Yesterday was our second raid night for Walk the Plank. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on talking about every raid we will have in the future but I think it’s interesting to talk about the first few ones so I can look back and see how we started out. The plan was for us to raid ToC10 to round out the gear of two of our members. I did not want to do two nights of ICC this week since I didn’t want to push progression in ICC with a raid made up of 50% pugs. so we headed in ToC with 5 pugs and high hopes of clearing the place and scoring some loot.
What followed was a disaster of epic proportions I still have trouble to describe. It was like watching a train wreck that never ended, horrible to behold but you can’t look away. I had gearchecked every pug before inviting them and they all were ICC level geared players. All of them. Yet, our highest dps was our two guildies that we brought specially to gear them up. I still don’t understand how someone geared in iLevel 251 items and up can only do 2k dps in ToC. I still do not understand how that’s possible. I pulled the plug after the second wipe, trusting my gut instinct that ToC10 would be a horrible experience if we pushed it and not wishing to subject my guildies to that. Still, we did pug a few more people to do the weekly(Sartharion) and even ended up going to Molten Core for giggles so not all was lost.
If anything, the past few raids we had have made it crystal clear that we need to recruit more people as soon as possible. Raiding when half the raid is made up of pugs is literally playing russian roulette. I can get lucky like last sunday, get a good group and blow through content or I can get what I had yesterday and failed miserably without even having a chance. I have absolutely no control over whether we succeed or not and that is unacceptable for me.
Current recruitment philosophy
Right now our plan was recruiting was through the boards, forums and the pugs. We didn’t want to spam trade chat simply because we feared the quality of recruits we’d get through there. I don’t want to have to gear up a ton of new people and I don’t want to have to teach the server how to play, something that seems to happen all too frequently when you recruit through trade.
But even if our idea sounds good in practice it’s not working very well for us right now. Most good players we met in pugs are already in good guilds and it’s hard for us to get noticed on the server forums. To most people it must look like yet another wannabe raiding guild and I can’t say I blame them. We don’t exactly have a lot to go on to entice new people to come to us.
Also, I was reminded by my room-mate that recruiting inside pugs works well when you only have one or two people to recruit but when it’s five people it’s not the same. As he astutely pointed out, pug recruitment only worked twice back in BC and then we only had to recruit a single person each time. Overall, the PuG recruitment technique doesn’t look like it’s a good idea anymore.
My problem is well-defined. I need to recruit at least three more people in the very short-term so we are not at the mercy of Pugs.
It’s obvious that our current recruiting technique will not net me those three people in the short-term. I might get incredibly lucky but I won’t be counting on that.
The solution? This is where I’m having trouble. One part of me tells me to be patient and just give it some more time. However I really don’t like waiting around for something that may never come. My experience tells me that the longer we take to get it fixed the worst it will hurt us.
The first and obvious solution would be to start recruiting on the trade channel. I may have less control on quality but at least we’d get the bodies needed. I can also get lucky and get quality recruits too. Someone suggested that we put in criteria on gear to filter out slackers and so we wouldn’t have to gear up a ton of people. It’s definitively something that I see could work solving my immediate problem wich is bodies but I don’t know how that would play out long-term.
In fact it’s the only solution I can think of right now and it’s not one I especially like. If any of you reading this have more to suggest I’d be more than happy to hear you out!