Anyone got a shoe horn?

Guilds are like shoes.  

To start with, there are lots to choose from, different styles and forms.  Then, once a selection is made, you try them on, walk around a bit, see how comfortable they feel, making they don’t rub or feel too tight.  But even after all that, you take them home, put them on and realize, you’ve made a terrible mistake.  This is how Guilds are like shoes.

I’ve never been a supporter of the large raiding guild, but in WoW, thats really the only way you are ever going to get to see some of the awesome end game content.  As I have mentioned before, I like small, friendly, nice, happy guilds that help people, work to achieve the same goals and don’t push for you to get gear. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could combine one with the other?  Is it even possible, I have asked myself many times. 

Maybe I’ll answer that later. 

But for now, lets just say that, there is a need for the large raiding guild.  I mean, who really knows 25 friends that all play WoW and have the same real life schedule?  So, in fact, large raiding guilds have to exist, but do they really have to be impersonable and cold?  I’ve got online friends that have told me horror stories about how guilds get way out of hand with inviting anal retentive people and become very unfriendly towards their members.  I also have real life friends who are sacrificing a warm fuzzy feeling of niceness, just to see end content with a hardcore raiding guild.  Why do guilds become harsh barren places where friendship and helpfulness don’t exist?

Is it because absolute power corrupts absolutely?  Is it that, when it comes to end game content, the prize is more important than the people that helped get you there?  I’m just curious?  Is it because when you gather a large group of people together you get a few that just don’t work well with others? 

I thought, and its probably a rather silly one, that the purpose of introducing players to a large raiding guild was for them to interact more, to form friendships that would last beyond and outside the game experience.  For this purpose, players would bond together over a common goal and have a more pleasant in game experience.  But from what I’ve seen large raiding guilds are where people that shouldn’t be in power are, the followers end up selling their souls just to see end game content or, if they are lucky, bailing out of the whole experience, causing them to hate the word “raid”.

The reason I mention all this, is how do you know if the shoe is going to fit?  I am having a hard time answering that question in my current situation.

I mentioned a few posts back that I had found a nice guild, which I had hoped would be a good fit.  The guild itself has only been around for a little over a month, and I’ve only been in it for a week or two.  But a few things are starting to rub and its becoming a bit on the tight side.

 Now, I need to ask myself, is this going to turn into one of those bad raiding guild experience I have heard about, which will sour me on the whole idea of raiding, or is it just a young guild experiencing a few growing pains?

The issue is that we had three Kara groups.  I was in the third group which met at a rather early hour, which worked for everyone in the group.  Over half of the group are noobs when it comes to the Boss fights in Kara, me included, so its pretty slow going.  But, the more experienced players in our group are telling me, that the efforts we are making and what we are doing is great for the inexperience we have.

Now, here comes the big rub.

Upper management didn’t see it this way.  Upper management thought we were going too slow and since they were unable to fully man one of their Kara groups during the week, we needed to disband ours and move into one of the other groups.  No problem, but they didnt’ want to move the time up on any of the other groups, and since most of the people in group 3 choose that group because the run time met with their schedules, I don’t see how disbanding it to fill up a later group run would work anyway.  If we didn’t sign up for it before, what would shutting down our group change?  Apparently, someone is challenged, mentally.

 This discussion has caused a bit of mumbling or to quote the much hyped phrase known as “Guild Drama”.  The problem is obvious,  If upper management can’t fill a group on their time schedule, that should be a problem for them, not the people in group 3 who are getting it done.  Besides, they also want to move the inexperienced people into more experienced groups so they can be “Rushed” thru Kara, to get the gear upgrades they need, so upper management can get on with the business of 25 man raiding.

I had not seen Kara untill last week.  I’ve never been in Molten Core, Onyxia or any other large raiding instance.  So, you’ll have to excuse me when I say, I don’t want to be “Rushed” thru my first 10 man instance.  I don’t care if upper management is tired of Kara, I’m having fun.  Blizzard created all the different scenery, the lighting, the special mobs so we could see them, not blast thru there with nuclear powered toons.  I’m all for power leveling my 26 Priest, if anyone is insterested, but let my 70 Gnome mage enjoy the game please and stop telling me how to spend my $14.99.

But thats the issue with large raiding guilds.  Players get bored.

