If I were to do live-blogging on a guild raid night in World of Warcraft — let’s say yesterday night — this is how it would have gone:
One hour before raid invites, 20 guildmates online: Log on, check my character for repaired equipment, combat supplies, and after all the ducks are in a row, zip down to the Stormwind Stockades to farm for some noob alt gear.
Guildmate Convo #1: This rival guild’s alts are sending our guys tells begging for gold, can I deal with this? I think wtf and suggest they /ignore the idiots and, errr, maybe don’t give them any gold?
Convo #2: Offtank_03, aka The Emo Tank, has a serious family issue at the moment but he’ll still be at the raid. I express sympathy and hope that won’t lead to a longer conversation where I’ll need to quote a little Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. I suggest he take the night off, Emo Tank will have none of that. For the Guild!
Convo #3: One of our raiders with dwindling attendance was reclassified to our casual raider rank and wants clarification on that.
I’ll explain: we have two ranks for regular members, one is for those with over 50 percent raid attendance, the other for those with less than 50%. The only difference between the two ranks, other than the name, is that higher-attendance people get invited first to the 40-man raids, and the lower-attendance people are invited next, if there are spots available and based on what classes we need. Everyone on the waiting list earns DKP same as those in the raid, so the lower-attendance people aren’t penalized in that way because they can’t get into a raid. Both ranks bid on loot equally, earn DKP equally, receive guild assistance equally — the only difference is the order of the invites.
We instituted this change many months ago when we noticed the curious relationship between attendance and farm mobs. Once the learning was behind us and a boss mob moved to farm status, suddenly, ALMOST INEXPLICABLY, attendance for that mob and/or zone would skyrocket. (Apparently, real life obligations can go to hell when there’s loot to be had.) Since we used to fill raids first come, first served, you can imagine the ruckus when some yokel who never showed for the learning attempts (read: wipes) got into the farm raids ahead of those who had.
Enter our two-rank system, which has worked wonders to encourage stable attendance. Every evaluation period (about once a month), there’s fresh drama from those guildies that didn’t make the cut and get moved to the lower-attendance rank. I just don’t get that drama. It’s math. Attendance is under 50 percent, you’re not invited first. Big f’ing deal, you go on the wait list, get DKP anyways and you can do whatever the hell you want in game. You don’t like it, get on that wait list more than 50 percent of the time and in a few weeks, BOOM, you’re back to the higher-attendance rank.
So that’s what Tell #3 was about — guy was pissed he got bumped to the lower-attendance rank. We had just done an evaluation the week prior, so I’ve gotten a lot of these tells this week, and they all start off like this: The guild should make an exception because *fill in the blank*. (Y’know, blow me.)
Kinda went on a rant there, where was I? Oh ya, The Stockades. Finished that, flew to Eastern Plaguelands to do some Naxx turnin.
Convo #4: Will I come to Scholomance and help a guildie’s alt with some shit. Short answer: No.
Raid Leader texts me that his net is down, which I figure is probably a damn lie and he just wants me to deal with all the pre-raid tells. (Fucker.)
Convo #5: Am I sure I can’t get the guild to make an exception in his case? I inquire if his attendance will improve in the near future. No, cuz he has a REAL LIFE fercrissakes. (Oh ya, I forgot that I don’t.)
45 minutes before raid invites, 19 guildmates online: In flight to EPL (it’s a loooong flight), a guild priest begins one of her long-winded, formal guild complaints.
Convo #6: This priest is still having medical pain, but will try to raid, she’ll do her best even though sometimes she’s not sure she’s contributing very much because … *several minutes later* … she hopes it won’t come to that. Err, say what? I was AFK for most of that. Think it was something about a thinly-veiled threat that priests are known to toss around every once in a while. I decide to ignore this problem and hope it goes away.
Still in EPL, now with an /AFK flag up, knowing full well the AFK will only fool newer guildmembers.
I’m wrong. It doesn’t fool the newer guildmembers either.
Convo #7: New guild warlock can’t figure out how to login on the guild’s DKP site to check his DKP. Short answer: Your DKP is zero. Long answer: Filling in User Name and Password and clicking Login was a challenge for him and I’ll be blunt with you … I do not predict a bright future for this new hire.
Convo #8: One of our hunters is starting to feel some Warcraft burnout, how can he keep the game fresh so he won’t quit. (Like I know?)
30 minutes before raid invites, 25 guildmates online: Still in EPL, still fake-AFK, banking on a Naxxramas raid call so I won’t have to fly back out here.
Convo #9 of many to come: Where are we raiding tonight? I don’t know how many times or how many different ways we have explained this to people, but the answer is: nobody fucking knows where we’re raiding until we see who’s online AT RAID INVITE TIME. The raid leader doesn’t know, I don’t know, the guild leader doesn’t know, the Main Healer doesn’t know, the Offtanks don’t know, the Officers don’t know, NOBODY knows. Still, every damn raid day, people ask that question well in advance of raid invite time. I say, Nobody knows yet. (and if you ask again before invite time, I will hearth back to Ironforge and put my fist through your monitor.)
Convo #10: Can I come to Winterspring and help with some lame mob? (?? Do they not see that I’m in EPL — which, for you WoW noobs, is a LOOOONG ways away from Winterspring.) I ask some of the newer members to go help our priest with the lame mob in Winterspring. Get used to it, new dudes, priests are your lord and god.
Convos #11 – 16: Miscellaneous tells from members needing guildbank materials for Naxx attunements and resist gear. Oh, thank you for waiting until 20 minutes before THE NAXX RAID before you worried about getting that done. Also, I’m not the guildbanker. As if they’d trust me with free gear and gold.
