Scheduling raids at a time that's convenient for everyone on your team is one of the toughest parts of raiding. No matter whether you're flexing or taking down Heroic Garrosh, it's an obstacle that every raiding guild has to overcome. But what can you do as the guild leader when you can no longer attend your own guild's raids?
I don't know if you've heard THIS one yet! Short and sweet.
Normally, when players and raid times don't fit, the players just go find another guild with raid times that do fit. No hard feelings and I wish them luck.
But, what is a Guild Leader of a dedicated raiding guild to do when the raid times no longer fit my schedule?
Hi, Need my Z's. Your awareness of what causes flying poo has served you well here. As the guild leader, raiding with another guild is off the table for you. Even on an alt, doing so sends the 100% wrong message to existing and potential members. You know that you'd be raiding outside the guild purely because of the schedule, but people are going to read into it all sorts of sinister motives. No amount of "message control" on your part is going to quell all of that.
Here's the deal. My guild is on an east coast server. We have mostly east coast raid times. We're an adult guild, so the best raid times for the majority of players are in the 9pm-Midnight range. I lived on the west coast for a couple of years, and I had very early work days (I was in work by 7:30am). So our raid schedule was perfect. We were done raiding by 9:30pm my time and I was in bed by 10. I have since moved back to the east coast. My mornings aren't as early, but I have to be in work by 8:30am, and I'm usually in between 8am-8:15am. That means I need to be in bed by 10:30 or 11pm at the absolute latest.
Therein lies the problem. We tried to run an early raid group. It fell apart. I might try it again after 5.4 once we have connected realms and more players to pull. But right now in order to raid, for 2 nights a week, I have to stay up at least an hour past the time I should be going to bed, and it is starting to affect my work performance - at least in the mornings. If I don't raid, I get very cranky, and my motivation to even login to the game plummets, which isn't good for the guild. But if I don't sleep right, I also get very cranky, and plummeting work performance is much much worse.
The answer is very easy if I wasn't a GL or in a position of leadership in my guild. But because I am the GL, I can't exactly just flit off to another raiding guild. Even pulling out an alt to raid somewhere else (which would be my personal best option) causes all sorts of poo to fly. And flying poo isn't good for anyone.
I'm not willing to abandon my guild, or step down from my position. Should I suck it up and deal with it until I can get an early group running again since it's only 2 nights? Should I risk a big fat storm of poo and raid on an alt somewhere?
-- Need my Z's
Such a radical shift in time zones from Pacific to Eastern Time was bound to cause a scheduling headache, so it should come as no surprise that it has.
At the risk of stating the obvious, let me just say up front that your work is more important and should be your priority.
Communicate the problem
Before you do anything else, the first step is to talk to your guild about the issue. You may have already done so, but if you haven't, you need to make it clear to everyone. Present your dilemma. They will understand that this is a problem and maybe someone can suggest a solution for you. At the very least, you need everyone to know just so they aren't confused by future steps you may take.
Now, let's see what we can do here. I will admit, your options aren't great, but here's what I can suggest:
1. Sub out at 11. This is the least disruptive solution, but it only works if you have someone who can replace you. I'm not suggesting you should raid from 9-11 and keep this other player benched until you go to bed. I'm suggesting you rotate extra people in and out of the raid according to the loot they need from each boss, and then at 11 you will retire. It's not great for you, but at least you will be able to contribute.
2. Start the raid a half hour earlier. It's a small compromise. You're disrupting the schedule, but in a minor increment. You said you've tried this before, but you didn't say how early you started. Maybe a half hour isn't a dealbreaker for the rest of the team. Then you can participate in the entire raid and only miss out on a half hour of sleep. Before you ask for this change, I would suggest staying up till 11:30 one night on your own and see if that affects you at work the next day.
3. Start an alt run or flex run. As a last resort, you could start a separate run at a time that works for you. Not everyone who raids in your guild would be able to make it, but maybe there are enough. A flex run has the advantage that you could raid on your main and still help out with other raid nights when needed without locking yourself out of Siege. Plus, you could perhaps bring some "friends and family" players who don't normally raid with the main team. If you wanted to, you could use this run to help newer or less-experienced members of your guild learn about raiding.
4. Be patient and reassess. Sure, this is the schedule that works for the team as it stands today, but who knows what will change between now and the launch of the next expansion? The beginning of a new expansion is a great time to revisit the schedule, and maybe then you can find a solution that works for everyone.
Don't blow it up
The worst thing you can do here is blow up what's working just because it's no longer working for you. As the guild leader, you have to be unselfish and do what's best for the raid team. It may be that accommodating you so that you can join them is, in fact, the best thing. I can't say how essential you are. But if you radically rearrange the raids to fit your schedule at the expense of other team members, poo will indeed fly.
I wish you luck with this!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.