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Taking Attendance: Raid Signup Etiquette 101

Whenever a guild has a few raid instance on farm, it seems counter-intuitive, but inevitably happens-- raid attendance issues flair up. Raids that had folks offering up bribes to get into can't fill. Half a raid team no shows. Backups can't be spotted online by even the sharpest-eyed raid leader. But those fair-weather raiders should know that like an elephant, the raid leader never forgets the serial flakers or the altoholic naggers. So don't be one of them!

I'll give folks the benefit of the doubt. I've seen enough "it's only a game -- why so serious?" comments in forums over the years to realize some folks are just clueless as to how their behavior affects the other 9/24 people who sign up and show up for a raid ready to go. Thus, some food for thought.


You should be signing up for regular raids on your main. If your raid has a shortage of healers, for example, and have an alt who can comeptantly fill that role and who can meet the requirements, your raid leader may ask you to bring that character instead, in order to make the run happen.

Unless a run is flagged as an alt run, you should not be signing up your alt for it. Often, a raider whose main has gotten all the gear upgrades they wanted from the highest level raid currently on farm will start whining abut wanting to bring their alt. Or even pushing to have their alt be their new main. Please do not think your raid leaders and fellow raiders are idiots. This transparent behavior can turn even the mildest-mannered guildie into a seething flamebot.

If you really do want to switch raiding mains, keep these rules of thumb in mind:

  • Expansion time is an ideal time to make a main change. Often guilds have turnover around expansions which can leave specific classes and roles lacking.
  • If you do get permission to change your main, you should not expect they will be plugged into the raids you previously attended on the character you geared out if they do not fill the same roles or have the same level of gear.

Respect the Sanctity of the Signup

If you sign up for a raid and are slotted to attend, it is a reasonable expectation for your raid team to expect you to honor that signup. That said, if an emergency comes up, just let someone know (forum post, email, IM, twitter, carrier pigeon) so your raid team is not sitting around waiting 15-30 minutes wondering if/when you are going to show up. That's plain vanilla courtesy.

Things that do not constitute an emergency:

  • I need to go to the store to buy beer/cookies for the wife/new tires bb in 10 min
  • I went on a raid earlier today and got the piece of loot I wanted from tonight's raid so I am not going to bother to come
  • I got a better offer for another raid on a different toon so I am flaking
  • I am pouting about a comment someone made in the forums so I am taking my toys and going home

If your alt gets saved to a current raid the guild is running, that's fine. But if your main gets saved to one of the raids we are running, that you signed up for, people are going to be mad at you. Why? Because now your RL has to scramble to replace you. Once a roster is posted, those not included often make other plans, which can make it hard to fill that raid you signed up for.

When in Doubt, Sit it Out

When in doubt about whether or not you will be able to attend, don't sign up for a raid so folks won't plan on your helping to make it happen.This is the most basic DBAD rule there is in raiding. If you happen to be able to attend and a slot is still available -- great! If not, you don't have a raid team full of folks sticking pins into your avatar's voodoo doll. We call that a win-win.

Raid Start Time is not a Good AFK Time

At the raid start time, it is reasonably expected that you will be:

  • at the raid instance door waiting for an invitation
  • repaired and with repair money for the evening
  • prepared to stay until raid's end, or have notified a raid leader already that you need to leave at a specific time (bonus points for having a fill-in lined up for when you leave)
  • in possession of several hours worth of reagents for any buffs you may reasonably be expected to provide

Accepting a raid invitation then needing 10 min AFK to go eat dinner, or walk the dog, or go buy cigarettes is not usually met with enthusiasm. This may seem obvious, gentle reader, but these are true life examples from raids past.

No raid is a Herculean effort on the part of any one member. It is a true team effort. And to be successful, it requires everyone put forth their best efforts, understand your raid's expectations, and be aware of how their actions affect the rest of the team.

Happy raiding.