View Full Version : My Life As A Casual Raider - By Soulonn

09-14-2007, 10:02 AM
Soulonnís Casual Raiding Manifesto

It is not my intent, in the following post, to say in definite terms what a casual raiding guild should or must be. My intent is only to lay out what, in my experience, has worked, the problems that the casual raiding guild faces, and possible solutions. Every guild has its own dynamic, a fact that Iím very aware of. Therefore you must play to your own guildís strengths when seeking solutions, but some problems can be universally approached the same way.

With the purpose of this post laid out, I guess the next step is to introduce myself. My experience comes mostly from playing EverQuest. I played EQ for 6 years, and spent my time there in a grand total of 2 guilds. I was in a family style guild (more on those later) for 2 years and a casual raiding guild for 4. The casual raiding guild was thought to be in the top 5 server-wide, being the first to break into the Plane of Time as a casual raiding guild. I never achieved the rank of officer in either guild officially, but through good play and responsible behavior, I was afforded respect that many officers never achieve. In World of Warcraft, I have had some bad experiences with guilds, mostly guilds that tried to become casual raiding guilds and failed to do so. Iíll have a subsection dedicated to the pitfalls and obstacles every casual raiding guild must face in WoW.

Now that the introductions are over, on with the show!

Guild Types

Any discussion about casual raiding guild must logically begin with a definition or description of what a casual raiding guild is. Sometimes the best description of the casual raiding guild includes what a casual raiding is NOT, more than what exactly it is, as the nature of the casual raiding guild is nebulous and often cannot be described to a T. But Iíll work my way through the spectrum of guild types, in a very general manner, from most casual to least.

Family Guilds- these guilds are formed by a group of friends, most frequently. Whether they are real life friends or friends that met in the game, it matters not. These guilds typically top out at 5 man instances, and sometimes form alliances with other guilds to attempt other raid instances. One of the benefits of these guilds is that they always play together so they know each otherís play styles better than just about anyone can hope for. A high level of teamwork means that they can pull off tricks that other similarly equipped characters cannot. Loot is awarded on an informal basis; recruits are often scarce, made up of family or friends met while filling in the 5 man groups or in pick up groups. Fun factor is high, and demands are low.

Casual Guilds- these guilds are 1 step above the family guilds, and resemble more of a fraternity frame of mind than the family guilds. They invite as many people as possible, to keep the pool of players large, so everyone has a potential group in the making. Itís tough to know everyone in this type of guild, and harder still to play as a cohesive unit as a result. Loot is still awarded through greed/need, and recruits are invited as a direct result of spamming the LFG channel. Due to the nature of this guild, resources are more abundantly available. More tradeskillers means more crafted armor and weapons, and more members usually mean the availability of a vent/ts server and/or a webpage with forums.

Casual Raiding Guilds- the mission of this type of guild is to be a family style guild that has the numbers, skill, and ability to raid at a fairly high level. They wonít necessarily be in the top 10 guilds on a server, but that isnít their aim. They hope to see the raid instancesÖ eventually, on their own terms. The guild, the membership, and RL come first for everyone. People with families, jobs, and other commitments are an integral part of these guilds and give it their personality. Raid attendance is typically not required, loot is distributed by various means (Iíll discuss the systems Iíve encountered), and they typically have at least as many if not more resources available to them as the casual guilds.

Raiding Guilds- High amounts of play time, high amounts of effort, high amounts of ability, and a high amount of progression is the name of the game for these guilds. Thatís if all goes well. If all does not go well, then youíre a struggling Raiding Guild. Ha. I donít have much experience with this guild type, so I canít write much about them.

Regarding Casual Raiding Guilds:

Everyone that plays this game plays for a different reason. Some play it just to do something with friends. Others do it as boredom relief. Some play it to ďwin.Ē Others do it for a feeling of accomplishment. Some play to test themselves. Some play it for all these reasons. At some point we all do a self assessment of what we want out of this game and choose our path accordingly. I have never had the time or type of schedule to allow me to be part of a raiding guild, and a lot of people are in the same boat. However, I do want to challenge myself to become better, and in my experience the casual raiding guild is a perfect fit for me for this reason. In the following paragraphs I will attempt to layout the structure and key policies that are the basis for a successful casual raiding guild, according to my experiences.

