HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

Raiding Alliances and Self Promotion

The Pick Up Crowd

The Pick Up Crowd, the /wave folks, gather at Eventide

By Raiding Alliances I don’t mean “LOL lets go kill the Stormwind Auctioneers!” I mean, when people talk about being part of a “collective” or a raiding group bigger or outside of their guild, how does it function?

How many people are in it? Do raids run at scheduled times? Is everything just /roll-ed on? What’s the incentive to join a raiding collective over a regular or casual raiding guild? Do they have a website?

And, most importantly, how the heck does it differ from your typical Pick up Group?

I sincerely hope that you didn’t come to this post looking for answers, because I have none. I’m hoping that some of our readers might be able to fill me in.

How do I find out if there’s a collective already running on my server, or even if there’s one on another server if I was willing to transfer?

In my mind I picture some loosely formed private chat channel “BarthilasCollective” or some such rubbish (you could call it “FluffyPinkBunnyRaiding” of course – actually lets stick with that) where, if you happen to be online at a time when some intrepid soul is willing to Raid Lead, you might see something like:

[5. FluffyPinkBunnyRaiding] LFM ICC25 – healers especially

Looks a lot like your average Trade Channel spam. Of course the members of the collective probably don’t need to be worried about having their loot ninja’ed right out of their hands, and there’s probably some assurance that the group will comprise of fairly skilled players.

But, at the end of the day, isn’t it a glorified chat channel and the luck to be online at the right time?

I swear I’m never online at the right time. Since Thursday last week, when I missed my guild 10 man ICC run by 20 minutes, I’ve been keeping an eye out looking for a promising PuG run.

80% of PuGs forming advertise like so:

[2. Trade] LFM ICC10 – need 1 tank and 3 geared healers!

About 10% read like so:

[2. Trade] LFM ICC10 – need 3 healers and 2 ranged (hunter prefered)

And about 10% read like so:

[2. Trade] LFM ICC10 – need all!

I usually try and weasel my way into those 10% of Pick Up Groups still looking for ranged DPS when I’m PuGging – and try and convince them that although I’m clearly not a Hunter, I do a pretty good job anyway. I tried to do that last night by asking very politely:

To [Slippy]: Do you have any room for a Shadow Priest in your run?

On this occasion I actually got a reply, which is a step up from being ignored:

[Slippy] whispers: No sry

Which I was fine with until I spotted Slippy’s ammended macro:

[2. Trade] LFMICC10 – need 3 healers and 2 ranged (pref hunter, lock, mage, boomkin)

I kid you not. He listed pretty much every single ranged class except Shadow. I took a deep breath. No, Cass, the other kids don’t want to play with you today.

I assume that there was another Shadow Priest already in the run, or even more likely a Shadow Priest forced to heal, who would have had a tantrum if another Shadow Priest was invited to the group. I can understand that. If they’d just given me a chance I would have assured them that I would happily pass on all drops… just for a chance at the Emblems.

So I monitored Trade chat for a bit longer and noticed a Warlock trying to do the same as me – find a 10 man Icecrown run:

[2. Trade] Geared lock, 5.4GS, LF ICC10!

I thought about whispering him, trying to either recruit or piggyback my way into whatever 10 man he stumbled in to, but decided that might be a bit much to ask of a perfect stranger.

So I decided instead to follow his example. I’m a smart girl! And I used to work in marketing, I should know how to sell myself (er, you know what I mean) and get noticed from all the fluff in Trade chat.

First off, I decided to advertise in LookingForGroup. That’s what the goddamn channel is designed for after all. Mistake. Oh yeah, I don’t have GearScore and have absolutely no freaking idea what my gear score would be anyway.

[4. LookingForGroup] [Cassandri] Shadow Priest of unknown GearScore LF ICC10 – I promise not to steal all the clothy drops

Unfortunately I got no reply in that particular channel, so I dropped principles and readvertised in Trade. I guess you could argue that I was offering up my time in exchange for loot and emblems – that’s still something of a Trade.

[2. Trade] [Cassandri] Shadow Priest of unknown GearScore LF ICC10 – I promise not to steal all the clothy drops

I really just wanted Slippy and his Shadow Priest to reconsider me for their raid. No go. I didn’t even get people offering to tell me my GearScore.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned “not stealing gear”. Does it make me sound suspicious? Like I’m trying to counteract a reputation for ninja-ing?

