Friends and Raiders: Raider Accountability


So, it’s a topic that is always present but not a lot of people seem to want to touch on is disciplining raiders. It’s a topic most people hope to never deal with, but inevitably it comes up, how do you discipline your raiders? My guild has several ranks, the hierarchy goes like this.



Class Lead




The raider rank offers free consumables for raids and a guaranteed raid spot on our 25 man raid nights. Pretty sweet deal right? The officers thought so too, but we felt it had to come with some requirements. Last year at Blizzcon 08 my guild was lucky enough that almost all the officers were able to attend. We hit up a pub, ordered a few pints and decided to hash out ground rules. We understand everyone has off days, so with that in mind how do we evaluate our raiders? We have three categories which we judge our raiders. Performance, Attendance and Attitude.


This is judged by varying degrees depending on class and role. We divided out the basic archetypes into 4 groups and an officer looks over each group one for melee, one for hunters, one for casters and one for healers (guess which one I take care of). We don’t set hard numbers but we look for a couple things. Is the player performing well based on assignment and others of their class? Is the player prepared with proper gems, enchants, talent spec and consumables (and using the provided consumables)? Does the player have their resistance gear(if applicable)? Is the player following assignments (healers on their target, interrupts doing what they need to do, the right sheeps going out)? Is the player consistently dying to void zones for no good reason? Is the person looting / herbing / mining etc instead of doing what they are supposed to be doing (ex: picking flowers instead of healing the tank)

That’s a rough sketch but you get the idea.

This one is a hard number. We require that those of the raider rank attend 75% of the main raids (we only count our 25 man raids since for us that’s the focus) if you are not going to be able to make an official raid we expect you to give us notice so we can prepare. We understand that life happens and well, real life is more important then the game. We just ask that our raiders give us notification so we can bring in a replacement and keep the raid going for those that are on.

We also require that raiders be at the instance at the time of raid invites. This is not too much to ask, log out at the instance the night before if you have to. We don’t want to keep an entire raid waiting because one or two people are horsing around in Dalaran, or are always waiting for a Warlock to summon them.


This one’s a bit of a wild card for some people, but the basics of the concept is as follows. Is the player badgering other players? (this includes harassing classes on the same token if they are going to drop or pass the token to the player) Is the person constantly in a sour mood and taking it out on the raid? Is the person ignoring assignments? Is the person acting like they just don’t want to be there? This also includes personal grievances between players. If one player has a problem with another we investigate it.

For this one it’s more the temper tantrum rule. If you’re being pissy, expect to be called on it.

Punitive Measures

So, now that we’ve metered out the 3 categories to go by how does one go about reprimanding offenders? For attendance issues we review the monthly numbers and people below the 75% mark are brought to the attention of the raid officers. If we see that there is sufficient reason for a demotion (ie skipped two weeks of raids for beer blasts) we will demote the person from raider status. We understand that real life happens and of course won’t hold unavoidable events against our raiders.

For performance and attitude we follow the Three Strike Rule. Each time a raider breaks one of the rules they receive a strike. Along with the strike comes a warning, usually handled in whispers during a break in the raid or if its severe enough during the encounter. We try to avoid public defamation on vent (but that doesn’t keep us from screaming to get out of the damned void zones when needed). Attitude problems are dealt with swiftly and on the spot. Informing the raider that they can and will be removed if the behavior continues (and following through with it). There is an officer in every class channel and usually one per group in 25 mans, so we have a good idea when someone is acting up. When a raider reaches three strikes they will receive two treatments. First is a docking of DKP. My guild still uses the DKP system so this is a major check point for most of our raiders. The degree of the docking depends on the severity of the strikes to be decided by the raid officers. Along with that comes the evaluation of the person’s raider status.  The raid officers decide if the person should be demoted.

Personal grievances are set for investigation. Officers will step in and separate the people in question, find out whats happening and determine what needs to be done, if anything.

