Whenever we can’t get enough online for a 25-man raid, we go to ZA instead.
In guild chat one day, someone asked “How do I get to go to ZA?” Before I had a chance to type out a response about gear requirements and difficulty level, another member blurted, “You have to be an officer.”
Now that is NOT true, and is a perception we immediately worked to stamp out. It does happen that our officers are the ones that tend to have the gear and skill necessary for ZA. But its not an “officers-only club”. We don’t even have enough officers to make a full ZA team. Truth or not, though, if the perception is there then it can create animosity between the officers and members and eventually lead to /gquits.
Why do I bring that up? I’ll refer back to it later.
When Burning Crusade came out and endgame raids changed from 40-man to 25-man, there was a virtual avalanche of guilds falling apart. Guilds with a solid core of 30+ raiders suddenly had to leave members behind as they tackled the entry endgame raids. Gquits abounded, feelings were hurt, and guilds collapsed under the weight of the drama.
My guild suffers from one of the most common problems of casual raiding guilds – we have just barely enough raiders to run 25-man raids. Even before the current raiding lull, about one out of every three scheduled raids would get canceled due to low attendance. Hardcore guilds can demand and enforce attendance… we can’t. So sometimes we don’t have the numbers to raid.
In the future of WotLK, once we have players at level 80, if we schedule a 25-man raid and not enough show up the obvious solution will be to do a 10-man raid instead. This is a potential problem. If we have, say eighteen players who showed up for the raid, and we have to leave eight of them out, then feelings will get hurt. This is not a new problem. As long as there have been raids, there have been players left out of raids. As long as there is a system in place to handle it then its not a fatal problem.
What could make that especially troubling, though, is that, early on during the “learning” of the instance, the players who should go to the raid are the best players – the ones that know their classes well. That tends to be the officers of the guild. So it could easily create the appearance that the officers are getting preferential treatment. That’s a good way to convince your other members to leave. Again, whether is is true or not is unimportant if the perception is there among your members.
Now I refer back to our problem with ZA, mentioned at the start of the post. We have had to deal with this problem already. It only comes up every now and then, though. We deal with it by doing Kara instead, because anyone can do Kara without worry about gear or skill so we don’t restrict who can go. In WotLK with 10-man versions of every raid I think the problem might be a little harder to deal with, especially early on before any of us outgear the raids.
How can we tackle this?
- I have already heard of guilds making the decision to change exclusively to 10-man raiding in WotLK. Deciding that in advance would allow players to make their decisions to stay or go as they see level 80 approaching, and they realize whether they will be in or out of the 10-man raiding team. I don’t really want to do this, but we’ll see how things play out.
- Make sure that we recruit heavily on the way to level 80 so that we won’t have attendance issues. That’s easier said than done, though. There should be a resurgence of players after the expansion hits, so there will be a good pool of players to recruit from.
- If neither of those happens, then we will have to make a point to rotate less-skilled players into the 10-man endgame raids to create the perception that its not an officers-only club. That might lead to a few wipes, but its a better option than losing members and guild drama.
This is where the people skills of the Guild Leader and the officers have to come out. If little fires can be put out quickly then it won’t result in big-time drama.
On the plus side, though, we should have more options to do with our 10-man teams. I know that our top 10-15 players are as good as anyone, and our guild progression has been held back by inconsistency from our #15-30 raiders. Right now we can only do Kara or ZA as 10-man runs. Maybe with more options will come more opportunity.
Overall I do think that 10-man raids are a good thing. As a guild leader I also see the potential situations that can arise from it.