We gave them space and recruited more people and we have been Raiding TotC, ICC, and new boss of VoA every week now. Recently, now that the hype of Season 8 has died down, they started to ask about when we are raiding so they can join. The problem is they want to raid in the PvE gear they have yet to upgrade and we have been spending these weeks gearing up the regulars to do more ICC Bosses and get to Lich King before expansion. Should we punish them for leaving us high and dry and then asking to raid when they are bored of PvP or should we try to include them and making regulars mad?
Thank you for a great column,
In my opinion, Squid, you're thinking about this the wrong way. You aren't punishing them if you leave them out of your raids. You're just doing what you have to do.
Raiding with the guild you belong to isn't a basic right. All too many players think that they're entitled to a slot in every run just because they have a guild tag under their name.
On the contrary, a raid slot is a privilege that must be earned. A raiding team is just that -- it's a team. You can't decide one day that you don't want to be part of the team and then act like nothing happened when you want to come back.
They made the decision. Leaving them out isn't about you punishing them -- it's all about what they've chosen. Bringing them back now with the same privileges as someone who has stayed the course would only cause drama and dissent.
It would be one thing if they had told you, "Hey, we're taking a break from raids for a few weeks so we can PvP more. We're sorry if this is an inconvenience." But they didn't even give you the courtesy. Beyond that, they literally ignored you for the entire time.
It's strange to me that they would do that. Are you sure they just weren't so engrossed in their battles that they couldn't read guild chat? I myself often have to skip reading guild chat when I'm raiding. It's impossible to keep up with it when you're in an intense combat situation. Did you try whispering them at any point?
Regardless, their choices put you as the raid leader in a bad position. You recruited them to raid and they left you high and dry. You had to start over and recruit other people to replace them. Now they want you to drop those other people you had to recruit so they can come back? I don't think so.
They've thrown away the privilege to raid with your guild, and they'll have to earn it back. You need to make it clear to them how their actions have affected you and the guild. Don't be confrontational or emotional about it. Just lay out for them the hardship that they've caused. They may not even be aware of it. You'll also need to explain how unfair it would be to ask your regular raiders to give up slots for them.
That said, you can offer them some options. You can allow them to raid with you when you need them to fill in for someone else. That will only work, however, if they can even get the job done in their current gear.
They'll have to show you that they're serious about raiding. They'll have to start gearing up however they can by running dungeons for Frost Emblems or spending some cash on Primordial Saronite for crafted gear.
If they aren't willing to do that, and if they aren't willing to sit on the sidelines for a while, then it might be best for your guild to part ways with them. You certainly can't count on them in the future, and you don't owe them anything. If anything, they owe you.
Keep in mind, however, that we are entering the downhill slide between expansions. I've already seen raiders deciding to take a break from the game, probably until Cataclysm launches. So you might wind up needing these players sooner than you think.
We're seen some stirrings from Blizzard with the Ruby Sanctum raid and the possible Echo Isles/Gnomeregan events that they aren't going to leave us completely without content between 3.3 and 4.0. So it may not become as bad as the transition from Burning Crusade to Wrath, when we endured a painful 7-month stretch of nothing at all.
That was a tough time for guild leaders. Raiders were quitting left and right, and poaching was rampant. Hopefully, with some content to fill the gap, it won't be quite so bad this time around!
Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at email@example.com. You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!