Prime uses guild ranks to help determine raid invitations and loot priority. This priority supercedes any consideration of DKP.
Q: What is loot priority?
A: Loot priority is a system whereby certain characters automatically get loot over certain other characters. At Prime, main characters (mains) always have loot priority over alternative characters (alts). Also, gear useful for one's current spec (tanking/healing/dps) always takes priority over gear for an alternative spec. Officers will handle any exceptions, which will be very rare and based purely on longterm guild need.
Q: So when determining raid invitations, guild ranks are king?
A: Not entirely. We reserve the right to factor in the nightly needs of the raid as a whole and the longterm needs of the guild's greater good. We will not, for instance, raid without healers if none happen to have our top rank. Neither will we recruit a player and then force them to sit on the sidelines for every raid, since this prevents us from evaluating them. Our officers try to balance many factors and are imperfect people.
Q: What are Prime's guild ranks for raid invite and loot priority purposes?
A: Raider rank - top priority
Member rank - second priority
Recruit rank - third priority
Friends & Family rank - final priority
Q: Does Prime have any other ranks?
A: Yes, we have Officer/GM ranks and a rarely used "dawghouse" rank. These are purely functional and don't relate to priority.
Q: Wait, there's a Dawghouse rank?
A: Yes. We use it so rarely that some guildies don't even know it's there. Characters with that rank can't talk in guild chat or take anything from the guild bank. It's there for disciplinary or account hack emergencies.
Q: Where do Recruits fit into loot priority?
A: Our new recruits can expect to have priority below almost everyone they raid with. The one exception to this is with our "Friends and Family" ranked members. (More info on them is below.) When a recruit gains full membership status, the officers will decide whether to promote them to our Member rank or to our Raider rank. Promotion has traditionally occurred after 15 full raid nights, whether the Recruit sat on the sidelines or was able to participate. But this may vary a little based on the quirks of the game at any given time. See an officer for details on the current situation.
Q: What is the 'Raider' rank?
A: Raiders have priority for raid invites and loot. This system was put in place to encourage a stable raid force, something that is required for high level content past a certain point. There are no privileges for Core Raiders for pugable content like heroic 5-mans or classic raids predating our expansion. Rank is never an excuse to look down on others.
Q: What are the requirements for the 'Raider' rank?
A: Exact current requirements are in our Guild Policy forum. In general to gain and keep the "Raider" tag, a member should:
* Attend 80% of scheduled raid events over the past 30 or 60 days (either one)
* Reach the required benchmarks for raid performance on an average night
* Gem, enchant, and reforge raid gear as required by our currently listed standards
* Research upcoming bosses as well as their class/spec (strats, videos, etc)
* Come to raids always repaired with cash and consumables on hand
* Maintain a reliable computer/connection while using our required mods
* Sign up for raids online; arrive and leave as indicated; no stealth afk's
* Get along with others while behaving in general like a team player
Required benchmarks vary based on current raid content. For example, the dps requirement may be the amount of dps required on average by each player in order to win on a fairly standard encounter. Ask any officer for more information on the latest benchmarks.
Q: What is the 'Member' rank?
A: This rank is reserved for players who have graduated from our recruitment process but don't meet all the standards above. There is a certain amount of fluidity between the Raider and Member ranks, and that is considered only natural. Demoting a Raider to Member rank is done based on the standards listed in our Guild Policy forums, not out of whim or animosity.
Q: What are the requirements for the 'Member' rank?
A: To gain the Member rank, we ask players to attend 25% of our raids in a month. With our current raid schedule, this should be possible with as little as one raid per week. However, please note that we do not provide attendance credit for F&F players who happen to be present while we raid. Attendance must be earned by actually participating. Any Member ranked player who doesn't attend ANY raids for 30 days or more will be reduced to the "Friends & Family" rank.
Q: What's the "Friends and Family" rank?