A bit deflated by all this lack of attention I logged off and came back to try again a hour later. This time I skipped the runs wanting every ranged class except for Shadow Priests and jumped on the “need all” type groups.

It started off with 3 people when I joined. 30 minutes later we had 4 and a half (someone was disconnected – hopefully temporarily). Another 15 minutes and the Raid Leader, the guy who invited me, left the raid. I gave up.

If something exists between the totally organised, you-know-what-quality-you’re-getting guild run, and the randomness of PuG raids, I want to know about it!


By the way, I thoroughly apologise for using that hideous tan pale pink colour on this website. I don’t know what Blizzard were thinking when they set the default chat channel colour to such an awful pastel. The only good thing is that you can re-colour them. And you should.

* All character names are totally made up, not to protect the identity of the player, but because I honestly don’t remember who said what.

18 Responses to “Raiding Alliances and Self Promotion”

  1. VidyalaNo Gravatar says

    We ran a raiding alliance on our old server for a little while. It was essentially a group of people who wanted to raid but were happy in their (non-raiding) guilds for whatever reason. We had the benefits of a scheduled time and interested people, but honestly in the end it was too much of a nightmare to maintain. We used a Google group to stay in contact but varying levels of interest, etc. It can be a cool thing though, and there was actually a highly successful 25M alliance on the same server – here, I dug up their website.

    It is an RP server, so something like a coalition worked great for letting people who otherwise just want to do roleplay still have a place to raid without needing to be in a raiding guild. Totally Raids Inc. on Feathermoon US does something similar. That’s about all I know!
    .-= Vidyala’s last blog … Arise, my champion! Arise and fight once more! =-.

  2. JaediaNo Gravatar says

    Actually have come across a couple of decent raiding collectives, generally consisting of high end guilds alts, or the other one we preferred which were a few friends mains who wanted to raid 25s, so they pugged.

    The first used to ask the top end guilds, the second did calendar invites for those who were involved in previous weeks and would fill the rest up from /2 but they always managed to pull together some awesome pugs.

    I found them via friends already involved, sometimes you can get lucky and stumble across one. I guess the best way to find them is to ask around. Thinking about it, my current guild runs an ICC 25 pug on Friday nights, I guess that’s the same thing isn’t it?
    .-= Jaedia’s last blog … Secret Admirer Project =-.

  3. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    That’s just what I don’t quite get. What is the difference between a Raiding Collective and a PuG made up of a few repeaters and some randoms?

    Perhaps it’s the frequently/dependability of the actual raid going ahead. Like, it’s always on a set day at a set time even though the members may differ.

  4. I think there are varying degrees between raiding collective and pug, and it all depends on how organized it is.

    Our raiding alliance had a website, a chat channel, and officers. We had scheduled runs with calendar sign ups. We had loot rules and scheduling rules and all that kind of stuff… it was basically like one giant casual guild.

    Unfortunately, the effort and organization required to maintain such a monstrosity and to progress through content meant we had way too many officers, and none were able to commit more than one day a week to the endeavor. It was fun for awhile, but we had a really hard time filling our 25 mans.
    .-= Miss Medicina’s last blog … Secret Admirer Results and Randomness =-.

  5. OleanderNo Gravatar says

    I have been in two pug channels. One is run by a guild that isn’t big enough to do 25-man content solo, so they have the pugs they like join a chat channel. Their raids tend to occur at scheduled times, since they are guild raids.

    The other is less organized. It’s a collection of people that the founding member thought were clueful after having grouped with them. He encourages those people to bring in other awesome people. Anyone in channel will advertise when they’re looking for more for something, be it a guild run short a few people or a full pug run.

    Both cases tend to be attended by alts of people in raiding guilds. So to find such an arrangement, that’s where I’d look: ask around the raiding guilds on your server to see how they run their alts.

  6. ArmagonNo Gravatar says

    On EU-Aggramar Alliance side we have ASGA – Aggramar Small Guild Alliance.
    It’s been around since the vanilla days, doing 40man back then and 25mans in TBC and WotLK.
    ASGA consists of a bunch (5-8?) of small guilds that only do 10man content in guild.
    There are no real pickups, you could say it’s some Meta-Guild. You can’t apply as a single person, but if you join one of the guilds in the Raid Alliance and fulfill the gear criteria (as seen on forums) – you can sign up and are probably taken along at some point.

