I am happy to report that it seems I was just having bad luck with PUGs on my first few days. Good groups have become the norm. PUG groups have become not just an option, but my primary source of randoms, until I can get the guild whipped into shape.
The guild’s “charity case” hunter is now pulling much better dps, and executes mechanics and switches targets when she’s supposed to. She’s still a little slow, but I think she’ll improve slightly with practice. She may never have lightning reflexes, but she’s at the point where I can work with her. I can compensate for a tick or two of damage while slow people move: at least they’re moving. I plan to run another reg or two with her and then let her know that she’s ready for heroics. This makes me so proud of her.
As for the rest of the guild, I’m trying to find a pleasant way to break some unpleasant truths to them. Perhaps the stickiest situation is the guild leader. She’s been very forthcoming with praise about the way my sister and I are training people. While we’re glad that she can see the progress others are making, we’re trying to find a way to break it to her that she’s towards the top of the list of people that need help. She has threat issues (especially aoe), she never explains fights, and she stacks stamina so she is squishier than someone in her gear (i360) should be. Her solution to trying to prevent wipes is to cherry-pick the easiest instances, robbing people of the bonus points for randoms. I’m sorry, but that’s just poor leadership. If you know that most of your guild members have mechanics issues, trying to find easy encounters is not a solution to your problem.
I don’t want to risk upsetting her, but the guild is reaching a critical situation because the current environment is toxic. Several new members have seen what the guild does in heroics and have promptly left the guild. Other new members have become extraordinarily less active since going on a run with the guild or hearing or seeing numbers from the runs. Even long-time members have become less active (one PUGs in the middle of the night when few people are online) or started taking measures to reduce runs with the guild. One has taken to asking who is going on a run before accepting an invite. He won’t accept if certain people are going.
I don’t want to come across as harsh, because the guild was built around the concept of being fun and friendly. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun. I’m aware that this is just a game, and that there are varying levels of skill. But the fact of the matter is that right now, the guild’s play is so poor that it’s chasing people away. Which is little wonder, considering that people in 350+ gear cannot down a level 85 regular without several wipes. We have a rogue who puts out 1-3K dps. She’s one of the first to jump to “it’s just a game” if somebody brings up the idea of improving (say by learning a rotation or practicing at a dummy). Yes, it’s just a game. But it’s a team game, and if I can’t rely on you to do your fair share, I don’t want you on my team. I have no interest in carrying inept players through content. I came from a group of players that was both polite and competent on my old server, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to settle for only one on the new server.