Personally I feel like the standby system we started using back in February has saved this guild, much in the same way the DKP system did back in Ulduar. We haven’t missed a raid since it was initiated, and since we began maintaining a “buffer” of folks to always ensure there are 25 raiders available, we haven’t missed a raid. Both Tuesdays and Wednesday nights have been happening like clockwork, and I consider than an amazing success.
Of course, there are always the folks who refuse to accept the system. Being put on standby is antithesis to them, and they will lash out if they don’t get their way.
One such example happened the week of our Lich King kill. We had a hunter (who was also an officer) that took a long hiatus for his wedding. He came back, raided for about two weeks, then went on hiatus again. It seemed like being newly married wasn’t working with raiding. Whatever, no problem. But then he came back a month ago and wanted to raid again. So he came to a raid and DC’d constantly while in combat. On one BQL attempt he even wiped us because he was the first bite and, of course, disconnected. Game over right there.
The following week we extended the lockout and pushed hard on the Lich King. Looking out for the success of the raid, as I am wont to do, I benched this hunter so he wouldn’t cause a wipe from an ill-timed disconnect. The hunter responded by quitting the game. He sent letters out to a wide swath of people thanking them for being good friends and all that, and all I got was the crushing feeling that I wronged someone.
I know I did the right thing, I couldn’t take someone that could potentially wipe the raid to progression attempts on last fight in the last raid of the expansion. Still, it was pretty depressing that this person–an officer no less–was so blinded by their own… perhaps selfishness is the word… that they couldn’t look beyond their own wants to see they could legitimately harm the progression of the raid and guild.
Another more recent example of this is a healer we have that just returned from their own wedding-induced hiatus. This particular person was usually never benched because they were the only healer of their class and it was pretty helpful to have that particular class/spec there. Anyway, when this person went on hiatus last month we lost one healer due to school aggro and another due to moving. We were down to barely having enough healers, and if a healer couldn’t make it one night, we might not have been able to raid. It was way tighter than I would prefer to allow.
So, I did the only logical thing I could do, I recruited. We brought in a few healers bringing the total number of healers up to 8. The buffer was restored.
This person comes back from hiatus and is nonplussed to see that not only did we recruit more healers, but also another one of that class/spec. And not only that, but they were (horror of horrors) benched on Wednesday. I got a miffed whisper asking why this was (because it was your turn) and why did we recruit healers (because we had to) and why would someone be benched only one of two nights (so people don’t have to be locked out for a whole week)?
Not only that, but it was asserted that rather than being on standby for one night, this person would prefer to be benched for the whole week so they won’t get saved to raid that won’t be finished and can just pug it. This left me a bit speechless, because again I’m not accustomed to running into such focused self-interest when I’m here trying to promote group cohesion. There’s really nothing to say to that other than that next time I’ll just bench this person for an entire week when it’s their turn.
I guess for me it has always boiled down to this binary question: if you had to sit out of a raid once a month to ensure that the guild always has a raid of 25 people available, would you be willing to that?
If you answer yes, you are good peoples in my book. If you say no, then we really have a problem. That’s a pretty huge philosophical chasm you and I have to cross.