Post Raid Reflections, Anxiety, and Member “Poaching”

Bear with me. This post isn’t about anything empirical. It’s not a list post. It’s not an informative post. I’ll even be happy if it draws 0 comments. I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment and it’s an odd sensation. I’m usually in control of myself during raids.

But before I continue, I think I should update you (my dear readers) with the results of tonight’s operation.

I led a strike force into Obsidian Sanctum and into Naxxramas. I could not field a full crew of 25. But I felt that the time had come to give my guild a preview of who I am and what I could do. I had never raided or played with these players before. Some of them had transferred because they were long time readers. Others were recruited on server. There were 19 players with the Conquest banner. We took our Sartharion (35 minutes). We entered Naxxramas and wiped the floor with the entire Spider wing (90 minutes). We entered the Plague wing and one shot Noth before two shotting Heigan. By this time, it was 9 PM and it was time to call it. I ended the night’s raid on a high note immediately after the kill. Each boss so far has dropped 4 pieces of loot. We received 24 items overall and upgraded players. This was a pug raid, therefore pug rules were in effect. This won’t be the case when guild raids occur. I felt that I had to go in there and instill confidence in my guild. More than that, I had to do this for myself. I wanted to see if I could do it.

I figured the barrier tonight would have been Heigan. I thought to myself “Yes we can!”.

On the second attempt, Yes we did!

I picked up the Staff of Restraint from Sartharion. I’ll be passing on every weapon. I don’t know if there are any significant upgrades from here on out (45 Spirit or 63 Spellpower?).

Apparently, we were the 4th Guild to clear out Spider Wing (Alliance side at least).

Miscellaneous thoughts

* On raid leading: It’s tough. It’s really tough for me especially as a Healer. I’ve never truly understood or appreciated the hassles and the challenges it took to engineer a raid from start to finish. I’ve developed an increasing amount of respect for players like Lume as well as my old raid leaders from Carnage, Aurora, and Angelic Advocates (40 mans. Ick).

Is there like a raid leaders anonymous or some sort of leadershipholics type counseling somewhere? I think I could use some.

A raid leader’s job never ends. There’s checks to be made before the raid. There’s enchants to dole out after the raid. There’s the strategy and the explanation in between.

And yet, throughout the night I was slammed with a cocktail of emotions. I was nervous. I was frightened. I felt anxious. Tense. Happy. Disappointed. Unsure. Guilty.

My heart rate was up there. I could feel it.

But why?  Years of psychological study in University has taught me one important thing about human beings every where.

Fear is a powerful motivator.

Fear of a neighboring enemy causes people to take arms and strike first.

Fear of starvation causes people to try their best to put a roof over their head and food on the table.

Fear of failure causes people to reach unreachable levels of performance and drive. It forces students to go through sleepless nights to try and know exam material. It forces raid leaders to check and double check everything. Every success is viewed as routine. Every failed pull or wipe is taken personally as something they did wrong. Every forgotten ability or strategy is a swift kick in their own ass and a muttered curse because they forgot something important.

I’ve led raids before. I was fine then. But I think that was because people were familiar with the encounter and what their jobs were. It’s a fault of mine that I didn’t post the strategy in advance. The flip side? I think I did a pretty damn good job of explaining things and covering the bases as best I could. I couldn’tve done it with Doc, Ice and Hassai as well as the support of everyone else.

Yet I’m still shaking. I don’t know why. I ended the raid at 9. It’s now nearly 11 PM. Yeah I live in Canada and yeah the heater isn’t on. I guess that might partially contribute to the shaking, eh? I think as time progresses, I’ll continue to devise strategy on progression content. But on farm nights, I may have to defer raid leading to other people. There’s simply a large amount of micro managing to do for fight explanations, pull setup and healing assignments. It really does take a lot of effort out of you.

