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Posts with tag casual-raiding

Officers' Quarters: Lessons from a guild split

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

This week's email doesn't have a question for me. It's the story of a guild with clashing raid cultures. It includes some great lessons for officers about the consequences of trying to do too much.

In addition to [our progression team] Team Elite ("TE"), my guild ran 2-3 other 10-man teams throughout MOP. The other teams were not as intense due to differing skills and play styles. However some resentment did build. Some players did have the "greener grass" syndrome and wanted to be a part of TE. So when spots opened up, a handful of them ended up moving over to that team. This was the main reason for the resentment. Other raiders saw themselves as "farm system" groups for the "major league" group.

For the record, I was on TE for the first tier only. After I moved to other teams, I really gained the perspective of the other raiders, and I started to feel that resentment as well. I saw a huge shift in attitude from the TE players, even the longtime members.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Drawing boundaries with a new raid team

Dark Shaman in Siege of Orgrimmar
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

When you're both the guild leader and the raid leader of a guild, everyone looks to you to have all the answers. This week, one such officer finds himself tanking for a second, newly formed raid team. He wants to know how he can help without becoming the default leader of the team.

I have a question I would like discussed and I'm sure others are having similar question. I have what I consider a social raiding guild. ... I come from a history of progression raiding from MC onwards and raid leadership since the 15 man UBRS days. My main is Wumper-Saurfang and my guild is Carpe Jugulum. ... We have our midweek (more serious) team, Thursday night team (recently started SoO) and a social Flexi raid on Saturdays. Physically we have too many for a single 10 toon raid, and not enough viable raiders for a 25 toon more serious raid.

My question is how do I bridge the learning gap in the Thursday raid without becoming a leading participant of the raid? We have a new team that has started with a positive intent, a clear charter and rules. From the midweek (more serious) team we provide youtube guides videos for fights they are coming up to, visual class guides, discussion threads of tactics, approaches and role based discussion. We stream our fights for members to watch (and they do) when we're not recording for guide creation. If I am to get involved in the raid, because I am the GM and raid lead and would be tanking on my second bear, I will wind up taking a lead role within the raid. Currently I fill in as a reserve tank as required.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Creating a casual raid team

Officers' Quarters Creating a casual raid team MONDAY
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

This week, a former officer gets sucked back into a leadership role in a new guild. After a bad experience with her previous raid team, she's debating whether or not to bring casual raiding to her new home.

Good morning Scott:

Early this year, I wrote to you about a problem I was having with a fellow healer in my casual raid group.

Since writing to you, and receiving your awesomely helpful answer, I tried to work with the guild. I worked with the troubled healer to get their overhealing numbers down, educated and trained the raid leader, trained replacements, and finally stepped down - both from healing and from being an officer. I just couldn't find happiness there.

But I was happy with my decision.

In late 5.3, ready to progress towards something new, I found a new server and faction changed my characters. At a friends request, I parked myself in a new guild to help level it up.

Said friend accidentally mentioned my previous officer and raid experience and the guild leader promptly bumped me to an officer position... and has been asking me to start and lead their (very casual) raid team.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

The useful distinction between casual and hardcore

The useful distinction between casual and hardcore
Earlier this week, WoW Insider's Matthew Rossi argued that there is no point in distinguishing between hardcore and casual players, and that doing so actually detracts from the game. I, however, don't agree and will be presenting a counterpoint in this article. So, if you haven't read Rossi's side yet, be sure to check it out first.

Now before I explain why I think the distinction between hardcore and casual is useful, I think it's necessary that we all be on the same page as far as what hardcore and casual actually are. I found Rossi's argument against the usage of these words particularly flawed because he was working around an assumed and rigid definition of what a hardcore player and a casual player are. Toward the end of his article he pointed out that the casual/hardcore metric doesn't work when you consider the various ways in which some players are engaging with the game. Not every player raids, he explained, but that doesn't mean they can't be hardcore.

Now, I agree with that for the most part, but I disagree with his understanding of hardcore and casual. You see, hardcore and casual are not and have never been part of any metric. It's actually impossible for them to have ever been since the definition of casual and hardcore is subjective. Ask any two people what kind of behavior distinguishes a casual player from a hardcore player and the answer will be different in some way ... And if the definition of something varies from person to person, it can't logically be used as a standard of measurement.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Officers' Quarters: 5 tips for casual raiding in Mists

Officers' Quarters 5 tips for casual raiding in Mists MONDAY
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

A few weeks ago I had a great chat with Mick from The Starting Zone podcast about casual raiding in Mists of Pandaria. We both agree that normal mode raids have become more difficult than in the last two expansions. The existence of LFR has emboldened Blizzard to tune normal more tightly than they have in recent years.

If you're in a casual raiding guild that is having trouble in normal mode, here are five tips on how to improve progression and morale without pushing your raiders to the breaking point.

1. Talk about your lack of progression. For an officer, silence is deadly to morale, both during raids and after. In that silence, you know that people are whispering to each other about what's going wrong, or griping about other players. Maybe they are just sitting there stunned and disappointed, unable to muster a coherent thought. In any case, it's bad.

