I was listening to The Instance (best WoW podcast currently out there IMO) today and they were talking about how a lot of people are not playing mages anymore. They had people respond from a previous episode as to why that may be the case and a lot of the responses were that mages weren't competitive DPS anymore and they have been been dumbed down to being a portal/table slave. While my mage is still 70 (he's been an alt since day 1) so I can't say much I have to disagree with that assessment. Our mages are consistently in the top 5 almost every fight (ok maybe that's the other classes faults but still) but this isn't actually the argument that I am getting at (I'm not a mage blog nor do have enough knowledge about them to converse about it). What I am interested in is the fact that all these people rerolled from their mages to other classes to the point that mages are now in shortage.
A while back my guild, No Vacancy, was in dire need of priests and our server had a huge lack of healers in general. I have heard that many servers have the same issues with tanks. It seems that this epidemic has a very circular pattern. Back in BC on Drenden Shammy's were so rare that people would recruit a fresh 70 in all greens to raid just so they had one for their guild (not to mention that Sunwell pretty much needed them so it was almost forced on us). But now in NV we have a plethora of healers (including priests) with at least one healer app (and one more interested). In fact our issue now is that we have a need for a tank (sorta) where before we had too many.
How does a guild maintain what they need, while not over-recruiting and having people on standby all the time?
I can't say that I have a 100% foolproof solution for that. People leave guilds for various reasons but particularly they leave because either 1) they don't get into enough raids or 2) they want better progression that isn't happening. Not every guild can be the top successful progression guild on the server that achieves everything. Even those guilds have people leave over time to other guilds on other servers that are just that much more progressive (albeit probably slightly less often than the "mid-level" guilds). Our attempt at solution is to sub more often if we have more than 25 in one night. In Naxxramas we ask who needs anything from a given wing and ask who does not. Those who do get in, those who don't sub out. For the bosses (such as Malygos) where virtually everyone needs an item the higher ranking people get in while the initiates and general members sub out. While this doesn't work all the time to keep people, it keeps our turnover rate not too terribly high. Very few people leave because of not being able to raid.
My point is that for those who enjoy playing their class/spec but find it under-appreciated or for those having a hard time recruiting a specific class/spec because it's ill played, hold on because everything comes full circle sooner or later. It usually doesn't take very long before Blizzard changes a class to be really wanted or for players to re-roll because they didn't like their previous class. Also, server transfers are always an option. There are always guilds looking for every class/spec and vice versa.
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