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The die is cast

And so it was, my guild is recruiting.

This has been a long time coming for sure. Reading my raid recaps (when I’ve been in a good enough mood to do one) you could see how poor attendance has been lately. In the last month we’ve been on the razor’s edge in terms of whether or not our 25mans were going to go off. Despite having about 30 geared raiders, from night to night 6-8 decide to take the night off. If one or two were doing this, that’d be fine, but that huge a number makes raid unpredictable. Moreover, would it kill people to give some heads up that “hey, I can’t make raids next week”?

Two weeks ago when this problem first cost us a raid night it was obvious that the only real solution was to recruit, but I held off because I knew we had the people, they just were taking nights off en masse. So we shortened the raid week to two nights, though a bit longer, to make raiding less onerous on everyone’s schedules. That seemed to help a little, but now it’s plain to see we can’t ignore the root of the problem anymore. It’s time to shut up and do the hard thing and bring more dps into the fold and acclimate them into the raid core.

I’m currently attempting to find five or so new dps for the guild, qualified folks requiring minimal gearing so we can get back on track and get the progression train rolling again. We’ve been stuck at 7/12 for a while, giving Putricide the stink eye, and we really need to make good on our threats.

Wednesday was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We spent all Tuesday night literally mopping up all farm content as quickly and efficiently as possible: first four bosses, Festergut, Rotface, Blood Council, all one shots. Hell, we even killed Svalna in the Dreamwalker hallway for the free Emblem of Frost. Then we went and did Toravon and the raid weekly for good measure.

And then Wednesday only 23 people showed up for progression.

30 minutes past raid start it was becoming obvious that ICC-25 wasn’t happening, and as a back up plan I told everyone to hang tight and I’d carve out two 10man groups so we could at least get something done in ICC-10. I spent a good ten minutes huddled over a pad of paper and a pen, sweating profusely, and trying to expertly craft two balanced groups that could equally complete ICC-10 content. I thought I did pretty well, passed off the group two list to an officer for him to invite for and lead, and then went to Icecrown to start mine.

A few minutes and it occurred to me (by way of healer complaints in /o) that group two didn’t have Replenishment. Total facepalm, didn’t even enter into the equation for me.

I’m doing my best, dammit

Apologies in advance if this reeks of QQ.

On a side note, the common denominator over every moment I’ve spent raiding over the course of the last month has been unmitigated stress. Demogar, the guild leader and my brother tank, has been spotty in attendance since he got his new job, for good or ill. It’s fallen on me to pick up the pieces when he isn’t there; this normally isn’t so bad, but I’m not cut out to be the leading type, I just kind of keep getting stuck with it.

I like to think of my situation in very “Charge of the Light Brigade”/Cincinnatus-esque terms–I hate raid leading but I will shoulder the burden to that the raids can actual happen. I take the tank gear, I bear the “Co-Guild Lead” rank, it’s my job.

I was mulling around these feelings in my head when two posts popped up on twitter. One at The Hunter’s Mark, which then spawned one by Wrathy. Both touched on raid leading and the philosophies and difficulties there of.

The common thread between these two are “you rank and file don’t know how good you have it, do your job and stop making mine so hard.” Money quote from Lass’ post:

My point is, raid leaders have to do everything the average player has to do… for 25+ other people and themselves. They also have to work out the logistics of scheduling and populating raids, which doesn’t sound difficult on the surface, but if you’ve ever tried throwing a PuG raid together, you sort of get a feel for what it can be like to do that every week. You get about a dozen people whispering you back and forth constantly, asking what gear set to bring, what spec they should use, who else is going, what bosses they’ll be focusing on, what the strategies are, what loot will drop, etc etc ad infinitum.

I completely agree. For that spotty 30 minute period on Wednesday when the night’s events looked in doubt I fielded a slew of whispers from various people asking when invites were going out, why weren’t they out yet, what were we going to do, and boy does it suck that we aren’t raiding.

Yeah, no kidding guys, believe me, I feel the same way.

If you’re not one of the lucky few that have taken it upon themselves to shoulder all this torture on your behalf, then please be kind to your raid leaders. All you have to do is come to raid and worry about if some piece of gear will drop that you want, and whether you personally are having fun.

I, and my many self-medicating cohorts, must worry about a panorama of things: is everyone having fun, why hasn’t that boss died yet, does anyone need go soon, who do I have to replace them, are we spending too much time between pulls, is the dkp addon working, is anyone afk, how are we going to do CC on this Blood Wing pull, what made us wipe on that boss, why is that hunter doing so little dps, what can I do to make people stack better, and so on and so forth.

I’m doing my best, dammit, to make sure the raids happen and the bosses die and the purples flow like wine. All I request in return is that everyone shows up. Is that so much to ask for?


The ten man I put together, however, was awesome. 10s as a rule tend to be more fun due to fewer personalities clashing, the ability to be more selective with whom you take, and a more casual atmosphere. Less seems to be at stake in ICC-10 when you’re a 25man guild.

My run was neck and neck with the other group up until Putricide when they had issues downing him while we wiped a few times at 1%. On the third try we smoked the Professor and continued on to eventually down Blood Council and the Blood Queen (a very messy one shot as you could see above).

We’re continuing the run Sunday night at Dreamwalker. I’ve got high hopes to see the LK fight, I think we can do it.

As for the other run, they killed Putricide on the fifth or so attempt, which is a bit rough, but on the bright side now 20 people in guild have killed Putricide in some format, as opposed to 10. This is knowledge we can parlay into the 25man encounter.

You know, if we can ever get the group together.

