Unreasonable Expectations?

Conquest took its first ever raid foray into Naxx. We didn’t have enough for a full 25 yet (that comes on Monday). I took 10 players and we went into Naxx for the first time. Many of them have not seen the post Wrath Naxx before and some were delightfully surprised at the familiarity that was there. Over the course of about 3 hours, we knocked off the Arachnid quarter, Plague quarter, and Military quarter (and Sartharion).

Picked up the Gloves of Faith and the new Earring, Spirit-World Glass.

That’s an early progress report so far. I’m really happy and proud of the way things have been. This may very well be the first mageless WoW guild that I’m a part of. Hopefully, my Monday night op will be able to attract some more players.

This isn’t the main point of the post, however. We now have 15 level 80s in the guild. We’re going to have 3 more by the time the weekend is over. We are very close to being able to run our own 25 man raids.

And I haven’t finalized my raid policy yet. I figured I’d put up a draft copy here. You readers appear to know me better than I know myself. You know the kind of crew I want to run and how I want to run it.

Raid policy

AFKs: AFKs are going to happen. I ask that you inform one of the raid leaders if you need to take a quick break. Be mindful of where we are when you do take your break. The best times to do it are on initial pulls of trash after a boss or if we’re handling loot that you’re not interested in. Bad times to do it are after Heigan when we have to do a gauntlet pull or when there isn’t much time between encounters. I’ll rotate players out in shifts. When we get to a boss, and you’re still gone, you’re going to have 24 other annoyed players to come back to. We don’t have much time to raid so keep AFKs to a minimum.

Greens/Blues: All blues get banked and all greens get DE’d. In exchange for that, the guild will attempt to supply whatever mats you need for enchants if there are any available.

Be prepared: Be repaired! Bring your own consumables. Only you can judge the amount of pots you pop in one night. Prepare yourself accordingly! Don’t forget reagents! We can’t supply you potions or buff food. But we do have Alchemists and Cooks who will gladly cook things and make things for you. If we have any food in the bank, you’re welcome to ask an officer for them if they’re unclaimed. We’re not exactly made of money yet so guild repairs are a no no for the time being.

Chatter: Keep the raid chatter down and to a minimum. Focus on the job at hand. If there are any problems or issues, message one of the raid leaders. On progression raids, if it’s not important or useful to the boss at hand, then it shouldn’t be said. If it’s a farm night, things will be more relaxed.

Be on time: First pulls in raids will start at 6 PM on all raid days. Raid leaders will decide what the raid of the night will be. It’ll be posted in the Message of the Day until we develop a set schedule. You’re expected to be ready to pull at 6 PM which means you have to be in the instance and in the raid.

Strat adjustments: Even leaders will make mistakes. If you have an idea, go ahead and whisper it to a raid leader.

Battle rez’s and Soul Stones: Hold them until they’re asked for. Leaders will usually give you a target in both cases.

Raid pace and speed: Main tanks have been given the authority to pull at their discretion. They do not need to seek permission of raid leaders to pull trash. You’re expected to keep up with them as much as possible.

Ready checks: Before every boss, a ready check is going to be issued. If you’re missing a buff, not at full health or mana, haven’t taken a flask, or if you’re not ready in some fashion, click No and say what’s up. If you need to drink or eat up, that’s okay, we’re willing to wait. It drives me crazy when someone clicks yes and don’t turn out to actually be ready.

No general chat: Don’t talk in general chat. Period.

Guild policy

Raid organization: The only guild sanctioned raids are going to be 25 player raids. 10 mans and other group related activities will be done in what Syd affectionately refers to as the anarchy model. If players wish to organize and set up their own 10 man raids or heroics, they’re welcome to do so. Officers and leaders will not do it for them. Most of the time, various people in the guild will be organizing on the fly runs. It’s a matter of being in the right place or the right time. Feel free to use the forums to set something up further in advance. But I am not going to fit set tanks, set DPS and set healers into group A or group B.


I don’t like forcing players into doing things they don’t want to do. I’ve been in such a guild before where I was “assigned” to groups. On some days, I was tired and didn’t want to raid yet I felt compelled and obligated to.

Furthermore, perhaps guildies have friends outside the guild that they’d prefer to hang out and socialize with. This is a great way for them to do it without isolating them. The same method goes for PvP. I’m not going to set up guild based arena teams. It’s up to them if they want to do it. 25s are the heart and soul of this guild and it’s what our goals are. Whatever else players want to do? Entirely up to them.

Sufficiency: Like I said earlier, we don’t have a means of income yet. Players will have to be self sufficient on their own. Enchants are expansive and the guild will try to subsidize that with the greens we obtain from raiding. But it’s ultimately up to players to try to maximize themselves and be the best they can be.

