Friday, August 8, 2008

Guild Matters

This post will be about why I left WA and how my first night was with Lastt Standd. I am hesitant to write about WA because I still have friends there and a couple of alts. However, I feel the need to get some of my thoughts off my chest. I don't think any of it will be two emflamitory, but if anyone from WA would like to post a responce I will be happy to include it in an edit.

Why I left Wandering Alliance:
I left for several reasons, but they are all kind of jumbled together in my head. Ultimately the WA I left isn't the WA I joined, and I just wasn't happy anymore, but let me elaborate.

First of all I think the guild has fallen apart and wont be back to a high level of raiding anytime soon. Guilds and other organizations never fall apart quickly but you don't always see the signs until long after it started. From my perspective, WA's more recent troubles started in mid April. Our GM's computer got fried, and he didn't have the cash at the time to get a new one or fix the old. This created a little bit of a vacuum at the top of the guild. For a while we waited for Fero (the GM) to come back, but it quickly be came clear that Fero would be out indefinitely.

Unfortunately, the guild didn't have a good replacement in my opinion. I've said it a hundred times already, but I think being GM is a hard and thank less job, that every few people can do. I know I am not capable of doing it. It requires the right combination of hard work, desire, vision, charisma, and decisiveness that few people have. Some of the guild leaders had a lot of these qualities (including Aradane who eventually took the job), but no one had all of them. As a result the guild lost some of its sharpness. Decisions took longer to make, raiders got a little more sloppy, things just didn't go as smoothly as the once did.

On top of this, the general tone of the guild started to change. It became a lot more adversarial. I don't know what caused the change. I'm sure some would partially blame me. I did get in to several big arguments with people in the Guild forums regarding guild issues. I have heard others blame some of the new members we brought into the guild. I think the lack of definitive leadership also had a big deal to do with it. Anyway, the guild be came very snippy. The raid members felt it and started leaving slowly.

Another problem we had was a bloated leadership. I remember one raid where 14 of the 25 people in raid were officers. It is impossible make any decisions quickly when you have 14 people voicing opinions. Since we didn't have a clear leader it became even harder.

These problems were recognized and under the right circumstances they could have been fixed. However due to a combination of timing, bad luck, and poor choices the guild wasn't able to turn it self around. First of all, raiding sucks on Eitrigg right now. The top two alliance guilds folded with most of their core members transferring servers. Many small raiding guilds have folded also and the ones that are still around are having serious problems with recruitment. Having all of this happen during summer when raiding generally slows didn't help either. However, the biggest issue I had was how the top leadership tried to correct our problems.

What they did was completely restructure our officer rankings, without even telling all of the officers before it happened. They didn't even attempt to get input from me or a couple of other officers. Before the change we basically had three officer ranks, Officer, Class Lead, and Class Assistant. What they did was get rid of Class Assistant, Change the name of Class Lead to Class Support, and insert a new rank between Officer and Class Support called Raid support. The way they described the change was that Officers would run the raids and the guild. Raid Support would be the back up in case officers were not available. Class support would be consulted on Class specific issues if needed.

Ultimately it was a deceptive way to try and exclude some people (Class Support) from guild management and the decision making process. A new section was created on the Guild Forums only Officers and Raid Support could see. A chat channel was created that informally acted as an Officer chat for most of the Officers and Raid Support. Its a really funny feeling to hear a raid related question asnwered over vent when you can't see the question in Gchat, Raid Chat, or Ochat and it wasn't asked in vent.

As you probably guessed I was a part of the Class Support. When the changes were made, I felt unappreciated and disrespected. I felt like I had done a lot for the guild and was cast aside without any consideration for my feelings. The promotions and demotions seemed to have more to do with who your friends were then actual abilities. Several officers were promoted to Raid Support or Officer when they didn't do any more for the guild then I did and in some cases they did less. Since Eitrigg was such a bad server to recruit raiders from, I tried to maintain a thread on the Guild Recruitment forums on the WoW website. Even after I asked several times, not a single person could help me bump the thread to keep it near the top of the forums. My morale fell very low at this point and I couldn't find a reason to keep promoting the guild or working for its survival anymore. They had successfully pushed me out.

