DPS meters aren’t the only metric that should matter. There’s another one that’s far more important: Attendance.

Raiders who consistently show up are often better than the ones who don’t (or can’t). Why? Because they actually do damage when they’re there! Thankfully, there’s a variety of services out there that can help you with that. I’ve illustrated a few below. Not sure why you should care about attendance? Keep reading!

Your raiders don’t necessary have to show up all the time. It’s understandable that there are events going on that demand their presence. Of course, if they fail to show up enough times you can recognize the signs and start making moves to address that. But why wait? Why not let the trends illustrate the story? You can have a better way of tracking who shows up to raid. Don’t wait for them to come to you to tell you what you already know. Figure out the warning signs before they do and you can start recruiting for a potential opening.

What is the cut off?

When you first formed your guild, chances are you had an idea for how often players needed to show up. Most organized raiding or PvP guilds have a minimum attendance rate that they ask for. In this expansion, Conquest asks that players maintain an 80% attendance rate over 2 months of raiding. In other words, try to be here on time for 19 out of 24 raids. I’d say that’s pretty generous. That’s about 5 days raiders can take for personal reasons or for being late over 60 days. Some guilds ask for 95% while others are okay with a much more relaxed number.

Figure out what yours is and what you expect from your ideal players.

What happens if they drop under?

  • Players can be suspended from a raid until the leaders decide that they’re ready.
  • You can instruct them to “pay” their way back into raid with gold to earn their status back or donate a set amount of materials as a penance.
  • They can be immediately removed from the guild.

What happens if attendance drops?

With Conquest, my plan is that if a player falls under that 80% threshold over 60 days, I immediately hunt them down for a chat. I’ll hold off on any supplementary discipline but it’s important to first have a conversation with that player. Are they having problems maintaining that schedule because of external forces beyond their control? Is this a temporary thing? Are they losing interest in the game? If I can figure out why their attendance has dropped, I can start taking actions. If their job has piled on extra work, there’s nothing they can do about it. If it looks like the trend is going on for a long time, it might be the right move to release them so that they find another raid group that’s more accommodating for their time. If it’s a crunch period at work and shouldn’t last more than a few days or a week, it’s no big deal and it can be absorbed through. You never know if there’s a family or medical emergency that has to be dealt with.

Worst case is that they’re losing interest in the game but didn’t have the heart to tell you or they didn’t realize it themselves. Sometimes it takes a conversation with a GM to find out where one’s motivation is really at. That’s the cue for you to start looking around for more players or promote someone outside of the raid group who is looking in. Think of it as an opportunity!

But no matter what happens, you must initiate something. You have to keep your players accountable. Can’t go  on assuming in the long run that players who have attendance problems will continue to appear. If the evidence says otherwise, there’s a reason for it. How are you going to track attendance? I blasted a quick survey question on Twitter inviting others to list what they used to keep track of lateness and absences. Google Docs was an extremely common answer.

I’m not the greatest with spreadsheets. I find them cumbersome. Plus think of all the time wasted updating 25+ players attendance rates. I used to track attendance this way and then became sick of it shortly thereafter. Had to find something that was easier to use that any monkey could use in case I wasn’t around.

Luckily, there’s a few tools available for you to do just that.

Using Guild Launch and Rapid Raid

Guild Launch has their properietary Rapid Raid system. You can use their Rapid Raid addon to automatically import data over. In addition, other third party addons that can export eqDKP or XML strings should also be able to do the job. In addition, if your guild uses a DKP system, Guild Launch has flexible settings for calculating DKP earned and assigning it to your members. In case of any problems, there’s a manual override that can be used to change values.

Ensure that you are the last person leaving the raid to properly keep track of the attendance. Players who are not in your guild may not properly import into the system. They’ll have to be added manually. This could cause headaches for regular players who are raiding with your guild from off server.

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Using Enjin and Mizus Raid Tracker

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Enjin has a loot tracking and attendance module that can be used in a variety of ways to display attendance information. You have to use an addon to export the raid data to the site. It can display attendance rates from the past 30, 60, or 90 days (or attendance for life). In my case, the only column that matters the most is the 60 day column. The one I use is called Mizus Raid Tracker.

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MRT records everything from loot drops, to time joined, to bosses killed.

Step 1: Hit the Export button on the left under Raid List and copy everything in the window that appears (CTRL + A, then CTRL + C).

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Step 2: Switch over to your Enjin loot page. Click on the Import tab and paste the contents (CTRL + V), and click on the Import button below.

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Step 3: Make any attendance changes you need. If a player shows up late, you can uncheck their name. Even though they may have participated in some of the raid encounters, they were still late. You can use MRT to keep track of loot acquisition as well for tracking purposes. Useful for loot council to have a larger view on who has acquired loot and who still needs gear. Point system guilds can also enter values.

Try Enjin!

Using World of Logs

Note: World of Logs has not been and will probably not be updated for some time. Despite this, it is still worth keeping World of Logs until Warcraft Logs integrates similar capability.

For us, World of Logs shows us the last 14 raids. I’m not sure if that’s a static amount or if it scales based on the number of raids within a timeline. Either way, this page will show you whether or not a character was actually there at all during any period of the night (or at least, during a recorded attempt). If I was in raid and made it for one attempt before having to bail out because I had a hot date, I would still be shown as present even though I didn’t wipe as many times or help contribute to the kill.

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So in a way, World of Logs will show if a player was there at any point as long as they were in raid and were involved with attempts.

If you’re not familiar with World of Logs, it is a fantastic tool to analyse raid performance.

Using screenshots and spreadsheets to track

All these fancy-schmancy graphics not your thing? Do you find yourself unimpressed with learning a flashy new technology, only to have it become outdated within a month? Do you prefer the tried-and-true over the up-and-coming? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I have good news: spreadsheets might be for you!

In all seriousness, the good ol’ fashioned screenshot+spreadsheet combo is still one of the most reliable and easy-to-use tracking methods available. I personally suggest using a Google Doc (now known as Google Drive) for your spreadsheet. For one thing, it’s on the cloud, meaning a poorly-timed crash or random virus won’t affect it; furthermore, it allows you to edit permissions, meaning that you can allow your entire guild to see the doc (if you desire) but only allow a few to edit it.

Step 1: Invite all applicable members who are online and available to the raid group.

Step 2: Screenshot the raid.

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Step 3: Input into a Google Doc spreadsheet at the end of the night.

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(Note: this is a completely random spreadsheet with completely arbitrary numbers, not our actual attendance spreadsheet.)

You can use whatever format you want; the important input fields should include a space for dates, a space for names, and a space for calculations. You can also include the screenshots if you want, for extra transparency. Overall, it’s a little more work by-hand to be done, but it works like a charm, and its more reliable than any other method.

No knowledge of where to begin with a spreadsheet? Never fear! There are multitudes of different spreadsheets you can use – a simple Google search for “attendance spreadsheets” will turn up hundreds. In fact, the one pictured above was the result of a long-forgotten Google search, which I have lovingly re-tuned and re-uploaded for our readers here. Simply choose the example sheet which corresponds to your raid schedule needs and off you go!

There you have it! You now have four tried and true ways to get an accurate read on the attendance of your players. The information can tell you an incredible amount on the players attending your raids. Don’t take someone’s word on their attendance rates. Track it and let the data speak for itself. If attendance slides down too low, set a trigger and have a chat with them about it to find out what’s going on. You might have to go and start recruiting earlier than you expected.