Being Polite

WallWhat is the polite way to say “Are you smoking crack?* No, your I-just-dinged-70 -and-got-my-kara-key toon should not expect to automatically be on the Kara team”?

*sigh* West Kingdom is about to run into a wall. I’ve seen the wall for a while but it was small and far off on the horizon. Suddenly it’s in my face and I can’t see anything else.

For a while WK has had 14-16 players with kara keyed toons. When we goto kara we’ve had our choice as to who should go. Some of the players had transferred their toons from other servers/guild and were actually already geared past Kara. Those people have graciously offered to sit it out unless we needed them to complete the run. (they tend to be included in the Gruul’s runs)

This means that our best-geared players are -always- sitting out and never get to participate with the guild. That sucks for them.

In the last week or so we’ve had ~4 toons ding 70 and get their Kara key. Suddenly we have the real makings of two Kara teams.. and suddenly we have a bunch of sour grapes. At least one player has expressed his dissatisfaction with being relegated to the “B” team.

My Ideal:
West Kingdom should have one Kara zerg team that is almost geared out of kara but is still running it for the 1-2 things each person needs off of varying bosses. This group would run Kara once a week with the goal of fast progression. Trash pulls should be as close to continuous as possible. No more than 1 undergeared other toon should be included in this run. This raid will start early (thinking 7PM PST on a weeknight) or run on a weekend.

West Kingdom should have another group that is just starting to gear up for Kara. This should run at least 2 times a week. The pulls and boss kills will be slower both because of the DPS and because of the additional fight strategy that needs to be communicated. The goal for this group is to acquire Kara loot, cement their familiarity with their raid roles and learn to work well as a team. This team may be lower geared and may therefore have lower DPS. This may mean taking a few weeks working on the first 3-4 bosses before they can progress further in Kara.

My Goal:
Those people who have been running Kara for a while usually need items off of the later bosses. When we swap too many undergeared toons into the Kara run we run into circumstances where we just can’t get the upper bosses down.. or we end up spending a lot of time swapping toons around to get better geared toons into the raid.

I dislike calling this the A-team and the B-team. But I guess it works out that way.

Is it fair to almost-geared-out-of-kara toons to suddenly be failing on bosses in Kara that they’ve had on farm because the raid experience/dps is dropped by the addition of new toons? The current A-team members had to fight their way through Kara. They took 3 months to get -to- Curator.. let alone getting past him. In that they learned alot.

How much sour grapes will it cause for the new-to-70s group to be able to look at the zerg group and see them breezing through the content?

*Channeling Gnomewise from Casually Hardcore

13 thoughts on “Being Polite

  1. Lots of sour grapes. As you’ve realized, you’ve entered the zone of guild development that is a huge, huge, HUGE pain in the ass. Once our guild got to the point of having 20 or so keyed toons, we split them into two (we thought) equal teams. The team I was on gelled, and we began making real progress in Kara, after a while downing the Prince. The other team continued to struggle for quite a while, and some of them began to resent the “A team”.

    Eventually, we had to redistribute players again, and then we had to deal with people who’d put months of work into being able to expect Prince kills now stuck on Curator or even Moroes on a bad night. Quite a few quit for guilds that valued progression more than our very casual social raiding culture.

    We’ve just about worked past that point, but now we’re approaching the point of having enough for 3 Kara teams, and some of the newly-keyed have no clue what to expect in Kara, nor what should be expected of them in a raid.

    Tonight we have a guild meeting in Vent to discuss what the guild wants out of raiding and whether or not the members are interested enough to put in the hard work it will take to succeed at 25mans. I get to lay down the law about responsibilities to your fellow raiders versus entitlement to raid based on dinging 70 and being pulled through attunement runs. I have people who *think* they want to do 25man raiding, but I have to make it clear to them what I’ll expect of them if we’re going to seriously try it, then we’ll probably put up a poll on the website to see if they’re still interested.

    We’ve had rounds of controversy before over posting recommended stats for entering Kara, and we’ve had some hard feelings over the fact that there are very few toons I’m willing to take on ZA runs, and we’re probably going to have some more after tonight.

    I figure that the best-case scenario is that some people will realize that they need to do more to prepare for raids — that they just hadn’t realized it before — and that they’ll do that work and make progress.

    The next best case is that many learn that it’s more work than they want to do, and opt out, so the guild either drops 25man raiding (which is really sad for a guild of our size, and in many cases, skill) or refocuses on always doing joint raids with other guilds.

    The worst, and probably most likely, case is that people will halfway listen, purport enthusiasm and willingness to really work at it, then go back to half-assed raiding.

    I suppose another case is possible — that I offend lots of people and they quit. I guess I’ll find out in a few hours.

