Nobody likes to admit it but our days are numbered. It is only a question of time until it happens. As much as you prepare for the worst case, you can never be sure it wont happen again.
The S.L.O.P.P.Y Raid
"SLOPPY Raid" stands for "Supprising Lack Of Proper People ReadY - Raid". Okay, I made this up, who cares. But you know what I am talking about. The nightmare of every raid leader.
You recruited enough people to be able to replace people even while a running raid. You have enough people who play double roles to switch into different raid compositions, for emergencies you have proper equipped twinks and friends who can jump in on short notice. Sign ups are looking good, a couple people can not come but you have that all covered and replacement is good. You are relaxing before the raid by watching some old sci-fi tv series when it hits.
The "Raid Phone" rings. No joke, I have a mobile phone that is only used for one purpose. To give the number out to people I know online so they can reach me if its important. That phone rings and its like the music accelerating in a horror movie. Either it will get REAL ugly very soon or its just a fake shocker.
Heal team down to 3 core people, down from 7. Tank team down to 2 from 4. Damage dealer missing their strongest people and the lineup consist mainly out of replacement. You do your job, you call in replacements, you figure out who has to come on a twink or has to respec or play offspec but deep in your heart you know that it wont work. The damage will be too low to get anything serious done, the heal setup is either lacking direct throughput on single target or group heal, and the tank replacement is inexperienced.
And of course, some people can not come. Emergency because somebody got injured, you know that it will happen. Down to 24 people. I am not talking about these "we can down the boss easy with 24 people because they are good", more like the "even with 30 people that might not work out" kind. And then, computer failure, connection issues, you see it unfolding long before you hang up the phone. That wont go anywhere. We wont get past Lady Deathwisperer HC and even if, Sauerfang HC will be the end.
What now? Cancel the raid? Try it anyway? Do something else?
You grind your teeth and try to make up with motivation what is lacking. Halion 25 better then usual, Lord Marrowgar HC without much issue and there we go.
Wipe, wipe, wipe-wipe-wipe. Do not get me wrong, they are getting better. Slowly. But that edge that you need to down a little trickier bosses like Lady Deathwisperer HC is just not there. The damage is just a little too low to pass the enrage. The switches just a little too imprecise to keep the adds under control. The CC just a bit too slow, the heal just a little to random and wipe. Good wipes, almost down wipes, fail pull wipes, concentrated wipe, wipes with people screaming, wipes with no one talking and then the evening is finaly over.
Your wrists hurt, your head spins and you have only one thought. That must not happen again. Every person who just looks unreliable gets crucified. Anyone who coughs in voice chat is being forced to go to bed so he wont be sick. No one is allowed to engage in risky activity of any kind. You desperately search new people for the guild, see whom of the old people you can reactivate and although you still have days you make death threats against anyone who did not immediately sign up.
But you know, it will happen again, regardless how good you prepare, it will come for you when you least expect it.