Should I feel Obligated to Level Faster?

Background… if you don’t know from previous posts, I am the GM of a casual raiding guild.  That title carries with it certain responsibilities as far as conduct and relations with the officers and members.  But does it carry any responsibility as far as play style?

I am taking my time leveling.  I am questing with my wife, so I can only make significant XP progress when we are both online.  That slows me down, but it keeps the game fun for us.  I will probably hit level 74 tonight.

At this rate, there will be at least 15 players in my guild who will hit 80 before me.  We already have three at the level cap, and there will be a bunch more by this weekend.  I have no doubt that they will want to go try 10-man Naxx once they have a balanced group.

I have been on almost every raid my guild has done since we started raiding.  I am usually the top dps, although dps is a dime-a-dozen these days.

Because of all of these factors, I am feeling pressure to level faster.  I get the feeling that I am “supposed” to be there for our first Wrath raid, both as the GM and as one of our core raiders.

On top of that, some of the people who are close to level 80 are not the best players in the guild.  They just happen to have more play time that the rest of us.  I worry that they will be included in the early Naxx runs just because they are at the level cap, but in later runs they will be excluded in favor of better players.  That can cause bitterness and hard feelings.  In a more hardcore guild you can just tell people to deal with it, but in casual guilds we tend to care more about such issues.

Aside… it might look like I am just selfishly trying to make sure I am getting in on our raids.  Its not just me.  Our Raid Leader is currently at level 75, and our Main Tank and backup Raid Leader is at level 72.  Our top Holy Priest is level 72 also.  So a significant part of our core is slow to level.

One solution would be to make a guild decision to hold off on raiding until most of our core have reached the level cap.  Since our two raid leaders are not in the fast leveling group, that’s easy to justify.  We can tell the 80s to run heroics, or join Naxx PuGs if they want.  However, that would probably displease the group that reaches 80 quickly, and its also a recipe to lose guild members.  I don’t think that is a good option, but we will consider it.

The other, less confrontational option is to let them do their runs if they want, assuming that one of them is willing to step up and lead the raid.  That will keep them happy in the short term, but might lead to conflict later if they are not included in our sanctioned guild raids once the core group reaches the level cap.

In the end, this is going to lead to us making a formal raid sign-up process.  We’ve never needed one before, but its clear that we will now.  I’ll save that question for a later post.


10 Responses to “Should I feel Obligated to Level Faster?”

  1. November 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I can understand the problem here. I am not the GM (in name) of our guild, but I am the officer that is on all the time and recruits and does all the other stuff that GM’s do. I almost 76, so I am a little ahead of you, but we also have the guildies that are 80 or soon to be 80.

    I don’t know how much valuable input I have, but I would schedule a guild meeting after you talk with your officers. I think it is a good idea to let the raiders know that it is taking the guild leads a little longer due to RL but you don’t want that to slow them down. This would be a great opportunity for the less skilled raiders to show their leadership abilities. When the guild leaders get 80 and start working there way into the runs, don’t just strip that leadership away. Let them know that in terms of experience, you have more, but since they may know more about that specific raid or h-5man, their imput is very important. They can even lead the raid group while you get use to the runs. I believe this shows the trust you have in your fellow guild mates.

    Also, if the guild leaders have to form up a raid group 2, that doesn’t mean you are not as good…just a little slower (not padded helmet slower lol).

  2. November 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Haelix is right. It is an opportunity to develop additional raid leadership and future officers. I’d help them organize the run, and maybe hang out in Vent with them while they run.

  3. November 25, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    No answers, but here is the list of things I’d be thinking about:

    – Presuming that ‘your core’ is considered such because they are the more skilled players, then I’d examine how much success guild runs will have with that core. Especially at lower gear levels.

    – I would also think about if you would be raiding the last two weeks of December. Many guilds simply stop raids those weeks, as there are just too many people out. A lot of casual guilds are simply holding off till January to start raiding.

    If it comes down to doing two weeks of raids, with low potential for success – and then two weeks off, then I’d try to hold off for now. Just doesn’t seem to be enough upside.

    However, if there is a reasonable group to get started, and you are likely to have enough new 80s by the Holidays to fill in, then I’d seriously think about it. Someone will have to ‘step-up’ and raid lead – and that is a serious thing to ask of anyone – but you may find yourself with two functioning Naxx groups come January.

    Like so many things, I’d be looking at the option that will cause the least drama down the line:
    -Holding off (or suggesting Heroics/PUG Naxx), you potentially loose people who won’t wait.
    -Start now, and potentially loose people if things don’t go well, or cause drama when ‘the core’ shows up at 80.

  4. November 25, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    If it makes you feel any better, our GM is still 70 along with our Tanking Leader and one of our other Druid Tank Officers. We have maybe 3 people at 80, but a bunch are 75 and above. It makes it easier that the main goal is 25 mans for our guild so I will be organizing my own ten mans.

