWWebStats that I know of. The other one I am of course talking about is the awesome post of The Egotistical Priest.

Sadly, while I am sure there are many more thoughtful and helpful guides by other bloggers, I don’t know of them, and so I can’t plug them here. Or use them, either. I should say that I’d bet Matticus has one, but I ain’t gonna bother asking him now. I’ll look later, but I think between Ego and Kirk, I’ll get it covered.

So, we’re running gear-up raids, and we’re gonna track our stats looking for ways to improve, and we are using Armory to check out current raiders’ specs and gear with the class leads, looking for suggestions on improvements and goal setting. Those are both good areas to work.

But I bet some of you saw me mention having enough people to run two Kara groups simultaneously, and wondered when the hell that happened. And the answer is, effort #3, which is; Membership Drive.

Recruitment and adding new Guild Members

I’ve talked with you folks about guild charters and guild application forms before. You know that I worked on them, I got your feedback on what I had started, and you had lol’led lots when you saw the one I had in progress. I don’t think, however, that you saw what I eventually came up with.

Therefore, for those of you interested in such things, I’ll post the link to our guild website so if you care to, you can go check it out; Legatum Ignavis on Kael’thas (US).

We have a Recruiting and Applications section in the forums with our info. Fairly standard, I think, no attempts to change the world here. You will probably be unsurprised to see that I adopted many of the suggestions and advice offered by Kirk and other readers back when I was talking about Apps. I am unafraid to admit when you all are smarter than I am. Don’t go getting a swelled head, now. The number of folk that are smarter than me ain’t a short list. Now let’s get back to the topic at hand. :-)

We have had some good responses, folks switching servers or looking for a new home, and our numbers have grown slightly.

For the most part, things are going well, and we certainly are getting some fresh new perspectives on progression, and thats pretty cool.

But this is me, right? You know there’s gonna be some crying in here somewhere.

Whining about new members and change

Now, I have diligently read and internalized the three excellent posts that Ego wrote on being both a new member getting along in a guild, and being an old tired guildie dealing with fresh members. If you don’t remember, I refer you to the posts here, here, and finally here. Go forth and read, they be good. Especially fried and served with lemon butter, yum!

Ok, I’m a hungry bear. Sue me.

But here’s the thing… every single damn thing Ego says is true. But, the one thing she did not mention is, what happens when a guild is recruiting to begin raiding new 25 man content no one in the guild has seen yet… and the new recruits you are getting are raiders from guilds that have fallen apart, or from other servers that want to hang with their friends. And these new recruits are further progressed than the guild. In some cases, they are MUCH further progressed.

Therein lies a whole new potential for drama.

First, seriously, take the time to read Egos’ posts. They are great, and there is a lot of damn good insight there. I’m gonna actually post them in their entirety in my guilds’ Recruitment page (with full credit given of course) because I think they are well worth everyone reading.

But, yeah. So we have some new members, and as we are just meeting them for the very first time, and trying to get to know what these new folks are like… we are also going on raids with them. And that is opening the doors to a new class of guild drama.

What we seem to have are new members that ACT like they think they know more about the game than anyone else in the guild they just joined, and that tell everyone else what to do during a raid. No matter what class they might play.

Now, I’m sure that, after reading Egos’ posts, it’s clear that good bit of this is undoubtedly nervousness on the part of the new guildie. They want to impress the guild with how valuable they are, by showing how knowledgeable and informed they are, and by showing how much of a benefit they will be on raids.

immediate trouble being, no one likes to be talked down to, ESPECIALLY about their class, or to feel that the new guy is trying to seize control of the guild away from the raid leader.

Falling, as I do, in the “grumpy old bear that has seen way too much guild drama” category, I am always watching new members for signs of asshattery, just as Ego says I would in her third post. I listen closely to those that have run instances with new players; are the new guys nice? Or are they rude? Bossy, or meek, or just funny and cool? Good players? Reckless? Abusive? Patient? What are they like? What did you think? Inquiring minds want to know!

