Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.
Lately there's been a big discussion about the exact nature of the proc on Val'anyr and which class should get it. Bornakk finally stepped in and explained how the legendary mace works. What people don't know is that the actual fragments also have a mysterious proc: "Chance when picked up: Increases drama rating by 500." This proc is so powerful, in fact, that just one fragment can send a guild's entire healing team into an emotional tailspin. In this week's e-mail, the blessing of an unexpected fragment from a guild's first Ulduar kill quickly becomes a curse.
I've been raiding with the same guild now for close to a year. Started out as a PUG healer doing Zul'Aman. And have since worked myself up to an officer and a raid leader. Our guild has steadily progressed through all the Wrath 10-mans, eventually clearing Heroic Naxx. This week we decided we were ready, and go try Heroic Ulduar.
It was supposed to be just a fun exercise to test the waters, so to speak. We got through Flame Leviathan after a few attempts. (which we were quite happy about) And then something awesome and terrifying happened, a Fragment of Val'anyr dropped. This was completely unexpected. (we didn't even activate any towers) So we hadn't discussed what would happen with the fragments. Keeping in mind most of our raid hadn't seen Ulduar up to this point.
Well, being the raid leader and highest ranking member present, I decided to do what seemed most sensible. Which was to follow a policy akin to what we followed in Naxx. . . . Whenever a key dropped from Sapphiron, it always went to the officers. Everyone in the raid knew this because it's been happening for months, and no one has ever objected. So with the fragment being similar (quest item leading to potential gear), it seemed correct to follow the same policy. Another consideration was that of the healers who aren't officers, none of them have been in the guild more than a couple months. Whereas most the officers have been there for much longer. Anyway, I discussed it with the other officers, and decided the fragment should go to me.
Unfortunately, two of our other healers felt they should have gotten a roll for the fragment. They are so upset about it, they are even refusing to heal in our raids now. I've tried to resolve the situation, but to be honest it just seems to make it worse. Would really like your advice, regarding what I should have done, and what I can do now.
Hi, Will. It's always a tough situation for a raid leader when they rightfully deserve something awesome but also have to be the person to point that out. I say "rightfully" because I think you and the other officers made the right decision here.
Deciding who gets your guild's first Val'anyr is not easy. I tend to agree with Derevka from the Tales of a Priest blog, who lists attendance, flight risk, and skill as the three main considerations. You seem to have the advantage over the other healers in at least two of those categories, if they are as new to the guild as you say. And since you are a raid leader, I'm going to assume you're no slouch at healing, either. So, in my opinion, you were an excellent choice to receive the fragment.
However, I don't like the way you justified it to your other healers. Val'anyr is not that similar to the focusing iris keys. The keys unlock a boss. Without a key, your guild can't summon Malygos, so it's content that the guild can't see or farm. Val'anyr fragments do start a quest, but the mace is not a key. Val'anyr does not open content or make other loot accessible. It was thoughtful of you to identify a precedent, but I don't think that this precedent is entirely applicable here.
In hindsight, as I'm sure you'll agree, it would have been much better to make this decision (and justify it) before setting foot in Heroic Ulduar. Without any prior discussion, your healers could have assumed that they'd be able to roll on the first fragment. They probably shouldn't have expected normal rolling rules, but it's difficult to blame them 100% when nothing was said upfront.
I also think that the way two of the healers responded to the situation is selfish and immature. Refusing to heal is the MMO equivalent of "I'm taking my ball and going home." That's a tough stance to feel sympathy for. If they've been in the guild longer than you, and they attend more raids than you, they might have a point in feeling overlooked. Even so, this is not the right way to handle it.
The officers of the guild made a decision. I would say, based on the limited information that I have, that the officers made a wise decision. These two healers don't have to like it. They're allowed to be upset about it. But to protest the decision in this way accomplishes nothing.
As the person who received the fragment, you're probably not the best candidate to smooth things over. They're angry at you, and probably a whole lot of jealous to boot, so it's probably not a good idea to approach them right now.
Here's what I suggest: Cut your healers a deal. Offer them the opportunity to state their case. If they manage to convince the officers that one of them is a better candidate for the mace, then they'll get the fragments from this point forward until they complete the mace. One fragment won't make or break the assembly. However, if they don't change the officers' minds, Will will continue to get the pieces and they will return to healing.
This way they can feel like they had input into the decision. You could also talk about who gets the next mace at this point, but it might be better to wait until the first one is closer to being complete. Then you'll know who has been more dedicated to healing Ulduar.
For guilds that haven't made the decision yet, waiting till that first fragment drops is not the time to talk about it. However you plan to handle these pieces, be sure to announce it in advance. That way, no one can say that they were blindsided by the loot assignment.