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Thread: The Weekly Marmot - The Casual Raiding Guild

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    The Weekly Marmot - The Casual Raiding Guild


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    Lore,

    That was a great addition to your series (of which I think I've watched every episode). I'm a raid leader of what I call a casual 25-man raid group. We meet twice a week for only 2 hours each (we have members in EST and PST who work). I've been hoping you'd give your take on this topic and I think you covered much of the basics.

    One thing I want to mention is that your definition of casual works pretty good, but I think that one thing that has allowed our group to continue to be somewhat successful, is that we have a subset (myself included) who don't meet your definition. I frequently work my life around the raid (for better or worse) but I do have to try to understand that not everybody can. Our biggest struggle is finding enough players who are comfortable with the casual schedule and the progression that brings, while still being capable players. Our attendance rises and falls frequently and it's likely the biggest source of my frustration.

    I often think that I would rather consider our raid as a serious raid with a casual schedule. I've seen others who are successful with this, though none with only 4 hours of raid time a week. Any thoughts on what can make such a group work?

    -Garumako

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    you shoulda went with black and gold on the jersey....BRUINS ALL THE WAY BABY!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garumako View Post
    Lore,

    That was a great addition to your series (of which I think I've watched every episode). I'm a raid leader of what I call a casual 25-man raid group. We meet twice a week for only 2 hours each (we have members in EST and PST who work). I've been hoping you'd give your take on this topic and I think you covered much of the basics.

    One thing I want to mention is that your definition of casual works pretty good, but I think that one thing that has allowed our group to continue to be somewhat successful, is that we have a subset (myself included) who don't meet your definition. I frequently work my life around the raid (for better or worse) but I do have to try to understand that not everybody can. Our biggest struggle is finding enough players who are comfortable with the casual schedule and the progression that brings, while still being capable players. Our attendance rises and falls frequently and it's likely the biggest source of my frustration.

    I often think that I would rather consider our raid as a serious raid with a casual schedule. I've seen others who are successful with this, though none with only 4 hours of raid time a week. Any thoughts on what can make such a group work?

    -Garumako
    Your best bet is to PM him here on TS and he might get to your question on PST. Not saying he won't respond here but he tends to save the good questions for PST.
    RIP Stormrage Horde ('05 - '11). Turaylon Horde since 11/11 where there's actually people
    GM of Neolutum (always recruiting, PM me)

  5. #5
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    Nice show, my guild was just talking yesterday about moving from a standard fixed point style DKP system to the EPGP system that you talked about in your show. It does seem a pretty fair way of doing it, heres a fairly easy to understand quote of the maths side of it he couldnt remember:

    EP you constantly get. The only way this is removed is by decay. (i.e. when awarding items, this does not go down).

    GP is awarded upon receiving items. This does decay.

    EP / GP = PR - This is actively calculated using the addon. Simply put, the highest PR score in the raid that wants an item receives.


    So, the more you do for the guild, the more raids you attend, the more right you have to loot. The more you receive, the less right you have to loot.

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    The other advantage to EPGP is that a mod can handle it for you ... so not a lot of manual book keeping.
    RIP Stormrage Horde ('05 - '11). Turaylon Horde since 11/11 where there's actually people
    GM of Neolutum (always recruiting, PM me)

  7. #7
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    yurp, we've used EPGP for a while now as a guild, you can set your own values for it, and your own EP gains, and how much you want to decay. we basically have our EP set up so that if you attend 75% of our raids (our guild rules requirement for raiders) you'll stay right above EP threshold for loot, and therefore have the right to loot. GP is weighting is up to the individual guild, we have charges for Main spec, contested offspec, and side grades. uncontested offspec is free. I think it not only is good as a system to the officers because it makes management easy, it also prevents overhoarding of dkp (chances are once you get 1 or 2 items, you're done for the week at least until others get more gear), but it allows players to know exactly where they stand in the list, and it's 100% transparent.

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    I could not contain my laughter at "t.y.e. #1, baby!!!!"

    Now, on topic. I do believe that "casual" is too loose of a term to pin on another player/guild. It's kind of a personal gauge thing.

    Ex.: I view myself as "casual" who is described by others as "hardcore". I'm extremely into the game, do plenty of reading on classes I don't even play, study lore in spare time, PvP regularly, raid lead from time to time, etc. However, I identify myself as casual because my life is that of a musician first, WoW player second. However, while in vent or skype, I will ramble on about the news of patch notes, hotfixes, lore, and whatnot, so people think I'm "hardcore" because I'm so knowledgeable. On top of that, I am online and playing for rather long periods of time, which makes people think I have no life, when really, I've just got nothing better to do.