So yeah, I’m watching and listening to what is going on. And I wonder how much of the bossiness we are seeing is coming from an earnest desire to show that they will be great additions to the guilds’ raids… and how much is from an attitude that, and this is how it comes off… that they are the leetsauce because they raided xxx instances, and we are all noobs to be told what to do.

Yeah, you can imagine that I am a bit worried… but time will tell. I know that our guild has strong leadership that doesn’t take shit from anyone, and are also very, very patient. No one is going to fly off at the handle, get pissy, or make some snap judgment. We give folks time, and we’ll see over the course of time if it’s just ‘new to the guild jitters’, or if it’s something different.

Because on the one side of the coin, we have some folks that we know can play well and know their class and their role in raids… now we just need to find out if their personalities will mesh well with ours, and if they will work well with other guildies without being arrogant or abusive.

On the other side of the coin, are new members that may be putting their best face on now, trying to make a great first impression, nice and friendly with everyone… but in time, may, after they get comfortable with folks, turn into abusive asshats. You just never know.

Because when you are adding new players to your guild, the truth is you never really know what they’re thinking. You can put together a charter, you can make a nice application to try and give folks an idea of what your guild is all about so they can decide if you are right for them, and you can welcome them and try and make them feel at home.

But you just can’t tell if the guy that just joined, that is a little abrasive, is gonnna calm down and chill out soon. Chances are damn good they will, but who knows? Maybe this is tame for them (God help us). And you can’t tell if the new guy that is nice and pleasant to everyone right now, is soon gonna relax, feel safe and protected, and start letting his true self come through… and treat people rudely or try and take advantage of generosity.

You can’t tell… but you can hope that everything will work out fine in the end.

And hope that, on the average, you end up with more saints than sinners.

And watch ‘em like a cat!

I’ll end with this one thought.

If someone joins, and they are over the top or aggressive, they talk a lot or seem a bit bossy… that’s fine with me. Because they are putting a lot of their real self into playing, and we can get to know who they really are. We have a much better chance of getting to know this guy, and get a feel for whether this is how they are 24/7, or if they are just nervous and excited, and will calm down soon enough and relax when they start to feel welcomed and secure.

It’s the quiet ones I worry about, the ones that are reserved, and keep to themselves. Most likely they are just nervous, or afraid to say the wrong thing until they get to know folks a bit more by how we chatter on. That’s bad enough, I’d like to be able to put them at their ease and make them feel welcomed, but it’ll get better as they feel more at home. But worse, they might be feeling left out, or shut out of the conversations, and might be feeling like they really aren’t welcome. Without talking with them, and hearing their own opinions, without interaction of some kind, it makes it hard to know if they need reassurance that they’re welcome, or if they’re just feeling quiet at the moment. And when you’re trying to keep all these balls juggling in the air at one time, well… the quiet ones are the ones that we have the best chance of losing because I wasn’t paying enough attention. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, and the silent wheel might not be running smooth like you’d think… they might actually be stuck.

Yep, I’m a big old grumpy bear, that’s seen way too much guild drama over the years. I can’t help but feel that change is bad, any change at all. But I know that it’s necessary for our guild to grow, and for more people to have the opportunity to do more than run 5 man instances and dance in Ironforge. While I can’t help but get nervous at strange faces, I gotta just hang in there and trust that it’ll all work out.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t bitch about it.

15 Responses to “Guild growing pains”
  1. Bell says:

    You get a huge hug from me, Bear. I seriously needed this. My guild is going through growing pains too, and I had no idea about these Ego articles. Thank you so much, this should help a lot.

    I’m going to be linking all three of those Ego articles as well as this article to the rest of my officers as well as my guild leader. Wow, you’re just awesome.

  2. The Egotistical Priest says:

    *blushblushblush*

    Thank you, BBB!

    Just goes to show, you never know which of your posts is going to be the most useful and popular thing you write. =]

    <3

  3. Matticus says:

    Sorry bear, when I saw the guides to WWS I didn’t see a point in me doing my own because I couldn’tve said it any better myself. Only thing about WWS on my blog is the way I preach it.