Guild Structure

Guild Master/Guild Leader- in my guild, the GM was more a figurehead or behind-the-scenes type of leader. He managed the other officers, and dealt with any conflicts that arose or escalated above the officer level. This included conflicts among the officers or between members. Also, the GM was the public voice/face of the guild. Anyone wishing to make an alliance, or having a conflict with someone in the guild was encouraged to speak to the guild master.

Class Leads: just what they sound like, these individuals managed the class they were put in charge of. Depending on the size of the guild, you could have fewer or more officers in this role. A small guild may only need an officer in charge of the melee classes, and one for casters/ranged, while a large guild may want to have an officer for every class. These individuals are tasked with keeping their classes in order, having some idea as to the ability/gear of each of their members, and knowing the role of each member in a raid. Often they are looked up to as the ďexpertĒ on the class they play. This pool of officers was often drawn on to make up the raid team (more on that later).

Raid Team: many guilds employ one or only a couple raid leaders; my guild used a raid team. This decentralized the responsibility and allowed the raid leaders to enjoy the game a little more, as all that responsibility wasnít thrown on them every time we wanted to raid. This team can be made up of members or officers alike, but their knowledge of the raid instances is crucial. This team was made up of people that wanted to raid more than the average member, and wanted to be successful in their endeavors. They researched, and knew what weíd have to do to get the job done.

Loot Council: In our guild we used a loot council to distribute loot. This also set us apart from other guilds that were raiding the same content we were. In any case, use what you deem necessary. The loot council in a DKP system would just refer to the people tasked with maintaining the system is all.

Recruitment Officer: an officer dedicated to handling new apps, filling class needs as relayed by the class officers via the Guild Leader.

Members- in our guild, every member was valued just as much as the next one. We respected each other, and we were always sure that a new member was a good fit (more on the recruitment/application process we used in the next section).

Apps: potential new guildies, fodder for hazing (j/k).

Recruiting and the Application Process

Every guild, whether they are just starting out or have been established for a long time, faces a time when numbers begin to dwindle, and they donít have enough numbers to accomplish their goals. Enter the recruiting and application process. Hereís how it went in our guild. We were aided immensely by our reputation as one of the finest casual raiding guilds in EverQuest, but the following policies should help guide you regardless.

1. Set a cutoff point- the needs of the guild need to be decided, and then the requirements for applications must then be set. A casual raiding guild in WoW that is just getting started might, for example, want to set a level requirement of 60 or 65, and then also perhaps add a spec requirement. These requirements assist in gauging the ebb and flow of membership. If you want to open the flood gates, lower the level/gear/spec requirements.
2. Duration of the Application Process- our guild set the minimum duration of the application process to 2 weeks. The person would remain unguilded during that period of time. This showed the personís commitment to the guild, and 2 weeks isnít really that long a time. Applicants had their own chat channel to join, and that was the main point of contact between apps and members.
3. Sponsorship- Every app must find a sponsor from within the guild. Someone that has grouped with them frequently enough to evaluate their skills and personality and judge them to be a good fit for the guild. A guild member could only sponsor 1 applicant at a time.
4. Guildy Approval- In our guild, 10 recommendations or ďrecs,Ē and fewer than 2 black marks were required in order for an app to become a member. No member could have more than 3 recs handed out at any given time. To put this in perspective, we had about 60 or so members. All in all, 10 out of 60 members is a pretty good number. Itís definitely not a majority, but if 10 people like the app, and other guild members are like-minded, itís a good sign the others will like him.
5. Raid Attendance Requirement- This may seem odd for a casual raiding guild, but it was the only time attendance was required. The applicants were required to attend at least 2 raids before they could be invited to the guild. Not 2 consecutive raids, just 2 raids. This was used to judge their performance in a raid environment, as we WERE looking for people who had the abilities for raiding.
6. Preinvitation Interview(s)- The final step before the applicant was invited was for them to interview with the class lead, the sponsor, and the guild leader. Typically it was a performance review (in the raids you did pretty well, we just ask that you work on this a little bit, see the class lead if you have an questions, how do you like it, etc). When an app made it this far, chance are they would be invited.
7. Invitation/Probation Period- After invitation to the guild, the applicant was on probation. 1 complaint against them meant a boot. Applicants in the probation could not attain loot, again to show their commitment to the guild. This helped cut down on the loot-and-scoot phenomenon that affected other guilds.
8. Full Membership- After that two week period, the applicant was treated as a full member with all the rights and privileges thereof. They could be awarded loot, and could sponsor and rec new applicants.

