Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Group dynamics

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?

Just curious.


  1. Hi Beck!

    I think it's a lot about what exactly you want to get out of the instance. If the highest goal is to push through the content, get the hard modes and work on perfecting execution on the Glory of the Ulduar Raider achievement list, then what you would want to do is talk to the individuals who are dedicated enough to show up, take a few wipes in the name of progress, and (hopefully) have the skill to back it up. It might rub a few people the wrong way, but again, it's all dependent on what you want to get out of the instance. Once hard modes are completed, and the first real "team" get their achievements, people can start subbing in for the others to get theirs, sitting out as they see fit. Generally, a core of people can "carry" someone who's a.) not geared enough, b.) not skilled enough, or even c.) just doesn't really care and just wants the achievement. Dead weight, once execution is perfected, can be carried fairly easily. Don't take this the wrong way though, just a general statement!

    If your guild prefers to sit back, relax and enjoy the content, basically the only thing you need to make sure is to have the healers, the tanks, and take whoever wants to go on a first come first serve basis, using your best judgement on character and skill (ie does this person deserve to go in, over this person who will do better/pay attention/actually gives a damn?).

    Personally, since you asked... I've been on all ends of the spectrum, but I tend to stay in a guild more or longer because of the people, even if the scheduling and the raiding doesn't match up. I'm a hard core raider at heart (as I found out in TBC), but I left all that in favor of casual, "for fun" atmosphere. I tried a joint venture with a friend of mine to mix the two "for fun" and "hard core" attitudes together but... It didn't quite work, unfortunately. I ended up leaving that server for promises of progression but was pretty much lied to but I stuck around even despite hating it. I mean, I liked some of the people... the majority of people, honestly... But one person had it such a bad experience that I wanted to even quit the game. But still I stayed out of some misguided loyalty.

    I think I can attribute that to be some naive girl though. ^^ Lol.

  2. Heya,

    I am in a smallish guild, and while a lot of our guild is made up of casual players, some of the others are more progression driven. The result is about 8 people who are keen to raid, and another 4 to 6 who maybe want to, depending on mood and commitments.

    So some weeks we don’t have enough to get Uldaur off the ground, and other weeks we have too many who want to come.

    Our guild handles this by having a progression standard (ie can you dps/tps/hps x amt for 2 mins self buffed) and if you meet the standard you get an invite. First preference goes to the main roles of tanks and heals ….. and anyone who has previously sat out, to let someone else go. Then, out of the people who turn up raid ready (have food, flasks, gemmed and enchanted gear) the officers ask if anyone is willing to sit out.

    If you sit out it is recorded by the officers, and next time there are too many raiders, your spot is guaranteed. If no-one volunteers then the officers will pick someone who has not sat out recently.

    On the topic of loyalty, I think it is pretty poor form to use a guild to gear you up, and then make off with the loot. Anyone who does this is taking gear from the guild that would otherwise have gone to a raider who could help the group progress. I recently changed my main raiding toon ….. but until I was raid ready on my new main I continued to go on guild runs if needed on my old main. I did not take loot however, once this decision was made.

    I do understand that there are some people out there who are more interested on the hardcore raiding, and a small guild can’t meet these needs. I would hope that these people would be upfront with their intent to gear and leave. This is why Pugs were invented.

    Personally I find it more interesting to raid at a slower pace with friends that know how to respect each other, and have fun while slowly working our way through progression, than stepping on people who helped me out, just to see newer content faster.