The Burden of Leading

(Editor’s Note:  For guildies reading this, I’m not trying to hint at anything… this is just a topic I wanted to explore.)

When 3.1 came out everyone was all aghast at the thought of having to put effort into raiding.

There were the usual grumblings over this and cries of “that’s not fair!” and people upset that they wouldn’t be allowed to get away with letting 24 other people do the work so they could get epics.  -Holy Dueg

Mr. Dueg put together a great post on the effects that 3.1 were having on his guild.  The attrition rate continues across WoW as people are forced to pull their weight.  Two of the top end guilds on my server have found themselves merging.  It’s tough times these days.

Bobturkey has found Ulduar eating away at his guild as well.  I’ve always gotten very attached to a guilds I’m in, I consider it a family.  Its not often I’ve had people leave my guild that I stay friends with since I kind of feel betrayed when they go.  That has also left me in situations where I stay with a guild far longer then I should.  Bob is in this same boat I think, you want to move on to better your game playing but leaving the family is a tough thing.

The Pugnacious Priest has found herself moving on to another guild.  She said there’s a little reading between the lines but I don’t think she felt at home in the guild she was in.  Her post doesn’t really sound sad.  She does have a positive outlook though.  I wish her the best of luck in finding a place to hang her jacket and come in out of the rain.

There’s a flipside to this… the guild leader trying to keep his team held together.  Making decisions that a lot of people couldn’t make.  Maybe they didn’t make the right ones or the tough ones that could have saved their guild.

My old guild, Spoils of War, is a great example of this.  I loved them to death (they still aren’t dead btw, just lagging behind as always).  A great group of people but the guild leader was never willing to make the decision to cut people.  I remember lots of raids that an empty slot would have been more useful than the 3-5 people standing under falling rocks.  Those kind of choices… to let someone stay or go are very important.  At that point in time… I don’t think I could have made the decision to let them go either.  It was a lot easier to sit back as an officer and say you should cut these people then to actually do it.  There was a lot of friends who I liked to raid with.

Fast forward to 3.1, a year after I started Relentless.  I was forced to make some of the keep / let go decisions for my raid group.  We had a healing team that consisted of about 10 people and had setup a rotation.  This allowed for peeps to have offweeks and more people to get geared / see content.  I knew that certain healers on my squad often DIAF (die in a fire).  I made the cuts and we’ve been stronger ever since.  It was certainly not a decision I wanted to make, but sometimes you have to leave the stragglers behind if you can’t figure out a way to keep them up.

When do you make that decision though?  When do you cut someone?  You have to ask yourself some questions…

  • Have you done everything you can to help them?
    • Do you know their class?  If yes then what have you personally done to aid this person.  If no, do you have the time to research the class and help them.  If no, point them to a good website like Elitist Jerks so they can read themselves.  Poing them to someone who already plays their class excently and can offer much needed advice.
    • Have you cross referenced their WWS information with someone elses who is competent?  Compare things like percentages and spells cast.  Does it look like they had their dots up the entire time?
  • Is the person easy to work with?  Have they taken your help or brushed you aside, continuing to suck.
  • How is their connection?  Are they always lagging?

The following questions are important but a bit more self serving…

  • Do you have someone to replace this person if you do cut them?
  • What are the consequences of replacing this person?  Drama?  Leaving Guild?  Others leaving with them?

It is very important that you handle this case by case and always CYA (cover your ass).  Unless the person just annoys the shit out of you and you want to get rid of them otherwise you should be doing everything you can to pull this person up and help them.

I could say something about weak links and repairing them or whatever… instead I’m going to end with some random guild chatter.  Because I love my guild.

RTW Guildchat

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4 thoughts on “The Burden of Leading

  1. Yup, you are right re:leaving the family.

    It wasn’t so much Uldar in our case. It was more a decision by our raid leader (and I assume officers) to push into full clears of Naxx 25 rather than being happy with 3 wing clears. It was basically the casuals pulling against the slightly more hardcores.

    They recruited heavily and the people were attracted more in the hardcore end of the guild. There was some decisions made about new officers, which upset the status quo and a couple of the old guard officers left as a result (including one of our back-up RLs). The new officers were excellent players but not that regular online.

    End result, as soon as the RL had real life stuff and couldn’t raid the guild started to disintegrate. The absence of the guild leader for long periods was fairly detrimental also.

    I don’t blame the RL, partially because I was in semi-hardcord group and wanted to at least see the end of Naxx even if we didn’t start farming it.

    Short version is that the true casuals and the semi-hardcores both wanted different things and this pulled the guild a part.

    Such is life.

  2. D says:

    In a sense, it’s rather difficult for Relentless to totally leave stragglers behind, as we always have other LO charter options, plus you continue to steamroll (faceroll?) T7. Which, by the way, I’m grateful for. Even if I can’t ever go. Waah.

    I’d imagine it’s a much tougher decision for stand-alone guilds to shed dead weight.

  3. xeonio says:

    @Bobturkey – That sux =\ I hope you find a new guild though and pwn the shit out of things!

    @Daemia – Actually, I haven’t even spoken of LO on the blog yet. Its unique to Silver Hand… would make for a really good topic though.

    I don’t think it is as tough a decision to shed dead weight, especially during the LK era. The lead just needs the stones to step up and ask whats best for his group. You can continue to carry dead weight, slowing your progression or you can recruit for someone new.

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