Officers' Quarters: Too much Stormstout ale

Scott Andrews
S. Andrews|12.10.12

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Officers' Quarters: Too much Stormstout ale
Chen enjoys a brew
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.

Adult raiders are free to enjoy a few adult beverages while they raid. This week, a guild leader wonders what to do when a raider has a few too many and ruins a night of raiding. (He also asks about raid scheduling, which isn't nearly as interesting, but we'll talk about it anyway.)

Hi Scott,

Yes, it's me again, Apocalyptic GM, sorry to be bothering you again, but you did such a good job last time of giving advice, that i felt the need to come to you again, especially now that two further large problems have arisen within my guild.

Firstly, the issue of raiding days. Currently i work shifts of 4 on 4 off at night time, which means i am only available for every 4 out of 8 days. We raided fine with this for the last 6 months ... but recently there has been some descent among the ranks, and complaints that people aren't happy with the current raiding days set up, and this hampering our time raiding. Now I could easily change to a fixed raiding days, but that would leave me frequently absent from raids, which is not something i would prefer. And this leaves me in a pickle as to what to do.

As guild master and raid leader I feel I should be able to set up raids to suit me, but then I also feel I should better accomodate my guild.

Secondly, we had a small issue with a couple of our raiders who are partner's in real life, they fell out just before the raid was due to start, and one of them got drunk, and basically the whole raid fell to bits, losing us 3 hours of raiding time. What would be the proper way to discipline them without drawing their personal life too far into the game?

Apocalyptic GM

Hi, AGM. I'm glad I was able to help you previously and I'm happy to do so again today, if I can.

Raiding sober saves rezzes

As a one-time thing, you could make the case that the drama and the drunkenness was a special circumstance. They probably should have bowed out of the raid after something that upsetting. I imagine they stayed because they felt like they were doing the right thing, but that only made it worse.

Go easy on them this time. However, make sure they know that that can't happen again. You don't want to send the message that this is acceptable by ignoring the situation entirely. You also don't want to get sucked into their drama vortex.

If anything remotely like this happens a second time, then you'll need to be far more firm. Reiterate that you expect them to perform their role(s) on par with other raiders and that you can't afford to have their personal problems drag down the entire raid. Offer them the choice of getting refocused or stepping down from the team.

You can't allow this type of behavior to be an ongoing problem. It can become a slippery slope, and not just for them. If other raiders see someone drinking heavily or bringing their drama into guild runs without consequence, then they might start to think that this is OK, and it's very much not.

Fixing the schedule

While it is your right to schedule raids how you want, your raiders have a right to leave the guild if the schedule doesn't work for them. Since there is so much complaining, I imagine people are on the verge of that. You can either make a fixed schedule or you can try to recruit people for whom a shifting schedule isn't a problem.

Here's the thing about a fixed schedule: when people have significant others and families, the fixed schedule makes finding time for raiding a whole lot easier. Friends and family can easily adapt to "Monday is when mommy raids." When the schedule changes from week to week, then finding time for it becomes a negotiation every single week. That can be pretty wearing on people's "IRL" relationships -- in fact, it's entirely possible that the conflict above was partly the result of the constantly changing schedule.

If you value the people in your guild, you have to give them the fixed schedule that they're asking for, even if that means you won't always be able to go. Otherwise you risk losing them.

You can still run with guildies via the raid finder when you can't make the regular raid. Or you could set up runs with alts on off-nights. This situation would not be ideal for you, but your work schedule is an extreme deviation from the norm. Frankly, I think you've been fortunate to have it your way for as long as you already have!

Officers have to put the good of the guild ahead of any one individual -- even themselves.


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
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