Not seeing eye to eye

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.

36 Comments to “Not seeing eye to eye”

  1. Vidyala 21 June 2010 at 11:44 am #

    I think people really have no grounds for complaint, especially when these things are spelled out initially, or they’ve taken a break from the game. We recently had one of our healers go on a hiatus, and when he returned he wanted to play a DPS character. Firstly he re-applied as a raider, elaborating on his goals, and understanding that he would have to wait until the roster allowed him to return. He also had to gear the character to ICC level on his own.

    When our roster is too full, or someone has had to sit out more often, I’ll be the first one as GL to bench myself to allow for fairness or for better group composition. It sounds like the people in your scenario just have their own self-interest in mind, and aren’t considering the team at all. That’s unfortunate, but perhaps you’re well rid of them. :(
    Vidyala’s last blog ..Knowing When It’s Time To Let Go My ComLuv Profile

    • Rhidach
      21 June 2010 at 11:58 am #

      I’d rather not have anyone lead. Even if people have bad attitudes sometimes, they’re still decent folks. I just need to figure out how to assimilate them to my point of view.

  2. Entropia 21 June 2010 at 11:44 am #

    Honestly, I would prefer not to be sat. Given my class/spec, there’s really only use for 1 of us in a raid and I rarely miss raids, but at the same time I’m not an absolutely crucial class to bring in the event that I do miss a raid.

    In reading over your post, you never mention about sitting yourself… do you?

    • Rhidach
      21 June 2010 at 11:54 am #

      No, I don’t and I really would like to once in a while. I’m pretty OCD about raiding and I hate the thought that I wouldn’t be there to raid lead, because in my delusional state I feel that might mean I’m not there to correct something or make sure something happens. I’m totally not that crucial but I have a hard time letting go. Plus, having only two dedicated main tanks kinda makes it hard to rotate our role.

  3. Antigen
    21 June 2010 at 11:47 am #

    I’d warm that bench right up for you.

    Oh, get it? My guild’s name is “The Bench Warmers,” and… yeah.

    Seriously though, a guild structure entailed surplus, back-up, buffer raiders is >>>>> a guild structure that is built around a core of 25. Ask your whiny benchees this: when times get tough, would you rather pug or select from a pool of people already in your guild? Yeah, I thought so.

    On a side note, I’m thinking about leveling something on your server (probably a ret paladin, FACESMASH GO!) so I can say “Hi!” every once in a while and send you mean/angry/jealous hate mail.

    Just kidding about the mail… sorta.

    • Rhidach
      21 June 2010 at 11:57 am #

      You totally should! But I’ll only talk to you if your belf’s hair is as fantastic as mine.

  4. Jasyla 21 June 2010 at 11:52 am #

    While it can suck to be sat out, especially when you’re expecting to kill a new boss, I think it’s required in order to keep the raid group running. My guild went for a couple months with a roster of only 26 people or so. Every week we had to either pull in casual members or cancel one of our 2 raids each week. Not fun.

    Having a buffer also allows people to sit out when they’re not feeling up to raiding. I’m the only resto druid in my raid. We’ve tried to recruit more but they never stick. So when I have plans and can’t make a raid I feel bad that I’m not there. That’s not fun either.

    If your raids are going well and never get cancelled because of the bench you maintain, people have no right to complain.
    Jasyla’s last blog ..Guild Applications My ComLuv Profile

    • Rhidach
      21 June 2010 at 11:58 am #

      My thoughts exactly: the raids are happening, how can you possibly complain?!

  5. Anafielle
    21 June 2010 at 11:59 am #

    You know my opinion on this well enough that I barely need to reiterate it here.

    I and no less than 3 other people transferred factions and servers to come join ES after our old casual guild fell apart due to attendance problems. We came here not just because I wanted to cause Rhidach as much pain and anguish as possible (mwaha), but because we were tired of months of bullshit and we wanted a raid EVERY WEEK. And I knew the standby system worked. That’s why we came.

