Congratulations to everyone who attended the raid last week - apologies for the late news item!
Today I've gone through and removed various members of the website who are no longer members of the guild. In theory
The website does some of this automatically (or is supposed to) but occasionally it's not sure and gives me a list to look at - which was long overdue.
I have checked to ensure the members of the website that I have removed no longer have any characters in the guild, to the best of my ability, however, if they joined with a character not relating to their website name, or left with some easily-identifiable characters and just left a few alts in the guild, or numerous other reasons, like I had a brain fart, or sneezed at the wrong time, there is the possibility I've removed someone I shouldn't.
IF you are a member of the guild (you have characters in the guild in-game) but you're no longer a member of the website, please let me know. I will need to know your character name(s) in game, together with your account name on the website.
If you're a member of the guild AND a member of the website, but you've received messages stating your character(s) have been removed from the guild - don't panic! In the majority of cases it will be because when you applied you did so with either a character name that had "weird" characters in it (the site struggles to register them for some reason, via an application form) or on the wrong realm. As long as you can still log in to the website, you are still a website member.
Any problems or questions, feel free to reply below.
The next content patch isn't far away - and that new dungeon looks awesome! The patch will also bring new world quests, new content to add more to the Surumar questline and a new event area.
Patch 7.1 is due to arrive in the EU on the 26 October.
There is a Q&A relating to this patch here:
If you don't want to spend the time watching that, which is fairly long (over an hour), there is a recap on Blizzard Watch.
Although the patch arrives on the 26th, the new raid doesn't arrive until a couple of weeks later, on the 9th November.
Despite numerous posts and resources on this site, explanations in guild and on calendar events, I still get questions about what the protocol is for signing up for raids. And apparently some of my explanations aren't good enough, as I still end up with confused people
So here goes:
- Do NOT sign up as definite for any raid unless you have ALREADY reached the minimum level required for that raid. Even if you're CERTAIN that you will reach that minimum level by the time the raid is due to start, just don't.
- If you want to raid with us, you know you'll be able to attend for the full raid time and you THINK you will be able to reach the minimum requirements before raid time, you can sign up as tentative. If you later reach the target required, then you may change your status from tentative to definite.
- If you want to raid with us, you meet the minimum raid requirements, and you THINK you might be able to attend for the full raid time, but you're not sure - sign as tentative. You can always change to definite later.
- If you want to raid with us, you meet the minimum raid requirements but you know you'll be unable to attend for the full night, sign as tentative and speak to the raid leader. You may be okay starting a bit late, or finishing a bit early - but this does depend on others actually going, together with what role you'd want to fill.
- If you sign as definite - REGARDLESS of whether or not you're picked to be part of the raid group OR you're put on standby - you MUST be online, prepared and ready to be invited prior to raid start time.
- If you sign as definite and then you're unable to make the raid, change your status on the calendar if you can, and contact the raid organiser (usually myself).
- If you sign as tentative but then find you're able to fulfil the requirements and can attend for the full duration, change your status to definite or, if it's close to raid start time (or the raid has already started) contact the raid organiser/leader.
TL;DR? - don't sign up unless you fulfil raid requirements; if you've signed up, turn up; if you've signed up but can't turn up, let us know.
To be honest, these requirements are fairly common sense. It is only common courtesy to turn up if you've said you'll be somewhere at a certain time. If you don't, you are letting people down.
When a raid event starts, I should be able to simply click my "invite all" button, everyone in the raid should be invited and within minutes we should be in the raid instance. What actually seems to be happening is that I click my "invite all" button and people are on the wrong character, or they're in a group elsewhere, or they're afk, or aren't online at all. Then best case scenario I'm spending time working out who is missing and chasing up people who are on alts; worst case I'm trying to work out who is missing, what role they were, if they need replacing and how we can replace them. IF we can replace them. To you, it may seem like there's plenty signed so one person won't be missed - to me it's potentially completely changing the balance of the team, resulting in either some or none of the raiders raiding that night.
Every person who signs up, who then doesn't bother turning up without letting us know is causing the entire raid team who did turn up delay in getting into the instance and potentially stops some people raiding completely.
Every person who signs up, who gets put on standby, who then doesn't turn up, potentially misses out on a raid place (which has happened on virtually every raid so far), causes a delay in raid start time as we try to get a replacement for someone who was accepted who didn't turn up and potentially could mean some others can't raid.
As far as fulfilling raid requirements PRIOR to signups - again this is just common courtesy. Signing up to say you can raid and are ready to raid, when your gear isn't ready, when you haven't checked out the bosses, when you don't have your character set up ready for raiding and when you don't have any necessary addons or voicechat installed already, you're basically saying you think those requirements are redundant.
