Section 5, part 1 - Raiding Rules of Engagement

Raiding is The Tribe’s primary in-game activity. Our goals are to push through the highest level of end-game content without losing ourselves and compromising our guild values along the way. To that end, we must enforce a reasonable set of rules and guidelines to both ensure progression and uphold our ideals.
This section includes all of the policies we’ve developed to ensure that these goals are met. If you intend to raid you should be familiar with all of these policies. Keep in mind that we do not require raid attendance and there are no penalties for choosing not to raid or taking a break from raiding. In The Tribe, raiding is open to everyone but required of no one – each player can raid at his/her own pace, but must do so with the group in mind and not just him/herself.
Raiding is both a privilege and a responsibility; you have the privilege of raiding shoulder to shoulder with your guildmates, yet those who raid are also responsible for being mature, reliable, and patient with respect to other members and the guild’s overall raiding progress.
We are both proud and happy to raid with you - see you in the dungeon!
The raiding policies of The Tribe will be presented in the following subsections:
• Raid Character Selection
• Raid Qualification and Signups
• Raid Concepts and Etiquette
• Raid Loot
• Miscellaneous Raid Policies
The first step in raiding with The Tribe is determining which of your characters you will be raiding with and what role they will fill in a raid.
Raid Main Selection
Each Tribe member that would like to raid must declare a “raid main”. A member’s raid main is the primary character that they will use in Tribe raids. This is done by modifying the member’s signature on The Tribe forums to indicate which of his/her characters is the raid main.
All of a member’s other characters are considered “raid alts”, and will have lower priority in The Tribe’s signup and looting systems on official Tribe-sponsored raids than main characters (see below). If a member has recently joined the guild with a single character and/or only has a single max-level character in the guild, then that character is automatically considered the character’s Raid Main.
With the introduction of dual talent specializations in content patch 3.1, it is also required to declare a main talent specialization for a player’s main character as well. A raid main’s secondary talent specialization (if he/she has one) will be considered his/her “alt spec”. 
Once a player has declared a main character/talent specialization, that character/spec will get preferential treatment during the raid signups and during looting. The purpose of requiring members to make these selections is to focus the opportunity to raid and accumulate loot on one character per member, such that the experience and loot gained by that character can be re-used in raid progression and in general service to The Tribe instead of diluted over a large pool of alternate characters.
Changing a Player’s Raid Main / Role
Raiding is a commitment - and part of that commitment is pushing a single character through raid progression. While some players have had the same main character since the initial launch of WoW, we understand that sometimes people may want to try out a new class or role in order to maintain interest in raiding and the game in general. Thus, after a period of time, a player may wish to switch their Raid Main to another character or switch their primary talent specialization to a new role.
In order to make a change to their Raid Main or to the role that their character plays in raids, the player must first contact their current Class Champion and request approval for the change. The Class Champion will review the change with the officer corps and respond to the player after the officers have had a reasonable amount of time to discuss it. If the main/role switch is approved, then the player should immediately change their forum signature declaring the new raid main/role. However, main/role switches will not go into effect until after the next set of raid sign ups begin.
Please note that not all talent spec changes are considered to be new roles – changing specs for Hunters, Mages, Rogues, and Warlocks (for example) do not change their raid role from DPS, and are therefore not subject to these rules and restrictions. A Warrior changing specs from Protection to Arms, however, would be considered a role change (Tank->DPS) and therefore would be subject to the same rules as a Raid Main switch.
Players switching raid mains/role too often is detrimental to the guild’s raiding progress. To ensure this does not happen too often, the guild has implemented a “main/role switch cooldown”, sometimes referred to as the “3-6-9 rule”. This rule imposes a progressive lockout on raid main/role switches, much like a cooldown in-game prevents a player from using an ability for a while after it’s been used recently.
When a player’s main/role switch is approved for the first time, they may not switch raid mains/specs again for 3 months. If they choose to switch again after that 3 months, then they will not be able to switch again for 6 months.  And after that 6 month cooldown, if they switch again, then will have to wait 9 months to declare a new raid main/role.  The more often a player switches, the longer they will have to commit.
In response to a special circumstance (such as a new expansion) the cooldown on raid main/role switching may be reset.
Note that new members’ raid mains/roles are always the character/role that they joined the guild with, and they may not change their raid main/role until 3 months after reaching the rank of Tribesman. This rule is designed to prevent members from joining the guild with a character that fulfills a specific raiding requirement and then changing immediately to a role that is less needed.
In general, in both signup and looting priority, “mains” always get priority over alts. The general order of precedence (unless otherwise noted) for both raid signups and loot preference is:
1. Main Character:Main Spec
2. Main Character:Alt Spec
3. Alt Character: Main Spec
4. Alt Character:Alt Spec
After declaring a raid main and a main talent specialization, characters must undergo a qualification process and then sign up for raids they are interested in.