I know I’ve forgotten a point or two. One thing I learned early on is that it’s impossible to try to plan and account for every little thing that can happen. Sometimes I just have to roll with it and deal with it on the fly. My greatest challenge is that when I’m setting a precedent, I have to be sure I stick to it and not deviate too far from it. I have to remain consistent in my decisions and reasoning.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. Congratulations to you and your guild members on your early success. Your raid rules sound reasonable and fair to me, but then I wouldn’t expect anything less.

    One comment which I would like to add – although I honestly can’t see this happening in your guild, but I think it is important – is that you need to ensure your guild members feel that their suggestions have been listened to. If your officers decide that a suggestion isn’t going to work, they should speak to the person who made it, thank them for their input, and explain why they feel it wont work or isn’t suitable. I have been a part of guilds where the officers or Guild Leaders say that they want people to whisper them suggestions (since questioning the raid leader in raid chat is BAD), but then never acted upon any suggestions. In one case this led to such disrest that an ‘anti-leadership’ channel was made for people to complain in – hardly healthy! Feedback doesn’t have to be instantaneous, but it should happen at some point.

    Once again, congratulations and good luck with the 25mans!

    Saresas last blog post..A Warlock’s Primer to Guild Applications

  2. Some very interesting stuff. Two questions, though, and this is just meant to be general comments on your post, suggestions or something.

    1. AFKs
    I’ve never seen a working system where people can go afk without notice. Isn’t it easier just to call a raid wide 2 min break every so often? One thing I have gotten into my head, thanks to the raid leader constantly repeating it, is to mark myself AFK – maybe useful?

    2. Whisper ideas to the RL
    Are you sure the RL is going to want to deal with more whispers? Or maybe this should be delegated?

    Avonars last blog post..Homesick? Already?

  3. On the AFK break:

    Every ~2h or so a 2 min bio break will take care of this problem. If people think they can AFK at will…well, I’ve seen a player be gone 15 min. And that was a tank who we needed for the next pull. Emergencies happen, but for ordinary drink/snack/bathroom runs people can wait on the official break.

    Otherwise, boss, it looks good to me!

  4. do you use an add-on to keep track of what consumables your guild mates bring to raids?

    I’ve always been a fan of keeping track of the most dedicated members, those who always show up on-time, with more consumables than required, always top the dps/healing charts and never complain about loot.. While you can’t always go with charts as they don’t take gear and other factors into consideration I have noticed people who were running #3-4 and then suddenly drop to #11-12 probably because they are alt-tabbed and just coming in to do the minimum possible.

    Set role models in the guild and reward them to set an example.


  5. we’ll have to chat about your /1 policy. It’s an interesting raid requirement.

  6. As far as your suggesting new strategies policy, your raid leader may be busy enough with whispers and organizing everyone in the raid. Perhaps having people give suggestions or feedback to any sort of class/role leads either via whispers or group-specific channels and then those leads can pass it up. This keeps your raid lead dealing with a more limited set of tells rather than getting bombarded by every raider and their vanity pet.

    Also, about the subbing policy, if you need to sub people in/out of the raid, do you do it during the trash leading up to the boss, or on the boss itself? Also, after the boss is dead, does the new group stay in, do you sub back to the original group, or does the raid leader make that call based on the next boss? Likewise, how will subbing work? Will any eventual mage that you’re bound to get port them to Dalaran where they’ll fly back to the instance, or do they just run all the way back out while the incoming players sit around outside waiting? How much notice will sub-in players get that they’re coming up so they can be outside the instance ready, or will they just have to be waiting outside for the entire raid?

  7. I think good discipline while raiding helps a lot. On the other hand discipline helps nothing when the guild is steering in the wrong direction.

    The first guild I was in I learned everything about discipline. Officer worked with -dkp a lot. Chatter in teamspeak was kept on a minimum. Not being on time was a crime. We then wiped on Archimonde for a whole month and the guild broke up over it.

    With the guild I’m in right now I got to kill Illidan pre 3.0.2 but the overall feeling during raid is much much more casual (which annoyed me in the beginning). There’s a lot of chatter, there’s too much afk going and too many ppl show up too late. BUT clearing trash is insanely fast and most guildies learn boss encounters quick.

    I agree with all points in the original post, just wanted to mention how guild dynamics sometimes work.

    drugs last blog post..OMG…Baby Polar Bear!

  8. Regarding your greens/blues in raid policy:
    Honestly, I’d put into effect a blanket policy that only officers are to loot during raids aside from bosses where people will be getting badges. The guild I’m in does that now, all loot is free for all until the boss and only officers loot. It makes it a lot faster and there are fewer people running around trying to loot their shinies and not focusing on the next trash pull etc. Plus, we don’t have to worry about someone forgetting and needing the green/blue/etc that should go to the guild bank. The other guilds I’ve been in in the past left it as group loot, and more time was spent being distracted and chasing the sparklies than paying attention to what was going on.

