Monday, February 9, 2009

Lack Of Free Agents

When I go to our realm forums, I notice that just about every decent raiding guild on our server, is clamoring for more people.

I've decided that T7 is terrible from a Human Resources standpoint.

Normally, a progression guild offers the unguided (or unhappily guilded) the chance to explore new places / meet new monsters / loot new items - in exchange for their exclusive membership and contribution to raids. When applying to such a guild, you accepted the risk of rejection, because the reward for acceptance was great.

At this point, with all ten man content, and Naxx-25 & OS-25 being PuGable - organized raiding guilds can only offer Malygos-25 and OS+Drakes as benefits; And it's not that hard for a fresh guild / semi-regular PuG to do Malygos-25 and OS+2.

When semi-casual membership in a mediocre guild can get you access to every single item drop and boss fight in the game - where is the incentive to move up?

In Vanilla/BC, most guilds got dashed against the rocks when they tried to enter T2/T5. Tough bosses (Vael, EverythingButLurkerAndVR) tested the devotion of many players, and guilds were broken. This kept the player base free and mobile. A guild would break up, its players would distribute to other guilds to replace their occassional losses, the cycle would repeat, and life would continue.

At this point in T7, there is nothing for a guild to break up over. No hard bosses in the way of "progression", no strong desire for the average raider to aspire to "Twilight Vanquisher". Whats more, the semi-pug-guilds seem super resilient to break up, since they ask so little of their members.

We end up with a multitude of just-big-enough to farm Naxx-25 guilds, with low enough entry standards to scoop up fresh players, that offer enough to keep the risk vs. reward ratio in their favor (people are unlikely to app to a guild that just has one more drake then them, for fear of losing membership & their weekly epic meal ticket).

I'm really, really hoping that the "added reward" for hard mode bosses in T8 is enough to increase the divide between what a guild with strong organization is able to accomplish, and what a semi-pug can accomplish - for the sake of all guild's health across Azeroth.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that raid difficulty really necessarily explains the trouble with recruiting. A very accomplished raiding guild just broke up on our server but it seems like their core members just up and transferred to reform on another server instead of looking for homes/reforming locally.

Not that I am saying the problem doesn't persist. We spent months trying to recruit a resto-shaman before we effectively gave up and one of our healing leads power leveled one to 80.

Davarnus said...

You imply that there's a big problem for "all guilds' health" in the fact that less regimented guilds can clear the content.

There's also a "multitude of just-big-enough to farm Naxx-25 guilds, with low enough entry standards to scoop up fresh players" which you seem to admit are thriving.

Won't these guilds continue to thrive in T8 (if the hard mode isn't prohibitive for them)?

What you mean is that only the hardcore fringe of guilds will struggle to recruit, because the same level of dedication is no longer needed to clear progression content.

Less things for guilds to break up over can surely only be a good thing for the vast majority of players.

Chad S. said...

I think a decent amount of turnover is a good thing.

Not everyone is a good fit for where they end up the first time around. There are people in LOKI I think may fit better elsewhere, and there are players not in LOKI that I think would fit better with us.

Maybe total guild breakup is an extreme thing to wish upon others - but some amount of movement of players in and out of guilds exposes people to other people. There is a group in LOKI that I never would have played with if their guild hadn't broken up, and I'd be a much less happy person to have never known them - I'll hope that they feel the same way.

With all people who want to raid being in guilds at a more or less "even level", there will be no movement. And without ever searching around, you may end up spending hours and hours with people that are just "ok", instead of being forced to search until you find a definite "click" with a group.

Brandon said...

In a way I can see your point and how it can cause problems later on. I think it differs from guild to guild though. Take our guild for example. We run two diff 25 man Naxx teams and rotate players when we do Sarth 3D and Maly. The point of that is to pick out the best players when 3.1 hits to blast through Ulduar.

With content so easy I think its provided the complete opposite for us. We can pick and choose who we want to raid with us at anytime. Maybe its the product of being on a low pop server too.

Herc said...

My guild is in the same boat as Brandon. The GM/COGM is always on the lookout adding/removing players in the main raid group.

The competition though like Davarnus mentioned has toned down a little bit but it's still there. No longer do I have to compete against 8-10 new recruits coming in. Now it's only against a handful of players already in the guild.

Franklin said...

What you are complaining about, I think we should instead applaud.

Down with elitist guilds, I say. Anything that puts an end to the days of self-righteous basement-dwellers is a good thing.

Blizzard has clearly made the decision to make raiding accessible to the masses, not just an extreme minority subset of their subscriber base. This is a good thing. Why spend the resources developing end-game content that 95% of your clients will never see?

All this means is that raid guilds will have to offer more than just progression to attract and keep good raiders. First and foremost, a lot of GM's and officers will have to learn to check their egos and treat their members as equals, because the days of progression guilds having any special "status" are coming to an end.