Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Why being an Officer in a raiding guild sucks sometimes

I don't mean to QQ here but I feel this is a valid topic that some players in raiding guilds will understand. It's a bit of a rant but bear with me.

So here's a short list of why sometimes it just plain sucks a bag of dicks to be the one cracking the whip.

1) You're never "off duty"
You can log on intending to play for 5mins and you'll get spam whispered by someone who's annoyed/upset or possessing some other drama that NEEDS to be attended to now. If there are pugs going and you just want to chill out you'll often have people expect you to take charge and organise it for them. A lot of the time our members are very good about this but sometimes you just want to hug them (until they stop breathing).

2) If you ever take anything for yourself it's "Officer Corruption"
Now this doesn't happen a lot in my Guild at the moment but it has done and its happened to me personally in the past. An item drops, say a rare mount, anyone can use it and you raid roll. You win the raid roll - you get 24 people telling it's you its someone different. We had an officer pass Death's Verdict recently because he didnt want to cause drama by taking it. Even though this guy attends every raid and has the most priority. Another reason to make loot rules crystal clear which is something I think I've learnt the hard way over the years.

3) You're under constant scrutiny, often from people with half the facts
Being second guessed is never fun and this is often just part of the job. However there will be situations where you just have to sit on your hands and not do anything. As an officer you will typically be privy to the inner workings of the guild and will know the real reason Player X's recent attendance is low. Even if Player Y is complaining that they haven't shown up for 2 days and should be demoted.
I've had people running their mouths about how they've been excluded from one raid then whinging that we're not trialling enough players. They just don't see the connection. Or they look at the number of healers online and the number of tanks and make the assumtion that just because they  match the number we're after we should take them even though there might be a healing class lacking or a tank who's completely inexperienced or not geared for the encounter. Lack of understanding of the tools needed for a successful raid is one of the most annoying things I've come across.
You also can't slack like you used to. No slacking on buffs or waiting to enchant new gear. You have to be the example or you don't have a leg to stand on when you come to ask that holy pally why he's only using 50spellpower on his weapon. If you're standing in fire or doing any other easily avoidable nono you'll also come in for a lot more flak than a normal member because you should know better.

4) You occasionally have to kill your friends
Ok so not actually kill them, this isn't China . But sometimes the people who you like and play with a lot will step out of line. Now often you can just have a friendly chat and remind them to "pull their finger out". But sometimes you'll have to go further than that and do what you'd do to any underperforming player and demote them/kick them. I've never had to do this is my current guild but I've had to before and it's never nice. This sounds melodramatic but if you raid I'm sure you know each raid squad contains its fair share of drama queens.
Generally having to be serious and demote people is never nice either. Especially when you have underperformers making up all sorts of reasons for why they're not performing and promising they'll be fixed by next raid. Experience teaches you that the problems never are fixed or the excuses are completely inadequate. We do accept friend ranks and we have a pretty good community inside the guild, but the fact of the matter is, our main squad is here to kill internet monsters.

5) You have to be the bigger person, a lot
Surprisingly enough a lot of people who play this game can be incredibly immature. Speaking as someone who once rolled a character on an RP realm called "Dildo Baggins" I'm no different. I'm not saying you have to be srs bsns all the time its just that when people are being awkward or refusing to work with each other, or even cursing each other and you out. You often have to put your personal feelings aside for the time being and sort out the problem so it doesn't affect the other 20odd people. Always remember that afterwards you can remind them that you'll tear them a new bumhole if they speak to you like that again.

Being in charge is often a thankless task. Don't get me wrong, being an officer can be rewarding and actually provides a different level of playing. One of the reasons I stick with it is because its constantly giving me experience that come in handy in my working life. People management, performance management, organisational skills etc. (That said I think its incredibly nerdy that I know a fair few people who, if they could get away with it, would put down their raiding experience on their CVs :s )

I'd also not read so much into this. I know people who are incredibly serious when they raid and I'm generally completely not. Several of our first kills of hardmode bosses we've nearly wiped due to people laughing at me or one of our other officers "raising morale".

So in conclusion; 
If you're an officer and your guild is prospering then I tip my hat to you. Remember, its a game at the end of the day and if being in charge is ruining your enjoyment then you can stop. The guild will generally not fall apart without you.
If you're a raider and you're wondering why the officer you've been whispering every 30s for the past hour about when invites are starting has steam pouring out his/her ears please just remember they've probably got enough to deal with.

/echo out

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