Well it’s bloody easy for me to sit on my perch and talk about other people being flexible and dependable. Largely, the raid nights were heavily influenced by my own schedule to ensure I at least can always make them. Coupled with that, I live in Saudi Arabia and enjoy a career where I have already done all the required learning, experience etc so that I can happily coast along getting paid a decent wedge and have no real financial worries.
It’s all very well having time when I’m not working to level a ridiculous number of characters and force them into the raid team on nights where I can just about get away with it. It’s easy for me to do this in comparison to most of you who have busy schedules of school and work which requires you to be really flexible. You have family and friends who don’t understand nor care that you play an online game, let alone approve of it.
I had a friend visit the house recently and he has never played world of warcraft, has no idea that I have dedicated a specific time to raid with a group of people and he just turned up unannounced to check on how baby Kelso is doing. That’s so sweet and I enjoyed having him over, but he unwittingly curtailed a Normal mode clear I was in the middle of with a lower geared character. Almost everyone who plays WoW has this experience which makes it difficult to be able to commit to being a dependable team player.
When I talk about a team player, I mean someone who thinks of their raid team when they cannot make it to raid night. Very occasionally, I am forced to work an extra shift which really causes me to pull out of our raid team. If there’s nothing I can do about it but be frustrated then it is what it is. I expect my position to be filled by someone else and I don’t expect to walk straight back into that team the next time they zone-in together. I will however, work my ass off and ensure my raid leader is well aware that I am ready and available the next time someone else has to pull out of the team. Where I benefit, is that the work I’ve put in to multiple characters who I have geared to provide me with a wide array of viable roles from DPS ranged, melee to healing and of course I have 2 well geared tanks and possibly a 3rd which can at least do normal modes comfortably. These are the fruits of my determination to be dependable and flexible. If real life gets in my way one time, my spot gets filled then I am equally willing and able to bring another role if the team needs it.
Come Warlords of Draenor, there will be serious competition for raid spots and the most reliable, flexible players will have an advantage. I advise anyone with intentions to eventually raid Mythics, to try playing at least 2 different classes and at least 2 specs of each. Try to cover at least 2 different roles from Melee/Ranged/Healing/Tanking and don’t complain to the raid leader if he can’t accommodate you on the one role/class you want to play. You have to get real, what if there are 3 players all playing Restoration Shaman? Who do you think will get the shout to raid? Will it be you? Will it be the other guy? NO, it will be Jolts!
So think about what classes you want to play in the coming months prior to expansion release and pay attention to what people are saying about what they fancy doing. Take notice and be realistic. If Spyrot happens to say ‘Guys, sorry but Yke is my first choice elemental shaman’ then be smart. Either you must prove that you are better than Yke, or focus on a class which is weak in the team. Of course there is always the possibility the guild could recruit an awesome player in the role you were trying to gear up for. That’s the nature of team sport and I am delighted that we will have good strong competition for Spyrot to select from. I suggest we take the current time to really look into what we want to be playing and try to be as flexible as possible. All the classes are changing for WoD so do your research but remember the fine-tuning of class balance comes at the end of the testing so don’t be too put off by a class that currently appears to be behind and equally don’t be too enticed by a class which seems strong in the current beta build because I can guarantee you will be setting yourself up for a disappointment.
Go with the classes you believe you will enjoy playing the most and take it from there.
When I talk about being flexible and dependable as a raid team player, I have left out the importance of being a dependable guild member. As is well known, in this guild we don’t ask for much other than exemplary behaviour, a sense of humour and that you log in at least occasionally. Our rule is if a character is offline over 2 months then it’s an insta-kick, I believe 2 months is really fair especially given most actively managed guilds allow 1 month and are often more strict regarding alts than we are at The Dambusters.
As you can see, the difference in demand from general guild membership to actual raid team inclusion is vast. If you have your eyes on the raiding prize, the standards are much higher but the difficulty demands that pressure to be there.
To help teach some of our potential future superstars, I will be pushing for our officers to lead teams which should provide valuable gear and experience for budding professionals over the coming months. I want to unearth some little gems from within.