It's up to the guild's leadership to break the silence. During the raid, talk about what's going wrong in a constructive way. Don't forget to talk about what's going right, too. Afterward, create a thread on your forums to debrief. Solicit suggestions and strategies. Encourage a dialogue. Let people vent a bit, if they have to. It helps relieve the pressure -- just be sure to moderate and make sure the discussion stays civil.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Casual raiding's demise?

Horridon smashes a raid to dust
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Cataclysm's introduction of the Raid Finder, or LFR, has certainly affected all levels of raiding. But will it eventually bring about the end of small, casual raiding guilds, as one officer fears? Or does it mean that he needs to change his approach?

Hey Scott,

I'm an officer in a small, casual raiding guild. By "casual" I mean we only raid two nights a week from 9-12, and typically we run a 10% nerf behind when it comes to clearing content.

Our niche has always been as a "friendly community that offers members the chance to experience content in a laid-back atmosphere." Here's my question . . . what do you see as the impact of LFR (and to a lesser extent, LFG) on casual raiding guilds such as ours?

Personally, I've always viewed it as a negative. LFR erodes the need for community in the game. Meanwhile, for the casual raiding guild, the biggest draw we can offer to players on our realms is our sense of "community".

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

It came from the Blog: Casual raiding for all in The Insiders

Alysrazor kill by The Insiders Image
If you are into casual but organized raiding or would like to try out raiding in a comfortable, non-judgmental atmosphere, The Insiders on Zangarmarsh (US-PvE-H) may be the guild for you. The Insiders is the sister guild of It came from the Blog, WoW Insider's event guild.

Every month, It came from the Blog holds an event to which all are welcome. These activities are for the widest level ranges possible, depending on what we're doing. Some players enjoy the events and want to hang out with WoW Insider readers on a regular basis, so they can join The Insiders -- a casual, max-level guild. The only players not allowed to join are funsuckers and those who can't follow the very simple rules, which include keeping the guild chat to PG-13 and no drama. Unlike It came from the Blog, not everyone can invite. But there are usually enough players online so that someone has the ability to let you in on the fun.

The Insiders have historically been a leveling guild, full of alts of people whose mains are on other servers. But they have been adding more and more scheduled raid nights, mostly for older content. This week, for example, they have four nights of Firelands raiding scheduled, a Sarth 3D fun run and a guild Raid Finder night.

So if you want to join WoW Insider readers in some non-stressful raiding, come join the gang. It may be the perfect antidote to the restlessness caused by the pre-expansion lull. If you just want to join us for our monthly events, stay tuned for the next It came from the Blog announcement -- which will be some time next week.

Please join us on Zangarmarsh (US-PVE-H) in It came from the Blog. Any rank can invite, so /whisper Roblinator or any online member. You are all welcome as long as you play by our simple rules -- basically, don't be a funsucker! Visit the guild FAQ for more details.

Filed under: Raiding, It Came from the Blog

Drama Mamas: When casual raiding is neither casual nor raiding

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

There is a common misconception that "casual" is synonymous with being inconsiderate or incompetent. Perhaps this is because many raiding guilds that take long breaks, don't show up on time, and don't read strategies before new encounters call themselves casual. What category does the letter writer's guild fall into?
Hey dear drama mama's

I'll try not to make any mistakes in my language since English isn't my native tongue.

I've read your colum/posts for a long time now and I always praise myself lucky that I've been spared of that drama.

Unfortunatly I'm in a conundrum.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Drama Mamas

Breakfast Topic: Has the Raid Finder changed the way you raid?

My name is Fox Van Allen, and I'm a recovering raidaholic.

When I first got into raiding, it was just a casual thing. One night a week for a couple hours. Then, when Icecrown Citadel opened, it got far more serious. I was raiding several nights a week, several hours a night. I was grinding hard modes, wiping on heroic Lich King more times than I'd care to remember.

But something changed. That something: patch 4.3. The advent of the Raid Finder tool made it possible to get a group whenever I wanted. I could raid on my own schedule. I could have a life again. Sure, it's harder to get loot via Raid Finder, but I don't care about that. I'm just in it for the fun.

How about you? Has the Raid Finder changed the way you raid? Has it freed up more of your time? Or are you just as serious about raiding as you were before the Raid Finder came along?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Officers' Quarters: The strategy behind casual motivation

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available now from No Starch Press.

A guild's raiding suffers most when your players feel entitled to rewards without making the effort to earn them. Part of what makes leading a hardcore raiding guild easier in some respects than leading a casual raiding guild is that your players are always motivated to do their best to succeed. This week, an officer asks how she can motivate her casual raiders to meet some basic requirements and get a second team up and running.
Hi Scott,

We run a small casual raiding guild on a server that isn't very progressed. We currently have one successful 10-man team, and have been trying to get a second one off the ground since February. We have some lenient requirements for raiders to pass: they must be willing to listen on Vent, have DBM installed, be appropriately gemmed, enchanted and glyphed, and as of 4.1, have an ilevel of 346. The raiders in the current 10-man team had no problem with this at all, but the people who would comprise the second team, and complain about wanting to raid, have put in very little effort towards actually raiding. At the time of writing this, it's June -- we have endured 4 months of trying to get this team off the ground, 4 months of complaining, and 4 months of trying to help these people get a raid happening, to no avail.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Defining Playstyles: Beyond casual vs. hardcore

In a recent Totem Talk post, I made a loot list for enhancement shamans that have access to ICC but are not progression raiders, because they are either alts or they are -- drum roll, please -- casual. That's right: I used the c-word without context. Casual. There, I said it again without context. Excuse me while I duck from the rotten vegetables being thrown in my direction.

