WoW: Raiding Guilds

Raids are where guilds shine.

We’ve seen that just about any random 5 people including a tank, a healer and 3 DPS can eventually get through heroic content. It might be painful, but a single person can carry the group if needed.

One person cannot carry a raid.

One person can wreck a raid, whether it be through poor performance or poor attitude.

Raiding guilds serve as places for like-minded people to gather and not wreck their own raids.

And it is here that we find the biggest difference between the bemoaned random heroic PuG and the Raid.

Raiding as a guild means you get to say who is in your company. If you don’t like the company you keep, you have no one to blame but yourself.

It is in raiding guilds that we can set rules and “you must be this 1337 to raid with us” requirements.

We can have applications and interviews and armory stalking and trial memberships and bribery with chocolate.

In a PuG, you’re looking at 10-30 minutes with those people. In a guild, you’re looking at the possibility of YEARS spent with them.

Getting bent out of shape because the clueless guy in your PuG can’t break 1k isn’t worth it. He’ll be gone before you know it.

If that same guy applies to your guild… there is your golden opportunity to say GTFO and no one will think you’re an elitist jerk.

In Shadow Rising we published our guild charter and starting very soon it will be a requirement to read and agree to it to be invited to a raid.

If you’re curious, it’s over here:

It’s long. It talks about a lot of stuff.

It’s also mostly copy/paste from another guild charter that someone else had, if it’s yours please take it as a compliment that we stole it.

When you work for a corporation, or if your small business management has gone to one of those “think like big business” seminars, you’ve heard the term “corporate culture.”

Allow me to whip out the Wikipedia here: “Corporate culture is the total sum of the values, customs, traditions and meanings that make a company unique. Corporate culture is often called “the character of an organization” since it embodies the vision of the company’s founders. The values of a corporate culture influence the ethical standards within a corporation, as well as managerial behavior.”

We’ve got the same thing in WoW, there is guild culture.

Some guilds require all their people to supply all the mats for their own enchants and consumables. We provide for our raiders. It’s a difference in the guild culture.

Some guilds look only for gear/skill. We look for personality/potential. It’s a difference in guild culture.

As a guild leader, along with my officers, it’s up to me to shape and enforce that culture.

As a raider, it’s your responsibility to find a guild that presents a culture you are comfortable with.

I see my guild as having three groups of people.

We have the social members.

These are friends and family that are just looking for a place to hang out, to run some heroics, chat while leveling. Some may be Relaxed raiders, others have no aspirations to set foot in a raid.

I have the Entry-level raiders.

These are individuals that are interested in raiding with us, but need to focus on gearing themselves up through emblems and learning more about their class.

And then come my Focused raiders.

These guys are where my heart and soul is for the guild. These are the ones that listen to me explain fights and take it like the soldiers they are when I’m yelling at them to get out of the fire.

My expectations for the 3 groups are different.

From the socials, I want nothing more than a respectful personality. I don’t want to see them in trade chat talking smack. I don’t want to hear about them dropping parties/ninja-ing loot or any other unsavory habits. I don’t want to log on and see guild chat full of (serious) insults. This applies to all my guild members. We are all wearing the same guild tag. Failure to represent the guild in a positive fashion will lead to removal. I won’t tolerate one rotten apple giving us all a bad name.

From the entry-level raiders I expect respect and effort.

I do not mind running heroics with lesser geared guildies (or PuGs even), but I want to see some demonstrated effort from these people to advance their gear on their own if they wish to raid with us.

We had a priest join and within something like 2 days he went from scrub, fresh 80 gear to 4-piece T9. Orangeslice, you can correct me on how long it actually took you, but it was insane. I think one day he spent 14 hours in heroics.

I do NOT expect any raider of mine to do that, we think Orangeslice is a little insane after that. But to watch someone with that drive and determination, well, it set the bar pretty high for what I know other people can do. Just running a heroic or 2 every other day will net someone full T9 and equivalent off pieces very soon. We also have crafters in the guild capable of making several of the ToCr and Uld patterns (and one ICC pattern!)

The important thing is to show the effort. I do not want people just sitting on their ass, waiting to be carried through a raid. I expect these people to ask questions about their performance and what tools they can use to improve themselves. Then I expect that they show a little effort and apply the information we pass on. Effort.

Did I use the word “effort” enough? How about motivation? Desire? Drive? That’s what I’m after.

People shouldn’t wait to be told, “hey, your DPS/HPS/TPS/whatever could really use some improvement.” Any individual that wants to be a serious raider should be looking around themselves and asking, “hey, what can I improve?”

From my focused raiders, I expect respect, effort, and reliability.

