I was reading a bit in the Sidhe Devils forums this morning, and I came across something in a thread that made me a little sad.

One of our mighty Sidhe Devils, Dangirl, had been talking about how she started the game late, after her husband and her other guild members were already well established. She got into the game, and leveled up, but it always felt like everyone else was further advanced and had little time to play with someone undergeared or underleveled… until she finally was 70 and fairly well set at the same time as their guild finally got organized enough to tackle Karazhan.

As Dangirl said;

They started to get into kara casually and I thought that this would be my opportunity to play occasionally with my friends who I had been in guild with but never really played with.

But they early on decided if you could only make one night of our two night roster then you were deprioritised for runs (even though most members had multiple toons that could make up the numbers on other nights). 

Due to work I couldn’t commit to raid on weeknights and so would only get to go if they were really desperate or someone else didn’t turned up.  Other than that it was just hours of looking at empty gchat while all of my guildies concentrated on their raid. 

Because I was honest about my play time and ability to commit, the raid leaders were less inclined to invite me. 

I didn’t really mind not going to kara but it was pretty disappointing that most core people in the guild weren’t prepared to take a noob like me and chance the possibility of wiping on content that they considered easy. 

Anyone else out there been in this position? I know I have before, and I’d bet a lot of folks can relate.

There is a lot of meat on this to chew on, but it all comes down, fundamentally, to what the guild leader, officers or raid leader have as their ‘mind set’ for raids.

You want to succeed. Every raid leader does. When you plan on your team for a raid, you want to make sure that each critical aspect is at least minimally covered.

Tanks? Check. Healers? Check. CC? Check. Okay, let’s stack the DPS and get a move on!

That leaves SO much room for wiggling around, depending on how well geared healers or tanks are.

There are, I think, three different things raid leaders are usually thinking about when they get ready for Karazhan as a guild’s first raid. And it is relevant, because we have solid 10 person raids coming in WotLK. Those guilds that have never thought of raiding because they lacked the numbers for 25 person content before will now have the entire game opened up for them. 

  1. Kara is a large place for lots of gear upgrades and Badges.
  2. Kara is a stepping stone to prepare for future raiding.
  3. Kara is an awesome place for fun with guildies.

It is natural for a raid leader to want to maximize the chances of success, in order to make sure people get gear upgrades by downing every boss. The tendency is to pick those folks that are available that have the best gear and most experience first, to ensure that during the run things will go as smooth as possible. No worries, no stress, a fast in and out, loot and Badges and go to bed.

If you’re starting with a fresh guild that has never seen Kara before, you’ll get a feel for who can do what, and the more experience everyone gets, the more you enjoy playing with them, and the more you trust them. And naturally, those are the folks you look for first each week.

I think there is nothing wrong with that in the learning stages. In fact, I think that a team that has run together before, and works at refining their teamwork and coordination and individual play so that everything moves smooth as silk is excellent practise for future raids, and is damn fun as well.

My concern with this approach is that only ten people can go each time, and if you have enough interest in the guild from more than ten people, then someone or even several someones are sitting out and NOT having fun. They feel left out of your reindeer games. They’re not getting experience in the fights. They’re not learning how to work together with the rest of the team. They’re not having shared experiences with everyone else. 

And, as your group’s gear level improves, the ones sitting out will quickly feel that they aren’t even well enough geared to start with you anymore.

Hey, if you are a raid leader, and you have been trying to get more guildies into raids and are frustrated as to why you don’t get more sign ups… you might want to look at those players that are either farming mats all the time, or are running a lot of PvP. They might not be signing up because they feel they aren’t well enough geared to be an asset on the run… and they’re trying to get crafted Epics or PvP rewards to make them seem more useful to you. Or, they have just given up ever trying to catch up, so they log in, do their own thing, and never sign up for group activities.

If so, ask around… maybe let folks know, if you do have a minimum gear level to start running in raids, just what that is and to make sure they know they are welcome in your runs.

I hear this a lot…

“Would you be interested in Karazhan?”

“My gear isn’t good enough for that yet.”

“How do you know? You never asked me to check it out… hey, looks fine to me.”

“Really? Okay, sure!”

Having a ton of shards at the end of a run is a terrible thing, when you have other folks in the guild that would like to be having fun too. And if you take the same ten people each time, that’s what you’re going to get. 

Sure, there are tons of rare drops in there, and people will want to go over and over in the hopes that, for once, not only will you get Romulus and Julietta in Opera, but you will ALSO get the Poison Vial to drop… AND you will win the roll. 

Or, of course, you want to do Illhoof every single time, because you are sure the very first time you skip a run, the Stranglestaff will drop… with no Druids on the run.

Yes, there is an agony to that.

But other players that haven’t been going at all deserve their fun too.

I’ve heard it said sometimes, that some people don’t deserve a place on runs before others, because they weren’t there when the guild was learning the fights, or struggling with a very difficult boss.

Well, while it’s true that only ten people can have been there for the learning experiences, what exactly do you think that experience grants you? You were there at the time, you had the excitement, the challenge, and the fun. You were there when loot dropped.

What more do you want, a special trophy? A saved position at the head of the line?

A wise raid leader wants to take the hard earned lessons of the past and share them with others in the guild, so that all might benefit from the hard work in the future.

And it can be hard to shake things up. Some players will try to hunker down and reserve their own spot. You see it every once in a while, someone that thinks that if they are the only ones that ever do a job, like main tank, or make the decisions, like be the raid leader, then they will have a lock on that position. They will have a secured place in the team for all future activities. 

