You are not prepared!

I’m looking for some input from raid leaders out there. How do you deal with people who show up for raids unprepared? People who don’t bring flasks or food. People who are slacking on gems and enchants. People who are raiding with an extremely inferior spec. People who don’t read up on fights in advance. In an ideal world, these people would be benched in favor of someone who is prepared, however not every raid team has access to a bench every raid.

I’ve always been extremely uncomfortable with the idea of scolding grown adults. Unfortunately, when you get into situations like this some people need to be reminded of the importance of being prepared…over…and over again.

I’d love to hear how you handle the people who are not prepared. Also, what do you do with people who no-show?

24 responses to “You are not prepared!

  1. Usually in our guild, we, as officers, take a look at everybody’s stuff in wow-heros, and prior to raid start, the section leaders go to these people and ask them if they have fixed their stuff. If they arnt up to par, they are usually on the low end of the totem pole on trying to get in a raid.

    • I think I’m going to end up doing that with wow-heroes too soon. Everyone’s had a couple weeks to get prepared and I want to make sure the gear is up to par.

  2. can’t say I’ve been in the position in Cata, my guild knows how to down stuff and spending gold for enchants/flasks/gems etc is a part of it. In my previous guild you would lose dkp, personally I would not invite them if they aren’t preparing for progress. cba to play nice when others are try to be at their bests while some don’t :)
    Moonra recently posted..Shared Topic- When A Guild Fades

    • Completely agree, everyone needs to put in equal effort. Raiding requires extra time outside of raids to farm/buy consumables and gear modifications.

  3. My guild keeps two ranks of raiders: provisional and full. When we started raiding for Cataclysm, we bumped everyone to provisional and promoted them once they met the gem/enchant/consumable requirements. Provisional raiders still get to raid, but ‘full’ raiders get priority invites, guild repairs, and more bank access.

    It hasn’t happened yet, but I imagine if we had players consistently showing up unprepared, the provisionary rank would be solid motivation.
    Enlynn recently posted..fun with graphs- maloriak

  4. Some of the things we do are:

    Sell flasks and food for half auction house costs from the guild bank – leaves people with no excuse not to have them

    Use a raid buff monitor that auto whispers people with buffs/flask/food missing, that way it’s impersonal

    -DKP for disrupting raids

    Keep people at member status who don’t sign up/don’t know tactics/aren’t gemmed, geared/otherwise not prepared, you have to earn Raider rank.
    Give Raider rank perks like cheaper flasks from gbank and prioritised loot over members in raids.

    Good luck :)
    Issy recently posted..There and back again

    • Who puts those things in the gbank in the first place?

      My team has just come up with a process for cauldrons that is extremely fair to those who get to take part (though the fact that only 7 people can get flasks from them at this level is exceedingly stupid). In exchange for 1 flask, you get cauldrons to last the whole raid night.

      • We use money from the guild bank to buy mats, and an elixir master makes the flasks. It’s about 1000g cheaper per 30 flasks to do that than buy the flasks from the AH.
        We are not covering the costs, but as the mat prices come down we will be. Sadly we’ve not got enough alchemists to be anywhere near making cauldrons yet.
        Issy recently posted..There and back again

  5. I think I am going to encourage everyone to form “buddy teams”, as in, you pair up with someone and you each agree to bring something to the table. For instance, I try to bring cooked food for the whole raid, but, with my new job, I am trying to show everyone where the food comes from and how they can do their daily cooking quest in SW, fish up the food (or kill crocolisks) and have everything they need.

    I also want to make a buddy system for herbs. If everyone picked ONE herb and focused on farming that herb for 20 minutes a day, we’d have enough herbs to provide everyone with flasks for the whole week.

    Something like that. We did our first raid last night and had several undergeared people. DPS of 7, 8, and 9K will not fly when your other 3 DPS are doing 10, 11, and 12.
    Natalie recently posted..A Lovely Sketch of the Pocket Healer

    • I’ve always been more of a fan of being responsible for your own stuff (I’m an only child, I never learned to share my cookies), but that is a neat idea.

  6. Usually two reasons folks show up like that … either they don’t know, or the do know and they don’t care. If they don’t know try educating folks on useful utilities; e.g. wow-heroes to check for missing enchants, wowhead to look for rep gear that might be upgrades, gearwishlist for quest rewards that might be upgrades, rawr for gear optimization, worldoflogs / compare bot for performance improvements. If they don’t care, recruit someone that does.

