Monday, November 30, 2009

If I were recruiting

I'd probably just kill myself. Thank goodness the days of a large guild are past me, though I must admit even looking for one person in a 10 man guild can be a challenge. Right now though, I suspect that many guilds (like ) are facing the slump between content right now.

I would be surprised if many guilds that are still working on ToGC 25H aren't faltering some, simply because 3.3 is right around the corner, and who wants to spend all night wiping when new content is coming out soon? OK, besides me and a few others I know anyway.

My guess is the average guild has killed one or two bosses in ToGC 25H at most, and if the blogsphere is any indication (it's as good a sampling as I can come up with in 2 seconds) many guilds are recruiting to try and keep up the attempts. This leads to the wonderful cycle of guild hopping, burnout, and frustration as you bring on new members to try harder content. You also then get to handle the folks that needed a 'break' for a while, and conveniently return just as the new content is released.

But really - what would you do?

At this stage in the game, I'd have to sit down and have a good hard look at what my guild priorities really were, and if they were achievable at all. This is what we did with S-a-S prior to the release of ToC - and here's the short and sweet version (without the gory details).

  • Examine your goals, and realisticaly weigh your chances of success.
  • Take a hard look at your roster - do you have the team needed, or is it time to start recruiting for the next tier of content?
  • How important are your goals to you? Are you willing to make the tough calls to reach those goals?
  • Are your goals defined, and published for your guild to see? Does your guild have those same goals?

My guess is, the answer to most of these questions - at least for ToC - aren't positive in nature. You will probably be hard pressed to find raiders this late in the patch who are at your gear/experience level, but that want to continue pushing the difficult encounters. From what I've seen, most groups are content to sit back and wait for 3.3 - where they'll fail to meet the end goals again.

How to get around it

Let's assume that you've bitten the bullet and acknowledged that your're not going to make that end game goal any time soon. You don't want to curl up and die however, so it's time to start looking at what you can do to get ready for ICC. Matt over at World of Matticus had some similar thoughts a while ago, though I can't find his post for the life of me (no really, I looked, not trying to just steal a post).

First things first - communicate with your guild. Changing directions mid-stream won't go over well, especially if you don't have open communications with your team. Yes, it's your guild, but you won't be raiding ZA, much less ToC, if everyone decides to jump ship on you because they don't like the way the wind is blowing.

Second - get your new goals out there early. Regardless of what your goals are, get them out and get feedback on them. Not everyone wants to work on every little achievment in the game - even though I think that's some of the only challenge left. Not everyone likes wiping over and over for no tangible reward - so make sure everyone is on the same page.

Next - start recruiting, but not in the way you think. You have to change the way you look at applicants, and stop recruiting for current content. Recruit for 3.3 and beyond. Accept that you're going to have to spend time clearing and running old content - both for gear and to build cohesion between your raiders.

It's also important that you use tools outside of /trade (please don't be that guild) and the realm forums if you want to attract the type of players you're looking for. Hit the blogsphere, the guild recruitment forums, and many other guild recruitment websites that are out there. Invite members to a guild PUG run, treat them fairly, and cultivate your leads there.

Most important, be honest with those you talk to, and keep everything above board. Accept that your new goals involve 3.3 and focus on being ready for the challenges ahead - not the ones you failed to conquer.


Sometimes you have to step backwards to move forwards - and other times you can just push through an obstacle. Accept when you've lost, and maximize your time preparing to move through new content, instead of just beating your head against the old (obviously not true if you're not hemmoraging people).

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