Here is a surprise for those kinds of folks… if you aren’t willing to work with others and give other people an equal shot at playing and having fun with their characters, then many folks won’t want to play with you anyway… and they’ll go find someone or something else. 

The goal shouldn’t be to have, out of a guild of 20+ people, 10 who are maxed out on Kara upgrades and experience to the point they are bored, and 10 that are still at pre-Kara gear levels and have never seen Attumen.

I understand that the more you run with friends, the more you enjoy the same team composition. It gets hard to break up a winning team of fun friends to bring a new member into the group. But that is the very urge you need to fight. You need to be open to bringing new people in, and giving everyone a fair chance.

I think that once you have a strong group of reliable, friendly folks that know the fights and have decent gear upgrades, it’s time to open things up and bring in more folks. Spread the fun.

Take a chance on that brand new healer with crafted gear, blues and Auction House BoEs.

Bring in that Retribution Paladin, and when the time comes that tanking gear drops, if your normal Paladin tank already has it, hey! It didn’t get wasted.

Just because you know that, when you started out at first, the stats of a new member wouldn’t have made it, don’t forget that every time you run, someone is getting a little stronger, AND everyone is getting more accustomed and expert at their role in the fights.

You might be shocked at how well you will do when your tanks AND healers AND DPS are all getting stronger all the time. Your limitations are not gear levels, it is knowledge and preparation for the fights.

I know that the fights can make you think you are worse than you really are. You are used to blowing through Prince, and thinking about taking a few new members in on your next run, and then you go take on Netherspite for the very first time, and mass confusion ensues. You have three or four wipes in one night, and suddenly, the raid leader wants to circle the wagons, and bring in only the very best geared players.

It’s not necessary. The problem was that everyone knows the other fights, and what to do and where to go, and now you are right back to having to learn a new, complex role for a new boss. It’s cool. Sure you might need to have decent gear in the party, but don’t let it trick you into thinking you’re not geared well enough. It’s just a new learning experience. 

Now, this is all fun as long as we’re talking about guilds that are starting out fresh, and want to have fun playing.

But some raid leaders use Karazhan as the training ground for future raid habits. It’s the place where ground rules are laid down for the first time, DKP systems are tested, sign ups are done and raid leaders get to see who comes to raids prepared, repaired, on time, with consumables, and ready to rock. If the raiding guild has been around the horn at all, then they run Kara to get Badges, and to gear up alts… and to test new players’ abilities to act responsibly in raids and work together as a team player.

As a player, guess what. If you do not sign up in advance, prepare your character, be repaired or on time, or bring consumables, then what yo are doing is telling the raid leader and officers that you are not dependable… and your future participation in raids with those leaders is highly unlikely… unless they are desperate for bodies to throw at the fight. And as soon as they get more responsible players? Your butt gets benched.

That is probably one of the things that the developers had in mind for Karazhan in the first place.

The thing to remember here as the raid leader, is if you are setting up Karazhan runs to prepare your guild for higher raiding, it’s even more important to mix up your teams so everyone gets play time. You don’t want one team to get fixed in a groove, to outgear others, and to get complacent about fights and start to get lazy.

You should want to mix things up all the time, continuously bring in different people, and if you run two teams, mix them up with each other a lot. It will keep gear levels more even, reduce the chance that loot will be sharded from a run, and will keep everyone fresh and paying attention to what everyone is doing.

You want everyone to know who they feel they can and cannot count on in a raid. You don’t want there to be the one main tank that is your only ‘go to’ guy. You don’t want there to be an elitist inner circle within the raid guild, the ones that will get geared first from drops because they’ve been there longer and have been part of the core group longer, and are ‘better healers’ so they should get geared first.

You want a solid team that knows each other, and can play with each other, and trusts each other. NOT two seperate teams that have never run with each other before, meeting for the first time and butting heads in Gruul’s Lair.

Karazhan is, for many guilds, way beneath them now. Sure.

But not for most. And the hardest challenge isn’t to organize and run a Karazhan group in your guild. The hardest challenge is trying to make sure that no one feels left out, excluded from the guild activities, or that they’ll never be welcome in the runs if they are only just now getting to 70.

It can be very demanding to try and change things up so that everyone that wants the opportunity, and is willing to try, gets that chance to have fun, and take full part of your guilds activities.

But isn’t that what it’s all about? Playing together and having fun? Just because you’ve only got 14 people that can go doesn’t mean the same four should get hosed week after week after week.

If you’re the raid leader, try and find ways to encourage more people to sign up, and at least give people the opportunity to go. If time schedules don’t permit people to go all the time, be open to letting them go when they can. If they just don’t have a shared schedule at all… then maybe a guild whose players are more in line with their time zone is a better fit. There is only so much you can do.

Likewise, if you are a player in a guild that WANTS to take part in guild activities, but you feel like you’re not ready with gear or experience, or that raids or groups are closed and you aren’t welcome, but you’ve never said anything about it… take the initiative. Talk to your raid leader or guild leader. Tell them you want to do something or take an active part, and ask them specifically what you need to do to be included. And see if they will work with you.

Dangirl has gone into Karazhan with the Sidhe Devils a couple times now on her Shaman, and I can tell you, her old guild?

Idiots. Bunch of stone idiots. They didn’t know the treasure they had while she was there, and now that she’s gone… all the better for us.

Suckers.

Hey, any other guilds out there that like to exclude your members from having fun?

Thanks in advance!