  4. Mana Battery Bitch says:

    You, sir, are too kind <3

  5. Beefonwick says:

    Sounds like both our guilds are at similar crossroads. The guild officers and council (I’m kinda in there somewhere) are looking to test the waters in 25 mans and need to expand as well. Kinda leery of the whole process but we’ll see how it goes.

    Interestingly enough, our GL has privately stated he will step aside as GL if we aren’t rolling 25 mans in 6 weeks. I find it curious he would take such a stance; one person can’t be held accountable for the progress and recruitment (not to mention attrition issues). I don’t know what to make of his saying that….

  6. Bell says:

    @beefonwick – sounds like he’s giving an ultimatum. either you guys start 25-mans or he’s going to find a guild who is.

  7. Logan says:

    I’ve often read/heard that the 10-man to 25-man transition is one of the toughest ones for guilds to make in current endgame material. A lot of guilds struggle to make the leap, and most of the ones that are successful usually do so through combining guilds or through active recruitment.

    BBB, I wish you the best of luck with your move to 25-man raiding. It sounds like you’re keeping the right things in mind in your recruitment processes. Just make sure those uppity new guys know that their “experience” and input is always appreciated, but while they’re in the raid they need to defer to the raid leader’s instructions. Somebody’s gotta be in charge, after all. :-D

    Oh and while tools like WWS can be great to break down fights and evaluate raid performance, I’d really suggest that you don’t make it a focal point of your early raiding. The skill and gear levels of guild members is so variable that agonizing over web stats is really secondary to players just learning how to best maximize their damage/threat/healing in the 25-man environment and to players filling in the gaps that are inevitably in their gear at this point in the game. WWS tends to add another layer of complication and (at this point) unnecessary structure to an aspect of the game that is new and a bit frightening to beginning raiders. I suggest keeping SW Stats and encouraging your other guildies to run their own damage meters through it, with the understanding that they are to use it for their own personal growth and NOT to brag/gloat. My guild actually prohibits the public broadcasting of damage meters in raid/guild chat for this very reason. If you find that one player is consistently low on the meters, talk to them and make sure they understand the encounters, their role in the encounters, and how to best maximize their damage through things like spell and attack rotations.

    Just some suggestions that have worked for us… :)

  8. Shmoopy of Thunderhorn says:

    I am an officer in a guild on the Thunderhorn realm. We recently made the transition to 25 man content and have had great success.

    We started off with running 2 – 3 groups a week through Kharazan to build up team play and gear. This took several months to accomplish. Now that we have 50+ raiding level 70′s, we headed into Gruul’s to test our chops. By our third time into Gruul’s, we had cleared it. Then realized we were better than we thought. Our 4th and 5th trips in there were one shots of the both bosses. Pretty cool to say the least.

    We directed the drops in Gruul’s to our Tanks and Healers. We then decided to jump over SSC and take on Void Reaver in The Eye, two attempts failed….then Third try this past Sunday night…Void Reaver down.

    Basically with enough forward thought and preparation from your RL and Officer corp, amazing things can happen. Not to mention the raiders tasting success and being motivated to try anything.

    When raiders have huge egos, they shape up or ship out in our guild.

    Good luck with your progression, I know you will do great!

  9. Shmoopy of Thunderhorn says:

    ***correction..we went to The Eye, not SSC*** My bads

  10. Kirk says:

    First, thanks for the nod. As Ego said, “blushblushblush”.

    Second, I’ll add one more link for you. BigRedKitty also did a “how to WowWebStats.” Lots of overlap with what Ego and I said, but one big bonus.

    Pictures.

    ’nuff said.