    It’s one thing to sit in your garunteed raid spot week after week while the RL magically makes a raid happen around you. It’s another to hold onto a sinking ship of a guild, filling hole after hole with pugs who don’t know their ass from their elbow because “we’re full, we can’t recruit any more.” Sometimes, everyone shows up and we progress, but sometimes everyone can’t make it and the rest of us were just plain fucked…

    It’s not fair to the rest of the guild to depend on everyone for 100% attendance. And if you can’t, well, then there has to be a fair way to sit people.

    I finally am in a home where I know I have a raid to come home to every week, and I will gladly sit my turn out as many weeks as I need to so that the WHOLE GUILD has a raid week after week after week.

  6. adgamorix 21 June 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    This is something we definately don’t see eye to eye on. I play to raid, not to sit. If I’ve lost my spot due to a leave of absence, poor connectivity, etc – then that’s absoloutely something that I’ve chosen to do, and I should have to submit to the system like anyone else.

    I don’t however, feel that I should have to sit simply because someone else ‘needs a turn’ or what have you. I understand the need for a couple of players who can step in and fill a raid if needed, because let’s face it – life happens. If life happens too often though, you should be replaced.

    Just like I schedule time for work, and everything else, I schedule time to raid. I work with my wife to make sure the days I need are cleared, and I give her the time she needs on the other nights. I have the same commitment to raiding as I do to work – and I expect the other members to have that same attitude.
    adgamorix’s last blog ..DOA – didn’t even make the starting chute My ComLuv Profile

    • Rhidach
      21 June 2010 at 12:33 pm #

      My guild has a different attitude for raids than yours does, I think. It’s more like poker night for us, people are expected to show if they’re confirmed but if they can’t make it it’s not the end of the world, which means we need to maintain a buffer.

      If everyone showed every week without fail I wouldn’t need extra raiders, but guild culture as it is demands this system to keep things running smoothly.

  7. Anafielle
    21 June 2010 at 12:14 pm #


    I’d love to know if that LK kill would have happened as quickly, and if we’d have gotten as far as we have in heroic ICC, if your recent recruits, including me and my healers as well as a DPS or two and another healer, had not joined.

    Everything we’ve done recently has a team effort. We are a team from the recruiting at the top (you), to the new recruits who have gladly sat or gladly raided, to the people who have sat on the bench (and occasionally come in to raid when needed, like last week).

    We are a team. A big team. I love it.

    And you know, you can always blame the healer thing on me. “Well, Ana came and took over the OT spot, and then she threatened to gquit unless I brought in all her friends too! I swear!”

    I’ll back you up, for a small fee. I’ll include the cost in the bribe you currently pay me to not tell Twitter about your little…… accident…. a few weeks ago with the LK….

    • Rhidach
      21 June 2010 at 12:39 pm #

      Absolutely not, we would have never killed the LK without you, Valja, and Bibbel. Which is why if anyone gives me crap for recruiting you three they can shut up.

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  9. zelmaru 21 June 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    The way I see it, you wouldn’t need a buffer *IF* you were hard-core and never had people out. For your guild that isn’t possible.

    It’s a simple principle: if people want to raid whenever they want to (as in a core, static group), they have to be prepared to occupy those spots and also raid whenever they DON’T WANT TO (as in the hard-core guilds).

    The reverse, which is the case in your guild, is that in exchange for being able to NOT-RAID when they don’t want to raid, they have to be prepared to not-raid when they might want to raid.
    zelmaru’s last blog ..Monday Haiku: Uncool Addon Glitch My ComLuv Profile

    • adgamorix 21 June 2010 at 12:55 pm #

      I think you nailed it right there. If I want a night off raiding – then I should probably look at the number of nights I’m actually raiding as a whole. This is what really helped burn folks out – the feeling of ‘having’ to run 10 and 25 – especially ToC with four bloody lockouts.

      If you want flexibility, you have to be flexible. I want consistancy, and that’s what I expect.
      adgamorix’s last blog ..DOA – didn’t even make the starting chute My ComLuv Profile

    • Rhidach
      21 June 2010 at 1:12 pm #

      I agree with Adgamorix, this is the most dead-on description of our raiding/invites philosophy I have ever read!

  10. Selyndia 21 June 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    I’ve done similar, and it’s never fun, and always makes you feel that you are the one responsible for their actions.

