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Officers' Quarters: Cross-server LFG and you

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

With Patch 3.3, the new LFG interface will certainly reshape PUGs as we know (and loathe) them. This week, one reader wants to know how the new system might affect guilds.

Hi there Scott,

As we all know, patch 3.3 will bring many great things. As a guild leader, one of the new features makes me happy but also slightly worries me: the new LFG system.

Of course, it's a big boon to everyone and will greatly increase the chance of success of pugs (particularly the lower level dungeons), but it also takes away that what I liked about pugs: meeting new players from your own server.

A pug was a great way to meet somebody, a way to check if they would fit within your guild. Questions like "Do they have the required maturity for my guild?" or "Do they understand their class well enough for our raids?" were mostly always answered with one heroic pug. This is the way that I have met most of my guild members that make my current guild as it is: Enjoyable raiding and socially mature.

With the new LFG system, I'm sure a lot of suitable new players in dungeons will simply exist on another realm. A guild is mainly about spending time together with people that you get on with. And while the new system certainly allows for it, I just see it as lowering the chances of meeting new players.

What are your thoughts on this, and what of the readers?

Regards,

Isenda
80 Paladin
<Tempest>
EU-Argent Dawn


Hi, Isenda. To some extent, I share your concerns. I've touted PUGs for a long time as a great if sometimes painful way to find players to recruit. After all, who is more likely to PUG than players who aren't in a guild? And who is more likely to be looking for a guild than a player who doesn't currently belong to one?

A PUG immediately puts all the players involved in a fishbowl where mistakes and poor play are magnified. Now, dungeons are a heck of a lot easier in Wrath than in prior years, so there's much greater room for error. But that also means it's a real event when you wipe. Wipes shouldn't happen often in Wrath's 5-player content, so you can really find a glaring hole in someone's game when they do occur.

With the new system, most players will be running dungeons with random people from both their own server and other servers. PUGs will have a different vibe. I think the bad attitude in pick-up groups will actually increase. It's one thing if you're running with four other people on your server who might blacklist you for being a complete jerk. It's entirely another thing if you're running with four random people from other servers who you'll most likely never see again. It's a license to be a jackass.

So the first problem for officers looking to recruit people through PUGs will be, in my opinion, a generally worsening social situation.

The other problem that Isenda points to is that so many players won't be from your server at all. Yes, that will make it more difficult to recruit them, but it's not impossible. Server changes are pretty common these days. You won't be able to recruit cross-server players on the spot, but you could encourage them to roll an alt on your server. That way, they can check out your guild for a week or two before deciding whether they want to apply and subsequently transfer if they are accepted.

Realistically, your success rate will be lower. But try to think positive: It's a way to spread the word about your guild beyond the confines of your server.

As Isenda mentions, you can circumvent the system completely to make sure you don't wind up with players from another server. With the return of the LFG channel, you can find people from your own server to run with and then queue up for the random dungeon once your group has been formed. Basically it will be the same process you use now with the Trade channel.

In my opinion, players who look for groups using the LFG channel will be much more likely to be in the market for a new guild than players who just queue up to run with anybody. So think of it as a way to filter your results to give yourself the best chance of success.

Remember, also, that running PUGs may be a great way to meet recruits, but there are plenty of other methods. You can advertise on your server's forum and the Guild Recruitment forum for your faction. There's also the in-game Guild Recruitment channel. You can build awareness of your guild by running semi-PUG raids or any kind of event or contest you'd like to dream up. One last area of content that still requires people from your server is group quests. If all else fails, you can always offer to help people with these quests in order to get to know some future or fresh 80s.

What do you think about the new LFG system? Will it be a bigger problem for officers than we may think?

/salute

Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at scott.andrews@weblogsinc.com. You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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