Three Reasons Why Guilds That Raid Need Class Officers

If only these guys had had class leader mentors, perhaps things would have turned out differently for them…

In my vanilla WoW raiding days, our 40-man raids had specific numbers of raid spots designated for specific classes fulfilling specific roles. The class raid leaders (who were not always the same as the class officers) managed their invitee and standby lists, and kept tabs on how everyone was performing. My druids and I sat in our own Vent channel (only raid officers and the RL could talk to each other and over the whole raid), and had our own chat channel. We built comraderie while also having a solid sounding board for trouble shooting how our class and role should be handling any given encounter.

Fast Forward to Burning Crusade with its smaller raids. All of a sudden, many guilds, including mine, decided there really wasn’t a need for class officers any more, since raid sizes were so much smaller, and we didn’t always have multiples of each class/role. The emphasis moved to having raid leaders and then folks in charge of each functional area (tanking, healing, DPS) at the most. And thus, for many guilds, the class officer died out comleteely.

Given that Cataclysm may well sound the death knell for many guilds running 25-man raids, I can see how a call for a return to class officers may sound like craziness. But hear me out. There are some very solid reasons to consider having them — even if they aren’t max rank officers.

  1. No one is an expert on every class and role.
    That’s right, mister hotshot raid leader, I am talking to you. It’s infuriating when you are told to do something your class shouldn’t (or worse yet can not) do. Or to watch the RL keep handing the dispells/decurses to the same class over and over again, while two or three more who could do it, stand by, not saying a peep. Class leaders know what their folks can (and should) be doing, and can feed the RL that information discretely. In a free-for-all situation, the raid leader doesn’t always know whose advice to follow.
  2. Sometimes, players need tips on how to improve.
    I’m the type of person who goes out and finds great resources on the classes I’m playing and tries to maximize what I do and how I do it. Not everyone does this. And further, you can’t expect them to. But you can ask your Officers to provide coaching and feedback in these cases. And feedback comes across as a lot more genune and useful when it’s coming from someone who also excels in their class and role. No offense, but if a melee player starts telling me how to play my spellcasters, if they are lucky, I tune them out. If I’ve had it already, they’ll get an earful.
  3. No one wants unsolicited advice.
    That’s right, no one. Yeah, maybe you’ve gotten a helpful hint or two from someone that you didn’t ask for that really helped, but most of the time, it’s annoying. The unsolicited advice typically comes across as someone 1) thinking you suck and 2) trying to tell you they know better than you as to how to play. Having class leader officers tells the guild: these are our experts, and they are your go to resource for help, and are expected to know how to maximize their class in raids. This takes a lot of the sting out of the advice.

If you are pursuing 25-man raids, and have several dozen active players, why not ask them if they’d like to have class leads or class officers? Those who are nominated by their peers will feel appreciated for being called out for excellence, and your quieter members of the guild will feel empowered to approach them for advice. Even if implemented in a more honorary than powerful role, class leaders have the ability to build a sense of community amongst players, while recognizing some of your best players for doing a great job, which may even help with guild retention.

9 thoughts on “Three Reasons Why Guilds That Raid Need Class Officers”

  1. Class Leads are a nice option but class officers are tough for 10 mans, and if you think of the officer to raider ratio even a 25 man group, in 40 man raiding having an officer for each class was a must, but now, its much harder. I caution against having too many officers (too many hands in the cookie jar) but class leads can work.
    Another option is to have class experts, usually you can find some folks who have expertise in several classes. Myself I know my DK and my Paladin very well. I have an officer who is very knowledgeable on Shaman and Warlocks. Then of course I have my swiss army knife officer who has 1 of every class and knows them all very well.
    So class leads = good (someone who knows multiple classes well is fantastic and is a good candidate for an officership)
    Class officers you would need 10, not including if you have to have a separate GM, Raid Leader, Recruiter, etc. For the sake of argument say you have 10 officers, thats a 1:1-1.5 for 10 man guilds and a 1:2.5-3 ratio for 25 man guilds, thats a lot of officers

  2. Nod, totally agree they don’t have to be full officers, but do think they need some sort of special guild rank or recognition for it to really work. How many full officers a guild wants and needs totally depends on guild size definitely. My horde guild has over 100 active accounts iir, and during our raiding heyday had 3 10s going and had a bench with at least 10 ready willing and able players for our 25-man. So we tend to run with 6-7 officers, plus a guild leader. That # may seem large, but when we were leading that many raids, and actively trying to come up with a recruitment plan it didn’t feel like enough. Heh.

  3. As a newer player who can use all the constructive feedback she can get, I support this post 😉
    Having a separate ‘class lead’ rank sounds like a better idea than mixing them in with the other officers. Maybe doing it that way could also provide a bridge for larger guilds between the few officers and the many members, especially for the quieter ones who are less likely to spontaneously approach an officer by themselves, as you’ve said.

  4. I totally agree that class leaders could be a great bridge between the members and the officers in larger guilds. And as a bonus, could also serve as a pool of potential future officers. In guilds where there aren’t many official roles outside of the officer corps, it can be hard to see whom might be a good fit when it comes time to replace a departing officer.

  5. I can see the role of class officers in large guilds, but I would assume that in the average 25 man raiding guild, there are about 3 players of any given class. Also, a player of a certain spec doesn’t necessarily know anything about a different spec. For example, playing a prot paladin is a world away from playing a holy paladin.
    The way our guild works, any experienced player of a class helps any unexperienced player of that class. Having a special rank for it isn’t necessary: if the unexperienced player ignores advice and doesn’t meet certain standards, then they can’t raid.

  6. I do agree a person of one class/spec may not be pro at all of their specs (I’m an example of this– never ever priest healed). But I disagree that a special rank is not necessary for effective class mentoring. Although it can work, YMMV and I’ve not seen that be successful in the guilds I’ve been in.
    Overall, when I have seen unsolicited advice been given from folks who were not an Officer or a designated class lead, I have not seen it be well received, or acted upon. Then there are a lot of self-appointed “experts” who don’t actually know what they are talking about. See the druid healer who was an officer in a former guild who did half as many actions per raid as I did as her same class/role, and did about 40%-50% of my output. Her advice to other druids was less than useful. But since they didn’t have a peer nominated class leader role, she felt free to dish out her advice.
    I would hesitate also to sit someone from a raid for not following the advice of a misc person in the guild who dished out some advice. How is experienced defined? And if experienced is defined by whom the Officers think is doing the best job, that sounds like it’s defacto the same thing as having class leads, only without making that a public statement.

  7. I think it really depends on the guild’s focus. In a casual guild, especially a large one where everyone doesn’t know everything about everyone else, I can see the utility of an extra rank. Still, 10 officers on top of the regular management team makes for a lot of officers!
    We don’t sit people for “not following advice”, but rather for being bad players. Everyone is expected to perform at a certain level. Those who are below that level can use whatever means to improve (and those means include talking with someone from their class who does meet the requirements). That NEVER would have worked with my old, casual guild, but in a serious progression guild, it’s second nature.

  8. Totally agree that each guild is different in its appetite for coaching. My friends and family guild had some folks who were jacks of all trades and masters of none who never ever sought out advice, or, when they would casually ask for it, never implemented. Whereas the raiding guilds were the opposite. And again, as previously noted, class leaders do not have to equate to being guild officers. But I do think they need to be formal positions to be effective, having seen it done both ways.

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