Special Pilgrim’s Bounty edition!
A raid leader has a lot of responsibilities in a guild. They have to manage the raiding roster and invite list, read boss guides and device a strategy that will work for your particular group. Then of course there’s the actual leading of the raid which is no small task in its own.
In a raiding group you’re dependent on your raid leader doing all of those things, but there is one more thing that you may have forgotten. The raid leader sets the mood of the raid. If he/she is in a bad mood it will rub off on the group. If he/she is in a good mood it will also rub off on the group. Whatever mood you bring as a raid leader is most likely going to show in your group.
There are different styles of raid leading; you have the people who push and yell and you have the people who support and coach. Neither is right or wrong, you just have to figure out what works best for you as a raid leader and your raiding group.
What doesn’t work is bringing your bad mood into the raid.
I’m sorry, but if you had a shitty day at work or you’re in a bad mood for any reason – either find a way to set it aside for the raid or let someone else do the raid leading for the night. Having a raid leader who comes into the raid and immediately starts complaining or being rude isn’t helping anyone, all it does is aggravate the group and their performance will suffer.
If you act and sound like you’d rather not be there – and this goes for members as well – then maybe you shouldn’t be there.
Tonight our raid leader was in a bad mood. I couldn’t tell you why, but it rubbed off on everyone. In the end one of the raiders couldn’t handle it and blew up, leaving the raid. I don’t think that rage-quitting is the answer, because even if it may make your point – it leaves the other 8 people in the raid hanging.
Who’s fault is it? Well, I’d like to say both. Our raid leader should have left his bad mood at the door, but the member who quit shouldn’t have done so – but tried to discuss it instead. That said, it can be incredibly difficult discussing something with someone in a bad mood. In the end, we had a ruined raid which had to be cancelled only three bosses in because we had no replacement.
I think we all need to think about what kind of mood we bring to the raid, because this is not a single player game after all, but you’re raiding with another 9 or 24 people – and they most likely don’t deserve you taking your mood out on them. This goes for raid leaders, members and officers – it’s everyone responsibility to make a raid a pleasurable experience, but maybe the raid leader’s a little bit more.
I think at one point we all ask ourselves why we raid, or why others raid. Is it because they want those shiny purples or is it because they like the challenge of beating new content? Perhaps a bit of both?
For me personally, I’ll admit that I like the purples. I think anyone who says they don’t care about gear isn’t being entirely honest. However, the gear isn’t a deciding factor for me. I love getting a new piece that I’ve worked for, but I love beating a new boss more.
In my Warlock’s guild we have a mentality of being kind to each other and passing loot if someone else needs it more. A lot of us will pass a second piece of loot if we already got one (except maybe if it’s a BiS – I think everyone gets a bit greedy about those).
In my alt’s Horde guild there is a similar pattern. I see a lot of the older members passing loot for each other, but they also have an enforced rule of only getting one piece then someone else should get one (unless no one else needs it). I quite like that rule, because I will admit that I often lose rolls on my Warlock.
I think a lot of people appreciate getting that new piece of gear, but I don’t think it should be your only reason to raid.
Do I have a story to share regarding this? Of course I do!
What caused me to think about this in the first place was an event that took place in my Horde guild. We had new recruits, a couple (can you already see where this is going?) who had joined a couple of weeks ago. They’d been in the guild maybe two weeks and were both still on Trial rank since they’d not been to more than two raids.
We had a long night planned after the 4.2 patch with going back for a final try on Nefarian (even if he is nerfed now) on a saved lock, after which we were going to go to BoT and if time try Firelands.
As a side note, I love raiding with my friend’s Horde guild on my Paladin. I’ve done all of the fights already on my Warlock so far (who knows, they might get ahead of us soon though if people don’t start showing for raids again), but it’s so much fun to see fights from a different perspective.
Back to my story though; we go in and we kill Nefarian on the second try. (Only reason we even failed on the first try was because the couple had not quite understood the tactics.)
The T11 head token dropped and the girlfriend rolled as well as a couple of other people in the guild. She won the roll, but because she’s a Trial the loot goes to a full member (a guild rule).
I personally think it’s a fair rule, because you never know if trials will stay or work out, and handing them loot (especially tier pieces) that full members need is a risky business. The couple however didn’t really agree, but didn’t kick up too much fuss about it.
