October 24, 2017

Teo wrote:

Due to a lot of questions and feedback that have arisen recently, we would like to update you on Defiant’s strategy and goals for raiding.

Overall Objective

As a guild, our overall objective is to provide a family-friendly environment where each person can progress at his or her own pace through game content. In an attempt to balance the several levels of interest in end game content, the raid leadership will be splitting our raid nights into three teams: “Trial”, “Farm” and “Progression.”

Raid Leadership

During the raid, the Raid Leader is responsible for keeping things on track, explaining fights, adapting current-content goals, being the contact point for attendance and any concerns. Outside of the raid, decisions are made by the Raid Leaders in consultation with the Guild Officers and GM. We have multiple raid leaders (one or more for each team).

There are also 4 new “Role Leader” positions: Healing (Walmarta), Tanking (Reznik), Ranged DPS (Gigem) and Melee DPS (Mcstabbins) team leaders. They are in charge of helping with assignments and minor call-outs based on their team’s duties in a given encounter, in coordination with the Raid Leader. They are also the contact point for getting help with improving your role-based raid performance.

Loot Rules

  • Personal loot will be used.
  • Don’t ask for items from people who have not offered them up for distribution.
  • If an item is not an upgrade for you, and you wish to contribute it to guild progression, you may do so at will. The guild uses LootRaffle addon to do this. If you want extra loot, download this addon.

General Raid Rules

  • Guild rules are enforced, including no-swearing, no lewd talk and no drama.
  • Respond to all guild-raid calendar invites accordingly (even if tentative or declining)
  • Be on time and ready to begin (15 minutes before raid starts, if possible).
  • The individual performance of each raider (or group of raiders) is the Raid Leader’s business. Please save your comments about other raiders’ performance for private messages with a Raid Leader.
  • All raiders must be on voice chat. Tanks/Healers must be able to speak on voice chat.
  • Feedback is appreciated, but drama is not tolerated. Example, “Player X is making us lose. Kick, please!” is not appropriate in a Defiant progression raid. However, feedback such as, “I think if Player X would stand over here and move this way during [boss ability], it would make the fight easier” is welcome and appreciated. Please direct said feedback to the Raid Leader in whispers.
  • Bring flasks, food and pots that are appropriate for your class.
  • Watch/read boss fight guides before coming to the raid.

General Raid Composition

  • Tanks: exactly 2.
  • Healers: 1 per group, with a possible +1 extra healer total.
  • DPS: We’ll fill in the DPS based on the healer ratio, selecting the highest average performers first. (based on raid dps logs ) Note: This will have some flexibility in farm raiding, but not progression.
  • We may possibly PUG DPS roles if needed, but will not PUG Tank/Healing roles.

Trial/Alt Team (Candidate/Member)

Sunday evenings (7pm server/pacific) is trial/alt-night where we provide entry-level gear access for new raiders and help measure their performance. Alts are welcome, but main’s are encouraged. Attendance to this raid is not required, but since it fuels the raid team roster, progression raiders are strongly encouraged to attend.

The minimum requirement for this raid night is that you have at least the recommended item level for the given content, which is usually one raid (or raid-difficulty) lower than farm night. Trial raiders will have a performance review after each raid to determine whether they are performing well enough to move up to the farm team.

Farm Team (Raider)

Tuesday evenings (7pm server/pacific) is farm-night where we visit current content that we can easily beat. The goal is to increase the raider’s average item levels with the highest weekly loot-per-minute available and to give the raiders a chance to win and feel good before we bash our heads on the harder content for the week. If we run out of current-content farm bosses in a given night, we may switch to other content for the remaining time (at the Raid Leader’s discretion). Progression bosses will not be attempted on these nights.

Raid composition will be less rigid. We may have a weird number of tanks or healers as we gearing out new raiders. Raiders may use off-specs and bring alts as long as it will not compromise the success or speed of the raid.

The minimum requirement for this raid is that you be item-level appropriate for the content and that you perform 25% or higher on average for your item-level/class/spec. Farm raiders will have a performance review after each raid to determine whether they are performing well enough to move up to the progression team, if they so desire. (Progression content constantly moves to farm as time goes on, so Farm raiders get to see all the new content, but in a more laid-back way.)

Progression Team (Elite Raider)

Thursday (7pm server/pacific) is go-time. As a casual guild attempting end-game competitive progression, we have to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. This means that we are going to put our serious pants on and will be strictly enforcing the progression raid composition and rules. The minimum requirement for this raid is to be item-level appropriate for the content and that you perform 50% or higher on average for your item-level/class/spec.

On progression content, lots of wipes are expected, and the raid leadership will do their best to minimize the impact. However, instead of looking to blame other’s performance, ask yourself, “what could I be doing different/better?” Ultimately, if everyone asks this question, and is willing to heed the answer, we will progress very quickly through the end game content.

We are a casual guild, but those wanting to aid in progression are expected to push a little harder. This means reading up on the best specs, talents, itemization and stat priorities. Spend time on the target dummy getting your rotation right when needed. Analyze raid logs. Leadership will be looking at raid logs and specs. If we have any concerns, we will offer help to individuals we deem to possibly be struggling. Keep in mind that if we talk to you, it’s not personal. Others in the raid group are trying their hardest, and they really want to succeed. We want you to be a part of that success.

In order to maximize the possibility for success, we will invite raiders to progression raids based on item level, average performance, and/or class makeup. Occasionally we will have to ask for someone to sit out of an encounter based on performance or the raid composition. After a respectable number of attempts, if we are failing to make progress on a given night, we may switch to other content at the Raid Leader’s discretion.

Additional Progression Team Rules

  • Raiders must spec/talent/gear/enchant/gem to perform at their class’ maximum capacity. This means selecting talents that have been proven to maximize DPS/HPS/Mitigation.

I read this whole thing, what now?

You receive +10 internet points. If you’re not currently on the raiding roster and would like to be, please contact your fellow Raid Leader (Holyshnizzle, Gigem, Reznik, Walmarta).

Further Thoughts on Current Strategy

During the summer of 2017, we (re)discovered that summer is really hard on raiding. Lots of people have more IRL things to do, which results in more absences or hiatuses. As a side-effect, we were recruiting pretty heavily. Recruiting meant new folks learning fights, which in turn slowed progression drastically as we were vetting new raiders during farm and progression nights.

We were also encountering increased friction between players who want to push progression and players who want to be more casual. We’d often bring people to content that was simply not appropriate for their item-level or performance because there was simply nowhere else to put them.

After much debate, we decided that the best approach would be to split raiding into three “teams”: Trial, Farm and Progression. We would also provide clear and reasonable requirements for membership in each team. (With some exceptions at the Raid Leader’s discretion.)

Ultimately this new approach will allow us to continue to grow our roster without inhibiting our progression, as well as provide the more hard-core folks a night where they weren’t being held back by lower-performing or new raiders. This solution will not be perfect, so we ask for your patience. However, we believe that it is the best solution for the current situation.

Keeping this many players happy with their varying play-styles will always be our ongoing challenge. If you have any comments or suggestions, please direct them privately to our Benevolent Dictator Teo. (Or Eodred or Tonkah)