But I’m going to battle through it. I embrace this challenge. It’s what I wanted and it’s what I accepted. I have to put this behind me in order to be the leader that I want to be and am expected to be. I have to accept that I’m not perfect. I have to really understand that this is my first time doing this and that as much as I want to, I can’t do it all as effectively as I like. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t married to the healer class so I could do a better job on raid adjustments. It’s a feeling of helplessness. But I’ll get over it. For the sake of myself, for the sake of my Guild, I have to get over it and I have to battle hard.

Performance, progression, perseverance. Always.

* On raid policy: A lot readers took exception to my zero talk in General chat during raids only. After tonight’s show, I’m going to do away with it. Players were focused. Banter was light. It seems Syd, Doc and I recruited a fairly skilled and disciplined crew. But we’ll see. This was just the first raid.

* On cursing: I need to stop swearing randomly. After someone dies, it’s the f-bomb. After the wipe, it’s an f-bomb. It’s not necessary. I think I’ll replace it with “zoink!” or “squirtle” or “Yaarrrrg!”

* On relaxation: What do raid leaders do after the raid to try to relax? I have this problem where I can’t seem to “take it easy” or “downshift” or “calm down”. Alcohol’s out of the question due to personal health issues (it sucks).

* On member “poaching”: There appears to be a misconception floating around about myself and my recruiting techniques. I’ve been accused of attempting to “poach” or steal members from Carnage in an attempt to “destabalize” my past organization.

From previous experiences, I’m going to define “guild poaching” as the following: Attempting to influence and lure people from one organization to another with intent.

The main reason why I wanted to form my own guild is the fact that it’s a a challenge in the game that I have yet to conquer. I have a different set of beliefs and directions. I did not feel that my past guild shared the same vision that I had. I did not think it was right for me to make such serious and dramatic changes. As a result, I left. I left with friends that I’ve played Counterstrike, Warcraft 3, and other games with for the better part of 8 awesome years. The fact is that I didn’t want to play this game with players who I felt did not share my goals and my beliefs. It’s not fair to them. I don’t want to impose my impatience or my vision on players who don’t share it. As a result, I left to form my own guild and recruit a strong team who did share what I want. Since this is a new expansion with a gear reset, this was the ideal time to do it.

Now you’re aware (for the billionth time) of what I want from this game. Why would I intentionally attempt to steal players from another guild who I felt did not share my same work ethic, beliefs, or vision? Because I’m not. I am not whispering them. I deliberately avoided contact with them. When they approached me, I tried to be as cordial and as professional as possible. I’m guilty for being friends with them and trying to convince them of joining me when I have done no such thing.

I’m not harassing them. I’m not intentionally whispering them. I’m not begging them to quit and join me. That’s not who I am and that’s not what I’m about. Carnage and Conquest are two entirely separate organizations with separate goals. If they wish to apply and join me, they do so under their own accord and their own mindset. I make it clear to them that this isn’t the type of guild that they’re accustomed to. I’ve raised my standards high. I take a no-nonsense, zero BS approach to raids. I believe in swiftness and efficiency. I learned a lot in my time from Carnage from both its successes and failures. I adapted some of their policies because I felt it worked. I’m not going to reinvent the damn wheel. If I like something, I’m going to use it and model it so that it works for me and my purposes.

I honestly don’t give a damn. What’s the line that the Captain of Serenity from Firefly says?

My Ship?

Yeah, My Ship. Not Doc’s. Not Sydera’s. Not Ice’s. My ship, my crew, my way. If you think it’s selfish and ruthless, that isn’t the case. If you think I’m being manipulated or if I’m someone’s bitch, you’re wrong. This is my ship and this is my crew.

I’ve tried to explain to everyone, colleagues, server transfers, and other recruits about who I am and what I believe in. I try to treat everyone the same. I tell them all the same thing that this isn’t a casual raiding guild. This is a progression raiding guild with casual hours. Even though we may not pull 20 hours a week, the work ethic is still high. I constantly remind people of this. Take some time off. Reflect on yourself. Talk to your GMs or friends. But most importantly, find out what you want to do for yourself. In the end, everyone pays money to play this game. I’ve made an unbelievable investment into my guild in terms of ventrilo, website hosting, and other software. I do it because it’s what I want to do and what I believe in.

