Tribute to Mad Skill!
I wanted to talk a bit about guild management again today, as it was an issue that plagued our otherwise great night last night. This is really in direct correlation with the great news that we got down A Tribute to Mad Skill last night with 47 attempts remaining. We ran into a few problems with positioning on Anub’arak. Our ranged and healers were all standing on the other side of a permafrost when Anub burrowed and as a result were spiking the add tank, leading to his untimely death and a quick and painful wipe.
The fact that we got this achievement along with the methods that we employed to get it were the main source of controversy and hurt feelings last night. A few weeks ago when we got our A tribute to skill achievement and saw that there were T9 trophies in the tribute chest, the officers of my guild started to discuss how we would handle this 10 man now that there were obvious benefits to the 25 man raid. After a lengthy discussion we had come to the conclusion that stacking a raid with some of our best players to get to the tribute chest in as few wipes as possible was the best for the gearing and progress of our 25 man raid.
Our reasoning behind this was simple, or at least we thought it was. If you balance your two 10 man groups for the week with half of your best players and half of your average players, you will have two teams that clear the instance in about 10 to 15 wipes, ensuring that both of your teams get a tribute chest with 2 trophies in it. This gives you a net gain of four trophies on the week. If you stack a raid with your very best tank, healers, and dps, leaving the other raid with average to above average players, you will have a four trophy tribute chest and a two trophy tribute chest, giving you a total of 6 trophies, a 2 tier piece gain. Sounds simple enough right?
The downfall of our assumptions
I want to start out by clarifying that when I say our best raiders versus our average raiders, we are talking about the difference between people that pull 7k dps and 6k dps, our two most capable healers, to two healers that are almost as capable but have not been around as much, or a pally tank (myself) and a warrior tank, both with 50k raid buffed hp, descent avoidance, and the skill to lead the encounters.
So we split our groups up, and when we dropped the people that we generally consider the cream of the crop into the stacked raid, we noticed that we were very ranged centric. This is not to say that our melee are not the cream of the crop, it was just the selection that we had online at the time. This lead us to make a few choices for the last few spots. We needed a dps/healer hybrid that could do both depending on the fight and we needed to fill one last spot. Our choice boiled down to do we take our best DK, who has 95% raid attendance and does sensational dps, or do we take both of our best warlocks who also have 95+ percent attendance but will benefit more from the buffs that the raid was providing.
In the end we sat one of our best raiders, and left him with the other group. Our main group was comprised of a Pally and Druid tank, Pally and Priest healer, with a boomkin offspecing as necessary, Ret paladin, two locks, a mage, and an elemental shaman. Our second group was Warrior and a DK tank, a Resto druid and Priest, healing, an enhancement shaman offspec healing as necessary, a dk and arms warrior, two mages, and a lock. We felt that we put together two strong groups that would succeed.
We were wrong
The group I was in was on the twins when the officers started getting whispers. We had one shot every boss, and in an exceedingly quick and efficient fashion. The second group was wiping on Gormok! Apparently the healers were not really executing the fight well and they were dying to snowbolds, fires, and what not. Eventually we told the raid to call it and we would get some different healers in there the next day, as our best holy priest and second best paladin healer were not online that night.
Thats when the real complaints started rolling in. We three shot anub, got our shiny epics, including a brand new tanking weapon for yours truly (Effective health weapon baby!) and we were in good spirits, however the other raid was no where near as happy as we were. After we started talking to the raiders in the other group we started to understand what they were upset with. They felt that we stacked the main group (rightfully so, as we had), and that they were all given the short end of the stick.
Feelings of exclusion and playing the blame game
After we realized that we had a bigger issue on our hands that originally thought, we got everyone from both groups into one channel in vent and we started to talk it over. The officers started out by telling everyone our reasoning behind the imbalance in the two groups and we took accountability for the issues that were caused by this balance. Then we started to ask for feedback on why things went so wrong. As the people that were the most heated started talking about the problems, what was happening and why they were frustrated, a new picture was painted of what the root cause of all of their problems was. The healers were not doing their job. A resto druid was carrying the brunt of the tank healing, they had a resto shaman healing as well, and a priest that has played his class for a very long time was holy at the request of the officers (another thing we took accountability for).
They realized that the priest should have been disc, but not until after the officers brought the true issues to light. The problem with the raid was they they were so focused on getting the short end of the stick that they didnt try to play the game when it got tough, they just started making excuses. In the end we will not be running a stacked 10 man again (at the overall detriment to the gearing of our raid) so that everyone is happy. The tears of the few have fueled the change of the many.