Today’s post is brought to you by a mixture of frustration and QQ. It’s a bit of a rant, and a bit of just putting my thoughts down into words. This blog is here to give you information about leveling your characters and having fun while you do it, but today’s post is about raiding and some of the parts of it that can suck from time to time. But hey, it’s my blog and I’ll QQ if I want to.
[I'm at work as I write this, and having just finished writing it things are now starting to get busy. I don't want to have this ranty post dangling in my mind all day, so I'm going to go ahead and post it as is without rereading for mistakes. So here's a heads up for you.]
Start at the Beginning
Right now my main character is in a casual raiding guild. We do run progression content three nights a week, but we take a pretty laid back approach to it.
For instance, we don’t have sign-up lists for dungeons we’re running, instead the raid leader looks at who all is in the area during the designated raid time and whoever shows up is who gets to go. Now, obviously we can’t take ten DPS into ICC and expect to get anywhere, so we do make a group that actually functions with the right number of tanks, heals, and deeps. And we can’t take twelve people into a 10-man raid, so people do get turned away. The people that don’t get into the raid are put onto a Turn Away list so that they get priority in being chosen for the next raid.
Generally that means you are more or less guaranteed a spot in the next raid, but again there may not be enough slots to hold everybody in particular roles, so you may get turned away twice in a row, but that is noted too for the sake of fairness and trying to get everyone cycled through in raid slots since we’re still only large enough for 10-man’s without having to PuG in extras for 25′s.
A Problem Arises
I’m getting to the problem, hold your horses. You know how long winded I am, sheesh!
We’ll start with me since my side isn’t quite so big a deal to me as her’s is to her. Last week we decided to hit ICC-10 with the guild and both my wife and I got our invites, so in we went. We wiped either once or twice on Lord Marrowgar as people who had never been there before got used to the fight, but we quickly recovered from that and took him down after we got used to him.
We moved then to Lady Deathwhisper where we wiped several times. The fight with Marrowgar was explained to me before we began, so I was pretty good on that one. When we got to LD though we asked for an explanation and nobody gave it, so while a couple of people were afk I tabbed out and did some research myself. As I got near the end of a YouTube video on her someone gave me a quick run-down of the fight, and while things didn’t match up with the video they sounded alright to me so we went with the guild plan. We wiped once, we wiped twice, we wiped thrice, and then we wiped again.
The guild’s plan was to have everyone focus on the adds when they popped so that the raid as a whole had more time to focus on LD in between spawns, while the video I watched mentioned doing something similar except that one ranged dps stayed on LD the whole time to get her down to Phase 2 sooner. The four times that we wiped there were tons of spawns and we were getting ready to call it a night. So on the fifth attempt I broke the cardinal rule of following the raid leader’s plan and I focused my mage on Lady Deathwhisper alone. I had seen during the failed attempts that we had a strong enough mix of melee and caster DPS to take down the mobs even if I wasn’t focused on them, so I changed up my role for the last attempt of the night.
When I made the change over to focusing on LD we had about one third of the number of spawns come out and it was the only attempt of the night that we actually made it to Phase 2. She still ended up wiping us again that night, but it certainly went a lot better. Nobody brought up my decision to change what I was doing, but we decided to give it another shot the next day. So along comes tomorrow and since we had such an improvement with the encounter as a whole with my switch the previous night I went ahead and followed the strategy of me focusing on LD again.
The fight was going well, but towards the end of Phase 1 one of the guild members asked over vent, “Bels (that’s me), why are you only targeting the boss!?!?” Being in the middle of a boss fight, I didn’t bother explaining myself at that time, I just kept on doing what I was doing, and sure enough we took her down about a minute later. Everybody was pleased and I replied during the looting, “To answer your question, with all the wipes last night I went ahead and implemented what I saw in the research I did last night. It mentioned a change to a single person versus what we were doing, so I gave it a shot.”
My little bit of rebellion for the sake of helping the guild there turned out to be a blatant improvement on the result of the raid, but I did still break the rule of always following the raid leader. I don’t mind following directions, but when something’s broken and nobody’s fixing it, I’m sorry but I’m going to do something to try to improve the situation. The raid leader and two of the officers gave me a bit of a talking to about doing things the guild’s way and their reasons why. It was a bit excessive given the fact that my change resulted in success, but whatever, I understand the concept of being a team and following the leader so I’ll do what I’m told.
I started to see the problem arise in the next boss fight when the raid leader started off the explanation of the fight with, “Regardless of what the online strats tell you, this is how we do it…” Alright, so I obviously pushed a button by not following the strategy on the last boss, but my research had been done on Deathwhisper alone since she was the bottleneck, so I listened to the plan and away we went to down another boss. The next boss comes up and again “Regardless of what the online strats tell you…” That time it was a bit annoying, but whatever.
We made it up to Festergut with similar comments and after three wipes there we had to call it a night and would pick it back up a couple of days later. The day to go back in arrived and I sat there waiting at the portal as usual, and my invite never came. “I’ve got Bels down as a turn away. :(” It seemed a bit odd to me that I was turned away despite being saved to it, but that’s the way it goes sometimes so I went and did other things.
An Issue Persists
A couple of days pass and the guild’s headed into a different raid, so I show up to it and wait at the portal; no invite. “I’ve got Bels down as a turn away. :(” No problem, I was really more in the mood to play my Warlock that day anyway, so no big deal. The other raids for the week were using alts to clear ICC and VoA, both of which I was already saved to. No problem with that, sorry I didn’t have an 80 alt to give them a hand with it.
