I do love my guild, and I really love my raid team. I don’t think I ever want to do 25s, because what I enjoy most about progression raiding is not only the people, but having a small enough environment so that knowing and managing each person’s strengths, weaknesses, and quirks are as important to progression as gear is. It’s widely been observed that in 25s, you can afford to carry a few people who are undgeared, underskilled, undermotivated, or any combination; in a strict 10 man environment where you don’t have a flow of gear overtuned to the content from 25s, everybody must be on their game or success doesn’t happen. Leading the raid is therefore then less a matter of efficiently herding cats than it is effective coaching and intelligent assessment of the abilities and gear you’ve got to work with. (I’m not actually the leader for any raid so much as I am Ossifer Bear or Stingray’s squeaky assistant, but effectively speaking the entirety of the /o channel is handling half of it whenever there’s a raid going.)
At this point, in the category of people I know and can rely on, we have some fantastic melee DPS, awesome hunters who can do all the utility huntery things that seem to be so necessary whenever you’ve got one around, a pleasing selection of tank healers, raid healers, and at least one healer who can bring any of that plus DPS when asked, and overall all the ingredients needed to make some progression while keeping it fun rather than work. On top of that I like working with all of them and am pleased to see their names on signups and online at raid times.
Problem is, there are now more than nine of them. A not-insignificant number more, especially if and when we get our Death Nut back from the health-related leave of absence he’s on. Worse than that, we have several people who rarely seem to get the chance to go at all who aren’t so much bad as they are unlucky or diffident about signups when they see a full list of people, that fully deserve the chance to prove themselves that people who got in earlier and cemented themselves as regular did- them, AND a few people who are finishing their level/gearup process that want to raid when they finish this process, too.
Don’t get me wrong, I would have slashed throats to have this problem six months ago when we were in the process of falling apart or completely fallen apart and couldn’t *buy* puggers to fill out the growing number of holes in our roster. Right now we have all the elements we need for success, and are succeeding every week, we just have human resource complexities and sometimes decisions to make that we don’t want to and that aren’t as easy as we like.
The ultimate best solution, and our next tangible goal, is having two ten-man teams. We have the tanks for it and I *think* we have the healers for it though there are a few question marks there, and we have maybe half the DPS we need depending on how certain things work out, like getting our Death Nut back or not and whether we can find a way to schedule it so that two of our DPS with awkward, punishing work schedules can attend. So technically speaking, the solution is obvious: recruit a few more people, bang out the schedule, and move on to “everyone gets to raid and progression happens” nirvana.
It’s just that thanks to the question marks- like “are these people that I’m counting among those who would be in this team actually able to be”, “who’s going to raid lead this mother”, “when on earth can everybody go”, “how do we mess with our currently very successful tank and healer composition if we have to in order to make this second team viable and give it a good raid leader”, “how do we do this without breaking up committed couples that play together in order to raid together”- that leaves me with a really weaksauce recruiting message, which boils down to “Come join us and you might get to raid every week once we ever figure this shit out, and we have no idea when that’ll be. We promise our benches are made of very soft pine.”
Right now on the realm forums there are two DPS and a healer looking for a home, including a mage, which we currently lack and would very much like to have. We’ve had some good luck in the past recruiting in this fashion- Raid Array, Suicide Dotter, and Thing One and Thing Two are all very solid raiders who we picked up in this fashion. (And there was one disaster that ended in frayed tempers and a /gkick, but overall the ratio is good.) If the attitudes are sound, if the healer is happy raid healing rather than tank healing, they could actually fill out this hypothetical team quite nicely. If, if, if!
My life is SO FULL OF HARDSHIP, I know. QQ for me.