    So, my main point here is that only YOU can call yourself a casual player, and only YOU can claim to be a hardcore player. Don't let anyone tell you what you are (unless you're only of those trade trolls at level 1 spouting off on how "hardcore" you are, then yea, I got bad news for ya, pal). XD

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    Since we on the subject of clothes , I really hope one day you represent and wear a baseball cap, a big azz white T shirt, and perhaps a gold cap on one your teeth, you would then look like my 80s rap hero EAZY E!
    "Gnoma Brasi sleeps withs the murlocs"

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    I love the videos, but I never noticed it. You have that purple unicorn in the background, its a pillow pet that sells at Wal-Mart. My 4 year old daughter has it, and my wife gives me constant grief for being a geek. Then one day im watching this video, and she sees that pillow pet in the background, and shes been giving me crap ever since lol! Whats the story there?

  11. #11
    That was given to him at the Cataclsym Midnight release party by some attendees. It is named Gurdjif (sp?). On a video related note, I am the guild master of a Casual Raiding guild and found this video very interesting. We just use open roll with main specs prioritized over off specs for loot.

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    Gurdjieff.

  13. #13
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    A guild I was in a while back used a very simple version of the first loot system you talked about. We had a spread sheet on Google docs that kept track of how many raids you attended and how many main spec pieces of loot you had received. Attendance/pieces of loot = loot priority. Ties were decided with a roll.

    Very simple and once you give out the view link everyone can see where everyone else stands.

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    Yeah but EPGP doesn't require any external resources (just a mod) and is 100% transparent for everyone. After years of raiding with various loot systems I'm of the opinion there's basically four worth discussing any more, from simplest to most complex: /Roll, Suicide Kings (and variants), EPGP, and Loot council. Honestly suicide kings even feels like more work than EPGP at this point.
    RIP Stormrage Horde ('05 - '11). Turaylon Horde since 11/11 where there's actually people
    GM of Neolutum (always recruiting, PM me)

  15. #15
    Not to detract from anything Lore or any of the other posters have commented on, but an additional topic to add to this is that some casual raiders feel that hardcore raiders are elitists. Due to a rejected application stemming from lack of experience to incorrect gemming, some casual raiders feel they've been done wrong and lash out at the hardcore raider community.

    First off, I've been there. I was a caca tank wanting to be apart of Fusion back during the beginning of WotLK. I thought to myself, "Hey, I'm a decent tank...they should take me as a backup!" Boy...was I wrong!! At that point, I began researching what world top guilds were requiring from applicants. I looked at it as "these guys require me to have a Master's Degree and I only have an Associate's". I didn't bash the guild, I simply did and attained what was required of most top-level guilds.

    Fast forward two years later and I'm in a guild that is well-progressed, respectful, and full of people I don't have to mute or bite my tongue for. I honestly wouldn't want to be anywhwere else, even a place that has all content on farm.



    As a casual raider wanting to progress on heroic modes with a hardcore guild, you must do so gradually. One must become oriented with criticism and learn to improve each and everytime. On top of that, hardcore raiders have learned to police themselves through analyzing parses and doing research...over time, of course. I don't think there's any hardcore raider that hasn't been a casual raider by definition at some point in their WoW career.

    There are other things like stepping out of one's comfort zone to perform a task. For instance, if you've been progressing for weeks on a fight that requires multiple interrupts that were being done by rogues and dks and this week, both rogues don't show up due to real-life situations, you may be required to step in and perform their tasks. A casual raider may feel too much pressure or may not be able to catch on in an expeditious manner like a hardcore guild would like.

    WoW is a game where you continuously learn different ways to achieve a goal (progression kill). With that, it takes time to learn these ways.

    Take your time to learn your class and your role in raids and gradually progress with guilds that are of equal skill level until you're in a hardcore guild...if that's your end goal.

    Tookee, the Great
    Last edited by gundecker; 05-20-2011 at 11:05 AM.

  16. #16
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    No doubt there's plenty of elitists amongst the hardcore. I know I am painfully elitist and sometimes it has an advantageous effect on those around me (inspires them to perform better) and sometimes it's adverse (intimidates them to shut down). You hit on many of the key points though and for me an attribute that "separates the men from the boys" is the way a player reacts to criticism as this reflects their ability to self-analyze. Personally I love criticism as I look at it as a tool that can only help but I have a very clear awareness of what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong. Criticism that is unfounded I can easily ignore. Criticism that IS grounded in facts though I can use to improve.