    Our officers discussed giving a “I was prepared” dkp bonus for being adequately prepared for raid start (75%+ 346 gear, 75%+ enchants ilvl 300 ones okay on blue gear, etc) and used at least 60 stat food for the first week of raiding.

    In wrath we used be imba’s group parser (http://be.imba.hu/group.php) periodically to ensure folks were staying current on gems and enchants. Group report functionality requires account creation / login. Unfortunately this utility doesn’t seem to have caught up to Cata yet.

    • We don’t use any dkp system in 10s so unfortunately that can’t be used as an incentive or a punishment.

      I’m hoping with enough forum posts and pre-raid announcements the message will get through to people.

      be.imba was great, hope it gets updated.

  7. As raid leader you have every right to tell other people what to do. People like a confident leader! They will respect rules that are reasonable, fairly enforced, and designed to increase raid success.

    I agree with other commenters that separate ranks for raiders are an absolute must. Address gear and spec issues when people apply for promotion. Separate ranks also make calendar invites way easier.

    In terms of research, I suggest posting an official strategy for each boss on your website. Find a written guide or video that matches how you want to do the fight, and link to it. No excuse for not reading up when someone hands it to you on a platter.

    Finally, there’s the consumables issue. By far the best leadership choice we ever made was to provide flasks and feasts for free to all raiders, as well as gems and enchants for your raiding gear. It’s a huge enticement to raiders — maintain good standing and all your needs will be taken care of. It makes life a lot easier for officers — we know you’re not skimping on gems and enchants. We know your new gear is up-to-speed for the next raid night. We’re not forced to hand over flasks and food from our personal stashes to lazy, forgetful, or poor raiders (while creating resentment amongst the good people who brought their own). And it encourages us to act as a community! No one has to pay market price for services we can offer in guild. One flask-spec alchemist makes all the flasks at once. And there’s an impromptu party at the guild bank every night post-raid, while the officers distribute gems and enchants for that night’s winnings.

    We support this economy two ways:
    1) All BoEs go to the guild (including epics, recipes, and crafting orbs). Guildies can buy from the bank at half market price, otherwise everything is sold for profit.
    2) Donations! A year and a half in, this has been far more successful that we could have imagined. People voluntarily pay into the system because it is clearly in their benefit to do so. Donate valuable raw materials instead of selling them, and the system will have the resources to keep making things for you. People donate greens, elements, cloth, ore, herbs, gems, leather, fish, and dusts and shards from dungeon runs. Cash from the guild stores can help cover any short-term gaps you experience. Keep people informed of what the guild’s biggest needs are, which encourages donations and lets people feel like they are really contributing to the cause.

    Good luck!

    PS. No-show and you lose 200 EP — equal to two farm boss kills. Attendance is very important to long-term raid success, so whatever punishment you use needs to actually be a deterrent.

    • We do post videos and strat discussion in the forums (whether everyone reads the forums is another matter).

      That’s a really cool idea about providing all consumables for free, though I’m not sure we’d be able to support that right now. Currently raiders get unlimited guild repairs and the BoE epics aren’t exactly rolling in yet. It certainly would make sure everyone was prepared though.

      We don’t use points in 10 man, so that’s not a viable penatly for no-shows for us. Thinking that too many no-shows and you just get removed from the team.

      Thanks for all your suggestions!

  8. Short version? Kick them all and recruit people who have the same raiding mindset you do. If the slackers are the majority, it might be time for you to move on to a guild that has the same priorities you do. It sucks, but I know a lot of people from WoW that are great people that are awesome to share a beer with – but I won’t raid with them because they don’t bother to put in the prep work.

    Long answer: Make sure your rules and expectations are clearly laid out. Remind them that they are wasting the time of everyone else by not being prepared. Sorry to sound like a jerk, but it seems like you’ve got a bunch of people who think this is the candyland that Naxx was, and expect to be carried through the content.

