My friend's guild
To start off, my friend's server is terrible. Or, at least from what I hear from him it is. Gear checks for regular instances, no one running regular instances, terribad DPS, it goes on. He thinks I live in fantasy land because I can stand tanking.
his current guild was advertised as a casual guild. Cool. That works for him since he's not on a ton. Real life before WoW was another thing he liked in the presentation of the guild. Cool.
Alas, books and covers and whatnot. He first had a bit of a problem in that they only ran heroics, but it was fine since he needed the gear. Then they seem to have caught the raiding bug. More accurately, the disease known as raidjerkatosis of the leadership which can be very harmful to casual guilds.
After a particularly hard week, his GM was very generous and bought him the valor badge bracers, which apparently he got at a huge discount, but still were a few hundred gold. They were not given with visible strings. Then my friend was gone for a weekend. Casual guild, right? GM flips out and gives a bit about "we bought those bracers for you to raid with us..." This I can completely understand, except for the communication: there was nothing "to get you ready for raids" or "this mean you're going to be raiding with us." Still, there's the issue of RL coming before casual, or not. And apparently all non-raiding days require advance notice.
Oh, and they want him, a holy paladin, to spec into kings. In itself this isn't too bad. 10% stats to all vs. 3% crit... STATS! But they have ret paladins in the guild, which presumably raid with them. Spec Nazis are bad enough, but wrong spec Nazis?
An old guild
The leadership didn't seem to differentiate between casual and noob. I don't remember any class leaders or anything comparable. The effects of this became clear one day outside Gruul when I inspected one of the shamans. His gems were... strange: +damage in enhancement gear, stam-stacking. His spec was worse. It was half-enhancement, half-resto. I asked why and found that he was constantly being asked to switch between healing and DPS, so he just used a mixed spec. I explained that he needed to demand a definite role (or at least no more than a couple respecs a wweek) or guild funds for respecs. His spec was missing important talents, such as 10% AP for groups, so it wasn't a hybrid, it was just a useless mess. There was no one to check out builds, not to be spec Nazis, but just to help people out. I eventually left.
It's a casual guild. It's actually a casual guild. Not a noob guild, not a pretend casual guild. There are two types of members: casuals and raiders. Raiders are fix pick for raids and are required to raid at least (3?) nights a week. Casuals can show up whenever they feel like it but are second priority. However the guild is fairly small, so as a casual I have a decent chance of getting into a raid (50% or above on the raid nights that I remember to log in). There isn't any cliqueness that I've noticed. My friend that introduced me to the guild is a raider, I'm a casual (and I repeat myself), and his girlfriend is a casual. We use a loot council, of sorts, I think, I'm really not sure. Whatever it is, it works well enough that we have little to no drama.
We're hardly badasses. No Sarth 3D under our belts or anything fancy like that. We farm Naxx snd Sarth and maybe other raids that I forgot about. Still, we're not bad. We have leaders and they have responsibilities. Maybe class leads aren't as strict about specs as I'd like (though I'd hate to reap what I sow considering my prot build is hardly cookie-cutter), but fail is kept out well enough.
Bold makes this seem more organized than it is
Casual guilds are important. They're where casual players can get started, or find 'homes', and generally get going with raiding or heroics or whatever they're interested in. It's a shame to see casual guilds fall into the strange territory of being hardcore enough to be jerks, but not enough to call themselves hardcore. On the other side, it's no better when casual and noobish anarchy are confused.
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