You may think that you will be able to get all of those things done prior to raid start time, but anything could happen between signing up and the raid time. We have had people in the past do exactly this - and in effect you're taking the place of someone else who has actually prepared. It is unfair to them, and it is unfair to the raid group. Again it causes delays and yet more stress.
These simple things .. that to some seem inconsequential, could affect the raid group drastically. We have in the past spent up to 20 minutes PAST raid start time just trying to organise the group, simply due to people not following the above rules. 20 minutes is, in effect, a boss kill.
Finally - I suspect I'm primarily preaching to the choir here. The vast majority of raiders are brilliant - they turn up, on time, prepared and have fun. The vast majority of raiders will give me notice if they're not able to attend, or their circumstances change (in fact I suspect I may have freaked some out recently, as I've been getting people telling me they're unable to attend even when they haven't signed up! - sorry!!). And those guys are the reason why I really want those who don't adhere to these rules to do so - it's unfair to the vast majority.
The rules really aren't that long or difficult. My news items about them are .. but that's just because I'm trying to work out how to explain how important they are. and WHY they're important.
I'm going to try and keep an eye on the website logins and see which raiders haven't been to the site recently, and give them a poke - but if anyone knows of raiders who aren't, for whatever reason, please do encourage them to do so. Apart from anything else, if we do get into the situation where I'll have to prioritise raiders based on how well they adhere to the above, I don't want it to come as a surprise to people. Having said that, I've been clear that "ignorance is no excuse"
We've now had a couple of weeks worth of raids under our belts for this expansion. As of tonight, 5 raids have been successfully run with virtually full raid teams. We've had fun, we've had wipes, we've had kills and squeaks and getting lost, and we've had drinks and snacks to accompany us on our journey.
Our "old hands" have adapted well to having much larger raid groups, our newer members have integrated well to the point where they fit in seamlessly with everyone else.
However, from an organisational point of view, getting raid groups organised when so many wish to go - sometimes more than we have space for - is complicated and time consuming.
As you are aware, raid groups generally have a specific number of certain types of roles - nearly always only two tanks are needed, for example, regardless of raid size. Six healers maximum are needed, depending on the overall size of the raid. We generally need a balance of ranged and melee dps.
This does mean that sometimes people either have to switch to a different role (either on the same character or a different one) or sit out completely. On the whole, everyone has been very patient and gracious about it all, although I understand that it is annoying if you've levelled a specific character in a specific role, only to find you're unable to raid with it.
This is one of the reasons why we were trying to collate a list of what roles people would be levelling for raiding first - not only so that we could see if there were any roles we were light on, but also so that people could see if we had a lot of a specific role.
It seems that, at the moment, we have rather a lot of people who wish to tank. Up until now, I've been trying to ensure that as many people get to raid as possible, even if it's not with their favoured role. I was generally working on the assumption (and yes, I know what assuming does!) that if people had a choice between not raiding at all sometimes, or raiding all of the time but not necessarily on their favoured role, they'd pick raiding over sitting out. I've been therefore rotating those tanks who ONLY had a tank spec, and trying to sub in occasionally someone who could play another role, to tank when possible; whilst enabling those with secondary roles to raid on those instead.
Having discussed this recently, however, it seems the better option is to simply rotate all of the tanks. If a tank does not have an alternative spec, then they will occasionally have to sit out; if a tank has an alternative spec, then they will be rotated in and out of the tanking role. I've not quite worked out how to do this fairly - it will probably end up on a spreadsheet, as not every "tank" will be available for every raid.
It does mean that, in theory, progression may be a little slower as we will regularly have tanks who are new to tanking certain bosses, but hopefully it will improve our flexibility in the future - and we should generally always have someone in a raid who HAS tanked those bosses who can offer advice.
Bearing in mind we currently have 9 tanks showing up in our Legion Raiders list, and I know there may be one or two more on their way, it still means that it may be a few weeks between rotations.
Signing Up & Turning Up
Our raid groups are currently often over-subscribed. Regularly we have a maxxed out group of 30 people picked to raid, and regularly we have more on standby.
Although most people have been very patient and gracious in respect of getting into, or not getting into, a raid group, I have had a few complaints about being put on standby, not getting picked, etc.
Firstly, I would like to emphasise that we have NEVER advertised ourselves as anything other than a social, casual raiding guild.