Should I simply put up a wall that says “No former guildies allowed?”.

No, I’m not going to do that. But at the same time, I’m not going to influence, black mail, trick, or coerce them into joining me because that’s not who I am. If they do decide to apply, then they do so knowing full well the consequences of what they’re getting themselves into. It’s entirely their decision. I wish players would understand and respect that. They have the right. Players aren’t contractually bound to their guilds. Everyone plays in their own self interest. Guilds consist of players with similar self interests because the strength of the group is greater then the strength of the individual.

It’s extremely unfortunate regarding this mistaken perception. I think it’s due to a misunderstanding of communications. I’m not looking to actively recruit people from old guilds or other guilds. All I do is advertise in trade chat that I’m looking for players. Syd handles the off server transfers.

And you know what? My guild happened to clear out Obsidian Sanctum 25 and the Spider Wing of Naxx. Pretty good for “a bunch of trash picked off the streets”, as one former colleague referred to my “ragtag” guild.

So be it. There will be no more reservations. To the players that choose to progress with me, I welcome you with open arms and the spirit of working together once again. To the players that choose to treat me with scorn and hate, good luck with your futures. I hope you accomplish your goals because I am well on my way to accomplishing mine. Attempts to confront me about this is a waste of my time and my energy. I have better things to do like knocking out raid bosses.

Thanks for reading. I’m in quite the mood. Watch what you say in comments, if you choose to say anything. 

36 thoughts on “Post Raid Reflections, Anxiety, and Member “Poaching””

  1. WU-TANG CLAN AINT NOTHIN TO F**K WITH! KON-NI-CHI-WA BITCHES! We do what we do best, we take phat lootz after killing raid bosses and move onto the next boss. Whatever Blizzard throws at us, we will kill it. Not grind the same thing for a legendary or because “we can kill it.” There is no limit to what we can accomplish. We will take the high road and not acknowledge the insults thrown at Conquest about being a “ragtag” guild because we know we can compete with the best of them. Now I am all hyped up too. DAMN IT MATT!

  2. So I normally don’t post comments, but felt I have to respond on this one. Matt, if you ever question whether the things you laid out in this post are the right things to do, stop it. Just do them. Run your guild, kick ass, take names, loot corpses, and rock on. Don’t ever let anyone tell you “you cant do this because…” You can, if you have the drive and dedication, and it seems that you do.

    People will move guilds a lot. You will have a crew that will stick through whatever, and you will have some that come, stay a week, and leave. Members of your guild may very well make a move to the other guild that has accused you of poaching. It happens. Its called free will. Don’t let it get to ya.

    I just wish you guys had an opening for a prot warr :p

    Tanxy from Twitter

  3. If you really end a raid night feeling tense, try to relax by doing something physical. Running, going for a 10min walk, a few minutes of martial-arts kata, yoga, whatever.

    Try not to think too much on the raid events (although that advice is probably hard to follow) but instead concentrate on other things or let your mind float.

    Solidstates last blog post..Solidfaith Dings 73, Solidstar Maxes Professions

  4. There’s simply a large amount of micro managing to do for fight explanations, pull setup and healing assignments.

    Easy : As time progresses, fight explanations will get shorter and shorter. Put your MT in charge of marking pulls and setting them up, and stick another healer in the “heal lead” position.

    Frankly, you probably -shouldn’t- be Healing Lead on top of everything else you’re doing. Delegate delegate delegate!

  5. Take a page from the professional athlete’s book….don’t read the papers. It’ll save you a lot of time and stress, besides all top guilds are considered poachers, even if that’s not their intent.

