Guildleader chores - Patience in spades

I have either got endless patience or I am spineless. I would like to think it's the former.

On Sunday the raid filled up to 30 people within ONE MINUTE of me opening raid invites. People know that it's always tough to get into the raid and they really want to go, so they hang around in guild chat waiting to get in.

It's the same problem every new tier. Until we have all heroic on farm, people will keep turning up to normal. Eventually interest dies down and alts start to come, but it will remain full for a month at least, I think.

First issue. Should normal spots be held for heroic raiders first and then fill with casual raiders?

I used to contend this with Xyn. I agree that there are key roles that need to be filled - tanks, healers, certain DPS - but I didn't want people to think they can turn up 1 hour late and be guaranteed a spot. Most heroic raiders can pug a normal raid, but casual players cannot. Most of our casual players like the comfort of a guild raid to be able to do stuff and hopefully be explained to them what we need to do. I also expect everyone in a guild raid to listen to what they're supposed to do not ignore all mechanics like LFR. So at this stage, no I was not holding spots for heroic raiders.

However, tier bosses was something different and we organised swaps within the group for those who were not raiding to get in for a chance at Tier. Spoon swapped out for Eurie, and Sev needed to be swapped in but I hadn't worked out yet for whom. In the end I swapped him out with one of our casual raiders who had been doing less DPS than the tanks, and said I'd bring him back after.

Well. There was a hooha.

I have an expectation that if you aren't doing the damage required (and especially if you DPS below tanks) that you would realise that you're adding more health to the boss than you can damage, making it more difficult for everyone else. And, I expect that people should not get upset when asked to sit out if it is their first time coming to the raid and they aren't doing as well as they should on easy bosses, meaning on harder bosses they will make it harder for everyone else. So after that guildie had been to 4 bosses, I asked to swap him out for Sev so Sev could have a chance at Tier, and then the guildie could come back.

However, that guildie felt wronged by me, saying that I had treated him poorly as if he didn't matter to the raid and that he didn't appreciate being made to feel like he was less important than a heroic raider and that it was humiliating. I have to admit I was taken aback! He hadn't been to the raid before and he had come to 4 bosses. Is that not great that they got a chance at loot? I apologised to him saying that I was sorry I made him feel that way, but he continued saying that he didn't feel comfortable being in a place where he was so looked down upon.

He then proceeded to gquit on all his toons.

It probably didn't help that Jassa and Fox had made some disparaging remarks about casual players in guild chat that I already had to whisper them that it wasn't appropriate. Gen didn't like that people were being snarky to casual players and said to me that she wanted to quit raiding. And then I had to deal with this emo. Honestly, I just wanted to spank all of them and send them to their rooms with no dessert.

Sunday raid however continued and we cleared all of Normal, which was great. People got loot and the main stuff up was that I forgot to distribute one loot which was a bit of a bum because I know people could have used that trinket.

I tried to whisper the guildie that left and tell him that I was sorry he was affronted but I expected that considering all the help and kindness I had shown them throughout their time here in the guild, that one small misunderstanding could be discussed rather than be dealt with in such a childish manner. If I had made a mistake, being too abrupt or something, I would like to be given a second chance to do it better the next time! I give people second chances all the time, and I fully expect that same courtesy be extended to me!

After raid I had difficulty sleeping, thinking about how I could have handled it better. Not that it was such a bad thing, staying up. Did some mythic plus, did my world quests, and some pet battles. After I woke up, I thought, why am I being such a dope worrying about what I said. If they want to be immature about stuff, then they shouldn't be in our guild. I was angry. That person was angry about me wasting their 2.5 hours or time on a weekend they set aside to raid. Do they know how much effort I put in? How much time I spend doing things? And all they have to do is turn up and loot? I was fuming mad for about 1 hour but I spoke to Koda who is always lovely and calm who reassured me that I never make people feel like they are second rate or unwanted, and to never doubt myself because I am always very fair, and sometimes too nice, and if people can't see that and want to be idiots, well we are better off without them. 

Jassa apologised for being a turd, because he had been having a bad week in his personal life. I said that's ok, just mute your mic and don't talk. He was fine with that. He has moody days sometimes, and people keep telling me about him being cranky but they don't see him when he's being great. He's been supportive, helpful, generous - and it's because I know he can be and encourage him to do so. He's not the only one who can be turbulent. Tons of guildies have that same issue, and are very quick to anger, but patience, listening and reasoning can really help - even if you just want to take a keyboard to their heads and scream at them.

But I was surprised that later in the day I got an apology from the guildie who quit, who told me he had been having some family issues. Apology was accepted and I wondered if he wanted to rejoin. I had a feeling he did, because he was feeling very foolish about his behaviour.

