Running Dynamis. Is it worth it anymore?

Dynamis is changing. We can and still do run it but the fact is, we’ve gotten so much and completed so many sets of relic that interest is dying off. Markedly so since the announcement of the final EAF pieces.

We’ve beaten Xarc and are working On Tav. The suggestion is we change things up a bit. Making it easier on the people who have been running the show, allowing peeps to pick up their odd pieces they still need for newer jobs and make a bit of gil. Rather than run this on a weekly basis, we might move it to the main linkshell and just go once a month. Allowing peeps to join another shell as long as it doesn’t conflict with our main events. As we only have three a week, that shouldn’t be too bad. There is some talk of the occasional money run too. But peeps will have the choice.

Fact is, no one in their right minds should start a second linkshell but we’ve done well and until yesterday I was pretty proud of what we’ve achieved.

By the end of yesterday though, I was so burnt out with it all I just wanted to tell people where to get off.

For the last 2.5 years we’ve run a successful dynamis shell. And for the most part the person doing all the admin for at least the first 9 months was me. Then Carp and I. Reccaa helped a bit, then later on Eiden and Slaan. But without being unfair to them, I’ve done the bulk of it and people have no idea what that’s like. The entire sack team has put up with two and a half years of questioning for a start.

Running dynamis isn’t just showing up.

Initially someone put the first 1million gil stake in. That was me. There were others willing to contribute should we mess up badly, just to get us going.

However, thanks to my three years and a couple of others’ prior experience of dynamis, and some great teamwork, we did really well and made lots of profit. So no one else ever needed to put gil up. /cheer linkshell.

Each week, the sacks have to ensure enough of them will be there to make it happen. Pretty much this has meant that I have been there for about 90% of runs if not more. I’ve missed more in the last 3 months than I did in the last 5 years and that really isn’t very many.

So for almost every Saturday over the last 2 and a half years, I haven’t chosen whether to be at dynamis or not really, I’ve just been there. That’s pretty sad if you think about it, but it’s been fun. And I’ve been there from 5pm until around 9.30pm on a Saturday evening.

Why 5? Because the questions start. People have no idea how many questions and queries come in every week. There’s the inevitable ‘which job should I bring’ which none of us can answer until other people show up anyway. I’m not sure why people think I should know. Most people come the same thing anyway, only a few of us switch around.

I’m usually BLM, sometimes RDM in dynamis. This is because I can’t main heal well and lead the run. It’s useful to be up front. Things are better now and Kenda or Kai could probably manage on most runs without me butting in but there are always questions and dealing with other run admin means I can’t effectively main heal.

So the questions start. I’ve set it up so people do not expect me to payout their dyna gil during the week but they usually ask before a run. Otherwise they would think its perfectly fine to ask me any time they’re on. If you fancy being asked at 35-45 different times over a week, to mule for individual dynamis gil, you can do it. The standard is after a run (which is also a headache). Doesn’t stop people asking at other times though.

But to get to point where you can run things, you have to know how to beat the zones. Sure there’s plenty of information. Old event is old. But we don’t come with dynamis installed in our brains. I was never involved in the frontline or the pulls in my old shell. I was the WHM in the tank party. So I (and a series of thieves) had to learn the pulls from scratch. Or in fact learn what to do to get to them.

Around 40 mins before the run starts people start popping in earnest. So then begins the puzzle that is alliance construction. It’s not hard but someone has to do it. Someone has to know who has which jobs. They also have to be aware of who isn’t coming today (and sometimes people don’t post so you have to make it up) and work out where the holes will be. We don’t simply roll out of bed, log in and start asking questions like most members do.

I know half the shell doesn’t have a clue who has what. I do. Never seems to sit in anyone else’s head for some reason.

So then of course we’re waiting to see if the peeps who usually pop, are popping and readjusting constantly.

We have an early point, which helps. This was thought about when we started up. If peeps get on early then we have enough time to change jobs around.

There’s of course the inevitable, where do we want to go today planning. Until recently we planned which zones we were going to do. No, I planned.

