It’s no real secret to those that know me that I don’t particularly want to be a guild master again. Don’t get me wrong; I will move heaven and earth in order to play with my beloved Apotheosis folks again. I will be a GM again, a raid leader again, a healing lead again, whatever is required of me. I’ll heal or I’ll DPS and yes, I’m even considering tanking if I have to. I am dedicated to the idea of many of my long-term in-game friends playing together again in Cataclysm.
It doesn’t mean that I like the extra work or that I like being the one everyone comes crying to when they don’t get a raid spot, when they get outbid on loot, when we don’t kill a boss, when we do kill a boss but it’s not the one that’ll drop loot for someone. It’s a crappy job and, unfortunately, someone’s got to do it. Somehow, that ends up being me within Apotheosis because I’m the only one stupid enough to volunteer. ;)
What particularly drives me nuts is trying to recruit.
I am not as dedicated at recruiting as my current GM is. She’s a champ.
Recruiting sucks. It’s the single biggest timesink related to running a guild. Not only do you have to figure out what your needs are, which is bad enough, but you then have to go hunt down people who might fill those needs.
Even if you do find someone who can make your raid times, is the appropriate role or class, is the appropriate level, is wearing the “right” gear, is willing to transfer to your server and faction, what if they’re a complete jackass?
Then you go back out there and try to find a person who fits all of the above-mentioned criteria and pray they’re not only not a jackass but that they can actually play.
There is not an unlimited pool of talent out there all begging to be part of your guild.
For the majority of this expansion, it has been a seller’s market; that’s to say that people who want to join a guild have all the power. Guilds have very little to offer their members these days. Titles, mounts, achievements, many of these in-game incentives are being offered by and acquired through pugs. The guild, in Wrath of the Lich King, has become superfluous. My hunter is in a RL-friends guild. There are four people active in it besides myself. I have 3/5 T10, a 264 helm, Leggings of Northern Lights, Zod’s and I’m about 30 Emblems of Frost away from getting myself 4pc T10. I’m also Revered with the Ashen Verdict.
I have done this without a guild, per se, and without going further than 4/12 in ICC 25. Pugs and GDKP runs and daily random dungeons have allowed my hunter to get pretty decked out even though I barely get to play my hunter.
I also fear that Wrath of the Lich King has brought with it some horrible changes in the player population of WoW. This is going to make me sound elitist and all I can say to defend myself from such accusations is that I just want people to know and understand the basics of their class and role.
When you are level 80 and you select “tank” as a role for a heroic dungeon, the expectation is two-fold:
1) You can hold aggro against similarly-geared players.
2) You won’t get smashed in the face by a mob or a boss that will lead to your instant, or near-instant, death.
When you are level 80 and you select “healer” as a role for a heroic dungeon, the expectation is also two-fold:
1) You will be able to heal an appropriately-geared tank through the instance.
2) You will be able to keep the majority of the group alive even in somewhat trying circumstances, within reason, given a tank that will keep things off of you. (Unexpected patrol, someone pulled another group, etc.)
When you are level 80 and you select “damage” as your role for a heroic dungeon, there are also two expectations:
1) Do your fair share of the damage. This means doing more damage than an adequately-geared tank.
2) Don’t make your healer’s job harder than it already is. This means not standing in void zones or not pulling additional mobs.
That’s all I really expect from people. That means that tanks wear tanking gear and are not able to be crit by heroic mobs and bosses. That means that the healers have the foggiest clue as to what their healing spells do. That means that DPS should know how to string their abilities together to greater effect (like putting up Serpent Sting and THEN using Chimera Shot, for example).
I don’t think this is too much to ask. I don’t think that it’s too hard to learn some of the basics after playing this game for 80 levels. There are just too many resources out there.
I honestly don’t care if my tank has 25k health in a random, as long as they’re not crittable. I can lower my DPS to match the threat output, or I can feign or go invisible on my mage.
I honestly don’t care if my healer has to drink after every pull or two, so long as they keep us up over the course of the instance.
I don’t care if the DPS is low, as long as we have people doing their best to get the mobs down.
Why am I talking about people I run into in random groups if I’m talking about guild stuff?
My fear is that Wrath of the Lich King has dumbed down the entire player population significantly.
I’m terrified to start recruiting for Cataclysm, when I eventually start doing so, and discover that hey, everyone applying to Apotheosis is terrible. I don’t really care about achievements and I definitely don’t care about gear score; I care about how you play and why you make the choices you make.
There was someone who applied to my current guild the other day. Nice guy, disc priest. I asked him, out of curiosity, why he didn’t snag Desperate Prayer with his 14 talents allocated to his holy tree.
He said he’d try it out.
It’s like… why? Why would you do that?
He also rescinded his application, deeming us to be a little too hardcore for him, before anyone even mentioned the respec.
We’re not that hardcore.
Everyone’s got a right to play the game in the way that suits them best, but if this guy, who is probably the best disc priest app I’ve seen in a while, can make the choice to drop out of Inspiration and think that’s okay, then we have a problem with the playerbase.
The players, by and large, are not educated.
The players, due to the fact that it’s a seller’s market, don’t want to learn.
The players, due to the ease with which you can gear yourself, figure they can get into a decent raiding guild based on gear alone and then get more shinies and achievements and titles.
This is the playerbase from which I will be recruiting?
I am praying that Cataclysm dungeons and content will be difficult. I want crowd-control abilities to come back. I don’t want my hunter to get swapped out for a mage, mind you, but I want crowd-control to be required for most dungeons.
I want epics to feel epic again.
I want raid content to be designed to be cleared by guilds, not pugs.
I don’t want content to be facerollingly easy.
I want people to learn how to play again.
If this doesn’t happen, I’m genuinely afraid for the quality of applicants to any given guild, including my own.