20 January 2009

When guilds run out of steam

Seeing as the last post fell flat as a board, I'm back on more familiar, dear-diary angst-ridden reportage. This week, we have Guild News. (You only have yourself to blame...)

As guild news goes, this isn't terribly dramatic. It is the Switzerland of guild news. But it's still the biggest thing to happen to me in game for several weeks, so I'm going to write about it anyway.

Last Thursday it took two hours to get ten people into OS. That's right, it took longer to form the raid than to execute it. It took us time to pug a slot here, a slot there, and we bled players even as we worked to plug the holes. We finally made it in there. We hadn't even wiped when someone had to go to bed, another quit for no apparent reason, there were brbs left right and centre. It was agony, and the last straw for a guild that has been loosing members to boredom, Xbox and real life since the expansion.

We have been stuck in this vicious circle for some time now. If you aren't enjoying your experience of the game, you may look to change your circumstances (e.g. find a new guild) or find another way to occupy your time. Either way, you are less likely to be around when the next raiding opportunity arises. This is the long, slow death-by-attrition of a casual guild that has lost its momentum.

But what can you do? We are friends now, we like playing together, even though when you sit down and work out who's generally online with you the list is alarmingly small. A recruitment drive just hasn't worked. There are way too many guilds in a similar position, with more to offer when it comes to raiding. (Guild glut perhaps?)

So we have approached another guild, not so much to merge but to immerse. They will take all of our members who want to move, and in return we offer them a small but dedicated number of raid-ready players who will potentially swell their numbers enough to enter 25-man content.

It's not without its drawbacks. Many of our players have history with this other guild, and not all of it good. And a new guild means new rules, for the first time some of us will face competition for raid slots, we'll have to start performing again.

But I think the benefits outweigh that. For one, we owe it to ourselves and our members to open up raiding opportunities to those who want them. And even on a social level, a bigger guild is almost always a positive. You may not be raiding, but chances are there will be other activities, more active chat, and more people around to help you out when you need it.

We broke the news to the few members that were online last night. Mostly, I think it went down well. There were only one or two complaints of the 'we should try and make it work' variety and the most vocal of these came from a player who took their main raiding character to another guild about a year ago. The irony was lost on them.

My biggest worry now is how to pitch myself when I arrive. My game plan is clearly to get back to shimmery purple goodness, but how? Some of them have already seen me tossing out frisbees and holy balls (my new name for penance). I probably need to do some research ahead of the move. See if they are short of healers or dps, whether they have regular replenishment, and what level of dps I would have to put out to compete for a shadow slot. I'm under geared for anything but entry level raiding so it's not going to be easy. And I'd have to re-gem. Again. Sigh.

But things, I would say, on balance, are looking up.


laura said...

I know that you already have this immersion planned, but here is what I think...(and we all know what opinions are like!)

Create a chat channel for your guild that's falling apart. oldguildnamechat or whatever. Let everyone know that it's there and it's a way to keep in touch with each other no matter where they end up. Then each member is free to pursue a guild of their choice and still be able to remain in touch.

This has worked well for me and my hubby when leaving a guild for playtime/progression reasons as opposed to personality conflict and has kept us in touch with many good friends.

Kyrilean said...

The officers in my guild finally became so frustrated with having 50+ level 80s and not being able to field two 10 man raids consistently that as of yesterday we have laid down the law.

It's a tough thing to do, but we owe it to our real raiders to provide them a place in which they can raid. So although I feel for you in having to go elsewhere to provide that service, I applaud the final decision to not just abandon everyone.

Leigh said...

On my old guild we took merged with another smaller guild to swell our ranks while we were stuck on Kael back before the nerf. We got over that step with the new players and they took us all the way to Illidan and an 8% wipe. Was the best thing to happen to the guild and might work out the same for you.

I just checked your gear on the armory and even with your current gear level it would have been higher then mine upon entry to Naxx 10 man. I hit 80 and walked into Naxx, first heroic badge i got was in Naxx and even now i still haven't done many heroics which i must fix for rep enchants etc. Anyway to give you a DPS idea, in your current gear level you are looking at about 2K sustained DPS over an entire run including trash. Depending on your hit level and any other shadow gear you have not currently equipped this may be higher. In a 25 man raid with more buffs your adding about 300 DPS onto your gear level. Just spam mind sear and Haxx the meters, it will make ya pay more attention on bosses then cause you are going to have to justify your position as one of the top DPS class there.

Get your hit up and get your gear level up from Naxx epics and your looking at 3.5K or so DPS average for a 25 man run. You will be the top caster DPS, currently only DPS warriors and Hunters are beating me!
Just to give you an idea of what you have to look forward to and my gear level is not even maxxed out yet :)

So go go shadow!!!!!

Merlot said...

Thanks for the support!

Great idea for the chat channel Laura, thank you very much. We'll try that out.