    Back when we were finishing up with TOC and right as ICC was coming out, we had an enhancement shaman, who also happened to be a good friend of an officer. The officer pushed for him to be included in almost everything, and any time a loot council vote came up with this shaman the officer would unfailingly vote for the shaman regardless of other candidates. It got to the point that we would no longer put that officer on loot council if the shaman was there (We use a limited loot council of 3 of the officers on doing votes, and change it up from week to week, and if an officer is directly involved in a loot decision, they abstain and another officer takes their place).

    The shaman also happened to be in the military (Where they had met the officer), and whenever the shaman would not get a loot drop they wanted, had a tendency to stop showing up for a week or two with no notice, and then blame it on the military; as we could never verify it. This went on for a while; until they got passed up on being the first person with 3 Tier 10 tokens (Most people had yet to even get one at this point due to how infrequently they dropped in early ICC). He made a big stink about the whole thing and disappeared for two months. He then came back and expected his raid spot back as though he were never gone. We were in a recruitment slump at the time so we took him back, but when loot dropped he wanted on the second boss of the evening and he didn’t get it, he got uppity again and disappeared for another month after complaining to various officers how he deserved the drop but didn’t get it.

    When he finally returned this time, he blamed it on a last second deployment, and demanded to be included in the raid night (We had gone on to be clearing 10/12 at this point, and he wanted to be there for the loot farm first night). I decided to bench him as I had a bench available, and I wanted to see if he wanted to actually raid, or just wanted loot. At this, he cursed me out, accused me of never liking him and always voting against him on all loot council decisions (Which isn’t actually true, as I usually abstain from loot council unless to break ties, or step in when there aren’t enough impartial votes) and how he cursed me out for discriminating against him because he was in the military. I calmly told him that if he wanted to raid, he should continue to show up, and I would include him in the raids again once we saw that he was back for more than just a day or so like the last time. He cursed me out again and I told him at that point that the conversation was over and the decision had been made, and I wasn’t going to reverse it. He logged out and we haven’t seen him again since.

    Then again, I tend to be very cynical and borderline misanthropic, but the first times it happens, it really hits home because they make you fell like its your fault, when in fact it’s their own self interest, sense of entitlement and selfishness that causes the issue in the first place.

    • Rhidach
      21 June 2010 at 1:11 pm #

      That kills me, what a horribly selfish person. It’s good you seem to have gotten rid of them at least!

  11. aydinn 21 June 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    i gotta say…i agree with you on everything except on the last point. if someone wants to sit for the entire week – i say go for it. i understand your reasoning of keeping the “group” going. however, look at it from the opposite side. if that person could pug a raid and get 8/12 or 10/12 bosses down, the extra gear may actually HELP your guild more then if they came with you for half of the bosses. if you’re having extreme attendance issues (which it doesn’t sound like you are) then that’s another story. free that person up for the week and it’s like having 26 people in the raid for gear instead of 25.

    • Rhidach
      21 June 2010 at 1:25 pm #

      That’s fine with me too, as long as they wait til after Wednesday (2nd raid day) to pug. If I need them Wednesday and they joined a pug Tuesday, that’s not very helpful at all.

  12. Christian 21 June 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    I very much agree with your statement and post, but one thing that I read in your post really caught my eye. You state that you never get sat, and that it is hard to rotate out main tanks.

    Why is that? A MT should not be harder to rotate than a M-healer, a M-dps or anything else.
    Likewise a guild with only one raid leader is a very unstable guild.

    I’ll personally do what is good for my guild, but I expect the officers and guild management to follow the same rules as the rest of us. If they don’t well then that is just playing favorites in my book.
    How do you justify it to your guild? (asked out of interest, not taking a stab)

    • Rhidach
      21 June 2010 at 1:47 pm #

      Honestly, it’s never come up. When I say we have only two MTs, I mean two people (myself and Ana) who only main tank. There’s also two people with decked out tank gear that can step when we’re not there. And there are officers who could raid lead in my place, and have when I couldn’t make it due to some emergency. It’s never honestly occurred to me sit myself, but I’m severely tempted to do it now in the near future as a sign of rejecting any pretense of double standards.