30 Responses to “Karazhan is srs bsns”
  1. Kal says:

    It’d be tough in her case. Having to organize two nights of Kara with the same people is pretty tough, and people get upset if they can’t be part of the second night after working on the first. It’s inconvenient for other people to have to raid kara multiple times on multiple toons because you can’t make it both nights. And as you’ve said in the past, is it reasonable to expect other people to be inconvenienced so that you can enjoy yourself?

    Mostly, it’s tough because…well, given the choice between taking someone who can make all your raid nights, is a good player, and knows their stuff vs. someone who can’t make all the raid nights, is a good player, and knows their stuff, who do you pick? Is it fair to the person that is dedicated and shows up on time, with mats, and can make your times that they sit for someone who doesn’t?

    That isn’t to say that the people who can only make it some of the time should always sit, but I don’t know that it’s fair to other people to sit them in favor of other people. And it’s nothing to do with being a n00b or sucking on the content or anything like that; kara is easy enough with experienced players that taking along multiple new players should not cause too much problem. It has to do with rewarding those that show their dedication and those who can be there more.

    I never had a problem with new people, especially those who had just started the game. I was that person 8 months ago. But I’ll always have a problem with the person that assumes they’re entitled to go because their schedule is limited and so they could only go one night.

    Honestly if I were in that guild and in that position I’d try and organize another Kara run on a night that I could make, specifically so I could go. If others wanted to go, that’d be awesome. Get some alts in, have a good time. But don’t get upset because others aren’t willing to penalize those who are more able to fit the times than you are.

  2. Kurt says:

    Very well put…thanks. Glad I’m not the only one.

  3. Kadomi says:

    As raid leader of an ultra casual guild who nevertheless wants to experience success, I am a bit more draconian about people meeting minimum requirements, or at least I used to be. The minimum requirements aren’t that hard to reach, most of the time it’s people struggling with the minimum 6% hit, but everyone knows what they have to work on. We’ve also had a rule that we required people to participate in a 5-man one of the raid leaders was in, because skill > gear as well.

    Now that Karazhan has been solidly farm content for many months, we’re more lax, and we also do our best to bring in as many new people as possible while keeping the balance that will ensure a Karazhan clear. It doesn’t matter if people are new to raiding, we will teach them the ropes, gear them up, and if that means that someone who’s cleared Karazhan 15 times already, that’s fine.

    We actually use an Excel sheet that tracks attendance, and if too many people signed up, those that went less often get to go over those who went many times, -if- the raid balance allows it. Right now I would love to gear more new people, because we could use a broader base of people who are ZA-ready.

    Our alliance-guild equivalent recently had a big drama-llama that covers just what you posted about, where people felt it was too hard to get into raids opposed to experienced raiders. I think they worked it out, which is great.

  4. ARA says:

    This is a long and complicated post, but you raise many good points.

    Just to respond very generally with what I see as the heart of the matter, the only thing I really care about is running with great players. I dont care about gear or experience or often even class/spec. A great player to me is always willing to learn.

    One of the difficulties I found right from the start organizing runs, is that different players bring different attitudes. Some are very casual – which I see as passivity; they need to be told everything, they never research anything on their own; their gear is all mixed up. And yet they feel they’re doing their best and deserve a place. Its not so much a function of how much play time they have – its an attitude. And what you find is that next week, they’re exactly the same.

    But this can be a very hard call to make, when you’re in a fun, friendly guild. More than any other factor, I’m always looking for players that take the initiative. I dont care if their gear or experience is low; but after a couple of runs you can often tell the difference. A great player always admits their mistakes immediately. But when a bad player makes a mistake, it just sort of “happens” to them. Its a great litmus test – very hard to fake.

    It depends on your guild’s charter though: some guilds are too egalitarian to make these distinctions, which is fair enough. For those situations, I have no solutions – I dont play egalitarian. I choose a guild that shares these attitudes, and I love it. We have a tremendous amount of fun, and I think it works very well.

  5. Graimerin says:

    Couple things I have run kara as a badge run where im the only tank 3 healers and way over the top dps they are fun the are fast but the also seem to be a clock race. The ones where I OT or just dps on my warrior with cc 2 tanks are as fun just different. I hate having a run that ends with 10+ voids seems like a waste. THere is something special when someone downs (Prince,Bane,Spite etc..) because I/we can share in their first.

    I’m glad these days I dont have to work the schedule to try and include everyone heck these days im just as inclined to say nah ill sit take someone else so they can experience new/different content.

  6. Kal says:

    Oh, right, another thing – we will always give precedence on farm content for those who need gear over those who do not. It’s a damn joy if we can bring someone to Kara/TK/SSC/Gruul/Mags who actually needs most of the gear, and we will bend over backwards to make sure that we can get them in. Even when that can be bad for raid balance and we’ll wipe a bit. Wiping is not half as bad as sharding.

    And on this:
    Hey, any other guilds out there that like to exclude your members from having fun?

    This is one of the hardest decisions a raid leader has to make: who to sit. I think it’s unreasonable and unfortunate that you’d sum it up as excluding people from having fun. The fact is that you need to have backups, and you need to figure out how to put people on backup. And honestly, one of the easiest ways to do that is by seeing who makes more raid times. Do you bring only the people who can show up all the time? Do you bring only the people who have done the best? Do you switch out mid-raid, which slows things down? No decision is simple, no decision is optimal, and no decision is without consequences.