I wasn't the only one having problems with the new system. We started losing more members and some of the Officers and Raid Support people were also having trouble with the new system and the new leadership. Criticisms from some officers stopped being constructive and was purely belittling. Eventually a good friend of mine who was also an officer of the highest level was pushed out and she transferred servers. Another friend of mine from my FoC days decided that to transfer to another server also. It was clear that this was the end of the guild as I knew it. Many of our core raiders left for one reason or another and we couldn't recruit enough quality people to replace them. Eventually almost all raiding stopped, and the guild just wasn't fun anymore.

As I said in my last post, I found leaving really hard. I was surprised at just how hard it was for me to prepare for the transfer. Mailing all of the mats and consumables between my different alts and graylo so that he would have every thing he needed was very sad. When it came time for me to announce my choice I almost couldn't do it. It felt a lot like breaking up with a girlfriend. There are a lot of things I really like about WA that I will miss, but ultimately WA wasn't able to provide me with the things I need to make the game fun. If the game isn't fun, why play?

I wish them the best of luck with what ever direction they take the guild in.

First Day with Lastt Standd:
I freely admit that I was very nervous about transfering servers. I worried about it for a lot of different reasons. What would the people be like? How strong is the guild? Is it going to progress or is it another failing guild trying to survive? And probably the most nerve wracking for me, how will I perform relative to their current members?

I raided with them for the first time Thursday night. It's a little early to make a final judgement on the quilds quality but I think last night went very well. Most of my concerns have deminished. The people were nice. I found them a little cocky at times but nothing bad. In fact they reminded me of FoC quite a bit. The guild appears to be strong. We had 30+ people on before raid time and there seemed to be quite a few people on well before raid time also. Relative to the rest of the guild my performance was very good in my opinion. I was in the top 5 on damage most of the night.

We started the night in Hyjal. They had downed the first 3 earlier in the week and wanted to down Azgalor before we headed to BT. We ended up one shotting Azgalor which was nice since it is only the 3rd kill on him for the guild. We then headed to BT. Earlier in the week they downed the first 4 bosses including a guild first kill of Gorefiend. Last night was the first time Lastt Standd was attempting Bloodboil. I was a little nervous going into this fight. I had heard that it was very tough, and I expected a long night of wipes. It turned out to be not nearly as bad as I expected.

The fight requires a lot of coordination. First you need three tanks to coordinate their threat. They have to be the top three on the threat list and can't get to far from each other. Otherwise they will be unable to take aggro from each other because he is untauntable. The second trick to the fight is the bloodboil rotation. Bloodboil is a dot that targets the 5 raid members farthest from the boss. Since it stacks you have to rotate people in and out of range so nobody takes to much damage. The third trick is Fel Rage. The boss will target one person and he will have aggro for 30 seconds. This person will be taking a ton of damage and the healers have to react quickly so that he doesn't die.

The tanks did a good job of managing their threat. Some of the DPS (including my self at times) didn't but it wasn't to much a of a problem. The Bloodboil rotation went very well. We only had problems there when someone died. The only real problem we had was with the fel enrage healing. It took the healers a few trys to pick it up. Overall, with a good raid this isn't a hard fight at all. I don't know why I was nervious.

Monday we will be trying Requim of Souls (RoS). I have read up on it a little and it sounds like another fun fight. Next week we will be attempting Archimonde. Unfortunately the PvP trinket I have is the cheap one with a 5 minute cooldown. I need to BG some this weekend to get the 2 minute cooldown trinket.

Anyway, that is it for now.


Stephen said...

Too bad we never figured out the Super Secret Chat Channel where all the real decisions were made =(

Anyway I heard that your guild downed Blood Boil? Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Leaving somewhere that has been home for a while with friends is hard. Glad you are happy with your giant step and have great fun with the new adventures in store for you. You know where to come if you need a dose of Aussie madness, Love always