We do not have set raid teams, we have never had set raid teams, we are never planning on having set raid teams and we've never advertised having set raid teams. We're all grown-ups with real life commitments, families, jobs, studies, etc, and we understand that people generally cannot and do not want to commit to a specific raid team. We've always said that we organise raids in an inclusive way - we don't ban people from raiding just because they've never done it, or they're worried about it - if they fulfil minimum requirements and they sign up and turn up, then that's good enough for us. We accept raiders who sign up in the calendar in-game based on date/time signed (depending on roles/slots available).
If you do not sign up for a raid in the calendar, you will not get picked to go to a raid!!! I still occasionally get people who complain that they're not able to "get into" a raid, yet they've never actually signed up for one.
DO NOT sign up on the calendar if you have not yet reached the minimum level, or you're not sure if you'll be able to attend (unless you sign tentative), or you won't be able to attend for the full raid time, or you don't have Teamspeak installed. If you're unable to use voice chat for any reason, or you're unable to attend a full raid, please contact me first to discuss.
If you sign up for a raid, you are giving your commitment to myself and the other raiders that you will be there. If you are accepted as part of the starting raid team for that night, you MUST turn up if at all possible. You are taking the raid spot of someone else - if you don't turn up, you've potentially robbed someone else of the chance to raid that night.
If for any reason you're unable to turn up, please do your best to notify us - email, private message, forum message, facebook message, in-game mail/whisper/guild chat/mobile app - there are NUMEROUS ways to contact us. If your WoW subscription gave up, if your computer died, if you realised you had to work late - in these days of new fangled mobile devices there are many ways to keep in contact.
We understand that occasionally you will simply have no opportunity to let us know prior to a raid. In these cases it is simply common courtesy to speak to us/leave a message when able, just explaining why you were unable to attend.
If you've signed up to attend a raid and you're placed on standby, you are STILL expected to turn up in-game at raid start time. You're still stating your commitment to be ready to raid, in case someone else drops out at the last minute.
Virtually every raid we've run, someone accepted to raid has not turned up - some for valid reasons, some not - some without reason at all. Virtually every raid we've run, we've had people on standby - and virtually every time, some of those on standby were not actually online in order to be invited. Some of those people complained about not being picked to go raid. Yet if they'd been online when they were supposed to, when they'd signed up to .. they would have been able to raid.
Please do not sign up to raid unless you will be online, ready at raid start time. Please do not complain about not getting to raid, if you don't sign up to raid, or if you don't turn up to raid.
Organising raids is hard enough, without having to deal with complaints that you then invalidate by not showing up. It is unfair to me, it is unfair to the raiders who have to wait around whilst I try to get replacements for those who haven't turned up, it is unfair to those who decided it wasn't even worth signing up or logging in, because they thought we had a full raid group.
It may sound a bit harsh and not very "social, casual raiding" - but it actually takes a lot of work to make these raids work - not only by myself but also by the other officers who help out with a lot of the background stuff, and by the other raiders who take the time and effort to be prepared.
At the end of the day, if we continue to have large raid groups, and we continue to have people regularly fail to attend when they make a commitment to do so, then I'll start having to give priority to those people who do make the effort to attend on time and ready to go. Which I really don't want to start doing because the amount of admin needed is already rather bonkers - setting up yet more lists is something I'm trying to avoid.
I've had various suggestions in respect of raiding going forward. Some we are considering, some we aren't.
One that has been suggested, that we will not be considering, is having two raid teams to raid on the same night.
Whilst on the face of it, with a surplus of tanks, potentially a surplus of healers and plenty of dps, this is a good way to ensure everyone who wants to raid gets a space, we have to take a few things into consideration.
- Although raids are often over-subscribed, they are also often not full once we start raiding, primarily due to people signing up and not turning up. Generally in a raid group of 30 people, where some have alternative roles, this doesn't have a huge impact. If this happened in one or both of our two raid teams, it would potentially mean that a lot more may not be able to raid. It would certainly mean that trying to rearrange groups in order to maintain viability would take a lot longer. Making two seperate teams is not going to increase the reliability of raiders.
- Maintaining and running two raid groups would require double the effort and additional people willing to run and lead the groups.
- Running two raid groups goes against the whole ideal of our guild - of being inclusive, social and casual raiders.
- Running two raid groups would lead to arguments and drama (which is the better team, who goes in which team, etc, etc).
We are considering other options, and it is worth noting that, as the expansion goes on, not only will our flexibility increase as more people are raid ready with alts but also more options will open up with regard to raid locations. We're already looking into expanding into Heroic Emerald Nightmare which will then potentially give us the option of "alt" nights in Normal and after that it won't be long before the next raid opens up, providing even more opportunity.
Congratulations guys - a new achievement for the guild!