    I (or any other elitist bastard) run into trouble when I aim criticism at people who just can't handle it. They either shut down or they get defensive or they in general just don't deal well with it and I find this is largely because the more non-elitist people have less idea of what they are doing right or wrong so all criticism sounds like an attack. This causes a rift and nothing further can be gained from the interaction. However I don't see this as a rift between casual or hardcore (ugh, nebulous terms). I know casual raiders who self-analyze as much as any hardcore full time raider ... only their lives don't permit them the luxury of a hardcore schedule.

    It's merely a personality thing I guess. Some people play for "fun" and some people play for "real". I guess that's the real distinction here.
    RIP Stormrage Horde ('05 - '11). Turaylon Horde since 11/11 where there's actually people
    GM of Neolutum (always recruiting, PM me)

  17. #17
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    I've been raid leading a casual guild for all of cata and I've had some real success so far, I figured I could share some of my insight here.

    The biggest hurdle we've overcome is filling the raid, but something you need to know is it's okay to bring pugs. If you know you need to fill the roles with trade chat be careful to clearly define what's going on. Example, let them know that the raid is only 3 hours long, we anticipate this many bosses, we've cleared up through here. These are facts that will keep a pug from leaving your raid out of frustration and make sure you're inviting someone who won't be toxic to your atmosphere.

    How you lead your raid is also key, patience in raid leaders is important but when you lead a casual guild it's even more so. You're trying to accomplish a lot in a small amount of time (for us it's 6 hours of raiding a week). How you lead your raid should be consious of that, and your raiders should be aware that time wasted is a big deal. I find myself leading in a very even tone, and actually get made fun of because of it. This lends me the advantage of not sounding like I'm coming down on someone when they mess up, it's strictly informative. What I've seen so far is that it alsO helps with recruitment, a relaxed atmosphere with no flipping out or finger pointing is very attractive to other raiders, especially some who are looking to come from somewhere a bit more hardcore, proving that you mean business and down bosses even on a more casual schedule takes the pressure off.

    Speaking of schEdules, stick to yours. If you don't get enough people to fill a raid, pug. If pigging doesn't work, we finally have the option of interesting 5 mans to do as a group, never just let a night drop off if you can help it.

    I guess what I'm trying to say in a tldr is this.
    Atmosphere is everything in your raid, leader keeps his cool, raiders keep their cool.
    When building a casual guild you're goig to find most of your raiders either haven't raided before, or not for some time, be prepared for the learning curve.
    Make it fun. This applies to any guild, but keeping a group of people not together 5 nights a week can be an interesting challenge, ifthe two nights you do raid are always stress free and successful you'll keep people coming back

  18. #18
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    We started our guild as a casual raiding with the mindset of progressing through endgame content, but with only by spending 2-3 nights a week (which means 2 nights are regular and a 3rd only if people are up for it and we're close to a kill). It worked out so-so, the problem was however that the 3rd night didn't happen often at the end as a 25-man and it was obvious that we're carrying the last 5 people every raid which meant that heroic kills were far and few between.

    So we switched to 10-man in Cataclysm and now we have one group that's got 11/13 and another one with 3/13. And that's only by raiding 2 nights a week and occasionally a 3rd! So it can be done. Problems however we run into are its hard to recruit when people drops off, the 2nd group wants as good progress as the 1st and it creates jealousy but ultimately it works out. One thing we officers have tried to advocate is that committing to raiding rewards you. Even though we are casual the 1st group is a bunch of people who all knows their classes, show up for every raid, spend a lot of time on the side looking up strategies and PTR changes and what not and it gets us very far.

    As for the loot system: EPGP was good but it had one downside. We wanted to reward our reserves that sit on the bench, ready to jump in if someone has to go or DC's. However some people could be reserves for weeks without actually getting a spot and when they finally did, they would buy some awesome piece of loot that non of our core raiders had (such as the heroic tokens in ICC). We thought about dropping down their points to half or something but as Lore said: Everyone's time is equally worth and if we did that then people probably wouldn't want to be backup anymore. Nowadays we just go with rolls and talk things over during the raid and it works, it really does.

    Another problem is that we're a buddy guild which means that everyone in the guild is a RL-friend with someone else which means we don't kick people very often. All we can do for crappy people is not let them get a raiding spot, unless they improve. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't.

  19. #19
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    Thank you for this post. I found it really enlightening.

  20. #20
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    I run a guild exactly of the kind you describe in this video. Although we consider ourselves "semi-hardcore" since "casual" has such a stigma.

    Over the last 5 years I've used a million loot systems. EPGP is the best, fastest, and most efficient system to use and for members to understand.
    Livistos, Undead Priest, Guild Leader of HILYMI since 2006
    ESAK - Explorer 80.00%, Socializer 66.66%, Achiever 33.33%, Killer 20.00%

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