All guilds have “pairs” who prefer to do stuff together. We have a father/son team, a father/daughter team, a few couples (oh wait, girls don’t play WoW!), a set of brothers, some RL friends, and in-game BFFs.
The problem is trying to squeeze those “pairs” into raid groups, especially in 10-man groups which are rather limited.
Sometimes, guilds take hard-line views on couples – that they either don’t accept “package deals” or they don’t make any effort to keep pairs together, or may even actively separate them to make a point.
The main argument for separation is that each person is an individual, and should be treated as such. If a pair must always be together, they are treated differently from the rest of the guild and may be given better or worse treatment, more or fewer opportunities to raid.
Other arguments for separation include:
- Class balance of the group should trump. If Hubby dearest is a tank and wifey is a DPS, wifey is not as needed. If she’s allowed to go every time hubby gets scheduled, that’s not fair to the dps.
- Skill of the player should trump need to be together. Mostly this is directed at females, probably unfairly, but that the wife is a mediocre player, but the guild “needs” the husband, who is of course an awesome player because he has a weiner.
- Separation will encourage the players to get to know other guildies and discourage cliquishness. If those two are always together and yapping with each other, they won’t get to know the guild as well.
- Raid leaders don’t need the extra stress of another factor to use in rostering. This one is a big one… raid leaders have enough to think about – class balance, who raided last week, who can go on tuesdays but not thursdays. The last thing the raid leader needs is another variable to consider.
But, believe it or not, there are arguments for togetherness too.
- Snappier communication. Husband and wife may play in the same game room and be able to communicate “heal meh now!” faster than even over voice chat. I know from personal experience this is very useful for a tank and healer.
- Together time. The whole reason for playing the game is to socialize with the other person. Sometimes it’s husband and wife, sometimes it’s friends or family members who live far away from each other. If they’re not slotted together, the one who is supposed to be raiding may well cancel and hang out in a 5-man with his friend/parent/brother instead.
- Raiding availability versus RL. As a practical concern, a gaming pair has set aside that night for WoW playing and will be doing something else with the other nights of the week. If you have Husband raiding Mon/Wed and then Wife raiding Tues/Thurs, that’s 4 nights the family unit has devoted to raiding. For most casual players, this will not be an acceptable arrangement. You’re only going to get 2 raiding nights out of the couple, not 2 raiding nights from each member. Make it count.
For me, the final concern is huge. Often hubby and I will be raiding the same night, but in 2 different groups. If we raid on alternating nights, that devotes too many nights a week to raiding, and makes us feel far more “burnt out” than simply raiding the same nights and taking the same nights “off” WoW.
So, dear readers, how do you handle pairs who wish to raid together?