Admittedly I play in a *casual raiding guild*. I wouldn't have it any other way. The plus side is obvious from the word casual. We schedule our raids but by no means make them mandatory or issue punishments to those who miss them. It's a come as/when you can and together we'll fight our way through this progression type of scenario. Again, I wouldn't have it any other way. The negative side, however, is that raid success can be up and down (mostly when we're required to pug a few spots to get the thing off the ground), and consistently getting an invite to 10 man Ulduar is never a guarantee (seeing as we don't have the tanks and heals to form two separate groups week in and week out).
My question to those of you in smaller raiding guilds is this... How does your guild handle 10 man Ulduar groups? Do you schedule them on your guild calendar and take the first 10 who sign up? Do you have a set group of 10 that go, and the rest sit on the bench (or pug in)? What about some kind of regular rotation where everyone gets to roll with the guildies... just not every week?
In a previous post I wrote how I used to pug in to Ulduar whenever possible, just to make sure I got my loot chances in every week (back when I was obsessing over my gear score). Now I'm more than happy to sit on the side lines while our newer healers bang their heads against Ulduar, keeping myself available to fill in or fill out a raid when needed (hunting my drake in the meantime). After all, the more geared toons we have, the more successful we'll be going forward. Not everyone shares my view, however, as in recent weeks some people we've geared up have jumped ship looking for greener pastures. I feel no ill will towards those former guildies of mine, but I can't help but feel a bit slighted having helped bring them up then watching them leave before they can pay it forward.
Where do you all stand on this? Where does loyalty end and ambition begin for you? If a guild fits your play style but not your schedule do you move on? Is it more about playing with people you like or people who match your skill? Are guilds just a way to progress through the game, or are they more personal than that?
Personally, I'm in my guild because I enjoy playing/talking with everyone in it. I'm sure if I ran off to go join a hardcore group I'd earn newer flasher sexier gear, but it wouldn't be nearly as fun or satisfying as progressing with my friends. In a "what have you done for *me* lately" society, am I the only one who feels that way?