Obviously, if he was going to rejoin there would have to be some talking to about expected behaviour. I mean, Tye may do that /gquit stuff all the time (though he hasn't done it in a while) but he's special because he knows I never mean to upset him and he can always talk to me after and he always comes back. But at least there was acknowledgement on their part that they did something wrong. I expect that the person will come back.

I remember when something similar happened when I was away. The guildie who was upset that time felt extremely humiliated and was upset but chose to vent in guild chat which was probably a bit immature too, but I think that there was also some of the original decision that was not in following with the guild ideal. That guildie spoke to me saying they wanted to leave the guild they couldn't play for a whole week because they were so upset and they felt betrayed and the guild wasn't what they had expected it to be. I told that guildie that the leader that day was feeling a bit stressed, and they were probably having a bad day, and everyone is allowed to have one bad day. Every other time that guildie had been looked after, and when they had a bad day and couldn't raid or perform, had we ever said that it was unacceptable? No! We always allow for people having off days and I said that I expected the same understanding from them. Officers are people too, we get stressed and make mistakes - and if I can overlook one mistake, then they can overlook one too. I reassured them that the next raid I would be there and it would all run smoothly and it did. Everything was fine.

What I'm trying to say that is you can't let your emotions run loose when you run a guild. Or in any management position. Just because someone pissed me off doesn't mean I am entitled to treat them badly or not listen to their side of the story, or slag them off. Each time I have shown compassion for weird or slightly antisocial behaviour I have actually found that they were having an off day or just needed a bit of guidance. And I made a difference to them, a change for the better! Imagine if I hadn't! That person may have felt bitter or angry with the game or even regret and then gone on to continue making those same mistakes over and over. But, because I was patient, the buck stopped HERE.

I think that if I show people understanding, compassion, allow mistakes BUT expect that those mistakes are acknowledged and improved upon, then people will treat me the same if I make a mistake or accidentally offend someone. And, from following that example, that should flow on to others too. 

So it's definitely not being a pushover by holding onto my anger rather than letting it loose. I think it's leading by example. And I like to think that it makes difference.


  1. Guild Drama = all of the annoyances of office politics, but with FRIENDS!

    Yeah, there's no easy answers here, and people being obnoxious to each other or different social strata within a guild doesn't help.

    1. I thought it was a bit out of character - and I turned out to be right. But I am a big believer in second chances.

  2. I'm interested to know how your raid invites work .. do you just randomly invite the first 30 who say they want to come? Perhaps I misread. We have ours up on the calendar .. it is a first come first served basis, but obviously we ensure we have the right number of tanks and healers - then we organise each raid group (which character is going in which role) on our forums. That way everyone knows what role they're assigned to, ahead of time. If they're not happy about it, they have the opportunity to complain about it beforehand.

    Each of our raids up in the forums have the raiding rules linked in them, together with anything specific for that particular raid (for example in your case it would be the fact that certain people would be swapping for tier bosses, and what the criteria was for swaps). We then have it, in several places both in-game and out, stressed that all information for raids is up on our forums, and ignorance is no excuse.

    Obviously what you may need to take away from that is that, on a couple of occasions, people have claimed not to be aware of certain rules/expectations during raids. That calls for a "reminder" post on your website, a re-read of your raiding/guild rules and perhaps a change to your MoTD in game telling raiders they should be aware of the rules BEFORE they join a raid.

    We've had one or two recently who are *fairly* new to the guild and our raids, who quite obviously either did not read the rules, or ignored them, which has caused a few interesting discussions.

    One questioned why he couldn't roll on loot for his off-spec on need (we do personal loot, but roll for unneeded loot on a need/current spec; greed/off-spec basis) - I was trying to explain it over voice chat, when one of the raiders actually pasted that specific paragraph from our raid rules which I was really proud of - not only that he was aware of them enough to find and paste them, but also that I'd fully explained it, very well - despite this guy who was kicking up a fuss, saying I hadn't :p Shut him up, anyway :p

    1. Spots are only reserved for raid leader and tanks. The rest is a free for all. There are enough offspecs to run heals IF we needed them but we generally go with 4 healers for 30 people and up to 6 heals though some of us do get a bit bored and switch to DPS if there is nothing to heal.

      Raiding rules are on Discord in one of the text read-only channels and I encourage everyone to read them before they raid. The BIGGEST rule I think is all BoEs are handed to guild bank to fund guild repairs. Most people are good with this - those who aren't can do things on the sly like not loot and then the BoE will go to their mailbox and they would have kept it. But in general everyone knows that there is a generous 1k guild repair fund for all raiders for the duration of raid.

