Last thursday I participated in an event that gave me some food for thought. A friend whispered me and asked if I had already done the Vault of Archavon 25 for that week. I hadn't and they were looking for a tank so I got an invite. The organiser and leader of this run was a paladin from a notorious guild on my server. I'll spare you the details on how they became notorious but their name is usualy spat instead of spoken. They are also one of the top guilds, always amongst the first to clear new dungeons.
It was made clear from the start that 'anyone who does less damage than the tank won't get to roll on loot.' - Now that is elitism. It's saying: 'if you're not as good as I expect I get to decide over you'. This does not sit well with people, generally. Some left, but most stayed. We killed the boss no problem.
I find it a bit hard to feel one way or another about this. On one hand, we're all paying, we're all playing, who is anyone to tell anyone else what they should be doing. On the other hand, in a dungeon like the Vault you need to be able to rely on the capability of others to complete the task at hand. Though the ability to do a certain amount of damage is not a great measure, it is -a- measure of someones capability.
It's down to expectation that is only measured compared to what you yourself are doing. I play many hours per week, I research gear, talents, abilties and strategy. When another player is benefitting from that, shouldn't they at least be doing the same?
Well, that leads me to saturday evening. A cobbled together group running Naxx 25. One person is clearly underperforming. Yet, because of the collective effort involved no-one seems to mind. Sure he could do more damage, but a few people at the top end are effectively carrying him. Somehow this seems a lot nicer. It wasn't entirely smooth but we did clear the dungeon in the end. then, last night, he was asking for advice on how to improve his DPS, trying to find better talents.
If results are all you're after, being elitist works. If you want to have more fun and encourage people, you can't afford to. In a guild, you strike a balance.