Thursday, June 16, 2011


I went through this last year after we killed the Lich King and it's happened again now, where a lot of folks are just done with raiding and nobody logs in. It is so frustrating to deal with this kind of thing after working so hard, and it's not like I haven't set expectations - everyone knows I wanted to progress into heroics but this week has seen a steep, steep drop-off in attendance. 40 - 50% of the raid just didn't show up. And I'm left scratching my head.

Am I doing something wrong?

As usual, I assume I'm at fault, I have done something wrong in terms of motivation, or setting expectations, or maybe it's my personality that's responsible for turning people off to raiding, I know I push hard for progression and I can be a bit stubborn when I decide a boss needs to die, to the exclusion of everything else, extending lock-out to return straight to a boss despite a brutal night or two of wiping the week before - but I think I know when we've got the gear to do something and just need to pull together a strategy and when we're wiping to enrages. I try to make reasonable calls on that end, and not just rush against a wall when we lack the gear.

If we hadn't done this, we would not have gotten Nefarian down. I have no doubt in my mind on that point - we got Nefarian because we pushed so hard against it. But maybe that's not what people want. The difficulty level of this tier is absolutley no problem for me - I enjoy the difficulty and I enjoy the challenge and the only reason we didn't finish Nefarian a month or two ago is because we had shit attendance and had to PUG week after week after week till we got a semi-stable group for about a month and a half.

And now it's gone. And I really want to blame someone or something and the only person or thing I can point at is leadership and myself. Even if it isn't some failure on my part in terms of leadership, I can point at our rules - the laissez-faire attendance requirement, the casual loot-rules - which I put together because hey, we are usually raiding with friends and you don't want to deal with this kind of shit with friends. But when you're recruiting, you look like a totally casual guild to even semi-serious raiders and they move on.

It all comes back to decisions I have made.

Now, it could just be burn-out, and people will come rushing back for Firelands, but it leaves me with a deep anxiety. Will the raid survive more than a couple of weeks or am I going to be recruiting all summer long? I don't mean everyone of course, I have a rock-solid core of people but the last few positions seem just impossible to fill with people who can raid week after week. And I know that core is going to fluctuate over the summer. It just always does - it's the nature of summer raiding.

And I'm sure those people who want to go but can't all have reasonable reason for not raiding, I don't begrudge them, this is a frustration with the situation not with the people involved. I understand that reality imposes itself onto a game frequently and with little consideration for one's plans. And when these people log in - I love it, I really, really wish they could come regularly, a lot of these people are my friends.

But. When I'm wiping on stupid bosses with PUGs, just to keep the raid group together, when I'm re-training and re-gearing recruits from scratch, when I'm trying to get back to where we were a month ago... it just leaves me feeling like I'm spinning my wheels.

Honestly, if I have to beg, plead, chase, and cajole people to raid again; or worse, if I have to PUG through 4.2... Firelands might well be my last tier as a Raid Lead.

I really don't want it to be. I really want to keep raiding with my friends. I want it so much I can't put it in words. This is why I raid - to play with my friends. But I'm left with no choice other than to assume that the raid team falls apart over and over and over again because of me and it's time I stopped trying.

I'm exhausted of solving the same fucking problem since January. I'm beyond exhausted. It's time to fix it, move on, or quit.


  1. Truthfully. Between you and me (and no other internet person shall read!) I usually feel like guild leading IS solving the same fucking problem over, and over again.

    Just recruited a healer? Oh, this healer has to stop. We need another healer. Found a good healer? This DPS is tired of raiding. It's like a hamster wheel of futility. Or, as a former GL friend of mine put it, guild leading is WoW as HR Simulator - and who wants to play THAT? Well, someone has to play it, otherwise all these awesome raids and groups don't get put together and don't exist. I don't think it's anything you've done/haven't done. Nobody could accuse my guild of being casual from the outside, yet I dealt with some of those issues at the beginning of Cataclysm.

    Top quality gems in your gear, please. Bring flasks always. Try to run heroics WITH guildies so we get guild XP! Sometimes it's just painful. And this tier has been brutally punishing for that. We've been working on heroics for months and I feel like we've just scratched the surface; not because we lack the talent but because the neverending revolving roster door has punished us again and again. Treading water and just keeping your nose above the surface gets so wearing.

    Anyway, I feel your pain, and I think you are doing a great job. The patch will rekindle interest. And if at some point it's just All Too Much - nobody could blame you for stepping back from it. I don't think it's the kind of job a person can/should do forever!

  2. Thanks, Vid!

    You're the voice of reason as usual - it's a never-ending grind, I guess it's just the scale of the grind that's been getting to me lately.

    I'm trying to focus on having fun in some other way in the game and not thinking too much about raid. I'm pinning too many hopes on 4.2 maybe. We'll see.

    Leveling a DK on a new server with no help (other than guild perks) is a lot of fun right now. Hell, just collecting all my glyphs for Frost and Blood seemed like an accomplishment. :)

  3. Try not to let it get to you, it really isn't you. As Vidyala says there's always someone stopping, new people joining, oh another person having a vacation..

    We're having similar issues in my guild at the moment. Actually, most of this expansion. People work the night shift, same days.. great.. People can't be bothered showing up.

    We killed Nefarian and since then haven't had everyone in the main group online to do heroic modes. We've had to clear normal with some new people - because we can't bring them straight into heroic. So frustrating.

    I can't help but feel that everyone will suddenly "find the time" to play again once Firelands hit. Coincidence of course.

    Is it just me or is attendance worse this expansion than ever? We've had issues before of course, but it feels like this expansion is the worst so far.

    In any case, don't worry - you'll pull through. People come and people go, but in the end we manage somehow.