We take a 5 minute break while people make their way to BoT. Just as we get inside and prepare to start the first pull the girlfriend says “I have to go eat, good luck with the raid”. At this point the raid has been not even one hour long, and we have another 2-3 hours to go, so obviously people are rather unhappy.
If you’re not going to be able to stay for a full raid, you’re supposed to say so beforehand. Obvious? I think so.
It’s also rather obvious that she hadn’t originally planned to leave early, but decided to do so when she didn’t get the loot she wanted. (And don’t misunderstand, it’s not like Trials don’t get any loot at all, they do – just not over full members, but even then full members are sometimes nice and pass for them.)
A couple of minutes later she puts a message in the guild chat that she has a new job and less time, and is losing interest in the game. So thanks and good bye. She /gquits.
A few minutes later, without saying anything, the boyfriend leaves the guild as well.
If she was really losing interest in the game, then she shouldn’t have rolled for a Tier token in the first place. But I will admit – I don’t think she lost interest until she didn’t get the loot.
There are a lot of things here that are a problem. People caring too much about loot, couples who leave together. I will admit though, I’ve heard about things like these – but this is the first time in my years of playing WoW that I’ve actually seen it first hand (both cases at once too, what are the odds!?).
I can see someone being upset if they’d not understood that full members had loot priority over trials, but to actually leave the guild over it? Ironically the officers had discussed promoting them before the next raid.
How important are purples to you?
After my little rant about some of the problems we’re having in my guild I sat down and started to think about what I think is important in a guild – leadership and management wise. While I think there will always be some issues and problems in any guild, I think you can prevent at least the majority by having a good structure.
I find the idea of an officerless guild interesting, and I’m looking forward to see how it works out for Alas, Zel and their new guild. However, that’s not the way to go for everyone, and I know it would never be an option for my guild.
So what do I think is important for a guild to make it a good environment for everyone; members, officers, guild master and everyone else concerned?
Lay Down the Rules
Every guild needs to have clear and defined rules that dictate how situations should be handled. They should be as fair as you can make them, and put somewhere official like your site or forums where everyone can read them.
Rules I think are important (other than the obvious rules like treating everyone with respect) are ones that deal with:
- Who has priority on raid spots
- What happens if you’re late for a raid
- Who gets what loot (dkp, suicide kings, loot council, roll)
- What is expected of you as a member of the guild, by role in the guild
- The expectations on raiding members specifically, and how much attendance they need to meet the requirements of being a raiding member in the first place
- What happens when a raiding member suddenly don’t fill the previous requirements
And here’s the crux in some guilds; the rules apply to everyone equally.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an officer, if you can only attend 20% of the raids at any given time you should not get a raid spot! (Unless it’s listed in the rules, because then the members are at least aware, though I’d argue that’d be a really, really bad rule.) But if it says in the rules that you have to meet 75% attendance and yours is 50% on an average, you just can’t expect a raid spot, whether you’re a member or an officer.
Transparency in Decisions
There may be times when you make decisions that seem odd to the rest of the guild, or make an exception to a rule for someone for some reason. This is not something that should be done often, but if you are doing it, then make sure that you make it clear to everyone in the guild why you made the call.
You may be the Guild Leader Supreme with All The Power; but if you make decisions that the guild members don’t understand resentment may be born.
I’m not saying that you need the guild’s approval for every decision. There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like something/doesn’t agree. My point is that there should be a transparency in guild leadership so that everyone knows what’s going on (then they can disagree or agree, but at least they’re in the loop and know the reasons behind why things are done).
I don’t think I can make my stand point on this any clearer, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; being an officer is not a perk, it’s a job!
You do not give someone the officer rank because they’ve “been in the guild for a long time”. Feel free to have another rank for that called Senior Member or Veteran (or Cuddle Bear, whatever you want really), but don’t flood your list of officers.
Keep the amount of officers to a decent level compared to the size of your guild. If you have a 10 man guild, even with social members making it twice that size or three times having your officer team make up 50% or more of the 10 man group seems redundant.
Officers should have duties, not honorary titles. If you’re an officer expect to pick up a few things to do in the guild, be it raid leading, managing website, dkp, loot management or recruitment. Don’t expect to just sit around and have opinions (though you should of course have opinions as well). That’s not what being an officer is about.
The “Us” and “Them” conundrum
I’ve discussed the issue of the “Us” and “Them” mentality in guilds before, and it’s something I think a guild should work against.
Yes, the raid leader has the final word in raids and in the end, whether we agree with them or not the guild master has the final say in guild matters. However, that doesn’t mean that people should be treated differently when it comes to the rules, and I think that’s what’s important.
