This is a guest post from Galadria. She represents half of the knowledge from the Light and the Dark.
We’ll start with a sample scenario. You are a member of l33t Guild, part of the raid core. Your guild is farming the lower bosses of TK/SSC and trying to down Vashj and Kael to get into Hyjal/BT. Since most of your raid core doesn’t need gear out of T4 content, it’s basically PUG. Whoever can throw a run together does whenever they happen to be in the mood. Since the raid core doesn’t want to have wipe fests, when they do farm that content (for badges or off spec gear) they tend to do it with each other so they can blow through it quickly. One day JoeRogue; who has been raiding in Kara for a while and gone on a few runs of Gruul and Mag, asks that oft dreaded question in Gchat:
“How come I never get to raid?”
This sets off a fevered discussion with much flaming from the raid core and much grousing from lower echelons of the guild. The core raiders don’t want to hear it, they’ve put in the time and effort to be where they are. The lower ranked players feel shafted, they never get a chance at better gear or to show the raid leaders that they can play competently.
Overlooking the fact that there seems to be a bunch of whining, it shows a problem I think a lot of guild at this level have. The guild is split between those that are part of the progression raiding and well geared, and those that are just getting Kara keyed or just out of Kara, and learning how to raid. These two groups have different needs from the guild. Both groups need structured, scheduled raid time for their level of content, lead by a competent RL to make things go smoothly. They just need different content.
Kara (1-2 nights), Gruul (1 night), Mag (1 night), SSC (probably 2 nights), TK (probably 2 nights). If you stacked groups correctly, you could do Kara in 1 night and Gruul and Mag in the same night. That’s still 6 nights of scheduled raiding! I don’t see many guild leaders (in average guilds) being able to handle that.
As I see it you have a few options:
Let the lower level players fend for themselves. They can probably make in-guild PUG Kara/ZA runs without much problem but Gruul/Mag is going to be a lot for some random person with a little initiative to get together. This may lead to unhappy players in your lower ranks. However, since they’re not part of your progression team you may not care if they come or go but I tend to think that’s kind of a crappy way to deal with the situation.
Another option is to be up front with this group and tell them that you will not be scheduling any events at their level of progression and if they want to experience that content they should find a guild at their level to grow with. This is tough since a lot of these people will be friends of members of your raid core. I think it’s good to be up front and honest, and you’re doing them a favor by letting them know that you are not able to meet their needs. It can be up to them to find someone who can.
What I think is the best option is to establish what I call the Feeder Guild. This can be a separate entity or a sub-set of your existing guild. This guild becomes a leveling and early raiding guild that prepares your lower level players for higher content. This option will take more work at the beginning to get started, but will be worth it in the end.
You’ll need to find someone (or a couple of people) who have the organizational skills and the drive to run the show. This person should be outfitted with the resources and responsibilities to organize your lower level raids for those that need/want them. It’s also a good idea to get a few of your higher level raiders willing to help out. Even a few above level players can make a huge difference in how smooth a raid goes. If you don’t have anyone willing to help, you can consider offering a small amount of DKP for an incentive with a weekly limit.
This is also a great way for your Raid Core to get their alts into the lower level raids. Just about every 70 raider that I know has and alt (or 5) and most of them have been at it long enough to have another 70. They always seem to ask to take their alts on Kara runs. Here’s a great opportunity to get them access into regular runs of lower level raids.
Splitting the raiding responsibilities between 2 groups means a manageable 2-4 nights of raiding for each group.
Each group can also handle loot individually. I know a lot of guilds tend to throw DKP out the window for lower level raids. Then the guy who’s been playing with your guild for a while can get unlucky on a roll and loose loot he’s been waiting for to a guy who just joined looking for some quick purples.
As with everything else, this is a highly personal situation. What works for one guild will not necessarily work for another. You may be really picky about who gets a ginvite and don’t have this problem since you don’t let anyone in that’s not geared well enough. You may let everyone and their dog into the guild, but don’t really care if they get any raid time. If however, you do have a similar situation, consider this solution.