Ask the Bear: Halp! I want to run something!

I had a nice email this morning that aked me a non-Theorycrafting question. Since I am, to be clear, a little tired this morning (and hoping to write a PBeM update when my brain clears) I thought this was perfect to break the blog ice.


I was hoping to get your advice on a matter of guild behavior.

I was part of a tiny guild that never even had the numbers to run Kara, and only managed to make it into a five man once or twice a month. Eventually folks in the guild pursued different priorities, and the guild split apart. Recently, I was approached by the guild leader of a fairly large (160 member) guild. I let him know that I had zero raiding experience, but that I was very eager to learn. He was fine with this, and I joined up. Both the guild leader and the few guild members I’ve spoken with seem like decent people. As far as I could tell, these guys ran instances and raids regularly, but were a bit aimless in the days leading up to Lich King, which seems about par for the course.

Now that Lich King has been out for a week, what’s become apparent is that despite their large guild roster and regularly having 10-15 members online at any given time, there’s only one specific group running instances together. I expressed an interest in getting involved in the runs, even letting them know that I had a couple of alts I could bring instead if they worked better, and was told (not by the guild leader, who’s been somewhat absent as of late) that there would really only be room if I was a healer, which I’m not. When I joined, I was given the indication that there would be multiple scheduled runs each week, but so far, I haven’t seen that, at least not beyond this one group. Even if only 20% of the guild roster is active, that would seem to leave dozens of toons trying to get into runs, but only this handful of folks appear to be cooperating. Everyone else seems to be more or less left to soloing or running with pugs, which I dread (I’m somewhat introverted and I just tend to dislike pugs – one of my biggest reasons for wanting to join a large guild was so I could avoid the pugs). In addition, because the “elite” folks are able to grind instances, they’re pretty much racing ahead of everyone else.

So I’m in a guild that has at least 5 times as many toons in it as my old guild, and I’m actually running less that I did before.

I kind of get the feeling that the only way I’ll run with these folks is if I’m one of the first to 80 and they need more numbers to fill out for raids.

Being the new guy and all that, I don’t want to make waves, and I’m trying to be patient and wait it out at least until I can get the guild leader’s perspective on this, but it’s frustrating.

So, what is your take on this? Should a guild with dozens of active members have multiple organized runs set up so that everyone can get involved, or do all guilds tend to “clique” and this is business as usual? Am I right to be frustrated by this? Is it up to me to try to organize a “B Squad” run, even though I’m so new? Am I just in the wrong guild?

I’m a decent player, I’ve geared about as well as I can for someone who almost always only solos, I don’t have a ton of experience grouping but I can hold my own and I really want to learn and I have no problem taking reasonable criticism and advice. I just want to find a solid group where I can run a few times a week with a couple of alts and start seeing some raid content, but it seems like I’m having no luck finding that situation.

Any advice?


Thank you for writing in, Mr Anonymoose!

I’m sure we’re going to have some excellent suggestions in the comments, but let me give you my take on what you’ve described.

Now, it sounds to me like you’re in a guild with lots of active folks, and that’s great.

But you’re seeing a trend that there is only one group running instances together, and only that group is active in running stuff at the moment. They play together, they’ve been doing it for a while, and when you’ve asked to join into their group, you’ve been told that they pretty much stick together and could only use a healer once in a while.

Now, you didn’t actually say that there have been any raids where you are being excluded. It sounds to me more that this is just you wanting to run instances… and asking to join the only currently active group, and being rebuffed.

My take on the core issue here is… are you standing back, waiting for officers to organize runs for you to join? Are you being passive?

And if so, is it because only officers are allowed to try and organize a group?

If the guild is as active as you say it is, my advice is to ask an officer if you are allowed as a member to try to organize a group of your own. 

Take the initiative to try and form your own group from the many other active players you mentioned.

Speak to an officer about posting runs on the forum calendar or whatever other scheduling service your guild uses. Explain that you’d like to try and get a run started. Whether just a simple run for one purpose, or a regular event with 5 folks.

If your intent is to get a group for regular runs, say so up front. See if others are also being passive, wathcing and waiting for someone else to take the lead and get it going. 

The biggest challenge in getting a run started is usually having enough active players in the guild who are all online and have the time available to do it.

