I mentioned yesterday that we've hit a wall in our raiding progression. Well lets just say that I had a bit of a tiff on vent toward the end of yet another failure of an evening. But first let me set the setting to put this a bit more in context. As I had said, the guild is going through another round of recruiting, and one of the newly recruited healers didn't get an invite to the raid last night. And he ended up leaving because of it. There were a handful of comments in raid chat about "here it comes" and the like, to which I replied on vent that they shouldn't be blaming the guy. After all he was recruited to replace people who don't show and he had every expectation that he'd be raiding. Not treated like a stand by. He left and it died down, yet I don't think that most understood exactly what the principles involved were. I've commented before that we have no idea what raid group is actually going to show up from night to night. Our rank structure is based on attendance (loosely) and full raiders are afforded the first opportunity at raid invites. Since we only have about 12-15 full raiders it normally isn't a problem making sure everyone gets a spot, and anyone that falls below the attendance level to become a full raider is termed a casual raider and is given second option at raid invites. People who rarely raid are members and are afforded third option at any remaining raid spots, however there have been plenty of nights where we've not had enough people to fill a raid with raiders and casual raiders, and have taken everyone and anyone that was available. So the issue with what happened to the healer last night was that it makes it even more difficult to recruit new people in unless you can actually give them some semblance they are going to actually get to raid. It's a double whammy that is just vicious from a management perspective. Factor in that anyone we do recruit, and is actually a good raider might leave because they see our struggles and deem it for what it is. That's happened at least five times that I can recall in recent months.
In any event we breezed through the first wing and cleared to Festergut where we spent the rest of the evening wiping until I blew up on vent and ended up leaving the raid. According to the logs we have the DPS to kill Festergut -- or at least had it last night -- but we only got him to 22% on one attempt with all the others being miserable attempts where we'd usually wipe around the 50-60% mark. We've actually gotten him to 14% once before just before we hit his timer, so last night's 22% attempt wasn't an improvement. So what is happening you ask?
First, people are still not stacking up close in behind Festergut. That despite being told repeatedly to do so by numerous people. What ends up happening is someone will invariably get the spore and either won't notice and not move inward so the tanks get inoculated. Or if they do move forward it's only after someone snaps at them to do so. Many people do pay attention and this isn't an issue with them, but for many others it is.
Secondly people can not walk and chew bubblegum at the same time. We leave two groups of ranged players out around the circle, each with their own healer. The healer is the collapse point for that group in order to minimize the effects on their healing. One group is on the north side of the circle, one is on the south and each healer is marked with their own raid symbol. If two spores wind up in melee someone needs to head out to one of the groups and this has been one of the issues in this regard as well. Despite my requests the raid has not made up pre-determined responses like whoever is the northern most person to get the spore in the melee will always be the one to run out to the group that didn't get it. The way we do it now is the raid leader has to determine who got the spores and make a determination who needs to run out and also needs to tell the individual which group to run to. Because he's also DPSing its been a issue of lost time while he concentrates on that effort and one of the ranged groups not getting inoculated. Don't get me wrong, he's not doing it that way because he wants to be controlling, rather he's doing it because it's become a necessity. And it all boils down to people not paying any attention at all and are basically raiding rather lazily. They've come to rely so much on the raid leader that they've lost the ability to think quickly and make proper decisions in a fluid situation.
The other big issue, coupled with the problems of determining who is to run out, is that people can not remember which way is which when they are told to run out. The raid leader will call out over vent that so and so needs to run out to the north group. We have people regularly going south instead. Heading in the wrong direction, even if you do recognize the problem on your own, often leads to the ranged group not getting the inoculation because of the few seconds lost determining who was to run out to begin with. This is particularly frustrating as well because as we run into Festergut, the tanks simply turn him around so he faces away from the door. Therefore the direction that was north (right) is still north when you are looking at Festergut's back. Even if you move around somewhat while behind him, I completely fail to understand how anyone can lose their bearing. I'd expect that on a fight like Rotface perhaps, but not on Festergut.
Then we have the issue of people still -- after seven weeks of working on this same boss -- of not always lining up at range 10 yards away from someone else. At least two of our wipes last night were caused by at least two people in one of the ranged groups getting the vomit. This is simply inexcusable as it means they either did not have their range finder open or were not paying attention to it. As this is hardly the first fight that required spacing it's very frustrating.
We'll ignore the fact that many people have had at various times low DPS, as I think it's become abundantly clear that our issues are all relating to personal performance. Its the spores and our handling of them that are killing us and have brought our progression to a screeching halt. And please note that this week marks the seventh week we have been working on this same boss.
Now, to the tirade. After seeing this repeatedly last night I finally blew a gasket and didn't really yell, but did speak very sternly over vent. I didn't call anyone out by name but did let the raid know what I thought of the situation. And ended up leaving group and logging off. My friend who had already planned on leaving the guild did just that right then and there. He was giving the guild an extra week to try and replace him with another tank but I guess he'd had enough too. My wife was still on vent afterward and told me later that many people didn't understand why I was upset. Clearly they just don't understand and I find I just don't care enough to try and explain their attitude **IS** the issue causing our progression problems over the last year.
Even now I have grave doubts we could go back into Ulduar and actually kill Yogg, let alone do any of the hard modes in there. We've never killed Yogg. Nor have we ever completed any hard modes in TOC-25. Even now with most of us in ICC gear I doubt we could down any of the hard mode bosses in TOC and it points directly at people's attitudes toward raiding. They simply don't care enough to want to improve and to do their best. Too many are willing to take the free ride, doing just enough to move along or be carried. Too many are used to their tunnel vision and are too reliant on others to tell them what to do in all situations. Too many don't bother to learn anything about the fights before they show up to the raid and have to have the fights explained to them. Liken it to someone who is working at McDonald's flipping burgers and is perfectly happy doing so. Having no aspiration or drive to do better for themselves.
I'm sorry, I'm not a hardcore raider, but I want more than this.