Monday, March 17, 2008

How do the Ship Jumpers Make Out?

One of the dominant things that seems to occupy the minds of nearly every level 70 character is expectations. What are their expectations of what they should and could reasonably be doing in the game? Everybody wants in on everything. Now.

You hear often enough of a player who stays with a guild long enough to get attuned for a raid instance, or geared up sufficiently for the next dungeon, only to jump ship and join a larger or more progressed raiding guild, leaving their former pals in the dust to have to fill that slot with a less experienced or geared player. Or players brand new to a guild who expect to immediately get a spot on a raiding team.

Most bloggers tend to be of the opinion that patience is required to ensure a good team, with good individual skills, good group skills, good communication, a reasonable class/spec composition, and reasonable gear, with good enchants.

From reading blogs, you never get to hear the success rate of those ship jumpers. You only really hear the side of the story of the folks who more or less stick with their team, and only change guilds after some considerable though, reflection and appreciation for the situation they'll leave their team in, and the situation they'll be in with the new guild.

I'm curious about the story of the ship jumpers. They want Kara. Now. A new guild says, "sure, we've got your Kara right here." They jump ship. How does it play out?

In our guild, we've got a pretty strong Kara Team 1, making what I would consider to be adequate progress through the instance. We're making positive changes to scheduling and organization. We're making positive changes on forming a climate of high performance and pride in raid utility and personal output.

We've also got the floating concept of a Kara Team 2. This team forms, disolves, forms, disolves, nearly weekly.

Originally, the barrier for Team 2 was healers. We have tanks and DPS to spare, but were limited on Healers. Although the GM continues to recruit hunters, warlocks, and mages (stop that!!) he has also done a great job attracting some active healers.

Kara Team 2 has constant turnover, and the most frequent reason for leaving is that another guild told them they'll be running not just Karazhan, but also Gruul's Lair. These are folks with zero raiding experience, few or improper enchants and gems on entry level 70 gear, perhaps a few PvP pieces (w00t, I can't judge that approach anymore, if applied appropriately, lol), no attempt at approaching the hit cap, et cetera, et cetera.

I really do wonder what life is like for them a few weeks after they jump ship. Is it really the green pasture they were looking for?

If so, how do these more progressed guilds do it? How do they have enough raiders around who are equipped enough to support this type of player in their 10- and 25-man content? Or do these types of guilds generally run wipefests in Gruul's?

If you look at it from an external perspective, someone could have /who'd me the other day and said "damn, amava's in Mags lair already. we're just clearing out kara. i want in on her guild."

But they'd be grossly mistaken. Sure, my butt was physically in there. And sure, we did kill trash. Painfully, and, we did in fact make it to Magtheridon. No chance in h3ll to kill him, but make it there, we did.

Is that what life is like for many of these raiders who jump, and the team that recruits them to jump? Are people drawn in by the appearance of successful raiding and available raid slots? Or is there actual success there?

In the blogging community, you read mostly about groups that tackle content in a progressive, methodical approach, chock full of WWS analysis of performance, improvements, solid leadership and recruiting, and a generally well researched team of combatants. Sure, you get stories of ship jumping out of the team, dramas over personal stuff or loot, all the good parts of doing stuff with other people.

But you rarely read about a raiding team that regularly accepts jumpers.

How much of the WoW raiding population is like that vs. how much is just jumping ship routinely? And what is the success rate of both of those groups?

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