If you already have a bunch of folks active, and they are used to having no structured runs available, they probably log in when they feel like it… but if you get a run scheduled in advance, they have a chance to see something is coming, and hey! Maybe they can then set that time aside and be there for the run. Some folks you rarely see online may come out of the woodwork to join in, once they know there is something special to do.

If you have a goal, like accomplishing a particular instance or getting rep or a particular drop, say so. Other may share your goals, and will be happy to join you.

Remember, for most folks, it’s not a question of your gear or capability when deciding to run with you. It’s not an attempt to exclude you.

It’s simply how well they know you.

If you are new, and have been waiting for runs to be scheduled for you to sign up… the very best thing I suggest you do is take your fate in your own two hands, and MAKE something happen. Take the initiative. Get to know people, and let them get to know you, by requesting officers put up runs YOU want to do and hope to get more players for.

The more you play with people in the guild, the more you will become a member in spirit, and not just in the tag over your head.

Now, if you make the effort to try and get things started… and you are discouraged from doing so by officers or the guild leader… then you have an entirely different situation.

And remember… be polite, and be nice about this. There is no reason why you should feel excluded or slighted when a group of friends that have regularly run together haven’t opened themselves up to make a place for you. If they bring you into their runs, then one of their friends is going to be benched. And if they still don’t know you yet, it’s silly to expect taht top happen in early days.

No, get a different run going yourself, and meet people in the guild, get to know folks, and form your OWN circle of friends in the guild that enjoy doing things together.

I bet that some of the folks in the other group will join in when they aren’t running something, and pretty soon you’ll find that you’re having too much fun playing with all your friends and having shared experiences to worry about inner circles or cliques.

And then, once the time comes to raid… why, everyone will know who you are, and you’ll be just one more active friend of everyone else in a guild that is doing lots of fun stuff!


18 thoughts on “Ask the Bear: Halp! I want to run something!

  1. Hey folks, I’m the one who sent BBB the original email. Thanks very much for all the good advice.

    Just to clarify one point. I had asked in guild chat if the guild was running instances together, and told they were. I said I’d like to be involved, and was THEN told that really only four or five guys ran regularly, and the only way I’d get into that group was if I was a healer. I said something along the lines of “hey, we should set up more runs”, which no one responded to.

    In no way was I trying to take a spot in that existing five man group and shut somebody else out – those guys were likely buddies, they had their dynamics worked out, and I respect that. I was just hoping that a second or third group would start running, and wasn’t sure if that was something the guild should organize, or if it was up to me (and the guild leader has not been available to ask). From reading these comments, it sounds like I need to take a more proactive attitude towards things, and if that’s met with resistance, I need to find another guild more in line with what I’m looking for.

    I tend to be a pretty high-participation guy (not that I’ve had a ton of opportunity), but now I realize that a lot of folks don’t necessarily take that attitude, which can lead to a guild leader becoming frustrated and focusing his energy on organizing raids, and letting the five-mans take care of themselves.

    I think the lesson learned here is that if a guild leader says “we run instances regularly” when recruiting, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there are scheduled, organized runs going on, just that guild members are probably willing to run an instance with you if they have the time and inclination and if you organize it yourself.

    Thanks again to everyone, especially to BBB for responding.


  2. I have to agree with everyone who has posted.

    I have been DPS, Healer and a Tank.

    if your a healer its almost EZMode, you log in and everyone wants to you to come, as a tank its similar but less often.

    As a rogue, I always got invited to groups but that was because I proved myself to the group I rolled with, so its not hard to get into groups if your established or if you have something the group needs (CC)

    The best advise is whats been stated, if you want in on a group, find a healer, start your group and invite the people you want to roll with.

    Menglor says : Looking to run Violet hold, need 3 DPS who is interested?

    Works much better then

    Menglor says: Anyone doing anything?


  3. I generally announce in guild chat I am interested in running X, Y, or Z in fifteen minutes and ask if anyone else is interested. I also state whether I will bring the toon I am currently playing (protection warrior or holy priest) or if I am willing to switch tooons.

    The fifteen minute lead time is sufficient for most guild members to finish up whatever they are doing if they are interested. It is much appreciated in my guild because it removes the pressure (resentement?) of being forced to choose between finishing up a quest or running an instance.

    I make a second announcement five minutes later stating A (and B) and I will be running X in 10 minutes and asking if anyone else is interested.

    I make a final call five minutes before the planned start time stating which roles are needed and if anyone is interested before we pug the remaining spots.

