Life through the eyes of a really bad Retribution Paladin

The Pre-Expansion Blues

We’ve all been through what I like to refer to as the “Pre-Expansion Blues”. This is a crucial time for many guilds, large and small, as the atmosphere with in the guild right now will set the tone for success or failure when the expansion arrives in a little over a month. I think many of you will have noticed that the number of un-guilded players on your server has risen sharply. I spent a day seeking these players out and asking them why they were un-guilded, with the responses gravitating to variants of the following:

  • Boredom with the game due to raiding being suspended
  • Not being completely familiar with their character’s new mechanics, causing them to fall out of favour with the guild
  • Not know what is going to happen with the guild leading to an “Abandon ship!” mentality
  • Using the expansion to “start fresh” with new people and possibly a new main

Right now is the most important time to keep guild members motivated. Organising pre-Wrath content or going back to the older Wrath raids will keep everyone fresh. A few guild members don’t have the achievement for Sartharion with three drakes? Go and do it! The Immortal title missing? Do it! Right now, we outclass Naxxaramus and Sartharion to the point where those raids can simply be brute-forced into submission – with the possible exception of the Heigan dance…

This is also a very good time for people to work on their alternate characters and trade skills. Guild leaders could do worse than to make Wrath gems, herbs and minerals freely available to guild members wanting to level skills.

A word of advice on this however: check character skills. If someone is asking for Primordial Saronite with a Blacksmithing skill of 35, there may be something up.

Show a bit of patience with guild members who may not be adjusting to the changes to mechanics of the game. I still have trouble managing Muh’s DPS on things such as Ice Tombs on Sindragosa. I used to be able to time it perfectly so that by the time the third Frost Bomb dropped, a decent breeze would knock the tomb over. A few times now I’ve had to bubble the hapless former occupant due to prematurely knocking down the tomb.

Officers and Guild Master need to create a clear and transparent plan of attack for the lead-up to Cataclysm and beyond. This should include a (reasonable) time frame for raiding members to reach the new level cap and guild levelling activities. All guild members need clear lines of communication so as not to feel they are behind the eight-ball, so to speak. If a guild member does not know what resources are available to them while levelling, they may start to feel they are simply better off levelling alone.

The final reason is something that can only be remedied so much by guild hierarchy. If your guild Main Tank has suddenly fallen in love with their Mage alt and has no intention of dusting off their tanking (former) main, there’s really little you can do except to concentrate on having someone else step up to the plate. You never know – the former Main Tank may well miss tanking and ask to swap back to their tank. One amazing policy I’ve seen in this case is for the GM to say, “Sure, you can swap – but you choose and teach your replacement.”. The effects of this have been amazing to see.

Some food for thought on behalf of all the Guild Leaders waiting in horror for the lists of demands from their MT and Class Leads to start rolling in: if your demands are going to directly threaten guild harmony, the GM is quite within their rights to show you the door. This is a two-way street my friends and a Guild Leader must take into consideration the big picture. If it is easier and less damaging to simply /gkick your character/s, then it’s something you simply have to deal with.

So, what are you doing to stave off the Pre-Expansion Blues?


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