Every group that raids together should have a common set of expectations for everyone involved in the process. The more transparent these expectations are, the easier they are to evaluate and meet. The more consistent they are in both how people are evaluated and in how well people in the group understand them is a strong gauge for how enjoyable the raiding experience will be for everyone in the group.
Getting everyone, especially anyone with any kind of leadership role, on the same page for these things is critical to the long term health of a guild. It needs to be absorbed at a level above merely posting it and getting everyone to read through the list, people need to really understand what the group is expecting from them. People in charge need to make sure that they set a clear example with all of these things.
The following is my quick list of categories of expectations that a raiding guild is going to expect from all of its raiders. Your guild may set the value of some/all of these items differently than another guild… but whether you realize it or not, your guild WILL have a stance on each one of these topics. Having that stance articulated ahead of time, and written down somewhere you can reference and your members can see will save you a lot of drama, headache, and time in the long run.
Remember that this is not only for you and your current members, but it is also for anyone possibly interested in your guild. I have been in and around guild’s where someone taking a ~15min afk during a raid to run to the corner store for another case of beer is an acceptable thing. I have been in other groups where bringing your day old level 80/85 character wearing quest blues and greens is an acceptable thing to expect. I have also been in groups where failing to interrupt your assigned target more than once or twice will get you removed from the raid and replaced with someone who can. You need to figure out where your personal stance is on these topics are and then find a guild who shares your feelings. If you manage to do that then you’re going to enjoy yourself, regardless of how fast the internet dragons die.
Personal accountability prior to raiding:
GEAR: Everyone is expected to collect and prepare the appropriate gear for their character and their role[s] in the raid.
CLASS KNOWLEDGE: This includes a proper raiding spec, and whatever preparation you may need (addons, macros, UI adjustments, etc…) to utilize all of your classes raid utilities. Identify people who are better than you and seek them out for help and advice.
ENCOUNTER PREPARATION: Some sort of research or prior experience of what the group is likely to encounter during the raid. This may include an expectation of research on specific fights, or just a generic level of raid experience and the ability to apply it to new situations (stuff like not standing in flames or void zones that appear, not standing in front of a giant dragon, moving away from mobs with giant two handers that start spinning around, monitoring and reacting to new/strange debuffs that suddenly appear on your character, and etc…)
Expectations during a raid:
BE RESPECTFUL OF THE GROUP’S TIME: Either show up when required, or communicate ahead of time that you won’t be available. Don’t take excessive /AFK breaks. Don’t spend time during the raid discussing or debating something that can be saved for after the raid is over.
STAY ON TASK: If you are assigned to add duty, healing Group A, decursing/interrupting, killing adds, or anything else, make sure that you don’t arbitrarily decide that you don’t feel like doing that any more. “I didn’t feel like playing outfield any more, so I’m going to play catcher for this next inning k?” Make sure you understand what your role is and what expectations there are for your character/class in the encounter at hand.
DO YOUR BEST: Give the group 100% of your effort and attention. If you make a mistake acknowledge it and try to avoid making it again. If someone else makes a mistake, exercise patience and trust in them and the people in charge to make whatever adjustments are necessary. If you aren’t meeting your own expectations, or the expectations of your group, take an active role in identifying and addressing the issue. Take the time to communicate with the people in charge and with the rest of your group what your plans are for improving your performance.