Wednesday, January 7, 2009


We all need it. And we all struggle to find it. In our families. With our friends. At work. In our guilds.

Marnas retracted a post about our guild and the way raid spots are filled. A friendly, if somewhat bumbling, melee dpser caught me tonight with some complaints. Other friends and guild members have expressed (sometimes vehemently) their feelings about raid invites. Not surprisingly, these conversations generally happen when they are not confirmed for a raid.

Why do they talk to me? Well, for one I am an Officer, and my name often shows up on our website as the one confirming people who have expressed interest in attending the raid. Although I am the one clicking the confirm box, not all the decisions are mine alone. In fact, I am usually in communication with at least one other Officer, sometimes two or three, as I click. Why else do they talk to me? Probably because I let them. I let them blow off steam, and I listen to their concerns. There may not be anything I can do about it, but I try to listen anyway.

So what do we look for when confirming people to raids? Balance. But not just a balance of classes, or even a balance of roles. We also have to balance the conflicting desires of the people in the guild and the entire guild as a whole.

In the Burning Crusade, we made the conscious decision to focus on progression, which changed a lot of how we did things. Those changes have carried over into Wrath. In vanilla WoW we were a casual guild that raided. Confirmations were made on a first come-first serve basis. It usually worked out that the dedicated and talented players signed up first, so they were confirmed, but if you forgot to sign up for Molten Core early, you were likely to sit out, no matter how dedicated and talented you were. In Burning Crusade, we tried to make that same system work, but with fewer people allowed in the raids and the difficulty amped up in the early encounters, we quickly found that that did not work. Since then, our confirmations have been based on more elusive things than signup order. And of course, this doesn't always make our decisions popular.

Skill. Dedication. Preparation. Reliability. Availability. Loyalty. These are easy to type, but not always as easy to measure...especially in oneself. It's easy to say, "Soandso's been to two raids this week and it's not fair!" It's harder to acknowledge that Soandso has quicker reflexes than you do and only needs a fight to be explained once. It doesn't always seem fair, and I'll admit that often it isn't, that someone who is hateful and annoying gets to raid because they do more damage than someone who is nice. But when the focus is progression, sometimes the abrasive but skilled win out over the friendly, but bumbling.

In addition to the idealistic qualities listed above, the truth is a raid confirmation may also hinge on who you know. I know that sounds bad. But it doesn't make it less true. I'm not saying that the entire raid roster will be filled with people getting special treatment because they are related to or friends with an Officer. But if a decent player has the ear of an Officer, he or she is more likely to get into raids than a decent player who doesn't. Maybe these are truths that I'm not supposed to share. Maybe I'm breaking some oath of confidentiality by telling it like it is, but honestly, that is how the world works. I've gotten my last three job interviews based almost exclusively on the recommendation of someone I already knew working there. My qualifications got me the job (or the offer of a job) but the word of someone the employer already trusted got me the interview.

I know we sometimes trip and fall, but for the most part, my fellow Officers and I try to keep a balance between people and progress, guildies and friends, the guild's casual atmosphere and getting things done. We're walking a tightrope. And we're doing the best we can.


  1. and this was the very reason that I deleted the post and probably shouldn't have said anything more about it. So yay for me having my feelings hurt unintentionally! Yeah, I get it.... I'm not great dps and mostly raid because 1. the powers that be know I will show up and do ok and mostly 2. my friend and husband are good enough to get me a pity spot at times :)

  2. Raid confirmation are an extremely emotional topic. With WotLK things got even e little more tense in my guild, as Thursday is our first raiding night, meaning we will clear Naxx25 that day. Everyone who's confirmed will get tons of DKP and will drown in loot. Everyone else will have to wipe on Sarth 3D for some lousy dkps and even -dkp for dying in void/lava.

    Last Thursday raid confirmations annoyed even me. I have waited for months for tier loot now, but tanks had priority. And on my first night with enough dkp and full T7 tanks I don't get the confirmation. And in my place a shaman healer makes the lineup who happens to be the girlfriend of an officer. And that girl asked to be switched to "inactive" some days ago and hasn't raided for weeks.

    Many people will tell you similar stories. But as you said: Being nice to you officer and perform on a high level over long time, there isn't much more you can do. Except from switching people in and out of raids according the gear the need and don't need.

    Oh, and I of course got the confirmation that evening after complaining and I got my first 2 Tier loots. I sure fell out of favor of that specific officer, but I can't shut my trap either if things seem unfair to me.

  3. Confirmations are horribly tricky. But that trickiness mostly stems from personal aspects of the situation. Luckily for many, the raids aren't so difficult right now. Players who are not as strong can fill a spot without really hindering the group as a whole. In BC that definitely was not the case.

    I am a strong proponent of skill and loyalty for raid confirmations, but the "who you know" factor will always be a part of it. I am just as guilty as others (if not more so). If I am friends with someone and I believe in them, I will fight for them. The 10-man raid group I started was a direct result of trying to ensure specific people were included in raids. Those in the group were all selected for a reason.

    I understand that some players feel left out, and I empathize, but I can only worry about a handful of people at any given time.

    I commend you for listening to all of the complaints and being as diplomatic as you are. I have tried, and it's challenging. It's even more difficult when you can't give a friend the answer they want to hear. I am glad to be on a team with such a solid officer and friend as you.