Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Raiding at the right time?

So just for the record the post title is a play on Paul Simon's song 'Born at the right time' not 'Bjorn at the right time' which is a travesty of nature. Ok Euridipes? :P

Down amongst the mobs
A drunken guild is found
Their eyes are red and bleary
For there are beers being downed

Never been hardcore
Never been leet
Never had to face burn out fear
Nothing demanded
Of the player who tries
The raid warning chimes
And the whole group whispering
Raiding at the right time

Me and my guildies we are relaxed people
We like to raid when we want
See all the content
All the way from Kara to the temple
I see them in Shattrath
Getting those enchants
They ask me for gem cuts
Their Jewelcrafting friend

Never been hardcore
Never been leet
Never had to face burn out fear
Nothing demanded
Of the player who tries
The raid warning chimes
And the whole group whispering
Raiding at the right time

Too many people on the pre-lich king down
Too many raiders say they can't find the time
The Outlands groan
Every time another raider gives up

But down amongst the mobs
A drunken guild is found
Their eyes are red and bleary
For there are beers being downed

Never been hardcore
Never been leet
Never had to face burn out fear
Nothing demanded
Of the player who tries
The raid warning chimes
And the whole group whispering
Raiding at the right time

Ok so that's, I'm pretty confident, a fairly sucktacular parody of the song. Oh well, you can all tell me how lame it is in the comments and I'll have a good giggle *grin*

But amid the lameness there is a topic I want to address. I've read in my many locations recently of guilds with recruiting woes, of people feeling burnt out with lich king looming and current content staring to pall, of leadership problems within people's existing raids and people who want to raid but can't seem to find their niche. I feel for the people experiencing these issues but I can't say I'm one of them. So I ask myself why?

Right now recruitment has never been better for the Drunken Badger raid. We have plenty of people applying to raid with us and a pretty solid regular roster. Why is this? I think it boils down to a couple of things:

Word of mouth
We've been successful (some might say very successful) in T5 and the word has got out. We went to Mt Hyjal for the first time this week and although we had quite a few undergeared subs due to the fourth of July holiday we downed both Rage Winterchill and Anetheron and came within decent distance of Kaz'rogal.

I could be ungracious and say that the Sunwell/T6 raiders are now seeing us as a good group to 'slum' with and do some raiding on their alts who aren't committed to more hard core raids. But there is actually at least one T6 experienced raider I know who has joined us in preference over their previous raid. Why?

Relaxed Attitude
Don't get me wrong - we take our raiding seriously. We're prepared, we address performance issues and we do our research, but we also enjoy a drink or two while we raid and have a good time, bringing our sense of humour to the raid as well as our consumables and etc. There has never ever been a situation where the raid leader has bawled anyone out on vent. We don't roll that way. If we wipe we assess the situation and tweak our strategy. We don't play the blame game and we don't call people out in a negative way in public channels. It's the whole group too, we don't tolerate total asshats no matter how well they're geared - everyone brings their A attitude with their A game. Which is not to say that I'm not sometimes gnashing my teeth by the end of the raid because we're all getting tired - but there is a strong level of mutual respect and maturity amongst the group so no-one freaks out. Well, really freaks out in a long-term bad affect on everyone kind of way hehe.

Raid scheduling
From what I can tell we are one of the few raiding guilds at the T5/T6 (we've just started T6 last week) level who only raid this content once a week. We have other Kara/ZA runs during the week and might throw together a random Gruuls/Mags but just the one T6 25 man raid. This makes it easier for a lot of people who can't commit to heavier schedules, which from what I read of the woes of those people who want to raid this content but are time poor, makes us a pretty attractive proposition.

Leadership
I've been reading Chick GM and Lume the Mad lately - two excellent blogs written by guild leaders, and their ruminations on leadership have got me thinking about the leadership within the Drunken Badgers. We don't precisely have an extremely structured hierarchy. We have 4 to 5 people who have been willing to take on leadership roles and they coordinate loot, raid strategies, performance issues and recruitment. But from where I'm sitting I feel that the guild, and the raid are run on reasonably democratic lines. We generally come up with a plan and then raise it with the guild/raiders where it affects them for discussion (although at the end of the day the leadership team will make a final call if required). An example of this approach is the way we moved to T6 content. It was stated that once 17/25 regular raiders voted to move to T6 then we'd do T5 for 2 more weeks and then move to T6. A thread was maintained in the forums and people who didn't post were polled in game. Once the requisite number was reached we moved. I believe this is a successful approach because people feel empowered - they are part of the decision making, there's no arbitrary ruling handed down from on high, the process is quite transparent. However - there are structures put in place by the leadership to facilitate this.

So I find myself in a good spot. I'm not feeling disillusioned with the pre-expansion blues because I'm working at and achieving things I want to within the game - seeing new content. I'm hoping to get a bear mount before the expansion simply because it's a goal to aim for. I think this comes down to being part of a group that's doing things successfully right now. I remember that pre-TBC I was subbing every week with a group doing MC/ZG/AQ-20 and that was kinda cool - but I was just a sub. I spent most of my time doing BG's because there didn't seem any point doing anything else. I think that's perhaps where a lot of people are at now. To be honest I kind of feel the amount of hype and overload of information about the expansion is partly to blame for people's growing feelings of ennui. I tend to ignore the flood of information out there, nothing is completely certain yet and I'm busy enjoying the here and now, the future will take care of itself.

Lassira over at The Hunter's Mark has made a couple of posts recently about being casual by circumstance and in the most recent post talks about leaving a guild if it's not going in the direction you want to be. I couldn't agree more. When TBC came out I was a member of a small guild of RL friends, we barely had enough toons to run instances let alone raid. I knew that I wanted to raid and the whole 'reset' of TBC was a good chance to start putting the wheels in motion to achieve that goal. A chunk of the guild had disappeared horde side and weren't interested in raiding really anyway so I convinced Emelin that we should leave, and leave we did, joining up with the Badgers who at the time had a grand total of 5 toons in their guild but had the same goals we did. It was the right choice to make. Be proactive in attaining your goals - you can make it happen I promise.

1 comment:

Euripedes said...

"Bjorn at the right time" I do believe should be classified as a weapon of terrorism.