…and another one bites the dust
I am going to purposely neglect reading the previous posts that I have had on this subject ahead of time to see if my point of view has changed over the past few months on this subject. Over the course of the weekend, in addition to getting a nasty virus that kept me in bed for a few days (but not away from raiding, psh lets be honest, you can raid when you are sick), another guild bit the dust, and then another one (and another one). Well not the third one, but it seemed to fit the song title well. When I logged back into wow a few days ago, one of our main raiders whispered me and asked if we could talk in vent. After the pleasantries were exchanged, he got down to what he wanted to talk about.
One of his friends was looking for a new guild, as his was on the rocks and in the process of imploding. When we first started to talk about this, I was unaware that the guild that was imploding was one of our main competitors on the horde side for progression firsts. Shortly after that, another one of my guildies approached me with a similar request. This time it was a bit more devastating to the previously not to be mentioned guild. He was in contact with some of their officers, and a large portion of the guilds officer corps was looking for a new home with our guild. This would vacate not only the vast majority of the guilds leadership, but one of their main tanks, main healers, and their best dps.
While some guild politics prohibited the immediate acquisition of any of these players, It got me to thinking about stability, our server, and why so many guilds are failing. While some guilds were set up to fail, based on leadership inadequacies, player base, mass recruitment, or the end all of some high end progression guilds, the Attempts Remaining counter, Crypt Friends has endured. Now I ask myself, as we are running into raiding attendance problems of our own (take three), what do we do differently, and how do we set ourselves up for success over failure.
Two guilds, one result
In addition to our main competition guild having attendance issues to the point where they are looking elsewhere to get their shiny purples, the best alliance guild on the server imploded due to a handful of officers server transferring. While I don’t understand the logistics of why they would do such a thing, both from the perspective that they just got 25 man Mad Skill, an the fact that it was the officers that left, I have to ask myself what we do differently. With two more guilds down, we have unofficially moved into the ranks of number one guild on the server for 25 man progression, a few days after our guilds fourth birthday.
Since I was not a member of either of these guilds, I am left to speculate some of the reasons behind their demise. For the horde guild, I have run pugs with their members, and from the perspective of a main tank, their strategies, execution, and abilities are not up to the caliber of the progression they have achieved. This tells me that they are a brute force guild. What I mean by brute force is the fact that in Ulduar, they raided 5 nights a week to achieve the same level of progression as our guild achieves in two nights. I believe that the Attempts Remaining counter has devastated a lot of top tier guilds who were all about quantity over quality of time spent in an instance.
I can understand that their people who have seen nothing but 5 day raiding schedules would have a hard time with the paradigm shift of quality over quantity. It is just the way that things are. If you want to progress fast and hard, you have to put a LOT of time in. I am confident in my opinion that this is a complete fallacy. While I am not a member of a top 100 guild, we are pretty close, and we are doing it on a little over 1 night of raiding progression a week. We have been a guild that has always had something on farm once it was killed the first time. From my early days of raiding in SSC/TK, to the difficult encounters of Sunwell, up through the Hard Modes in ToTGC, once something is dead, It dies with out more than 1 wipe every week after. We are consistently getting to Anub’arak with 48-50 attempts remaining and have been since the week after we killed Twins. Once again, Quality over Quantity is the paradigm shift in top end guilds right now.
Should we change our Raid Management
I called a guild meeting last night to discuss with our raiders the possibility of open recruitment and stricter competition between our members to earn their raid spots. Even though we are a quality over quantity guild, we are still having attendance issues on our second and third raid nights. Tuesday is always bright with possibilities, and we kill everything in ToTC and ToTGC save anub’arak hard mode. We are basically done with raiding for the week. Our second raid night brings promise of a great night of learning and progress on Anub’arak, for which we have made a lot of in the past few weeks, however we do not have the numbers to do such an encounter.
How is it that a guild with such a relaxed raiding schedule and such success in killing bosses cannot get 25 people together two nights in a row? We are plagued with the casual hardcore raiders, and as a result, the brick wall progression fights are very difficult to fill. Our dilemma as officers and leaders of our guild is as follows:
Do we alter our dkp and attendance policies to better reflect the issues that we are having, rewarding our “SUP sunday raiders” as one of our warlocks loves to say to the 15 of us that show up 100% of the time, or do we recruit to fill those spots and alienate the people that have built this guild into the quality over quantity powerhouse that it has been for as long as I have been privileged to be a member.
As an individual in the guild, and a main tank with 100% attendance, I would love to invite 10 new top end raiders and make our current raiders fight for their raid spots once again, as we did in sunwell. I want to see bosses drop dead, and I want to know that when I log on during the week, that I will have the opportunity to push progression. However, as a leader and an officer, I feel that it is my duty to preserve what we have created in our guild; tolerance for sub par attendance, settling for less raiding days because we get to keep the quality and caliber of raider that we have built over the years, and ensure that our guild makes it to it’s fifth birthday.
Solutions are not black and white
I believe that in the end, the solution to our problem will be a mixture of both options. We will have to recruit if we want to continue to progress. We are going to lose people to real life, or the next spawn of top end raiding guild that appears out of the ashes of the two guilds that are dissolving before our eyes. However, we are, as officers, obligated to keep the environment and tolerance that we have built and which our raiders enjoy so much. To maintain the balance is the true challenge that our officers are faced with on a daily basis. There are some people in our raid that should be replaced, and if we can entice some newly guildless players with the talent to join our guild, then we will be better off than we were. However, we must balance new recruitment with tradition and a mindful understanding of the core of our guild, the players that define us and ensure that we do not go the way of the last four guilds which died.