    Back when I raid led a group like this I would just belittle someone till they cried or gquit. Of course it took me four years of doing this (Vanilla and BC) before 10 of us finally banded together for Wrath and just went our own way.
    Adgamorix recently posted..Kill Videos – 2 PoVs

    • We’re not quite that bad. Slackers are certainly not the majority. We’ve got rules layed out, but haven’t stated any repercussions for not following them yet which is what I’m trying to get some ideas for.

  9. I think most people have already given the pointers I had, but I wanted to add that I am in a similar seat. We don’t always have a “bench” either and while we’re trying to recruit new members the recruitment is pretty slow at the moment.

    If you feel uncomfortable pointing people out, you can always start by making it clear to everyone that you expect X, Y and Z from them for raids (ie. bring consumables, enchant your gear etc.) and that you will be checking up to make sure people do.

    If someone still doesn’t – then talk to them directly. If they still won’t.. yeah, they should not be of the Raider rank. This can be tricky of course if you have no ready replacement, but hopefully it wouldn’t come to that.
    Saga recently posted..Toil &amp Trouble Guild Issues Galore

    • It’s so hard to balance teams. Not everyone can make every raid, so you want a few extras, but you also don’t want so many that you have to sit out multiple people every raid.

      RL gave a “this is what is expected of you” speech last night.

  10. Public humiliation over Vent is usually a pretty good motivator :)
    Virile recently posted..Yay- Flask Materials Lowered

    • haha, I was thinking of that.

      “Oh, you don’t have a flask? Well hearth back to Org to buy one and the other 9 of us will wait here for you.”

  11. I’m fortunate in that we started Cata with a LOT of people. We had about 38 people pencilled in for raid roster spots.

    And people knew it. So when I went through ALL those armories and saw that almost everyone was missing stuff, I wrote to them. Every one of them. And indicated that if they didn’t have everything up to snuff by our first raid day, they wouldn’t get to raid.

    I had ONE person who wasn’t ready.

    Today, my roster is smaller, because some people have flaked out or RL has thrown them a curveball or what-have-you, but I made it mandatory for people to be exalted with Therazane for Jan. 18th and if they weren’t (and weren’t a scribe), they couldn’t raid unless we were seriously short-handed. Only two people were not prepared. They haven’t been invited to a raid and both have been warned that if they don’t hit exalted by this coming Tuesday, we’ll reconsider their spot on our raiding roster.

    Point is, pressure to keep a raid spot seems to be what works for me with less motivated players. I have about 10-15 players who go out and buy their own EXPENSIVE enchants or whatever and have food in case we forget a feast, etc, and the other 15-16 are like… ehhhhh. But everyone eventually gets their stuff together because they KNOW we’ll replace them if we have to.

    We plan to work on guild cauldrons now that we have them and we’ve been dropping Seafood Magnifique Feasts on every boss pull for every 25-man raid. It’s helpful to have that there, for sure.

    I also run RaidBuffStatus in the raids and report the findings pre-boss to the raid, so EVERYONE can see who hasn’t flasked or eaten yet, and who else is missing a buff.

    Finally, all of the requirements are posted clearly in our raid information forum, and has been since mid-December in most cases and late December in a couple of others. That way, I can point to the forums and be like “You didn’t read that? That’s your issue, not mine. The forums are the only way for me to properly communicate with 30+ people at once. It’s part of your responsibility to keep up to date.”

    Having said all that… Recruit. If you have people who constantly show up unprepared, recruit to replace them. Take whoever is more consistently prepared, because they’re the ones who are probably going to do more damage (unless they’re standing in Bad). And by recruit to replace, I don’t even mean the same class and spec, I mean the same role. Can’t find an enhancement shaman? Get a death knight (Horn of Winter, interrupts) or an elemental shaman (most of the same totems, interrupts, same armor class). Use the raid comp tool (http://raidcomp.mmo-champion.com) at MMO-Champion to ensure you’ll have all the major buffs/debuffs and don’t forget to use the hunter pets to fill in where you’re lacking!
    Kurn recently posted..Exit Maloriak- Enter Chimaeron

  12. Thanks for the advice Kurn.

    I do plan on going through everyone’s armory and webstats to make note of anything that’s missing and let them know about it, I just need to find the time.

    I’m not a huge fan of recruiting, because I feel my guild is too big already. However, we do have people who aren’t currently assigned to a raiding team (or assigned to one of the more casual ones) who might be interested in moving up to replace people who aren’t pulling their weight.