View Full Version : The Overbearing GM and lack of Raiding progress

05-04-2009, 04:14 AM
So first for some backstory:

I was in a longstanding guild (heretofore referenced as PT) on my server for almost 3 years. Eventually I ended up becoming an Officer/Raid Leader (and briefly GM) and managed the DKP system for said guild. PT had its rough spots over the years, but we always ended up pulling through them...eventually. Long story short, by the time Wrath came out We had just finished clearing BT (which is a pretty good feat in my opinion as we only started raiding Kara in February of last year).

Come early January of this year PT broke up due to massive amounts of guild drama over who got taken into Naxx. Since then, my fiancee and two of my very good friends from PT have been bouncing around from guild to guild until about 2 months ago. One of said friends found a guild being run by a former fellow officer of PT (who left long before the final break) as well as the original founder of PT (who also left looong before the end).

With college being as insane as it is, my play time was limited so I've been offering my theorycrafting and technical services to the guild. I got the new website set up after the person originally controlling it left, and I've been evaluating people's gear and making recommendations as I am one of the most knowledgeable members of the guild in terms of game mechanics (not a boast, and I really don't know that much, but this guild's not that into doing research about this game).

Now for the problem.

We've been raiding Naxx10 (I use "we" loosely as I pretty much sit in Vent and offer advice when they're having trouble on a boss) for the last 2 months relatively frequently, and we've also been co-opping with another guild for Naxx25. We have a number of people who are essentially fully geared out of Naxx10 with a number of Naxx25 pieces. And yet we are still having trouble downing Maexxna EVERY week. The same goes for Heigan as well as a number of other bosses that really shouldn't be giving us any issues at this point. We have yet to even see Thaddius in 10 man.

The problems as I see it are as follows:

Not enough consistency in raid makeup. Every time we go its a different group of people. Our GM himself will raid on any of 4 toons in a given week.
Total lack of discipline in the raid. Even on the 6th consecutive wipe on Maexxna (after 3+ hours of raiding) vent is still full of people saying "Man you're getting Web Wrapped a lot what did you do to piss that thing off???" and sparking random conversation for the rest of the fight in which people miss the call to halt DPS or restart it (for the enrage). 15 minute breaks after boss fights are the norm as are 2-5 minute breaks between trash pulls.
No clear raid leadership. The "raid leader" half heartedly explains boss fights for the new people (as there are new people almost every raid), at which point the GM jumps in and essentially takes over the raid, dictating strategy and trying to solve the problems the run is having in a usually absurd fashion (4 healers +3 tanks for Maexxna as an example).
Favortism seems rampant despite cries to the contrary. The stated goal is to get "everyone" into raids, and yet we lost 3 good healers b/c they were never allowed to raid on their healers (which were their preferred mains). And yet we constantly "need more healers."

My fiancee, and former PT buddies that all joined this guild together, and I have seen these issues and have been formulating ideas to attempt to come up with something that would be helpful to the guild. One of said buddies is already an officer, and the other buddy and I are regularly pulled into officer meetings on vent despite our lack of officer status.

Our GM has stated that he will never create a "core" group of raiders that know what they're doing and work well together even for the sake of progression. Despite ample evidence that what we're currently doing isn't working, he continues to insist on splitting our best geared players between two groups (and even that took considerable effort to convince him of). All of our attempts to come up with compromises have either been summarily shot down or so butchered that they barely even resembled our original ideas.

As a whole the guild is a great group of people, inexperienced in raiding yes, but those that actually care to put in the effort are getting better all the time. We really would rather not leave as we've built up some good friendships here. Unfortunately raiding has become such a bother for my friends and fiancee (and by extension me even though I haven't set foot in a raid with this guild yet) that all three of them have considered no longer raiding.

What, if anything, would you all suggest that I could do? My ultimate goal is to avoid creating drama and tearing the guild apart, though i see the handwriting on the wall of that coming in the near future anyway if we don't change something with how the raids are run.

Sorry for the book, but this has been really frustrating and I figured with how much the Guild Relations podcasts helped us out in PT (pre Wotlk) I'd come to you guys for help now.

05-04-2009, 04:30 AM
I've had success in the past in creating a "progression team" setup. Pick your upper skill ranks, put them together in a 10man setting with the right strats, the right class mix for encounters, and the right pace expectations for reasonable completion.

I would suggest doing it openly, but state that you are not asking for permission, just declaring your plans. Guild leadership sounds change averse and control-freak in nature.

The goal if not obvious, start training the more capable raiders to carry the load tactically and strategically in raids. It will also become a training ground for new raiders on correct tactics and raid leadership expectations.

Once feasible, this progression team then becomes the instinctive leading element in your 25man raids. People will begin automatically following the lead and tactical guidance of the progression team and the "random tactics" situation should become resolvable.

05-04-2009, 05:35 AM
From your title and reasoned explanation of things, I think you already know what you need to do. Your GM is acting like a tool and preventing the guild from progressing.

There's a bit of variation to be had among guilds when it comes to loot systems, recruiting technique, etc. But for a guild whose goal is progression, a few things have to be followed.