A: The "Friends & Family" rank was originally designed for literal friends and family of our guild's original players. To this day, many of our F&F players don't want to raid or only have time to do it rarely. They just want to hang out with their buddies, and we're happy to have them. Over time, the F&F rank has also been extended to players who have stopped raiding for a spell but remain a part of our community. Also, there are occasionally players who joined as friends but would like to raid theoretically. Characters that are undergeared or that underperform by our current standards may remain F&F ranked until they improve and find a spot open. Or if these conditions are never met, their rank may never change.
Q: How does the "Friends and Family" rank work exactly?
A: F&F Members only gain or lose DKP in raids they physically attend. They do not receive credit for sitting around outside raids, nor are they ever pressured to attend raids. They only receive raid items that would otherwise be sharded. Also, they're the ONLY ones who can pug any raid without exception at any time.
Q: So do Officers get loot priority over other people? How does their rank work?
A: No, they don't. Being an officer is purely voluntary and comes with no tangible benefit to the person. The officer's only reward for their work is the guild's health and success. Our officers are expected to fulfill our Raider rank requirements, barring any real life emergencies. So they usually have equal loot and invite priority to Raiders. If for some reason their attendance drops temporarily, they will be treated like a Member for priority purposes. But in general, high attendance is required to be a fully effective Officer.
Q: When do rank changes occur? And what if I disagree with a change?
A: We evaluate things weekly and make changes on Wednesdays before the raid starts. We may make an exception to promote a Recruit who has completed their required number of raids to graduate. If for any reason a player disagrees with a rank change (whether theirs or someone else's) they should speak to an officer outside our scheduled raid time. As a gentle reminder, guild rank changes are made for practical purposes and are never meant to be a statement of personal worth.
Q: Why bother with guild ranks? Isn't DKP incentive enough?
A: DKP is certainly better motivation than nothing at all. However, we found that DKP tended to encourage people to raid in general but not necessarily to attend difficult, potentially lootless progression raids. Also, some players who could make significant progress on their raid performance seemed to have little motivation to do so. Any individual player could downplay the extent to which their personal attendance or performance had an effect on the raid as a whole. With our rank priority, players who routinely skip our progression raids or who neglect their characters' performance tend to lose our top rank in due time. The incentive of rank priority has been a powerful motivator.
Q: Why not just award attendance DKP? Or penalize people who fail to show for important raids?
A: We tried rewards and penalties of various sizes. We never found a happy medium where we were able to cause adequate incentive upfront to succeed without also causing drama after the DKP numbers hit the charts. Prime's guildwide attendance average has increased by about 30% since we instituted guild ranks and with relatively little drama. Having these ranks spelled out upfront also allows us to find a higher calibre of recruits. Those who can't meet our standards tend not to apply.
Q: Why doesn't Prime immediately promote Friends & Family players when they want to raid?
A: We found that overcrowding can occur, especially right after high level raid content has just been conquered. If raids are currently full or a class/role is overstaffed, F&F players may need to wait for an opening to arise. Also, raid content sometimes requires a certain gear level, play skill, and familiarity for reliable success. Asking players to wait until they reach the 25% attendance mark proves that we have sufficient room to accomodate them at times. It also provides enough face time to familiarize the player with most of our current raid content by the time their loot priority goes up. F&F players who want a promotion will also need to meet our benchmarks for performance to prove they're capable of pulling their own weight.
Q: Are characters ever removed from the guild entirely?
A: Yes. An officer may remove characters from the guild if they have not logged in for three months. She does a roster cleanup about three times a year. Prime is a very old guild. Though our guild turnover is lower than average, it's still the case that people's lives change and their playing habits with it. Without a periodic cleanup, more than half of our characters would not have been played anytime recently. Players with characters that were removed for this reason can whisper any officer on their return for an invite back to "Friends & Family" status. If they'd also like to raid, that will require more officer level discussion.
Q: What if I would prefer a lower rank to the one I have?
A: Players occasionally find they want a lower profile for whatever reason. Whisper an officer to voluntarily take a reduction in rank. If you make this decision, please be aware that you'll need to contact us again when you're ready for us to consider repromoting you.