  6. I typed up a whole motivational response, and then, the site errored and I lost it all…so, I’ll just say this.

    You and Syd might want to change your About Me notes at the bottom of the page now that you have a new guild. And where the hell is Wyn these days? 😛

  7. I have never posted a comment…but im an avid reader. Love your posts! I’ve learned so much from you.

    Guild leading/raid leading can be a thankless, stressful job at times. Prepare yourself for that. Like one poster said, delegating is key to reducing the stress. I expect our raiders to educate themselves on boss fights prior to a scheduled raid and encourage them to speak up if they have ideas that would increase the groups success on a boss.

    As far as “poaching” is concerned. This happens to all guilds. You’re not poaching. If your friends from previous guilds would rather raid with you, that is their prerogative. My philosophy has always been…we dont want members who dont want to be here. As you stated…everyone pays to play. They should be enjoying it to the fullest extent. hurts to lose people, but it almost always works out for the best in the end.

    My only criticism is the way you refer to your guild…My ship, my guild, mycrew. I would remind you…raiding is a team effort. Even though im guild leader, I always want my raiders to know, this is OUR guild. They have a right to voice their opinions and try my best to make decisions for the good of everyone. Im very careful to create a democratic feel rather than coming across as a dictator. I know you probably didnt mean it the way it sounded, just thought i’d mention it.

    On stress relief, I think if you say zoink or squirtle at every mistake, that should lighten everyone’s mood. Laughter is the best medicine. I think i’ll try the same. 😛

    Keep the posts coming…I cant get enough…and Grats on your first raid. 😀

  8. Good point Allindra! We’ll get on it.

    And my 2c–as this isn’t my ship. To continue with the Firefly analogy, I think I’m the Kaylee on this guild boat–I know how to do a couple of things well and I’m useful for what I do but I’m not in charge of the whole shebang.

    That’s what I like about it. I’ve been on the other side (where every little thing that happens in guild is something I’m responsible for) and it’s not pretty. I guess the solution–for raid leading anyway–is calm down, detach, do your piece of the puzzle (the explaining) and be cool however it unfolds. The deliberate monotone a lot of raid leaders speak in, I think, calms them down.

    For guild leading? From what I’ve seen, you’re conducting yourself honorably. Just continue to do so. There’s inevitable drama when people leave guilds, but just do your thing and let Carnage rebuild its own house. They can do it, you know, if they try. A lot of guilds resist rebuilding and recruiting at an expansion and it’s that attitude–not the fact that people leave–that kills them. You’re right in that we’re not under contractual obligations to our guild–it’s everyone’s right, as a player, to seek out an environment that suits him or her.

  9. The reason you have more anxiety is because it’s both easier to be an Officer than it is to be GM and it’s easier to lead a raid than it is to be Raid Lead. In my experience, the change is that instead of implementing someone else’s vision, you’re now setting the vision. There’s a disconnect that happens when there’s someone higher up than you are in the hierarchy, where internally you can shrug off little things and say “well I’m doing my job well, I can’t help it if some other part of the group isn’t working”. Now, every damn thing that goes wrong is ultimately your fault.

    Regarding how to cool off? It’s all you. When you have these roles, there is nothing anybody can say or do that’s going to let you know that you’re doing well, or doing the job correctly. The anxiety is your co-pilot. As the other commenters have said, you have to gain these mechanisms yourself.

    Just keep trying to do your best at every point and it’ll work out fine. And please, use your Officers as much as you can.

    GoWs last blog post..WQ: Grizzly Hills Stink

  10. I must say that contrary to your belief this was the by far most interesting post I’ve read on your blog for a very long time. To be honest healing strats for different bosses don’t interest me the slightest (not so surprising since I’m a mage :)) and I’ll probably rather check Bosskiller than blogs if I want general information about instances. But personal testimonies, texts written out of your heart and soul where you can smell your tears, blood and tears… they rock! They catch me and they touch me. I’m really looking forward to read more of those stories where I can see the raid and the guild life through your eyes. More of those please!

