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Officers Quarters > WoWJun 11, 2015 5:00 pm CT

Officers’ Quarters: Encouraging promptness and solving problems

halls of the sargerei

This week on OQ, an officer faces a crisis after key members leave the guild, and another wants to know how to get raid members to show up on time.

Exogenesis31 asked
As an officer of a raiding guild, I have a question.

Our guild has been running since SoO, but most of us have become quite tight knit, we’re always friendly, and we have enough of a warm and fun atmosphere on Teamspeak during raids that we have had some PuG players decide to join us after a night’s raiding with us. However, we’re currently having an issue with recruitment after several of our raiders decided to up and leave for varying reasons, though the main reason was due to a “stunted progression” – we haven’t had the most secure of raid lineups since WoD started, but we’re at 9/10 BRF heroic. I’m not sure why people have been unhappy with our progression as we killed heroic Blast Furnace after 50 wipes (I have heard that this number is higher for a lot of guilds) and so far we are at only 35~ wipes for Blackhand heroic… most of these having been caused by poor PuG healers thanks to one of our healers jumping ship and another having no working PC.

Right now the casualties to the raid team are 2 healers, 1 tank and 3 DPS gone, and we are struggling to fill the team back up and also to keep the morale of our remaining raiders going. I think their faith was shaken by one of the DPS who left being one of the most friendly guys in the guild who everyone loved and had been with us from the start.

We constantly pop our recruitment ad into trade whenever any staff are sitting in their garrison, but we have had no interest for several weeks now, and this doesn’t seem to have changed with the loss of nearly half our group. The staff team isn’t very experienced with running a guild, we don’t really know how to pick up the pieces and I for one am worried that people will lose faith in our ability to fill the team and keep going, and leave as the others did. The trade adverts aren’t enough, and nor have the ad I put on the server forums helped either. We’re at a complete loss as to how to stop the roof collapsing on this guild.

Sometimes all it takes is one key person to leave to doom a raid team. That could be the case here. Your progression is better than many guilds, as you state. I have a suspicion that the real reason people are leaving isn’t quite the progression itself but the underlying symptom: the volatility of the roster.

Pugging players is a stopgap solution but it’s bound to frustrate your raiders if you have to rely on it too much. Every time a new player is brought in, you have to get them up to speed on your team’s strategy for each encounter. You also never know if they’ll be adequate at their role or whether they’ll cause disruptions. It’s added stress on your team.

Your friendly and popular player may have left because he didn’t want to put up with PUGs on a regular basis anymore. Even though you’ve been successful, the added hassle of a shifting team was enough to make his raiding experience unpleasant to the point of gquitting.

This is an issue that should have been addressed months ago. Recruiting aggressively then could have prevented the collapse of the team. Now it is possibly too late. I encourage other raid teams to take this as a lesson: solve the problem before people start quitting, not after.

It’s a terrible time to recruit right now. With so many players bored with WoW, subscriptions are way down and available raiders are hard to find. If you can somehow hold out till patch 6.2, you’ll have a much better chance at finding some replacements as people return to the game to check out Hellfire Citadel. Of course, most guilds are facing an uphill battle with recruiting in Warlords because the new group finder tool has made pugging even Heroic content accessible for the guildless.

If you are determined to move forward, you need to ask your remaining raid members to help you. There’s no magic formula for recruiting, and posting ads isn’t enough. Your entire raid team has to network with friends, to message players who have posted on forums etc. that they are looking for a guild, and to be friendly and engaged whenever they group with other players via the Group Finder tool. Hard work and proactive recruitment are the only way to dig yourselves out of this hole.

wtflock asked
Is there a good “carrot” way to enforce promptness in a guild? For several months now, half the raid either no shows or shows up an hour or so late for raids, with no or little (~15 min) notice. Even if we pug, this causes us to start 1-1.5 hours late, severely hampering our progression. Also hampering our progression is that the worst offender is one of the tanks, and the other tank has started following suit (partly out of frustration w the other poor attendees, I think). Our GM (and top dps) was OTing when needed, but with both tanks gone now one of the healers has had to swap to tank as well since it seems easier to pug a healer than a tank.

There’s only so many times “something came up” can work as an excuse for not alerting the team in advance, and I think it is incredibly rude and disrespectful of them to disregard their friends’ time by just showing up whenever they want. It is causing immense frustration among those who are on time every night, but the GM has reached the point of “what good will it do? I’ve already asked them repeatedly to show up or let us know in advance.”

This is a group of RL friends or people who have raided together since wrath (fwiw, most of the latter group are the people who show up consistently and on time), mostly 20-28 years old. There are no repercussions for poor attendance. Everyone had input into the raid days/times at the beginning of their semester. The GM has asked for alternate times if these times no longer work, and only those who already show up have responded. We have tried recruiting but no one seems to want to join raiding guilds anymore since they can pug.

I’ve proposed lower loot priority or not being able to join late, but neither has been implemented (although neither has been outright rejected either). I think the GM, a good friend of mine, is afraid of just pushing them away if there is a penalty, since they already don’t care about the commitment they made to the group.

Is there a way to more strongly incentivize attendance, or to penalize without worsening the issue? Or is the solution changing the raid time to later so that those who are timely are free to do other things too, instead of just waiting on the computer for people to show?

Even though recruiting is very difficult right now, I encourage you to keep trying. Raiders showing up late is usually a sign that they are no longer all that interested in raiding or WoW in general. It’s possible some of these players will stop showing up at all no matter what you do at this point. They’re likely only bothering to show out of obligation to friends. You could face the same situation that Exogenesis is facing if you don’t get on top of this. The best long-term solution is to find players who will show up.

In the meantime, the officers need to figure out if there’s anything that they can do to make your raids either more convenient or more fun. Scolding your raiders for lateness has had little effect. Try talking to them instead. Talk about whether the current raid times or days aren’t working for people anymore. If so, try to find new times that work better. Ask them if they’re happy with your guild raids. Figure out what you could do better to make raids less of a drag and they might be more likely to show up on time.

Punishing players, as you suspect, is more likely to drive them away than get them to log in on time. If you disallow late joins, these players will probably stop raiding altogether, which could lead to bigger issues. However, if their continued lateness has put them far behind your on-time players in terms of ilevel, benching them on progression fights might be sensible. If your guild uses any kind of point system for loot, awarding extra points for on-time arrival is a good way to incentivize promptness (while indirectly punishing lateness).

I agree that this behavior is selfish and disrespectful to the team. It’s especially bad when tanks are late, since that shifts around many roles on a team. Unfortunately, however, you can’t force players to raid or to act with respect. All you can do is look for players who will. It’s small consolation now, but when Hellfire Citadel goes live I imagine everyone will be there on time to tackle it. Because it looks awesome.


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