Once they have seen one part of the end content they want to move on to the next.  They need a challenge.  So it becomes all about the progression and gear.  They are willing to dragging everyone else behind them just to make their goals happen, rather than working on what others need.  They need to show patients and promote a atmosphere thats friendly.  The mentality should never be, either get behind me or get out of the way.  This will never make players happy or want to stay.

I am hopeful, that this little snag is just growing pains and that things will start to fit again.  I am sure that I’m not the first to blog about such things, which doesn’t make my experience unique, but it just affirms that end game needs a new approach.  If so many people blog about how bad end game is and all the really cool stuff is a by product of end game, then a large portion of your player base is not happy.

I’d put in a ticket on it, but customer support is just a large raid group, and their instance is my wallet.

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~ by oakstout on February 4, 2008.

2 Responses to “Anyone got a shoe horn?”

  1. I think the answer here lies in fundamental human nature.

    Peopel get bored easily and want more!
    People also want to advance. They want to show rewards for their time and effort.

    I think that is why people “grow out” of games like checkers and Chutes and Ladders…. it’s just the same thing over and over.

    For WoW to maintain it’s client base and keep its users playing (and paying) they have to come up with new content. And this new content can not be more of the same, it has to involve different stratagies and tactics. Plus you need to give them a reason to continue playing.

    On a similar note, people in general are selfish. It is all about what “I” want, help others?, as soon as I get X more of Y I will be there.

    Having 25 man raids accomplish these goals and more.

    1) It gives players a goal.
    2) It creates opportunities for cooperation.
    3) New content, and new content that is unlike anything that has come before.
    4) It allows for feeling of fulliment. For example the excitement you feel once your guild kills Lady Vashj after 3 weeks of trial and error.

    One thing to keep in mind about guilds is they are like a corporation. Is short, a corporation can achieve goals that no singular individual can on his own.

    A guild needs management, direction and planning. If not the guild is like a group of 5 year olds playing in the sandbox. People watching may see a bunch of kids all playing together, but in reality each kid is playing by-themselves in the sand box at the same time. (There’s a technical term for this but I have forgotten my freshman psychology.) concurrent playing I think, anyway….

    The question to ask you: Are you in a guild, or in Kara Group 3? Do you your guild to advance or just your group?

    Can you blame the management of the guild for trying to move the guild forward? Or does everyone have to stay in Kara until everyone is “bored” with it? When does the guild move forward?

    You have seen how hard it is to get a group of 10 people together to run Kara at a set time and day, can you imagine how hard it is to get 25 people for the other raids?

    Have you ever tried getting a group of people together to go eat lunch? At my office we start planning lunch around 9:30. Emails and txtmsgs fly and we meet at the front desk at 1215. Well, Jack has to go to the bathroom, while he is gone Mary went to answer a quick, real quick, email. While she is gone Larry takes a phone call. And we don’t end up leaving until 12:45. I’m sure this is true for all offices.

    My point is: it is hard to get a group of people to agree and act as a group rather than individuals. The more people you throw into the mix, the harder it is.

    You mentioned it was your first time in kara, imagine how hard it is to get 25 people to agree on a time and place to meet. Someone is always late, always needs more drink, more food, forgot to repair… it’s always something. Unless you give people a reason to be on time and prepared, there will always be someone who isn’t.

    This has gotten much longer than I expected, sorry if you are bored. But my point is: Everyone needs to decide why they play WoW, and what they want out of it. And the question to ask yourself is what do I want out of a guild but more importantly what are you willing to give it?

    Good luck in your guild search.

  2. People are greedy when it comes to games like WoW. They set a goal for themselves and will gladly achieve the goals with friends, but don’t have a problem achieving them with strangers just as easily.

    One of the people I have met while playing in the game is just such a person. As long as your goals are the same, he will be right there thick or thin, but the minute your goal varies from him, he doesn’t know you from Adam.

    Its frustrating because i like hangin out with that person. but they become so selfish and self centered with their goal that they forget about the friendships you’ve worked so hard on.

    Course I also have a friend that plays WoW and is bi polar, so I’m use to about anything when it comes to friends and this game.

    Lucky for me, the kara raiding group I’m in is very friendly and if I can’t make a run, they are willing to make sure I get in on the next one, or even hold a spot till I can make it on. The group also isn’t getting any more flack from upper management, which is great.

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