    Here’s the website, feel free to browse:
    .-= Armagon’s last blog … No news is good news? Why yes… =-.

  7. VokNo Gravatar says

    Maybe I’m just getting old an grumpy, but last time I tried to get into a PuG the conversation went like this

    To [RandomUnguildedPlayer] : Resot Shaman, geared, inv
    [RandomUnguildedPlayer] : Pst Acheive and GS
    To [RandomUnguildedPlayer] : Nevermind

    I’ve given up on PuGs. Honestly, I dont need the gear and dont need the hassles anymore. Until my Pally hits 80 at least…
    .-= Vok’s last blog … Spotlight on: Rumbrb =-.

  8. fungNo Gravatar says

    Ideally I usually guildrun 2 characters and pug a third. they’ve all gotten past rot&fester, one of which even in a pug25. lately i’m pugging 2 out of three, and i’ve been pretty good at finding the right groups; maybe i can help.

    watch for the who & when.

    the who: i’ve used notesuneed historically, but i’m considering trying another. regardless, something to throw a note on a player name, anything from “ninjad voa25 and logged out retaining raid lead” to “led a pug icc10 and we breezed through 2 wings”. pay attention to guild names, and don’t be afraid to indulge in assigning guilt/props-by-association. long story short, the anonymity of the net makes a reputation-based system harder but not impossible. i’ll also add that i’m half-aligned with gearscore-elitism. someone thats calling for 5.5kgs members to 1shot togc10 is probably elitist and impatient, while someone who isn’t even checking to make sure they’ve got some ranged dps for their ony25 run is too much the OTHER direction. i prefer someone who is asking for a score appropriately non-overgeared, but will respond civilly and intelligently to make exceptions. (yes such pug leads exist, rly)

    ok so all of that’s pretty obvious right?
    so watch out for the when.
    tuesday-thursday puggers are probably the ones looking to go the furthest, and therefore will be more discerning/elitist/impatient. paradoxically i find this type of person is also apt to quit rather than try to rescue something that’s failing. if they’re raiding on these days and not in a guild they MAY have social issues. friday & saturday early-weekend puggers are generally far more casual, and frankly, given weekday puggers tendency to ragequit, though weekenders are (stereotyping of course) marginally less skilled, you might get more done anyway. but there’s ALSO a real gem to keep an eye out for during this time: top raiding guilds grabbing pugs to flesh out their alt-character runs. really good opportunities to measure yourself or make contacts. and lastly the sunday-monday pug raids: THE opportunity to get in undergeared, just do ok, get your achievement, and have noone complain because the choice is that or no badges at all.

    class role fits into this of course, but rather than blather on, i’ll say it’s a night-and-day difference between a patch and a half ago, noone wanting my pug dk tank char for voa10 because it had less than 35khealth in 232s, to now, where that same pug char can basically choose on a whim which night it wants to go to icc25. (i’ll add that transferring from a lowpop to a highpop was the best thing i ever did in this regard, and establishing a reputation and learning others’ certainly takes time.)

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I think I’ve gotten out of the habit of pugging – so I definitely don’t have a friends list full of people I can look for, or even players I should avoid. And likewise, pug leaders don’t know me.

  9. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says


    Cass, oh Cass…. your marketing of yourself wasn’t good :(

    If I saw you post that in trade, I probably wouldn’t accept you either. Although I’d maybe be nice about it and say that I only wasn’t accepted shadow priests and that it wasn’t just specifically you

    If you come across as too nice, e.g. offering to not roll on gear, then they’re going to think you’re desperate. If you’re desperate then they’ll think there must be a reason for it, and decline you on principal (unless you’re a tank / healer / shaman, then they’re probably equally desperate to get you in lol)

    Main thing, is to just be a little bit of an arrogant prick when you’re looking for a group. Remember, they need you just as much or more than you need them. Since you’re well geared and know the fights, which puts you ahead of 95% of the randoms who will /w or /wave at them.

    So just tell them that you can come along to “help out” or something like that (nicely of course, don’t wanna sound too much like a prick), so long as you make icc10 sound trivial to you, then they will try to convince you to come not the other way around.

