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Officers' Quarters: Three questions from a raid leader

Officers' Quarters Three questions about raid leadership
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.

Today's email comes from a raid leader with three different questions regarding raid comps, bank mats, and problem raiders. Let's jump right into it!

Hello Scott,

I am currently a high officer in a a new 25 raiding guild, MT and fairly new raid leader. ... Recently, after a pug for MV, 4 new raiders decided to join our roster, enabling for us to have a full raid group. The issue comes then, in to parts:

Since the problems we've had finding raiders, we were "forced" to take those 4 new guild mates, making a core group not as efficient due to lack of variety, therefore buffs, abilities, cooldowns, etc. How inconvenient truely is this composition with repeated classes?

Furthermore, I would ask you for advice on how to encourage members to contribute with mats, Golden Lotus for example, to the gbank such as other raiding comodities?

Nevertheless, the main reason I was willing to write to you, is the fact that we have two of those new raiders too close-minded.

This means they are not receiving any advice from me, or any other experimented player, on how to improve their performance, considering they are perfect as they tan right now, even when they have commited mistakes more than once. This goes to the point where they tried to steal the raid leader status, but they are not, in our opinion, cabaple of it, and have caused many wipes. How should I, or we, deal with this kind of attitudes? What can I do to show I am a serious raid leader, who is still learning about the job but who deserves respect, and to be listenned, since he was trusted for that spot? I dont like screaming at people, but I had to a few times. This is worrying me since those two has caused several wipes with their attempts to lead, and confusing other raiders about the strategies we are using, even when my strats usually have proved to work better for the team, even if not perfect yet.

I hope you could help me as soon as possible and I haven't overwhelmed you with so many questions and doubts.

Than you, in advance, for your answer.

KMM

Hi, KMM. I'm happy to help with all three issues. Let's tackle them one at a time.

For the question of composition, well, it depends. Technically, an all-druid raid is possible (or all paladins or all monks). Would this make encounters tougher? Absolutely.

Blizzard has said in the past that ten-man raids aren't balanced with the assumption that the raid will have access to every buff. If you have them all, then you're giving yourself a leg up. The larger raids, on the other hand, are balanced with this assumption. With a skewed composition, you are in fact making progression a bit harder than it should be.

The most important thing is to have access to all raidwide buffs/debuffs (especially Bloodlust) and enough battle rezzing classes to cover the three allowed per fight. Beyond that, having diversity is ideal but not essential.

It's far more important to have motivated, skilled raiders who get along. It's not worth losing a valuable raider just to enforce class/spec diversity. If a key component is lacking, I recommend encouraging someone to switch rather than trying to recruit. Remember that hunters can choose a pet to cover missing buffs/debuffs.

Donations

Acquiring donated bank mats can be difficult. It means players have to give up either time or gold to the guild, and some are reluctant to do so.

One solution is to offer a small amount of DKP or similar if you use such a loot system. Loot is always the best motivator for raiders. However, this can mean that donations trail off at the end of tiers when most raiders have all the loot they need.

Another solution is for the bank to purchase these materials from raiders at a discount. Yes, players could sell them on the AH for more gold, but they aren't guaranteed a sale that way. Many will take the convenience over an inflated price.

I don't recommend making donations a requirement of membership. However, you could charge your members for feasts and flasks per attended raid night. You can drop a guild bank right as the raid starts and ask everyone to give a fixed amount for the evening's consumables. The log records who donates so you can eventually catch people who are stiffing you.

By offering them at a discount versus the AH, you're providing members with a service while still recouping some of the cost. If they're used to these items being free, the threat of having to start charging for them could help increase donations.

Of course, you can do all of the above. The flow of gold and materials into the guild has to match what's flowing out in terms of consumables. You need to strike a balance somewhere. Otherwise, you'll eventually empty the coffers and be unable to provide anything at all.

Problem raiders

Your new raiders sound like they are bad at both teamwork and communication. These are poor qualities in raiders -- and they need to know that.

The next time their conflicting strat causes a wipe would be a good time to announce to the raid that the confusion is causing problems. Ask everyone to provide suggestions or alternative strategies in whispers to you rather than over Vent. In general, it's easy for 25-man raids to get mixed signals over Vent, so it's better for one person to go over the strategy.

If they don't get the hint, I recommend a private conversation after the raid telling them in no uncertain terms that they need to let you lead. Tell them that you're happy to address specific complaints but it has to be done privately for the sake of avoiding drama.

If this doesn't do the trick, then take the issue to the guild leader -- not to intervene on your behalf, but to discuss benching and/or kicking these players. It's better to replace them as soon as possible than let them continue causing wipes and undermining your leadership.

Screaming doesn't usually solve problems in raids, and your raiders can actually lose respect for you if you have to resort to raising your voice. If you want respect, be calm but firm. Speak your mind but don't criticize players unfairly. Admit when you're wrong and ask for patience rather than trying to gloss over it. Finally, remember to have fun and make sure your raiders are having fun, too.

/salute

Officers' Quarters keeps your guild leadership on track to cope with sticky situations such as members turned poachers or the return of an ex-guild leader and looking forward to what guilds need in Mists of Pandaria. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to scott@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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