And now we find ourselves at last night’s raid. The guild is scheduled to hit ICC, and we’ve got about 45 minutes or so before raid time, so I check the clock on Wintergrasp and decide to head over there while we wait. WG opens up and the battle begins, and in less than 10 minutes we kicked the Horde in the teeth and took back Wintergrasp, which opened up VoA to us. There were only about eight people in the guild online at that time, but the question comes up if want to switch the raid to VoA for the new boss since we just took WG. Everyone agrees with that, so VoA it is.
I was already there at the portal, but it was definitely too early to go in and we didn’t have enough people online yet anyway, so I started farming ore. I then noticed that my CurrencyFu addon showed my Honor Points at 75,000 and that it’s red. So I say to myself, “Self, it’s a bit odd that we just happen to hit exactly 75k honor, and the fact that it’s red seems a bit odd too.” So I ask in guild what the honor cap is and my buddy in the guild tells me 75k it is. So, I decide I better go to Stormwind and spend the honor points now before I forget. So I teleport to SW with my mage-porting goodness, grab two pieces of gear, port back to Dal, take the portal to WG, and there I am at the portal again in about six minutes time.
During that time other members had signed in and were showing interest as well, so I starting killing off the random Horde that were still flying around while I wait for the raid invites to start. One of the other guild members whispered me, “Crap, I think I missed the raid invites.” I still hadn’t gotten one myself and neither had my wife who was also waiting at the portal, so I replied, “Fyn and I haven’t gotten one either, I don’t think they’ve started yet.”
Eight of the guild members were sitting there in WG, and three of us at least hadn’t had any invites yet. I keep on killing the horde losers that think they stand a chance against twenty of us, and then I get another whisper from the same guy, “Dude wtf? I got in, but you didn’t?” I check the guild roster, and we’ve got 9 people in WG, but still no invite for me or my wife. I ask her if she knows what’s going on and she says she hasn’t heard anything either, so we go ahead and wait. A few seconds later, in comes the message in gchat, “I have Bels, Fyn, and (two others) as turn aways. Sorry, guys. :(“
I just fought to take WG with two of my guild mates, sat there for 25 minutes for the raid to start, and then got turned away despite already being on the Turn Away list twice in a row. I can’t say that I was very happy at that point. I wasn’t exactly mad, but I was disappointed in how it was handled and I was a bit upset. I didn’t really feel like playing the mage right then, but I wasn’t sure what else I wanted to do so I hung out there for a minute trying to figure it out. The guy that whispered me did so again, “Why did I get invited and not you? You were here way before I was?!” I didn’t know either, but something about his comment in addition to me being frustrated just killed my desire to play for the night so I logged off of vent and exited the game.
Things Get Worse
I decided I was just going to go watch some TV or something, so I started to do that and noticed the look on my wife’s face. I might have been frustrated, but she was flat out pissed. She had been waiting there at the portal on her Enhance/Resto Shaman almost as long as I had, but she hadn’t received an invite either. But she also saw something that I didn’t see, which was two other members of the guild get summoned to the instance. One of the people summoned to the instance was a DPS, and the other was a Healer. So my wife (DPS/Heals) and myself (DPS) were turned away, but two other people were summoned to fill those two slots.
After being turned away from raids the previous week, I can’t say that I was all that surprised to be turned away from VoA last night, and I can’t help but feel that being turned away three times in a row where you usually endure only one, has something to do with my going against the guild’s plan on Lady Deathwhisper. Yes, I ignored the guild’s strategy. But, I did not have the guild’s strategy explained to me until after I had done the research myself, and the change that I made obviously had a positive impact on our performance.
Now my wife, on the other hand, is main spec Enhancement and really wants to be able to run some raids as a DPS. When she gets in on the raids though, about 75% of them she’s asked to heal in instead. She doesn’t mind doing that, it’s why she dual specced in the first place, but she really wants to do DPS. And despite the good intentions of the “Noted as Turned Away” system, she’s actually been turned away more than anyone else I’ve seen in the guild. She’s arrives early to the raids every time, fully prepared, and yet she’s turned away. And when she’s not turned away she’s almost always asked to use her secondary spec instead.
Where We Stand Now
As far as I am aware, the guild operates on inviting people who are in the instance’s zone because they want to take whoever shows up to raid, not stick to a specific set of people all the time. They want people who are making an effort to participate and be a part of the raids, not people who simply expect to get invited and feel like they deserve a raid spot. The guild doesn’t want elitist attitudes or favoritism in the guild because that’s why they all left their previous raiding guild. So they keep some open practices in play to counteract those that have worked out pretty well and I’ve actually enjoyed that quite a bit.
But the actions taken by the raid leader/guild leader last night seemed to go directly against that. Two people who were ready and waiting to fill the last two slots got turned away for two people who logged in late and had to be summoned to the instance? I haven’t been in the guild for all that long, but I can’t remember a raid in which that particular healer hasn’t been in, and the DPS that was summoned is in pretty well every raid when he’s logged in as well. Hmm, doesn’t seem very anti-favoritism to me. But, I’m just a rebel, so what would I know?
There are reasons why I am such a big fan of leveling, and doing it solo. Situations like this remind me why I play to level, not to raid. Maybe Belsynis needs to find himself a nice, forested mountain range and take a vacation for a while.
Now, about that DK tank… /rollnewtoon