Tag Archives: guild

Breaking up is hard to do… but not that hard

Raiding guilds in WoW tend to be a very fluid thing. I like to park myself in a guild for an extended period of time until something happens that makes membership very difficult, but not everyone is this way. Some people guild hop. Some can’t make up their mind about where they want to raid. Some people aren’t even solid on if they want to (or are able to) raid. 

Fourteen months ago, as Mists was coming out, the officers of Apotheosis made up a roster of 33 people that were going to tackle whatever raid bosses Pandaria could throw at us. Of those 33, 15 are still raiding with us. Almost half of the 17 people who stopped raiding for real life reasons, but are still part of the guild. The rest have left. Between then and now, we also trialed no less than 33 more raiders – 14 of whom are still around. The 19 that are gone either didn’t pass their trials or left for greener pastures. So, by my count (which could be off by one or two, I tend to forget people who aren’t around for long) 66 people have raided with Apotheosis over the course of the expansion.

That was a very long-winded (for me) way of saying that raiders come and go. It’s a fact of WoW.

What I don’t get is why so many people who choose to leave lie about it, or go about quitting in a manner that is very inconvenient for their (soon to be ex-) guild. I’ve seen it all. Though I’m happy to report we haven’t had any more gquitting incidents quite like this, a surprising number of the people who have quit raiding with my guild have done it in a way that left me (and others) with bad feelings towards them.

Improper ways to quit your raid include:

  • Saying you need to step down due to real life issues (your family is sick, your dog died, you have so much schoolwork to do) then joining another raid guild within a week.
  • Saying you got hacked/your account is locked, then ninja transferring off server.
  • Knowing you won’t be able to make raid times due to a schedule change you’ve had planned for a while but not letting your guild know until the day before. On the same day your buddy who plays the same class/spec as you is planning to announce that he’s stepping down.
  • Ragequitting in the middle of a raid.
  • Announcing that you’ve cancelled your WoW account on Twitter before (or instead of) telling anyone in your guild directly.

It’s the liars that bother me the most, because I just don’t get it. I understand that sometimes a guild and a raider aren’t a good fit, but why is it so hard for some people to say that? Are we not killing bosses fast enough for you? Do you not like our loot rules? Do you miss the people from your old guild? Do you want to be the leader? Do you think we’re all assholes? Just say so.

Jasyla,

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to raid with Apotheosis but, I’ve decided that it is not the guild for me, so I’m going to leave and look elsewhere. Good luck to you all in Siege.

Is that so hard? Or, if you like:

Jasyla,

You are terrible. I’m out.

Later suckers.

I guess my belief that people are capable of acting like mature adults is rather precious and naive. But seriously, you don’t even have to say it to someone’s face. You can send a message from the comfort and safety of your desk.

Making up a story – especially a sob story that makes people sympathize with your plight – instead of just saying you’re looking for greener pastures makes you a tool. It also seems like a lot more work than just saying “I don’t want to raid with you anymore.”

People will find out – guild officers are accomplished internet sleuths.

We always find out.

Anatomy of a Raiding Guild: Overview and Officers

Today I’m going to venture into some writing territory that is new for me. I’m going to talk about guild leadership and organization. I think it’s a really interesting topic, and I like hearing about how other guilds operate, so I’m going to share a bit about how Apotheosis does things.

The basics

Apotheosis is primarily a raiding guild. We do lots of other things, but raiding is our focus.

We have a 75% raid attendance requirement and we usually have a raiding roster of about 30-33 people. We strive to have:
- 3 tanks
- 8 healers
- 10-11 melee
- 11-13 ranged

We want a big enough roster that we can still field a full group when vacations and personal absences line up poorly, but we don’t want a roster so big that we have 10 raiders sitting on the bench every fight. We have never had to cancel a raid at the last minute due to a lack of people. We occasionally cancel a raid in advance (like when holidays fall on raid days, or half the raid is going to BlizzCon), but other than that, if a raid is scheduled it’s going to happen.

