Should we care about the reason for a player’s detrimental behavior?

General Principle: We Excuse Undesirable Behavior for a Good Reason

Most “nice” guilds (and nice people) in WoW have this as an unwritten rule.  If a person does something detrimental to the guild/raid/group, but there is a “good reason,” we will excuse it.

Example: Tank Fails to Pick up Adds.

Scenario#1: I was distracted watching porn on the other monitor.

Now, nobody is going to cut the tank some slack in this scenario.  “Turn off the porn, moron” or a swift kick are going to be the responses.

Scenario#2:  I just had brain surgery.

Poor Cranky Old Gnome.  He had brain surgery.  Most of us civilized humans would forgive him for being a little “off” in the tanking department.  But the jerkfaces he ran with berated him and kicked him from the group.

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How do you handle Mains, Off-Specs, and Alts in your Raiding Program?

This is kind of an open-ended question, as our guild (and I would imagine other guilds) are struggling with this.

The Altaholic is the culprit

The scenario that every guild wants to avoid is the “altaholic” that gears up toon after toon.

At worst, he’s an obnoxious leach, expecting everyone to be enthusiastic about dragging his newest alt through the same content the guild already ran over and over with his last few alts.   He probably has a tenuous grasp on class mechanics of the newest toy in his arsenal.

At best, he gears up outside the guild, and is actually competent at his class. but it still feels like loot given to the latest in a string of alts is a waste.

Basic Concerns

Why to limit alts/offspecs in raiding:

  • “Wasted” loot
  • Class mastery (or lack thereof)
  • Additional resources outside raiding to “catch up”.

Why alts/offspecs are beneficial:

  • Creating class balance so a raid can happen
  • Providing alts for a separate raid ID
  • Preventing burnout
  • Versatility within raid (i.e. healer swaps to DPS for specific fights)

Our guild: Using EPGP

Because we were starting to do 25’s again, we reinstituted EPGP for loot distribution, since free rolls work pretty well in a 10 man but not so well in 25’s where pieces of loot are desirable to more than 1-2 people in the raid.   EPGP has the added side-effect of encouraging people to focus on one toon and one spec.

So far it doesn’t seem like it’s necessary to restrict people to main toon/main spec when they’re spending their EPGP.  In theory, people will hold out and spend their “priority” on items that benefit their main spec, and not waste it on off-spec items.

Spending EPGP on off-spec items

I’ve already had the opportunity to beat out a rogue for cat loot, and I chose not to, just out of “fairness”.   I’m not sure if guildies would have been peeved if I had rolled, even though  I use my cat spec, or at least would like to, and have worked diligently to get that gear up to par with my healing set.  (Actually now I’m pretty sure they’d be peeved, looking at the responses to Hana’s and Keeva’s posts on rolling off-spec in instances using the “LFG” tool.)

I wonder how I’d feel if the bear tank had chosen to spend his EPGP on spellpower leather for his boomkin set. Would it matter how often he got to play boomkin?  Or whether he preferred DPS to tanking and was only tanking to take one for the team?

Alts in raids

I wonder what will happen when we ask someone to bring an alt to make the raid work.  EPGP stays with the toon – but is that fair to the mage who really wanted to bring the mage and only brings the warrior so that we can have the raid happen at all?

What if that alt-warrior gains loot that the main warrior wanted?  On the one hand, it benefits the guild to have the main-warrior geared better than an infrequently used alt.  On the other hand, the alt won’t be useful for situations where we don’t have sufficient tanks if we don’t gear him at all.

Questions

1.   What is the main/alt/off-spec policy of your guild?

2. What is the raiding loot system used?

3.   Are you happy with the main/alt/off-spec policy and the raiding loot systems?   What are the problems, if any?

4.   What is your raiding program like? Do you do primarily 10’s or 25’s?   Where are you progression-wise?

How do you Roster your Raid Groups?

As you may know, I am in a casual raiding guild.  One of our principles is that everyone gets to participate, provided that they make the effort to get geared and ready. However, it’s a constant battle to make sure that happens, and different raid leaders have different ideas of how that should happen.

The following are my principles for successful, fair, and casual-friendly raid groups.

1. Static groups are not ideal for casual raiders

Some argue that static groups are good because people learn to work well together week after week as they progress together, making the group work as a fluid team. However, I don’t think that works particularly well for casual raiders.

Scheduling

In a casual guild there is NO way that you’re going to get 10 people week in week out who are able to commit to 2 raiding groups a week.  Just not possible.  We have people who can only go Tuesdays, some people who can only raid 1 day a week period… and we get them in.  With a static group we wouldn’t be able to include people with demanding schedules.

Creates a clique

If you run with the same people every week, you don’t get to know all the other guildies as well.  If you do end up raiding with a different bunch on a given week, you’ll be completely thrown off.

2. Skill/gear levels should be mixed

Some may argue that mixing the “haves” and “have nots” may make the “haves” feel like they are carrying the “have nots” – and that carrying a player will not assist him or her in learning his or her class.  I disagree!

