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Officers' Quarters: Prodigal raiders

Scott Andrews

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available now from No Starch Press.

As Oscar Wilde once wrote, "I can resist everything except temptation." There will come a time when raiders in your guild are tempted to leave and join another group. Many things can prompt this desire: struggles in a new raiding tier, unhappiness over loot, personal issues with other raiders, scheduling conflicts, and so on. Losing raiders is part of the game, unfortunately. But what do you do, one guild leader asks, when they change their mind?

First I need to probably intended to apologize for the very poor English and I hope the text is understandable. To read English texts is not my problem just write is not as good.

I am the founder of a small Raid guild. Guild was founded by myself and two friends. Since we have found no guild on our server, which could meet our requirements, we have decided to take matters into their own hands. The goal was to create a small raid guild for 10 man content and fill available spaces possible only with talented players. We only raid twice a week and still want to complete the content successfully, both NHC and HC. Currently we have set 11/12 and 1 / 13.

The real problem is as follows. Since we are the last 2 weeks Nefarian failed for various reasons is currently not possible to move forward. The Guild Board is of the opinion that we have before tackling other HM only complete once the content on NHC. The equipment of the raid member is above average, and thus should Nefarian actually be a problem.

In the last week we learned that two members have applied for another guild, which has put in 25 man content already 7 / 13 and is four times a week raiding.

We have both of course asked about it and talking it came out that one of the two like to do more raiding. We indicated that we would thus be unable to take in a raid, we might just as well give away the loot to a random player.

The two of them have inexplicably decided to go now but do not want and pulled their application to the other guild back.

This player is now unfortunately a caster and it was actually planned in the upcoming patch 4.2, giving it the legendary weapon. Our raid composition containing unfortunately no other Casterclass and we do not now what shall we do. We could of course change by twinks and bring back other caster in the group, but what would be the right thing?

The two Desateure lose their raid place and the two seats are vacant?
The two Desateure keep their raid space but ignore the legendary weapon?
The two Desateure keep their place and the raid group converted by alts of other players to get the legendary weapon?

You may have any tips?

Thank you for your time and hope for a response.

For the record, let me just say that I hate the Nefarian fight. My guild has had the normal mode on farm for months, and we still wipe to it all the time. It's a long fight, and all of the things that kill you happen well into it. Once you've got it figured out, it's not so much a test of gear or even skill as a test of your melee's ping, your raid's ability to jump over the strangely uncooperative pillar edges, and your kiter's ability to perceive the barely visible suggestion of fire that constitutes a raid-wiping hazard 8 minutes into the fight.

Anyway, my first recommendation would be to speak further with your two prodigal raiders about why they decided to pull their apps and come back. It sounds like one was unhappy with the amount of raiding your guild was doing, and I don't see how his problem has been solved unless you added more raids to the schedule.

What's really going on?

The real story could be that they were rejected by the other guild and came crawling back to yours. So, my second suggestion is to ask the guild leader of this other guild about what happened with their applications. Don't take your players' word for it. Guild leaders usually want to help each other out, so he or she is likely to be honest with you about it if you ask directly.

If it turns out they were rejected and they weren't honest with you about that, then they should no longer be welcome in your guild. I can't abide liars in online games. It's too easy to get away with it most of the time.

Is this the first time you've had trouble with them? If they've caused other problems, then maybe it's time to replace them. If this is the first time they've given you a headache, and if they've been honest, then they deserve one more chance.

A second and final chance

When players take that step to leave but then regret it and sincerely want to come back, they've learned something. They've realized what they like about your guild, and they've figured out that the grass isn't always greener. In these cases, they're actually more likely to stay than someone who has never tested the waters.

Before you let them off the hook completely, however, ask them what they plan to do in the future. Do they intend to stay for the rest of Cataclysm at this point, or are they still looking for other guilds to join? They may not be truthful with you, or they may simply change their minds later. Still, it doesn't hurt to have a conversation with them to gauge their intentions.

Of course, if they do this to you again, don't invite them back -- and make it clear ahead of time that you won't. You can't control what people do, but you can show them that there are consequences.

I don't recommend giving one of them the legendary staff just to bribe them to stay. That rarely works out well. However, if they truly do intend to stick around and you have no reason to doubt them, then treat them as you would any other raider until they prove you shouldn't. If it makes the most sense to help the caster build the staff, then do it. Just don't treat it as a reward. Treat it as a logical way to help the raid succeed.


Recently, Officers' Quarters has examined how strong new leadership can create a guild turnaround, the pitfalls of promising more than you can deliver, and lessons learned from Scott's own guild demise. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to

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