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Officers' Quarters: Patch 4.3 -- An officer's perspective

well of eternity
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available now from No Starch Press.

Patch 4.3 is shaping up to be the most exciting and feature-filled of Cataclysm. Let's take a look at which features might impact your guild and how you can take advantage of them.

I have located a raid

The Raid Finder is not just for the guildless. Guilds can also take advantage of this new feature in several ways. The first and most obvious is that it will allow your raiders to get practice time on bosses for your own normal-mode raids. Since you don't get locked to the instance using the finder, you can see the mechanics ahead of time and still raid with your guild in the same week.

If you have players who need to get up to speed, you can also use Raid Finder runs as a training ground. New players can learn the fights without wasting time and causing wipes in your normal runs. (Of course, we have yet to see how different finder mode and normal mode will be, but odds are the mechanics will be fairly similar.) Plus you can use the opportunity to address any issues that the player might be having with DPS rotations, awareness, etc.

I can't say how it will all shake out just yet, but I believe the Raid Finder has an incredible potential to help guilds recruit. Encourage your more knowledgeable (and patient) members to volunteer as raid leaders. By showing the members of the raid that you can lead them to success (or at least fail without losing your cool), they'll leave with a good impression of your guild. That in turn may lead to some applications.

On the other hand, if your guild members show up to these runs ready to rage over meters and kick anyone who makes a mistake, then you're not going to find too many people interested in joining.

The key here will be to lead with confidence and patience, helping players to improve their awareness or their performance so that the group can succeed. I'm sure you'll encounter cases where a player is just hopeless, but how you deal with that will say a lot about your guild. Of course, if someone is just being a jackass, the group will be grateful to you for kicking them.

The drama daggers

Legendaries cause drama. This statement has no exceptions, and it will be just as true this time even though these particular legendary weapons can only be earned by one out of 10 classes.

Don't let it happen in your guild. Get ahead of the game and choose which of your rogues will get the first crack at it before you set foot in Dragon Soul. And make it clear what your expectations are for that player once you've made the choice.

Sometimes these decisions can be difficult. In previous columns, I've made recommendations for assigning legendaries.

Take back the power

Finally, there will be an easier solution for guilds with leaders who have simply disappeared and never returned. Prior to 4.3, guilds have had to petition a GM to fix this situation. Soon, the highest-ranked members will be able to take control automatically after 30 days.

Before you hit that 30-day mark, I recommend holding a guild meeting and discussing who wants to take over. If the answer is no one, then you've got a bigger problem on your hands. If the answer is too many people, then you want to make a firm decision ahead of time rather than leaving it up to the chance of who logs in first after the notification has been sent.

If your guild leader has already been gone for a while at this point, you may not want to wait for the patch. It could be a while yet before it goes live.

Sadly, there's still no automated solution for an active guild leader who is terrible at leading.

Transmogrification

For some reason, Blizzard has chosen this ridiculous word to mean changing an item's appearance to match another item. And the only people who will ever actually have to type it in full are Blizzard employees and poor downtrodden bloggers like me. (At least it's still better than "samophlangination.")

If you're looking for a morale booster or want to schedule a fun activity for an off night, running older raids for some juicy transmoggables is a great option. You can also earn some achievements at the same time, so it's a win for everybody.

Unbound chaos

It was bound to happen sometime, and patch 4.3 will be the day that you can actually trade these orbs to other players. Many of the crafted items added in the patch will still require them. If you want to get a head start on gearing up, ask members to stockpile these. You'll still need drops from Dragon Soul, but at least you'll have an ample supply of orbs when you get them.

There's a lot to look forward to in this patch. As with all major changes to the game, however, officers have to anticipate the opportunities they represent and the possible problems they may cause. Best of luck to your guild in 4.3!

/salute

Recently, Officers' Quarters has examined how strong new leadership can create a guild turnaround, the pitfalls of promising more than you can deliver, and lessons learned from Scott's own guild demise. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to scott@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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