I did this based on where we had been recently, the bank and what people needed. The entire sack team spent months trying to keep on top of who needed which wins and of course when you recruit new people, you need new wins.

No one actually likes offering an opinion so the sacks have to make it up. So we do. Add in another shell or two going at the same time as you and you’re rarely likely to end up where you thought you would. Those decisions change every week, someone has to make them and that’s usually me, or the sack team.

 

Assuming you get to the point where you have a sane alliance and a decision on the zone, you now need an hourglass. Every week I (or if I’m not there) one of the sacks, go out to Castle Oz, Beadeaux or Davoi to buy the glass. It’s not a big hassle but it’s still a trip you have to do without fail. And irritating. You have to make sure you get back your 500k or send it from the bank to yourself each week.

During the run, you have to co-ordinate. The shell runs pretty smoothly now but it took a long time before SMN mobs were always pulled first, then BST. People now know that they should stun certain mobs etc. That didn’t come from nowhere. All that information came from somewhere, most of it from those of us up front, leading or pulling the run. How do you know what to do in dynamis? Because someone told you. Who? Yeah, us guys up front. Who told us? Well some experience, some reading and research and some trial and error. And guess who wiped the most? The frontline.

Being a BLM, at least initially, you were more likely to lose xp than any other job. Even more than the THF puller. Every week, the BLms had to show up, lose xp and then go relevel/buffer on Mt Z. The core of that group was Carp, Firi, Rotz, Arubus, later Mart and I. Mostly, but not exclusively, sacks. These days of course xp is no longer a problem but it was for a long time. And BLMs were never invited to xp on Colibri 😉

During the run, one person has to lot all the currency. That’s me, very occasionally Carp.

When anything drops, someone has to have the spreadsheet open. They have to know what the piece is which has dropped and then check who should lot. They then have to check that person or people are paying attention and ask them to lot. Should no one respond or need the drop, then they have to work out who is eligible to lot.

God forbid if a piece drops which someone who wasn’t paying attention doesn’t get to lot. Let the whining commence.

We’ll come back to the spreadsheet. This magical document which appears every week. Oh and of course the whole points system and gil payouts system thing sprung into being magically, with no effort from the team /end sarcasm.

So you lead the run, we get the win, farm like crazy and then its over right? Wrong.

 

After each run (most of the time) being quite tired and having dealt with lots of peeps for hours I then want a break. But I can’t until I’ve dealt with the dyna gil. It’s not a big issue but that just means bringing up the spreadsheet, logging into a mule and standing around waiting on peeps to come get it. It’s more time and admin as you have to make sure its recorded accurately. Usually during this time people are bugging you to do something or asking if anything is planned next. That or wanting to talk about the run/drops etc. At this point I’d rather be relaxing with a drink…

Recently, its gotten a bit easier with guildwork but we can’t do all our admin through it. For over 2 years we have been recording who shows up, including when. We’ve been trying to capture who leaves early and give an accurate list of timing so that the points are right. We have to make sure we know which jobs people are lotting on for main pieces and upgrades.

During the run, we also have to note down what has dropped and who got it. We do that for every item.

After the runs now, the sacks post up who showed etc and create a raid in Guildwork. To do that someone (aka Slaan and me) had to set up the events in guildwork in the first place. Then the attendees are added along with their points and the drops. 36 drops takes a long time to add.

But because we have a system which isn’t particularly Guildwork friendly, we still have to currently maintain a spreadsheet as well.

So every week, I have to download last week’s sheet. Then I transcribe attendance, work out who has skipped three weeks in a row, who has come back. check the job change thread and make sure that any job change info is recorded accurately. Do the points, make sure the runs attended are done and manually add in the drops to the individuals loot pool in the sheet. For our records we also record total numbers of pieces which have dropped for interest, so I update those too. I have to make a decision on who gets what points based on our rules.

This has to be uploaded to Google Docs, published and then the URL amended on a weekly basis.

The currency then goes to a mule for bazaaring. You have to check on the average prices. usually you start high and lower over a few days. Once the currency is sold, the gil goes straight to the dyna mule. This itself can be a hassle but thankfully I have 2 accounts.