Raid Rankings
The Tribe has developed an internal ranking system that is used to evaluate whether or not a character is ready to raid a specific tier of content. Ranks are awarded for the duration of an expansion – i.e. Burning Crusade ranks were reset for Lich King, Lich King ranks will be reset for Cataclysm, etc.
A character starts an expansion unranked in all their talent specializations, and gains ranks when his/her class champion determines that they have the gear and experience necessary to contribute meaningfully to the next tier of content. For example, in Wrath of the Lich King, the Tribe’s internal raiding ranks were:
Unranked – Character needs to continue to run Heroic 5-man instances for experience and gear
Rank 1 – Ready for Naxxramas/EoE/OS
Rank 2 – Ready for Ulduar/ToC/Onyxia
Rank 3 – Ready for Icecrown Citadel/RS
(Note that if a character has two talent specializations, each specialization is ranked independently, so  it is possible for a character to be a higher rank in their main specialization and unranked/lower rank in their alternate specialization.)
The Tribe uses a character’s rank to determine signup priority for raids; characters whose rank matches the rank of the raid get the highest priority. For example, if The Tribe posts a signup sheet for an Ulduar raid, then all characters of LK Rank 2 who signed up will be added to the raid before the LK Rank 1 and LK Rank 3 characters who signed up are added.
Rank priorities are used to ensure that the people who meet the requirements of the dungeon and can benefit most from the experience/loot associated with the encounters are added to the raid first. Those who are somewhat undergeared and inexperienced for the dungeons and therefore may not be able to contribute their fair share to the raid (i.e. the LK Rank 1 characters in the example above) as well as those whose gear and experience are overkill for the dungeon and therefore cannot benefit as much from the experience/loot (i.e. LK Rank 3 characters in the example above) are given spots afterwards.
Rank prioirties are only enforced until noon Central time on the day of the raid. Any signups after noon on the day of the raid are handled on a first-come, first-served basis regardless of rank.
Rank priority is superseded by the Main vs. Alt order of precedence detailed above such that main characters always get signup priority over alternate characters, regardless of the rank of the character or the dungeon.
Earning a Rank
Attaining the next appropriate rank for your character/specialization varies on a class-by-class, specialization-by-specialization basis. Specific instructions are established by the Class Champion and are posted in The Tribe’s private class-specific forums.
Each Class Champion will set forth a set of criteria or simply request you contact them to discuss your ranking one-on-one.
Ranking criteria generally includes (but is not limited to) the following:
• Stats/gear vital to a class' role in a raid
• Experience in previous dungeons/raids and demonstrated ability to perform successfully
• Ability to perform in a raid under the direction of a raid leader
• Ability to come prepared with consumables for a raid
Class Champions are empowered to use as much discretion as necessary when evaluating a character’s rank request. This means you should listen closely to your Champion and accept the feedback they provide in order to reach optimal raid proficiency. By accepting the criteria for your rank and listening to your Class Champion you prove you are ready to become an important member of a raid.
No player may be discriminated or given special favor for ranks regardless of guild rank or otherwise. Every player is entitled to each rank if they put forth the effort to meet their requirements.  Frequency of raiding will not affect your rank unless ranks change while you are away from the game and you no longer meet the requirements. Ranks are a free and open system meant for all players to utilize, not a select few.
In an effort to be fair and eliminate as much potential bias as possible, many class/spec ranking requirements are objective rather than subjective. However, even if it appears that a character meets all of the objective requirements for a given rank, that rank is not conferred upon the character automatically – Ranks are never automatically granted, they are only awarded by Class Champions after consideration.
Again, all ranking requirements for a character’s class/specialization are documented in The Tribe’s private class-specific forums and are administered by the Champion for the class. The appropriate Class Champion should be contacted directly for any questions about ranks or requests to be ranked.
Why Ranks?
Simply put, ranks are to ensure that The Tribe is giving itself the best chance of raiding success that it possibly can. Bringing too many undergeared/inexeperienced players to a raid compromises the raid’s chance to be successful, and bringing too many people who are overgeared and have already learned the raid’s encounters doesn’t get the gear/experience that the raid offers into the right hands.
The Tribe always strives to achieve the most inclusive raiding environment that it possibly can – ranks are not thought of as a way to tell members “no, you can’t raid”, they are thought of as a way to show members the path to ensuring the answer is “yes, you can raid”. Class Champions want all raiders to attain the ranks they desire, and they are committed to helping any member understand and take the steps required to reach that goal (gear upgrades, learning a particular playing technique, etc.). The Tribe strives to provide as many opportunities as possible for players to move through the various ranks, particularly through running Heroic 5-man instances or farmed raids so that players who are a bit behind the experience/gear curve can catch up.
Also note that an under-ranked or over-ranked player still has a chance to join any Tribe raid – just because a correctly ranked player has priority during the signup period doesn’t mean that all raid spots will be filled by correctly ranked players; any available spots after the correctly ranked characters are added to the raid will be given to people of other ranks.