  2. I fully support making people who are newer having to work thru the content – you learn NOTHING when you’re pulled through, and end up a worse player for the experience. Fighting to overcome challenges is good practice for 25-man raids, where it’s even more important to know your toon, and act quickly.

  3. Yar. The guild Ag and I are in has a couple Kara teams and I see exactly what you are saying.

    Though this might not work or apply in terms of vision to you guys… The current Kara team I am on was started by another veteran tank who basically had geared out of Kara. So when the new team formed it was over half people who were in Kara for their first time and a few core vets. This allowed plenty of learning wipes but still some people who could give advice and lead. Since its the more new person friendly team there is always plenty of room for new people, wiping, and talking about strategy and not having to chain pull content like other Kara teams in the guild. From the guild vet raiders there tends to be random (yet pretty much rotating) people that occasionally tag along to bring their wisdom and just have fun.

    That all aside: I do not think it is fair for geared players to have to “drag” new 70s through content. Your decision to have a speed team and a learning team seems 100% appropriate to me. They will be better raiders by learning the bosses together and not being shuffled through. Many things are total cake once you learn them but you still need to learn them! If X dpser dies 2 seconds into Nightbane because he was dumb about not standing in the bad zones and the group still downs Nightbane in one shot… then he hasn’t learned anything in my book.

  4. In my opnion, raiding is BS. I stopped and made a PVP guild because when you play to raid, you’re not playing; you’re working and paying to do so.

  5. It’s funny that this is up here today because I have a talk like this with a long-time member of the guild I am in last night.

    I’m new to the game. I’ve been playing maybe 6 months or so. However, there is a problem with new people I’ll openly admit….. they have no idea what the older players have put in. Most expect to be helped helped helped. You’re higher geared, so why not? They don’t know the time the older players have put in to get badges and farm to get where they are.

    Want to know what to do? Tell them NO! Our guild has been around much longer than I have on my server. Last night they went for our first try into SSC. When I asked to join, they told me, “No, your gear isn’t up to par.” Guess what….. it probably wasn’t! I wasn’t offended or crying at the “A-Team”. I went off and did a heroic and made out with 3 badges and 2 LPS’s.

    Make a limit. If it’s a tank, say “you have to be at 11.5k and uncrushable/uncrittable” or “you need to have +1000 healing at least” to healers. You have to set boundaries so they will work for it. For instance, I’m a pally tank have a very tough time meeting for our weekly kara runs, but I finally wuit fussing about it and worked on it elsewhere. I’ve been to 3 kara runs and not got a single drop. However, I’m at 12.9k and uncrushable/uncrittable. Soon, I should be at about 13.5k without a single Kara boss drop. That is far above the minimum Kara req for tanks. Therefore, it won’t hurt just to ask them to be AT the minimum.

    Tell them to get to work. We’ve all put in our dues pugging 5-mans just to pray we get that 10% drop we badly need.

    And that, ma’am, is my 2 cents!

  6. A thought:

    If you are naming the teams A and B. Perhaps name the “starting kara” team “A” and the “leaving Kara” team B.

    It looks like you are already going to be doing more runs on the “starting kara” team so this is where your focus is. And since your focus is on the guys starting(the other guys can run themselves) you’ll name them your A team. You’ll make certain their runs happen. etc.

    This way you in a small way assure the complainers that you really do want to see them grow and advance.

    Of course it is only a label/shell game and it might not help. Just throwing out a suggestion.

  7. Honestly, when you create an A/B team situation, even if it’s not official, you’re going to have problems. I think it is a positive experience to struggle and learn and all that, but if you make one super team and one learning team, the learning team is going to lag behind and become frustrated with the super team. You don’t want this moving into 25 man content, there will be no teams there and you can’t afford to have an “us and them” mentality when you need to be working together.

    I’m speaking from experience, although mine was somewhat atypical in that it was the B team surpassing the A team that caused the problem. My original guild decided on an A/B setup, and what was worse was that they allowed the leaders of the two teams to run things with different rules. I was part of the B team, which was formed of those who were considered unexperienced/undergeared. What the A team didn’t take into account was that the members of B were also the best players in the guild, and we killed the Prince our first week while A was still wiping on Curator. Over time A became frustrated with the difference and wanted the teams to get switched up. But since the teams were run differently, no one in B really wanted to raid with A’s leader, and we had become very loyal to the Team B leader who was having other issues with the guild leaders. So when B’s leader was essentially driven out, his team followed.