    Further to that, since you are a new guild without the ability to subsidize anything, don’t promise to subsidize enchants. IMO, enchants are something that players should be getting to make themselves the best they can be. You don’t want to hear the argument of “I didn’t get my enchant because no one was on to give me mats from guild bank.” Collect everything that drops and start getting into the habit of selling/DE-ing it and then after a while you can see if it’s feasible to subsidize enchants or if it becomes more feasible to subsidize guild repairs.

    Mind you, my guild that I’m using for example, has been FFA loot by officers only since I joined 2+ years ago (and the guild is 3.5 years old) with our guild bank getting all the profits and we only just had raid repairs subsidized (50g per raid) when we were in Sunwell and progressing (tanks were subsidized earlier due to their much higher repair costs) because we didn’t want to promise anything and then not be able to follow through.

    Regarding AFKs:
    Our guild has the policy that we notify the raid leader that we need to go AFK and he would then organize who could go and when to make sure that the raid had adequate dps/healers/tanks. Personally, I think that it would just be better if people knew that at such-and-such time we were breaking for x minutes. However, I think either way you do it, you will end up with people who say they’ll be gone for only 2 minutes but won’t come back for 5-10 and you’ll have the same thing happen if you have scheduled breaks; it just depends on which you prefer to manage.

    You don’t mention your loot system here. I don’t recall if you’ve posted about it already, or if you haven’t set one up yet, but this would be the place to put it.

  9. Great stuff, Matticus! I’m taking bits and pieces and tweaking them to suit my own needs, as I launched my content driven casual guild over the weekend. These postings and the discussions have really helped to form the backbone of the operations with the corresponding philosophy.

    I’d say that there is no better way to deal with the rising issues than using your common sense. You can only describe the most relevant -and most annoying- issues in the policies and amend them later if need arises. The policies are to be changed, like the charter, when there is need to do so.


    Copras last blog post..Holy BG!

  10. Wow @ general chat policy. Screw that, imo. Why not just a “represent us well, or be prepared for consequences if a guildy or an officer or a class lead sees you making as a$$ of yourself and the guild you represent in any chat: general, realm heroic pug channel, LFG, trade, etc”.

    I found all your other regs reasonable and interesting (those I hadn’t seen/considered before) but as a mature player who is helpful on gen chat and likes to be silly sometimes, and bond with others on the realm in those public chats, I’d be insulted with that requirement. I found a similar req regarding the realm wow forums *after* joining a raid guild, and quickly lost any enthusiasm for that raid guild.

    But good luck all the same on your raids!

  11. @Lheaf: Apologies. I don’t think I was clear enough when I wrote that as it was under “Raid Policy”. I wanted to restrict general chat to 0 DURING RAIDS. I don’t care what players do outside of that. The reason for this is that I found players to become distracted over crap that was said in [1 – Naxxramas] or other raid instance chat channels. This won’t be strictly enforced I don’t think. But if it does go out of hand, I’ll have to do something about it.

  12. @ Lheaf- I think the issue is 1 of distraction. He is saying only during raids. Sometimes players start bantering in an instance’s general chat, and they don’t realize that another pull has begun. Sometimes this is no biggie, but if, say, 50% of your healers are busy typing “LAWL” in the general chat, and the tank has just pulled something really big and nasty…you get the idea.

  13. errr…nvm.

  14. Your rules on chatter, use of general, etc etc are ridiculous. Raiding should be a lot of fun. Not some highly regimented madness. In my guild cracking jokes in vent, trash talking in /1, and other joking around is the norm. If you’re raiding on a Friday or Saturday night late it’s not uncommon for some trashed individual who just got back from a bar to stop in an bs with us a bit. If your raiders don’t know when it’s ok to chat and when they need to shut up and pay attention perhaps you need to find some better raiders.

  15. You know it all depends on the chatter. I raid with the Leftovers Raiding on Silverhand. There is banter in our LO channel and in our raid channel. But when its bosses its all business for the raids I’m in. There has to be a balance, if you make raiding like work then you have missed the whole idea this being a game.

    Raids are generally tense situations and people need relief valves for that tension. You have to balance the focus on the raid with the reality that raiding is stressful; if you don’t allow any relief from it while its happening you are creating a powder keg waiting to go off imo.

    Now if you are just refering to /1 general chat not say chat in general 😉 then I can totally agree.

    I have to agree with Syd about scheduled AFKs. The charter (raid group) I run with does the same thing and it really makes it run smoother for us at the end of the day.

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