Only one group may succeed

If you stack group 1 to be awesome, and group 2 to be anyone left over, you’re virtually assuring that group 2 is going to fail.  It’s better, in my opinion, to have both groups clear 2 bosses each than to have 1 group clear 4 and 1 group clear zero.

Social stratification

It will be perceived that there’s a “good group” and a “bad group” if every week 1 group is stacked with the best geared players and group 2 is filled with the lesser geared players.  It may cause hard feelings in the guild, and feelings of being inferior to other guildies.

A widening gear gap

And the more weeks the groups are divided based on skill or gear, the more Group 1 will advance, get more geared, and be even more superior to Group 2.  It will exacerbate the already existing gear gap.

Dear readers, how do you roster your raid groups?  Do you disagree with my principles?

Healer Crushes

Along the lines of the “Wow Spouse” (a term referenced by The Tree Unleashed as coming from Keredria’s blog – alas I cannot find the original post there!)  there are also “WoW crushes” or more specifically “healer crushes”.

1. The Awesome Tank

He can tank just about anything without problem.  Something is coming toward you… you think “help me!” and before you can even hit your Push To Talk, the mob is drawn right back toward the tank by some magical tank ability.  Nothing is hitting the healer on his watch.  When he offers to tank your 5 man, you sigh with relief.

The awesome tank also has a crush on you!  He will send you tells asking you to heal his 5mans as soon as you log in, and will confide in you that he doesn’t “trust” the other healers to do it right.

2.  The DPS Bodyguard

This DPS will actually pay attention to whether a mob is biting your face off and throw himself in the mob’s way, even if it means certain death for the DPS.  He recognizes, properly, that you’re more important than he is and acts accordingly.

Husband is this sort of DPS – whenever a mob is gnawing on the tree, I look for frost nova to appear as he locks the mob in place so I can move out of biting range.

3.  The Backup

This person is playing DPS, but he obviously knows a thing or two about healing, and does his best to help out. He’s the elemental shaman who immediately starts throwing heals when you’re impaled by the mob’s ability-of-incapacitation.  He’s the shadow priest who casts mass dispel, or the feral druid who pops out of cat form and throws you an innervate.

These backups understand that they can help a healer while still DPSing, and seamlessly can multitask to make your job easier.

Husband versus Wife: EPEEN

I actually got to dps last night on a random heroics run.   We got HCOS.

First, that dude who stops time.

(Not bad for my off-spec).

We’re about to get to the optional boss with 6 mins to spare, and the shaman (who is the only one who doesn’t have the drake) says “omg HURRY UP I want my drake!”

Husband responds: “I’m going to wand him so you don’t get it!”

He wasn’t kidding!

(Zomg 5600 DPS? I rule.   Sort of.)

Then I kinda sucked on Mal’Ganis.   I guess husband had to redeem himself.

Hey, I didn’t see him hitting 5600 DPS.   Nyah.

But… overall I winz!

When he reads this, I’m totally getting booted to the couch.

Oh ha ha

After the anniversary debacle, Husband and I put the Twig to bed and decided to run some randoms.

He suggested, “Why don’t you make a margarita?  We have the mats.”

Me: “Seriously… did you just say ‘mats?'”

Good thing I had that margarita in hand (complete with bendy straw stolen from Twig’s stash).  After whining about the scorpion trinket never dropping and then finally getting it, imagine my joy to be queued for HFOS as my first random last night.

The new armory tells me I’ve only run it 14 (now 15) times.  I call shenanigans on that number.  It’s really eleventybillion times.

Anniversary Fail

A brief interlude from ZOMG RL!  This may bore you wow people.  Move along, nothing to see here.

This Year (4 year anniversary)

Husband and I are sitting on the couch while Twig is watching Madagascar 2 (“LION MOVIE LION MOVIE LION MOVIE LION MOVIE” ok ok you can watch it again.)

Husband: Soon we will have been married 4 years.

Me: Oh crap, that’s today?

Husband: Nuh uh, it’s Saturday.

Me: Our Anniversary is the 14th.

Husband: The 14th is Saturday.

Me: No, it’s today.

Husband: No it’s Saturday.

Me: No, remember, the gas bill was due on the 13th which was yesterday?

Husband: Oh crap, we suck.

Me: totally.

Last Year (3 year anniversary)

(over IM, 3pm, January 14)

Me: Am I supposed to be mad that you forgot or are you supposed to be mad that I forgot.

Husband: Forgot what?

(Pause)

Husband: Oh crap!

The Year Before (2 year anniversary)

(Twig is barely 2 weeks old.  In a sleep-deprived haze, I grab some masking tape and a sharpie to label a bottle of pumped breast milk with the date.  Hrm… 1/14, looks familiar…)

Me: Oh yeah, happy anniversary.

Husband: Whatever.

How Cranky got her mojo back.

After my craptastic raiding experience on Tuesday, you’ll be pleased to know that I got my mojo back (at least a little) on Wednesday night.

