Officers' Quarters: The raid-aholic

Fighting the paragons

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.

In this week's email, a raid leader has grave concerns about his guild leader, who puts personal performance and volume of raiding above the good of the guild.

Hi Scott

I'm a co-raid leader of a fairly successful raid team. Our guild leader describes himself as a raid-a-holic. It was something we used to tease him about but I'm now concerned it's becoming a problem.

He has never taken his turn sitting out on standby like the rest of us. He'll only ever accept being put on standby if it's farm night, and he doesn't need gear. My co-raid leader and I try and be absolutely fair on the confirms. When the GL was our top dps, it was an easy excuse to take him often, and then we didn't have to rock the boat.

Recently for the first time ever we standbyed him on progress night. That night there was just no other option unless we wanted to be grossly unfair and that was just a step too far. So we were fair and we standbyed him. As soon as he saw the calendar he went mad and started posting in /g, in /o, on battle tag status, on his twitter account which doubles as the guilds (where he posts all our kill videos), that he hoped we wiped all night, as the kill wouldn't count if he wasn't there.

Someone had to pull out and for the first time ever he touched the calendar and confirmed himself in their place. Usually he never has anything to do with raid management. He won't put events up, he won't help with confirms. He'll talk on vent fine, but when my mike broke one raid he wouldn't call things out, in case it affected his dps, and so we wiped repeatedly.

Ever since then, it's like a switch has been thrown. I thought it would blow over but it hasn't, if anything he's getting worse. Every raid he's been posting on battle tag, and on twitter, that the "raid sucks" only with a lot of swearing. He's slipped down the dps meter and is often 5th now. So when it comes to things like Norushen heroic, recently we've been putting him in a later group, as it's more important to get the top dps cleansed first, otherwise we wouldn't make beserk. [...]

He's kept some of his complaining in /o at least. Comparing his dps every fight, telling us to look if he does well, making excuses like "warriors are op and don't even have to try" if he does not. However, the public posts are being seen by a lot of people. I've got /w from them asking "what his problem is as we've got all those hc kills" and I don't know what to tell them.

Now this is bad enough. I mean he's the guild leader, so no-one is more of an ambassador for the guild than he is. I feel like his behaviour is a reflection on all of us. However, there's another issue. We currently raid 4 nights a week and it's too much. Even with the good progress signs are starting to slow and people are burning out. I've argued a number of times, especially as there's no sign of Warlords, that we need to slow down. However, when I say 4 is too many, he counters and says he raids 6 nights a week. [...]

My co-raid leader and I don't know what to do. We feel pretty powerless. I realise that it's partly out fault as we enabled him for so long. We didn't want the aggro and the conflict so didn't standby him when we knew he wouldn't like it. I know we should probably talk with him but I'm scared of his reaction if I'm honest. He's unlikely to kick us as we're both tanks and there aren't reliable replacements, if he kicks us he can't raid. That doesn't mean he couldn't make it very unpleasant. I hate letting people down, and so if I walked away it would hurt the other members of the team, and it's not their fault. I feel pretty trapped if I'm honest.

Thanks for your time.

An intimidated raid leader

Hi, Intimidated. I'll be blunt here: this person should not be a guild leader or an officer.

The "me first" attitude here is so overwhelmingly obnoxious, the failures of leadership so numerous, that I'm shocked the situation has gone on this long without the guild falling to pieces already. I credit you and your co-raid leader for that.

To refuse to communicate on Vent because it might lower your DPS, at the expense of the raid wiping, is utterly ridiculous. His selfishness is just the tip of the iceberg here though. His rude behavior toward the raid is inexcusable. His disparaging comments are horrible for morale. His focus on competition versus cooperation is the antithesis of what a guild leader should promote.

His meddling with the calendar just to confirm himself, while he otherwise fails to help in any way, is like a microcosm of the greater problem -- he doesn't care about the guild, the raid, or you. He doesn't care whose feelings he hurts or what damage he does as long as he gets to raid and show off his "leet deeps." The meters are more important to him than the community.

Don't be intimidated

Sooner or later he is going to drive people out of the roster unless there is a drastic change in behavior. You could try to be the catalyst for that change, but to me it sounds like your odds of success are very slim.

If he hasn't realized what his behavior is doing to the raid so far, with all of this extreme behavior, I doubt that a conversation with him will change his mind.

My advice is this: Don't be intimidated by this person. You're giving him power over you that he doesn't have and doesn't deserve. You and the other raid leader are not just the tanks, but the real leaders at work here. You are more valuable to the guild than your guild leader. When the chips are down, people will follow your leadership, not his.

If you want to change things from within, you have to get tough. You and your co-raid leader should explain to him how he is affecting you, personally. Also cite specific instances where he affected others, when guild members have approached you about his behavior. Don't name names, obviously. But lay it all out. All his embarrassing and morale-smashing comments. All his selfish behavior, putting his own needs and his own pride before the good of the guild.

Then tell him you can't go on like this. Ask him to step down from the guild leader position and turn control of the guild over to you and the other raid leader. If all he cares about is raiding, then offer to keep him on as a regular raider. From this position you can give him the boot if he continues on in the same manner, but that's a matter for another time.

And honestly, he won't step down. I can pretty much guarantee his ego can't handle doing that.

If he doesn't, or if you don't want to bother with the kind of drama that a face to face like that would create, then quit the guild. Reform under someone else. You won't have to "poach" anyone. When your raiders see that you're setting up shop free of the megalomaniac that's leading their guild, they will join you. You'll all be better off.

This is such a crazy situation that I don't see any other real choice for you. Don't feel sorry for your guild leader. He forfeited the right to lead a guild when he started making decisions that only benefit him. Players like him are poison to guilds.

Now is a good time to do this, between expansions. You'll have time to recover and then continue your progression before Warlords hits.

How many nights?

It's a minor issue compared to what's at stake otherwise, but choosing the right amount of raid nights is important to your raiders both online and in their personal lives.

Four sounds like a lot to me. I could never raid four nights, personally. Some guilds do, but I don't consider it a common schedule. I'm not surprised to hear that this volume of raiding has led to burnout. When you form the new team, take a survey or put it to a vote. Let the community decide. That's the way it should work.

If your raiders want fewer than four nights, then make sure the nights you do raid are efficient runs, with few breaks and minimal time wasted waiting for people.

You and your guildmates could have a happier future. But only you and your fellow raid leader can make it happen.


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