Welcome to Straw Man.
Since April 2009 we've been a home for folks who want a laid-back vibe, but also like knocking down heroic bosses.
We have a reasonable raid attendance policy, we distribute loot fairly, and are casual where it makes sense. We do hold our members to a high standard, though, and expect each of them to be an asset to our progression raids. We don't expect perfection, simply that each of us is always bringing our best.
Experience has shown that with the right mindset casual guild principles can yield hardcore results, and solid guildies who are able to have a life outside the game make our guild much stronger in the long run.
Straw Man is a mature, endgame raiding guild. To be considered for recruitment an applicant must be at least 18 years old, and their toon must be max level.
To be fair to existing members and achieve our raiding goals, all recruitment is highly selective.
Our members are expected to treat their fellow guildies with respect, and help them out whenever possible. This is a team sport, and we rise and fall together. Along those lines, crafting services should be provided to fellow guildies at no charge, assuming they bring the mats.
Our members are also expected to treat non-guildies with respect, as well. Yes, some players out there are unbearable douches, or are nice people but just terrible players... how you react to them reflects upon the entire guild, though, and having a solid reputation on a small server is a good thing.
That being said, do feel free to stomp on the fingers of any Alliance knuckleheads that cross your path.
In general, if you're laid-back, mature, and fun to raid with you should fit in well. The kind of folks who don't last long include arrogant assholes (no matter how good you are), drama queens, loot whores, ninjas, and trade trolls.
Straw Man's rank structure is as follows:
An applicant who has shown both a reasonable understanding of their class (spec/gearing) and a sense that they're a laid-back person will be invited to the guild as a Recruit.
Recruits have full access to Farm raids, and will often get into our Progression raids as well, assuming they meet the gear requirements. During this trial period, Officers will assess the Recruit to determine if he/she meets the expectations of the Raider rank (see below).
Note that being a Recruit in no way guarantees eventual promotion to Guard or Raider rank, and if it's determined you aren't a good fit hopefully there will be no hard feelings.
A Guard is a solid member of the guild who either can't currently meet the Raider rank's attendance requirement (see below), or who currently has minor performance/awareness issues. Guards have full access to Farm raids, and like Recruits will often get into our Progression raids as well.
If a Guard's schedule or performance improves, promotion to Raider rank is contingent on a spot being available.
Our Raiders are the core of our guild. They have full access to our Progression raids, and as such are held to a high standard. A Raider should:
Our Officers are held to the same standards as our Raiders, and in addition are tasked with helping run the guild. Responsibilities include leading raids, recruitment, guild bank maintenance, and helping with day-to-day issues.
Obviously we're all works in progress, and we're here to have fun, but holding members to high standards actually gives us the freedom to be more casual, not less. When our members can be expected to bring their best every time it's far easier to knock down whatever content we have our sights on with fewer wipes, all without the need for a fixed hardcore raid team... that means more fun for everyone, and a life outside the game as a bonus prize.
Guild members are free to play whatever spec they choose. To keep recruitment manageable, though, a member who wishes to change their class role (i.e. tank, heals, DPS) should first consult with guild leadership.
A guild member may have an unlimited number of guilded alts. Having alts in other active guilds, though, is frowned upon, and will limit the member to Guard rank. Hanging out in our guild chat and staying involved while on your alts (as opposed to being a warm body who pops in at raid time) is a good thing.
The guild bank operates on the honor system. It's assumed that if you withdraw something from the bank, at some point in the near future you'll deposit something of roughly equal value, or cash if you prefer. It's expected that any items you withdraw will be used by you, your alts, or a fellow guildie... withdrawing items to sell them is a no-no.
All members can make unlimited deposits in the Deposits tab.
Raiders and Guards can withdraw a limited number of stacks from each of the other tabs each day. In the case of a large stack, only the amount needed should be shift-clicked out. Recruits and Alts must have an Officer withraw items for them.
There is an additional Top Shelf tab which is locked and contains special items, such as top-end BoE crafting patterns (to ensure they go to a Raider). All members should speak with an Officer to withdraw from this tab.
Our guild's Ventrilo server is available for use by our guildies, and they are free to share our server info with non-guildies to facilitate smooth instance runs. The server info is located in the Guild Information tab in-game.
Our Progression raid nights are Thursday, Sunday, and Monday from 8:00pm to Midnight server time, with Farm runs scheduled on the off nights.
Our Raiders are expected to be fairly active players, generally signing up for at least 2 out of 3 Progression raids each week. If a Raider is consistently unable to meet this requirement, to be fair to active Raiders they will be demoted to Guard rank.
The in-game calendar is used for raid scheduling and sign-ups, and all of our guild's members regardless of rank are encouraged to sign up for any scheduled raid.
If a guild member signs up for a run and then can't make it or will be late, the sign-up should be removed or changed to tentative. If a signup is changed the day of the raid, the raid leader should be notified using in-game mail or the guild site shoutbox. Consistently no-showing raids without prior notice will result in removal from the guild.
Our raids are scheduled and teams set as follows:
Teams are set using the signups in the calendar 15 minutes before the scheduled raid time. Raiders and above have priority over Guards and Recruits for Progression raid slots, and mains have priority over alts. After taking into account rank, raid teams are set considering class balance and whether a member has been on standby recently. At 5 minutes before raid time any remaining open slots are first come first serve.