    Larísas last blog post..Guild applications – secret or public?

  11. Congratz on your first raid. Ignore what they have to say … Run things your way and people will follow you. Had I not found a guild with many of the same ideals that you have, I would be looking in your direction.

    Keep up the good work!!

    Knurds last blog post..Game Over.

  12. Learning to deal with the stress comes with time. I was a 10 man raid leader for ages before I stepped into 25 man, but I can tell you your experience matches my own Matt. I actually was a complete and utter wreck coming out of my first raid at the 25 man level and I had back up.

    I was shaking like a leaf. I was sitting there unable to focus it was so bad. I was poring over the millions of details that had gone through my head, but unfortunately in my case I was walking into someone elses house and playing with their stuff. It was a long established raid and unfortunately that comes with the expectation that you do it their way and you kind of mimic what they do.

    As you learn it becomes a hell of a lot easier. What I found is that having a really good 2nd in Command that you can split the pre setup check list with helps a TON. Sounds like you guys really kicked hard core though. Keep it up. You’ll be clearing all the current content in no time. I admire your dedication to the vision though.

    There is a reason I don’t play a healing class while leading. Its not that I couldn’t do it, but my focus when I heal is just too one dimensional. You’ve been blessed that you’ve done some of the end game raiding which required you to move and focus while healing, but for myself I found it entirely too hard to focus on where people were positioned and what they doing while keeping people alive.

    Tanking has the advantage of controlling pace and positioning, but some times (as a bear tank) all I get to see is my own big furry butt. All in all though each class and play style brings different perspectives on fights. I love ranged DPS for overall situational awareness, but my heart’s in Tanking… So I guess I have to stare past that big huge butt 🙂

    Starmans last blog post..Visions of Progress, Visions of Raiding

  13. What do raid leaders do to relax? Depends on their pleasure.

    What I did to wind down when I was a raid leader was run a 5-man after the raid with a few guildies, and make sure that I wasn’t the leader. I’d go into an easy heroic, blast the place to heck, and then log for the night. It was a little bit therapeutic.

    What I’d recommend, however, is either a) turning on the TV and watching a 30 minute mindless sitcom, where you can absent-mindedly laugh a bit and release some tension, or b) do a little exercise. Get up, move around, get the muscles moving. It’s biology – exercising releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and exercising let’s your expend energy, which will let you release the stress with it.

  14. Also, I’m glad that Starman posted here, I was going to refer you to his blog.

    Another data point: after a while I found that healing and raid leading was no more difficult than tanking and raid leading. It will never be as easy as dps, but what is? 🙂

    GoWs last blog post..WQ: Grizzly Hills Stink

  15. Deadria makes a lot of sense.
    If you are interested in using alcohol but are unable to due to health reasons, try marijuana! I find that a little bit of pot makes it easier for me to focus because I’m no longer nervous, but much more will just make me completely scatterbrained and clueless. It’s a fine line so I’d save it for chillout time after the raid is over.

  16. So you know you’re not alone –

    And you aren’t – these are things that all raid leaders have to square with, and it sounds like you’ve got your head on straight about it. The healing vs leading thing is why I don’t want to *be* a Raid Lead, just an officer (because as was stated earlier, it’s a lot easier to lead a raid than it is to be Raid Lead). You’ll get the hang of it. It sounds like Conquest is already a force to be reckoned with.

  17. I dont know you personally Matt. I dont even always agree with everything you have to say about being a priest. But I’ve been reading your posts a long time, and thumbed around at plus heal enough to know — you know your stuff (heck you’ve even taught me a thing or two!) And people, always respond to that.

    People never take endings well. Ever. Not at first. If things were always perfect and wonderful, nothing would ever end. I aplaud you for being real enough with yourself to realize that you wanted to strike out on your own, and having the courage to try to chase your ambitions and goals you have in this game.

