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.