To be honest we’ve never gotten to the third strike for anyone. DKP docking and removal of rank act as great deterrents and our raiders are generally pretty adult about most things, our officers are pretty proactive as well. We hold clinics and workshops as necessary if a player decides they need help. An officer is almost always on in game and class leaders are always afoot. We are very active as a guild and work together to bring everyone up, as well as weed out anything that might threaten the stability of our raid and guild.

You’ll find most raiding guilds have something like this set up. Ours is probably more lenient then some, but it works for us. We have a pretty long app process so people who make it through generally are good seeds and mesh well with the way we do things, so disciplining raiders doesn’t come up very often.

So how about you? How does your guild handle your raider? Do you Handle them at all? How do you handle personal grievances among guildies/raiders?

Until next time, Happy Healing


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22 thoughts on “Friends and Raiders: Raider Accountability”

  1. @shyraia we hold all the officers to the same standards as our raiders and class leads.(if not a higher one) The other officers operate as checks and balances. Best way to put it is we operate knowing that another officer can call us out or point things out, and we have done so for each other many times as well as officers that have since left the guild. (or been asked to leave)

  2. I’m an officer for the guild Desecration on Fizzcrank (US) and this post reads eerily similar to our standards.

    We’re a relatively new guild, only making our first forays into Naxx 10 man now, but we have a strong emphasis on “casual, fun play”. We don’t want to have hard requirements for things like attendance, mat farming, etc… We try to be clear that we still have rules and standards, but that they are different rules and standards than you might otherwise find in more serious guilds. It’s tough to balance those priorities with our eagerness to progress through the content in the game.

    I think our biggest asset has been the making attitude our primary consideration. In order to make progress in Naxx like we are (last night we took down Horsemen for the first time) we’ve found it’s important to have a group of fun-oriented raiders that will listen to officer strategy, take advice and criticism well, and generally enjoy the process. While performance and attendance are important we are much less concerned with those things. The people we’ve begun populating our guild with really get along very well and that attitude-first priority has allowed us to make fast progress through Naxx 10.

    All-in-all I would agree with your philosophy and hope that more guilds would take an approach like yours.

  3. Firstly I really like the picture – the relationship Ronaldo (of Manchester United – well, soon probably to be Real Madrid but anyway) has with referees is always humourous.

    Even though I try not to get involved with guild politics, it’s pretty hard to avoid when my sister and her boyfriend are the guild leaders.
    A few nights ago we had an issue with some members being overly critical of other raid members and them whispering comments along the lines that they didn’t know how to play their class etc. This ofc is unacceptable and as later transpired, the main reason why we didn’t down Yoggy 25 on that particular night. Such was the impact of this we couldn’t get past phase 1 and we now knew the reason why people were not performing.

    Our guild focus has always been about team-building and friendship. Having formerly been a 10-man guild, we wanted to use some of the processes within a 25-man framework. Granted this does not always work, but it has done for the most part.
    For instance we do not have a rank system within our guild – meaning that everyone (minus new recruits who haven’t passed the test phase) are of the same rank – with the same priviledges and access to the guild bank and resources. We do not believe in making a guild within a guild such is what can happen within guilds that have various ranks and features like officer chat – which is defunct.

    Now with my family in positions of power, it is great to be able to talk to each other in an informal setting when we meet up irl as management ideas come about quite freely.

    To my knowledge those offenders at Yogg were given a warning (though of what nature I do not know) and I strongly believe that rules should be interpreted as such by both parties involved. What I mean is that the Guild leader should be prepared to enforce the rules, and the perpetrator should be prepared to adhere to them – else they are out. This is my opinion however. I do not know how the issue was dealt with in this particular case and in a way that is good as it serves as a testament to the fact that the issue was dealt with in a proper manner – in a way that not even family members had priviledges enough to be involved. So from that perspective it worked. A clear benchmark for our guild has been set.

    Thanks for the article. I am sure it will be of use to other guilds.