    This game is so often like real life, in that .. human emotions and drives are all behind our actions in game. People are always going to be upset, or have false impressions. You dont have to defend yourself at all. But your reasons for doing what you’ve done are all sound. I almost feel like I need to give you a hug, or at least tell you it’s ok.

    Because even though I’ve never been in your exact position .. I’ve felt the heat of others misunderstandings and anger before. And you’re just not human if it doesn’t effect you.

    Keep doing what you’re doing Matt. 🙂 Head up.

  18. Good grief, you need to try and calm down. You are putting wayyyyy too much pressure on yourself. Can you imagine feeling this way before, during, and after every single raid you lead? How miserable would that be?

    Use your officers. Delegate. You do not have to carry the entire load. Back in our 40 man raid leading days, my husband handled strategy, active leadership & discipline, and DPS assignments; I handled all loot distribution, group composition, and healing assignments; another officer took care of keeping morale up and setting tanking assignments. None of us ever had to carry the entire burden, and it’s that kind of mentality that the three of us are carrying into WotLK raids as well. One person may lead (a dictatorship >>>>> a democracy during raids), but someone’s gotta be supporting that person :]

  19. congrats on the first raid. I had no doubt things would go well.

    Can’t wait to get in there with ya.

    As far as comments from former colleagues and such, don’t let it get to you.

  20. This is mostly affirmations of what people above said.

    Post-raid stress relief – Exercise! I tend to do it pre-raid, but exercise is phenomenal for clearing the mind and allowing you to focus on what’s important.

    As far as poaching other guildies, I take a rather cutthroat attitude here, which may or may not sit well with some. My feeling is this (directed @ other guild leader), If your raiders come to my guild, then I’m guessing they weren’t your raiders to begin with. **BOOYAH**

    Also- delegate, delegate, delegate! You are raiding with (some) very competent folks. My guess is more than one or three of them has the capabilities to raid lead themselves. Take advantage of their skills and step back – captain the ship.

    Micromanagement is good, but allow your raiders to flourish. Invest (and trust) in their skill and you will be rewarded with greater skill from both the individual and as a raid long-term.

  21. lol

    I do not think I have ever seen you this intense before.

    It was a good run and I think we could have easily cleared the plague wing and probably the military quarter

    The fights are fun and the rewards are nice and everyone was fairly enthused

    As for the whole poaching thing well you know what I think. Having people come to YOU and want to join and having you whisper people to get them to join are two different things. Everyone needs to decide what they want and if that guild will provide that for them. I do not think I would be pissed if someone left because Conquest wasn’t for them. It’s just the nature of any kind of organizations.

  22. I want to say this on “member poaching.”

    I find that most of the time when someone complains about member poaching, they are more often then not a Lazy guild leader that don’t want to give up what they just lost.

    Really, what is wrong with letting a friend know that you’ve formed a new guild and that they are welcome if they choose to apply? Should Google get mad that one of there employees got a better offer from yahoo?

    That is not to say that there aren’t unethical ways of recruiting. Repeatedly asking someone to join your guild would be bad, and I don’t really like the idea of going down guild rosters and cold calling people either. In my former guild we had a member that desided to form his own guild, but he stayed in ours for a month to recruit half the guild and set things up for his new guild. That was a really shitty thing to do.

    However, if what you say is true then you have bent over backwards to not “poach” members and have done more they you have to in my opinion.

    Don’t let the haters get you down and grats on your success.

    Graylos last blog post..Pre Naxx Moonkin Gear Guide: Part 1

  23. We got yo back Matt. I can honestly say you have a great support group and delegating will help you ease the pressure so you will not be like this every night. Keep that in mind. Syd will be the healing lead and hands out healing assignments. Doc is the disciplinarian, MA, and 2nd Raid Lead. You have at least 2 experienced tanks that are extremely intelligent. Believe in them like they believe in you; we will destroy every raid.