We have approximately 60 active, non-raiding members of the guild. All of our non-raiding members are either people who raided with us at one point but retired, or friends and family. We only invite potential raiders or people with personal affiliations within the guild.

We raid 25s three nights a week for a total of 9 hours. We are very strict about our 25-man designation – we never drop down to 10s to get new kills in current content.

How successful are we? At the end of Tier 14 we are 8/16H. WoWProgress has us ranked 1105 out of all guilds and 188 out of all 25-man guilds in the US. WP has tracked 15,549 total guilds and 1393 25-man guilds who had killed a boss in the US. Of course, I’m sure not all of those guilds are still active, but taking the numbers at face value puts us in the top 7% of total guilds and the top 13% of 25s. I’d love to have had 1 or 2 more heroic kills, but considering our rather limited 9-hour raid schedule, I think we are doing pretty well.

I think we strike a good balance between having a successful raid and providing a pleasant environment to play in. We have rules around behaviour and language – a few choice words and slurs are verboten and we want people to be respectful of each other. However, we’re not above filling Mumble with discussions about penises and bear butts while we’re clearing trash or buffing up before a boss pull >.> We’re serious about killing bosses, but we also like to keep things light and have fun.

Ranks

We have the following ranks:

  • Guild Leader
  • Bank – There’s only one character in this rank, Apothbank. This is the character used to buy/sell things on the AH to keep the gbank stocked. This character is the only one (aside from the GM) who can withdraw gold from the guild bank.
  • Officer
  • Officer alts – The only reason we have a separate rank for this is so officers can ginvite and access the bank without having to be on their main character.
  • Veteran – People who have raided with us continuously for at least 1 year. Veterans can invite people to the guild. We currently have 9 people in this rank.
  • Raider – This one’s self-explanatory
  • Initiate – People on trial to become raiders
  • Member – People who once raided with us, but have stepped down
  • Friend – Friends of raiders or members of the guild
  • Alts

Officer roles

Apotheosis has 6 officers, each of whom have specific roles in guild and in raids. The main officer roles in guild are: raid leader, recruitment, melee lead, ranged lead, tank lead, healer lead, bank admin, lootmaster, and GM. Since there are so many responsibilities a few people have multiple roles to play.

Here’s what our officers are responsible for:

Serrath
Raid leader

  • Creating and posting raid strategies
  • Posting the raid plans for each week
  • Creating the roster for each raid and determining what swaps will happen
  • Making calls during raids and addressing problems with strategy or execution
  • Posting a raid review thread after every raid
  • Log dives to discover problem areas

Serrinne
Recruitment officer

  • Finding applicants
  • Posting and updating our recruitment blurb on the official forums
  • Posting in the threads of people looking for guilds that suit our requirements
  • Talking to potential apps and answering their questions

Other responsibilities:

  • Filling gbank requests
  • Back-up lootmaster
  • Healthstone reminder service

Tikari
Melee lead – Role leader description below
Bank admin

  • Ensures bank is stocked with consumables and gear enhancements for raiders
  • Coordinates weekly EP drives (chooses the donation items, collects them, updates EP)
  • Sells excess items in bank (patterns, BoEs, etc.) to keep funds up
  • Fills gbank requests

Other responsibilities:

  • Back-up raid leader
  • Mid-raid log dives (for problems that need to be identified and fixed immediately)

Slout
Ranged lead – Role leader description below

Chronis
Tank lead – Role leader description below

Jasyla
Healing lead – Role leader description below

Role lead responsibilities:

  • Is the primary point of contact for any feedback, suggestions and complaints for raiders and initiates in their role group
  • Represents members of their role in strategy discussion
  • Centrally involved in the interview and feedback process for new applicants and initiates in their role
  • Keeps Initiates informed of the status of their trial
  • Provides feedback to people in their role. This includes both formal, written feedback on performance at certain intervals along with more instant feedback on performance (and possibly behavior) when required
  • Gives specific assignments during raids (interrupts, stuns, cooldowns, target switches, etc.)
  • Live calls during raids when required

Things that all officers have input in:

  • Adding new/revising existing guild policies
  • Whether to accept or decline new applicants
  • Promotion of initiates
  • Deciding our recruitment needs
  • Weekly raid plans
  • Suggesting changes to raid strategy or roster

That’s the basic information about what Apotheosis is about and how responsibilities are divided up.