  7. Steppes says:

    I get to look at this very issue every week as raid leader for our guild. We’re a social guild – our one rule for membership is that you know at least one other member in real life. As I see it, we’ve got 4 tiers of toons in the guild:
    Our ‘Raiders’, who regularly run 25-man content with our guild alliance and only really need badges or an occasional drop off one of the end-bosses in Kara. Most of these were our original team that set foot in Kara, and are solid on all the fights in there.
    Our ‘Casual Mains’. These are the folks who are 70 and want to play with the ‘big kids’, but either weren’t gamers before WoW, aren’t always on and available for our Guild Kara runs, aren’t sure what to do or where to go to become Kara-ready, or are Kara-ready but are convinced that it takes more to get in.
    Our ‘Alts’. This is the group that consists of the also-raid-ready alts of our raiders. We’ve got a lot of these. One of our raiders has 5 fully Kara-ready toons, at least 3 of which are 25-man ready. This is a big deal because these folks already know the fights, though sometimes from a different perspective. They already know what consumables to bring, where to stand, and what they need to do to make sure the raid succeeds.
    Our ‘Younglings’. The pre-70 crowd. I consider these folks very important in decision making because I consider it critical that they know that they’ll have a shot at Kara when they hit 70. If they only ever see the same 10 raiders in the group, they’re not going to think that they have a chance at getting to see the pretty purples.

    When I was asked by our GM to raid-lead, it went something like this:

    “We’ve come as far as we can running with the same 10 toons in here every week. We don’t have the time or gear to down more bosses in one night, and we don’t always have time to come back for a second night. Your job is this: get as many new raiders in here as you can. I don’t care if you beat your head on Attumen for 3 hours because you’ve got 7 new recruits in here. If they meet the minimum requirements and are available, try and make it work. I don’t want this to be the ‘cool kids club’, and we’ll have more fun gearing up our new folks than just making our weekly 11-badge run with our already-geared raiders.”

    He was right. On the nights where we had 6 new or borderline-geared faces in, on the nights where Moroes punked us 4 times before we took his undead butt to the floor, on the nights where we didn’t have the fears for Roar, the interrupts for Aran, or the dispels for Maiden – we had more fun than any night in which we zipped right up to Curator/Aran/Chess and came away with badges, some shards, and maybe a new toy for an experienced raider.

    We’ve got enough folks now to form 2 raids, if we actually had enough folks on at the same time. This means that we have to choose weekly who goes on our regular run. My priority is to get our Casual Mains in first, then our single-toon Raiders. After that, I try and poll our pool of alts to try and get as many people in on the toons they’re prefer to play and fill in the gaps from there. Sometimes, this means that our experienced raiders don’t get to come – I think that’s awesome! As one of our guild members put it: “Gearing up someone’s alt over a main does not increase our resource pool size; it just makes a small one more versatile.”

  8. Steppes says:

    Sorry for the formatting on my post – apparently HTML isn’t so cool by the comment engine.

  9. Tuketi says:

    Argh, I can totally totally relate. My guild is pretty small, so our 70s have generally been raiding with another guild (a lot of their members have alts in our guild). However, we’ve also been recruiting, and some of our lower members are up and coming and getting closer to 70, so we’ve encouraged them to sign up for the raids as well…

    A few weeks ago, one of my recruits, a hunter, got pretty upset because he’d been confirmed for ZA for about a week, then within the last three hours before invites, he got dropped from confirmed and replaced by someone else. He’d been really excited about going and experiencing the all-new (to him) content and having a good time, while getting upgrades, but then he got shafted at the last minute with no warning…

    I spoke to the raid leader and he said the reason he’d done that was because he wanted to “ensure success”, and my hunter padawan didn’t have good enough gear to be viable dps in ZA… This obviously annoyed me greatly, as that’s pretty much super douchey in the first place, and we ended up not even going to ZA after all because some of the replacements didn’t even show up. What’s worse is that in the few weeks prior, they had been inviting various undergeared people from their own guild in order to gear them up quickly, yet as soon as someone from my guild wants to go, they get shafted…

    Yes, that’s certainly a good plan when I’m a main tank and one of the main healers is MY regular healer… Not to mention several solid dps from my guild… x__x

    Needless to say, for similar reasons, and others, we’ve sort of stopped raiding with that guild… Luckily we just recruited another tank, so we finally have the group make-up to go to an all-guild Kara! Happening tonight. :D We’ll probably have more difficulty than we usually do, since a lot of the group will be my undergeared new-70 guildies, but it’ll be tons of fun, and best of all, all-inclusive. :P

  10. rakhman says:

    A wise raid leader wants to take the hard earned lessons of the past and share them with others in the guild, so that all might benefit from the hard work in the future.

    Precisely what our raid leader does.

    He is a bear tank.

    Druids rule!

  11. bigbearbutt says:

    LOL, a squeaky wheel gets the oil comment from me…

    Kal said “I think it’s unreasonable and unfortunate that you’d sum it up as excluding people from having fun.”

    I appreciate you feel that way, Kal. But I disagree. I do not feel it’s unreasonable at all.

    I called the post ‘Karazhan is srs bsns’ because it is the ‘ohmigod we asked someone to sit out for a change one week from one half of a Kara run so someone else can come in that never gets to run, that is so unfair, we are so penalizing the GOOD player’ mindset that I am specifically bashing here.

    One person has a lot of availability. Another does not. Both are in a guild. Is it fair that one person gets to have a spot in the raid every single week, on two nights, when the other person does not get to go ever?

