I made a comment on vent on Monday night about something which has challenged me and others in the guild. Reading The Hammer Strikes (Oakensledge's blog) this morning brought the issue back up in my mind.
Like most other guilds, Heroes has players in various levels. We're not all L70, running Heroics and Karazhan. Some are in their 60's levelling up in Outlands, while others are still in the old Azerothian world, trying to level up their toons. As we are a "casual guild", everyone has their own play time and play as often or seldom as they want.
One of the problems the lower levels face is in getting groups for the quests and instances they need to do. It can be hard to get PuGs for some of the lower level or less popular instances. As well, even if you can get a PuG it can usually be a very unpleasant experience. As such, the lower level players look to the higher levels for help. I can appreciate how these lower level players feel as I have been in their position before. It's frustrating to not be able to do these quests or instances on your own or with groups you can form on your own. Nobody likes a bad PuG and well you're in a guild so you'd rather group with these other people in your guild. Not everyone is just looking for a free ride. Yet at the same time, getting help from the higher levels can be frustratingly difficult because they're always so busy running their own instances. And you feel like a jerk asking everyone for help all the time but if you don't you feel ignored and left out.
It's no fun on the other end too. As a L70, I've been asked for help not just by guildees, but random strangers as well. I like to help when I can. One of the great things about playing a feral druid is that you can do almost anything especially when it comes to helping out lower level players. While any L70 could likely help out a lower level, a feral druid can help in different ways: just heal the player while he does all the work, tank for them, dps for them.
But you can easily get overwhelmed trying to help everyone. I've got my own goals I'd like to accomplish as well that is outside of just raiding Kara and getting better drops. I've recently dropped skinning for herbalism and am in the process of levelling that up. There are quests I really want to finish off, rep chains I'd like to get exalted with, and there are other L70's I'd like to help out with stuff as well.
So, it's also frustrating for those of us at the other end of the spectrum. I don't have the play time I used to and when I'm on, I have a list of things I'd like to try to accomplish. Yet at the same time I feel like a jerk if I don't help a fellow guildee out.
What's the solution? I don't think there's a straight-forward or easy one. We have had some folks in Heroes in the past that used to be what I would call "Takers". These people came into the guild and just asked to be run through everything and basically powerlevelled. They always wanted to go to instances that were well above their level. They always wanted help getting the best drops for their level. These people have made some veteran Heroes wary whenever they are asked for help. I know it's made me wary.
I don't think we have any "Takers" in our guild currently. Most people ask for help with stuff that is in their level bracket but just requires a group to do. At the same time, I have seen many times where higher level players have helped out the lower level players. Our guild has a lot of generous people.
In the end, I don't think there is a problem in our guild. The lower levels must remind themselves that they aren't jerks for asking for help. As long as they aren't always asking or begging for help, they're fine. They also need to remind themselves that they aren't being ignored if no one offers to help. Sometimes we L70's can be a little self-absorbed but more often than not, we are just busy and concentrated on what we're doing and do not mean to ignore anyone. Heck, just ask my wife about what it's like to talk to me when I'm on the computer! :P
As well, the higher levels need to not feel like they're jerks if they decline to help someone. This is their playtime and they should be allowed to play guilt-free. At the same time, they should keep in mind the plight of the lower levels and occassionally offer to help someone or go out of their way to help others.
As a guild, I think we can communicate better. There are often several people who are at the same level that aren't grouping together, so don't know they have the same quests to do. A higher level may not want to run 4 different individuals through Sunken Temple four different times but if the 4 individuals communicated, they could run ST themselves or get 1 higher level to help the group of them do this. This is the best way to get help.
We can also do more guild events where the focus is to help out lower levels with instances they need. This should be something we do on a regular basis and I think it would go a long way to helping people out.