The Good Stuff (Loot Systems)

In general there are a few methods to distribute loot, and here Iíll actually be a little specific to WoW. Thereís need/greed, DKP, and Loot Council. I honestly donít see need/greed rolling making it in a raiding guild of any sort, so Iíll discuss the other two methods.

DKP (Dragon Kill Points)- Members are awarded points for raid attendance, extra points for boss kills, and points awarded as ďincentivesĒ for certain behavior (showing up on time for example). Many people preach the fairness of these systems, which allow even a casual player to accumulate points, and then spend them. I was never a fan of these systems, even though I raided often enough that I would have always been near the top for total points.

Loot Council: this method requires a mature group of leaders and most importantly a mature group of members in order to work. In a casual raiding guild, the focus isnít strictly on player/character development or progression, but on the guild and members themselves. You donít want to see your fellow members floundering; you want to see them get upgrades and participate in raids too. My guild used certain weighted criteria to distribute loot through the loot council. Here they are:
1. Amount of upgrade- if there are two players interested in an item, and it would only be a marginal upgrade to the one player but a good-sized upgrade to the other, it would be weighted toward being awarded to that second player.
2. Date of last upgrade- we looked at the last time a player attained an upgrade as well. If again two players were interested in an item, and it had been one day since one got an upgrade and a couple weeks for the otherÖ can you guess how this would be weighted?
3. Raid Attendance- we never penalized people for not attending raids, but we did include it in our consideration for loot, albeit at a lesser weight than other criteria. If we award the loot to someone that raids with us more often, the argument is that the raids get easier, and more loot drops for everyone else.
Those are just the criteria we started with. By the end we had added more to further incentivize the membership to follow certain behaviors. Loot is a very good motivator for behavior. 

Loot Heirarchy

I mentioned earlier that apps could not receive loot. This was more or less true. We had a hierarchy of loot and it was simple: Members => Alts => Apps. This isnít as applicable in WoW raids, as alts canít be brought in after a fight to loot a mob, but if a player chooses to use bring an alt to a raid, they would be placed in the same hierarchy. They would only get a chance if full Members did not want that item. Apps would be last in the consideration. If even the Apps didnít want it the item would then be banked if possible or sold and the proceeds banked.

Well, thatís it for now. I would say Iím cutting it short, but this hasnít exactly been short. In the near future, I plan to put together an FAQ, with problems Iíve found face a casual raiding guild, and solutions we used. Iíll also put together a Tips section, with miscellaneous quick tips I feel donít fit into any other category. Feel free to ask any questions, and Iíll do my best to answer them from my own perspective, but remember that I by no means consider myself an expert on this subject, just more knowledgeable than the typical player.

09-16-2007, 11:22 AM
Your description of a casual raiding guild fits us to a T - really glad to hear there are others out there like us. Since all we bump in to seems to be casual or hardcore, its nice to see there are others like us.

Tho, a key few of our officers are anti-DKP so we just /roll 100 on everything with some modifications; first people who fit the gear can roll, but if you win you cant roll later on anything else. If noone is willing to blow their one roll on it they can kick a void crystal to the bank to buy it.

09-16-2007, 04:59 PM
My guild fits the description of a casual raiding guild fairly well.

We use a combination of loot council and Suicide Kings - WoWWiki, the Warcraft wiki (http://www.wowwiki.com/Suicide_Kings) to distribute all the loot.

-- gyre --

09-16-2007, 09:15 PM
Wow I've been thinking about this for a lil bit but never sat down to write it up. You put it down far better than I could have.

09-17-2007, 06:34 AM
Thanks for the feedback, good to hear from you all. I've been so frustrated in game lately that I've been thinking about putting together my own guild along these lines, but I don't think I have the time to do it... so my unguildedness continues... haha.