    Sure, the second person can try to get into Kara pugs… but that does not give them the chance to play with the other people in the guild who, ostensibly, are their friends and who they WANT to play with.

    If we’re saying that these are both nice people, or good players, or whatever, and the only difference is one can play during the week when you’re scheduling the first half of the run, and the other can’t… well, then no. I think that you are then penalyzing the player with limited availability for daring to have commitments outside the game. I think that’s silly.

    I also personally think that, especially if Karazhan is not your guild’s bleeding edge progression content, if it is really that much of a hardship for just one player in the team to sit out for one night every once in a while… then there are serious issues there.

    This is supposed to be a game. Is it really penalyzing a player to ask them to not run with a group one night of a week, when they have had many, many opportunities to play on that team, so that a person that does not often get that chance, can go in and have fun?

    Shoot, you want a controversial position?

    When someone in Sidhe Devils that rarely if ever gets a chance to raid gets a window of time to come on, if stuff drops they can use, Cassie and I routinely pass on it in their favor automatically, without saying anything to anybody, even if it’s something we have been waiting weeks and weeks for, just because they HAVE so few chances to get in.

    We don’t ask anyone else to do it, we’d never dream of that.

    But for us, it is so much fun to see someone that rarely gets a chance to raid not only come in on the rare occasion they CAN, but also get a neat new upgrade, that it’s one of the true joys of the game for us.

    Raiding is very intense, and needs dedication, and putting your most dependable folks in the lineup for your front of the line raids is smart. It encourages the behavior you want in your raiders.

    But that is even more of a reason to make sure the people who CAN’T raid all the time get included in other activities when they can so they do get to be part of the guild, and not feel like outsiders.

    I don’t know, any other serious raiders have thoughts on this? Am I really that far out of whack?

  12. Mithral says:

    If your guild’s goal is to simply use Kara as a gear-farm, then there -IS- some advantage to excluding or de-prioritizing players who cannot play as much as other raiders. If there’s someone who wants to raid, but can only make, say, one raid-night per month, it’s pretty clear that raid-time invested in that player isn’t going to be worth as much as someone who CAN attend most of the raids. The little gear and experience they do aquire won’t see much raid-use in later raids, especially since they will be way behind the overall gear-curve for the guild.
    Dangirl’s case is a bit different, as she’s able to attend 50% of the raids, but the point still has at least -some- merit.

    However, if you actually play for -FUN- (Gasp!) then bringing in anyone who’s got the needed skill and gear (needed skill/gear being a per-guild defined amount) is VERY worth it, even if they only go for 1 raid per month. I still find Kara to be a very fun raid, especially now that we’ve totally outgeared it.

    It’s a fundamental difference of philosophy towards the game. In any case, I’m happy for Dangirl for finding a guild that fits. It’s always a good thing when a player finds a guild with the right core-philosophy.

  13. Tesh says:

    I’m afraid I can’t speak for raiding, since thus far, my most experienced character is a level 15 Hunter. (Yes, I’m a noob. Yes, I work in the game industry. Yes, I do my homework and most of my pithy or vaguely insightful commentary is based on just thinking a little bit.)

    But… I can speak of my experience in the “working world” which raiding resembles in more ways than one. If I’m looking at a team to work on a project, I want some old hands with experience, some workhorses to do the lion’s share of the unglamorous work, and some noobs. Noobs need to learn the ropes, but they bring enthusiasm, unique viewpoints, and most importantly, will become the old hands that we need down the line. Without those learning opportunities, working with the old hands and the workhorses, the noobs will never progress.

    It’s just good investment to give the noobs experience and training. Whether it’s investing in your business or in your guild, you need people of all sorts to handle the cycle that is life. Old hands move on. Workhorses may burn out. Noobs absolutely must be able to step into those positions, and they need the support from the leads to get there.

  14. bigbearbutt says:

    Okay, I thought I was clear. I’ll say it one more time.

    Stop making personal attacks on Dangirl. I will delete them. Period. This is your final warning.

  15. ARA says:

    Thanks for taking the time to clarify BBB, you have a great sounding guild, and I think its awesome that you would give out loot to a friend that hardly ever has chance to play.

    Obviously your guild is very different from a progression guild, so I dont want to confuse the two, or act like we’d have the same rules. Our guild never does things you describe, So I can’t comment from a “serious raider” perspective. The hot items from progression content always go to a dkp bid – a system that rewards players who put the most work into their main, and haven’t spent any dkp for a while. Its not personal and its a big relief.

    Having said that, we do sit people out if they dont need loot from a specific boss – which a lot of us are quite glad about. Stops people’s raiding experience getting too repetative. We also tend to sit people who consistently aren’t enchanted/buffed correctly, or don’t prepare in other important ways. Basically, those people don’t get to raid by default.

    Our t4 runs are super casual and non-scheduled. Loot is free rolls on mainspec. Anyone can go, so it’s never a problem when a hardcore player sits out for a casual/alt/friend of guildie etc.

  16. Toon says:

    If guilds are farming instances w/ relative ease, then I don’t think theres any problem taking undergeared individuals because you probably have uber-dps/heals/tanks by then and only going for badges. We’ve taken lvl 68 into Kara with all greens and who do less dps than a tank!

    However, if you were going for the Timed ZA run for the bear mount, I think putting the A team on would be justified. Its happened where we’ve had to replace somebody last minute due to raid need.

    Ultimately this is a game and you would want to include as many people in your guilds success. If the guild is not providing you w/ what you need, maybe it is best to depart ways and look for a guild more fitting to your playability.

