STATE OF THE GUILD 2016 and Legion Raiding
Now that we're all settled into the Broken Isles and are legends in our own right, it's time to talk raiding.
For WoD our focus was on the social aspects of the guild and we had a pretty low bar, as far as raiding guilds go, for structure of raid nights. We raided two nights a week and, while slow, we did manage to clear most current raid content, all the way up to heroic Archimonde. We struggled mightily quite a few times, lost a few people along the way, and made new friends while we were at it. This is the ebb and flow of a WoW guild.
As a guild leader, I often step back and look at the big picture, taking into account all of the feedback, private conversations, mood, temper, and rhythm of the guild as we go along. I am very happy to say that we have weathered a lot of morale-busting situations, things that definitely would have broken up other guilds, and also shared tons of excitement, fun, and joy with the whole bunch of you. The fact that we're all still playing (and having a TON of fun) in Legion is a testament to the Icrontic culture that treats us all as a group of friends first, rather than a bunch of disconnected gamers who just attach themselves to whatever guild will help them get the numbers or gear they want. The #1 goal of the Icrontic guild will always be to have you guys over ICHQ to drink beers and crash on the couch.
Running a raiding guild is hard. Very hard. You have to balance the wishes and needs, playstyles, and skill levels of a wide variety of gamers. You have to set goals for the guild that can accomodate all of those disparate factors. Some people can play much more often than others. Some people can react much faster than others. Some don't care too much about progress and just want to hang out in mumble. Some people like talking nerdy min-maxing, some don't. All of these people are in one group together, and so one has to step back and ask, "what's the goal of the group?"
This is what I do. For those that don't know me well, I'm a community manager by trade. My job is to step back and look at the goals of the community as an entity, and work on an individual basis with people to get to understand their personal goals while keeping the overall community health and happiness in mind.
So that's enough blabber. On with the WoWs.
First off, some minor roster changes: I am stepping up to take @Myrmidon's place as raid leader since he retired. Also, @tiberiuslazarus is back in the tank seat (bear), so with him and @sazbean (Maejah) we have our tank corps back in place. We'd also like to welcome @Dark_arches (Protractor) to the officer corps, which means the officer group for this expansion is myself, @Thrax (Solenda), @Ryanfodder, @Sazbean (Maejah), @Ryder (Avisuku), and @tiberiuslazarus (Wolford).
New Raid Structure
For Legion raiding, we're trying something a bit more structured than we've been doing in WoD.
On Sunday nights at 8pm EST, our PROGRESSION group will raid fresh lockout content. The progression group is going to be handled more strictly than we've done in the past. This group will have expectations that must be met in order to participate; things like minimum item level, guild membership, taking food/flasks/potions seriously, studying fight videos and strategies, knowing the fights, achievements and non-raid content cleared on non-raid days, helping other guild members, contributing to the guild bank, using non-raid days to itemize and gear your character better, etc. While all are welcome to try out for the progression group, there should be a clear understanding that if you are asked to sit out IT IS NOT PERSONAL. These decisions will be made as objectively as possible, meaning the officers will be checking logs for things like spell uptime, mechanics failures, throughput, performance, etc. I hesitate to use the word "hardcore" but we will be taking things a bit more seriously on Sunday nights.
For those who don't care to deal with the pressure, time commitment, or style of progression raiding, we will be having CASUAL raid nights on Mondays at 8:30pm EST. This is open to everybody in the guild, including alts and friends who aren't on our server. This will be more like the normal raid nights we used to have during MoP and WoD, meaning it's not to be taken as a "goof-off" session where people get drunk and play poorly, everybody brings deeply underleveled alts to be carried, etc. We still want to make progress and get gear for those who aren't up to progression raiding, but it won't be as intense as progress night.
Now, I know many of you might immediately see a problem with this structure: "But that means we only have one night of progression raiding a week and that's not enough". The answer to that one is: be patient. Once we see how participation is going, how progress is going, etc... we may make some changes. Perhaps we use Monday to continue progression night because the casual group is doing really well. Perhaps we introduce a third raid night for casual/social raiding. We don't know exactly how things are going to shake out right now so we'll have to play it by ear. I trust that the foundation of the guild is strong and flexible enough to make it fun and make everybody feel satisfied no matter what comes up.
This is a good time to remind everybody that guild discussions and group organization will be handled here, on Icrontic. We also have a Google calendar with raid nights and other events for your convenience.
Sunday, 8pm EST:
Icrontic Progression Raid Night:
- Must be in the Icrontic guild on Kel'thuzad
- Must meet minimum criteria iLvl/artifact knowledge/weapon progress
- Logs will be checked for raid performance
- Fight prep knowledge is mandatory: do your own research, watch the videos, read the strats, know the fights
- "Best accepted" strategy is almost always the one we'll be using
- Food/flasks/pots mandatory
- Must have a working headset/mic for Mumble
- Use non-raid days to work on your character, gear, rep, professions, farming mats for guild bank
- You may be asked to sit out; it will not be personal, and you will be given an opportunity to get your spot back
- We can coach/help people to earn a spot on this night
Monday 9:00pm EST:
Icrontic Casual Raid Night:
- Open to all
- Some from the progression group should help carry, even if it means no gear (boss lockout)
- Within reason, alts are welcome and even encouraged
- Within reason, we can carry some, maybe 1-2 a week
- All friends of Icrontic welcome (and definitely encouraged), friends from other guilds and servers
- Puns mandatory, in honor of Dan, and I hate this they made me put it in here fuck this
- Together, we are Icrontic
- An'she guide you
- Beware the deep places of the earth