A few of us have started a static 8 person raid group to experience the end game content and progress through it. We are at the point of gearing up a little to hit Garuda, and most of us have our Ifrit weapons so far. (I say *most* of us *sniff*!!!!)
Anyway, for those interested I thought I would share our set up as I am sure it will be replicated by other groups, and may help newer raidleaders if they want ideas or a structure. I have adopted the same structure that we helped set up in Rift which was that raid groups were organised and managed at the discretion of players involved.
I explained the general approach we planned to take towards raiding in a couple of threads, for those who may not have read it, or are new to the FC. I am sure this will evolve once we hit 24 person content.
The main points I want to stress are:
-Raiding is a self-organised, self-motivated process at this stage. I personally have the time to organise one group, and hope that others who wish to raid will also step up and do the same. I am not able to organise raiding for the whole FC. Other players who wish to lead raids will be able to set up their own crew in their timezones and go from there. (Although we do have a plan in place for merging into a 24 person raid if we have enough interest in the future).
-Nobody in the FC is obliged or has to feel pressured to raid. this is very much a "play how you want when you want" FC. There are no attendance or raid pressures in any shape or form. It is purely voluntary for those who want to do it.
-By the same token, a spot in a raid is not an entitlement in any way. Those who want to lead will lead, and those who want to be involved will start groups and be proactive, or respond to threads started by others looking for people to raid with. If one raid is full, start a new one and put in some time to organise it. usually the more you put in the more you get out of it. Do not wait for someone to magically create a raid in your living room!!
-Raid groups are 8 person at this stage, and subject to the mechanics of the game. They are not free for all zergs with unlimited spots like in GW2. My advice is to start thinking about starting a regular group, and organise play times that suit. You canadvertise for classes needed on the forums if you are short on players. That is how I started when I came to the guild and did not know anyone.
-We have forums in which we can post hints , tips and ideas. We can share information with those who want it, but some groups will want to figure stuff out on their own.
I thought I would share our basic make up and how we will run things, in the interests or transparency and sharing of ideas:
Tanks: Paladin, Warrior
DPS: Bard, Dragoon, Black Mage (Second Black Mage, Summoner, rotate/back up)(Insert any dps you like, but remember to include at least one burst LB calss ond one AOE LB class)
Heals: White Mage, Scholar
This does not have to be the same as how we do it. I guess you could make 2 warrior and 2 pallys work, or 2 white mage heals. We just picked a cookie cutter composition and went with it. I am a bit dubious about 2 sch healers as I think the shields overwrite, and they may not have enough burst)
We have 6 static raiders and 2 rotator spots which we will swap around. Not everyone can raid every time, so it is good to have a back up plan.
Currently the game takes care of this, but we have a points attendance system in the wings if needed. We also discuss offspec roles and agree to pass on greed items if nobody needs for main spec, but someone needs for a levelled off spec. For example the summoner may want an offspec heal set in case a healer cannot make it so we pass to them if we all agree. Nothing set in stone just discussed in the group as we go).
We have one raid leader who leads progression raids and learning fights. What he says goes, and we ask that raid call is kept clear so we can hear and respond to orders. The raid leader sometimes has to make tough calls and we agree to abide by that. There is nothing more frustrating that 8 people all wanting to try a fight a different way just because we wiped once. We agree to stick to the plan the raid leader decides on, and practice til we get it right. The raid leader will make the call as to when we try a new strat, or which bosses we are fighting on any given night.
We have players across EST, PST and Oceanic times all with jobs, real lives, families etc. The reason we have a static group with set times, is so that during those times we are guaranteed to raid. If our players choose to raid outside these times, they are welcome to. But when our set time comes up, they have agreed to commit to that with our group. Later on in the game there will be lock-outs, which will mean you pick one raid and stick to it. We raid 2 - 3 times a week at this stage, others may choose to raid more, or less, depending on their schedule.
This is down to each group. Ours is chilled, yet serious about progression, but we do not go in for elitism and getting mad if we do not progress. (Okay maybe after the 390 th Ifrit run where my weapon did not drop!) We help each other learn, even if we do not all learn at the same speed. The key point is that we allow people to make mistakes, and do not berate them for failing at dodges or not quite getting the fight first time. We expect our players to farm their own AK runs and do their relic story up to the point we are at. We help our newer players with the 8 person content required to get there, but the rest is up to them. One thing I recommend is to be upfront with expectations from the start. Don't tell an elitist raider that your group is going to smash content and do server firsts, if you are a fun social group wanting to chill and have fun. That will usually cause friction and drama. Our group is not hardcore, but it is not casual either, so we explain that to people interested, to avoid misunderstanding or disappointment.
I organise our group, and make sure we have a raid invited and ready to go at raid time. This allows our raid leader and tacticians to focus on game mechanics and progression. I am ocd about communication and planning, so that is how I use my talents for the group. Others are better at leading, or explaining, so I leave that to them! So don't think that you cannot organise a group just because you aren't a technical raid leading god...just find someone who is, and get something started!!
Rank is no barrier
You do not have to be an officer, or have any rank title or grand-poobah 'airs and graces' to start a raid. If you want to get something going, go for it!!
Good luck with any groups you choose to join or start. If you want advice or help, feel free to ask or start a thread of your own.