  17. Rowtan says:

    There are 7 days in a week – why not simply change the day of the first run occasionally? You don’t HAVE to always do the first run on, say, a Wednesday … if you move it around a bit it means that more people have a chance to go, and you don’t get stuck into a routine. If you only go on two night a week, I see no reason why you couldn’t sometimes go Friday & Saturday to cater for those who work during the week. Seems fair to me. We go to Kara regularly in a guild alliance, and we’re not stuck in a routine. We just work it in whenever. *shrugs*

    In order to give more people a chance, as well, we and the other guild “take turns” – one week our chaps get priority, the next week theirs do … but as we’re both fairly casual guilds, our attendance list often has way more than 10 players by the end of the night!!

  18. lisa says:

    I’m a solid casual due to current circumstances, and I’m in an end game guild. I have been to Karazhan twice and only killed 3 bosses, my gear is welfare epics and blues. Only time I’ve ever been to maggy is in a PuG.

    However… I’ve also killed 4/5 MH and 3/9 BT.

    Rather than throwing the raid with not enough people, my guild would take a massively undergeared player on farm nights and teach them the ropes.

    I can see trying to get the same rotation of properly geared people in when bosses are being learned, strategies are being worked out, but on farm nights? Teaching the newb and letting them get gear that would otherwise be sharded only helps out the guild. Gives them another player that can PLAY and is geared. Maybe they can only come when their schedule allows, but having that player online at random o’clock when a spot suddenly opens due to drama,offline,parents means not having to end the raid early and waste the time.

    We casuals can’t expect to be on progress runs, it’s just not feasible when the best geared people in the guild are only just geared enough, or the raid is still fuzzy on tactics.

  19. Bennet says:

    I feel for Dangirl’s prior situation – there’s something about raiding that seems to tweak the priorities of even casual guilds. Our guild is so tiny and so casual that running Kara was going to be a reach; some guildies got restive and started talking mergers and alliances, but our GL held the line and said if they wanted to see 10-man content in our guild they should help gear up the people with family and other obligations who can play less often.

    We finally made it to Kara for the first time ever this week, the handful of us who play fairly obsessively in our badge gear from heroics shepherding the folks who had a smattering of purples but mostly blues and greens, and it was enormously satisfying (and fun!) experience made better by knowing that we’d included everyone who’d expressed an interest in going, even if it took us months to get there.

    Casual guilds, to my mind at least, are supposed to be a refuge from prioritization and commitment and the “needs” of the guild. It’s sad when that stops being the case just as you get to some of the most interesting and challenging content in the game.

  20. dangirl says:

    Thanks for the nice thoughts BBB. Sidhe Devils works on a whole different time zone to me, so most of the time I still don’t get to play much with most of my guildies, but it is *still* a much better fit for me than my old guild.

    A hearty thank you to you and all of the other devils.

  21. Stig says:

    I’ve been in this situation several times, and it makes me mad EVERY time!

    Back pre-BC i was in an MC/BWL guild. I started out being able to make it to about 75% of the raid days, but things with school and relationships started taking time away. I got moved from raider to alternate, and only go to go when somebody didn’t show – even when I was there consistently on certain raid nights. It eventually got so bad that i quit the game (that didn’t last obviously ;) )

    It happened again after BC. But this time it was even more frustrating. I was in a guild that I helped to start with several RL friends and some long time in-game friends. We recruited enough to get a weekly kara group going, and again, when we started I was able to attend at least 75% of raids. I had leveled to 70 with the intention of being one of our kara tanks (bear tanks ftw!). But since I wasn’t making it every night I got bumped from the tank roster, and was relegated to emergency OT. /sigh. Oh well, I guess I’ll just be some melee DPS. So for a month or two I was our resident kittah. Eventually I had to drop one night of raiding due to school and the wife. At that point I got dropped from the list of active raiders, and again only got an invite if the “regulars” weren’t coming. Even nights when I was on an hour before the raid, sat outside Kara, had full elixers, extra food to share, etc – I wouldn’t get invited. I had helped get this guild off the ground! and now my “friends” were cutting me out. And it wasn’t like we had trouble in Kara either, so that we needed to keep the people in who were always there just to get a clear done. We had a full clear except netherspite on our 3rd week, and had netherspite done the 4th week.

    I fully understand what you’ve gone through dangirl – and I”m sorry. It sucks. glad you’ve found a new home that suits you.

  22. gnomeaggedon says:

    Our Kara group is 6-7/10 old friends.. we need 3-4 more each week to get the run going.

    I don’t know how many frustrating nights we have waited (1 hour +) for the good geared puggers… The ones that don’t come back next week, or disappear into the PCBH.

    I recently convinced my mates that from now on we would take “anyone”, see how *they* go. If they listen, perform their roll well (enough), then let’s tell them to meet same place, same time next week. (I do hate the concept that we will spend time gearing a mate, but not a random off LFG)

    I know we have had quite a few 1st timers come with us, most of them OK, the occasional one you can hear gushing through the raid chat at the excitement, and apprehension.

    As the resident sharder, I hate my job… I would much rather hand the gear out to beggars on the street than shard it. So why not go one better, hand it out to someone that will a) appreciate the run and b) appreciate the gear.

    I still remember my 1st Gruul and Lurker “random whisper”. I never expected to go there, didn’t know where they were, didn’t expect gear… but did I have a great time – Hell yeah! (and I continue to get invites… so I must do something right, and that makes the PCBH more bearable)

  23. Amava says:

    Sorry, this comment became a wall of text, but I suppose that’s no stranger to this site :-) Keep ‘em coming, Butt.

