Anatomy of a Raiding Guild: Evaluation

For me, one of the best things about raiding with Apotheosis is the quantity and quality of reviewing and discussion that takes place. We’re not shy about giving feedback.

Applicant Evaluation

We have a public application forum. After an app is posted, everyone in the guild can see it and ask the app questions. We also create a thread that is visible only to members where people are encouraged to comment on the application. I’m not an expert on every class and spec, so I rely a lot on the feedback from other raiders when making a decision on whether to have the applicant move on to a Mumble interview, and whether to accept or decline them after that.

Initiate Evaluation

Applicants we invite to the guild as Initiates are given a 9 raid trial to show us what they can do. During the trial period their role lead sends them written feedback every 3 raids. The feedback addresses the things we’re pleased with, the things they need to improve on and advice on how to improve performance. Each initiate also has an Initiate Review thread, visible only to full members of the guild. Just like with the app review threads, people are encouraged to give feedback on how initiates are doing – not just their performance, also things like how they’re fitting into the guild. The feedback collected here is often incorporated into the weekly reviews.

Once an Initiate has completed their 9 raids, the officers vote on whether to promote them to Raider, decline them, or extend their trial by 3 raids.

Raider Analysis

Raiders get formal, written feedback on their performance from their role lead fairly regularly. We initially intended to do these monthly, though it’s working out to be more like every 2 months for most raiders. Writing reviews for ~10 people in the case of our melee and ranged leads is pretty time-consuming.

For healing reviews, I tend to be pretty specific. I have enough knowledge of each healing class to go into a fair amount of detail. I will usually pick 1 or 2 raid nights and look closely at how each healer did on each fight. Things I look at include:

  • Overall healing output
  • How much they healed the people they were assigned to
  • Spell usage
  • Cooldown use (output cooldowns, mana cooldowns, damage mitigation cooldowns)
  • Any avoidable damage taken or deaths
  • I look at healthstone and potion usage, but it’s not something I put a whole lot of emphasis on

I’ll give each healer a brief synopsis for each fight, like this:

H. Stone Guard
Your overall healing on this fight was great, and you did a good job focusing on the tank you were assigned to. Your use of output cooldowns was good, but you only used Barkskin once in a 5-minute fight. You could definitely be using it more often. You took 5 ticks of Amethyst Pools, that’s not terrible, but it could be better. You did a good job at helping to clear Cobalt Mines when it was safe to do so.

Once I’ve given a mini review for each fight, I try to sum up with some general observations of strengths and weaknesses, like:

Your healing output is very strong, especially on fights with a lot of raid damage. You maximize your use of output cooldowns and use Ironbark often. You’re very good at providing extra utility on certain fights (helping to knockback/control adds, using HotW to help with burst dps while healing requirements are low). You do take a bit more avoidable damage than I’d like to see though – watch out for that. Your use of Barkskin can also be improved.

Each officer has their own style and things they like to focus on, so the reviews for healers, melee, ranged and tanks all look a bit different. If you want to see the kind of feedback our melee gets, Tikari has done a post about it.

In addition to this formal feedback, raiders receive more instant feedback when there’s an issue, whether it’s in a whisper, in their role channel or via PM.

We do have one gap in the review process though – no one reviews the role leads! Three of our officers are healers, so 2 of them do get feedback from me, but I don’t get any feedback myself. We should probably come up with a process to review each other or seek out raiders to give us some feedback on our performance every once in a while.

Raid Reviews

After every raid, the RL posts a raid review thread with a link to the World of Logs report for the evening and some comments on how the raid went. Everyone is encouraged to add their feedback on the raid – things we could do better, suggestions for strategy changes, problems they had – anything they think will increase understanding of the fight or make the raid go more smoothly next time. I should elaborate on that. Everyone is encouraged to add their constructive feedback. Finger-pointing and complaining is definitely not encouraged, or appreciated when it happens. We’ve got a lot of people who are very strategic and give very good suggestions on things we can change to do better. I find these threads very helpful. Not only do we often get suggestions that we incorporate into our strategies, but they also really expand my knowledge of the fight, especially in areas other than healing.

End of Tier Survey

This is something that Kurn did in Cataclysm and I thought it was a really good idea (but not always fully executed). At the end of Tier 14 I put up a survey for all of our raiders so they could share their feedback on the guild. It covers a lot – satisfaction with progression, recruitment process, raid organization, activities outside of raids. People are asked to rate the raid leader, GM, and their role lead. Once I’ve received all the feedback I plan to compile it, share it and address any issues that were brought up. Then we can try to fix the things people are less happy about and hopefully make our T15 experience more enjoyable for everyone.

One response to “Anatomy of a Raiding Guild: Evaluation

  1. Bravo! If only every guild leader imposed this degree of professionalism in regards to their people…
    Hanzo recently posted..33.