On hiring for guild needs

As I said, recently I’ve been playing my alts, and while I like my tank and my shadowpriest, the one which has been laying heavy on my mind has been my hunter.  (Urtica, for those who are interested, with primary pet Lyallii.  The names seemed appropriate.  But as usual, I digress.)

One of the things that has caused my mind to twist on Urtica – and hunters – so heavily is a recent guild discussion.  See, none of my alts are in the guild (my choice, not guild rule, and probably “yet), and I asked the guild officers what we were sorta-kinda needing in the way of expansion in regard to my current list of alts.  I got answers that…  “Shadowpriest,  Resto Druid, DPS warrior, Survival hunter, in that order.”  OK, I said at that time, and promptly went to work.  And then…  Phora’s a shadowpriest, and a lot of fun as I LIKE priests, but it’s an old and worn path for me.  Panax, though, started the hmmm factor.  And Urtica brought it to the fore.  Panax is currently dps, but I intend him to be a tank — in fact, he’s what I pull out of storage to play so as to remind myself about tank duties, responsibilities, and abilities.  Yes, he’s only 39 now, but as anyone practiced knows you can and should start working on those tactics early even if your spec is “wrong”.   But as I said, Urtica brought it to the fore.

I have begun to wonder if most guild leaders know what they’re asking for.  What does a Survival Hunter bring to the table that is as clearly different from BM and MM as Shadowpriest is from Holy priest, or even Prot spec is from “dps” spec.  And it dawned upon me, because I frequently see Prot vs DPS for warriors, but specifics for others, that it’s a matter of assumption and ignorance.  Let’s take it back to priests a minute.

“We want Holy and Shadow spec priests,” say a lot of guilds, leaving Disc… out in the cold.  Yet it’s been my practical experience that disc priests are in almost every case as good a healer as the holy spec.  Any given heal is only 90% what the Holy can do, and there are some special healing spells not available (Lightwell and Circle of Healing).  In exchange, the priest is more durable – both physically and manawise.

Let me say it again.  I have seen discipline priests do an excellent job as main tank healer in raids.  I do not KNOW if the guild (I was a guest) knew their MT healer was disc, but I’m sure given comments that they had total trust in that priest’s capabilities.  My guess is that MOST of them, however, thought she was holy spec.

And when I look at the survival spec builds, I keep asking myself “why”?  Why do guilds ask for survival spec – that is, what do they THINK the SV is going to do that is so critical to them?  I suspect a few will say they want the Expose Weakness running, or want to have a CCer with a pretty much guaranteed “oh crap” button (Readiness).  Most, however, will be taking the ‘common wisdom’ approach.  That is, “well, SV does traps better and we need better trappers.”  Which means they don’t want disc priests because “everyone knows” the only good healpriest is a holy priest.

Let me turn my suspicions into recommendations.  I recommend that you, guild leader looking for new players, be both more careful and more lax.  It’s far too easy to say, “We need an SV hunter” when what we want is to improve our guild’s CC.  “Wanted, Hunter.  Must excel at crowd control.”  Or, “Wanted, priest with IDS.  Must be able to MT heal during Kara.”  Even if this isn’t what you put out on the advertisements, it should be what you have within the guild.  Why?  So when the BM hunter comes to you and tells you that he can sustain CC on 3 mobs, you are willing to give him a chance.  (Note:  One way I’ve seen BM do it.  Pet sent to ‘offtank’ one, kite a second through a small area using wingclip and concussive shot, chain trap a third – with the occasional double-kite while cooldown finishes.  Of course you’re not getting any DPS on the main battle from the hunter in this case, but in a fourpull where you’re only dealing with the one left, is that really such a bad deal?)