      • Christian 21 June 2010 at 4:16 pm #

        We started sitting / rotating raid leaders in our guild initially because people were getting burned out, but also be cause we were growing and needed to put up more runs. At the same time we started pairing our raid leaders, so they always had a backup who they were mentoring.

        Luckily I can say that it has been a good success for us. We now have 7 raid leaders covering three 10 man runs and one 25 man. I love the flexibility and it puts us in a very good situation for Cata.

        It is an interesting experiment however. Some people you never expected will step up, and a couple of your solids will turn out not to be RL material…

  13. Lanaka 21 June 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    I have a similar issue. I’ve had to rotate in and out people plenty of times, and just this last week, I sat myself out so that a new recruit could come in and show us what he could do. I was considerably pleased with how it turned out, as well. Not having me there to tank and raid lead made a couple people who I didn’t expect step up and take the lead (I had asked my raid lead assistant to lead, but he plays a cat, so it’s hard to do both) and show me that there is someone else in the guild I can rely on if things go awry in the future.

    You should go for it, Rhidach. Might be surprised by what happens when you’re not there to lead.

  14. Christopher Schmidt
    21 June 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    One thing I would say is that — like the raider who is sitting — I’d personally prefer to sit out the week if it doesn’t hurt the guild. That way, I can PUG another run, and by doing so, pick up badges (and possibly some loot) for myself: every piece of loot that I get helps the guild in the end.

    I wouldn’t be an ass about it, but if it’s the difference between sitting someone one raid every 4 weeks or two raids every 8 weeks (does it work like that?), then I’d personally do the latter, so that I could help myself and the guild progress more quickly.

  15. Yorgi 22 June 2010 at 2:00 am #

    For the good of the guilds progression, I’d sit out, jump in on any boss if I was needed and I wouldn’t pug just incase I was called upon before the reset.
    If you want lewt and badges then pug, if you want progression work with your guild and if that includes missing a raid or two then so be it.
    Anyone who complains about being benched should stop being so self centred and anyone who guild quits over it…well you are better off without them.

  16. Ced 22 June 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    I’m curious – my guild is really struggling with recruiting. We’re 11/12 10-man and 9/12 25-man (though only 6/12 reliably). This comes from the bulk of our “raiders” only showing up on the first night of our 25-man raids (for easy loots and badges, I assume) and then being too busy for the other nights.

    I see our situation as sort of a catch-22. We don’t need to pug on our first 25-man night, so we zip through 5-6 bosses easily. Then, when the next 25-man night comes along, we end up being 9 short and do our best to pug the spots. If we’re successful (which rarely happens), we usually end up starting an hour late and struggle with everything – primarily because of the large # of pugs. Thus, if we try to recruit those pugs, they just laugh at us because they think we are a fail guild – but if they saw how well we work together on night #1, I think they’d give us some serious consideration.

    Any suggestions?

    • Rhidach
      22 June 2010 at 6:13 pm #

      How come your attendance is so bad between nights one and two? What kind of loot system do you guys use? My guild had a similar problem early on in Ulduar, so we instituted a dkp system and rewarded more dkp on night two than one. Then, if anyone wanted any loot they had to show up on the second night, or they would always lose the item. Maybe you need to change when your second night is?

      Ultimately it sounds like a chunk of your guild are freeloaders, or lazy. Time to light a fire under their butts.

    • Joe Ego 22 June 2010 at 6:25 pm #

      Adjust the loot system to reward second night and/or progression bosses. Reward more for your raid’s ‘tough’ bosses as well, until they’re truly farm.

      You might also consider extending the raid ID to get time on newer bosses.

      In our case we pushed hard for Professor and left the rest of the Upper Spire for Wednesday. On Wednesday we could knock out Princes & Valithria before heading to BQL. We still have issues with clearing bosses quickly on a 2 day schedule so we’re likely to extend for time on Sindragosa and LK.

      For a few weeks we were just a little short on Wednesday, so we short-manned Princes & Valithria and I handed out extra DKP.

      Lastly, recruit! Or just look for others with similar raid times on your server who’s guild might be in a similar raiding slump. They might be very interested in joining a nearly-full 25 man instead of scrounging for a PuG.

