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Idea: Forming a raid group outside a guild

First of all, I know that this is in no way an original idea. I’m sure it’s been done a million times before. But with the current circumstances the game and myself are in now, it seems like a good idea.

So here’s the deal

I’ve read blog after blog saying how difficult recruiting for a raiding guild has been this expansion. I’m certain that it’s partially due to the fact that players are more reluctant to leave an established guild, what with perks and reputation and achievements. It makes me wonder how many of them are like me, wanting to raid but unwilling to make the move to a new place with new people and all that rep to grind again. I love my guild and I like my place in it, but there’s still content I want to see, and somehow seeing it with a pug is worse than not seeing it at all. Funny how I can easily throw myself into random dungeons but stay away from pug raids like the plague. >.>

Bloodriver has attempted to get into raiding but something always happens to mess it up, even to the point where it was partially the cause of my long break. So we’re not going to try anymore, and that’s fine. We’re going back to our RP roots, which I fully support. But I know that within the guild, there are still folks who would like to raid, Kazi and myself included. That got me wondering how many people were in the same situation in other guilds, especially on an RP server like ours.

So I’ve decided to make a change

It’s always been easier to me to help the person in charge of something rather than take charge myself permanently. Our guild leader can tell you just how many times he left the guild in my hands during his breaks, and then as soon as he returned, I would immediately be shoving it back towards him, yelling “TAKE IT BACK!” But a guild officer, that I will happily be. This idea however is going to be my baby. I’m going to cast my shyness aside and declare myself the leader for it. I won’t be waiting on someone else to give me directions, all the decisions and responsibility will be mine. And it’s kinda scarey. O.o

It’ll be just like the title says

A raid group that has no guild association. One issue we’ve had before is guild members feeling they have some sort of entitlement for a spot simply for being in the guild. It won’t work that way this time.

I imagine the hardest part is going to be selecting the members. The requirements that I have in my head are rather…nebulous. One of the nice things about forming a guild raid is that you already know what kind of personalities you’re going to get. We all make the same crazy jokes and fooling around so we know that no one’s going to be offended by those in the raid. With strangers, you’re never sure if something is going to rub them the wrong way.

Here’s a quick brain dump of some of the possible requirements

  • Sense of adult humor (doesn’t get scared away by boob jokes)
  • Is more interested in seeing the content/story and having fun
  • Isn’t going to be a loot whore
  • Signs up for the raids and then actually shows
  • Shows up on time
  • Comes with necessary consumables (maybe on this one, I’m not a stickler for it)
  • Is good at playing their respective roles (how it’s done doesn’t matter to me at all, we’re just not going to carry people. This is also one of the more ambiguous requirements)
  • Understands we will wipe. A lot.
  • Has Mumble installed (at least to listen, although talking is always encouraged too. I’m too lazy to type strats :P)
  • Knows the fights ahead of time (maybe?)
  • Is willing to dedicate several hours a week to raiding on a certain day(s) at a certain time. I don’t want people who are going to show up once and then leave. That’s what pugs are for >.>

“Being a team player” basically sums it up. But everyone has a different view of what that is. For some, it’s just “Not punching the other guy in the face”. But I want more than that. I want a raid TEAM, the kind of group that works well together, both tactically and personality-wise. But I also don’t want to scare people away from having too many requirements. So that list above will need some refining.

Loots and stuff

I want to start on the first Cata raids (BWD/BoT/TFW) so I’m hoping that will limit the amount of loot whores and elitest that show up. My biggest worry right now is that all the people who want to be carried through the content will come out of the wood works. >.<

I haven’t definitively decided on the loot rules yet but it’s between Suicide Kings and a simple need/greed roll. I’m going to make sure that either myself or someone I really trust (Kazi’s my default trust-y person) will be loot master of course.

I’m hoping that enough people will like raiding Saturday and Sunday afternoons (or maybe Friday evenings instead of Sundays), because raiding after work for me isn’t all that great.

If I’m really really lucky, we’ll get a full 10-man with a few subs to rotate in/full spots of players that couldn’t make it. If I don’t get enough interest, then oh well, I gave it a shot. If everyone and their mother wants to join, I’ll probably be overwhelmed and have to scramble for some sort of solution fast. But, I’ll have to see the response first.

Feedback, I would love some

This is my first time really trying to organize something outside of my guild so I would love it if the blogging community could give me some feedback or tips on this idea. Every blogger is so intelligent, wise, experienced, and not to mention drop-dead gorgeous after all. 😉 /endflattery

What loot system would you recommend? How should I try to advertise this idea (word-of-mouth/ realm forums/in-game global channels/contacting respected guilds/etc.)? How should I weed out the undesirables? What requirements should I keep or should I have none at all? Am I out of my flipping mind for wanting to do this? Any and all suggestions/tips are graciously welcomed.

Afterthought: The Have Group, Will Travel ability doesn’t work across servers for raids right? Because it would be completely awesome if it did. Blogger raids!


  1. Posted September 30, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I’ve taken part in some non-guild associated raiding groups, and they tend to be difficult to schedule, but fun to run.

    The key thing to remember is that it is NOT a guild. You are offering no benefits outside of the raid you schedule, and therefore, expecting initial investment in your raid team to be high is… well, not to be expected.

    On the other hand, it’s not a guild *yay* so YOU can decide whether that guy you had last night should ever return again.

