An Event Every Guild Leader Goes Through Once in Their Career


At present, my healing corps consists of the following: 2 Priests, 4 Druids, 2 Paladins, and 2 Shamans. Note that both 1 Druid and 1 Shaman are on a part time rotation. I figure that’s more than enough to handle any sort of outages or benches that need to occur.

But a few nights ago, I received an in game mail from one of my Paladins. Let’s call him Wayne.

“Hey Matt, I’ve decided to take a break from WoW until Ulduar comes out. I’ve gotten what I need to prepare myself for it and I don’t want to burn myself too early. Thanks for understanding.”

The feeling I experienced after reading his in game mail could only be described as “disappointment”. Here was a player that had showed up to all of the raids we asked him to do before the holiday break. He was one of the earliest healers we had in the guild. For a time, he was the only Holy Paladin we had in our raids as our other one wasn’t ready to go yet.

Perhaps in this aspect, Loot Council may have failed as we awarded him nearly all the spell power plate gear until our second Paladin was able to join us.

The alternative would have been to shard upgrades to keep him coming for more. My guild and my friends would know that I would never consider that as an option.


Hmm… – I shouldn’t have to question the motives of my raiders. My experience in the game has taught me that there are some legitimate excuses for going on a hiatus and some that make you raise your eyebrow and go “really?”. This is one of those times. I would’ve been more than happy to accept a temporary leave of absence if a player was going out of town. Life does happen and there’s nothing I can do to change that (nor would I).

Conquest is now able to effectively clear out all heroic level content in the game.

Actually, we took down Sarth with 2 drakes up tonight.

And we’re able to do this within 6 hours. I intentionally split this into 2 days of 3 hour raid nights to avoid wear and tear on my troops.

Short term effects

Newsflash – This reduced our number of active healers down to 6 but I plan to rotate the other 2 healers I have on standby as needed. Both myself and my other Priest were both deep Holy. After some consultations and careful consideration, I decided to join Vonya and respec Discipline myself. This means I have to toss out the 16 Spirit gems in my blues and replace them with some Intellect heavy gems (Dazzling Forest Emerald although I probably should’ve used Seer’s Forest Emerald instead, but alas the AH doesn’t always have what you need).

Feel free to check out my character’s armory.

The impact this has on our healer corps is the fact that we are back up to having 2 solid tank healers who are myself and a Holy Paladin. We still have a strong supplement of Resto Druids, Shamans, and another CoH Priest to maintain raid wide heals.

Long term effects

We are down to 1 Holy Paladin. That’s 1 less set of blessings and auras among other things. I know for the time being I am willing to stand pat on my corps. But I would not be against the idea of recruiting another Holy Paladin for part time purposes. I’ve spoken with several around the server, but they’re all interested in a full time raiding and starting position. That’s not something I can promise. I don’t want to say one thing only for them to switch over and find out that I failed to deliver. I try to maintain a record of meaning what I say.

As for Wayne, I’m not going to think about any actions for the present. Those are his choices to make and I have to react accordingly. I can’t help but feel anything else but disappointment right now.

To me, it’s just another day behind the desk.

PS – If you’re a Holy Paladin looking for for a home and not expecting a lot of raiding hours, get in touch with me.

Image courtesy of TouTouke

45 thoughts on “An Event Every Guild Leader Goes Through Once in Their Career”

  1. This is a completely lame move for any raider to pull. He could have said he would like to rotate out more often for other people to come in, but still make himself available. He could just have sucked it up and continued to contribute to the guild just like your other raiders are doing. I hope that when he does come back, he’s not your #1 holy paladin anymore and doesn’t get priority on raid invites; in my mind, he’s tarnished his own image by pulling this stunt and made it clear he raids for himself, not for the guild.

  2. You know, I’m all for people taking breaks from the game and stuff if needed, but it’s the “I’ve gotten what I need to prepare myself for it ” part that just strikes me as… yeah, a bit uncouth. Simply bad form on his part to take all the gear and then conveniently decide to drop out.

