Group Five

Posted: September 3, 2008 by Kendricke in Everquest 2
Tags: , ,

For over two years now, my guild has raided three nights per week, trying our best to gear up and progress through dungeon after dungeon. Because we’re a relatively casual guild, we tend to have a much larger roster than we need for raiding, which means I’m often put in a position where I have to bench members who had showed up to raid.

Tonight, we start a fourth weekly raid night with a slightly different goal. I’m calling it “reverse priority raid”. At least some of my members have already referred to it as our “group five raid night”.

For me, I’m calling it a reverse priority night because my goal isn’t to progress the overall raid force per se. In fact, I fully expect to bench some of best geared and most veteran members tonight. The reason for this is because I set up Wednesdays specifically to have one night each week that those members who get benched on other nights (“priority nights”) get to raid. This is also why some of my members are calling it “group five night”.

Because in Everquest II, there are only four groups in a raid. As we form up the raid, we have members joining specific groups (Laldail to Group 2, Rapscal to Group 1, etc.). In my guild, when members are asked to sit out, they’ve taken to jokingly referring to themselves as “Group 5”.

Whatever it’s called, tonight is their night.

It’s an experiment really, the idea that we set aside content that we consider relatively easy for us and make it a priority just one night per week, where those members who have been benched on other nights during the week have one night they can look forward to because they have a guaranteed spot.

I want it to work out. I think it will. At the very least, it makes it easier for me to ask someone to sit out on other nights, because at least I can tell that person, “remember to show up on Wednesday”.

From a guild standpoint, it’s a bit of a win-win situation. On the one hand, we keep hitting content that many of our top raiders might be a bit bored of. Certainly, they’re almost never actually bidding on any of the gear that drops in some of those zones anymore, anyway. This means that our younger or newer raiders have a chance to pick up gear without having to bid against 3 year guild vets who have amassed massive amounts of raid points in our bidding system.

It’s also a chance to teach and train these younger raiders without risking the patience of the more experienced raiders. Even if veterans show up for this night, they already understand that the very nature of the reverse priority raids will be such that extra time will likely be needed – even against targets many of us are used to blowing through.

Even though tonight’s first target is slated as Protector’s Realm, a zone I’ve been through dozens of times, I’m actually pretty excited about tonight. I might even bench myself if enough of our healers show up. Wouldn’t that be different!

Reverse priority? Group five? Whatever we end up calling it, I’m glad we’re giving it a try.

  1. rulez says:

    Don’t forget to take group 5 on high priority raids too! No one wants to get stuck on the bench and mostly training matches 😉

  2. Kendricke says:

    Group 5 members tend to get benched for a reason. Oh sure, they could be the nicest people in the world, but my first priority to my raid force is making sure we have a reasonable chance at success. My second priority is to reward consistent attendance.

    Everything else – performance, how nice a person you are, whether or not you’re dating an officer, how many times you’ve been benched in the past – everything else takes a back seat to those priorities

    This means that Group 5 members tend to be consistently the same people much of the time. It’s not that I hate member X or Y, but frankly, I just don’t need a third Templar or a second Paladin on most raids, and when I have to decide who to bench, those players are typically going to be high on my list. Likewise, if you’re not attending many raids to begin with, or you don’t have a lot of experience with raiding, I’m not going to take you out for a run around Veeshan’s (including flagging) without first making you go through Pawbuster, Overking, and Venril. Honestly, if you haven’t been all the way through Protector’s Realm but a couple times, you shouldn’t be worried about missing out on your mythical quite yet.

  3. Greg says:

    I think the reverse priority raid is an excellent idea. In fact, I was recently forced to leave a guild which was a first for me due to the fact that I could not attend any raids. What was previously a more casual guild had, over time, become a hard core raiding guild with many better geared and more qualified people joining. Since I couldn’t raid at least 4 nights a week I was unable to attend any raids at all. I suggested at least setting aside one night for casual raiders so we could do lower tier stuff and at least get some raid level gear but the idea was not terribly exciting.

    Kudos to you for giving this a try.

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