I’m disappointed to report that I was benched for the Monday night’s raid.
Though in the spirit of full disclosure, I benched myself so that the management would have one less person to worry about.
When looking for guilds, I spoke to two people from this particular guild before I spoke to the GM, which I mentioned before when I was talking about the effect your members’ PR has on your organization. Both were very helpful and honest in that they both said that the biggest drawback was sometimes having to get benched, so it’s not like it was totally unexpected.
I’m familiar with the bench, but mostly from the other side. I was one of two tanks in my first guild. I was the Raid Leader in my second, and the main druid heal in my third (when druid heals were top notch). I was raid leader again in my fourth, and I frankly didn’t care whether I raided or not with my fifth, often hoping I didn’t raid. So historically, I’ve not been in a position to get benched.
In those situations where I was raid leader, I took no pleasure in benching people (except once; I’ll tell you below), so I know how potentially damaging having 6 too many dps for a raid can be both to the organizer and the players. My buddy told me it was the worst part of the game – hands down – and he’d never be a guild or raid leader again because of how bad it made him feel. I’ve also had to deal with irate players who knew that they were better dps or heals than some of the people going (and sometimes were right), but I had to defuse the situation by talking about fairness and access and so forth – about letting the bench get to play sometimes.
So when raid time came and only 2 tanks – as opposed to the 4 we had last Thursday – showed up, I politely removed myself from the roster. Hell, I still have blues, anyway, and I suspect I was only asked to go last week because they had 19. On top of all that, this is a temporary problem! With 5.4 comes flex raiding, a simple remedy.
So while I was disappointed, I fully and completely understand the situation and it bred zero ill will.
That said, it was coincidental that Rohan had this post up on Monday. While waiting for the officers to decide who got to go (which in the end became a roll off for fairness), I heard one of my guild mates – I don’t know their voices well enough to know who’s who yet – talk about how he describes the guild to outsiders. He calls it a “social raiding guild, not casual, because we don’t put progress first, but we take raiding seriously when we do it. Still, we have to sacrifice progress sometimes to access and availability, which other raid guilds don’t” (quotations are not word for word, but certainly in the spirit).
I thought that was an excellent definition of part-core. It is social. It cares about people and all the sticky emotions that go along with belonging and getting a chance to play. It also expects the players to take the event seriously, though, as a sign of respect to both the game and the other players. It certainly further cemented my liking of this new guild.
Okay, now for the dish. The one time I was happy to bench someone was in my second guild, the truly-casual-I-know-we-spent-three-hours-talking-about-how-to-improve-my-dps-at-my-request-but-I-wanted-to-level-fishing-on-my-alt-the-next-day guild that my buddy, wife, and I left after too many bad raids, no-shows, refusal from the officers to acknowledge a problem, and, yes, leveling fishing on an alt (which is fine, but not when my buddy spent a ton of his free time trying to help you at your request and you just ignore it). At one point, I was raid leading, and someone asked in guild if she was going on the raid that night. I told her to sign up and that we’d post the list a few hours before raid time.
She then /whispered me to explain that in fact she was just being courteous and that she would be going on the raid because she was the raid leader; she’d just been taking a break. She was apparently offended that I had replaced her and no matter how nicely I tried to handle her, she wasn’t going to be placated. Finally I logged off and just waited. Sure enough, she went ahead and signed up, and I cut her ass because her gear and attendance were lower than the other boomkin who wanted to go. That time, I liked it. I know. I’m a petty villain from time to time. My name’s not the Godmother (who lives up to that name in her constantly benevolent actions), after all, it’s Stubborn.
At any rate, by the time you read this, I should have replaced my last blue and hopefully will be getting to raid tonight. I’ll let you know next time!
Stubborn (and getting new bracers, finally!)