    • zelmaru 23 June 2010 at 10:14 am #

      It sounds like people aren’t wanting to show up for “wipe night”. Even I sometimes have trouble summoning the mental fortitude for wipe night.

      Suggestion: after getting through the mandatory 4 bosses in ICC, go to a wing that gives you trouble. Save some of the “reliably killed” bosses for night 2.
      zelmaru’s last blog ..A quick refresher on Real ID – It’s BAD My ComLuv Profile

  17. Curtana 22 June 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    Second night for us sucks too.

    We do things similar to Joe above. Second night gets an EP bonus, all non-farm areas of ICC25 attracts double EP, new bosses get EP bonus, non-farm bosses get EP bonus, RL discretionary bonuses happen frequently (for when a bad pull happens but we recover with no deaths, for example). So lots of extras on second night.

    We also have a standbye EP system for the same reasons as you do. To be honest though, anyone that has a problem being put on standbye can piss off as far as I am concerned. Raiding is a team sport, not a solo endeavour. Raiders should always try to better themselves and their gear to firm up spots for the raid. If they did not make the cut one week, they have to ask themselves why and try to improve. Raiding is a privelege, not a right.

    Also, with the 25% buff coming up soon, I am finally considering extending my raid ID so we can actually concentrate on good old fashioned progression.

    As far as me sitting out a run (25 man) I might do it for a “Day One” raid but never for progression. The fact is most guilds would be hard pressed to raid efectively if they lost a long term raid leader. It sucks, but there ya go.

    You can carry a few scrub DPS on most raids. You can carry a single newbie healer most times. Hell you can get by with one experienced tank and one newbie tank on most encounters. But good luck taking a newbie Raid Leader on progression night…

  18. Ced 23 June 2010 at 2:16 am #

    We use suicide kings as our loot system. I think what happens is a handful of people figure we won’t have enough to raid on nights 2 & 3, so none of them bother showing up… and therefore we don’t have enough. It’s almost impossible to pug people for ICC25 when you have 6 bosses down – all the pugs want the easy loot & badges too… so we usually only get one 25-man raid per week. And they’re not “penalized” for not showing up on the off-nights because SK only hurts people when they miss a raid that actually happens (and where people win loot). DKP isn’t an option in our guild – the GM & majority of officers are totally against it and it’s not even up for discussion anymore.

    I’ve suggested dropping from 3 nights to 2, but “2 nights isn’t enough to do what we need to do in ICC”.

    I’ve suggested locking the 25-man raid from one week to the next, and I think that’s being considered, but it’s going to end up being put to the entire raid to vote on… and I have a feeling it’s not going to pass because as I stated above, easy loot & badges > progression for the bulk of our “raider” group.

    I’ve even thought about limiting our main night to ~20 (or fewer) guild raiders and picking up some pugs for the remaining spots to try to recruit them – pugging seems to be our best way of recruiting lately – but that won’t go over for fear of people getting mad and leaving the guild. Personally, I see that as a short-term negative and a long-term positive, but I’m not the GM, only an officer with bad ideas.

    I don’t mean to sound negative, but I’m pretty much out of ideas and I see us as simply spinning our wheels for the past several months without making any real progress to fix these problems. Any recruiting tips – besides trying to pick up pugs – would be greatly appreciated!

    • Rhidach
      23 June 2010 at 10:09 am #

      Sounds like something needs to be done with those people that show on the easy night but not the hard one. It sounds like you’re not an officer, but I think the best policy would be one that says that people who do not show up for nights 2 or 3 will not get invites on night 1. You should pug those spots before giving them to the parasites that are holding your guild back with their own selfishness.

  19. Ced 24 June 2010 at 1:08 am #

    Thanks Rhidach, didn’t mean to hijack your blog.

    Btw, I really want to thank you for your tankadin leveling guide – it has been tremendously helpful to me. I was pretty much resigned to the idea of leveling as Ret, but luckily I found your site at level 10 and I’ve had a blast leveling prot. In fact, it’s so easy that it almost feels like I’m cheating most of the time lol.

  20. Falowin 25 June 2010 at 11:34 am #

    I think I should get to raid whenever I want and I should get first choice of any loot that drops no matter what. Aside from that you can recruit a million people for all I care….is that selfish?