I also think it would be wise to keep the Officer Chat/Channel (in-game/vent, ts) for actual officer discussions, such as discussing rules, raid management and other possible issues. I don’t think it should be used as a social spot for officers.
Not everyone wants to talk to everyone in the guild all the time, I understand this. In-game you can just ignore the guild chat, but on vent/ts it may be difficult to sit in a channel with lots of people who are chattering along. I have no problem with someone taking their refuge in the officer channel to get away from that, but if you’re having say four officers sitting chatting in the officer channel and six members sitting in the lounge it’s silly if you’re all just being social.
Keep the officer chat/channel to “official” business. For the rest use other forums like the guild chat, or one of the other rooms on vent/ts.
The “Us” and “Them” mentality of course also comes back to the previous points of everyone being treated equally. Don’t give Officers more leeway than you would any normal raiding member, that’s also going to build resentment and when it all comes down to it, it’s nothing but unfair.
What do you think is important in guild management/leadership?
Small note: Just to make it clear, in case anyone is uncertain – I’m not saying that my guild is failing in all these areas (we’re not quite that bad!), but this is rather a list of what I personally find important in a guild.
Warning: Rambling post is rambling.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around things, so please excuse me if this post is rather rambling. Also, I’m sorry if I step on anyone’s toes in my guild (should you come across this post), but I really just need to put my thoughts into words to try and make sense of what’s going on.
My guild, as I’ve alluded to before in comments and posts, is a smallish guild intent on 10 man raiding. We have a core of a few members (all officers by now) who have been with the guild since early TBC days, as well as a few members who joined us during Wrath. By now we also have some social members who joined in Cataclysm since with the guild changes we’re quite happy to have a social player base as well as our raiders.
I’ve talked earlier about what I want our guild to be like, and we’re approaching that mentality now in Cataclysm, for which I am happy. However, we’re also having some issues that I’m not quite sure how we can solve. I will try to bring these issues to light, in an effort to understand them better myself.
Part 1: “Us” and “Them”
One of my personal grudges right now is the mentality amongst some of the officers that there’s “us” and there’s “them”. To me – it’s one guild and we’re all together in this. I think everyone should be equally valued. Sure, a social member won’t get a spot over an actual raiding member, but that is not the same thing as saying that they are less valued members of the guild!
A few of the members have been with us for more than a year, and sure – they may not always make 100% of the raid days, but then that’s not always possible.
The thing that really got me about the “them” and “us” mentality was that we actually ended up changing our raid days. We only raid 3 nights a week and obviously with such few days we want people to commit to if not 100% attendance, at least as close to it as they can.
We’d settled on raiding Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but then it turns out one of our officers (and admittedly a very good player and dps) can’t easily make those days, and at the very least will be 30 minutes late. So, okay – we start looking into changing the raid days around a little. There’s no issue with this, except – we only ask the officers when they can make it. No one asks the members if the days work for them, even with me prompting and asking if we shouldn’t.
So, guess what happens? We change the raid days to Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday and the first raid is scheduled for Sunday. I think you can see where this is going. Since no one bothered asking the members if those days would work for them, it turns out that 3 of them actually can’t make it on Sundays (they’d pretty much settled for us raiding Tue-Thu and made plans around that). Monday turns out to be another really bad day for a lot of people (me included).
Do you know what takes the prize? Some of the Officers immediately starting to rant about people not showing commitment to the guild and raiding and showing up whenever they please. Except of course we scheduled the days according to when the Officers were able to raid (me not included cause I’m gone twice a month on Mondays for night class) and no one asked the members. Can we really blame them when it turns out that they can’t necessarily make those days?
Part 2: Old Grudges
Then of course there’s the issue of some people not being able to let go of their grudges. Now, I’m not saying we should let people in the guild do whatever they want and still get raid invites. This was something we were bad at in Wrath, but I’ve worked out some policies that states clearly what will happen if you can’t make enough raids, so this expansion this shouldn’t be an issue.
In Wrath we had a couple of people join us who ended up unable to raid as much as they initially said. One of them told us this up front when his ability to join raids changes, while the other just didn’t bother at all. Now, the person who did tell us is back and his schedule is more sorted and he could make 3 nights a week (but not Sundays and Mondays, so this may end up a non-issue if we don’t change our raid days).