    I put the group in the LFG queue 30 seconds later and announce what we need in LookingForGroup and General chats.

    My guild typically has 10-15 toons online of the appropriate level range. We end up with a full guild run about 50% of the time, and will have 2-4 members in almost all the other runs.

    Please keep in mind I am not choosy about classes; I will accept any guild member in my groups if he or she is of a particular role (tanking, DPS, healing) or if specced something else but has the gear to support the role. We do not always end up with a great combination but I have learned to adapt the strategy over the years to make up for the apparent lack of a “needed” skill.

    You may want to give this or any other strategy a trial run (I suggest a period of two weeks to get time for your fellow guild members to get used to your way of doing things) and then evaluate the results.

    Good luck to you!


  4. I can sympathize with your position. I’ve been there. The guild I joined a while ago has over 400 members, one of the largest on the server (I’m sure there are a ton of Alts). I had left another guild over a year prior and taken a year break after the cliquishness sufficiently annoyed me . When I first signed up, the first thing I did was get the website address and went to look at it. Then I downloaded the add-ons for raiding, including ventrillo (some guilds use teamspeak) and got them working. I am almost always logged into vent, and even when questing, I am chatting with guildies. Why? Because it helped me build rapport with the raiders. Now I was lucky as the first night I was there, we ran 3 groups through Kara, but after that first week, groups became 1 or 2 at a time and I was often not in time for raids or they were filled prior to my sign on. Some of the raids i signed up for I missed out on because of class and spec. I hate PUGs too and focused on getting 5 guildies together for Heroics. My guild needed healers too at the time. I took the opportunity to level some of my alts, my priest and my lock. Both of these classes are almost always in demand. Anyway, as we got into 25 man content, I was able to get into more raids. Now, I’ve only been with the guild a couple of months, and with the WoTLK release, we don’t raid much now. My guild actually wants as many people as possible involved, and has made an incentive out of leveling to 80. They’ve offered DKP (what we use to collect raid gear instead of rolling on it) and a chance at 1k gold for the first 20 people leveling to 80. Since i got involved with the guild on vent and got to know some of the guys/gals, I’m no longer an outsider.

    I see some of the folks in their 60’s and below asking for help and most of us would do it, if we weren’t under the gun of incentives. I don’t see it as a bad thing, I have alts like my DK, my lock and my priest that I would like to level, however, I look at it like these alts will have PLENTY of rested XP. For those in the guild looking for help, I’ve suggested allowing the first weeks of the new content to play out. Try to find other players within the guild on at your level range and form a coalition. Power level the heck out of your guys. For those at 68-70 now, you’re at an advantage. While those of us who had Tier 4,5,6 raid gear are trying to figure out which green/blue is better than our epics, you guys can just focus on leveling. I’ve been passed by at least one toon that I know never ran Kara with the guild at least. I figure that once I get to 80 (hopefully Wed :D) I will have plenty of time to hop on alts, or even bring Fire down to help out guildies who have been waiting patiently and helplessly. In the meantime, take initiative. I’m not sure reading this what I was trying to accomplish, I hope it kind of shows you that people have been there and how they get out of it.


  5. Also, since it sounds like the guild you’re in is not a hardcore raid-focused progression guild, and more of a social guild that raids, the number 1 thing you -must- do is:


    Be social. Hang out. Log into the Vent/TS server and talk with people. Make it so that the rest of your guild knows you as a person, not as Random NE Hunter #1256.

    I’m in a large social guild. If I’m looking to put-together an instance-run or a raid, I’m much more likely to ask a friend than a random ‘Toon name that I don’t recognize from the guild-list.


  6. Now is an ideal time to start organising group runs and instance runs … everyone is levelling up after quite some time of being stuck running instances solely (or primarily) for new gear. Now suddenly a lot of those folk are levelling again, gathering quests and experience and most want to run instances to clear their quest logs and get some nice “blues” to replace those epics lol


  7. Just a quick noob question here. I thought you would still get exp while in a “raid” but you wouldn’t be able to complete quests while in the”raid”. So if your guildies are just running UK or Nex 5 mans for exp/drops and not to complete quests could you run it with 6 or 7 people? The last time I tried this was in Sunken Temple so it might have changed. At least you could get in there, see the content, get to know the guildies and show em your stuff.


