Raiding 101: Setting Guild Goals as Raid Leadership

Welcome to Raiding 101! In the previous chapter of this series, we offered tips on how players can better prepare for a raid tier. In the next several chapters of this series, we will offer advice for running a guild, which can range from guild leadership duties, to Raid Leading, to growing as a player. Today, we’ll be starting at the beginning from the perspective of guild leadership…how to set guild goals!

In any situation, holding a leadership position requires making difficult decisions. Being a guild leader is no exception and can almost feel like managing a company at times (or herding cats, same difference). As many of us likely know, running a guild is chaotic even at the best of times, so let’s resolve some of the easy headaches by planning ahead and setting approachable goals.

As a guild leader, the goals you’re looking to define are twofold: raid team progression and community environment. These goals will be the foundation for almost everything else you do, from the raid schedule you set to the people you recruit and the officers you appoint. Your goals can even affect the setup of your Discord—and let’s be honest, NOBODY wants a messy, disorganized Discord server (don’t look at my guild).

In this chapter of our Raiding 101 series, we’ll discuss considerations and tips for guild leaders hoping to prepare their guilds for success!

Table of Contents

Defining Guild Goals

Before you begin recruiting to fill your team, it’s imperative that you decide what kind of team you’re looking to build. Give yourself sufficient time to think on this, and do not make the decision lightly. While adjusting your progression goals as your team develops is excellent, suddenly and frequently changing your goals will make recruitment and member retention extremely difficult. Allow your team time to grow together, and aim to change or iterate upon these goals between tiers instead of mid-tier.

To set specific and achievable progression goals, the Q&A exercise below offers a set of basic questions that can be used to facilitate an important discussion amongst your guild leadership team. Keep in mind that the answers need not be mutually exclusive, but answering these questions will help you settle on a realistic plan for your raid team.


Q-1: What kind of requirements would you like to implement for your raiders?

This question encompasses the minimum item level requirements you set for raiders, as well as the time that raiders dedicate to improving their characters outside of raid nights. If you’d like your raiders to achieve KSM every tier, for example, that time spent factors into their preparation for raid nights. Remember that this requirement also applies to you, but you’ll also have the responsibilities of running the guild and the raid team alongside preparing your own character.

Q-2: How large of a team would you like to field?

Are you hoping to run a small family-friendly team with 10 people, or would you prefer to open the raid team to the entire guild as long as they meet item level requirements? If you’re aiming for mythic progression, of course you’ll need 20 raiders at a minimum, but you should also plan for absences and run a slightly larger roster of 23-25.

Q-3: How do you want your raid environment to feel?

Do you want your raid time to be relaxing and enjoyable for everyone? Are you hoping to use raid as a chance to spend time with your friends and joke around? Do you want everyone to approach raid nights with a mind for progression, or is fun the most important part for you? Will there be a time to focus up on boss fights, or is it more fun to be silly all the way through?

Setting the raid night vibe may also help you determine how you’d like to invite or recruit for the raid team. If you’re aiming for some serious progression time, maybe an application and minimum requirements are the way to go, rather than inviting everyone regardless of experience level. If a fun, silly time is the name of the game for you, why shouldn’t every guildie be involved?

Q-4: How quickly would you like to see the content?

How many hours a week would you like to be raiding? Do you want to be finished with normal difficulty on the first week of a new raid, or would you prefer a looser timeline? Do you expect to complete heroic in time to get Ahead of the Curve achievements for everyone? Is it important to you to achieve Cutting Edge for your team and any bench players?

Be mindful that the answer to this question should also take into account your own schedule. Are you able to guide preparations and lead a team through normal or heroic in the first week? Does your schedule allow for extra planning and strategizing for quick progress through mythic, or would it be better for you to permit yourself more time and space to relax and enjoy the raid? You should never HAVE to run a raiding guild by yourself, but set your initial goal as if you are.

Specifying Progression Goals

The answers to the above Q&A exercise will help to inform your ultimate question here: What kind of progression goals will my guild have?

Although there are likely hundreds of different ways to categorize progression guilds, let’s make this easy by splitting progression into some easily recognizable types.

  • Normal to early Heroic guilds may be aiming to complete the raid on Normal difficulty, at a minimum, and perhaps head into Heroic difficulty if time permits.
  • Heroic and AotC+ guilds are those ultimately hoping to achieve Ahead of the Curve by the end of the tier, and maybe jump into a few Mythic bosses if possible.
  • Mythic and CE guilds are planning to focus on Mythic progression and earn their Cutting Edge achievements before the release of the new tier.
  • Hall of Fame guilds are expecting to clear the raid on Mythic before the Hall of Fame closes at 200 guilds per region.
  • Race to World First (RWF) guilds are on an entirely different level, and are absolutely beyond the scope of this article.

