For those of you who do not use the term, a “static group” is a way of approaching MMOs and similar games where you and your group of friends each have a character set aside strictly for playing together, all of you. For pen-and-paper players, this is just how you did it: you had your group, and you played together. You did not solo and you did not PUG. The Casualties of War have static groups for several games, and I joined the LotRO group once I found out it was on Landroval. Wednesday, 8pm Central, we all log on and run through a quest hub or two, maybe half an epic book.
Over time, you will lose members. It can be hard to fit someone new in except when you switch zones, because they will not be at the same quest point that everyone else is. Active recruiting can be done, and you may want alts who can be moved into the appropriate level range. I am on my third character joining our static group: our first was just who happened to be available and in the level range when Ethic needed another body, the second was my Loremaster, and then I moved to our back-up healer (Rune-Keeper) for when our Minstrel was unavailable. A few others have switched characters as well, as we caught up to old mains or as they decided to play the static group characters more than the once-per-week.
The most critical thing, I think, to keeping this going is also surprisingly easy: double up on key group roles. You want at least two healers and two tanks. If your game has hybrid classes that could fill several roles, great. This is essential because many times someone will be missing, and other times someone will drop out. If you have one healer, and s/he leaves, you no longer have a group. I switched to my Rune-Keeper when we needed that second healer, and I have been the primary healer for twenty or thirty levels now. I say this is surprisingly easy because people lean towards group-friendly classes if they know they will never PUG or solo. We have had a Hunter and a Champion in the group at times, but we have also gone without any primary DPS classes for months. Lots of support, lots of CC: all those roles you might want to play but could be painful to solo. We also lean towards group-friendly specs, and I wonder if I am the only Rune-Keeper leveling up with almost entirely healing traits slotted.
City of Heroes will eventually have its perfect version of this with multi-member leveling pacts. You will be able to bind a group together so that all experience is shared. Even if Bob misses a night, he has the exact same xp total as everyone else. City of Heroes also makes less strict static grouping easier, as all missions are shared instances that everyone gets a bonus for completing. The most flexible version, however, came in City of Heroes/Villains superteams. Someone designs a class template that works well with itself, say have everyone be a Radiation/* Defender or */Radiation Controller. Then your team is whatever 8 people are online at the time. You all have group-friendly builds because you never expect to solo, including all those Leadership toggles that are weak alone but stack nicely. I was fond of Brutal Speed, a villain group with all AE damage Brutes and Kinetics Corruptors. No one took the Fitness pool because triple-Speed Boost makes it irrelevant; everyone took the Leadership pool. Take 5 from group A and 3 from group B, and watch the wrecking ball fly. Superteams add flexibility by making everyone replaceable, so they can keep going long after half the people get bored and wander off.
Lifetime subscription games add one other bonus: if I had a monthly fee, I would not pay to play 2 hours per week. Even if I am bored with LotRO, I can still be interested enough to play 2 hours per week. The lifetime accounts keep people around for the static group that needs more than a year to reach the level cap.