Glass half full, glass half empty?
Glass is too damn full!
Okay, joking aside, here is a serious question.
What DO you do when your guild has more active, friendly people eager to do stuff than you have raid or event space for?
Yeah, yeah, I know. Boo hoo. Yuck it up, sunshine.
The fact is, there are two sweet spots for a guild.
One is when you have just the right number of people to field a strong ten person team, plus a few extra folks.
That lets you consistently have enough folks to go on ten person runs, without having to have the same people present every single time for it to work, which leads directly to burnout. If you have two or three more people that want to and are able to raid than you have spots for, generally you’ll have at least some folks that would like to not go on any given night, and they get to do their own thing in the real world without canceling the raid.
The second sweet spot is when you have enough active, eager folks to fill out one 25 person team, or two ten person teams, plus a few more folks again so not everyone has to show up every single time to ensure the run kicks off.
Great. So 13 to 14 eager people, or 28 to 30 eager people.
What do you do when you’ve consistently got 16 to 18?
It seems to me there are several ways a guild could go, and some of them would lead to massive burnout, and others would probably lead to boredom.
First, of course, is simply leaving the folks not on a run to go wild with independant action, trusting that personal initiative will bring them together if they want to do something. Clearly, if they all signed up for a run, they all wanted to do something… and presumably it wasn’t just for raid loot.
Anyway, they can go do whatever 5 person instance they want, get their alt on, what have you.
Same as any other night. It’s fine, but theres no special ‘zing’ to it.
Next, of course, is the simple “One 10 person raid team, one multiple person retro team” method.
Once you’ve got your ten person run filled out, if you’ve got that many folks online not going, they could form up together and do something that can take more than five people, but doesn’t require a strongly balanced ten person team.
Something like Zul’Aman, or Kara, or even Molten Core. They wouldn’t be getting the big time raid loot, but they’d still be taking part in something larger than normal, and getting Achievements if they had not done those raids before, seeing something that you don’t normally see on a regular old night. Heck, there might even be the potential for profession recipe drops or mounts.
Third is trying to get a second full ten person run up, pugging in friends to fill out the group.
I’ve said before how our guild doesn’t do that, but if you’ve got enough people that really want to get their raid on, and have enough friends or are willing to risk pugged people, filling out the last spots and giving it a try can be very rewarding… and of course if you are really lucky, might earn you some new friends to run with consistently.
Sure, you could meet new people, find new friends, grow your guild… and come closer to your full 25 person raid if that’s your goal.
But to have a second 10 person run, you also need a second raid leader to get it going and keep the focus, run DKP if you use it, all that kind of thing.
Fourth, is to have two ten person runs scheduled… but not overlapping. A lot of people have multiple characters they could play in a ten person run. It is possible to have two distinct 10 person runs in a week, with no two characters in both teams, but the same player behind some of them.
God, what a prescription for massive burnout that would be!
And finally, fifth seems to me to be the most likely thing folks probably do… take everyone that signs up, form what you can of a 25 person raid, and then pug the rest or pull from friends lists, in the hopes of evaluating these pugged people, recruiting from them more people to join and build your guild to eventually do 25 person raids without any pugged people. Getting your planned 25 peson raid going, accepting long delays in start time once you know how many openings you will end up with and how many people you will need to recruit in from LFG.
I have seen guilds do that, been one of the people pugged in sometimes before, and can tell you firsthand that this is a good way to build frustration, since sometimes you get folks undergeared, unskilled, there are multiple time delays, people bail when they feel things aren’t going they way they like… and your guildies are the ones that have to accept this as the price of getting the raid on.
And if you think that some of your guildies aren’t nursing resentments over it, you’re crazy.
It works, and certainly gains you experience in the fights, 25 person raid loot for gearing up, the whole thing… but if you spend too long doing this without growing your guild to do it in house and have more control over time and skill and the personalities involved, it’s a prescription for guild stress and drama down the road.
I know that for the Sidhe Devils, as our numbers grow and we consistently have more signups than positions, I am growing concerned that we need a solution to this before it becomes a problem.
After all, we’re not going to be doing 25 person runs.
We could see if there was interest in maybe having two nights for a Naxx team, and then one night for Obsidian Sanctum and Vault of Archavon, with the intention being to have folks that can’t go on one getting assured a spot in the other team. That would have the virtue of bringing level appropriate loot into the mix.
In fact, skipping Vault of Archavon and having the Obsidian Sanctum run be intentionally focused on clearing with one drake up might make the challenge exciting enough to be equivalent to Naxx in fun, if not duration.
It’s an interesting situation, though.
The purpose of scheduling events, I think, is to stay fun and vital and be a place where you have the opportunity to do things that you could never do alone, and do those things with friends. But also to provide enough activities thqat everyone has a chance to take part and nobody ends up feeling left out.
Charlie Brown is a sweet kid, but nobody should feel like the outsider that got a rock in his halloween loot sack.
To chase that purpose, things need to be mixed up sometimes, new stuff, different stuff, swirl it all around and have a gumbo.
But there shouldn’t be SO much stuff going on that people either get burnt out doing it all and having no personal time, or you have such a busy schedule that everybody is signing up for something, but no one thing has enough signups to get it done, leading to disappointment.
I’ve said what my thoughts are. I’m leaning personally to having a second raid in the week where people who aren’t on one team can be on the other.
I know that a lot of guilds are in this fix. What are your solutions? How do you keep folks having fun, without leaving people out?
How do you make sure no player is left behind?