    Pikes last blog post..Just Some New Site Artwork

  3. That’s kind of a dick move, heh. “I’ve gotten what I need to prepare myself for it”. That’s classy.

    I don’t think it is Loot Council that has failed. I believe that when someone is in a guild that runs LC, they assign themselves to a sort of honor that requires them to be there when they’re needed, to be part of the guild as long as humanly possible as they have gotten geared there.

    Of course, not everyone has that sense of honor, but we can always hope, right?

    Perhaps there’s a reason behind it. Maybe his true reasons was something much more serious that could be a possible part-time or temporary thing, but he handled it wrong. This is all assumptive and hopeful though; I tend to hope for the best.

    Kittss last blog post..The Angry Dome: What’s made me angry recently…

  4. @Tatiana: He could’ve done what you’ve suggested. I’ll certainly have to think things over when he does get back in terms of his status. Let’s spin this from a different perspective. I prefer to think of this as an opportunity for other players to work themselves into the roster.

  5. Honestly I was pretty disappointed when I heard the news

    The guy does not have real end game raid experience and making a decision like that shows it. You do not get your gear and wait till the next raid starts. You can ask to rotate with subs on content if you feel the game is wearing you out but 2 days a week 3 hours a night of raiding is hardly taxing.

  6. Obviously a gray area, from his point of view I have a similar experience of running Karazhan, well after I had gotten all the gear, and the whole raiding process just became a tedious task I preformed 3-4 nights a week, and I wish I had taken a break here or there because I think it’s hurt my view of raiding.

    On the other hand sounds like a dedication issue, depending on when he collected his final piece. If he recently just received his final piece then there is a clear lack of dedication and I would push forward with finding a replacement. Not necessarily kicking him from the guild, but obviously moving him into a lesser roll. If however he’s had his final piece for a while and has continued to raid and contribute even when there was nothing left for him to get, then I think he may of earned himself a little break.

  7. We had a main tank and raid leader do this to us in BC. He came back 3 months later and tried to take over. When we made it clear that he wouldn’t be in charge, he got creative in finding new ways to cause wipes on stupid trash and making every raid night hell. He’s no longer with us.

  8. Hey Matt,

    I was GM of my guild for around 3 years and have since been an officer for the remaining year +. Over that time we have had this happen quite routinely and often around certain “events” such as going back to school, holidays, and right before any major expansion.

    This expansion was interesting because it added little end game challenging content. My guild is also at the point of clearing everything but Malygos in 2 evenings of raiding. We raid normally 4 nights for 4 hours each and I have seen the past week or so people taking more and more time off to the point of us having a difficult time raiding that 3rd or 4th night. I think getting loot/gear certainly motivates many of us to some extent and when we have all the gear we want it gets harder to force ourselves to raid “easy” content. I still enjoy going because the people are fun and I still get emblems and an occassional off spec item but I’ll admit that Naxx 25 is getting old quick.

    Typically we would not punish a person for taking short breaks as long as they were a good solid raider and guild member and demonstrated some type of long term loyalty to the guild. What we would always hate are the ones who just drop off the face of the planet for months and then show up when new content (or an expansion) arrive and want/expect raid time again – that is normally a huge NO from all our Officers. Obviously, if it puts you in a shortage of healers it certainly makes things difficult and makes it much harder to justify any type of guaranteed raid spot for this person in the future. Especially if you need to recruit another healer who turns out to be a solid performer and shows dedication. I would just make sure he realizes that.

    After 4+ years I have seen and can spot the people that are dedicated long term and invested in the game and the others who are just turned on by new content and leave once they are bored in the least bit. I always try to avoid the latter but i often find a couple on our raid team at any given point in time. We also use Loot Council and identifying those more short term players is key but also difficult in some cases. Those are the people that you really want to be careful how much gear is awarded to them.

    While I can’t wait for Ulduar and am excited to see it asap, maybe a month or so of easy farming and relaxed raiding will help everyone after that big push to level up fast and grind reputations.

