Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.
According to wowjutsu.com, more than 25,000 guilds in the world are better than mine. That's rather disheartening in an objective sense, but I also have no idea how they get their info or determine these ranks. (The info also appears to be a bit outdated.) Despite our abject failure in the rankings, somehow we seem to be doing just fine. We're adding new recruits at a steady pace, raiding frequently and successfully, and having plenty of fun doing it. So 25,000 is a large number, but it's just a number. Does your guild care about their worldwide rankings? This week's e-mail comes from a frustrated raider who thinks his officers put too much emphasis on climbing up the ranks.
I've had a few issues with members in my guild lately that I feel put too much importance on guild rankings. I'm sure you are aware of the sites like www.bosskillers.com and www.wowjutsu.com. I see these sites as sources of controversy, others see them as a sense of where they stand on the realm and in WoW in general. We have officers trying to push our guild into doing fights, EoE 25, when we haven't even done EoE 10 yet. Naxx is still a constant wipe fest, with many of the easier achievements not yet complete for a majority of the guild. We have a lot of under geared people that still run around in Heroic and SSC, yes SSC, gear but that doesn't matter to them. We beat Kel'Thuzad one time so we are ready in their eyes. We would leave bosses up in Naxx so we could go spend the night wiping and never be able to get around to getting a full Naxx clear.
Forget the fact that several of the guilds that we know for a fact would rank higher then ours don't even submit their data to one site or another.Yet these same officers still proudly say that we are rank such and such. The way I see it is that these sites are good for one thing, breaking a guild down. We have had people leave raids cause we were or weren't trying to get our rankings higher.
So what's your thought on these sites and those that say ranking is more important than gear or vice versa?
Before everyone gets all judgmental about this guild's progression in the comments, keep in mind that this e-mail is from mid January. Yes, people raiding in Serpentshrine gear in January is still bad, but I wanted to put their dilemma in the proper context.
On a related note, I want to apologize to everyone who's still waiting for a reply from me. It usually takes me a while to get back to people, but it's been much worse lately. Since Wrath launched, I've had a high volume of e-mails. That's great and I'm thrilled so many of you feel that you can turn to me for advice. I'm happy to help and I do try to answer every single one, even if I'm not going to write a column about it -- though I admit some do fall through the cracks. I'm attempting to get more organized, and I thank you for your patience.
Getting back to the e-mail, here's the fundamental question that your officers have to ask themselves: Is getting the highest possible rank on these sites the top priority?
Every raiding guild should have a top priority -- it defines who you are and helps you to make the difficult decisions. If the top priority is progression, you're going to make decisions in a certain way. If the top priority is having fun regardless of performance, your decisions will be different. Some larger guilds have multiple teams with different priorities, to try to cover all the bases.
Drama often ensues when the officers change the priority. Decisions that used to favor a certain way of playing are suddenly going the other way. Some can adjust to it; some can't.
Either way, your officers should make the decision and announce their intention. If improving the guild's rank is the #1 goal, they should say so and let the members decide if they're on board or not. This way, no one is surprised when a decision is made. And no one should have to quit in the middle of a raid just because it wasn't what they thought it would be.
It sounds like most of the trouble right now is stemming from inconsistency. People can't predict what the raid will be doing when they get the invite, so someone is always disappointed one way or the other. That's hurting your guild's efforts.
Although, I should add, if people are leaving because they're being asked to try a tough boss instead of milking their way through an easy farm run, that says something about their character. It also tells the officers whom they can count on when the chips are down -- and whom they can't.
There's nothing wrong with pushing to be the best, as long as you treat people with respect while doing so. It doesn't sound to me like the officers are being jerks about it. They're just not content to farm conquered bosses -- they want to learn the remaining encounters.
If some people are running around in subpar gear, they can get what they need for any current Wrath raid from Heroics and badges. Gear will certainly help but, unlike prior raiding tiers, it's not a huge determining factor these days. If you keep raiding, all the gear you ever want will come to you eventually.
As far as attempting a 25-player version of the boss before you've conquered the 10-player version, ask around about which is harder before you judge your officers, Mouser. I'm sure the readers will have an opinion about it in their comments below.
In most cases, I would argue, the Heroic version is easier to do when you're learning the boss. Yes, there may be additional boss abilities, like Kel'Thuzad's mind control, but you have much larger room for error. If one DPS class dies against a 10-player boss, you just lost about 15 to 20% of your DPS. If one healer dies, you've lost 33% or even 50% of your healing. Those deaths are devastating to your attempt. In the 25-player version, one person's mistake doesn't have such dire consequences.
If you look at the top-ranked guild on Bosskillers, they beat Heroic Malygos first. Then it took them almost three weeks after that to beat it with 10 players.
As far as the sites and the idea of rankings go, it's not an aspect of raiding that concerns me. I visited those sites for the first time in years to write this column, and I couldn't care less how my guild is ranked. Personally, I'd much rather see Blizzard implement guild-based achievements. They'd be a more accurate way to see what a guild has accomplished, and ideally they'd come with in-game rewards that show everyone just how awesome you are -- for the guilds that care about such things.
Your officers do care. Like it or not, that is what your guild is all about. It doesn't sound like you're in a position to change their minds. You can certainly try, and they should at least offer to hear you out. But they are the ones putting in the time to organize and lead the raids, so they are the ones who determine what the raid will do. In all likelihood, you'll either have to live with it or look elsewhere.