Over the past several months my guild has completely given up on 25-man raids. We went through a time in the Spring and Summer when we scheduled 25-man raids every week and never had more than 17-18 sign up or log on. After a while we stopped scheduling 25-man raids and settled into 10-man progression, getting quite far (to Yogg in Ulduar + some hardmodes and clearing ToC).
This Friday we had a surprise when there were over 25 people logged on at raid time. Many of them are new 80s, alts, or undergeared mains with limited raid experience, so there was no way we could do current-tier content with them. In the interest of guild unity, we got a 25-man raid going and went into Eye of Eternity and downed Malygos. It was a first for a lot of players. Much fun was had.
Now we have a quandary. If we pursue the means to return to 25-man raiding as a guild, there is a lot of gearing-up to be done. In my casual guild, we won’t insist that they gear themselves up on their own time through chain heroics – that won’t work. So we’d have to go down a tier (or two) in content to get anything done in 25-man raids. That means back to 25-man Naxx/OS/Ulduar.
While that would work for the greater good, it means that those of us who are at the current level of progression (Ony/ToC) would have to go back into the places we’ve done a hundred times. That could cause some discontent among the well-geared raiders in the guild who want to push for more gear before Icecrown drops.
Act for the good of the entire guild, or act in the interests of progression? Many guilds have been put in this situation. Some crash and burn in the resulting fallout.
Rock and hard place? Yep – between ’em.
Our guild does have a Mission Statement, though, and it clearly states that we want to be in 25-man raids. So that makes the decision clear. We need to do what we can to bring new level 80 players through the tier 7-8-9 gear path so that they are eventually ready for Icecrown. The trick will be keeping the top raiders in the guild content through that process.