Dedicated raiding, like Dedicated players, tries to find the balance between "too little" and "too much". Dedicated raiding guilds have set weekly raiding schedules, but usually don't make raiding mandatory, and are fairly lenient on people who don't show up to raid if they signed up, although repeated absences can lead to harsher penalties.
Dedicated guilds make progress at their own curious rates: weeks of simply "treading water", and bringing down the same bosses over and over again without bringing down new ones, often precedes short but brilliant bursts of rapid progress bringing down a string of new bosses in a short period of time only to again, tread water for a few weeks.
In raids, dedicated guilds will not hesitate to spend an hour or two bashing their heads on a new encounter, trying to gauge where the weaknesses with the guild lie, such as a general lack of understanding of the fight's intricacies or gear. However, prolonged exposure to the futile head bashing tends to cause decrease morale and overall raid performance, sometimes extending the water treading periods unnecessarily.
This burst-drought cycle tends to spawn from having two sets of players in the guild, "more hardcore" and "less hardcore" as well as a solid and well established loot system such as EPGP or DKP, but no strict rolling rules like, tanks first, healers second, top DPS third, bottom DPS 4th; if you have the highest score, roll, and can use the item, you get the item. The "more hardcore" players tend to have higher scores, allowing them to get the gear earlier on, and allowing them to sit on large stockpiles of points while the "less hardcore" players, with smaller scores, get the gear later on. Usually, the bursts occur when both the more and less hardcore players have finally all caught up to each other in gear and knowledge, allowing for a burst into new territory where the cycle repeats itself: the more hardcore players quickly accumulate better gear, and the less hardcore players slowly reach that level.
Dedicated guilds tend to be lax on specifying what classes and roles they are accepting, often stating that "We could use a few more healers, but we'll look at your application regardless of your class or spec", however, since there are usually a small handful of more hardcore players in the upper echelons of the guild, raid makeup tends to be a little stricter and ordered. As a side effect of this, gear requirements for admission and raids tend to lean more stricter hardcore side.
Pros of dedicated raiding
- Progress through end game content happens, albeit at a curious pace.
- Tend to have a fair mix of the social, casual and hardcore, incorporating the bests of all: Social and casual players to keep the atmosphere light, hardcore to keep the guild on track.
- Wide array of players makes it easy to get into and settle in.
Cons of dedicated raiding
- Progress droughts can be frustrating.
- Open-ended recruiting, while more calculated raiding can make getting into the guild one thing, and actually killing stuff another.
- Gear distribution tends to favor the hardcore, leaving more casual players to sit and wait a bit.