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Officers QuartersDec 9, 2015 1:00 pm CT

Officers’ Quarters: Dealing with a shady raider

shadow priest at raid entrance

In the lull between expansions, raiding guilds want to keep as many active players as they can. But sometimes, with specific players, you need to rethink that strategy. This week, a guild leader wonders whether he was right to bench a member of the raid team who was underperforming, but their performance isn’t the only issue…

Hellopeople3245 asked
Hey guys i have a question for you!

So I am currently a co-gm of a guild that has about 14-16 raiders on any given raid night. However we have a player who is consistently near the bottom in damage, dps, interupts and dies the most and has generally poor raid awareness. The thing is, we can carry them and we regularly do but we had to bench them recently since they were causing wipes and making it harder to progress on heroic archimonde. Also they previously have told us they were farther progressed on their legendary ring when in fact they are still on the highmaul portion (they have raided consistently with us through each tier so they have no excuse imo). My question is more for verification purposes, am I wrong in sitting them indefinitly until they progress on their ring? For reference we are 12 of 13 heroic and 13 of 13 normal.

Wow. I would say this player has a lot more to work on than their ring, even though finishing the questline would be a start. The biggest issue here transcends their raid performance. Their lack of honesty is much more troubling.

Ring false

The lies are the real dealbreaker for me. You can carry an underperforming player and help them to improve. After a while, if they work hard and you give them the chance, they can become a valuable member of your raid team. But why give someone that chance when they are lying to your face? What boggles my mind here is that this is such as easy thing to check. A simple inspection shows that they don’t have an upgraded ring. What on Azeroth made them think that you wouldn’t find out about their actual ring progress? 

It speaks to deep-rooted issues of character (not a roleplaying character, but their personal character). This is not the kind of person I’d want on my raid team, or any team for that matter.

Heroic Archimonde is a demanding fight in terms of both mechanics and the raw performance output required from your raid to succeed. You can’t afford to carry players at your level of progression. It was nice of you to do so with this person for so long. However, they clearly don’t appreciate it and they haven’t even put in the minimal effort to try to improve their DPS or (more importantly) awareness for the team. In my opinion, you should not take this person into a guild raid ever again. I’m not convinced you should even let them stay in the guild at this point.

License to carry

Continuing to carry them can actually have serious negative effects on your team. For one thing, if it leads to wipes, you’re putting more stress on your team than you need to. You’re creating more frustration than the difficulty of the encounter requires. Thus, you’re accelerating the burnout of your roster. With a long wait for Legion, that is not something you want to risk.

Second, you’re encouraging a status quo where no effort or minimal effort is rewarded. Other players may see this happening and think to themselves, “Why am I working so hard to earn Valor Points every week when this guy can just show up and still get a spot on the team?” It’s demotivating. It devalues hard work and makes your players more likely to slack off.

Third, players will resent this person if they miss out on loot because it’s going to the one guy whom they know won’t do anything useful with it. I have no idea what your loot system is, but unless you use personal loot this could become a big issue.

Finally, if you have any desire or intent to progress to Mythic difficulty once you clear Heroic, you will not be able to carry anyone at that point. Mythic bosses have very tight performance requirements. Valor upgrades will give you more wiggle room than guilds who tackled Mythic prior to the Valor patch. With a fully upgraded raid, gearwise at least you’ll be equal to a guild who has farmed the first half or so of Mythic Hellfire Citadel. Even so, you can’t afford someone who is dead weight in your 20 slots.


Written policies prevent drama

In the future, I recommend establishing written guild policies for this type of situation, assuming your guild doesn’t currently have them. What qualifies a person to raid with your guild? What must they do to remain in good standing? Under what circumstances can a player be removed from the team, temporarily or permanently? These policies can be as hardcore or as loose as your guild wants them to be. In any event, addressing these issues gives you a framework for making roster decisions. That way, when a situation comes up in the future, you can link to these policies and say, “This is what we expect. Everyone is held to these standards. It isn’t personal.”

When you don’t have written policies, all the decisions end up feeling personal. Players don’t want to believe that they aren’t measuring up. Instead, they’ll say, “The officers are against me. So-and-so has always had a grudge against me because of X.” If you can give them a concrete reason why they can’t be part of the raid team, then they won’t be able to make such claims. They’ll have to either try harder or accept it.

I don’t envy you the private conversation you will need to have with this player. I recommend emphasizing that the team was willing to help them improve, and that the reason you’re removing them from the team is because (a) they haven’t made the effort to improve and (b) they were dishonest about the lack of effort. If you need to remove them from the guild completely, which I recommend, you should make sure to communicate why with your team to prevent gossip and speculation. Good luck!

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