As most regular raiders will be aware, we’re not doing too badly as a guild as far as progression goes. For a non-mythic raiding guild, we are, at the time of writing, the 5th placed horde guild on our realm, which I think is rather good for a social/casual raiding guild. This makes no odds to me, and hopefully it should make no odds to the majority of us, because the intention is that we’re not raiding to get to the top of the charts, or to get the best gear, or to out-perform everyone else (although if that happens as an aside, that’s cool!) – we’re there to enjoy raiding as a guild, as a team and as a group. We’re there to experience the raid instance, the encounters and the bosses, have fun and have a bit of a giggle.
As I’ve pointed out many times in the past, and as was pointed out last night to me, we do expect that, even though we’re a casual raiding guild, people who sign up for raids do their homework, ensure they know the tactics of bosses (ESPECIALLY progression bosses) and come prepared. It is very bad manners, and disrespectful to the rest of the raiders and the team, to turn up unprepared and expect other people to carry you, to hand you flasks, food, enchants and gems without notice and without recompense.
Some people after raids have suggested we change how we raid. I have had, amongst others, the following suggestions:
- That we monitor performance and exclude from progression/heroic raids those who do not perform to a certain standard (ie, dying regularly, early; being unaware of basic tactics; not responding to requests and directions on Teamspeak)
- That we not allow new members to raid on progression/heroic raids until we know for definite (potentially including a quiz!) that they have read and understood the guild/raid rules and that they visit the website regularly.
For the former, I would say that this goes against the ethos of our guild – we are, and always will be, inclusive not exclusive. This means that sometimes our raiders are not perfect. Sometimes they haven’t had a lot of experience at raiding.
This is an opportunity to show that current raiders are team players and that, instead of suggesting those who don’t meet their standards get excluded, they think of ways to help and assist those who need it – rather that telling people what they can’t do, tell them what they CAN do. A positive attitude in a raid has a much bigger impact than a negative one, and a much better one.
I have been in many, many raids over the years where we have one or two people who were possibly exceptional players. Yet they were not “team players” .. they reduced morale by telling people they were bad, that they didn’t come up to scratch and that they should “L2P or leave”.
Invariably, once those offering the "advice" left, the raid team improved immeasurably.
If you’re constantly told that you’re no good, you start to believe it, you start playing to that lower standard and you never make the effort to improve because, hey, this “really good” player has told you that you’ll never get any better.
It is not possible to have a raid where everyone's performance is equal. There will always be some better than others. I am not going to start singling people out and excluding them because they're not at the top (or even middle) of the pile. We promote honesty and self-honesty, which includes being aware of your own shortcomings and working on them. We are all adults and I believe we should all be able to do this without intervention. Everyone has something they could work on, if they're honest with themselves - improving tactics, performance, raid readiness, spatial awareness, communication skills, etc.
If we do get to the point where the majority of members of a raid know the fight perfectly, and we have the same few who are consistently underperforming to the point where it is the only reason we are unable to down a boss .. then that is the time I will assess the situation and speak to the individuals concerned. And by "consistently" I mean more than a few night's attempts! HOWEVER .. we have not been in that situation for some time and, even when we have, in the majority of instances because people are self-aware, they are aware they are holding us back and will remove themselves from the raid without being asked.
As far as the latter point is concerned ... everyone who joins the guild is asked to read the guild rules and confirm they have done so. Everyone in the guild knows where the guild rules are. Everyone in the guild has access to those guild rules at any time and can refresh their knowledge (or ask) if they’re not sure. If they have not read the guild rules, then that will be discovered – in extreme cases in the past this has caused their removal from the guild, but in the majority of instances it just requires everyone else who knows the guild rules to point out the error of their ways.
Indeed .. I do remember it wasn’t that long ago when we had a discussion about the guild rules with some current regular raid members, and it turned out they hadn’t been aware of some of the rules either. And they had been on several raids prior to that being discovered :p
At the end of the day we have never lied about the type of guild we are. We have never misrepresented and we try to ensure that all conversations regarding the type of guild we are reinforce this.
We expect people to be team players, to do their best and be respectful of others. And this is relevant to everyone, regardless of how well you perform individually or as part of a team. We understand that sometimes people can have an off day, or that it takes some people longer than others to “get” a tactic or understand a bit of information. We understand that sometimes people just have something that makes raiding just that little bit more difficult for them than for others (including but not restricted to physical problems, software, hardware, living situations, etc).
We expect people to join raids to have fun as part of a group and as part of a team of imperfect people, and to be helpful not condescending or rude or bullying. We are not a bunch of random Puggers – we are your guild mates and team members. As the first rule in our guild rules states – “be nice”!!
If anyone feels they are not happy with the type of guild we are, or the way the raids are run, or feel they have outgrown the type of raiding we do, then there are plenty of other guilds out there that are perhaps more suitable. It’s better for everyone concerned if people who aren’t happy with our guild move on to find a guild they are happy in – there’s no point spending your hard earned cash on game time only to spend it in a guild that isn’t suitable.
I'm pretty new to the guild but I'd like to weigh in briefly.
It was the ethos of inclusion and positivity (so vehemently defended here) that attracted me to apply to the guild. I believe it's what you/we do best and should stick to.
Edit:...and I've had a great time raiding with you thus far :)