Raid Leader texts me that his net is still down and how are those tells going? (Fucker.)
Convos #17 – 20-ish: Congrats tells about the new Tier 3 gear I scored. Ok, those are nice tells. Thanks.
Realized I forgot some gear myself, and hearth back to Ironforge to fetch. Great, another flight out to EPL in a few minutes.
Convo #21: Where’s Raid Leader? (The fuck? I’m not his wife.) I say, probably jacking off. (I mean, why get into that whole net down thing when it’ll just lead to more questions about who will do this and who will do that and OMG WE SHOULD PANIC.)
15 minutes prior to raid invites, 33 guildmates online:
Convo #22: From an unguilded noob, how did I get that black epic mount? What the flip, DONT YOU SEE THE COMMANDER TITLE, NOOB?? Heh, that’s what I wanted to say and I wanted to demand a /salute too, but I told him the real answer … PVP Rank 11.
10 minutes before raid invites, 40 guildmates online: I still can’t get out of Ironforge because of /tell fury, the “where to?” crap has begun in earnest.
Convo #23: Where to?
Convo #24: Do I know where?
Convo #25: Is it Naxx?
Convo #26: Do I know where?
Notify the Assistant Raid Leader that he’s on deck for tonight’s raid since Raid Leader is still pretending that his net is down. (Fucker.) ARL grumbles.
Ironforge crashes. Beautiful.
Ironforge staggers back onto its feet.
Raid invite time, 45 guildmates online: ARL begins the invites of the guild principals … officers, class leaders, etc.
Convo #27 – 30-ish: Have invites gone out yet and does anyone know where we’re raiding tonight? See how that morphed from where, into “have invites gone out and oh, uh, also, where”? I swear, it’s like being a kindergarten teacher, but without the paycheck and free cookies.
Raid invites continue to the high-attendance rank. 49 guildmates online, there’s going to be some unhappy people tonight. Nine unhappy people to be precise.
Convo #31: ARL is starting to lose his mind and I may have to take over because he’s not sure he can take even one more tell of: have invites gone out and where to? I pretend I’m AFK taking my dog out. Not making eye contact is very important in these situations.
Convo #32: Ok, umm, for my information, another guild priest is currently fighting (in real life) with the one guild hunter and she’s not sure how long she’ll be raiding tonight, since he’s not raiding tonight cuz umm, they’re fighting. In real life. In case I was wondering. (I wasn’t.)
50 guildmates online. That’s ten unhappy people. ARL holds open one raid spot for the Raid Leader, in case he stops faking and can take over this bitch of a raid force. ARL opens the wait list for the unhappy people.
20 minutes before raid time (that’s 10 minutes after invites): Naxxramas is called. (Wow. Surprise.) Mass exodus from Ironforge as everyone hops a bird to EPL.
Convos #33 – 35-ish: Few lolligaggers ask for warlock summons out to Naxx. They are denied. (Lazy whores.)
ARL tells the raid to buff at 5 minutes before the hour and everyone should take their AFK breaks then.
5 minutes before raid time: The groups are shuffled to the ARL’s liking, buffs go out, preliminary instructions are given, then …
The priest from Tell #6, the one with the medical pain and whatever else she said while I was AFK then I didn’t bother to scroll up and read what she typed because I assumed that problem would resolve itself, she leaves the guild, without a word. Lovely. Now I suppose we’ll have to pause to deal with that shit.
I feel a tiny bit of guilt because if I would have taken the time earlier to respond to her, maybe she would have deguilded then, saving us this delay, OR, she would have had someone to read her lengthy paragraphs and been satisfied for the moment. Either option would have been preferable. I decide that guilt is for the weak and return my attention to the last-minute preparations.
Convo #36: Foton? I feel the need to explain myself and tell you why I left, why I HAD to leave the guild. (Oh god, please don’t.) In fact, Foton, I’ve decided to leave the game entirely. (Christ.) Me: Sorry to hear that, take care of yourself. Her, summarized: Foton, after ARL did that to me tonight and then Guild Leader called me a liar after I explained why … (bla bla bla bla that I largely didn’t see) … I can’t stay in this guild any longer, not even in the game.
Why. Me. Do I look like a therapist? Am I in charge of guild exit interviews, too? If I am, I didn’t get the memo and I’m not getting paid so here’s my exit interview technique: Have a nice life.
Convo #37: New guildmember doesn’t have the mod of champions, CT-RaidAssist, installed or operational. Hey! New dude! Where’s your CTRA? New dude tried to install same but can’t get it to work. Me: You don’t have it installed in the proper path on your ‘puter. Him: I did, just won’t work on my system for some reason. Me, thinking: Yes, the reason is it’s INSTALLED IN THE WRONG PLACE. I say: Check that the files are in XXX path, exit the game completely, log back in. (I really should just macro that. This path thing is an issue for almost every new guildmember and fer crissakes, why aren’t they testing their install well before raid time??)
New-to-Naxx people receive their instructions from their class leaders, quest logs are checked, CTRA versions are checked, and last-minute buffs go out for the lolligaggers.
Recently deguilded priest rejoins the guild, everyone welcomes her back. I laugh at the Guild Leader in /tells because I KNOW he just spent most of his evening hand-holding and saying “there, there”. He’s not getting a paycheck or free cookies either. SUCKER!
Raid start time.
I hereby certify that the above is an accurate and fair representation of our pre-raid activities. (I took notes!) Well. Except for the starting on-time part, I think we were actually 5 or 10 minutes late.
From now on, I’m using the /DND.
The DND Gamer,