Involving members – A lazy post

Involving members – A lazy post

I’ve been a little under the weather this week, but it’s been too long since I posted. In typical Auz fashion I’ve decided it was time to look over the guild forums and find something vaguely amusing.

I made this post today. It’s a time when as officers we decided to go back to our members for feedback about an issue. It’s also one of those weird times where we are holding a member up for discussion. Before the post was made, we talked to the member to make sure he was comfortable with this.

First and foremost let me say this is the first time we’ve asked for feedback directly relating to an individual in a public format. Given the culture of respect for our teammates we’ve developed, I’m going to assume that if you have negative things to say about the person behind the character, you’ll PM them to CasterLead or myself rather than post them here.

Alright Auz, you have my attention, what’s the deal?

We has a problem. “AffLock” is a long standing member of the guild who has recently taken on a job that prevents him from making our attendance requirement. That being said, he is making our progression nights and “CasterLead” and the other officers view him as fairly irreplaceable (I mean he LIKES affliction and he’s not all emo). When he’s not available to us, he’s taken the time to train the lovely and talented “CuteMage” and shared his account with her, so we’re guaranteed to have an affliction lock available to us.

Okay Auz, what about this is a problem?

Well being below the attendance cap means “Aff’s” not eligible for gear until all the others have passed on it. Which means slowly but surely “Aff’s” gear is going to start to lag behind, to the point where he won’t be useful on progression nights anymore.

Oh that is a problem, but you said something about not attacking “Aff”…. when do I get to say naughty things about him…errr I mean, surely Auzara, you must have a solution.

“Aff” suggested that as his actual play time hasn’t changed, just the hours he can play in, that he put that time to industriously farming for the guild to “earn” the same time you guys put in. If that’s demon slaying elixirs or “‘Aff’, can you grab me some adepts, I didn’t have the time I needed this week” In exchange we would waive the 3600 EP requirement for “Aff.” While his gear acquisition rate would be slower than the others (due to slower decay rate and less EP earned) it wouldn’t lag so significantly as to make him not useful on progression nights.

Okay Auz this is a great story, but um… shouldn’t this be in the officer forums?

It was in the officer forums, but we while we mostly support this plan, the people it’s really going to affect are you guys. You’ll have “Aff” to compete with for gear and you’ll be benefited by the farming. Also, “Aff” has earned the officer’s respect for his time and commitment to the guild but also his approach when he got this job. But anytime you make an exception of this magnitude, there will be accusations of favoritism and not fair play. So we decided that if we’re going to be showing favoritism, let’s let the caster core do it. So casters, provide us with feedback. Is “AffLock’s” offer to put in equal times farming that he’s missing raiding worth it to you guys to pull him in your loot rotation? Remember what I said though, while we are discussing a fellow player and friend please keep your comments constructive and related to the discussion. Comments I think won’t help the discussion will be moved to the officer forums.

So now, I can talk about “Aff” and that time I caught him with the goat and the crisco?

Only if you think it’s relevant to the conversation little voice in Auz’s head. Now, let’s go get ice cream!

Sweet I love ice cream!

So why’d you share this Auz, I mean other than being lazy? Well I wanted to show this as an example of:

A) Why I’m not writing for you guys right now – I mean I’m talking to myself about ice cream.

B) Involving your members in decisions – This was a sticky wicket for us, I mean the player is solid, but it’s a pretty massive departure from our rules. When you decide who’s getting in for the raid, you can’t involve the whole guild, the same with which instance we’re raiding. In this case though, we can and frankly I think we should. It these guys who will be affected by both the farming and the loot calls. Don’t forget to keep your members involved when you can.

C) Getting more opinions – You guys aren’t in my guild, so this is mostly just for my curiosity, but what do you guys think about massive departures from the established rules? Is it okay sometimes? Should it never be done? Is farming outside of raid times a valid time make up for being there for raids?

D) I can feel better about having posted “something” and focus on back on getting better and what the guild needs from me.

About Collateral Damage

About Collateral Damage

Your guild has an interesting leadership structure, can you tell me more about how this came to be, and how the logistics work out?

Our guild is the result of a merge between two casual guilds. Going into the merger, each officer who wanted to participate had an equal say in the proceedings. This quite simply worked for us. Our meetings were often long, but the process of coming to consensus was an illuminating one. We decided to continue this democratic structure. Just by personal preferences, we tend to represent different demographics within the guild. I see the eight of us as a small congress, with the position of speaker rotating every month. In terms of perception, most of our members see our raid leader as the most powerful officer. However, in guild meetings, it is usually others who take the lead. Thankfully, none of us has a big ego. No one is actually interested in the credit for leadership—what we want is progression raiding on our terms, and we’ve got that.

What are you current guild goals and focus?

Right now Collateral Damage is focusing on T6 content. We worked our way through all of T5, downing Vashj and Kael several times each, even though attunements had been removed by the time we were ready to work on Kael. In T6, we are 4/5 and 4/9, and our main goal is to dance on Illidan’s corpse by the end of the summer.

What makes your guild unique on your server?

Collateral Damage came late to the end-game, so we cannot be called innovators in the sense of progression. However, compared to many who came before us, we are uniquely thoughtful and member-oriented. We carefully craft guild policy so that the terms are fair for everyone. The fact that the officers have equal power means that we have had some epic meetings to decide guild policy.

We also take a “work smarter, not harder” approach to progression. We only raid between 10 and 13 hours per week, and we kill most bosses in a very short amount of time. My guild is full of intelligent people, and I cannot emphasize enough how much this fact helps progression. If something can be defeated by intense research and planning, that is how we will do it. I have a belief that all boss fights are won or lost before the pull. Success depends on preparation—each person’s research of her class and the fight, combined with the raid leader’s strategy.

In addition, we are a bit older than most guilds, with an average age of about 30, which differentiates us from the stereotypical raiding guild. Many of us bring the skills we learned in the workplace to the table at the raids, and as such, the tone of our events is respectful and cooperative. We might be called carebears, but it hasn’t hurt us yet.

How does your guild measure success?

Our success can best be measured in group stability. Sure, we down lots of bosses, but I find guild organization to be the bigger challenge. We have managed to make steady progress while keeping people more or less happy. I never have to wonder if the BT raids will fill. I know they will, and I also know that win or lose, we’ll have a good time.

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