09-18-2007, 10:09 AM
I think your article is well written, and definitely describes a good amount of casual raiding guilds on WoW. I ran a 60 member casual raiding guild on Everquest for awhile (in addition to two other family guilds at earlier points in my EQ life), and we did things markedly different than you have laid out here. I thought it would be a good addition to your article if I added those differences, and why I chose to use them in the guild I set up.

Before I start, I wanted to emphasize the importance of a raid schedule in any guild. Basically when we were not raiding, we were like a family guild. Everyone knew one another, etc. When we were raiding, we were much like a raiding guild, with hard, fast rules for use when we were on raids. This latter statement is paramount in the success of larger raids, and I think it's necessary because it's not fair for a majority of the raid to have to go through the pain caused by a few jerk off members who have whatever reason they have for not caring much about the raid (showing up late, not following directions, etc). These few kinds of people, in my experience, must either get in line with what the raid is there to do, or usually just ended up getting a /gkick, which was never an easy decision, but a necessary one.

-- Guild Structure --

For the guild I created, we had only a handful of officers. The only reason someone was promoted to officer was due to a need for work to be done for the guild. Work that would require an elevated status within the guild (the ability to act on behalf of the guild, and give general guidance to members). Basically, I wanted to make sure all of my officers had roughly the same amount of work, so the title would not be watered down and the work would be as evenly distrbuted as possible. Here are the different officerships I created:

Raid Leader:
These officers ran raids. That's all they did, which is work enough. If you've ever lead a raid (especially in EQ with so many required to raid) then you know how much work it is. When a raid leader was running a raid, he or she was the leader of the guild at that moment. What he or she said was followed without question to ensure the raid's success. Part of this was due to how much time was being expended as a whole to get this raid done. 40+ people * 4+ hours. That's a lot of hours.

We had about 3 or 4 of these at any given time. They would each rotate around the schedule, and work out who would lead what raids.

This was a hard slot to fill for our guild. In casual guilds, I found it was very hard to find people willing to do the work necessary to sustain the guild and it's raids. Everybody wanted to raid, but nobody wanted to step up and do the work. Because of this, I was always in the raid team, even though it eventually lead to my burn out.

Recruitment Officer:
This officer ran all the recruitment in our guild from policy to recruitment drive to interviews and applications. It was a tough job. This officer usually had two assistants.

Raid Heal Leader:
This position was dedicated to training our healers on the heal chain. This was definitely a very EQ specific position because the healer coordination in EQ raids had to be exact. The tank would often be killed by just a few hits, so each heal had to land within a precise amount of time from each other. The main reason we had to have this heal rotation was because often times the problem with healing was the healers running out of mana, and so this way we could utilize 4 or 5 healer's worth of mana pool to main heal the MT. I don't think you would need this in WoW, since healing doesn't seem to work the same way.

DKP Officer:
This officer handled the DKP system. They logged all transactions of DKP in and out, along with who looted what and for how much DKP. I actually wrote a little VBA code in an Excel sheet to handle our DKP. It was so simple. It even published to our site, so everyone could see everyone elses DKP and who looted what, etc. (we never actually filled this position - I ended up doing it - It wasn't too bad though - It didn't take much time at all)

Website Officer:
This officer handled the website, which mainly consisted of managing the front news page of our site. Documenting our kills and adding some narrative, etc.

Both the DKP Officer and Website officer were to be the same person, as these two jobs amounted to approximately one job (DKP was really easy to manage).

That was it. We had no class leaders. Everyone knew who to ask questions of, and most people would just post on the boards if they had any questions they needed answers. If we ever put class leaders in, they would probably not be officers but instead some form of NCO, because a class lead just wouldn't have much work to do; therefore, it wouldn't be prudent to give them the same title as a raid leader or the recruitment officer, etc. That's just my opinion (and the conclusion myself and two friends came to when we first started the guild).

Our core officership was basically the raid leaders. The other half were administrative.