  24. Ah, raid leading, the most excellently awesome headache you’ll ever give yourself.

    I’ve found two points key to keeping my sanity while raid-leading.

    First, have some way of forcing a mental ‘blink’. I keep a drink handy, and nothing you can drink too fast. I find a Bloody Shame (tomato juice, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and a generous helping of hot sauce) perfect for this- it’s spicy enough to snap my all-devouring focus on the screen between wipes, trash pulls, and boss kills. That in turn allows my mental processes a sort of ‘reset’, if you will.

    Second, have some way to unwind later. I used to just throw myself into the battlegrounds queues, but of late months those have become cesspits. For a while I’d fly around Nagrand harvesting motes with my mote extractor. Fishing works as well. Running a five-man with guildies is fun if I’m not leading. Lake Wintergrasp combat is glorious if it’s open. Soloing an older instance. If none of those things seems to appeal, I’ll do pushups.

    Llanions last blog post..Ten Things: Wintergrasp

  25. Matt take it like this…obviously you are doing a dang good job. Guilds only worry about poaching if they know their guild isn’t happy and there is something better out there. They get paranoid and nervous always looking at their members to see if they are ‘disloyal’. Instead of going ‘what should we be doing better as a guild’.

    Obviously you are rocking it out and take heart in it! People are reading your posts about the guild and responding, always a great sign you have it right. You are listening to feedback, and from a raider always a heartening sign from a raid/guild leader.

    But Joveta is right about deligating. If you are going to be raid leader hand off heal lead to a trusted healer. The more comfortable your guild becomes with eachother and their skill in Wraith the easier your job will become. Once they gel together as a raiding unit some of what you micromanage now will take care of itself.

    Give yourself a pat on the back, if you have trouble unwinding then find something that will help you step down from the high that is raiding. That burst of adrenaline you get during the raid needs to be worked out. If you are looking for something in game perhaps 5mans which were mentioned before or an alt to work on would help?

  26. Matt,

    As you well know, I don’t usually reply to blogs or forums. However, since you specifically bring up Carnage and member “poaching”, which your readers are reading into, I feel obliged to post.

    I play Maeve, the current GM of Carnage. As far as I know, no one in Carnage has accused you of “poaching” our members, and certainly not for the purpose of destabilizing the guild. We are aware that you’re still in touch with our members, with whom you have your own individual relationships and we’ve never discouraged them from continuing those relationships.

    I am aware that at least one member is considering joining your guild, and as I told him last night when we were discussing it, “ultimately it’s your choice and your decision, I can’t make it for you.” I did ask him to consider the matter fully, given Carnage’s members, officers, and its record of stability and consistency.

    But let’s be clear and honest about the situation here and as presented in your post. You *do* have intent and influence. The statements you make your goals for your guild are arguments to persuade people who agree with them to join you. That is influence. You want members, particularly people you know who are skilled players, to join you. This is motive, whether you want to quibble about it being conscious intention or not. As a GM, everything you say and do will be seen by most people through this perspective. In the case of the member who is thinking about joining you, you are recruiting him.

    There is nothing wrong with this. As Kimbo says in his reply, this is the nature of guilds. Everyone has to decide what they want for themselves and if their guild provides it. This is especially true during an expansion.

    It is wrong, however, is to blog about unattributed accusations about member poaching and attempted destabilization from your former guild without much investigation into whether such accusations were made. You could post about poaching generally without naming and implicitly defaming your former guild.

    I have no doubt that harsh things have been said by Carnage members about Conquest. I’m sure that former Carnage members in Conquest have similar things to say about Carnage and some of its members. But members do not decide policy and they don’t carry the weight of a GM. If you have an issue with something a Carnage member says, you should bring it up with me, so I can deal with it appropriately. As you well know, there is a lot of context to things that are said, and a lot of misunderstanding that stems from miscommunication. For you to raise those things in a blog post without confirming them or discussing them with me is, in my opinion, inconsiderate and disrespectful.

