We recently had an Officer leave our guild. Several of us saw the frustrations building over the past few weeks and wondered where it would lead. The other day we saw exactly where that went.
On his way out he left a message for the guild expressing his frustration that many are not prepared for heroics, let alone raids. In his opinion, many are attempting difficult content without regards to abilities, gear, group make-up, buffs, etc. He expressed his frustration at those who unwittingly bring down others by not being prepared and waste the time of those who are geared. One of his complaints was evidently the 10g repairs required before even getting to the first boss in a heroic. As a clothie, this may be a valid concern, but don’t ever make the mistake of complaining about a 10g repair to anyone in plate! Remember, 10g is one daily quest which isn’t a whole lot in the grand scheme of things.
Regardless of how the officer left, which wasn’t shall we say professional, he does have a point. There are many people in casual raiding guilds that aren’t ready. Part of the responsibility rests on the officers’ shoulders and the majority rests on the player.
How do we fix that? The old adage that “knowledge is power” applies. There are so many resources available to us that it’s a crime to not take advantage of what’s available. There are links to so many websites that will assist you in enchanting, gemming, and evaluating your gear, evaluating your talents, or even blog sites such as World of Matticus and Resto 4 Life for healers, Big Bear Butt Blogger for Feral Tanks, and Big Red Kitty for hunters just to name a few. There’s dozens of sites out there and each one of these has links to more. After a while you’ll find what’s useful and what isn’t.
But what do I look at, you might ask? Well here are a few tips:
In my guild, the officers have noticed that some of the talent builds we’ve seen on our members are what we might consider...odd. Although many of us have little understanding of other classes, there have been a few raised eyebrows from those that do. If you haven’t looked at your talents in a while, visit some sites dedicated to your class to see what’s out there. Just by redoing your talents, you may find that your heals, dps, or tanking abilities will increase dramatically. What worked while you were leveling up is not necessarily going to work as well in raiding. What works in PvP, almost never works as well in PvE, and vice-versa.
Give it a chance. Find something new. Try it out. If it works for you and you’re happy, great run with it! If it doesn’t work out, try something else till you find what does work. Everyone’s play style will be different and the so-called “optimum” builds may not really be that “optimum” for you.
In every guild I’ve been in, I’ve seen a lot of linking loot that members find on other players they happen to be running past. This can be a great tool for motivating guild members as to what awaits them, but it can also be detrimental when that player focuses on trying to attain that gear without having a plan. I’ve seen players pass on obvious upgrades because they believe that they may as well wait for that piece they’re after, not realizing that the small upgrades get you to the larger ones eventually.
Research your gear upgrades. The WoWArmory has the ability to search for upgrades and this is a useful tool. The only part I don’t like about it is the inability to exclude certain categories, such as Sunwell. There are other websites out there that do allow for this though.
Another great resource is AtlasLoot. If you don’t have this add-on, I recommend you get it now. Hell, I DEMAND that you get it NOW!!!! Best thing in the world is to know what gear could potentially drop so you know what to look for. This speeds up raid times while distributing loot allowing your group to down just “one more” boss before the end of the night. Remember, one more boss is more badges and a couple more pieces of loot that will assist the guild in running it even better next time. (I swear if I have to sit through another 5 min loot distribution routine in Kara again...)
AtlasLoot will also assist you in knowing what badge gear to go after. This add-on has the ability to create a wishlist by holding Alt and clicking on the item. There’s a wishlist button at the bottom. No more will you have to spend several minutes at the badge vendor to search for the item you found the other day and can’t remember how many badges you need.
Know which heroics/raids you are capable of and which you aren’t. Did you know that Slave Pens, Underbog, and Ramparts are considered the easiest heroics? How about Mechanaar being the easiest after that? Did you know that Heroic Magister’s Terrace is the hardest? Did you know that even regular MgT is the equivalent of some of the regular heroics? It’s amazing how few people I run into even realize that the difficulty differences that exist between the regular instances translate even more so in heroics.
Know which heroics/raids require what types of CC and how many you should bring. Karazahn has 3 types of CC that are effective: priests can shackle, hunters can ice-trap, and warlocks can banish the few demons that are present. Knowing something like this can prevent you from making the mistake of bringing Rogues for the sole purpose of CC. I’ve actually participated in the Moroes fight with only one CC because someone wanted to bring their alt in. It wasn’t pleasant.
Pay attention in heroics and raids. You may never know when your knowledge of another class’ responsibilities will come in handy. There are certain mobs in Slave Pens that can’t be sheeped. Know which ones? Ever been in a group that relied on sheeping only to find out too late that it was resisted and you wiped? Personally, my biggest regret was not paying attention to what others needed to do as I now run these instances.
Know the advantages of group make-up. When does it make sense to have more melee than ranged dps? What classes should be grouped together on raids? Want an example courtesy of BRK? Look here for some of the responses.
Point is there’s a lot of different ideas and information out there. Use it.
Know Your Toon
You’ll often see requests from friends and members about whether or not they should switch out certain pieces of gear or what badge gear they should go for. I’ve often been asked by someone looking at badge gear as to whether they should buy A or B first. The issue isn’t so much about which piece as both are generally needed and obvious upgrades. The issue and question is what does your toon need?
Every class/spec has certain stats they need above all else. It’s your responsibility to find out what that is. This information is freely available on websites and from opinions within game. Know which stats are most important and in which order the importance should be placed.
Here’s a major problem I’ve observed in my own guild regarding DPS players. It makes me cringe when hearing about a DPS player wanting to stack crit to get the most damage possible. Why? Because first off, anyone relying solely on crit to deal damage is going to be ineffective and low on the DPS report. First, you have to be able to hit the guy. All your stats should be working towards that and making sure you can’t miss before concentrating on crit. Also, crits are great but only after the tank has gained enough aggro. Someone who tries to get as much crit early on in a fight as they can is asking to die. Dead DPS is NO DPS!! (I'm speaking to you Mr. Mage, who always wants to start casting before the pull so the spell hits instantly after the tank pulls!!! Wiping the party/raid is not the way to increase DPS!) We’ve all heard it, we all know it, but some people get too excited and forget. The DPS player that concentrates on steady damage will out damage the one who focuses on critting, guaranteed! Know where you should be stat wise.
Be Courteous, Be Responsible
The Officers of any good guild, as well as its members should be taking an active interest in helping others and advancing their progress. But it’s often hard for anyone to approach someone and try to give them advice. So for those of you on the receiving end, remember it’s more awkward for someone to approach you than it is for you to hear it.
Please be courteous and learn all you can about your toon. What you know or don’t know affects more than just you. What you do to prepare affects more than just you. Every action you take in a guild has the potential to affect a great many others both positively and negatively. One of the most devastating effects a casual guild faces is attrition. Casual guilds will often attract geared and experienced players looking to potentially lead others or just for a more relaxed raiding atmosphere, but they will often leave if others don’t attempt to improve and make progress. Each one that leaves then makes it that much harder for the guild to stay together.
Be courteous of others and responsible for your place in the guild. When you do that, even casual guilds will thrive.