      I mostly wrote this post to say that sometimes people behave badly, but it is a genuine mistake and before you shoot them down that giving people a chance gives them the opportunity to improve themselves.

  3. Was thinking on this on the drive into work this morning (aside: Canberra at 7.15am is so peaceful and lovely :-) ).
    This stuff is never easy. Been there, done that. :-/

    It's hard to tell from what you've written, or I simply missed it; but it felt like an issue around expectations? ie, was there a prior expectation that lowest dps would be subbed out.
    Given these are casual players, it's quite possible they're playing with zero addons, and may simply be unaware of dps meters - ergo, their view of their performance isn't obvious to themselves - long shot I realise, but possible.

    What made me personally wince, was the sub due to dps. My 2c view, unless it's a progression boss where you are hitting dps checks, never ever ever sub folks out on their dps, or even their fire standing abilities. That is humiliating, because you are reducing a full human being down to a number and assigning a value to that.
    The other way of seeing the dps side, is extrapolate to a hypothetical - if all your players in a raid are in the top 1% for spec/ilvl, will you still swap out the lowest dps then? I'd suggest not: you'd /roll, ask for volunteers etc.

    Of course, none of this excuses the reaction. I've observed similar "/ignore " behaviour in our 13yo when he has a spat with a mate; manage to talk him out of that, and the two are playing again 2 hours later. Ho Hum.

    None of this reply is a critique of your actions Navie! I wasn't there, I don't know you personally or in game, or how your guild runs. Is a "post wipe" discussion on alternate ways of handling similar scenarios next time. :-)


    1. The whole point is moot now since the guildie has since been very apologetic for his outburst - but I do see your point.

      Expectations are outlined in our Discord channel. And you're probably right, amongst my musings over how I could have handled it better I could have said "One of our raiders just needs these two bosses to get a chance at tier - could you please step out for him for those 2 bosses and we will bring you back after" instead of "One of our raiders just needs these two bosses to get a chance at tier. Unfortunately when I had to look at who to sub out, because you're doing a bit low DPS these next two fights might be a bit hard for you but I"ll bring you back after".

      Even in our casual raids we stipulate that we want people to learn to be better so we do ask they have DBM, Exorsus and AskMrRobot as the only required addons, and be on Discord so they can hear how to do the fight. We don't call people out for making mistakes usually it's just like "A little lazy on the cake eating that time people, let's be fatsos next time and eat more cake and that means everyone!"

      I guess as it was their first raid and they got 4 bosses down that they should be happy with that as it's 4 more than they would have done. And that's how I would have felt, just grateful I was given the opportunity to come along and be in a raid with the guild knowing that we will share the loot and give everyone a fair go at stuff and it's non threatening in terms of instructions and callouts.

      But thanks Jub, I will definitely choose my words more carefully the next time :)

  4. I wouldn't make a great guild leader because I don't think that qguitting guildie deserved a second chance. He was new to raid and came for 4 bosses and was nicely asked to step out and told he would be brought in and then proceeded to have what's the equivalent of a temper tantrum? I see from your comments that he has been apologetic since but there's a difference in my view of a long term raider/guildie that has been around and proved themselves and a first time person, surely they should be more appreciative of being brought along in the first place?

    To me, dps is the number one reason someone should be asked to sub. If they don't know the fight and stand in stuff and die - well exposure to the fight makes them better and they will know next time but if they are doing less damage than what they add to the bosses health - that's really hard on all the other players. If it's a gear issue there are lots of methods to help improve before they step in next time (mythic + dgns are perfect for getting gear as good as raid loot as well as coming along for easier bosses to carry on) or they can spend the time sitting on the training dummies improving rotation techniques so that next time they have a chance to come in, they can show they are no longer making bosses harder for everyone.

    With scaling boss health, I think the minimum rule for bringing a person should be do more damage than you add to the bosses health, unless your raid mates are all prepared to carry.

    1. With that last point with our raid we can carry one or two people but not more than that. So I try to balance out the carries and make them take turns - well, that's what I plan to do, and that's how we used to do Archimonde.

      I think everyone deserves a second chance. But I do not believe they need a third.

    2. I'm curious .. does anyone know how much an additional person adds to the boss's health? Is it a percentage thing, or a straight number?

  5. everyone has mostly covered stuff i would say so ill just leave with this.
    being a GM is a delicate balancing act of spinning plates while standing on hot coals while trying to put out spot fires.


    always remember to look after yourself & trust your gut

  6. Bet you are glad I don't turn up when the raid fills up in 1 minute :p


Post a Comment

I hope these comments work! Not sure why people can't comment lately, it makes me sad :(