  5. November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks for the advice. Its my hope that the holidays will actually head off the entire problem so I don’t have to deal with it (cowardly, yes, but practical).

    I like the idea of our guild officers being on Vent to encourage/advise them if they do decide to try a raid. Not only does that give me the opportunity to be a helper AND a cheerleader, but I can listen in to see who takes charge and how they handle the responsibility.

  6. 6 Cassio
    November 26, 2008 at 5:28 am

    I can see your problem. I’m an officer in my guild and we still have officers that have not yet hit 70 and are starting to feel the pressure to make it to 80 to keep their core raiding position before we start raiding in earnest.

    Sadly I can’t really give any good advice. It sounds like you have the beginnings of a plan as it is. Just make it understood that actually guild raids wont start until you have more people at 80 and that they are welcome to raid with what they have if they want to.

  7. 7 Cassio
    November 26, 2008 at 5:29 am

    Meant to say still don’t have them at 80… Its late and I’m tired. ^^;

  8. 8 Knife
    November 26, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve read your site for quite some time but I’m not sure I’ve ever posted. By “quite some time” I mean your guides for Kara bosses actually became my mainstay of advice for all melee classes in my guild, myself, and helped me be a half-decent raid leader…so thank you.

    To the point- I am currently in your situation, nearly exactly. I am GM/GL of my guild, am only level 74, and when I play my rogue I level with my wife, a priest. My guild currently has 9 level 80’s and 39 people above level 70. I, too, have been feeling …something… about whether I’m taking too long or not. Instead of a blog (because I don’t have one) I voiced asked my wife. She is/was the guild recruiter.

    Her suggestion/advice: No, you shouldn’t feel any pressure. We pay just as much for this game as everyone else; just because you (me) happen to be a GM/GL shouldn’t mean that you absolutely need to drop everything in RL just to make sure you are lvl 80 before everyone else in your guild so you can learn all the instances/raids and feel good about yourself. There’s just no reason to do that.

    What she said made sense to me and I actually want to echo what many others have said before me. Expansion packs change things. “Core” groups in your guild are going to change. “Good” people in your guild are going to change. Running a guild is like running a business- you don’t have to know everything about everything that’s going on, you don’t have to know what everyone is doing all the time and you don’t have to make people 100% happy 100% of the time. New raid leaders are going to pop up. Old ones are going to get “lost” for a bit.

    You can actually keep your guild-retention rate up during an expansion period by knowing people. My wife’s friends list is maxed. Mine is close to it. So long as you keep the lvl 80’s in your guild happy- by finding them a tank or healer every now and then- you will keep them as guildies. As long as you also make them feel important you will keep them as guildies.

    We had a rogue in the guild who was the first 80. He has the least raid experience, is in college (has more free time then most people), loves WoW-lore, and is very enthusiastic about his time on WoW. When he would sign on and g-chat about his experiences in this or that, I got a ton of wsps from people wishing he’d stop talking, accusing him of being arrogant or whatever. He’s not an arrogant guy, he was just excited. I told him about the whispers and he understood immediately what happened. Instead of apologizing in gchat (because the damage had already been done), I suggested he put his knowledge to good use and start threads/guides on the guild website. That night, he posted somewhere between 5 and 10 HUGE guides about all sorts of stuff. I put him in charge of maintaining them and he is awesome at it.

    I hope I didn’t crit you with a wall of text. My point is- I’m not going to level faster then I have time for, I’m not going to stop leveling with my wife, and I’m going to continue to enjoy playing the game. I love the guild and many of the people in it. They’re not going to flip out on me for having a job, a wife, a house, and real stuff going on in my life instead of playing in a virtual world, no matter how fun it is. I hope this helped.

  9. November 27, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Set a starting raid date for your guild in Januari to take the pressure off. Driving hard before christmas will cause more issues than it’s worth.

    Beyond that this is a golden opportunity to think of the great power of delegation… now is the time you can grow yourself a new raid leader from the level 80s that are up there.

    Put them through their paces in a mock 5 man kara run and let them loose on northrend instances with the basics you tought them. If there’s a decent raid leader amongst them you can fish them out and use them to organize runs for whatever people want to run that hit 80 before the rest.

    This is a time of opportunity to delegate responsibility, to think of teaching new skills to people and to see if they’re just fast on the levelling or can bring more to the table.

    Give them a challenge… they showed you they can hit the cap faster than the rest of the team, figure out what else they can do… clearly they have the time to invest and it would be a shame if you didn’t use that fact to the guild’s advantage.

    If nothing else though set a cold hard date for the first raid… that way there will be no questions and people can pace themselves accordingly.

  10. 10 Warstory
    December 1, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Well, it might sound brutal but I believe in “Every dog has its day”. So yea…let them roll with new raiders. If you fall behind the the curve… no big deal You’ll get there eventually and if your really a better player then your spot will find itself opening up eventually. Just remember one thing…The guy filling your spot might have been inexperienced before but he has made up for that on the time he has invested while you were leveling and he was raiding.

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