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Officers QuartersSep 9, 2015 3:00 pm CT

Officers’ Quarters: Recruiting the player, not the class

Death grip

Why do guilds ask for specific classes or specs when they recruit? This week, a raider wonders whether guilds should limit themselves this way. Also, we hear from a guild member who’s worried about an officer’s behavior.

Andomar asked
A few weeks ago I was looking for a raiding guild. Most guilds were looking for a specific class or spec. I’ve always wondered about that. Looking for a specific class reduces the applicant pool by 91%. For a specific spec by 97%. The likelihood that you find a match for your team in that small subset seems pretty small.

I’d imagine it would be better to look for people who:

  • fit in in terms of age and sense of humor
  • are available on the guild’s raiding nights
  • are okay with the raid leader’s style
  • have a compatible level of ambition (normal, heroic, mythic)
  • accept the guild’s way of distributing loot

So, question for officer’s quarters: why are so many guilds looking for specific classes/specs?

Guilds do this for several reasons:

  • They want to find that perfect puzzle piece that fits seamlessly into their roster. They don’t want to ask any of their current raiders to reroll. They don’t want their raiders switching to offspecs that might suffer from a lack of gear or practice. By bringing in a player who causes some shifting, raid leaders see it as a setback for the team. So why don’t they ask the recruit to reroll instead? They don’t trust a new recruit to be as good with an offspec or an alt as their main. Again, they see it as a setback.
  • They believe that a given class or spec is overpowered or will help them make a specific encounter or mechanic easier. Death Grip, for example, makes Socrethar easier, since a Death Knight can pull the caster adds into the melee group to burn them down faster. Warlock’s Shadowfury helps to control the ghosts, etc. versus Mannoroth, where a Druid’s Stampeding Roar prevents players from taking a nosedive off the platform.
  • They have a small team and they need access to a specific buff or ability. Hunters, with their myriad available buffs, solve this issue for most raid teams, however.
  • They hope that by asking for that class or spec, they’ll be more likely to attract that class or spec. I’m not convinced that it works that way very often, though.

As you point out, it is very limiting, statistically speaking. I agree that it’s a bad approach unless your guild is turning away recruits left and right. I’ve always urged guilds to bring in players that are a good personality and performance fit regardless of their current main. It’s so much more important than whether their class or spec fits into the current roster. Your current roster could change in a heartbeat. Your guild’s personality and attitude toward progression are far less fluid and mean much more in the long run.

A long time ago, World of Warcraft‘s class design team changed their philosophy toward classes. They homogenized many specs so that raid teams could “bring the player, not the class.” They didn’t want you to feel forced to bring a Shaman that you didn’t want on your roster just because you wouldn’t have access to Heroism/Bloodlust if you didn’t. The decision was controversial. Legion seems to be taking us in a different direction, more toward spec uniqueness. For now, “bring the player” remains true in most cases, and guilds should take advantage of it. Whatever advantage you think you’ll get by having a Disc priest isn’t as crucial as maintaining a healthy roster.

My advice to you and other players looking for a raiding guild is to apply to the guilds you think you’d enjoy raiding with, even if they aren’t looking for your class or spec. They may like your application enough to bring you in for a trial raid. Their list of wanted specs may also be outdated, especially if the list is posted on their website instead of a brand new recruiting post on forums or social media.

Deloron asked
I have a Guild problem.I have been a highly respected Guild member and has been part of it for 3 almost 4 years now. Though I am not an Officer in rank I am respected as one though my voice has no true meaning to most of the planning.

I have had a knack seeing seeds of inevitable problems. And all have been correct so far. Yet one if the “Newer” Officers this hunch of mine has shown. Seeing how the Officer in Question has not truely helped Guild Members in Question on problems. Nor Has the Officer up held certain procedures and I have seen small bits of abuse of power.

A few other Officers know and see it too. I had approached my GM for her to keep an eye on that Officer. Yet the GM says it’s all fine and things are going all right. Weeks pass and well our Guild is less active when that Officer is on. And well to me and those officers feel tension riising on this.

Is there anyway or advice you can give to help on this? Since I truely care for the guild and just seeing the Guild begin to clique and activeness dropping from the events in told. What can I do?

You’ve already spoken to the guild leader about the problems you’re seeing, so you’ve done what you can for now. I don’t recommend further conversations about it. You’ve planted the seed. Now you have to be patient and hope that the guild leader and/or the other officers see the same issues you’re seeing.

I don’t recommend bringing the issue to others, either. You’ve already brought it to the highest authority, without immediate results. If someone approaches you about it, though, you could urge them to speak to the guild leader also. Sometimes people in leadership positions have a tendency to discount the opinion of one person as a personal grudge. If multiple people report a problem with the same person, then it’s a much more credible situation.

In the future, this officer may bury him/herself. If you see him or her doing something very bad when the guild leader isn’t around like overstepping his/her authority, abusing or ignoring guild policies, and so on, just take a screenshot. Then report it to the guild leader. Nothing is more convincing than hard evidence.

But please, don’t waste too much time or energy on this. Don’t stalk this officer to “catch them red-handed.” It’s not your job to police the guild. Play to have fun. If this officer is as bad as you believe, the problem is likely to take care of itself.

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