    In regards to healing as Discipline (Gratz as well on the switch), we currently only have 1 priest (myself) and I heal every encounter as discipline. It works fine and is easy overall as long as you have a couple Shammys and Druids available to raid heal. With that setup you really do not need a single CoH priest in the raid. I have been thinking that I will switch back over to holy for a while though as I get restless with one spec and enjoy the differences in the Holy tree compared to discipline from time to time.

  9. I have to agree with the general mindset here. What your healer did here was gear himself and then decide to leave. You could go through the endless debate of whether he’s off playing another toon you don’t know about and whether he really left WoW among a 100 other possible scenarios, but I wouldn’t dwell on it.

    Bottom line you have a raiding guild based on the principle of guild progress and the good of the guild. Kitt is right. LC didn’t fail you, one of your members did.

    My advice is to recruit someone to fill his spot fulltime if that’s what he was. He now isn’t there for the rest of the guild so when he comes back he doesn’t get his old spot back. Bench him. It isn’t personal, it’s about the guild.

    I’ll still never understand the former officer in my guild that didn’t want to pass on an item in Black Temple soon before the patch because it’d be his last chance at loot until the end of the year. He evidently was getting a new job and wouldn’t be around to raid. I told him that’s even more reason to pass since the loot then wouldn’t help the guild to which he had no comment. Ironically, he never disappeared and was the first to hit 80 in our guild before he left.

    kyrileans last blog post..Looking Forward 2009

  10. Honestly, I would recommend making it clear that the new holy paladin and the returning holy paladin will be competing for the regular raid slot upon the old guy’s return. This just sounds like a guy that has no major goals to work towards in terms of raids and is bored with current content. I agree this was not the best way to behave, but he does seem rather fickle. Good luck in your paladin search though.

  11. I agree with Doc – there’s no class in the way he bowed out like that. I would have understood if he had bowed out to get subs geared up. It makes it more difficult for the rest of us, as we’re not gradually rotating subs in to learn fights and gear up. Guess it’ll be interested to see what happens in the future.

  12. don’t beat yourself up over it. your dedication and personal investment in the game is very much to be admired but remember that not everyone shares this with you.

    i am no longer surprised by the people that i meet in game that seem to forget common sense & courtesy with regards to their actions towards others in an online games. its as if they forget that there are real people behind those characters on our screens or behind the voices on vent. i have dealt with a lot of selfishness in game and you would not believe how many people don’t give their crude actions a second thought and simply dismiss any obligations to others as “its just a game” or “i didn’t think i did anything wrong”

    you have done nothing absolutely nothing wrong. there are going to be some rotten eggs but luckily they can be easily replaced. i agree with the person that suggested that you simply replace him with another full-time tank healer, and explain to him, since he did not even give you the chance before he left, as to why you are disappointed in this actions.

  13. Where was this post five or so days ago? Either way, I’d be putting the old pally on the back burner, and taking in a new one full time. Anyone that jumps up and ditches as soon as he gets his, is hardly fair, nor worthy of a primary spot. I’d recruit a full time pally and make your old one be the stand in until he can prove himself trust worthy again. Just my .02 cents.

    AltoholicsAreUss last blog post..In with the New!

  14. “Perhaps in this aspect, Loot Council may have failed …”

    No, No, No. This is exactly why Loot Council works. As Tatiana points out Wayne’s reputation is tarnished long-term. Loot Council can consider his past behavior in a way that no points system could ever hope to.

    NoAstronomers last blog post..Winter Veil Roundup

  15. In general, in situations where other people depend on you, you need to give advanced notice of absences. The respectful way to bow-out of raiding for a while would be to tell guild-leadership a couple weeks in advance. In the mean-time, you can pass on gear and possibly raid-spots so a replacement can be brought up to speed.

  16. I disagree with Noastronomer and Veneretio. I don’t think Loot Council is an appropriate way to resolve this. If you’re not going to give him loot, you should bench him or boot him. Playing passive-aggressive games with the loot system is a bad idea.

    Honestly, LC has nothing to do with this. You’d get the same results in any other system. As you said, he was one of your earliest, reliable raiders.

    That being said, maybe he doesn’t understand the position he’s putting you in. Maybe he thinks that since content is so easy, you can do it without him. And maybe he does need time off before Uldar. Perhaps he thought that the other alternative was burning out and quitting right before Uldar, which would arguably leave you in a worse position.