    Much of what you’re saying here is spot on. The complexity, scheduling and time requirements of raiding forces tough decisions on leaders and members alike, and when forced to make a tough decision, most people tend towards forming a comfort zone and sticking with.

    You’ve illustrated some of the very legitimate reasons that cliques tend to form within a guild, and some of the reasons its bad for the guild, along with a suggestion to mix things up to avoid those cliques. And also shown the negative impact on people who feel they are outside the main clique.

    True, true.

    In my experience, one part of the 10->25 person transition went a little different than you suggest…

    “You want a solid team that knows each other, and can play with each other, and trusts each other. NOT two seperate teams that have never run with each other before, meeting for the first time and butting heads in Gruul’s Lair.”

    We started out with only enough players to run a single team in kara. Roughly 13 or so in that raiding team, casual approach, so no attendance requirement, but generally 10 out of those same 13 each week. There were more than 13 people in the guild, and we routinely had to ask people to sit out.

    Over time, we gain some more members and its now time to run two teams in kara.

    We were faced with the option of spliting the original 10 up and forming two teams of half-and-half veteran/new raiders, or go with keeping the original team intact and forming a brand new team of raiders.

    I was adamant about going with the latter.

    For one basic reason.

    I wanted to be sure that everyone in the guild learns the tough parts of raiding through experience. I wanted the new raiders to learn the importance of researching fights, of remaining patient during wipe after wipe after wipe, the unfortunate but unavoidable gold cost of repairs and consumables, the sense of teamwork and trusting your fellow raiders.

    If we went with a blended approach, those new raiders would just be carried through the content, never truly facing adversity or the struggles that come with progression.

    The new raiders would be running in a raid where half the players passed on all the gear, so the new guys would get a false sense of “wow, raiding is sweet, you get tons of epics every night”.

    We spent about two months with those two teams running in parallel. Along the way, a feeling of cliquiness did develop. That was unfortunate

    But that new team forged themselves into a salty group of players who fully understand both the challenges and rewards of progression raiding.

    I let them have full autonomy on their spec’s, their group makeup, their boss kill order, their invites and substitutes…everything. My only requirement was that they run on the same three nights and at the same times that the original team ran at, since our ultimate goal was to join up and raid in 25-person content together.

    When we entered Gruul’s Lair for the first time, there was a little bit of a trust issue, because most of the two teams had never raided together, only done Heroics and questing along the way. As a result of our separate-but-shared approach to learning to raid, the team easily pushed past that initial barrier and was able to focus on the task at hand, developing a united identity as a 25-person raid team along the way.

    A big factor in our success in Gruul’s and now Magtheridon, and soon to be SSC, is the fact that we never carried any of our raiders through content that was a breeze for them.

    An additional benefit that I didn’t anticipate at the time was the cultivation of leadership talent. If we had just spit the original team of 10 up, you’d end up with the established raid leaders performing the leadership duties in both of the new teams. By allowing the new team to develop itself, our guild now has some additional strong leaders that helps us tremendously.

  24. nefer says:

    An mentioned i see that wow changes the minds of people when in comes to raiding. Suddenly its not about having fun with friends but with achievement. After thinking about that for a while I came to the conclusion that there is something quite wrong about that.

    I think ther is a lot to blame on the style of raids. The are all static instances for exactly 10 oder 25 players. Nothing disturbs me more than to have to wait for that second healer or that other dps.

    I think blizz should focus more on the fun part and change the raids dynamically depending on the number of players. Remember Diablo?
    Ofc you would need a tank and healers- nothing wrong with that (as long as every class is a viable maintank on its own) but why not change the damage or hp depending on the number of players just like Diablo?

    why not be able to run kara with 8 or 9 or ssc with 22 or 27 and still have fun and a fair chance?

  25. Vrathmat says:

    I’m hoping the change in WotLK of having a 10-man version of every instance will remedy some of this. One of the biggest reasons guilds fall apart is making the transition from 10 to 25-man content. Once kara’s on farm, the only thing left is to jump the hurdle to Gruul, so guilds are forced into trying to transform the guild into a 25-man group, which can be really hard on smaller guilds. It usually ends up as an endless cycle where you get almost enough people right before some of the best players decide to leave because it has taken too long, and they’re bored.

    The more I think about it, the more I wonder if I’ll even bother with 25-man content at all in Wrath since there will be so many 10-man options. It’s definitely more epic fighting with 24 other people, but it’s also a big hassle.

  26. Grandorr says:

    Good Subject.

    I too have stories of being pushed aside because of favoritism, greed, selfishness, and all the other human frailties. We ARE human’s, even if we play exotic creatures or super human toons.

    Full Bore Raid guilds depend on accountability, experience, dedication bordering on fanaticism, being an expert in understanding how to play your class and role, equipment, and personality. Regular’s ARE treated better than part time players. That’s just a fact of life. Know what you are getting into.

    Guilds that Raid, or semi-casual to casual, but NOT full-bore, need not apply those same exacting standards. Having said that, I’ve seen some things in smaller guilds that rightfully miff people, and is pretty petty. The Dynamics from a full hard core raid guild and a small 10 man raid or semi-casual guild should be dramatic. Everyone wants gold, shards, badges, loot, but you should not step all over people to get it in the smaller guilds, where people are MUCH more interactive and know each other alot better.

