So last night a familiar monster once more reared it’s ugly head as our guild was gathering to do our usual Wednesday Ulduar run. 15 minutes before the raid, invites started going out and my grid started to fill up with familiar names. I did what I usually do and flew on out to Ulduar, sitting around the teleporter with Tart, Reyk and my buddy Iolret chewing the fat while we waited… and waited… and waited. You see, when 7 pm ST rolled around, we only had 18 people on, making us seven people short for all you mathematically challenged people out there (don’t worry, I had to use a calculator myself).
Tension slowly began to rise amongst the assembled, who stood around wondering why people couldn’t get their act together or at the very least post that they couldn’t make it for raid nights. The minutes ticked by with no new raiders logging on and finally around 7:30 ST, the officers told everyone to get in vent because the guild needed to have a chat. So Eck, our guild leader, began his spiel, saying that we were simply not putting up with this sort of showing anymore. Obviously, most of the people who were on at that point weren’t part of the problem, but changes were coming, and the leadership wanted feedback on it.
You see, this had happened once before and they were beginning to see a pattern emerging. The last time we went from having almost perfect attendance to suddenly half the raid becoming ghosts was when we were transitioning out of Naxx and into Malygos and OS 3D. In other words, when the going got tough, people hopped off the loot train. These people would show up for the easy purps, such as clearing Naxx or in this case, clearing out Ulduar up to the Keepers and then simply bail when it came time to do the tougher fights such as dragons or General. The loot simply wasn’t enough reward for them to spend time wiping.
Of course, the problem with this is that other people in the guild want to progress. For us, it’s not an issue of loot, though I guarantee you that I most definitely want some Yoggie loot (oh Shawl of Haunted Memories, you will be mine someday), it’s an issue of wanting to see the end game and to beat it. To “win the game” as it were, as much as you possibly can before new stuff comes out. Obviously we don’t expect everyone to feel that way, but if you sign up to be in a progression guild, you’re making a commitment to show up on raid nights and try to raid as much as possible. If you want to ride a loot train, then find another guild.
So after a bit of discussion the leadership let us know that we’re going to be putting a very strict attendance policy into place and will effectively be clearing out the ranks of people who were making poor shows of attendance. No one got booted right off, but moving forward, we’re expecting 75% raid attendance policy from all our raiders. Anyone not adhering to this or regularly skipping out on raids without posting will simply be booted from the guild. That may sound harsh to some, but it’s also not fair to the guild to make us all sit around with out thumbs up our butts and possibly have to call a raid just because you felt it more important to play with your Hello Kitty dolls instead of logging on.
Now of course, such a strict policy will most likely result in a significant lessening of our raid force, possibly weakening us to the point where we can’t regularly do 25 mans for a few weeks to months. This has drawbacks, of course, since at least a few people in the guild simply don’t need 10 man gear anymore, myself included, but since others do, we’ll run it till we get enough to return to heroic. So we took the 18 or so people we had online, divided them up into two groups, invited a couple of friends or casuals from the guild and got underway with our ten mans last night. My group gathered up and we decided, hell, since we’re in this situation, we’ll make the best of it with an achievement run.
We started out by getting the Shocking achievement on Flame Leviathan by not giving it a system overload then moved on to XT and it was decided that a hard mode attempt was in order. No one was desperate to clear 10 man as quickly as possible and we all wanted to try new stuff, so once that heart got pooped out, we went to town and severed it. Six or so wipes later and <NEED A DISPENSER HERE> saw it’s first hard mode loot of any variety from Ulduar. We then moved on to Iron Council where we spent the rest of the night wiping on the hard mode of that fight, though it was encouraging how close we were getting while we were still hashing out our strategies.
And then a funny thing happened. All of a sudden the night was almost over and I hadn’t been looking at the clock bored at doing the same easy content that we’d been doing since 3.1 hit. And it struck me, though this was ten man, it was progression. We were doing things that we had never done before and enjoying ourselves. Though we were wiping continuously and I probably spent between 100 to 150 gold last night, we were all laughing and joking and having a good time while we were gathering around and devising new strats and whether they would work. It didn’t feel like just another night of fighting bosses and passing out loot, it felt like raiding again.
Who knows what the future holds for NADH? Maybe last night was an anomaly, though attendance has definitely been trending in that direction, or maybe it’s the beginning of the dreaded summer time blues when raiders discover this “outside” that I keep hearing so much about. Perhaps we will shrink and become a ten man raiding guild for the time being, forming a couple of groups each week in order to try hard modes or maybe simply to clear out Yoggie once and for all. Either way, all I know is that on our next raid night, I’ll be there with bells on, cause I’m a raider, and I’m fr srs.
PS: <NEED A DISPENSER HERE> is recruiting right now in order to help bolster our ranks and return to heroic Ulduar asap. We’re currently focused on downing Yogg-Sarron in heroic and doing hard modes in ten man with an eye on clearing him there as well. Anyone interested can app here. Since we’re already in Ulduar, we do have gear requirements and are not interested in farming Naxx in order to gear out one raider. We raid Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 7 to 11 ST, so please don’t app unless you can consistently make those times. Tell ’em Dueg sent you, because I get DKP if you work out! Plus, you get to raid with this guy: