Sunday, January 9, 2011

status: total flux

This is a turbulent time. The changes made to 10 and 25 man raids, shared lockouts, and equalized gear have forced changes upon guilds and raiders alike. The announcements of 25 guilds going to 10s has rippled throughout trade chat and the blogosphere. I see displaced raiders looking for new homes, as well as new waves of players who are going to raid for the first time.

The first tier of an expansion can be difficult for guilds. Players on the roster are either finding they didn't have time to level and just aren't ready to raid yet, or perhaps the changes to their class/game were just too much and now they have no desire to play. There are also lots and lots of new guilds recently formed. With 10-man raids gaining new viability, there are room for more guilds, but that also means that lots are recruiting right now.

If you're looking for a home, or if you're looking for fresh meat, I imagine you're not alone.

Bonus for the Guild:

Getting players geared up to raid right now is easy. Most BiS gear is from heroics, rep, and crafted. A player need not set foot in a raid just yet to perform at an acceptable level. At worst, they are a few weeks behind your best-geared folks. At best, they may even have a boss kill you haven't gotten yet.

Bonus for the Player:

It's a good time to be a healer. (Then again, isn't it always?)

Even if you aren't a healer, it's still easy to put together an impressive gear set. You don't have to raid to get geared up, you don't have to dump thousands of gold into epic gems, and you don't need an impressive list of current tier boss-kill achievements. Cataclysm is a clean slate for raiders who want to get started now, and a guild will be more focused on your recent activity (how you've jumped into five mans and learned your new class mechanics) more so than how you did SWP years and years ago.

Do you have a point, Enlynn?

Not really, but I do have a word of caution. If you're looking for a new home, one of the biggest flags on a guild application is this deceptively simple question: Why did you leave your guild?

Quantify the Fail

Blanket statements like "they suck" or "raiding this tier was too easy" sound just as bad for the applicant as they do for their current guild. Try to come up with something objective, it doesn't even have to be major. Instead of "they waste too much time", try instead: on this WoL report, we made 6 progression attempts in 3 hours, which isn't enough for me. Instead of "they don't kick the baddies", say: players are allowed to raid with pvp talents and resilience gear, or even: in this WoL report, we hit the enrage timer five times while the same three players consistently get killed by the same mechanic for a fight we have been working on for six weeks.

If you caught that I said "we" instead of "they", well, it looks professional on a player when they can identify that they belonged to the group even while the group failed. In my extremely humble opinion.

And do you think I'm making up the "this tier was a joke"? I wish I were. And unless you can say with certainty that the guild you're applying to had absolutely no problems with said tier, you could be bringing up painful memories of a raid that was NOT easy for reasons that had nothing to do with the fight mechanics. No matter how simple an encounter is to execute, we will remember its difficulty by the emotions we felt while learning it. Things like guild drama, recruitment problems, even RL strain make stronger impressions on past raiding experiences than how tight the enrage timer is.

If you have never raided and want to get started now, I have a word of encouragement. Jump in, and put yourself out there. This is a new game for everyone. Players with lots of raid experiences will, indeed, pick up on new mechanics pretty quickly, but everyone is still learning. What you've done with your character in the past month counts for a lot, and it's a good idea to use that as a selling point.

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