Pugging to fill out the raid
With the summer lull we have been having our usual attendance problems. 18-22 people from guild show up to raid. We tried an alliance with another guild. Due to their skill level and differences in the raid cultures this worked out about as well as you can expect. So now rather than call things for the night or go to Naxx yet again we have adopted to start pugging people in for the last few slots or our progression. This has been working surprisingly well. As a compare and contrast I would be curious if other people are doing this, how they are running them and how it is working out for them.
First off we try not to pug directly from LFG. I make a request to the guildies and regular PUGs in the raid group what roles we are looking for to fill out the raid and if the have any friends not in the guild that would be interested in running with us. This has been working as a pre-screening device with out having to go and dig through wow-heros scores or check achievements. The people we have been getting in are good players in both numbers, raid awareness and the all important not-being-a-dick categories. Because of this I have only had to ask one person to sit. And that was because of connection issues and she (and her husband who stayed in the raid) had no problems with me doing so. I also let the pugs know what our raid schedule for the week is. If they are available and we have room that I will bring them back so they don't have a single night on their save.
Loot is always a big issue. It caused problems with our joint runs but seems to be fine with our PUG runs. I've gotten some whispers from PUGs about our loot and they have said that they find it fairer than many PUGs that they have run on the server. I state our loot policy as we start the raid that way if there are people that have issues I can replace them then. All Runed Orbs, greens and fragments are taken by the guild. Patterns are rolled on by any one that has the skill to use them but they must learn the pattern when they receive it. One tier item per person. All mainspec items are /roll. If some one who /rolls has won more items than another rolling their roll is invalid. Offspec and recipies dont count as an item. BoEs are treated as BoP items and must be equiped if won. The guild will bank any unwanted mainspec BoE items.
For the fights themselves we are mixing progression with farm content. This insures that there will be at least something for people to have a chance at winning. The pugs also don't feel like they are wasting their time banging their head against a progression boss and wasting their time.. I always open up to the raid for suggestions on wipes. The pugs have brought in several new strats and tricks that have made several of the fights easier for us.
All in all it has been going pretty well for us to get us past the summer lull. We have even gotten a few new guild members out of it. So if you have been pugging into your runs or been thinking about it I would be curious to know what your experiences are like.
we were doing that in my guild (only 10-man) for around a month until the pugs out numbered the guild and we decided to take a hiatus until we could get some replacements.
it worked out really well for the most part. Most of the pugs we were bringing were alts from more progressed guilds who otherwise couldn't get in their guild raids. They knew the fights better than we did and were able to help us out a LOT and gave us some pretty good strategies for a couple bosses that we weren't really figuring out on our own.
Since it's just a 10-man run, loot was never an issue. /roll on it, good luck. 25-mans tend to muddy up the available classes for the loot so I can see the potential problems. We only had one issue really where the +spell shield dropped and both a shaman and a paladin rolled on it and the shaman felt they deserved it more because it's BiS for them, and not so much for the Paladin. Oh well. If you can't win a roll against one person, you don't really have much to bitch about.
We took all the greens for the guild and if anyone didn't want loot we sharded it and kept the shards too. We never really discussed the policy but nobody ever had a problem with it since I figure it's an assumed concept in general when you have a run with 3 pugs and 7 guild members right? The people we brought got a usually easy path to the loot that dropped without having to spend their guild's DKP or drama, so it worked for everyone.
We'll probably end up with the same strategy if we're able to move on to 25's and need to pug the last 5 slots until we recruit people. I find it works well as long as you don't resort to LFG to get people unless you spend the time to make sure they know what they're doing.