-- Loot --

As was mentioned, we used a DKP system. More specifically we used the zero sum DKP system, where you would take the points spent on loot during a raid by members who looted items and redistribute that evenly to the members who did not loot anything during the raid. No DKP inflation. Reward for each boss taken down (to encourage players to stay for the entire raid). We had no incentives for showing up on time, except that we left on time. If you weren't there when we left, you were left behind. It was harsh, but fair.

I really like the DKP system better than a loot council for very logical reasons:

- Casual raiders can have very unreliable attendance
The problem I found with causual raiders is they are not reliable. You can't run a raiding guild without reliably fielding enough people to raid. So I didn't want people that only showed to 1 out of 10 raids having an equal chance at getting a piece of loot as our core member who was there for 10 out of 10. You show up more often, you get loot more often. You have to remember it hurts more to lose that core member because they think the loot system is unfair (in this case it would be) than to lose the member that barely ever shows up. As a guild master, you have to think about the guild's health first, and member's health second. As a guild, members need to think of guild health before personal health. The DKP system promotes this.

- DKP system removes the possibility of favoritism or the appearance of favoritism
Favoritism in the looting system is one of the major reasons for guild drama. DKP removes all of that drama. If you raid, you get points for loot, you get to loot gear. It's that simple. Nobody in the guild tells you what you get to loot. If you're a tank spending your points on a mage item, hey that's your perogative. Good luck though, looting a mage item after you've spent your points on tank items. The mages will almost assuredly have more points than you, ergo you don't really stand a chance at getting the item. DKP puts the loot decision in the hands of the players. If you have good players, they know what to loot.

- You make your raid group stronger by gearing up your core raiders first, but without the drama
Everyone knows a piece of gear has a greater impact to the power of the raid when it goes to a raider who has a high level of attendance rather than a raider with a low level of attendance. Now some people will argue that the piece should go to the person for whom it's a bigger upgrade, but in my experience the core member spending DKP on an item is only usually spending it on something that's a big upgrade. Sure it's bigger for the person that doesn't come as often, but for the direct reason it's a big upgrade for them: they don't come very often. I'd rather have that big upgrade in the hands of a core member who will be at the next raid, and the next, etc. When more casual members complain, the answer is simple: You want more loot? Raid more. You want access to epics but just want to show once every two weeks? Join a family guild...but their raid push will fail because they can never field enough people who have done it enough to know what they're doing.

- DKP requires no debate between officers
Lastly, using a DKP system requires no input from officers regarding what loot is worth more to whom. KISS. You'll see what I mean later on when we talk about overhead. DKP is a low-overhead system in comparison to any other I've heard of. There's no thinking involved on the officer's part.

-- Application Process --

This is something I think every strong guild must do. You learn a lot about a potential recruit by the answers they give or don't give on your apps. The biggest thing you learn? How long of an attention span does this potential member have. I can't tell you how much headache it saves to weed out people with short attention spans. It makes raiding so much easier.

Here's our recruitment process in a nutshell:

- The applicant filled out an app
- It was reviewed by the Recruitment Officer
- If the RO felt the app was good, the RO would conduct a short interview with the app
- If that went well, the app was tagged
- The app was then on a month probationary period
- The app must meet or exceed the raid attendance requirement of a regular member by the end of the prob. period
- After a month, a thread would be set up were people could discuss the app
- If there were no seriously negative comments and the prob. member met or exceeded the raid attendance requirement, the app was given full membership

We handled app loot a bit differently. While a new member was on probation, they gained full DKP for every raid they attended, but their DKP did not become 'spendable' until they reached full member status. In this way we could avoid loot and scoots, while also still rewarding attendance. This is another advantage the DKP system has over the 'officer distributed' loot system. The probationary member doesn't have to wait out their probation before they can begin getting the eventual rewards of raiding. They get rewarded immediately.

This recruiting system worked very well. Out of the 100 or so total members that cycled through our guild, I think I only had to remove 1 probationary member, and never had to remove a regular member. Proably the biggest plus of this system is the reduced overhead of the system. There's no sponsor. There's no group interview. It's really just a wham-bam system. This low to no overhead is key to avoid officer burn out, as I'll discuss later in the post.