    Unfortunately, it sounds like you may already be past the point of no return. If the A team has already pretty much outgrown Kara, it’s going to be very tough to ask them to spend nights wiping on Shade (or whatever, there will be wipes and it will be frustrating to people used to blowing through it). I actually DON’T think it’s fair to ask people who put in their time learning Kara to go back to wiping regularly. But if you want to grow the guild through recruiting you’ll have to do it. If it’s at all feasible, you need to mix up the teams with an equal number of veterans/newbies, and keep the rosters fluid as much as possible from week to week so that everyone gets used to working with everyone. It may sound harsh, but if you wanted to tackle 25 man content without doing this, you should have grown the guild by merging with another Kara-sized guild at roughly your level of progression.

  8. I agree with Algorython above an the rest of the posters above me here in the comments.

    I feel ya pain. I really do. We are on similiar progression paths as well as the guild problems we are both having though your slightly ahead of me in progression having started Kara with your guild months before. Yet your dealing with your from the perspective as the guild GM. I’m dealing with mine as one of our guild core Vets and one of our best players and as one of two prime knowledgable and geared Tanks.

    If I could write the problems our guild is having with Kara its many of these problems. Our guild is small yet we only really have usually enough good geared members to do Kara though we all still working on getting gear. In the begining it was propose we have 2 teams and we did. What eventually happened was one team cleared Kara and the other team never started. So eventually we just had one team that progressed for the guild. Swap in various dps as needed to fill the runs. But the usualy members raided and eventually bonded as a team somewhat.

    We got new members and more who leveled to 70. Their first question, when can they join the raid to get gear and loot? So what happened. Guild started swapping in lots of undergeared healers and dps. What followed was that we started having a hard time getting not to but just trying to pass curator due to the lower geared members. That lead to many the members of the core raid team being totally frustrated. That also lead to people not showing up for raid. That lead to one frustrated tank (me) as well as the main tank also. See where this going. As a result of all this I myself considered leaving and applying to a top guild on my server. The thing is my application was approved. I haven’t decided what I will do, nor have I made that known in my guild.

    The thing is problems like these lead to people who did the hard work leavin. New raiding members seem to feel they are entitled to have it easier or a easy ride with the vets who work to progress the guild and learn the raid encounters, yet dont want to work as hardbornas serious. I for one does have my problem with people who dont commit to pulling their weight as well as gearing themselves and pulling others back. For now this problem is plauging my guild. And I sit with the decision do I abandon it for greener pastures.

    Ya feel ya pain, I have it as well.

  9. In general, that’s what you have to do when you have enough tanks and healers to support your DPS (which is usually how it works out, plenty of DPS, just waiting on the tanks and healers). You have your progression group and your non-progression group.

    I can think of TWO things you can try to do.
    1: Don’t call them A and B teams. Call them Black and Gold or whatever other colors your guild tabard are. This way, there isn’t the feeling of judgement.
    2a: See if you have some vets who are willing to run with your B-team — in general, what we do is try to have one experienced tank, one experienced healer and at least one or two experienced DPS. The rest are new people. With this mix, the earlier bosses will be easier to get down and give your new people a sense of ‘Hell yeah, we did it!’. It isn’t ‘tag along’, it’s ‘help out’. You can have two raids going with this, split new / old. If your vets are already nice enough to NOT raid unless needed, they may give this a try.
    2b: run a single raid ID. One night run mostly new people who need gear off of the first few bosses. Second night still those people, probably working on Maiden/Opera. Maybe Curator if they’re good new people. Third night, progression team steps in and cleans up.

  10. Kikidas seems to have just about read my mind. Name the groups ANYTHING except 1 and 2 or A and B. I’ve never run a guild, but I do have a management degree and I’ve run my share of real world work groups. It makes no sense to me to have one group runnning through Kara, sharding all the gear except for the one or two pieces that they need, while the other group beats it’s head against the wall trying to ‘earn’ it’s way through Kara. If progression is your goal, you should be striving to get as many people into a position to receive drops as possible. Otherwise, the strong get stronger and the weak get frustrated and neither group learns to work with each other.

    I understand that the veterans are bored of Kara, but they’re not going to progress without at least 15 more companions who are well geared. The longer it takes the ‘B’ group to progress, the longer it will take everyone to advance. You need to go to your experienced raiders and ask them who would be willing to lead the teams of Newbies through. These leaders should realize they’re essentially applying for an assistant manager/ lieutenant postion. It will be up to them to lead the raid and instruct the newbies on how the encounters work. These guys are also your talent evaluators, they should let you know who shined, and who hopped and jumped around accidently pulling before the group was ready. If you can swing it, a veteran group of one tank, two healers and two-or three DPS would allow new people to come in, have a solid mentor in their role, and still learn the raid. Make sure these veterans are willing to teach, don’t put the grumpy old bastard on these teams. Put in guys who can laugh at wiping and come back swinging. Try to mix up the noobs from as many different classes as you can to maximize the usefulness of the drops. These teams should ideally walk away with very few shards.