You need to improve the performance of your raid by not switching things up radically form week to week. People switching to alts should be a one or two person thing per raid to balance your makeup. If you find that you have to do it often in order to balance the raid, then you need to get some people to switch mains or recruit people to fill in the gaps you're typically missing.

A progression guild also needs someone (preferably multiple people) who can analyze failure and make sensible suggestions as to how to improve. Get Recount, start using WWS, use Acheron to figure out who is dying and why. When people die early, remember who they were so you can figure out the point at which things started to go pear-shaped. Install failbot and challenge people who fail consistently. Nobody gets a free pass here regardless of where they stand in the guild. Be able to recognize when something was truly avoidable.

When you realize what's gone wrong on an attempt, change one or two things. Don't change from 1 to 3 tanks on a one-tank fight while also swapping half your healers and dps specs around. If the tank died because of lack of healing, change your healing assignments and nothing else - see how that fixes things. If people see incremental improvement through this type of analysis, they're more likely to keep banging away at a boss rather than just trying random things each time without taking note of the effect each change had on performance.

The issues of favoritism are what really raise the red flag for me though. People are fairly forgiving of failing to progress or not having loot drop for their class for weeks at a time, but if they don't feel they can trust the leadership to treat them fairly, you've got a disease that will eat your guild from the inside out.

So, if you're serious about progression, I think you need to either convince the GM to change his ways, or start your own guild and hope that as many people as possible choose to move with you. And if they don't, recruit like crazy, kick the non-performers and you'll quickly overtake this old guild.

That may sound cold, but it's the honest truth about progression. It doesn't come easy, and it's not terribly tolerant of selfish people.

05-04-2009, 06:07 AM
Yeah, my group from PT and I have been discussing this well over 2 weeks now and have honestly brought up to the GM most of what you guys have said. We're finally starting to actually get some officer backing on a lot of our ideas (which are not currently what I would consider optimal but at least a step in the right direction), although the GM doesn't seem to like that he may soon find his opinion in the minority and that in and of itself may kill the guild, not sure yet.

I've discussed with my fiancee the idea of leading a raid of good raiders but the problem I have with that is that if I do take a raid of the upper echelon of raiders, I WILL be screwing the scheduled guild runs out of players and that will cause drama and likely result in me being kicked. What I'm honestly thinking of doing is creating a raid with some of the newer players that really haven't raided much and work on getting them to do the right things in raids from the beginning, rather than trying to change the ways of the more entrenched lollygaggers. Thank god finals are over on Wednesday and I can start playing again regularly.

I guess what I'm really looking for is how hard should I push? I don't want to tear the guild apart, as the people in it (aside from raiding practices) are pretty darn awesome to be around. Nor do I want to get kicked (for aforementioned reason). The fact that I'm not actually an officer makes me wary of pushing too hard, but the powers that be seem to value hearing my advice, they just don't like what I'm saying.

05-04-2009, 07:31 AM
If you can afford the time & pull this off, here's a suggestion:

Ask the GM for one week of raiding with a handpicked team. Call it a learning expedition. Make sure it's just one lockout period. Handpick your team, go in & clear the place. Then break up again to your usual groups.

This would a) show how it's done, b) get some kills on the guild roster & boost morale to everyone, c) doesnt make you a guildbreaker.

We did this for ulduar10. First week, tons of wipes & nobody showing up for the second day of raiding. Next week, we made a handpicked team & raided nearly everyday and got 10 bosses down. Next week we split the handpicked team into two groups & took all the whiners (the same ones who were running away from raids but then wanted in when we started racking up the kills) to two Ulduar10 groups.

Now we're doing Ulduar25 with people who know what to do & expect and whining burden on the officers has gone down a lot.

05-04-2009, 02:13 PM
If you want to turn this guild around, you're going to have to do it yourself, by the looks of things. Consider very carefully whether you want to be responsible for raid leadership, because it strikes me that your GM and the RL's 'half-hearted' approach isn't what is needed, and if you're going to do this, it'll be on your shoulders.

05-04-2009, 08:09 PM
You'll step on the GM's toes if you try to change things too much, since it's his guild after all. And a power struggle will just end up in loads of hurt feelings and a split. Your best bet is probably to leave and find another guild, or failing that, start your own. There's plently of guilds recruiting now that Ulduar is out, and it sounds like you have a decent core if you choose to start your own guild too.

06-07-2009, 02:17 PM
I think you may have answered your own question.

Since you are just now coming back, Take a group of people who show promise that havnt had a chance to raid in the main group, and start working thru 10 mans.

Shape them and Nurture them into the kind of raid group that knows how to do things right.

In approaching it in this fashion you are not cutting into the core raiding group and you are creating more capable raiders.

At some point you may even surpass the core group and get recognized for your ability to do much more with less resources. Eventually people will perfer to run under your leadership creating an atmosphere where it would be beneficial to let you run the main raid.

All of this must be done without creating competition or a clear rift in the guild (that is the hard part). Doing so with the stated (and literal) intention of getting more people thru early content so that they can contribute to your 25 man efforts will make it much easier to make the transition to running raids entirely in guild (likely under your leadership at that point).

If the difficulties with your GM completely remove the chance to do such a thing, Something much more drastic may need to take place.

Just a couple ideas that i hope may help.