Now I'd like to mention a few things you didn't discuss, but I think are very necessary points of to think about:

-- Overhead and Burnout --

This is probably THE number one reason a casual guild breaks up. You're guild is running smooth, raids are really hitting, and then...the guild leader or a couple raid leaders just drop off the face of the earth. Probable cause? Burnout. Overhead just killed them.

This is the overarching design principle I utilized when designing my casual raid guild: keep administrative overhead low. Spend time playing and with guild members rather than on 'work'. So here are a few points to remember:

- KISS - Keep it simple stupid
Evaluate every policy or process you create for the guild. How much time will it take to maintain? How much is the guild actually getting out of the policy or procedure? Is it helping the core of your guild goals, which are probably, simply raiding new content? If any of these are a problem, retool the policy or proceedure to have the smallest impact with the greatest results possible. In fact, many of my policies and procedures were either pruned down because of these few questions or thrown out altogether as 'not worth the overhead'. Minimalism is the key here. Do the minimum required to get the guild running as it was envisioned to run.

- Spread the work out
Make sure the work is evenly distrubuted between officers. You don't want Suzy to be the RO, DKP Officer, Website Officer, and Healing leader, while Joe Blow over here just handles warrior questions as Warrior Class Lead. Take some of that from Suzy, and give it to Joe. If Joe doesn't want any real work, just demote him and get someone else. A guild needs officers who EXPECT an officership to be some level of work; not just a cool title.

- If you are GM, refuse to do all the work yourself
You simply cannot do everything, else you will be the one calling it quits. Then what will the guild do? You need officers that want to help share the burden, else it's all for naught. People need to step up and take the leadership positions the guild must have filled in order to function. Now you might have to cut corners to get things done until you get all the positions filled, but just make sure you do get them filled. If you don't, and you end up doing just about everything including leading every raid, count on a burnout at some point. Then your guild is going to die, and the members shouldn't have to wonder why if you have let them know you need help (in most cases it will die, I know from experience here). Eventually you really shouldn't be doing ANY of the work, besides that of a policy maker/supervisor. The GM's job is to make up what needs to be done, and see that OTHER people are getting it done.

Usually this isn't too much of a problem, since the GM won't really just create a guild without any friends who have already said they'll share the load with you as officers.

-- Raid Attendance Requirement --

A lot of casual raiders disagree with me, but I think it's important to have a minimal raid attendance requirement. This tethered to a 'If we are raiding and you're online, you're raiding or you're in backup to raid' policy forced the idea that all new members MUST have the desire to raid.

Firstly, I think this sets the expectations for new recruits. They don't have to wonder what level of attendace is enough or not enough. They know we expect members to be at x% of all raids right off the bat. My guild decided early on that 33% was a good number. Each member was required to be at 1 out of every 3 raids over a rolling six month period. This gave a lot of leeway for vacations and weird schedules. We raided 2 nights a week at first, and expanded to 3 nights a week. We figured once a week was a good number.

Secondly, you must field an adequate number of raiders at every raid. My goal was to make sure no raid was ever cancelled due to low turn out. These two policies helped ensure we would have enough. Some would say 50% would be a better number to ensure adequate attendance, but IMO someone who can commit to 33% will most likely make at least 70%. Every member will either make about 50-70%, or will make less than 30%. It's weird how that happens naturally, but it does.

Thirdly, these requirements will weed out people that want to join, but who cannot or will not contribute to your guild's main goal of seeing new raiding content. Trust me there are people out there who will join your guild with no intention or desire to raid. You really don't want these people, because they dillute the desire of your guild to raid, and generally tend to go against any policies around raiding. They're very counter-productive to the goal of raiding. I've even had a member quit once because I wouldn't guild their RL friend who didn't want to raid at all, but in the long run I saved my guild from being glut with people who would voice their opinion that raiding 'should be totally optional', which would then turn us into a family guild and stagnate our raiding efforts (give me a hell yeah if you've been in about 4589405 family guilds who tried to raid, usually just to blow it in an almost comedic fashion).

See, I guess in my mind, the only thing that differentiates a casual raiding guild from a hardcore raiding guild is the number of raids per week and the percentage attendance required. To me the only difference is in how fast we are taking down content. Everything else is pretty much the same.

