Sometimes you just have those nights when the stars are aligned against you. Last night was one of these nights, that for a whole series of events that could not be avoided lead to a very painful experience. All of the members in attendance performed to the best of their abilities, paid attention on all encounters, worked amazingly well as a team… the problem is there simply were not enough of them available. We had to PUG in 6 players who were massively under geared for the encounters we were doing, and as a result performed much like extremely under geared players.
With the onset of summer this seems to be coming to be more and more of an issue. Duranub is made up of mostly “30 something’s” with honest to god lives outside of the game. As a result things come up that make them unavailable at times. Lately these have been happening in clusters, where we either have a feast of great players available, or we are having to scrape hard to be able to pull together any raid at all. Nothing is more frustrating than desperately working your friends list and social channels trying to make those last few players magically appear.
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
So here we stand at a very difficult decision point. We need to somehow bridge this gap in our membership, so that we can continue to keep moving forward. We have never really recruited members openly. Our raid has been one that has grown organically through our network of friends and family, growing as players came available and fit well with our mixture of personalities. However there has been a rash of players needing to hang up their hat temporarily, encountering everything from spousal aggro to complete and total system meltdowns. With each absence from the group our pool of alternate players has been stretched thinner forcing us to take players who are either underperforming or not quite on the gear level of the encounters we face.
The biggest question standing before us is, where do you find good players? It’s often hard to find dedicated and skilled players who are at the same time not mercenaries or elitist jerks. We have carefully fit players for our overall group dynamic as a whole, often times taking players who mean well and are hard workers over players who are genius players but know it. I’ve always been a cautious warden of the mixture of personalities our raid has, and the thought of moving to open cattle call recruiting really concerns me.
A Few Good Men… Women… Peoples?
No matter how distasteful recruitment is to me, we have to do something, and do it quickly. We have all worked and fought too hard to make this raid work, to let it start to flicker out through lapses in attendance. We have a lot of positives on our side. Our loot system is very open to new players allowing them to often times win gear on their first outing. The fact that we raid separate from guilds, and later in the evening appeals to many older social gamers, who are like me unwilling to leave their guild just to raid. All this paired, with the fact that we are fairly successful considering we only raid 5 hours per week should put us in the positive column for many of the players that would fit our group dynamic.
Right now we are trying to furiously work all our contacts and reel in any players who have been waiting in the wings for something to open up. On top of this, we posted on WoW Headhunter, a nifty tool for fielding incoming applications. It allows players to apply directly through there and offers some cool tools for promoting your recruitment drive, which I am embedding below.
In addition to WoW headhunter, I re-upped my recruitment post on WoWRaid. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on who you are looking at it, their UI appears to be broken and even though I only clicked the four bosses we had downed in Ulduar, it is giving us credit for clearing the zone. We had actually already received one player through this tool, but unfortunately he was quite a bit under geared for Ulduar. This is one of the weaknesses we have. Since we only have 5 hours of official raiding time, there is no time to farm old content for the purpose of gearing up new members. I fear we are going to have to do some kind of official “un-official” 25 man Naxxramas weekly as we try and gear up a new crop of players.