  17. I agree Rohan that LC didn’t cause this problem, but I stand by that it’s pretty great for solving it. Yup, it’s passive aggressive, but frankly, you get what you give. I should clarify that I wouldn’t go so far as to shard anything instead of giving it to them, but certainly I’d be giving priority on loot to everyone else other than them first no matter how minor the upgrade.

    …and perhaps that still has me coming off as childish, but then that’s why I make sure to only lead the raids and not handle loot in my guild 😉

    Veneretios last blog post..Expertise is always better than Hit

  18. I don’t believe LC failed and I think the best bet it to consider his words and actions when he returns. He gave you no real notice before ditching. If it were a RL issue causing him to leave this would be acceptable. Who is going to complain if you go in for surgery etc? But ‘I got my gear I’m done’ mentality is complete BS. Especially when you seem to have recruited for a team mentality instead.

    Bottom line? recruit with an eye to a full time Pally with the same goal as the guild.

  19. I guess I now see the posters comments about it being selfish. Although if he just said “meh, its a game I’m bored and moving on” that would be perfectly understandable.

    However, note that Blizzard has for whatever reasons put a lot of incentives to pause now and *NOT* play. Bizarre [to me] way to run a business,

    1) deflation – 2000g frozen orbs from Nov are 3% of that. Any ore, epics, gems you bought to get ready would have been cheaper if you waited,

    2) degrading products – If you bought a Tundra mammoth, Titansteel destroyer… then the item will be changed for the worse. Why not take a few months off and let Blizzard decide what it wants to do so you can make informed choices before buying. In the real world, vendors tend to grandfather in prior purchasers.

    3) deliberately devaluing products – with the changes to inscription, enchanting, JC – the effort you spent there will be worth less with the new patch.

    So the logical thing for a Blizzard player who values there time, doesn’t like to feel “screwed” by Blizzard, or who has alternative gaming choices to do is to *not* play WoW atm.

  20. I’ve found that the lasting problem, after the initial personal disappointment fades, is how to protect the guild. It’s hard on every raider in your guild when someone flakes like this, and you as GM have to protect their time investment if you want them to become or stay loyal. You don’t want someone acting like they’ve gained tenure in your Guild U, can take a sabbatical with no warning, and then come back when their interest resumes.

    It would probably help all involved to tell your whole guild up front that in the event of a person’s leave of absence, for whatever reason, there is absolutely no guarantee that a given raid spot will still be theirs upon return. Then you can move forward with clear conscience on a case by case basis.

    Also, not to be a poop, but you’re likely to go through this more than once.

    GoWs last blog post..Overview of Loot Systems

  21. Yea, it would be dissappointing to hear that from an active raider for sure. The way he said it makes him seem self-centered and not much of a team player at all.

    I mean just because he is fully geared, there may be many others in the core raid group that still need alot of gear yet. That doesn’t seem like a concern at all to this guy.

    You really have to consider the guy or gals age as well because I have found that alot of otherwise good players may only by 12 or 13 and they show thier immaturity by making these kind of thoughtless actions. Even if you have a age limit for the guild, we have found alot of people lie about thier age.

    I am sure you will be able to find another to replace him.

  22. Replace his ass.

    If you havn’t replaced him by the time he comes back and you still need a pally, may as well take him. But if you did find another good guy then let the old paladin know he might have to sit on the bench some.

  23. Ok, so, gimme 10 minutes, going to reroll. I look forward to raiding with you, Mattypoo.

    Just kidding. But alas, were I alliance and knew how to play a paladin beyond spamming FoL…I’d totally be the only paladin you’d ever need.

    I’d also be a female dwarf named Olga.

  24. “I’ve gotten what I need”….

    I’m sorry, but this is a load of crap….I’ll leave it at that because how I really feel probably isn’t appropriate for your blog Matt.

  25. I was a little confused by the title once I had read the post. Like someone commented above – this will happen more than once. In fact raider turn over is just the way it is generally. It’s just like running a business. You accept there will be turnover and work to minimise it. Lots of good suggestions above. Certainly think this guy has demonstrated his poor attitude clearly. Move on and recruit another full time pally healer, I wouldn’t hold a regular spot for someone who is so clearly selfish.

  26. As of him, I could have understood the reasoning for taking a break of raiding the same content all the wait before ulduar, as you said he has been raiding since you started or so. Also I could have understood how he told there’s no worry about him being undergeared once the content comes, since he has all the gear he wants from current content.
    But the way he noticed, “selfish sounding” comment about having “all the loot he need”, makes me wonder if he’ll once again go inactive when you run out of content, leaving you one paladin short again. And he could’ve just asked if he can run offspec/alt and be able to fill in the spot in case you just happen to miss one paladin, checked your forums/gmotd in case you’re in dire need of the healer.
    And shame my paladin is 70, horde, has no WotLK and is on an EU account.
    Good luck filling the spot however you decide.

  27. Man.. there would be no “benching,” no “LC games” or anything, if I was his GL.. It would be an instantaneous kick.. That’s really pathetic, especially his “I’ve got what I need” line.. ugh….

    Good luck finding a replacement for him!

  28. Well shit, that sucks. 🙁

    As to your question of if LC failed, it couldn’t fail. You only had one holy paladin at the time he was getting all the gear so who else would you have given the spell power plate to?

    As for having a small guild (which it sounds like you have enough to raid plus one or two), I’d strongly urge to be a slightly more medium sized guild so that everyone has high playtime, but not so many members that you can’t easily rotate and include people in the raids. IIRC you only raid 3 days a week, but when you’re pushing content (if Ulduar actually is difficult -_- ) having a small guild can inhibit progress when people can’t make a night and you don’t have someone to fill the spot. I know we never thought it would be an issue for us in TBC, but it definitely killed more than a handful of raids. Thankfully, we’ve decided to pick up a few more people so the rest of the raid isn’t screwed of a couple people can’t make it for whatever reason.

    You mention having 4 druids and you needing to respec Disc to have a 2nd tank healer. Just remember that druids are fully capable of main tank healing. Between regrowth (especially with the glyph), nourish, swiftmend, and healing touch there’s no reason to only think of druids as raid healers.

    As for if the guy wants to come back for Ulduar, let him. It doesn’t harm you so long as you have some method in place. For example, we have a 30 day probation period when new recruits (and this includes old members who came back from extended breaks (i.e. more than a week or two)) aren’t entitled to get gear over other members. This makes them earn their gear as well as reducing the amount of gear we’re handing out if they’re going to bail when their transfer cooldown is up. It’s really more pertinent in later raid content when drops matter more for progression speed than current content. If you have a probation period as part of your rule-set, it allows you to still keep the pally raiding if you haven’t filled his spot, while not having to play “games” with LC because he’s changed his status with his extended hiatus, made himself “new” again, and has to re-prove himself.

  29. Matt, great to see there’s another Disc Priest Guild Leader out there in the world. I rolled this character shortly before 3.0 came out just to take advantage of the new mechanics in Discipline, and aside from occasionally having to explain that I’m not on top of the healing charts for a reason, I’ve loved every moment of it. Also, thanks for the link to Vonya’s post. Keep the good info coming.

    Viktoriouss last blog post..Getting the Job Done

  30. One other thing that could be an issue is that he doesn’t get to raid when Ulduar comes out. Sure, he’s geared for it and has proven in the past that he is available, but since he bailed this time so easily, why wouldn’t he a second (or third and on down the line)? By him “taking a break” with his paladin from raiding, he has essentially gquit. He will not be available for anything until Ulduar. His coming back to raid full-time as soon as a new content patch is released is not fair to those who continue to raid or those who are recruited in the interim to fill the void he left.

    BJs last blog post..Dolla Dolla Bill Y’all or How I Realized I Can Pay My Bills This Semester

  31. This runs into a central division of types of raiders.

    You have people like Wayne who raid to get gear.

    You have others who gear to raid.

