Guild Leadership Corner: When does your guild need a day off?

My guild’s leadership decided to give our guild 4 raid days off from raiding over June 30 thru July 7.  This upcoming week has several “real life” holidays for members of my raid: Canada day on July 1 and America’s Independence Day on July 4.  This impacted the likelihood that key raid members and officers would be available, since the 4th of July holiday in particular officially falls on a raid day for us. We gave a similar vacation around the time of the Christmas/New Years holidays, but we haven’t otherwise taken much time off from raiding in the last 6 months. Just like having vacations from jobs is important, it may also be important to give guild members time off from raiding.

However, giving breaks too frequently (and when raiders are available and want to raid) could cost your guild progression speed or members if your breaks are due to burnout and unexpected attendance problems. Breaks based on good officer planning, however, can be beneficial! A recent Officers Quarters article on WOWinsider had really great advice for guilds about how to take good breaks from raiding.

There are a couple things that I think my guild got right with taking our holiday break:

  1. We have already accomplished our main goal of killing Lei Shen on normal-mode and had recently started progression into hard-modes. With the next raid tier still a few months away, taking a break before raiders showed signs of burnout (rather than after the raid was burnt out) meant that we were celebrating the success of our guild rather than failure. In addition, rather than taking a break at a key progression point, we’re taking a break at a time when we have already met our primary goal and are making good progress towards secondary goals.
  2. We planned the break in advance, discussed it as officers, and posted notice to the guild a few days in advance.  We set a firm date of when the break started and the break ended, meaning that it was announced as a “vacation”, and we stayed within the 1 to 2 week time-frame suggested by the WOWinsider post. Thus, we allowed our raid members to make alternative plans with their families during that time. So, I planned a short (2 or 3 day) trip out of town during our raid break, so that I get away from not only raiding, but my normal daily habits as well.
  3. We timed this break around a holiday that was likely to interfere with progress anyway – with multiple holidays and people planning to take off raid nights, a mid-week holiday usually interferes with multiple days of raiding due to vacations people take off from work. While we will often try to raid on holidays, it made sense for us to give extra days off around this particular holiday due to the timing.
  4. Our officers are avoiding running “alt” raids or other organized group content. While some of our non-officer members are trying to organize things to do during our break, our officers and raid leaders aren’t involved in making that happen. This means that the officers get a much needed rest themselves and the “break” activities don’t feel mandatory when they don’t come from an officer.

Does your guild normally take breaks for holidays? What advice would you give to raid leaders trying to balance progression speed with the need for people to have lives outside the game?

Have a great Canada day and US Independence day this week!

One Comment

  1. Muphrid
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I agree with your guild’s decision here. While each guild is different, major holidays are times when people are less likely to be available and they make a natural time for breaks. I don’t generally like to schedule a break for more than a reset, though I’ve been considering a break of up to two weeks if 5.4 looks imminent and we’re not close on any new boss kills. In general, though, we’ve usually looked at signups and tried to weigh whether we could or could not raid based on that. I remember last Thanksgiving being quite surprised how strong the signups were and raiding through that week despite my expectations.

    Right now we’re very close on a new boss kill, so we decided to try to keep raiding during the next reset despite uncertainty. My expectations for this coming reset are somewhat modest; even just a full clear without any progression attempts wouldn’t be a terrible crime.