Saturday, September 22, 2007

Casual Raiding Guidelines and Etiquette

You've joined a casual raiding guild and are anxious to attend your first raid. You see in the message of the day that a new Kara run begins in 3 days. Awesome! All you have to do is log in that day, state in guild chat that you're ready for an invite, and wait for your summons, right? Wrong! One of the biggest misconceptions about Casual Raiding Guilds is that guidelines, etiquette, and general courtesies are optional. However, these things become even more important as, in a casual raiding guild, people (guild leaders and raid leaders included) don't have the time to micro manage everything and everyone. Lets take a look at what we, as casual raiders, can do to help our guilds run successful raids.

  1. Sign Up - Sign up for raids on the guild website. This is important as the raid leaders need to know if there are enough people interested and available to run a raid on that day and time. They need to know if they have enough tanks, healers, melee DPS and ranged DPS to make a good combination of people and classes for a successful raid. And, if running more than one raid at that day and time, they need to know, before hand, who will be in which raid group for easy and quick invites. Signing up for raids applies to everyone, even guild leaders and guild officers...even healers (just because there is a shortage of healers and you know you're guaranteed a spot doesn't preclude you from signing up.)
  2. Be On Time - When signing up for your raid, make note of the 'Invite Time' and 'Raid Start Time'. Be sure to log on at the invite time. If you can not make the invite time or will even be late for the raid start time, be sure to discuss this with the raid leader in advance. Since you're in a casual raid guild, leniency in this area is allowed, but do the raid leaders the courtesy of letting them know and even finding someone to 'fill in' for you until you arrive. Also, log out at the instance the night before so you're ready to jump in without requiring people to come out and summon you.
  3. Be Available - Along with being on time, you also need to be available at the sign in time. Being on, but in a Battleground, does not count. Being on, and at the last boss of a 5-man, does not count. Anything that can unaccountably and uncontrollably run past the sign in time should be avoided. If you're bored while waiting then work on short daily quests, farm some herbs or mine, or spend your time killing Bogflare Needlers in hopes of obtaining a Firefly for your favorite Druid Off-Tank.
  4. Be Prepared - Make sure you're repaired. Yes, Kara has vendors that can repair, but only after you're Honored. Also, the repair vendor for the second half of the instance is a considerable way in, so you may not make it to him if you're at a low percentage. As well as being repaired, make sure you're stocked up on reagents, poisons, etc. There is nothing more frustrating then being at the 3rd boss and someone has to hearthstone to repair or stock up and then need people to come out and summon them. It's not just about the other 9 people having to stand around waiting, there are also spawn timers...the more time it takes to kill that boss, the fewer attempts that can be made.
  5. BYO... - Bring your own health/mana potions and elixirs/flasks. Yes, a lot of guilds have a guild alchemist that churns out potion after potion and elixir after elixir for the guild. 'Guild Alchemist', that term conjures up some nondescript character that automatically fills your needs with nary a complaint. Sadly, that character requires someone to run it; someone to farm all those stacks of herbs, someone to buy all those vials, someone to stand around in the bank queuing up all those potions and then sit there doing nothing while the character churns them out. You're in a casual raiding guild, remember? This means everyone in the guild is a casual player including the guild officers. None of them have the time to spend hours preparing potions, elixirs, and flasks for the entire raid. So, take it upon yourself to acquire all the pots, elixirs, and flasks you will need. If you're going to have one of the alchemist in the guild make them for you, then be sure to supply them with vials as well as herbs.
  6. Make the Run - You're on at the sign in time and you're available, now go the extra mile and make that run to the instance rather than waiting on a summons. A lot of times, assistance is required to clear the summoning stone so, get out there and help!
  7. Vent Etiquette - This can be one of the most troublesome areas for a casual guild. While guild and raid leaders want their guildies to have a good time and banter, they also want to be able to disseminate pertinent information without having to wait 5 minutes for someone to stop yammering on and on about whatever. Bantering and having fun is typically welcome in casual raiding guilds. However, 10 minute discussions on the intricacies of your level 56 alt or the figurine you painted last night is not. If you have something you want to discuss with another guild mate, ask them to stay on after the raid. Even bantering has it's limits, once buffs start going up, quiet down so the raid leader can give instructions and start the pull.
  8. Wipe Recovery - Your raid just wiped and you need to go afk for a few minutes, perfect time, right? No! As mentioned earlier, there are timers on trash re-spawn. You need to stay at your keyboard so you can either accept the rez or run back into the instance and to the buff location. Even if you're a non buffing class, you still need to get to the location in a timely manner because you do have to be buffed. Wipes are frustrating and demoralizing as it is, don't compound that by being afk when others need you to be present and ready.
  9. AFK - The often necessary but dreaded afk. They spontaneously pop up all the time. Someone needs a bio break, then at the next pull another person needs a drink, then the next pull someone has to tuck their kids in, then the next pull another person needs a bio break...they add up. Help alleviate the AFK problem by sending your raid leader a little tell 5-10 minutes in advance. Most often, he will work in a 2-5 minute break after the next boss which will allow all 4 of the previously mentioned afk situations to happen all at once. If people know a break will be coming up soon, they will wait and do their afk business at that time.
  10. Know Your Job - Know your job prior to the pull. If you're unclear as to your job or role, ask and then be prepared to act upon your task when the pull is made. If you are responsible for crowd controlling a mob, know when and where it needs to be controlled and be ready when the pull is made. If you're job is to off heal, off tank, or DPS, have on the appropriate gear. If you're required to MD to the tank or Innervate a healer, make sure your macro is set up and working beforehand rather than scrambling at the last minute.
  11. Proper Mindset - Be in a proper raiding mindset. Yes, this is a game and you are in a casual raiding guild, but you can still be a serious raider within that construct. If you're flitting around, goofing off and not paying attention, then unintended pulls will happen and your response time to adds and key player deaths will be reduced. You need to be focused and attentive to whats going on and your surroundings so you can be a valuable member of your raiding team.
  12. Listen - One of the most important things you can do is be quiet and listen. Pay attention to instructions from the raid leaders as well as your class leaders.

Following this simple list will help your guild progress through the end game content without having to take on a more 'hardcore' stance. This will ensure that your guild can remain 'casual' and continue to meet your casual raiding needs.


Karthis said...

Great post.

I would argue that running a raid in a professional and timely manner is even more important for casual raiding guilds since players generally have less time to allot to raiding. Minimizing downtime and delays is key to progression when you only have a few hours a week to raid.

Ferocious Bite said...

I agree, Karthis, unfortunately, it seems that some people think casual raid guilds means none of that and then they don't understand why raiding can be so difficult and frustrating, which is a result of not following general rules, guidelines, and etiquette.