I was in Stillmoor finishing up some quests when a raid-level quest opened up. About 30 minutes or so later, someone was advertising in zone-chat that they are putting together a raid for the quest. I sign up, and in about 5 minutes we have a nearly full raid.
We gather up at the hub, and all progress towards the location of the raid mob. Along the way we kill any mobs that agro, as not everyone in the raid was 50 yet (I’m still 48) and the lower levels have a wider agro range. When we reach the raid mob, one member of the raid quickly goes over the mob (kill adds, don’t stand in the fire, standard stuff really), a ready check (built into the UI) goes out, everyone hits ready, and the fight starts.
We have some issue with tank agro, along with not enough people picking up adds, and at about 70% we wipe. A few people soul walk, rez the rest of the raid, and we have a quick talk about what to do better. We buff up, engage the boss again, and after a good fight with some nice tank swaps and in-combat rezzing, we down the raid boss.
The raid then proceeds to make its way back out towards town (the area is full of elite mobs), once again killing anything that is in our way. As we reach the end of the elite mobs, a few people in the raid ask if anyone still needs to complete some of the quests in this area (I did), and separate groups form to knock those out.
Now, on the surface this is nothing ground-breaking or “zomg I’ve never seen that happen!” stuff, yet lets just list out the possible issues that could have arisen if we were in some other MMO.
For starters, the raid was gather in that zone rather than through some cross-server anonymous insta-group tool. This then allowed everyone to gather up quickly without being instantly zipped directly to the boss. As everyone was from the same server, any black-listed names could have been excluded easily.
Next, everyone did actually gather in a timely manner, and stuck together as the group moved forward. We did not have people running left and right to chase a shiny or collect far-off resource nodes. We did not leave behind those who drew agro. No one was racing to get the first tag on a mob, or raging over a world drop (we had two).
Everyone clicked the ready check (which as a former raid leader, actually does blow my mind), and when we wiped no one immediately left or started raging that the tanks/healers suck. Everyone was rezzed quickly, no one accidently agroed the boss early, or agroed other mobs in the area, and the second attempt got under way in minimal time (which, again, as a former raid leader is impressive, especially for a PUG raid).
When the boss fell no one left the raid immediately. No one started porting home. People did not scatter and run as quickly as they could to turn the quest in and collect their shiny (a pretty sweet epic might I add). The raid stuck together and got everyone out, and additional groups were formed directly after (something that’s impossible if everyone insta-ported over using an auto-matching tool).
But hey, open groups and an insta-match cross-server ‘stand in town and queue’ thing are basically the same thing that produce basically the same type of server environment and in-game culture.