  8. To agree with Mithral and add a bit – As the one organizing the adventure, you should read about the instance you want to do, and get prepared. Get some mage food if there’s not guaranteed to be a mage in the party. Have some reagents or potions. Pass them out as people arrive for the instance. That sort of thing doesn’t take much time, money or effort, but is very thoughtful and will elevate your party members’ memory of you. Definitely use /g before /lfg. In the beginning of Wrath, our guild and extended family of sister guilds are not really raiding at all – we’re just grouping to level and plan to re-organize and raid later when we’re, you know, more L33T.


  9. Just wanted to get my two cents in here too. I am a guild master of a small guild. To give you an idea of numbers we can fill a 25 man when everyone logs on at the same time.

    We have had people complain that nothing happens or is planned for them to participate in for the evening. What I have noticed as Guild Master is very few people will take an interest in setting up and organizing runs into instances or 10 mans. I have only a few officers or long term members who take the reins and put together a group.

    As the one person who is responsible for the guild I have tried in the past to setup ZA and Kara runs at least once a week. What I found was the people who have complained are still not signing up for new events and in a lot of cases I was forced to call 10 man or smaller runs due to lack of numbers.

    The game began to feel like a job. I was scheduling my life around guild dungeon runs and for the most part these runs were not happening. With Wrath I have tried to make it clear that everyone in the guild is responsibility for there own fun in the game. Everyone can make entries in the guild calendar for instance (5mans) runs and with the new 10 man content I have adopted a look and see attitude to see what the guild is able to put together.

    I guess the point I am trying to make while rambling on is this:

    Remember the Officers / Guild Masters in your guild are playing the game to have fun just like you. They are not here to provide you with entertainment. Take the reins and try to put runs or groups together on your own. More then likely you are not the only person in the guild who wants to complete the task you have in mind.


  10. The game has been going for quite some time now. There are groups that tend to run together whether it be because they have been in the same guild since Beta, know each other IRL or even family members. These “cliques” do tend to move faster at first but it doesn’t last long.

    That being said we are talking about 5 man runs here. Not a raid or anything else. So if you have 15 people on and 5 of them are always running together then that still leaves 10 more. I would just ask in guild chat if anyone wanted to go on a run. It would also probably help if you pick a run. “Anyone wanna go to Utguarde/Nexus/other run?” Even if you get 1-2 hits and fill out a couple spots to pugs eventually you will fill up with guildies.

    Do not forget that instances may not be what some people like when leveling. Sure once they hit 80 they may be Mr. Gunghoraid24/7 guy but when leveling the may be Mr. Omgreadeveryquestandlovethelore person. Personally I am only doing instances to flesh out levels while going between zones. I totally geek out at stuff like the wrath gate cinematic. I read the quest text for every quest I come up with.

    My advice is to hold on until most people are 80 and trying to gear for raids or getting into raids. I think you will find getting groups much easier. As far as scheduling 5 mans that is up to you but you don’t have to have permission or a schedule to do a run that takes all of 20 to 40 minutes max.


  11. I agree with Felkan concerning time..

    I have a good amount of westcoast players in my guild, (we are mostly eastcoasters)
    A way to work with this (in my case atleast) is encourage the late evening players to team up.. I have even set a run or two for them..
    In another sense, I try to form the late night players clique! 🙂

    But yes, if you are only able to play on hours when hardly any guildies are around, and all raids are done, you might want to look into another guild that would suit your playing times.


  12. I don’t really agree with what Aluminum said. I do agree with what Mithral and BBB said.

    The best way to find groups is to organize them yourself. Be the tank or healer if possible. Don’t resent other people who run five mans together.

    On my tanks, my friends list is FULL of healers that I group with. On my healer, the list is of tanks. You can find instance groups if you perform well. Your guild is a community of what should be trusted players. That’s a great pool to start with, but it isn’t the only thing at your disposal. If you’re a tank, your first step in making a group is finding a healer. I do check with my guild first to see if I can find one. If not, I go to the friend’s list, and then finally to LFG. After that, it’s usually very easy to find 3 DPS.


  13. My guild is very similar. Very large, but has some cliques. Initially I had a rough time getting a spot. But I was persistent. I would offer help in guild chat (and be active in guild chat) and do anything (run BF for the 1000th time). Eventually, I became “noticed” and am more or less able to get my own group as needed. I think with very large guilds you are more like the pug community than a “guild”. And like the pug community it takes some time for your “name” to be recognized and become trusted.