    Give it a go :)

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I guess I need to learn to write for my audience! Perhaps I should have advertised something like:

      4/5 Tier 10 Spriest LF ICC10 run – 6 boss clear minimum. No tools need reply.


  10. WuyiNo Gravatar says

    I’ve been in a raiding alliance since early BC on Silver Hand Horde. Instead of an alliance of guilds (though it sort of started off that way) it now functions as basically a meta-guild. People apply as themselves. They get into the raid without leaving their guild, which is good because most of the guilds on Silver Hand Horde are social, and people hate to leave their friends/family. There is a raid website, with signups, DKP, forums, etc. We raid two nights a week, 25-man, for a total of 9 hours a week, though most people raid more in 10s, either on mains or alts.

    How’s it work? Well, nobody’s ever going to mistake Silver Hand for a cutting edge raiding server, but I have ‘Celestial Defender’ on my rogue, and the realm announcement for that one had a truly absurd number of different guilds in it. (Over 10.)

  11. NasiNo Gravatar says

    Join unrealrealities ;-) we’ll look after ya.

  12. ClickityclopNo Gravatar says

    Lol cass I gotta agree with papa, if I saw that in trade I wouldn’t have paid attention. What most people want in a pug is a smooth run, so that even if they don’t get loot, the badges would be worth it, I think priority-wise experience and gear comes 1st, comes a fair bit before loot. It’s hard to advertise your gear without gearscore, so emphasise your experience cass!

    Back when I mostly pugged, mine usually look something like this:

    Lfg Icc10. Geared Ele, 7/10 ach. Pst

    I pref to keep it short so ppl actually read it. It’s hard to tell why someone doesn’t want a specific class/spec so if the rl sounds like they might reply it could be good to ask them exactly why.

    ps. ’4 set t10′ looks better than ’4/5′

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Oh good point – didn’t think about advertising my experience/achievement. Didn’t actually think there was an achievement that highlights each boss you’ve completed.

  13. NatarumahNo Gravatar says

    I am in the Raiding Community called Unity. What you would find is that it is run exactly in the way that a raiding guild would be – signups for raids, DKP awarded and spent on loot, forum chat, strategies, the works. Instead of a /guild channel there is a custom channel for people in the community.

    A raiding community is generally aiming for 25mans, but is comprised of guilds whose members lack in number to actually run them. So 3-5 guilds cooperate to run 25mans, submitting to being in a greater “identity” that is the community, but remain within their own guilds and usually run 10mans with guildies.

    The advantage of this is that it makes recruiting easier – anyone in any guild (assuming their guild is ok with it) who has the skill, gear and dedication can join a community. I am not sure if there are any real disadvantages, to be honest.

    A raiding alliance (as the term is used mostly on my server) consists of two small guilds who want to do 10mans but lack signing members to do so. Usually each guild was once fully capable of 10mans, but as the content became more available, the number of 10man guilds exploded. Competition for members meant that guilds usually grew much smaller, forcing the smallest guilds to cooperate to get 10mans going.

    As for Pugging – which is quite different from a raiding community or Alliance – there are two things very important. If you have the achievement for the place you want to pug, that’s never wrong. Stating you have “4pT10″ or “5k DPS” helps for those people who need a quick fix.

    A thing you could try (no idea if you were doing that already, sorry if I missed it) is to be in the location of the raid you want to run (such as in front of ICC) and putting your “group call” into /general.

    While doing this you can also list yourself in the raid browser (Hit O -> Raid -> Raid Browser), listing yourself for all raids you feel like doing (in the 10 and 25man section) and putting your usual self-advertisment into the comments window.
    .-= Natarumah’s last blog … 3.3.3 Profession ho-down =-.

  14. Opthore- Silver HandNo Gravatar says

    Although I haven’t utilised it, but the US server I am residing on has a leftovers raiding community which is a non exclusive raiding communities whereby raiders are not required to be apart of the a guild but they can sign up for a raid charter.

    If you can get it off the ground on Barth, the collective community of non committed raiders would come out of the woodwork.


    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Heading up a raiding community is way beyond me. But I’m still going to check out the links you posted. Perhaps some of the other Barthilas readers might stop by and start something – you never know!

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