    Since every time I try to embed the link it fails, I’ll just post the long one here – sorry.
    http://www.bigredkitty.net/2007/11/10/how-to-wow-web-stats/

  11. Logan says:

    One more suggestion. I’m a firm believer that all 25-man raiding guilds should do Magtheridon’s Lair after Gruul’s Lair. Gruul’s is easy mode. Gear-wise, if you have the gear to clear Kara you’re more than ready to take down Gruul and Maulgar. Downing these bosses is simply a matter of raid organization (getting the pull right for Maulgar) and people not messing up (warlocks enslaving felhunters on the HKM fight, interrupting the priest’s heals on HKM, and people not killing each other on the shatters on Gruul). Easy stuff.

    The Mag fight requires not only good raid coordination but it also requires a fairly high level of DPS to take down enough channelers before Mag spawns. It also requires active communication between raid members to ensure that all cubes get clicked, especially when a clicker dies (which WILL happen while you are learning the fight). This fight is both intensely frustrating at first and intensely satisfying when you finally down him. Unfortunately, with the removal of the TK attunement chain, guilds aren’t required to kill him. Many skip him in favor of the better loot from easier bosses like VR and The Lurker Below. In doing so, I really believe that guilds are doing themselves a disservice by not going through one of the better “team coordination building” bosses at this point in the game.

    So yeah, when you get to that point, do yourself a favor and take the time to down Mag before you jump into the tier 5 stuff. Your guild will be better for it.

  12. Valyre says:

    I second BRK’s how-to on WWS. And just remember that you need about a month of raiding farm content (not new bosses) before you can start making any judgement calls with the thing. And even then be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Spec’s and assignments can play a big role in how someone’s performing.

    And like Logan said, while we require all dps to run with a meter (and I encourage my healers, too), posting such information in any public channel is greatly frowned upon. The goal is for everyone to be in the same general range, not to show off that you’re on top.

    I’ve been doing WWS and SWStats (haven’t used Recount in forever) for a really long time. I’m also my guild’s resident WWS analyzer, and not just healorz. If you need any help with any of it, just shoot me an email.

  13. keineordnung says:

    Guild growing pains are always tough – as are any kinds of guild troubles. *hug* Those articles from Ego are AWESOME though – thanks for tipping me off to them. I need to send them to my own guild!

  14. Gibbiex says:

    Its funny that we are in the same boat, guild-wise. We have so many new people I don’t know what to do with them. We are going to try fielding two kara teams either this week or very soon. Main issue is healers i think. I feel uncertain about all the new people.

    Simultaneously, we have some guild officer who invited a ton of twelve year old kids demanding gold and DM runs within minutes of joining (and of course in barely comprehensible english). So the last few weeks have been a real strain for the guild leadership.

    Lastly regarding WWS, yes you have to be very careful with the analysis. Dont go by total damage, group it into fights. To get a best glimpse, look at boss fights where you down the boss, that will give you an idea of a) how much total raid dps you have (take the boss hitpoints and divide by total time spent on boss), b) whos doing what in boss fights and c) what it takes to bring him down dps why. For dpsers like hunters, this stuff is useful. But the intagibles are still there. Did person X know to avoid boss trick Y. Why did person Z die thirty seconds into the fight? Those are harder to measure. Finally, take gear into account. For example, last night we downed prince. A similiarly geared but much younger hunter than I did 20 or 30% less damage than me. I used WWS to find the reason = his pet only accouts for 2% of his dps while my pet accounts for 12% of mine. So if he would just turn on certain abilities for his pet he would boost his dps to near identical with mine.

    Another raider had similiar dps to this guy, but she hardly had any epics. So this sort of dps at the bottom of the field is normal and expected, not worth commenting on (except to say get more epics!).

  15. Brad says:

    hmmmm…

    I am dancing this dance from the other side BBB. I am a new healer to a guild where I have extensive kara experience (from my mage) and they had only cleared attunmen when I was recruited. I find it to be a hard balance between letting them lead and find their own way to watching us wipe and wipe and knowing where we are going wrong. I try to just type a suggestion or two into raid chat, but that rarely works. There is no real way to give advice without sounding like an asshat when you are new.

    But now you have me worried that I am being too quiet, dilemmas dilemmas.

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