    It could also be a time-of-day thing, in the rare case I log in around 7pm server time I never have an issue getting a spot in a 5-man, etc. But normally I login around 10pm server time and while there are 30 folks on I think many are “done for the night” and are just finishing up dailies, silly gchat stuff, a bg or two, etc. So, even when I feel I’ve become noticed and trusted, it can still be hard to get a group with 30 people on if they are just about to log for the night.


  14. I’d also add that it’s normal for cliques to form in a large guild, and it generally is best if the new people socialized a bit more assertively. Definitely post runs in the Gcal, (assuming it’s OK with the guild-leadership), post in the guild-forums, listen intently to guild-chat for forming runs, etc.

    2 other thoughts:

    1.) Don’t whine about not getting engraved invites to guild-runs. Ask not what your guild can do for you, ask what you can do for your guild.

    2.) First impressions are priceless. Don’t be the n00b who doesn’t know where the instance is, or doesn’t have the flight-path, etc. Be the person doing the summoning, not the other way around.


  15. Awesome advice. I’ve made the journey from the “new guy” to the raider and eventually started my own guild. The best way to get runs is to make them yourself. After that, the rest just falls into place.


  16. As a GM of a 300 member guild I have come across this concern often…
    I have found that it is best to have a quick discussion with the interested parties, and explain exactly what BBB is saying – Yes we have certain running “cliques” but this only came about due to not having any at first. I have always encouraged my members to speak up, request a run, etc. I am always willing to put up a request in the calendar, ask around, etc.
    However new members of a guild (other than hardcore raiding guilds) should realize that they are joining an already structured group. As much as the officers and GMs try their hardest to get everyone involved, there are still limits to grps (5,10,25)

    but the best thing a new member can do is communicate their intentions/expectations.
    Like BBB says, the more we get to know a toon, the more we get to know the player pushing the buttons. make yourself available. but dont expect to be thrown into the content pushing grp the first week of your arrival.

    In my guilds case, we went from running 1 Kara grp a week, to running 3-4 kara grps and 1-2 ZA grps per week in the span of 2 months (due to recruiting / players hitting 70)
    Yes, a guild can organize things for its members, however having proactive members is the key for it to work. (I should count myself lucky to have such a great grp of players/people around me that delegating has become best practice instead of worrysome)

    Offer your services to others
    Offer to be around when the “content” grps are running, incase they need a sub,
    If youre logging in expecting something to be waiting for you then most of the time things will not workout. be proactive, set up a run or two, and stay away from the PuGs! (ughh i hate em)

    Actually before signing off I think this is the best time for me to express a pet peeve I have as GM

    Guild members setting up PuGs outside of guild without checking inside first

    Ex: A player in your guild has been quiet, when all of a sudden he/she writes LF1M bla bla bla for whatever

    I ask the person whos in the grp so far and what they need and the response is:
    “IDK.. I found a healer in trade, a DPS at the AH, and a tank in LFG”

    Now, keep in mind that my guild will have 20+ active members at most times online..
    While Im spending half my available playing time organizing raids/runs/dance parties etc for the guild, this member doesnt have the urge to ask in Guild chat FIRST , then fill out whats needed in LFG..

    It might just be my disgust for PuGs… but seeing a guild member not interact with the guild, to the point where they are running with PuGs when it is obvious we have 10+ ppl willing to go at any moment….UGH

    So I say to A non Moose: Be proactive within the guild. you will be noticed, and your efforts will be appreciated by those running the Guild.

    If not, then say goodbye, and hope to join a cookie cutter guild who already has your next 6 months planned. 🙂


  17. what BBB said. /signed

    seriously though…as an officer in my guild, when it comes to 5 mans and heroics, I don’t setup runs for guildies…that’s their responsibility. We only schedule 25 mans…If I had to schedule 5 mans for people, then that would sap a HUGE part of fun out of the game for me.

    If it’s a guild of quality people, then the old saying “You get what you put into it.” applies in a huge way. Not only will you get to know others, you’ll demonstrate to the “instance runners” that you are capable and interested in running instances.


  18. My advice would be to ask yourself “Do I want to sit around or do something worthwhile?!”

    If your guild seems not to want to allow you to participate in their runs…ehhh…try the other members…if they don’t want to…I say ditch the guild. Its “not what you signed up for.” so I don’t see the reason for anooonnnyyyymoooose to stay.

    Simple as that.


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