Leigh, you just answered a question that's been rattling around in my head for weeks - what dps *should* I be doing? That gear you saw in armory is my disc healing set. I can improve on it in a couple of slots for dps (boots and belt particularly) and of course it will need completely re-gemming. I've got a pretty good hit set in the bank too, but I loose so much in other stats (crit and spirit mostly, but also some spell damage and haste) that I only intend to equip it for bosses. I spoke to my new GM last night and he seems really cool about me going back shadow, so I'll be running some dummy tests later this week to see what I can put out. My heroic dps was, before the disc spec, significantly lower than what you indicate I can do with this gear level, so clearly I have a lot of work to do on my spell casting :) My biggest issue has always been maintaining consistent dps on bosses that require movement or have add phases. Loken = crap, for example. Dummies aren't going to help me there so it's something I'm going to have to work on as we go along. I'm really psyched about going back shadow, I just hope I can perform well enough to justify it.

Leigh said...

Heroic DPS i wouldn't even think about. My average Heroic Naxx last run was 3.5K. I done two heroics yesterday and done just under 2.3K. The reason? Things died before VT even wore off!!! You cannot test your DPS potential on a 5 man heroic run as it is not even remotely close to what you will be pushing out on a boss. Even heroic bosses will not give you the same kind of feel for your DPS.

Training dummys are good more or less for perfecting rotation. They again provide a poor estimate of DPS because you have only self buffs.

On movement fights it's where we have the potential to do very well. Moving from A-->B chuck a SWD on him (only time you should be using it in your rotation until the boss is under 35% and your glyphed for it, even then it's suspect), use the time to refresh VE. Use the time to use Dispersion (6 seconds of lost DPS). Pause and get a clipped MF in, just enough to renew SWP until you can get static and start your rotations again. Lob a DP on him if you have it off cooldown.

On add fights again we can do quite well. Have the boss on /focus so you can see your SWP (or use a mod for tracking it). Tab him and refresh SWP when it's nearly ran out. Suggest to your tanks to move the adds nearer the boss so that AOE can strike him as well. Pew Pew with Mind Sear and watch your numbers fly up. True it will drain your mana a bit but if you can time a SWD and take down an add your looking at insane MP5 for the 15 seconds. My MP5 shoots to 1250 MP/5 when I get a killing blow. That's almost as much mana as a shadowfiend returns.

Some boss fights have weak adds that you can one shot, that's free mana to the point you won't have to disperse and maybe will get away with a shadow fiend. I have gotten to the stage where dispersion is just there to protect me if i get aggroed or targeted with something that will hurt. I can't recall a boss fight where i needed it lately.

As for hit. At the moment i am hit capped thanks to my new trinket (Dying Curse) when i have a Drenai in my party. To get hit capped i am dropping some stats like you mentioned. The difference though in my DPS is noticeable. Not doing anything different rotation wise my DPS from being 150 hit rating from the cap to being where i am now is about 500 or so. I am hoping to break 4K sustained DPS on my next Naxx run provided I don't get stung with the MC jobs like last time!

Remember, one point of hit = one spell damage until hit capped.

"D" said...

Leigh's DPS is a lot higher than mine, to be honest. In heroics, I do somewhere between 1800-2300, depending on the instance. On Naxx 10-man, I usually do about 2500ish with raid buffs, and on 25-man, I usually pull out about 2800ish. I always DO get put on MC duty for both Instructor Razuvious and Grand Widow Faerlina (I am usually the only shadow priest and defintely the only one that frequently raids with this particular group, and I am almost hit capped with my best gear and over hit capped if I change to a blue trinket and the +hit emblems neck). My raid gear consists of all epics, with about half at the 213 level, and the rest from various emblem/rep rewards/heroics and Naxx 10-man. I've sort of been backing away from haste in favor of crit, as well, which seems to help.

It might be my rotations on trash - I have a bad, bad habit of putting SW:P and DP on trash when I probably should be leaving them out, though I find that with SW:P increasing the damage of MF (glyph) and with DP being spread by the Death Knights' Pestilence (it does ... it's awesome), I can't bring myself to NOT put those on. This of course doesn't make for higher dps, though, since most of the time the dots don't have time to tick. I'll usually put the dots on and then get through one MF before the mobs are dead. I should stick to maybe a DP and then Mind Sear for multiple mobs - been trying to get better. :-)

But good luck with this other guild!

Leigh said...

My gear level is a mix of Naxx 10 and Naxx 25 and i am lucky with drops lately in that i have received a few items that are nearly the best in slot item which has helped big time!!

On trash just Mind Sear unless you have a DK in the raid, then just use DP but chat with him and agree on a common target for him to open up on. The DPS increase isn't earth shattering but it's "free" in a sense!!

Oh and btw, the MC jobs are actually pretty fun. DPS is only a number and it's nice to see that you are pulling your weight but when the raid depends on your ability to perform in such a capacity that's when raiding becomes fun :)