    If relations between Carnage and Conquest were so bad that Carnage is concerned about destabilization and member poaching, would we have allowed some of our members, including an officer who you invited personally to tank, to attend your raid last night? As it was, the lack of communication about the raid and those invitations put one of our members in a situation where he felt caught between his loyalties and bailed on one of our 10-man raids. Ultimately it was his decision, choice, and failure, but the situation was one that could easily have been avoided with more communication in-game and less reading about things after the fact on your blog.

  27. I don’t really see swearing as such a bad thing….just don’t key vent if you think you’re doing it too much. 🙂

    As for the poaching allegation, have you considered catching your old GM and telling him/her what you put down here? If nothing else, it would put the two of you on the same page, and if it’s general members claiming you’re poaching, probably put it in perspective for that GM.

    Our previous GM (just stepped down after 3 years) would play Dota after raids to relax.

    Edit: Clearly I need to stop being distracted when I am writing comments (or refresh the page) so that it doesn’t look like I completely ignored the ones before mine. : /

  28. In my experience of guild/raid leading, I broke down some of the jobs. It was surely my job to research our fights, to know ahead of time what we were walking into and to provide my guildies with those same resources. Required reading we called it. We also had a comprehensive list of what pots you’d want to consider bringing, where to find the mats, and who to take them to. You only have to write this stuff out once, post it, and remind them where it is when they need the info. That way, when it comes right down to it, a brief recap sets you on your way. Don’t worry about marking every little thing. Bestow some confidence in your tanks and pass them the ability to mark. Just call out, CC that mob, CC that mob, on you’re go. The tank marks out your directions and pulls. Simple and done.

    After a raid, I usually scheduled some guild PvP time. Nothing like beating on others to knock the stress out of ya. However, if you mean you want a real life sort of breather, I enjoy reading, writing, and crafting actually. A walk could be good for you too. Walk on down to your local ice cream shop or something. It’s good stuff. Feel better, You’re doing great!

    AltoholicsAreUss last blog post..My First Poll!

  29. @ Maeve

    Nice to see you’re reading the blog. I’ve got no clue about Carnage, but I can’t help thinking that the best thing to do–for both Carnage and Conquest–is to bury the hatchet and move forward. There’s enough prizes out there for everyone to get them, in their own personal style and preferred environment.

    That said, I think Matt’s justified in saying whatever he’d like on his own blog. That is why we blog–at least in part, it’s about freedom of speech. Our readers are likewise free to read, or not read, or to respond, or not respond. And of course, a person’s emotions are never wrong or inaccurate–emotion is subjective by nature. A blog, mind you, is one of those places to share that kind of thing. I assure you, in-game no one gets as much information about the World of Matticus bloggers’ thoughts and opinions as they would from reading the blog! Such is the nature of the medium we write in. It’s a conversation with ourselves which we invite others to read. As such, it can’t be taken as gospel either–it’s more what the writer thinks about or wants to consider, not necessarily something they’ll put into practice every time.

  30. @Maeve: Funny. I had to fend off about 15 minutes worth of tells from a former healing colleague accusing me of “stealing”. If you want to spin the term “recruiting” in such a way, so be it. I’m not here to debate what intent means. While I do want skilled players to join me, I would not approach former “contracted” colleagues on my own or whisper them or dangle anything like that. I said it in the post, and I’ll say it again. That’s not me. If you truly think I have that sort of influence, thank you. Heck, I told everyone who’s approached me that this is an unproven organization and it could ultimately fail. Carnage’s strongest point is that it’s been around for many years. Conquest could cave at any time and I ask them to factor that into their thinking and think really hard about what it is that they want.

    As for what I discuss and post on my blog, that is entirely my own business. I do not need to confirm or discuss with other players who weren’t involved about such heated conversations. I know what was said to me and I also know that it is not representative of the entire guild. There was no misunderstanding at all here. It was quite clear and quite crystal.

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