For the past few months, my guild has been struggling to fill its raids. Our first big hit was when a raider and his two brothers disappeared over the Thanksgiving holiday. No word from them except a previous mail from the eldest stating that they were having a real-life issue. At this point, I'm more concerned about everything being okay for them rather than them not being online. But replacing them was difficult.
We were finally able to fill the raids somewhat when Tanmaya, some of her guildies, and one of her friends from another server decided to join Afterlight. Then they were followed by Ayzera, a former AL member, who decided to come back to the guild with some of his guildies in tow. Finally, we had a full raid team and even some reserves on stand-by.
As luck would have it, a few days before the first raid, RL tragedies struck. 2 of the friends that Ayz brought had to go MIA for personal, RL reasons. Only one of them returned (and I don't really expect the other to) but her schedule is greatly limited now that she has picked up a second job. She has only been on 2-3 raids since. Then Ayz started to get bombarded with work and his erratic schedule doesn't allow him to commit as he used to. He can only make it to maybe 50% of the scheduled raids. Another of his friends came on a few raids but then he also had to pick up a second job and can no longer commit. Yet another brought outstanding dps to the table but at a price - he was undisciplined, arrogant, condescending, and - for lack of a better word - was just an asshole. I had to make a choice between keeping him or losing everyone else, since no one particularly wanted to defend him. I chose to keep the other raiders but that meant losing yet another raider. To top it off, we lost more bodies when one of the healers took offense to me saying things like "Don't stand in puddles" or "Don't break chains." I never once actually called her out for doing it so my conscience is clear. But when she left, she took her husband with her, leaving us down two more raiders.
Now, we went from having almost enough for a 25-man or two 10-man teams, to having only 9 regulars. This makes things difficult as those 9 raiders consist of 3 married couples, myself included. So if something comes up with our respective families or schedules, that usually means we lose 2 people at once. My husband is schedule to work 10-hour shifts soon and not only does that mean he likely can't raid, but it means I won't be able to, either. So that brings the numbers down to 7 regulars. This would be doable, as the last 3 spots can be pugged. However, if anyone else can't make it, even if for just one week, it leaves the raid severely shorthanded.
I know this is frustrating for me, as a guild leader, to handle. But I'm more concerned with how this situation leaves my raiders. Do they feel tied down to AL out of loyalty? Am I being selfish for not just cutting them loose? They know they're free to raid with another group if raids are canceled for any given week. But I still feel bad that I can't provide them with a proper raiding environment.
Recruitment on Silver Hand is pretty much futile. All of the good raiders are already in established teams and we don't exactly have streams of people lined up to server-transfer. I'm really hoping that we'll be able to regroup come 5.2 because I really enjoy playing the game with my guild and the team.