    I find the ‘we earned our way through, why shouldn’t they’ attitude to be tremendously juvenile and not in the best interest of guild advancement. Unless there is someone out there who solo’d their way to 70 without one generous donation from a higher level player, without one ‘run through’ of an instance, without reading one how-to article on the web – they’re the only ones who can truly say they earned their way through. The rest of us have all been helped up one way or the other.

    Set standards for minimal gearing/stats. Have your class leaders set these standards, and offer advice on how to achieve them. Give your class leaders some responsibility for helping the new raiders. This will give the old guys a sense of accomplishment as the newb advances, and give the newbs a friend and mentor on the team.

    anyway, that’s my two cents, for what it’s worth.

  11. Our guild has been having 25 man growing pain issues as well. Growing from the 14-15 geared people you need for Kara and the 30-40 geared people you need to hit up the 25 mans on a given night is a huge drama churn. You’ve got your nice, stable Kara group that know, like (generally) and can work with each, and now all the sudden you’ve got all these new people rubbing up against them and each other, looking for raid spots, mucking up guild chat, looking for groups, and generally being underfoot. Eventually at least half of these new people will leave the guild with varying degrees of detonation, but a few will mesh with the core group and become real members. Its just a long and painful process, but if you want to take your guild on in to 25 mans it must be done.

    As for 10 man raids… there is another. While there’s an awful lot of great badge loot coming in the next patches, even so you’re going to find your zerg group losing interest in Kara as they collect their last few upgrades in there. As an alternative to 25 mans (at least while you’re waiting for recruits to gear up), a very well geared Kara team can handle quite a lot of Zul’Aman. It’s a lot of fun, it lets your veteran core do some challenging content for a change without needing a bunch of other people which keeps them interested in raiding while you’re waiting for recruits to come out of the incubator. And unlike running a zerg squad, it doesn’t lock your veterans out of helping out the group 2 Kara if they need it, or if some vets need to be swapped in for Netherspite or Nightbane.

  12. “I find the ‘we earned our way through, why shouldn’t they’ attitude to be tremendously juvenile and not in the best interest of guild advancement.”

    It’s not merely a matter of making the new ones earn their way through because it’s what I had to do. They learn very little on a run that’s too easy, and they have no appreciation for how much work it takes to get to the point of making the runs look easy. Once they’ve breezed through Kara, they expect to breeze through ZA, Gruul, Mags, etc, and when they don’t, they frequently bail out on the guild looking for the next level of easy loot from a more progressed guild. I’ve gone through that cycle with quite a few people. I don’t want people who expect to be handed a full set of epics for no work. Our newb runs always have veterans in them. I don’t want to discourage the new people, and I don’t them to suffer through the months of frustration I did when we first hit Kara. I want to weed out the lazy loot whores before they sponge half a dozen epics from the guild, and I want to impart the experience of working with a group of mostly appropriately geared friends to overcome the challenges. Without effort, the loot is meaningless, and the skills are not honed.

    I won’t take one of my toons on a run where it can’t pull its weight, and I’m not interested in having guildies who want to be pulled through.

    By the way, we named our first two Kara raid groups Kittens and Bunnies, and I named the second sets Mana Ferrets and Rage Weasels, trying to avoid anything resembling “A Team” and “Scrubs”.

  13. Wow. Guess this is a hidden hot button.

    We ended up discussing this in vent last night as guild. I think we’ve come up with a proposal but I’ll need to check back with fiancee to get all the details (as in I listened.. and I followed along.. and I commented where it needed commenting.. but towards the end my head was full.. and I lost track of the conversation so I’m not entirely certain what was decided)

    I -think- we decided to try two groups. A “regular” group and a “zerg” group.

    The “Zerg” group will have 8-9 almost geared out of Kara toons and 1-2 need to gear up toons. The 1-2 will be classes/specs not covered in the rest of the Zerg group to optimize the usability of drops. We’d rather gear the guild than shard the loot. This group will -only- run one night a week. It will start early and go as far as it can.

    The “Regular” group will be much along the lines of the current Kara group. Preference will be given to people who don’t have toons in the Zerg group and necessary roles(tanks, healers).

    I have a feeling we’ll need to set gear guideline for the Zerg group. But i”m not sure where we should set them.. or what kind of hot buttons these guidelines will push. *sigh*

    Death is a good teacher but it’s not my intention to inflict horrible deaths repeatedly on the regular group. The team will still include players who know Kara intimately. Still there needs to be some challenge for players to get better at their roles.

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