    I took part in two groups like this: 1 was a family that needed a few members to make a raid group in BC and the other was someone like you who loved her guild but wanted to raid.

    In both cases, I was “found” through PUGs, and I highly suggest that you do the same. The people you choose to PUG with don’t need to have any skill but being an agreeable and somewhat skilled raid member. That’s it. It also insures that the people you find aren’t confused about the objective of the group, it’s priorities, loot rules, or anything else.

    I’ll also say that both groups I was a part of had a more democratic approach to when to “finish” for the week. If 8 people could make it on Sunday, then 2 people would be picked up and the other 2 would just have to figure it out till the next established raid day. Both groups only had one set raid day and the rest was worked out by proxy.

    You should expect to be pugging new members with fair frequency, but once you gain 5-7 raid members, you’re pretty much an autonomous unit and things become much easier. If you don’t have a core group to start, it definitely can’t hurt to promote your raid in the guild forums.

    I’m not a big fan of DKP type systems, and I imagine you’d find it more trouble than it is worth. During my stint with one non-guild raiding group, we had approximately 50 *possible* raiders that we pulled on to fill in gaps. Need/greed worked great for us, and we never had a fuss. While you may feel inclined to “reward” your core raiding members, you’d likely not be successful without those once a month show-ups. If people feel that they will never gain loot/gear, they won’t even be willing to do that much, and you may lose your ability to keep a viable group running.

    The in-game calendar is actually a great tool for organizing this type of raiding environment. As you build up a roster of PUG-able players, you can send out invites and have a waiting roster to handle invites.

    Really, my only firm advice is to not get discouraged. There are always players looking for raiding environments, whether mains, alts or just folks looking for something new. 🙂

  2. Posted October 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    This is a really cool idea, I hope you have a lot of success with it! My brother leads a late-night raid with some close friends, and it operates in a very similar fashion – there would be about 3-5 core raiders, and then they’d bring in non-guild people who weren’t really pugs, because they would frequently come, such as myself or some of my guildies on alts, or people that originally were pugs to fill spots, but decided to join them regularly.

    I think the hardest thing will be building your initial roster of people, but you could definitely start with just a few and pug the rest each week, and gradually build up a list of reliable/good raiders who you’d be happy to invite again. Then it’s simply a matter of inviting them all on the calendar or seeing if they’re around on raid night!

    In terms of loot, I think you might be best served with as simple and attractive system as possible, as in, Need/Greed, BoEs mainspec/offspec, etc. If the core of the team are guildies, then unwanted BoEs could go to guild, which would help finance things like feasts, guild cauldrons, etc. I think having a loot system with points or anything like that, would really struggle in a raid team where the roster is extremely dynamic and unpredictable, and it might be too complicated/unwieldy for potential teammates.

    Something else you may want to consider are people who would be coming on mains. A lot of people have already done this content, and are currently busy on Firelands, but are looking to gear up their various alts in T11 to keep them geared up. These people would always be nice to have in your group, as they know the fights and (probably) are pretty decent. You may want to be careful that they don’t take over the raid when it comes to strategies or leadership, though – just because they have killed X boss 20 times on their main doesn’t make this THEIR raid!

    Finally, don’t be discouraged! Some nights you may have a lot of success, others, not so much. Some nights you may have not enough people. Other nights you might have people clash and get into fights. It’s hard, but these are only to be expected in a non-guild group of strangers! Be firm and don’t put up with unnecessary drama, and also don’t hesitate to boot someone who’s just causing trouble. The rest of the raid will appreciate it, and having a warm, welcoming mood in such a setup is SO important. 🙂

    Good luck!

  3. Itanya Blade
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    I have been involved in a non guild raid since Vanilla. I was the leader of the group since early Wrath.

    You form a non guild team just like you form a guild team. You find people who want to raid. I suggest that you pool from your friends. I understand that on a lot of servers this is an odd idea. Feathermoon is a highly open server. We communicate a lot across guilds.

    So, identify people both in and out of your guild that are interested in raiding. The most important part of this is making it clear that your guild does not control your raid.

    Decide on your loot rules before you start recruiting. I would suggest either a simple SK list or a ms > os > melt.

    If this is the first time you have tried something like this, you are going to probably have some hit and miss with people. It’s a normal process. After a short period of time, you will have contacts. People will refer other people to you. And it will get easier.

    The second thing you will need to do happens when you have a core group, decide on a set time. That is the time you will raid. Make an in game calendar invite. Make people accept their invite as part of your rules.

    When recruiting, make it clear that you are recruiting for a team. Make an effort to get to know the people you recruit. Create an atmosphere that makes you distinctive.

    This is all advice I would give to any raid leader. The most important thing for you to do is to make the raid your own. Sometimes when people are all wrapped up in the guild thing, they forget that important step when you work with a group outside your guild.

    Make yourselves stand out and be distinctive. You can do this.

  4. Posted October 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    This is some fantastic feedback, thank you very much. I think that with hearing everyone’s advice, I’ll go with a need/greed ms/os system. And the accepting invites will definitely be a must.

    I know this may sound kind of strange…but I barely have any friends on my server outside of my guild. We’ve become quite insular, especially since Cata.

    I’ll work on drawing up some more concrete rules and post them for everyone to see. I’ll try to keep it as short and sweet as I can.