Be realistic with your progression goals! If you have never seen Cutting Edge content before, familiarize yourself with end-boss Mythic progression before aiming straight for Hall of Fame. Setting goals that are too lofty for your own leadership experience and/or your team’s current skill level will only generate frustration and high turnover amongst your raiders. Everyone feels discouraged when goals are impossible! Start small, and plan for steady growth; if you want to be a Cutting Edge guild, aim for clearing more and more Mythic bosses across several tiers before you set your sights on that CE.

Community Environment

So now that you’ve decided what kind of progression your raid team is aiming for, the hard work is pretty much done, right?....Right? NOPE. I’m sorry to say that as a leadership team, your work in a guild is never really finished.

In fact, I’d argue that your most important decision making is up next…

While setting up the progression goals for your raid team, you should also be looking to establish the vibe of your guild. This will further dictate how you recruit, the rules you set, and the officers you select. In making these choices, you are deciding how your guild home feels! Think carefully on this. If you’ve ever accepted a random guild invite on your level 1 alt, you’ve probably encountered a guild with an aimless, disorganized social structure with no clear-cut rules and zero effort to create a comfortable environment. That’s the feeling we’re looking to AVOID by setting community goals.

This is your chance to allow your personal values to inform your community environment. If you hope to create a safe environment that prioritizes diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility (DEIBA), take some time to sit with these ideals and discover what they mean to you. You may even feel compelled to do some reading or research on building and leading a DEIBA space.

Your first step in creating an inclusive (or any) space is to establish clear, detailed guild rules and policies. These should be free of any flowery language and straight to the point, so they’re easily understood and accessible. Be sure to emphasize the kinds of language and behavior that are not permitted in your community, and do so unapologetically with straightforward rules. If transphobia, homophobia, racism and ableism aren’t acceptable on your team, state this plainly.

Alongside your rules, it’s a great idea to develop a code of conduct for your guild. This differs from guild rules in two crucial ways. A code of conduct:

  • Establishes that membership in your community is a de facto acceptance of the guild rules
  • Explicitly mentions the type(s) of response members may expect in the event of a rules violation. Even if you choose to make decisions on a case by case basis, indicate that punishment may vary from, for example, warnings, removal of privileges, and in the most extreme cases, immediate removal from the guild.

While developing very clear rules and a code of conduct may feel potentially uncomfortable or “uncool,” or even like you’re “doing too much,” know that clearly stated guidelines signal to marginalized communities that your space is serious about protecting them and implementing rules that do so. Being strict about your rules and insisting upon a code of conduct also helps reinforce the idea among the broader Warcraft community that spaces with little interest in protecting their most vulnerable members are no longer as socially acceptable. Our very own Hulahoops worked alongside Liquid Women in Warcraft to develop a Code of Conduct Worksheet for the LWiW Featured Guild program, which you may find helpful in developing your own code of conduct.

Ensure that your guild rules and code of conduct are visible both for long-time members and newcomers. Many guilds choose to utilize Discord’s onboarding tools to present their community rules, and insist that new members read and accept all terms before joining the server. Pair your guild rules and code of conduct with your raid team rules and requirements, so all the pertinent information is in one place. Ensure also that your guild values are displayed both in your application and in your recruitment profiles. You’ve done so much work in developing and establishing your guild’s raiding and social goals; be sure that you are prominently displaying and enforcing them so your members know they can look to you to protect the environment you’ve created.

Outside of your all-important guild rules, the best way to set your social expectations is to model them yourself. Spend time with your community, and demonstrate the tone and frequency of intra-guild communication. If there’s a slip up, a mild violation of the rules, or an otherwise uncomfortable or unacceptable interaction, step in and address it respectfully and politely, but firmly. Be the leader in your community!

Key Takeaways

There are many more important decisions to be made in the process of establishing your own guild, but if you’ve set a progression goal and enforced the environment you’d like to carry forward, you’re well on your way to success. You’ll still be trying to direct cats through hoops, but at least those hoops will have some structure!


About the Author

Gogogadgetkat has been playing WoW since late BC, and has been the GM of her guild Propaganda since its creation in 2014. As a career healer, Kat has a number of CEs and old-school heroic kills under her belt, all on a variety of healing classes and specs—she’s a serial altoholic! In addition to Mythic raiding and a little Mythic+, creating safe, inclusive spaces in gaming is her longtime passion; Kat has been an admin for the Perky Pugs community since late BfA, and is also a founding council member and the community manager for the DEIBAJ initiative Liquid Women in Warcraft. She is excited to bring her wealth of experience and love of writing to the Raider.IO team.