February 19, 2010


Leave a comment
  1. crankyhealer
    February 19, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    10′s are EXCELLENT for learning encounters. I’d say they’re better than 25′s because:

    1. Personal responsibility. There are usually 1-2 people assigned to a given task, and if it’s screwed up, EVERYONE knows it’s your fault. If you die, the team will probably fail the encounter. There’s no way to “fake it” in a 10.

    2. Living without uber buffs. What is this replenishment of which you speak? I haven’t seen it in a while. And… well that sucks, and I have to compensate a little. But we’re all better players for having to do the content without this-or-that – so when we hit the 25, we have all our little comfort buffs and can just breeze through it.

    • Rhidach
      February 19, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

      I completely agree, I feel like 10s are usually where I cut my teeth and 25s are where I ply that experience. And you’re so right about how every person counts in a 10 man.

  2. LabRat
    February 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    Between your post and Wrathy’s this has done a pretty thorough job of convincing me my guild does not actually want to aspire to 25′s after all. It sounds like keeping the very calm, productive atmosphere I like so much even during wipes is nearly impossible on that scale.
    .-= LabRat’s last blog ..Communicating With The Monkeys =-.

  3. Hana
    February 19, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    In the final days of my 25-man guild (though I didn’t know they were final at that time) my guild leaders were taking a raid break and out of the officer team I was the one who shouldered leading the raids in their absence. I already knew how rough it was, but doing it for that brief week and a half was enough to let me know that I never wanted to do it full time.

    When our guild broke up, some of us reformed as a 10-man guild and I still raid lead that, and I find it manageable. It’s still rough, but I can do it.

    This bit you said I’m doing my best, dammit, to make sure the raids happen and the bosses die and the purples flow like wine. All I request in return is that everyone shows up. Is that so much to ask for? really strikes home for me. I do the work. Can people please show up or at least let me know if they can make it?
    .-= Hana’s last blog ..WotF Contest Winner =-.

  4. Vorian87
    February 19, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    good luck with the search!

    bumped your post too hehe :P

    so wish i could join with my gf but i am currently halfway across the world so my timings are really off :*(

  5. Vorian87
    February 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm #


    i remember when my previous guild was doing keepers on 25… we were behind the regular server progression at the time since this is after 3.2…

    we had people keep making stupid mistakes, especially when the lasher/elementals trio came out and we wiped like 9/10 times every week… same with thorim… we had like 1 or 2 clears for all the time we did uld25 but there was this one week where we literally spent 3 hours and about 20 attempts one week just trying to gut that B******. and people keep talking over each other in vent, complaining about the wipes and trash-talking each other and what not… was really frustrating

  6. TonabShin
    February 19, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    I’ve got a few friends eager to start raiding, triumph gear+, I’ll at least give them your links and see what you make of them.
    Always enjoyed reading your bogs and this happens to the best of the guilds, recruitment is an ongoing thing.

  7. adgamorix
    February 19, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    10s with a raiding alliance is what we did. Of course when the other guild implodes, you have to start looking elsewhere for your 25 abuse fix. GDKP runs may be imminent..
    .-= adgamorix’s last blog ..Algalon Kill Video =-.

  8. Tijeras
    February 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Good luck with the recruiting. That can be a royal pain in the tuckus. I totally understand your feeling about attendance. It’s just as bad at times for 10 man strict guilds like the one I am in.
    .-= Tijeras’s last blog ..Protadin: Fridays are always so boring here. Sitting here watching our kill vids and jonesing for some wow time. 4 more hours… =-.

  9. Aydinn
    February 19, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    seems my guild is suffering the same poor attendance. tues night – we have to turn people away. thurs night – ghost town. gets very frustrating. we are considering using the extension just to get some time in on the newer bosses.

  10. jgalt
    February 19, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    What baddie healer needs replenishment :)

  11. Matha
    February 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    We have had the same problem, farm nights its a full house progression nights nobody shows. I think it has a lot to do with burnout.

  12. Orthien
    February 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    I feel your pain, my guilds stuck in a similar situation although we are not quite as progrogressed as you are.
    There have been many nights where we have had to pug and forgo progression for lack of attendance. As always made worse by healers quitting because they can’t see the other side of a loot disbute.
    I definatly think that alot of my raiders don’t understant everything that the Raid Leader does. Many do not see the big guild picture and often question why they get left out on 10mans when we can only run one that week.
    Will be sending alot of people to this post.
    Good Luck on the recruiting.
    .-= Orthien’s last blog ..Raid in waiting =-.

  13. Saintsteven
    February 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    WOW your going holy now?

  14. Ildara
    February 21, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    ick healers quitting…fortunately that’s not in our bag of problems :) We have very consistent healers, right rhi?

    • Rhidach
      February 22, 2010 at 9:27 am #

      @Ildara: I am blessed by how consistent and awesome our healers are.

      @Saintsteven: Ha! I must have logged out in Holy gear at some point this weekend. Yea I finally built my offspec and healed a few heroics. It was a lot of fun, I’ll do a post about it. But fear not, tanking is still my dream job.

      @Orthien: Thanks man.

      @Jgalt: I think you know!

      @Matha/Aydinn: Oh, that’s the worst. Those that are consistent (like 20 people) seem pretty gung ho for progression so I don’t think we’ve approached that point yet. Give it another month and we’ll see.

  15. Gravity
    February 22, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

    It can be really tough being an unappreciated raid leader. It’s stressful if you’re both RL and GM, and then you have raiding/recruitment/attendance problems. Hope it all works out for you mate, and sooner rather than later.
    .-= Gravity’s last blog ..The taunt game =-.