Raid Signups
For each Raid lockout period (Tue->Mon), signup sheets for each Tribe-sponsored raid will be posted in The Tribe’s raid signup forum and players may begin to sign up at 6pm Central time on the Sunday immediately prior to the lockout period. Be aware that signup sheets may be posted in advance, but no signups on that sheet are valid until the active signup time (typically 6pm Central time).
For each raid, the signup sheet will have a pre-set number of spots available for each role (tank, healer, DPS) and, depending on the encounter design within the raid, may have some specialty slots allocated for certain buffs or abilities (e.g. replenishment, Bloodlust, AOE DPS, CC, etc.).
As long as there are remaining spots for their role, each main character/spec of the appropriate rank is added to the signup sheet as they sign up on a first-come, first-served basis. At noon on the day of the raid, any remaining spots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis within the respective classifications using the following order of precedence:
• Main characters/main specs of higher/lower rank
• Main characters/alt specs of appropriate rank
• Main characters/alt specs of higher/lower rank
• Alt characters/main specs of appropriate rank
• Alt characters/main specs of higher/lower rank
• Alt characters/alt specs of appropriate rank
• Alt characters/alts specs of higher/lower rank
In this way, a member’s ability to get into a Tribe raid is influenced by three factors:
• Their characters’ raid rank compared to the rank of the raid
• Their role as defined by their characters’ class and talent specialization
• How early they signed up
The Tribe does not weight consider any additional factors beyond these three. We do not offer special favors or give priority to anyone based on guild rank or seniority.
Note that individual signup sheets may have specialized rules, so please check each signup sheet for any exceptions or deviations from these rules.
If a character signs up for a raid but is not granted a roster spot for that raid, then the character is considered to be on the “alt list” for that raid. A character on the alt list is expected to be online and available to raid as a backup in case there are any last minute cancellations or other issues (which happens frequently). A player with a character on the alt list will be notified within the first 15 minutes of a raid as to whether or not their character will be needed; if an alt-listed character is not needed within the first 15 minutes of a raid, then the player has fulfilled his/her obligation to the raid and may log off or do whatever else they choose.
Signing Up Multiple Characters
If a player has multiple max-level characters and is willing to bring any one of them to a raid, the player simply needs to indicate which character(s) he/she is willing to raid with in their signup post. If a player does not list a character in his/her signup post, it is assumed that the player is unwilling to attend the raid with that character.
When a signup includes multiple characters, the signup sheet administrator will treat each character as a separate signup and follow the order of precedence listed above. The player’s main character will still be the one given highest priority and will be the most likely character to get into the raid, but alternate Characters are still needed from time to time to fill roles that no main character signed up can fill. Alternate characters can be an asset to raid composition at times, but the guild’s primary focus will always be on developing one character per player.
Signing Up Multiple Players
By default, each player is only allowed to sign him/herself up for any given raid. A player may sign up another player only under the following circumstances:
• Members of the same household (maximum 2 people per signup, e.g. Mother/Daughter, Husband/Wife, 2 roommates, etc.)
• Those with special exception granted by the Chieftess or a Chieftain
Special exceptions are granted only on very rare occasions, typically due to real life circumstances that prevent the player from being available to post a signup within a reasonable amount of time after the 6pm Central Sunday signup times.
Go/No-Go Policy
A Go or No-Go decision will be made no earlier than 10am server time but as close to 12 noon server time as possible on the day of each raid.  This determination is made by evaluating the raid conditions based on a set of criteria. The evaluation criteria are as follows:
• Unfilled tank slots (2 for any raid size)
• Unfilled slots of any role/combination of roles (3 for any raid size)
• Unstable server conditions (any raid size)
• More than 20% of the slots filled by under-ranked players (3 or more for 10-man, 6 or more for 25-man)
• More than 20% of the slots filled by alts (3 or more for 10-man, 6 or more for 25-man) – only applies to raids on un-farmed content
If one or more of these criteria are true, a raid may be declared a “No-Go”. If a raid is declared a “Go” despite some unfilled slots in the raid, the raid leader will attempt to fill them as best as possible by soliciting guild members with appropriate ranked characters during the muster period (~30 minutes prior to the raid). Please do not invite characters to the raid if you are not the raid leader; these invites will not be honored.
The guild leadership cannot be held responsible for cancellations and delays given by players after noon the day of the raid - only circumstance is to blame when a raid is canceled at the last minute.
Running Multiple Simultaneous Timers
Unlike previous expansions, 10-man and 25-man raids in Cataclysm will offer the same level of challenge and grant the same rewards. The choice between 10- and 25-man raids will be able to be based solely on the number of raiders that the guild needs to accommodate in a given week.
As a result of this change, The Tribe has not finalized its system for determining what size and/or how many raids will take place during a given lockout period, but this topic is under active discussion by The Tribe’s officer corps as of this writing. More details TBD.