As a former GM and a former and current Raid Leader, I’m going to let you all in on a small dirty little secret. Retro runs are more than just “fun times” for people in those positions. And if you’re new to a guild, it’s in your best interests to go to a few and to take it somewhat seriously.
For many GMs and Raid leaders, it’s a chance to see how new people perform. While a certain amount of goofing off is expected [and even encouraged], things that you do can get you a progression raid spot, or cost you one. Over the years of my experience I’ve seen a lot of things in these runs and I’ve watched people cross themselves off the list of folks I would call on for a progression run. I’ve also seen people impress me so much that I pursued them for a spot in my raid.
Now I’m not saying it’s the end all/be all, or that one true mistake will cost you. But there are some things you just DON’T do.
1. Wiping a raid on purpose “for fun”. No one cares for a wipe. Wipes can still happen in old content if you have too few people, if people are careless, or if people don’t know some of the fights [hard modes in particular]. But doing it on purpose? Likely not going to score you an invite to the progression run.
2. Refusing to listen to the raid leader. Yes, these runs are often LOLfaceroll, but listening to and respecting the authority of the person in charge of the raid is something you should do. Deciding you don’t have to follow what they’re wanting you to do just because you want to be stubborn? Not good. Intentionally messing up an achievement because you take the notion to disobey the raid leader? Not a good impression.
3. Standing in Bad/Refusing to Obey Mechanics – This is what I always looked for most. The first two items are automatic red flags, but this one was also quite important. If you’re dying to “bad stuff” in old content, what’s that going to spell for your ability to avoid it in an actual stressful situation [ie progression]? If you’re the one standing in every defile/etc or getting a debuff on you and killing half the raid time after time – outlook: not good. Telling the raid leader that you can stand in [insert bad here] because this is lolfaceroll shows not only a lack of respect for the raid leader but for the raid in general – and your healers specifically. Making mistakes in this category happen but I’d venture that most raid leaders and GMs are saavy enough to know the difference most of the time.
4. How you react when you make a mistake and do wipe the raid/kill people [we all do it at one point or another]. Seeing someone say “I’m sorry about that, won’t happen again” makes me happy. You know X was a problem and you’re taking responsibility for it and are going to correct it. Then just do. You’d be amazed how that kind of attitude will stick with a raid leader.
4. General Obnoxiousness. Enough said I suppose. Having fun is one thing. Being obnoxious is something else.
Raid leaders and GMs are watching and it’s not a bad thing either. They’re watching where you fall generally on the dps meter [on retro runs your numerical dps really doesn't matter but they'll watch where you are relative to current raiders particularly on boss fights] as well as how you move out of bad. They’ll be looking at what spells you use as a healer and how your threat is and how hardy you are as a tank.
For me, new people get slotted into about 5 categories in terms of progression – 1. Ready to Raid; 2. Has Potential/Almost There; 3. Major Work Needed/Red Flags Sent Up; 4. Undecided/Unknown; 5. Heck No. No, not all of them are interested in raiding and it may not be the most fair thing to view things through these lenses but a few retro runs will definitely leave an impression. What impression do you want to leave?