The use of that c-word in relation to an Icecrown Citadel loot list sparked a very interesting comment thread. Most comments were well thought-out, added value and furthered the discussion. Some were, to borrow Adam Savage's favorite term, vitriolic, because of my heinous misuse of the term "casual." I said it again without context. I'm just casually throwing around "casuals" here.

Given the reaction that post received, I started doing some research into what exactly "casual" and "hardcore" actually mean. What I found was not surprising at all: They mean completely different things to absolutely everyone. The MMO population of players, across all games, is estimated at over 61 million people. There are as many variations on play time and playstyle as there are players in the game. Do you really think we can divide this many people simply into two groups of just casuals and hardcores?

I think it's time we move beyond the polarizing definitions of casual and hardcore and come up with some definitions of our own.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Officers' Quarters: Tax time

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available this spring from No Starch Press.

In the United States, federal and state taxes are due in just a few days -- April 15 is the deadline. If you haven't figured out your taxes by now, you're probably in a bit of a panic. Though we often resent paying, taxes are the price of living in an organized society. They pay for defense, schools, roads, social programs and a host of other benefits. Some we can all agree on; some are a matter of fierce debate. In a guild, taxes are often a controversial issue. Some guilds who use point-based systems like DKP will tax members' point totals to prevent point hoarding. This week, one reader is wondering about a different kind of tax.

Hi Scott,

I am a member of a casual raiding guild. Recently some of the officers have been kicking around the idea of a "raid tax" -- a set value of mats used in a week's worth of 25-man raiding that can be paid by members either in gold or through supplying the mats themselves. It's funny because the "tax" for a given week sounds exorbitant to me (close to 1,000 gold when they figure in the price of enchanting mats and gems for loot).

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Casual raiding 2009

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

I feel like it's been a while since I wrote a column about casual raiding. I posted a four-part guide to making it work back in April 2008. Since then, I've pointed most people who write me about this topic in that direction without writing a full column on their questions. A lot has changed in WoW since then! It feels like the right time to revisit the topic.

First, here is this week's e-mail:


First, let me thank you for publishing such a wonderful column. I read it religiously and find the topics and information extremely helpful. I am writing to you with a problem in the hopes you may have some advice.

Let me start from the beginning to give you a more clear picture. Pre-Wrath Currahee had a solid core group of players and we were progressing forward with heroics and beginning to enter Kara. About this time the guild began to crumble as the core players left for raiding guilds that were progressing into further content. Wrath comes out and most of our core players are gone, those that remained leave within a few months after Wrath is released. This summer, the guild leader handed over the reigns to me and left the guild to focus on school as he was returning to college. There was a drop in membership as he left (from about 100 to around 50), though the ranks have held pretty steady, increasing by a few players under my leadership.

Today I am facing unrest in the guild as folks are unhappy that there is "never anyone online". I do my best to recruit, I have posted on the official forums, setup an account on WoWHeadhunter, I have joined forces with a small guild <Punisher> on my server to run ToC 5-Man on a near nightly basis. As we typically only have 4 members online, we usually have to find our 5th. If they are any good, I ask if they are interested in joining Currahee (no new recruits from this method yet).

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Filed under: Raiding, Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: Raiding: How easy is too easy?

Karthis, a feral Druid from the Garona-US server, wrote a thought-provoking treatise on the current end-game on his blog a few days ago. Of course, he's hardly the first to declare the current end-game far too easy, but he brings a very interesting angle to the discussion -- namely that of the casual.

He interviews various casual raid guild leaders in his piece. These are guild leaders who, back in Burning Crusade, mostly ran Karazhan and maybe dabbled a bit in Zul'aman. They certainly were far behind the curve. But they had a dedicated core of 10 raiders who got together, faced the challenges, and overcame them. But now, even these casuals are saying that the end-game is just too easy.

One guild leader interviewed is finding that some of their raiders have gotten all the loot they need from Naxxramas and maxed out Northrend Achievements and Reputations, and, for lack of anything to do, are not logging on for days or simply letting their subscriptions lapse altogether, leaving their guild leader to make the painful decision once Ulduar comes to either refuse to give them their raid slots back or kick out their replacements.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

The Queue: Casual raiding and you

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Hooray weekend! Boo Sunday! Let's jump right into things with Galipan's question...

Is casual raiding a possibility? Ive heard from many people that it isn't, however, I'm trying to get a guild started that does give it a shot.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Queue

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