    He has made it clear what kind of raider he is. Is this the kind of person you want raiding with you? Is this the message you want to send to your other raiders?

    Seems simple enough a decision to me. In my guild he’d never raid again with us.

  32. This is why the raid end-game mechanic is an example of poor game design. This guy very probably did not plan on bailing on the guild, he just decided it wasn’t fun anymore once he was all geared up. Should he keep playing a game when he’s not having fun? Should he have to commit to his guild like to a long term relationship and not ‘cheat’ with any other games whenever he gets a little antsy with WoW?

    Don’t hate the player, people…. hate the game.

    Melf_Himselfs last blog post..Review: Defense Grid

  33. The answer to this is fairly simple.

    “Hey Wayne,
    No worries, have a nice break from WoW. Unfortunately since we still need a paladin in our raids we will be recruiting another. Simply put once Ulduar is released you will be competing for a raid spot against them, and since we reward people with higher attendance rate with spots first you may find yourself out of luck.

    No hard feelings, just thought you’d like to know, thanks for understanding


  34. From a GL P.O.V I think this guy is a Grade A slime ball. However, that stance only works if he was a member of Impossibilium. We have created an continue to foster an environment of deep personal loyalty to the guild. So someone who behaved like that in my guild would be told something along the lines of “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” In Imposs, that’s unacceptable behaviour.

    If your readers come from a guild with a different environment, they are likely to respond differently than I. There are raiders out there whowork their way through content by jumping from guild to guild, taking the loots they need and moving on to a guild that has better progression. And there are other players out there who see nothing wrong with this sort of behaviour. It all depends on what sort of player you are and what sort of guild you are in.

    And to the folks who suggest this is Blizz’s fault … if you’re bored with raiding, are you bored with your guild? Your professions? PvP? Real RP? Just chilling out with your guilides (assuming they are as good a set of friends as we have)? I think if you look at WoW as “a game where I go to raid” then you’re missing outon some really fun content, both programmed in and spontaneously created by the players around you.

    Oriniwens last blog post..Behind Every Guild Leader …

  35. I am completely geared and ready for new content. I still raid 4 nights a week with my guild because I am not a selfish prick. I would not allow the pally to roll right back into “his” spot when he returns. The message you are sending the other healers would be something along the lines of “Hey guys, thanks for taking care of business while Mr. Pally did nothing. Now that he is back you all can lose some raid time for him.” Also, when the new content becomes available whats not to say he will not do the same thing a few months into it? Why gear someone only to see the gear go to waste because the raider never raids?

  36. Late comment, I know, but I just came across this via linkage.

    Your post makes it sound like you’re disappointed precisely because this guy’s been rock-steady up until now, and the sudden ‘on break until Ulduar’ therefore comes as a bolt from the blue. If this guy wasn’t part of your ‘core’ until now, I’d guess that simply saying ‘time for a replacement’ would be much easier.

    I’ll agree the sudden ‘see ya’ is pretty badly done. But it may be that he has better reasons than his note lets on, and simply made some bad calls in handling things, or else some bad assumptions about how the guild would deal with this.

    It might be worth it to drop ‘Wayne’ a brief note to express the surprise/disappointment, and see if he’s willing to work with you a bit. If he’s not, then yeah, I’d cheerfully join the other commenters who say ‘find a new full-time healadin’.

  37. I know it’s almost 2 months past your incident, but it seems to have incited a “riot” concerning guild politics.

    From what you wrote, including the copy of the letter “wayne” sent you, I can completely understand his point of view.
    1. People get burned out. If you are the one constantly being relied upon, it is even worse. I’m just dps, but I’m relied upon and sometimes the weight is just too much to bear. Sometimes I want to play an alt without being guilted into helping them clear content.

    2. You said this person would go with you guys before anyone else would (or at least the impression I got). I would think that says much more than him wanting a break. It says that he was there for the hard times when nobody else was. I would think this would be deserving of a break.

    3. I am pretty well geared except for a couple of pieces as are many people in our raids. I think some of us need to take a break if only to allow other people slots so they can be better geared.

    He may not have expressed his needs in the best way, but he knew you’d be disappointed.


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