I've always had a huge interest in the running of casual raiding guilds. I just don't really have the time to do it myself. Running a guild requires a certain amount of priority, and with Family and Work, I just can't do it. lol Maybe someday I'll do it again, but never unless I have support enough up front to spread the work around. I burn out fast when stacked with all the work.

Hope this helps your article.

09-18-2007, 11:49 AM
I think you describe more of a semi-casual raiding guild. To me the biggest policy of a casual raiding guild regards raid attendance: Attendance is appreciated, but not required. This is very hard to deal with; I know from personal experience, but to go against this policy would change the nature of the guild in my mind. You see, at any given time in a casual guild of any sort, you will have people that will progress faster than others (usually turn into the guild's raiding corps), and some that will progress at a slower rate, but still want to contribute in their own ways. When we would find ourselves short on raiders, we would set our sights on older/easier content, despite some members' protests that we'd have enough if so-and-so would just log on their main and heal. We never forced or required someone to do something.

You mention the importance of maintaining a raid schedule. I agree wholeheartedly. Personally I recommend was an every-other-day raid schedule. This maintains a rigid flexibility that was fair to all involved. You see, one week you'll raid monday, wednesday, friday, sunday. The next week you'd raid tuesday, thursday, and saturday. This means that people that have set commitments (such as night class, sunday football games,etc) can participate in the raids the following week. It also helps your guild members plan their time out ahead of time. Off-nights, you could do whatever you wanted; organize member-led raids (for the ones that really wanted to raid), guild groups (pvp, pve), or just log off and take a breather.

Regarding DKP vs. Loot Council: I was part of a guild that despised DKP for many reasons. It was our feeling that DKP just could not take into consideration the human element of the guild, which we valued highly. A person who has to put in overtime at work and take care of their family will not gain DKP at nearly the same rate as someone who has none of those responsibilities, it's a fact. Yet, in our guild, we valued that former example just as much as the latter, so why shouldn't they be considered for loot as well? The happiest moment for me was when a piece of loot was awarded to a relatively new member who was attending perhaps her 3rd raid ever. Prior to finding our guild, she never had time for raids, because she was a single mother, going to night school and working long days too. She got that loot, and you could tell she was about as happy as a person can get. Isn't that a better story than "Loot dropped. So-and-so had more points, so they won. Oh goody."

I guess it all comes down to the mission of your guild. For me, the ideal guild focuses on its people more than the game itself. It recognizes the need that people have for character development (be it through upgrades obtained raiding, or just pushing the envelope in a 5 man guild group), and does its best to meet those needs.

09-19-2007, 07:54 AM
Ah see I would call your style a family raiding guild, with no real set commitments, just raiding on-the-fly with whoever and whatever was ready to go. I've only seen that kind of raiding work one time out of about 10 at least. Usually a guild that raids like that can't get enough people consistantly to raid anything that would drop loot anybody would actually wear. Kind of like if you were going to raid MC after everyone had outlands gear.

I think Family raiders could raid Kara well enough, but I think they would have a significantly harder time with 25 mans, and this goes triple for any EQ raiding, which is were most of my experience with family raiders comes from. It's one thing to get 25 family raiders together and quite another to get 40+ or more.

I like the idea of the family raiding guild, but I can't stand the utter frustration that ensues. But as you have mentioned, every guild is different, and there are a lot of different kinds of players and raiders. To each his own. Either way it's good to put all of it in a casual raid article since both styles fit into the article, I think. Unless you wanted to break it down even further into Family Raiders and Casual Raiders, which it sounds like are two different groups: one has no commitments to raid, while the latter does.

09-19-2007, 10:38 AM
wow very nice read. You mind if I post this on my guilds forum? since it is the kind of guild were aiming for.

09-19-2007, 02:10 PM
I'll accept the label of family raiders, sure. I think too many people have a prejudicial misconception of what is and isn't possible for such a "family raiding" guild to achieve. I bid you go to Heroes of Luclin - News (http://www.heroesofluclin.com) That's the EQ guild I hail from. Sure EQ requires more people, which just makes what they're able to accomplish that much more amazing, doesn't it? Arrowson, go ahead and post it on your forums. Spread the word that these guilds are possible.

09-20-2007, 07:36 AM
Thanks :)