A guild member's main is expected to sign up for guild Progression runs and not get saved to other instances (unless the instance in question is not scheduled that week).
Raiders, Guards, and Recruits, as well as mains and alts, all have equal priority to raid slots. After taking into account class balance the team is set using /roll. Guildies should always be favored over non-guildies when setting the team.
A guild member's main is free to get saved to non-guild Farm runs, although some effort should be made to sign up for runs scheduled by guildies.
Note that guild members should always make sure that their main or alt meets the minimum gear requirements for any run they sign up for. A good rule of thumb is to go to WoW Heroes and look yourself up... if you're in the yellow zone for the particular instance you're in good shape, red not so much.
We're all here to have fun. Experience has shown that a well-disciplined raid team has a lot more success, and therefore a lot more fun. With that in mind, a few ground rules while in the raid are imperative:
First of all, there is only one raid leader per raid. Team members are always welcome to voice constructive opinions and experience, but at the end of the day there are often multiple right answers to a given situation, and having several members shouting conflicting orders in the heat of battle rarely ends well.
Members are expected to maintain a positive attitude. Progression bosses and hard modes mean wiping will be a part of our daily lives, and members not comfortable with that reality only make a stressful situation worse.
Chatting and joking around in Vent is a good thing, but during boss fights the raid leader or anyone calling out things needed to win the fight should never have to shout over unnecessary chatter.
Damage/healing meters should not be posted during the raid. The raid leader for any Progression raid will be logging the run and will post a WoL (World of Logs) report afterwards, available here.
The raid leader will occasionally call a 5 minute AFK break, and team members should do everything they can to limit AFKs to those breaks. If an AFK is unavoidable, try to make it during a trash clear so the rest of the raid can continue clearing.
These programs and addons are required to raid with Straw Man:
Omen Threatmeter - Ensures aggro is always where it belongs.
Deadly Boss Mods - You're standing too close to MEAAARGRRGH!!!
These addons aren't required, but are recommended:
Recount - Great for guaging your performance in real time, and a nice death log.
Grid+Clique or VuhDo (Healers only) - Hard content plus one-click healing equals win.
Loot in Progression raids is master looted and distributed using a DKP-based system called EP/GP. This system has proven to very fairly and impartially reward the effort of raiders while ensuring that newer raiders aren't starved out of ever receiving loot... it handles the major pitfalls of a straight DKP system, and avoids the percieved or real unfairness of Loot Council and brutal randomness of /roll. Serious number crunching behind EP/GP can be found here, but in general it works as follows:
Each guild member has a pool of EP (effort points) and GP (gear points), shared between their main and any raiding alts. A member is awarded 1000 EP for attending (or being placed on standby for) a Progression raid, awarded 5 minutes before raid time. Each time a raid member wins a loot drop, the GP cost of the item is added to their GP total. By taking a raid member's total EP and dividing it by total GP, their current loot priority is calculated:
When an item drops that multiple main spec raid members are interested in, the one with the highest loot priority gets it. That member's GP is then immediately adjusted, causing their loot priority to drop. To avoid unfairness or collusion no one should call out in vent that they want an item, simply whisper the raid leader when the item is offered.
After raid members are given the opportunity to spend GP for a drop, if no one is interested the item will be offered at no cost to main specs with a /roll (upgrades take priority over sidegrades), followed by a /roll for offspecs. If still no one is interested the item will be sharded for the guild bank. This minimizes the number of so-so main spec upgrades that get sharded because folks are saving GP for their huge upgrades.
Note that Raiders have automatic priority over Guards and Recruits during the GP round, although all ranks have equal priority during the main spec/offspec rolls. Also, alts in the run may /roll for loot during the main spec/offspec rolls.
Because there are relatively few tanks and they are consistently asked to dps during the course of a raid, tanks are free to /roll for dps gear as well as tank gear during the main spec roll (although during the GP round they may only bid on gear for their main spec as usual). Likewise DPS or healers designated as tank subs may roll on tank gear during the main spec roll as well as their own gear.
To help control the inflation inherent in any point system, every week all guild members' EP and GP will decay by 10%. While this leaves loot priority unchanged, it means that long term EP hording is not possible, giving newer raiders a reasonable chance at choice loot, and also limits how long you are affected by GP that you've spent.
The system is maintained using a fairly simple in-game addon. It's only required for raid leaders, but since the addon displays members' current loot priority and displays GP values for items in their tooltips, most guild members use it.
Loot in all Farm raids is master looted and distributed with a /roll for main specs (upgrades take priority over sidegrades), followed by a /roll for offspecs. Unwanted gear will be sharded or vendored and deposited in the guild bank.
The spec a player intends to consider his main spec for loot distribution should be announced ahead of time and agreed upon, otherwise it is assumed to be whatever role the player is primarily filling in the raid.
As an additional constraint, if a member has won zero upgrades (sidegrade/offspec pieces don't count) during the run, they get automatic priority over a member who has won one or more upgrades. Folks leaving a raid empty-handed is never fun.
Note that alts in the run may /roll for loot during the mainspec and offspec rolls as normal, but any main toon rolling against them has automatic priority.
Special raid drops are handled as follows:
Progression BoE Gear
Progression Tier Tokens