  4. It’s so important to have the criteria for behavior/performance in place before there is a need to reprimand anyone or downrank them. Sounds like your guild has a nicely thought out plan that has been shared, setting clear expectations. More folks should do this imho but most wait until there is a problem to deal with, which can leave the problem child feeling singled out and like the situation is irreparable.

  5. Sounds fair enough. It was simply a point that I was missing in the post. In my experience it’s good that the raiding members see that the officers are indeed being held to the same standards. It prevents this whole ‘he’s only getting a pass because he’s wearing the title’ feeling 🙂

    Shyraias last blog post..CC on CC: Is creative time wasted?

  6. @toops: I’m a big Man-U fan and the picture seemed appropriate to the post =D Glad someone got it.

    @candy: Yes laying the ground rules down before hand is a good thing to do, prevents a lot of garbage and hurt feelings later on.

    @Shyraia: I didn’t really want to go into it too much in this post because its a topic for an entirely different post I’m working on. =D But yes it is very important that the guild see officers held to the same standards as everyone else.

  7. I am a raid leader in a family-oriented guild. We have two teams doing Ulduar 10 right now and just put Ulduar 25 on our official schedule last Sunday.

    It was quite the failure, in my eyes. People so used to being able to ride the coattails of overgeared players in Naxx were suddenly very, very visible. Things as simple as grasping the Light Bomb concept (and not running directly onto ME as the OT grabbing Pummelers…) seemed beyond some folks.

    I spent upwards of 300g in repair costs and we only downed two bosses. I was not raid leader for this run – I’m not sure I agree with some of the decisions made, but that is not my call. I respect the raid leaders and will do the best I can in my role regardless.

    But the problem is, our guild really has nothing like this. The one time we tried to instill some accountability, it was more a guideline than anything else.

    Is it wrong of me to expect people to show up on time and ready with flasks and food? Repaired fully before they arrive? Having at least made an effort toward previous content rather than dinging 80 and being handed gear in Naxx 25? To not come in for one fight and spend their roll as plate DPS on a tanking item because they ‘might tank one day’?

    Alright, I am diverging into bitterness here – I apologize for that. My question is: How do I inspire accountability when the guild structure really doesn’t enforce it? We have about 15 people who could easily maintain status in an actual raiding guild, but the other ten is a mix of casual players. I am all for getting people in to see the content, but I’d like to at least see the Effort put forth!

    (We do not use DKP, btw, so docking that is not an option. We use a merit system. +10 when you show up for a raid. +10 for special merit. The more raids you show up for an don’t use your roll, the better a roll you have. Certain roll tiers make it so you can’t get screwed over by an unlucky roll if you have waited and waited to use it.)

  8. I miss dkp, there are dkp systems for casual raiders that work well enough. But it removes drama and discussion and provides a way to hold people accountable.

    My old raiding guild was casual and we still had rules like show up on time, be fully repaired, have reagents, and the RL had addons that told him all this. My current guild not only doesn’t use dkp, the RLs don’t even have ORA and can’t mark tanks (i have to ask for assist) they don’t believe in anything but DBM. So it’s quite a difference from what I’m used to. We’re just starting Ulduar tonight so we’ll see. I hope we put the effort in and this doesn’t end up a guild breaker.

    I think it’s fine to ask people to be on time, that’s just about respecting others. Like some of us at work are in a volleyball league. we have to be on time or we forfeit the match. We are just recreational having fun, but asking people to be on time for that is acceptable. But for some reason asking people to be on time for a raid is not. At least when dealing with us in our late 20s and 30s (well I’m late 30s 🙂 )

  9. The guild I’m in (of which I’m not an officer) is 5+ years old, and has a culture about it which doesn’t really work well for discipline. It’s very casual. Often non-performance results in simply no more invites to raid, but not gkick. We log our fights but there’s no class leader assigned to lift performance. It’s not a progression guild. We’re all on first-name basis with each other.

    I’d say we’re fairly typical for a casual guild, but the problem is the more hardcore oriented amongst us would like policies closer to what Matt’s outlined.