However, some people are holding grudges for him not raiding with us in Wrath. Since he was a healer and we were short on healers him not showing basically meant no raid. So yes, that did put us in a tight spot at the time, but I like to think people can be given another chance. Especially since with the new rules no one would be able to string us along and have us count on them, since if you can’t make enough raids you just won’t be a raiding member, but a social member.
So there’s lots of discussions back and forth about whether or not he should be allowed to raid at all, which is silly cause we have no one to replace him (recruitment is fairly slow, we’ve always had bad luck with getting new members). For me, I have no problem letting him raid – and if it turns out he (again) can’t make the raids then he just won’t be a raiding member anymore.
Part 3: Wherein we go to a pre-school level
Now for the final piece in my ranting. During the big officer discussions when the first raid failed (not surprisingly), one officer said something to another officer that was worded badly, and received even worse.
There was a bit of a falling out between the two, and the original comment being taken out of proportion and misinterpreted. Sure, it was a badly written comment and it came across a lot worse and more personal than it was intended. But explanations towards this weren’t exactly listened to either. I don’t want to blame either person in this case, I think they both blew up and the whole comment was made a lot worse than it had been intended.
Now, the officer whom the comment was made to have declined every raid currently in the calendar. Great. I think apologies have been made, but either he’s not seen them yet or he doesn’t care.
And people say women are the drama queens?
Don’t get me wrong, I’d be upset if someone said the same thing to me, but I’d like to think I’d listen to an apology and understand that it wasn’t meant towards me personally.
Part 4: Where am I going with this?
I honestly have no idea where I’m going with this. I’m trying to put it all down in black on white before me to see if I can figure out what to do about it, and quite honestly I’m drawing a blank.
Emotions are high and resentments are possibly even higher right now. People are blaming each other for the guild’s failures, and there’s a lot of complaining. Sadly, very few people seem to do anything to improve things. This is what annoys me I think. I can in most regards see what people are complaining about; but it frustrates me that all they do is complain. I haven’t heard any suggestions about what can be done to fix it, all I hear is “this is bad and that is bad and I don’t want to raid with X and Y + Z aren’t here for this raid and can’t be counted on either!”
I guess in a way what I’d like from my fellow officers is a bit of leeway. Give things/people a chance. Count everyone as equals. Don’t start jumping down each other’s throats. Just… take it easy and let’s give this a try.
I think some people are still upset/resentful after Wrath raiding didn’t go the way they wanted to (me and some other guildies ended up having to kill Arthas with a few random PUG members because some people just decided to call it quits until the expansion was over).
Part 5: Final Thoughts
I don’t think there’s a solution per se. I think people need to mellow down and let go of old grudges. Get new one if you want once people deserve them, but let’s start fresh and see where we can go with this.
Communicate! Let’s talk to the people that are our supposed raiding members and decide on a raiding schedule that work for as many people as possible, not just officers!
Let people back in/give them a chance. If they let us down, so be it. We were the bigger persons and gave them a chance, and we can demote them to social rank if it doesn’t work out.
In the end, I’m just tired of the negative attitude and I want people to get along. I feel like I’m in the middle of the “Us” (officers) and “Them” (guild members) since I like both groups, and I want them all to matter equally.
I’m sorry if this post makes no sense, I know it’s a lot of rambling.
This comic has a lot to do with the many discussions we have in our guild about the fact that our raid leader can’t hold his temper. We tease him about it, but it’s also something that bugs me (which he’s well aware of). I’m not one who likes being yelled at. So, here’s how Démonique would like to deal with the situation!
I’m sorry for the lack of posting lately, it’s a combination of being busy in real life and having little to write about at the moment. However, I am still playing around with some comic ideas. The new patch broke my WoW Modelviewer and I couldn’t do human female models for a while, which is how I came up with the idea for the new comic. That, and my ever-lasting hatred for gnomes 😉
I hope you’re all enjoying the Hallow’s End in WoW, and have something fun planned for this weekend when the “real deal” rolls around!
Click the image for the larger version of the comic.
I’ve been wanting to do a comic (and have several ideas stacked up) for more than a year now. The intention was to draw it by hand, but I’m not very good at it so it’s just never happened. So now, inspired by the awesome Liala over at Disciplinary Action and her incredible comics I decided to try making them using photoshop instead.
So here, I give you my very first comic. (You’ll have to click it to be able to read it I’m afraid.) It was definitely a learning experience, and if I can bring myself to do another I know a few things to look out for next time.