TOC-10

I was psyched to be going to TOC-10 to “practice” healing a raid again.   We also had a lot of new people in the raid, so it was a good way to get to know some new recruits and introduce them to raiding with the guild.

The evening did not start off to an auspicious start.   For the first time ever (EVER!) I got rammed by Icehowl and died.   Not cool.

Other than that, the run went smoothly.   Having some new DPS, we got really close to the enrage timer on Anub… like we were literally counting down 3… 2…. 1,   and then he keeled over and the crowd goes wild over vent!!! We’re yelling and screaming, and 2 healers (myself included) promptly drop dead from a debuff we forgot to heal through.   Oopsie.

Phat Lewts

This week we instituted EPGP instead of free rolls.   So far so good.   It really changes not very much in 10’s where people get stuff by default anyway.

I had higher EPGP than the rogue but I deferred to him on both the kitteh necklace and trinket that dropped. (We don’t have a strict main/off spec rule specifically because some people do fulfil both roles well and are needed to swap in instances.)   After all, eventually I will get the scorpion thingy… riiiiight?

Tidy Plates

Tidy Plates may not give you much warning when you’re about to get aggro, but it’s quite useful to see which scarab is after you when they’re all milling about.   My estimation of this mod just went up a LOT.

Combat Log

After feeling all mopey yesterday about my healing fails in ICC-10, I was pleased that my healing kept pace with the pally who was the top healer in the successful ICC-10 run.   Granted healing TOC-10 is obviously easier, but maybe I’m not that rusty if I’m keeping pace with one of our best healers.

Scorpion Trinket

Then we went to HFOS to try to get the trinket again.   I hand picked all sissy caster DPS who would not want the trinky, and the husband tanked.   I was telling the group that I had passed on 2 pieces of awesome kitteh loot so I have trinket karma.

And. It. Dropped.

For Realsies.

I’m squealing over vent and I see husband also roll “Need.” The guildies on vent erupt with “Dude, you’re sleeping on the couch tonight!”   Husband is snickering in his chair.

Then husband won the scorpion! “HAND IT OVER HAND IT OVER,” I start yelling at him.   He’s laughing so hard and the guildies are like “Haha you are in TROUBLE.”   He traded it to me, at which point I announced: “F*** YEAH!” in guild chat and linked the trinket.

Later that night…

As we’re getting in bed:

Husband: Am I really sleeping on the couch?

Me: Nah.

Husband: You know, someone had to roll need on that.

Me: Yeah.

Husband: You’re going to blog about this, aren’t you.

Me: Totally.

Disappointment like broccoli ice cream (my not-so-triumphant return to raiding)

(I started writing this first thing Wednesday morning, but it would be lame to just speculate on why we sucked without a log, so I figured I’d wait to finish up until the log was posted.)

The Phailraid

I was so psyched to return to raiding after 3 weeks off, but our ICC-10 run did not go well last night.  We wiped on Marrowgar for 2 hours before calling it.

3 weeks ago, before I had to take time off for family visits, I participated in our first Marrowgar kill. Woot!  Shortly thereafter, the guild killed Lady Stinker and went on to complete the first wing.  YAY!  Another notable accomplishment during that time was killing Marrowgar without a pally healer (with 2 tanks taking roughly equal damage, bacon of light is incredibly useful.  Yes it is called “bacon” nom nom nom).

Last night we had no pally healer and one of our healers was an alt due to some unforeseen RL events for our scheduled healer.  I wish I could blame the DPS, but really, it seemed like the tanks were taking damage faster than the healers could keep up, so it was healer fail.  I wish I could say that I was the shining example of awesome, and that the other two healers were fail, but that wasn’t the case.  We were all “off”, and me shaking off the rust didn’t help.

The other group downed the entire wing. I wish I could say that they were the “A group” and we were the “B group,” but that isn’t the case.  I have no freakin clue why they succeeded where we failed.  They’re just dirty cheaters, obviously.

After the epic fail raid, I tried to cheer myself up by trying to get that scorpion trinket again. It didn’t drop, of course, and right about then, the achievement spam came across my screen as the other ICC-10 group finished the wing.  A fitting end to a craptastic evening.

Post-Log Analysis

Haha… FOOLED YOU.  I held off posting this until the raid leader had posted the log.  Except his computer ate the log!  I wish that I had run a log myself.

The mystery of the fail continues.  The only “clues” we have are as follows:

  • Gear scores of tanks and DPS were the same for both groups.
  • Gear scores of the other 2 healers in our group were lower than the gear scores of the healers in the successful group by a scientifically significant margin (but not a huge amount)
  • Gear scores suck.  Seriously.
  • Raid leader claims that he saw “people running around not doing what they were supposed to be doing” and does not think it was completely healer fail.
  • Husband has a dim recollection that I rocked the recount meters, for whatever that’s worth (not a lot since recount doesn’t count bubbles and we were running with a disc priest.)

Hrm, Watson, what do you think?  I think we wiped for 2 hours and without a log can’t really learn from our mistakes.