Enough about gear already

So we beat that one to death I think. Lets get back on the “doldrums” discussion instead. Since the doldrums have started a bit early this year I thought I would lay out how it normally works. Usually in June people start to get itchy and want to take some time off from WoW to actually go outside and see the Sun, or entertain aspirations of dating. Parents take some time off to spend more time with their kids, or take family vacations. The end result is that most guild suffer hits to their raiding teams and begin to have problems with raid attendance. Many guilds disband or combine with other guilds or go on grand recruiting sprees and for a while raiding still sputters. But then after a short period things usually bottom out and raiding gets back to a modicum of normalcy as the guild sees a bit of progress in their raiding once again.

And things are good throughout the month of July. The “new” raid team has been raiding for a few weeks and not only is getting used to raiding together, but people are getting some much needed upgrades. Then comes the month of August and the people who took off the Summer start to come back. And this is when the guild drama begins anew as people who left their spots open for others to fill over the Summer displace those who filled those spots. And sometimes a good deal of indignation and drama ensues, though to be fair some times the transition back to the “core” raiding team happens without any drama as well.

My own guild is following the recruiting spree model right now. We’ve invited probably 12 or 13 people over the past couple weeks and all but 4-5 have left already. To be honest most of those aren’t much of a loss since they really weren’t geared to the level we’re currently raiding at, or just didn’t have the wherewithal to raid effectively. The remaining few are not bad but some need some gear and need a little more experience. A couple though are pretty good so in the end I think we’ve made some progress. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in August as those who took the Summer off come back and want their spots back.

This Summer is not all together typical, not only because the doldrums are start a bit early, but also because Ulduar was just released a few weeks ago and most guilds are still slogging through the middle of the raid. The people who have filled the spots in our raid group right now are not being carried. No, instead they are having to earn their gear like everyone else on the team right now and I think will have a compelling argument to maintain their spots.

For those guilds that follow this route there is risk to inviting without following the normal, more careful methods that are used the rest of the year. Guild hoppers are not always looking to become a permanent part of the team but are rather more interested in obtaining a few pieces of gear before they leave for another guild. That gear, which undoubtedly would have gone to someone else who is looking to remain and become a permanent member is a waste and the worst aspect of raiding over the Summer. I myself never did obtain my Tier 7/7.5 shoulders (i hated the way they looked anyway) because I lost the roll on 4 occasions to people we had invited to our team when we ran Naax. And lost them another two times to people who were on the team already. That’s just one example of what can, and does happen to raid teams that don’t exercise restraint while recruiting.

Raiding might not be all about loot, but anyone that says they don’t want some loot along the way is simply not being completely honest.

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