Oh, hey, I haven’t talked at all about what the GM does. That’s a topic for tomorrow!

Times They Are a-Changin’

A couple weeks ago my GM in Apotheosis announced that she would no longer be raiding, or likely playing at all, in Mists of Pandaria. It’s kind of hard to think of Apotheosis without Kurn, since she created the guild (twice!), and it is very much her baby. I’m really grateful that she gave us so much advance warning – she’s going to contin raiding with us until we’re done with Cataclysm, and stick around through early Mists to help make sure we’re ready to hit the ground running. But, it’s still going to be a big change. Kurn isn’t much of a delegator, so she handles most of the day to day guild stuff – She’s the GM, responds to all guild-related concerns, handles most of the recruitment process, is the raid leader, plans all the strats, roster and does log dives after raids when it’s needed, she handles the bank. And not only are we losing Kurn, our caster lead, Majik, is also not planning to raid in Mists. That leaves 3 officers who are going to continue to raid in Mists, and a lot of responsibilities that need to be divided. Obviously, we’re looking for a few new officers.

When a guild loses a GM, especially one who takes on so much of the work, it’s obviously a time of much change. And with change comes a lot of apprehension. The paranoid, negative part of me worries that everyone will leave and the guild will collapse. Then I’d have to go through the whole guild search process and likely end up raiding in a place without all my Apotheosis friends that I really enjoy playing with. And that, frankly, would suck. The slightly more rational, positive part of me knows that the guild is strong enough to survive this. Apoth has a really great guild atmosphere. Our raids have their stumbling blocks, but are generally a lot of fun. We’ve been quite successful in Cataclysm, and have gotten better every tier. The people in the guild like each other and have fun outside of raids too – we do RBGs and other pvp together, we do old achievements. We also have a lot of real life connections in the guild. I personally have met 10 of the people I currently raid with and there are 4 of them who I hang out with on a regular basis and consider really good friends. I know a lot of other people in the guild feel the same – they want to raid with Apotheosis. They don’t want to look elsewhere and they’re willing to work to ensure the guild’s continued success. There’s only one person (as far as I know) who has expressed doubt that they want to stay in the guild with Kurn gone (and I really hope they can be persuaded to stay).

Though I have no doubts that Apotheosis will continue to be a great place to raid and a great guild to call home in Mists, I have concerns. First, it’s really difficult to choose a new GM and Raid Leader who will make everyone happy. In fact, it’s probably impossible. I just hope that everyone will be a little bit patient and give the the people who take those roles a chance. Change is hard, but it can be a good thing. Second, I worry about communication. People don’t always say what they mean, or they say it, but not to the right people. It’s easier to sit and brood or make snarky remarks to your friends when you don’t agree with something, but it doesn’t make anything better. I want everyone in the guild to be happy as possible with the way things are run and have a good time. I hope that everyone in the guild will share their honest feelings (in a tactful way) about the way the guild is moving forward so that issues can be solved and improvements can be made. The last thing I’m concerned about is also about communication. When people do have something to say, they go to Kurn 96% of the time. I’ve been an officer (healing lead) in Apoth for a few months now, and people have only come to me about guild-related things a handful of times. Perhaps the healers are just really low maintenance, but it does make me worry a bit. Kurn gets dozens of PMs every week and does weekly office hours where people can come talk to her on Mumble about anything guild-related. I’m worried about how long it will take for people to get comfortable bringing their concerns to someone else.

So, it’s a bit of a stressful time, but we’re going strong. We’re working on filling out our officer core, deciding who will be taking on which roles and working on transitioning all of Kurn’s guild work to other people. And we’re still clearing heroic DS every week (though this week we were struck by the “everyone going on vacation at the same time” boss), kicking ass in RBGs and recruiting to fill in any gaps for Mists.