Managing a raid force is a very complex task. You have to recruit enough people so that you have redundancy, that you can still raid when some members are missing. You have to have enough redundancy to cover the essential roles. Yet you also have to ensure that everyone gets enough raiding time. Sometimes a player can get left on the sidelines more than you expect, and they end up leaving the guild because they feel they aren't getting into raids enough. You have to constantly recruit and people are constantly leaving, creating new holes in the raid force that have to be filled.
Yet, for such a complex task, most guild leaders operate in an ad hoc fashion. They react to events a lot of the time and things slip through the cracks. This is my attempt at creating a system, a set of rules and heuristics, to help a guild leader manage her entire raiding force in an efficient manner.
The system is called Pods, because the central element of the system is a pod.
A pod is a group of three players who share a similar raid role. The basic pod types are:
- Main Tank - players who always tank
- Off Tank - players who switch between tanking and DPS
- Melee DPS - melee DPS players
- Ranged DPS - ranged DPS players
- Main Healer - players who always heal
- Off Healer - players who switch between healing and DPS
Each pod owns two slots in the raid. So a 10 man raid is made up of:
- 1x Main Tank pod
- 1x Melee DPS pod
- 1x Ranged DPS pod
- 1x Off Healer pod
- 1x Main Healer pod
A 25-man raid would be:
- 1x Main Tank pod
- 1x Off Tank pod
- 3x Melee DPS pod
- 3x Ranged DPS pod
- 1x Off Healer pod
- 3x Main Healer pod
- 1 free slot
Now, since each pod has three players, but two raid slots, one person in each pod sits out each night. Anna sits out first, the Betty, then Charity, then Anna's turn comes around again. Of course, the players can trade nights with each other but only within the pod. Since there are only three players in a pod, scheduling that pod becomes a much simpler problem than scheduling the entire raid force all at once.
For the Off Tank and Off Healer pods, one slot will act as the extra tank or healer on necessary fights, while the other slot will be pure DPS. (Or both slots can go tank/healer if the fight is really demanding). Which player gets which job can rotate just like sitting out.
If only one or zero people from a pod show up, then people from the other pods who are sitting out can be drafted to fill out the raid. If the problem is known in advance, as two of the three players say they can't make a specific night, that fact can be brought to the attention of the officers.
For 25s, the third slot can be given to a DPS player who alway shows up, or just reserved for any missing significant buffs.
With three people for every two slots, each raider is guaranteed a minimum of raiding 66% of the time. Some people may raid more than that, but no one will raid less. As well, each position has significant redundancy, which should ensure that you never call a raid because you don't have enough healers, but enough DPS and tanks.
In addition, the guild can use the pods to guide recruiting efforts. The pods with unfilled spots are the positions you need to recruit for. You don't need to consider the entire guild as a whole, you can just go pod by pod and recruit for each position.
Of course, there are potential issues with this system. For example, since sitting out is determined in advance, people might decide to not show up on nights when they are scheduled to sit. This can cause problems if there are unexpected absences. There would need to be some understanding that everyone in guild who can show up does.
In general, the idea is to have each pod run itself to a certain degree, without needing the officers to get involved all the time. The officers' main job is to make sure that the pod is filled with players, and to intervene in unusual situations.
But on the whole, I think that this system would reduce the effort involved in managing a raid force. It provides redundancy for all positions, while guaranteeing a minimum amount of raiding for each individual.