    Gravitys last blog post..Improving FPS and latency

  10. I am a long member and new officer of my guild and we have something like this set up, albeit a bit more loosely because we aren’t a die-hard guild at all. Lately tho people do start to slack a bit on various areas, so I found this post very handy on one part. On the other part, I can’t use these rules to reprimand anyone in our guild (besides new-joiners that don’t have a relation to excisting members). We have the rules for it set up, but no repercussions, and if we did, I wouldn’t be able to use them because of the way our guild is formed.

    Our guild was formed from several smaller guilds somewhere halfway BT. We raided before in an alliance and later formed as 1 official guild. All seperate former guilds were friend and familygroups. Now, a couple years later, the friend / familygroups still excist but also became friends together, which gives a very sociable group. This also means however, that whenever someone is misconducting in any way, he can’t be reprimanded that easily with the very large possibility that several friends or familymembers turn tail, leave with him or form a front of some sorts. So far, this hasn’t happened yet. But I do feel the constant pressure and tension of it in the guild. It’s like having to tiptoe around in a minefield (where the mines are your good friends ;-)). It’s a great group, but it’s hard changing things or controlling flow.

  11. Few things have pissed me off more than people not showing up on time.

    Making 8 people wait on you because you’re the healer is just being an asshole.

  12. Disciplining for my group is usually quick and painful. If it happens during an encounter and we wipe I’ll make a blanket statement afterwards. “Ranged, make sure you are killing those flash freezes. Those are your top priority.” If the person fails to take the hint I will call them out by name over vent before the next attempt and point it out that they are failing and need to step it up.

    If someone’s deeps is low I’ll ask them why, sometimes in tell, sometimes in vent. If it’s in vent I’ll make sure to let them know its not an attack just trying to see if we can fix it.

    Tank failing to pickup his targets… this is a major issue. Usually easily fixed and I rarely call them out on vent. Mainly because they are doing their job correctly or are quick at responding in the tank channel.

    Failure at CC… I just ask on vent for this. If its someone being lazy then its easy to tell them, “No excuses, just fix it.” I also use an addon that tells me who breaks CC so its easy to yell at someone on vent to fix their problem.

    I know I’m a bit more harsh then a lot of raid leads but I also do 90% of the raid leading. I assign healers, tanks, CC, pay attention to peeps failing or to move out of the fire and because of this I use vent as a quick and easy way to find solutions to problems.

    Fear of being called out on vent also usually keeps most people in line for not wanting to be the ‘target’.
    .-= Xeonio´s last blog ..Mountain o’ Mounts (35/100) =-.

  13. So the guild I’m with has similar standards. What is usually stated as the primary measurements for members can be broken down into: attendance, performance, and supposedly to a small degree attitude.

    What becomes difficult for many guilds is when the “whip-cracker” (which is optional for many guilds) starts to get out of hand. Consider a raid leader who is constantly pushing his raiders to be better, without any statements of praise, any positive comments, and generally a poor attitude. If this same individual is not high in performance and misses raid on occasion, what do you do?

    I’ve discussed this with guildies and ultimately people have decided to simply speak to the Guild Master regarding our Raid Leader. Thus far, it has been to no avail and we are now considering speaking to him in a more serious fashion. Effectively we are considering giving the ultimatum and I don’t know if these feels like the right response, but ultimately I don’t know if there’s another method available. If your officer/raid leader is the problem what can you do besides find a new guild?

  14. @Cher Oats Officer accountability is tricky. The way my guild does it is there are several officers and the GM, usually it falls to the rest of us to handle complaints about other officers, and we do so the same we would any other member of the guild. Best thing you can do is get the Guild Leader involved. If his “management staff” isn’t performing within their boundaries, it’s something that has to be addressed. As one of my guilds “whip crackers” I can honestly say it’s hard to see the lines sometimes. It’s also very very easy to get burned out. Maybe a fresh talk from the GL will help this officer out, but it’s the first place you should start.

    If the GL refuses to address the issue, sadly it might mean it’s time to find a new home since ultimately only the GL can have final say in policing the officer.


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