Officers' Quarters: The fall surge

Scott Andrews
S. Andrews|10.12.09

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Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Back in June, I wrote about surviving the summer, when raider interest wanes and many players go AFK for weeks on end. Now that fall is back in full swing, all those players are back. Many guilds find themselves with a renewed roster of raiders clamoring for suddenly limited slots. This week, one reader asks how to handle all the extra bodies.


I lead a casual raiding guild. We have 1 25-man a week and about 3 10-mans a week including ToC 10 and Ulduar 10. I don't force anyone to raid. I tell them that they can sign up for whatever they want but if they sign up and don't show up, then they are penalized.

My problem is that since I allow anyone to sign up and I don't have set groups, what do I do when I have more people signed up than I need?

Currently I just say whoever signs up first gets first priority. However, I plan the raids out 3 weeks in advance and some people don't know their schedule while others do. So some people have to wait till a couple days before to sign up so they are always the last to sign up. I don't want to penalize people for real life stuff like that.

I have thought about just getting everyone in a group that wants to go, having all the dps /roll and the top rollers get the spot. I think that this could be unfair for the player who can only come once every couple of weeks and always ends up losing the roll.

I am trying to think of some sort of "DKP" system for raid positions. How can someone "buy" their spot that rewards them for attendance but allows others a chance as well? We don't use any DKP in the guild and we don't intend too. We also don't have enough people for 2 10-man groups in ToC or Ulduar but we have more than we need for one.

Maybe some sort of Suicide Kings would work? Everyone is in a list and everyone who attends drops to the bottom of the list. So people aren't penalized for missing a raid that way?

So what is the best way to allow everyone a chance to go to a raid while being fair to everyone?

Let me know what you think.



Hi, Stephen. This problem is definitely a headache for officers and raid leaders. You need to use a fair system that doesn't gimp your raids. However, it's always better to have too many than too few!

For a casual guild, you don't want to overcomplicate this process. The DKP or Suicide Kings approaches that you suggest are a bit much.

I'm also not a big fan of the "first signed, first slotted" approach. It definitely favors those with flexible schedules, and it gives an unfair advantage to the people who are online when the calendar items go up. Not to mention, this system can be "exploited" to a certain degree by guild members calling/texting/twittering/IM'ing friends when they see the events become available. You can wind up with the same people every time.

It's also an unrealistic system. What are the odds that the first 10 people who sign up will fill out the required roles and collectively have adequate gear and skill to succeed? You'll have to compromise no matter what.

My guild has been having this same problem for our 10s as well, and I'll share the way I've been handling it. It's similar to the rolling approach you suggest.

First, I invite everyone who signed up to the raid and see what we've got. I talk to my officers about the roles we need to fill and which roles have too many players.

We announce which players are guaranteed a slot, usually because they play a tanking or healing role with the right amount of players. If we ever have a large amount of new or undergeared players, we might designate a few veteran raiders for slots as well. Then everyone else rolls for a slot. The lowest rollers sit out that night.

However, anyone who has to sit is guaranteed a slot for the next raid they can run. That allows players with low-flexibility schedules to raid at a bare minimum half of the times they can make, if they somehow go on a cold streak with the dice. And if they really do have such epically lousy rolls, you can always step in and give them a slot anyway.

On a side note, I roll with everyone else. If I lose, I sit out. One of our newer players expressed surprise at this: "You're gonna bench yourself for your own raid?" I'm fortunate in that another officer is happy to lead the raids in my absence. This, to me, is just. If I'm going to ask others to subject themselves to this system, then I shouldn't exempt myself or any other officer from dealing with it.

It does suck leaving things to chance, so we only use this system for farmed content. For hard mode runs, we handpick our raiders, taking into account attendance, gear, experience with a particular fight, communication skills, class balance, etc.

Unfortunately, this surge in attendance that fall brings won't last forever. Finals, winter holidays, or sheer boredom will drive people away eventually. With Patch 3.3 on the horizon, though, it will probably last until beating down Arthas is as ho-hum as Coliseum dailies.

Rolling for slots has worked out great for us so far. If anyone else has come up with a good system now that fall has brought so many raiders back online, share it below!


Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!
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