    Example:
    You have a toon that is OK, but not Kara equipped. You sign up, you wait outside the instance with all necessary pots, food buffs, etc… The Regular’s show up just before jump off time, get invited, and go inside. They are not only Kara equipped, but ZA equipped. There for badges only. 1-2 slots open for the 10-15 Non regulars to roll on. 2 nights of Kara, then ZA. The Non-regulars can’t run ZA because they can’t get into guild Kara runs for the drops. Catch-22.

    Unless they had other reasons to stay in the guild, many people would get frustrated and leave the guild entirely. Not exactly a situation that promotes good warm fuzzy feelings.

    The Rich get Richer, The Poor Stay Poor.

    By the time they are equipped enough from Enchants, Quests, Spending tons of gold on Crafted items to RUN Kara without any problem, the guild won’t be running it any more because they are bored with it. Another Catch-22

    Been there, done that, have the T-shirt. I’m much happier just having fun, and not worrying about Damage meters and all the other fluff. Had my time with hard core charging guilds, so I am not “Missing” anything right now IMO. I do recommend everyone have the experience, but it burns people out faster than being a stock broker. :)

  27. Kij says:

    Thats not true Grandorr. From what you write, you sound like the sort of person that wouldnt enjoy advanced raiding at all.

    I dont believe you’ve “been there, done that, got the tshirt”. I’d say it sounds more like you “had a go, failed badly, feel pissed”

    Believe it or not my friend, some of us thrive on it :) Dont assume we’re all like you.

  28. Raynmaker, Alevas (Uther) says:

    I often lead a group of friends through Kara on the weekends just for the badges. We’re well geared but I can never scrape together enough friends for a full group, we’re always missing something, 90% of the time it’s tanks.
    Well, a few weeks ago we were struggling… 2 healers: Check, 6 dps: Check, 2 tanks: Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full. We had neither MT nor OT.
    After 45 minutes of LFG/trade channel pugging, I managed to round up two pallies – one with around 13k health and one with around 13.5k health. They’d do. I invited them to group, they accepted, and then I had 7 people in the raid whispers me: “who are these two?!?! where’d you pick them up at?” They had some blues on, I’ll admit it, but I’m wearing a bunch of T6 gear and, though I’m often modest, I’m a damn good healer, and the other healer with us was a resto druid I’d trust for anything.
    What I hadn’t told the group, but they later found out was that neither of our tanks had MT’d kara before. One of them had respeced from ret to prot just a week before that. Well, we cleared it except nether (because I despise him with a passion and by the time we get there, I have no desire to go to him and I just want to get out of the instance. We wiped once on Nightbane, that was it.

    I’ve studied a lot of different classes and I read up on a lot. I’ve also tanked kara on a druid. I kept up whispers with both tanks for the whole instance. When we came out of it, the pally who had MT’d for us was incredibly thankful and made a comment to me that I’ll never forget. “I can never find a kara group because people take one look at my gear and say ‘no thanks’.” It’s true that he didnt’ have the best gear, but we could more than make up for that with our healing and our good dps. What he learned were valuable lessons on how to tank and about kara. He was a fantastic tank – I had people in T5 pulling off of him a couple of times but other than that, he was dynamite (and I attribute them pulling off of him due to their gear differences). He picked up people going after healers, had a fantastic sense of mob control and placement. I marked up everything but kept constant whispers why I was marking the way I was, and by the time we got to the room before Illhoof, I was confident he could mark and let him go ahead and do that.

    I really hope that someone gives him a chance because he deserves it. A good GM or Raid Leader can look at what they have, asses, and make decisions about whether they can continue with it. They can take strengths and make up for weaknesses with it, and at the same time try and “fix” some of the weaknesses.

    If anyone out there gets the chance, try out Melchiah of Uther.
    Also, a druid tank we did the same thing with last week as well: Mezentyr of Uther.

  29. Grandorr says:

    Not true Kij… I was in a full bore Raid guild Pre-BC. It was fun, it was adrenaline pumping. We raided ALOT. 40 man Raids are Awesome.

    Sure, there were politics and things going on then. It is human nature.

    With smaller guilds, it becomes much more personal when you aren’t treated the way you would treat others.

    You failed to read my last line apparently. I say try a raid guild out, enjoy the experience. As they say, “Just Do It”. It IS an adrenaline rush.

  30. Goldengreen says:

    Five of my closest friends have been playing WoW for years and I just started pretty recently. I’m level 65 right now and really having a great time. They’ve assured me that they will go through Karazhan with me a bunch of times and help me out alot when I reach 70, to gear up but also for the experience because I am a super-noob when it comes to MMORPGs and group dynamics of a raid/instance since I mostly solo. Some of them have helped me out at times during levelling too, but getting run through something doesn’t make you better at your class. It’s amazing how much a 50 gold gift can do when you are levels 1 through 40 though. Now, with the expansion coming out in a couple weeks, I’m afraid that I’m not going to make it to 70 in time and everyone will be busy with DKs and levelling to 80. Noone is going to want to bring me through Karazhan over and over when they would rather see the new stuff. Heck, sometimes I just want to do it once, to see it, then move on to questing for 71. That seems like it would be such a shame, kinda like the shame that I haven’t done hardly any of the other instances in the game. Meanwhile, I also won’t have all the rep and gold and honor grinded like everyone else and will perpetually be behind… Not to mention the lack of professions and alts. It’s such a big game now and getting so much bigger that I am really missing out on the majority of it. I’m such a whiner.

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