Raiding is a privilege. We are just about at the point where I will be able to start enforcing a semblance of rules. Currently only raiders that have posted their raid availability on the forums are receiving raid invites. Next up, we’ll require that the charter be signed. Then we’ll require that they’ve signed off on the fights in our raid forums. After that, people that accept raids and don’t show may find themselves benched. I want to bring the best I can, but if the best is only going to show half the time, I would be better off bringing almost the best and getting them the experience they need to become the best.

I expect my raiders to honor their time commitments. Life happens, I know that. Emergencies will come up. Cats catch on fire and cars get stolen. But they should be the exception, not the norm. If emergencies become the status quo, it is not fair to the other 9 or 24 people waiting and I will be forced to make replacements, most likely on a permanent basis.

I expect them to be familiar with raids before entering – I don’t care if it’s new or old content. I have a couple people (Dozzer and Orangeslice) that do a fantastic job of getting the new information for the fights and posting it to our guild forums. Videos, strats, our notes on what worked and didn’t work for us, it’s all there. No excuses to not be kept up to date.

(One of the easiest ways for an entry-level raider to show their determination is to be caught up on this stuff. Then when life happens and I find myself short a raider I can reach out to that group and find the ones that want to make it up to the next level.)

I expect my raiders to be knowledgeable about their class. They don’t need to memorize pages of data from EJ. They don’t need a cookie cutter spec (but if they’re doing something freaky they best be able to explain WHY and WHAT is going on.) They should know what stats are important to them and how to balance around new pieces of gear. They should know what benefits they bring to the raid. They should know what mechanics work to their advantage and which ones work against them.

To the people that don’t have the time (read: won’t make the time) to keep up on the fights or to research their class, I don’t have time to find room for you in my raids. Again, raiding is a privilege and raid spots will be going to those that have demonstrated the ability and the desire to be there.


  • Don’t like PuGs? Join a guild. But join a guild with the appropriate culture for your goals.
  • Want to raid? Show that you want it. Research, get involved, stay on top of your game.

18 comments on “WoW: Raiding Guilds

  1. Tiræl says:

    +1000 Internetz

    Also, it is a good thing SR recruits based on personality/potential..wait a sec..HOW IN THE HELL DID I GET IN????

    Also, a good raider (which I am not) learns humility. You are going to futz up new/unknown encounters. You are not going to execute things the way you want to every single time. The best thing any raider could do after a perceived failure (we call these “wipes”) is pick themselves back up (usuallly requires a spatula) reevaluate the situation, listen to suggestions, and fix what went wrong.

    One thing I learned through years of raiding is this:

    You never learn anything from a one-shot. The test of a true raider lies in coming back after a wipe and applying what they learned.


  2. Delerius says:


    This should be required reading for anyone in SR. Or, anyone in the game for that matter.

    Well written.

    And yes, Orangeslice is insane. But we knew that already.


  3. […] Arioch’s post today is now required reading for anyone who would ever think of joining even a casual guild, let a lone a raiding guild. […]


  4. koalabear21 says:

    What no Nelfs?



  5. slice213 says:

    “We had a priest join and within something like 2 days he went from scrub, fresh 80 gear to 4-piece T9. Orangeslice, you can correct me on how long it actually took you, but it was insane. I think one day he spent 14 hours in heroics.”

    Yeah it was fun…and i am going to do it again and drag a certain Warlock around with me.

    O.O i expect everyone to gear up that fast!!!!


  6. Doz says:

    I expect everyone to already have 5 80’s geared and ready to raid if the guild needs it.


  7. theerivs says:

    Funny story, back in Vanilla WoW. In the most awesome place ever The Barrens. There was an idiot spewing crap in Barrens Chat..Stuff so bad Mankirks wife would blush…and she’s dead. I get in a little tiff with him, then just write him off as another Barrens moron.

    Anywho his name was Irongiant, well 2 months later I go on vacation.then come back. Guess who is in my guild now, yep Irongiant. So I whisper the Guild Leader, and tell him my thoughts, the GL says we’ll give him a shot.

    Well it turns out this guy was an idiot, and we kicked him from the guild. From then on amongst us we used Irongiant as an insult. I had the moniker of Iron Giant 2.0 for a long while on my guild notes.


  8. Rurjaos says:

    Corporate/guild culture is what you want the guild the represent. Members have to think: “Yes, thats ME!”, coporate identity has to be reached to mirror that idea.
    That leads me to the presumption, that you face the problem, that not every member, who sees himself as focused, matches the prerquisites you set. Especially, reacting to your communication, to the little hints you gave them. I have that problem with my mostly social guild, with members who want to (see) raid(s), but are not willing to commit to the necessity of time, dedication and communication. Realising, that I have no way to transport MY idea of raiding to them, isn’t/wasn’t a good experience.


  9. Raven says:

    I posted this on my guild website. I didn’t actually link you but I did type in the link…it’s just that lazy bastards won’t be able to use it cause they will actually have to type it in their web browser /gasp. Great post.


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