The constant strive for improvement and progression is a part of every raider. It’s what keeps us going, drives us to take one more shot at Yogg-Saron or pushes us to the heights of our performance. But what if, for some reason, there are no raids and you’re left idling in Dalaran? PUGs aren’t the best course of action, as we all know. Group composition and overall performance can be lacklustre at times. But what if you were allowed to make your own raid, exclusively for guildies, during the absence of these “official” raids?
Would they be a blessing or a curse?
For a while, Samsara went through some serious changes. In order to make these changes as smooth as possible, official raiding was cancelled for a few weeks. During this time we allowed our members to organize these progress raids, Ulduar and TotC, for themselves (Naxx was already open at that point). The management was not involved in its planning in any way, we merely gave them the authority to plan the raids, put them on the in-game calendar and use the forum to post the teams. Signups would be handled by them, as well as team selection and raid leading, all the way up to loot distribution and troubleshooting.
The question of whether or not this course of action will be effective relies on many different factors. First of all, we’ll have to take a look at the pros and cons of both official and unofficial raids. In my view it comes down to this:
Officially Planned Raids
- Regular raiding schedule
- Raid rotation allows for fair team selections
- Unbiased loot distribution
- Raids are set in stone. If you can’t make a certain day, you’re out of luck.
Unofficially Planned Raids
- More guild interaction
- Easier on the officially appointed raid leaders
- Raiders stay sharp since they keep raiding
- Allows for biased team selection / loot distribution
- Lack of overview by officers
The big plus of the official raids are, for me, the sense of stability, fairness, and from an officers point of view also control. Officers are aware of everything concerning the raids as long as they’re planned by our raid leaders, allowing us to take immediate action where necessary, instead of trying to figure out the facts first. The big (and to me only) con of official raids is the fact that if you’re always busy on the wednesday night that your guild runs Ulduar, you probably have very little chances of ever seeing the place.
The pros of unofficial raids were the reason why we decided in favor of them. The raid leaders were in need of a break, and we felt that having the members create their own raids wasn’t a bad idea. It’d keep the members happily raiding while we sorted out our stuff. At the time we saw the cons as well, but they didn’t weigh as heavily as the pros.
Several weeks later, and now we’re back to official raiding. And looking back at the past few weeks, would I personally do it again?
I think at the time, it was a good idea. And even now, I will admit that it wasn’t completely wrong to do. Our raiders kept raiding, kept gearing up and allowing newer people to gear up as well. All in all, I’d say we gained a raider or two ready to pull his/her own weight in the “high stuff”. But as always, hindsight is clear sight, and knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t allow unofficial runs ever again. As I said, we predicted the cons, but weighed them a lot lighter than we actually had to. Lack of overview, questionable teams, discontent after (or during) a raid. Yes, they did occur.
We made it clear that we had no say in anything regarding the unofficial raids, and would not be held accountable for anything that happened during said raids. Any disputes between raiders would have to be handled privately. After all, in the words of Uncle Ben: with great power comes great responsibility. A bit more WoW-themed, don’t play with the fire if you don’t have the fire res gear.
But can you truly wash your hands clean of a situation as officer? It’s easy to say you’re not responsible and take a big step back, but the truth is that, as a guild officer, you are responsible. It’s just not possible to walk away from your job.
Every guild is different. In some, the unofficial approach is more suited than in others. But no matter the guild, one truth remains: if you’re in charge, you’ll have to stay on top of it.