The number of us who really know all the classes — REALLY know — are amazingly tiny.  (Note I do not include myeslf in that group.)  The number of those who THINK they know all the classes well, but don’t, is much larger.  The reality is that most players are pretty competent with a small handful of classes, and MAYBE understand all the “what makes it tick” of both.  Especially if we consider those classes where some specs are radically different from others (tank vs non-tank, or shadow vs healpriest, or, well, you get the idea.)  Because of this, take a lesson from some of the more venturous businesses out there.

This is what we want you to do.  We don’t care about your certification or school, we care if you can do this job.  There are certain base qualifications – no warriors need apply for a heal position, for example – but other than that, let’s see where we go from here.

If you need a good healer, don’t lock the classes.   If you need a mana restoration, don’t lock it to the shadowpriest (with VT) and forget the Shaman with Mana Spring.

In the long run, it’ll pay off — and you might get some learning out of it as well.


~ by Kirk on November 25, 2007.

8 Responses to “On hiring for guild needs”

  1. On forced specs: Totally on-spot. The effect of forced specs is more displeased people (especially for healing, tanking and utility specs) which in turn means more people quitting the guild.

    IMO, it’s better to lose a [healer/tank/utility] and have them around as DPS/PVP/other spec (and helping them regear, etc.) than lose them completely.

  2. I understand what you’re saying: some guilds do take min/maxing to the….max… But I can kind of see their point too. If you take a skilled healer with a non-optimal healing spec and give them a better spec then they’re a better healer, right? Of course the problem comes when your “non-optimal spec” healer decides they’d rather keep their spec than keep their micromanaging guild. Now you’re stuck with an unskilled healer who is spec’d the way you want but can’t provide the same healing output…
    And when they leave to pursue a pro-peggle career you’re really screwed.

  3. Min/Max takes the fun out of the game if you push it too much. Theory crafting can be good to understand the game mechanics but you must know how to apply this knowledge.

    After all it is a game and it is better to get a happy player into a raid who is proud of his actions then a maxed out player who don’t like his new “talents” very well.

    This is a difficult way to go, because Blizzard designs the encounters in a way that you must bringt some min. damage (this is then directly connectd to minimum heal and minium threat control aka tank) to beat the encounter.

    I feel, that living a goot extent below the “max line” but good enough to beat the encounters is more fun than work like a perfect machine who is rolling the content like no tomorrow.

    in short:
    If nobody laughs at a wipe you will get a problem ^^

  4. Rob, the problem is that there are several “optimal” specs. If I put that skilled healer in the talent choices I insist upon, I may actually make them a WORSE healer. There are certain talents I insist a healpriest should have. There are a heck of a lot more I consider somewhere between useful and desirable. And a surprising number of those are in the discipline tree.

    An optimal healer is one who can sustain effective healing for the duration of the battle. Holy tree gives you more healing choices and some improvement in sustaining, while Disc gives you more sustenance and some healing improvement. “Optimal” is surprisingly flexible.

  5. What is it exactly that your guild is recruiting for? If it’s 25-man’s, then the SV hunter certainly isn’t for trapping as most if not all mobs will be immune to the traps. SV’s trapping superiority only comes in to play for heroics, Kara and ZA. As a BM hunter (with a priest alt, hence why I read this blog) I’ve chain trapped mobs in heroics and Kara plenty of times without an issue, provided the pull is timed right. Resisted traps are covered by a simple kite.

  6. […] Endeavors has a post On hiring for guild needs. It’s definitely something to think about. In essence his post seems to boil down to ask for […]

  7. heh – Thingy, I agree that what you mention is part of what I was talking about. That is, I have to disagree about use of trap. I’ve watched mobs trapped in SSC. “most”? dunnno, but based on my reading and prep I suspect it’s not many of anything but boss related mobs. And ‘trash’ matters. OTOH, if you’ve tried and been unsuccessful I’ll… add your voice in dissent and ask my guild to do some tests themselves (grin).

  8. […] – and he said “so many discipline priests, so many holy priests…”  As I’ve noted before, I think that’s a bad way to say it unless you’re clear what you think you’re […]

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