What can be particularly difficult to grasp, especially if you're not a GM, is why certain decisions are made, especially if (to you at least) there does not immediately seem to be a huge amount of logic to said choices. This morning's post is prompted by another personal recollection (I keep dreaming about bad GM choices, this is clearly a sign) and the understanding that sometimes, in order to allow your Guild to keep functioning, everybody needs to be prepared to sacrifice for the greater good.
End game progression is a harsh mistress, even in the lowly pools of Normal 10 Mans. The closer you get to an end boss, the more it begins to matter what happens. 'Completing' this part of the game may not come with a 'Stage Complete' message or a life bonus, but for most content it becomes a badge of honour, and certainly for those who are alive at the end a small pile of bragging rights. For a Guild of our size, the last boss of any tier used to be where the good weapons came from, and that was the case for both Deathwing and Arthas. As a result, once those two guys began to become distinct possibilities, certain mentalities changed.
In both expansions, the composition of our 10 mans were very similar: core players, people who had been with myself and Mr Alt since Vanilla, with a floating secondary group of people who would move in and out of the frame depending on real-life commitments. In both expansions, the bulk of the leg-work, the actually getting to the end boss bit would be done by pretty much the same group who began the Tier. However, once we'd approach the end boss, that would change. People who had previously paid little or no interest in raiding suddenly became interested, and would begin signing. As we have a policy in game to try include as many people as possible in our raiding if they come suitably prepared, suddenly I found myself having to turn people away, and in some cases actually running a second group.
I never killed Arthas the first time our Guild did. The same was true for Deathwing, and indeed for the Twin Emperors when we completed the Vaults on Normal (which is as far as we've done current content at correct level.) On those nights, when we had extra people and there was going to be an issue with who went, I took the decision to deliberately bench myself. As a dps, I could almost certainly guarantee there would be someone who could be taken who bought better utility to the raid composition than a Hunter did. More importantly however, if the GM was prepared to sit out the Guild's Boss Kill (and the Guild's achievement as a result) I hoped this would make other people consider sitting out with me and cheering from the sidelines. Sometimes, it isn't about the same people getting a kill, its the RIGHT people (which means the best chance of coming away with the goods.)
Doing what is best for your Guild, to keep a disparate group of people motivated and inspired, is bloody hard work. Being first has never bothered me. Nothing motivates everyone better and quicker than an end boss kill and the chance to have said encounter 'on farm.' If that means I have to wait a month before that happens, then so be it, because I think everybody in a Guild from the boss woman downwards sometimes has to take one for the team occasionally to allow everyone to move forward. Often, it can be hard to see if you're not the one organising things why certain decisions are taken: I've lost count of the times I've told people they're not being singled out, it isn't their fault they're not being taken, I'm just trying to be fair to everyone.
Of course, this isn't true of every guild, and your experience may vary. However, a kill can be just as satisfying, often more so, when you're NOT the one doing it, especially when it is your guild making the progress. This is certainly true for me, though it occurs to me that I might be the exception and not the rule...