The ladder is a list of participating members for the raids. So when you come on a Raid for the first time you start out where ever the bottom is. If the next lowest person in your Raid that came was for example 27, and someone above you in the Raid took an item, you would go from the bottom spot to 27 on the overall ladder. At the same time if the next lowest person was just one spot above you ie 29, then you would just move up one spot. You do not move up a "numbered" amount of spots when a item is taken. You simply move up to the next spot from the person right above you in your raid.
You are never penalized for not coming as you never lose your ladder position when you do not come. You remain in the same spot.
Visual of How the Ladder Works
Our ladder policy requires active attendance on a regular basis, and we give our raiders two months grace. If you are absent longer than that, your name gets removed from the ladder, but when you are able to come back we'd be happy to add you back to our ladder system.
Hope this clears up a bit of the confusion.
If you have questions please feel free to msg any officer
"I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realm of men."