The gil payouts are based on your attendance. This has to be updated in the spreadsheet also. At the end of every 4 week session, the payouts are calculated by me and announced on the forum.

Dynamis members don’t find themselves either. So you have to post up around the place advertising your shell. These messages are posted periodically on the major forums.

Neither do applicants just deal with themselves. Each applicant has to be reviewed, ok’d and pearled. They have to be added to the spreadsheet.

When peeps take breaks from the game, you have to make sure you keep a record of their points. You also have to keep an eye out for peeps who are skipping runs. You have to deal with people who won’t bring the jobs you need, especially if they want to lot gear for it.

These days its pretty straightforward but it still involves more than rolling out of bed and showing up and I can tell you now, anyone who ever touches linkshell running knows exactly how much additional stress it adds into everything you do.

It isn’t ‘just you’ who needs their dyna gil, wants to ask about drops/zones. It’s not ‘just you’ who asks every week after 2 years of attendance what time dynamis is. It’s not ‘just you’ who wants to know their points, or when the next gil payment is. We created the forum… who did? Was it you? No. Did you pay for the forum for 2 years? No. Do you set it up? Do you adminster it? Do you add and kick people from the forum or the shell? No.

Do you run an entire other event using the same shell which needs a different system to admin it (thankfully not as bad)? No. Do you run an entire other linkshell completely? No. Do I or the other sacks have to do it? No.

Do we get thanked for it? Hardly ever.  Although, to be fair, people do appreciate the gil

I’m sure I’ve missed things and I’m sure every ls leader who is reading this knows how deeply underappreciated we are. How no one ever thanks you for setting it up or making it happen. Obviously runs can’t happen without the members but on the whole they are for the members, not the leaders. Yet the leaders are the ones who do all this work every week.

I do wish that at times people would remember we’re not ‘the management’ but actually for example Eldelphia, Carpenter, Slaanesh and Eiden. People with lives, jobs and families.

That we don’t have to do this. That we don’t get paid. That we don’t benefit any more from this than everyone else (we don’t). That without us, you’d have to go find another shell to do this event with. That after two and half years, if people stop showing up there comes a point where the effort v reward ratio has slipped to the point where its not worth the time.

No one else is willing to do what I do. I’ve asked. No one else really wants to invest the time. So when the sea of drops we get every week, primarily autosort and attendance drops by 30+% since the update… its time to let it go.

This whole post was triggered by one person’s upset at change. We recognise people still need the odd thing and have offered provision for that. But before you whine, moan and generally bitch because things are changing, spare a though for the effort which goes into every event you attend and be grateful for once that you’re not in a shell where the leader hoovers up all the currency, fails to upgrade their relic and RMTs the lot before jumping server.

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Categories: Events, linkshell, Rant

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4 Comments on “Running Dynamis. Is it worth it anymore?”

  1. Mahoro
    January 11, 2011 at 19:55 #

    I have to say I usually enjoy reading your blog (being a WHM + SMN myself), and this post in particular as I am a SH in my own linkshell on Lakshmi. A nice and exhaustive summary of everything we do to run a shell behind the scenes, and how underappreciated some of it can be by others who just show up and inundate you with complaints or questions.

    Like

    • eldelphia
      January 12, 2011 at 14:16 #

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. It’s always interesting to hear other leader/sackholder’s experiences and to see whether they feel the same.

      Like

  2. January 12, 2011 at 03:46 #

    Great post, and as an officer in multiple linkshells I can whole heartely agree with everything you’ve listed. Too often it seems that linkshell leaders either screw over their membres or, if they try to be fair, are the ones to get screwed over. There’s too little appreciation and too much jumping ship lately.

    Like

    • eldelphia
      January 12, 2011 at 14:18 #

      Yes, there is. Anyone I know who has any form of leadership experience in FFXI says the same thing. People have no clue how much work goes into things. Interestingly enough we’ve had people leave the shell and later want to come back because as they’ve discovered the grass isn’t greener in another shell.

      Like

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