I have three posts titled "what's a casual raiding guild?"

| Thursday, November 4, 2010
Those are my most recent failed attempts. They are not the first set either. Casual raiding guilds are damn hard to define. And that's precisely why I think so many fail to progress or even not collapse.

Guilds need common goals and expectations. Without these they're just a glorified chat channel. But so often casual raiding guilds fail to set these goals and expectations. Well, they might get the goal part in a generic or distant way, such as "raid" or "kill Arthas", but what's next week and how are we getting there? Expectations are the real killer. What gear should people have? DPS? How much attention should they pay? How about preparation: gems, enchants, consumables, strats?

The person who does more feels like the rest are dragging him down, while the people who do less may feel pushed too hard. These players can play together, but they need to know what they expect of each other and reach a compromise. More likely, they'll split away to other guilds or form useless cliques within the guild. Either way, the guild fails.

I'd define my current guild as casual. We raid a few nights for a few hours. No one is screaming on vent. No one rage quits. But we all sit down and kill internet dragons. We chat and joke and laugh, until we need vent clear to coordinate the killing of internet dragons. We're not amazing players and we're not terrible players. We're just people who expect each other to learn quickly, pay attention, and enjoy killing internet dragons. It's a friendly, helpful ass-kicking social guild.


Anonymous said...


I used to be part of a casual raiding guild. I stayed with them for a better part of 2 years and then it broke up. I miss playing with those guys, but a few people moved to a differnt server. They asked me if I wanted to join them, but call me cheap, I wasn't going to fork over the dough for a server transfer. But now, I've started a new character, a priest, that I've leveled to 78 recently, and I haven't joined a guild yet. Still miss those guys from CotS.

mrfenris said...

Riffing here...

I agree that the goals and expectations are one of most important things that a guild needs in order to succeed.

I think the problem of many casual raiding guilds lie in the fact that they try and straddle the middle ground.

They aren't the 100% casual place where they let in anyone and everyone via trade.

They aren't in the scrutinized, WoL munching, perform or GTFO groups either.

Instead they teeter and fail because they slip "too far" one way or the other. At least that's been my experience in my former casual/raiding guild.

Some folks went one way, some folks went another. Apps started slipping in with a hope that they'd "get better" and our relaxed atmosphere meant that they could get a raid slot, which held back a lot of our "raiders" who grew frustrated.

Now I'm not at all saying, that these guild's can't function. I just think it's far easier for them to slip and fall because they try and straddle the narrow ledge.

It would be far easier to stay 100% social or 100% hardcore, in my opinion.

Me? I'm hoping my new guild can straddle the line.

Syl said...

By now I see any discussions about casual vs. hardcore as a waste of time personally - what you'd need to do first is to define indeed, what is casual? is it related to raiding quality or raiding goals or time spent? is it about ruthless player selection, about being laidback or competitive?
I've seen 'cross-overs' of all these different aspects in different guilds and even among my own longtime guildmates there is no consensus about what our guild is.
personally the main factor about being hardcore is still time spent in wow because i don't regard wow as a difficult game that requires special 'skills'. on the other hand many players pride themselves to be 'skilled' and therefore more 'hardcore' etc...it's a messy area.

Gronthe said...

@ mrfenris: "I think the problem of many casual raiding guilds lie in the fact that they try and straddle the middle ground."

I see this often as the reason "casual raiding guilds" have troubles. If expectations aren't defined it allows for each individual to create their own expectation of what the guild should/shouldn't be or do. And when that happens their is either a movement too far to one side or things fracture.

I think that if a causual raiding guild can manage to keep a core group of people with similar expectations, they will naturally live with regular turnover in the worker-bee ranks, but still be able to be a part of something that they enjoy. It is a delicate balancing act, and I'm not sure there's one answer for everyone.

Klepsacovic said...

Syl, you're saying exactly the problem. Because it's impossible to define "casual", guilds which try to call themselves casual fail to define themselves as anything. Your longtime guildmates might not have an explicitly stated standard, but if you can call them "longtime guildsmates", you are clearly on the same page with something. Maybe it's friendship, independent of what you actually do in WoW, which is a perfectly good way to sustain a guild, but if a guild can't define itself based on WoW or based on friendship, then what is it?

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