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Officers' Quarters: Accelerating guild achievements


Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available from No Starch Press.

News broke last week of a new Cataclysm beta patch that added a host of guild achievements to the game. MMO Champion has the full list. Some of these achievements -- such as looting 200,000 gold from creatures -- you may decide to allow to simply accumulate over time. After all, most of them can be earned through the natural course of events, assuming your members participate in all aspects of the game.

However, if you'd like to pursue these guild achievements aggressively, this column is for you. Let's take a look at how you can accelerate some of these achievements and how you can motivate your guild to help.

First of all, let's talk about the motivation that the game itself will provide. Earning guild achievements, according to August's guild advancement Q&A, provides "nice, fat chunks of experience [that] feel great when you get 'em." We also know from blue poster Mumper that "anything that grants guild XP will also grant guild faction." Putting two and two together, we can conclude that earning a guild achievement will also award the players who earned it a hefty dose of guild reputation. This extra guild rep and guild experience may be motivation enough.

But why stop there? Let's take an active role, as officers, in providing organization and incentives.

Bounties

One way you can actively motivate your players is to put a bounty on specific achievements. Post a list of achievements and what the guild will pay the first group who gets them done. If the UI doesn't tell you who earned them, you might need to ask for a screenshot to verify the earning team.

Guilds with the Cash Flow perk will be raking in the gold, so why not put some of those funds to good use? If you don't have the perk yet, earning these achievements will get it that much faster. The earlier you get this perk, the more money you'll receive from it.

This method would work well for dungeon and raid achievements. You can start low by offering, say, 100 gold for clearing Wailing Caverns, and then perhaps several thousand gold for killing Illidan. An achievement like He Feeds on Your Tears - Guild Edition should be worth a pretty penny. Just make sure the bank can cover the expense!

You could also offer bounties for obtaining the legendary items required to earn We Are Hardcore. Some of those are quite painful to get, so the bounties should be substantial.

The Classy achievements require your guild members to level one of each class that every race can select. You could offer bounties for the first of each race/class combo to reach 85. Be careful with this one, though -- like the Realm First player achievements, this sort of thing encourages some unhealthy playing habits, so keep the Classy bounties reasonable.

Finally, the United Nations achievement requires reaching exalted with pretty much every faction available to you in the game today. For most factions, you'll already have a member who's exalted. For others, such as the Darkmoon Faire and Ravenholdt, you may need to provide a cash prize (unless you're lucky enough to have a player going for the Insane title). I'd recommend asking individual players to state their intention to rep up specific factions so you don't have others wasting their time on the same one. For these achievements, it's better for your guild to work as a team to help out individuals, rather than competing.

Achievement nights

When the 3.9 patch introduces the new systems for Cataclysm, hopefully we'll be able to start leveling guilds and earning these achievements while we wait for 4.0. Given that Wrath's raiding and PvP content will be getting awfully stale by then (many feel like it's been stale for a while now), it might be a good idea to mix up your scheduled activities and dedicate one night per week to earning guild achievements.

This is another great way to go for dungeon and raid achievements. You could even offer prizes to the winners of competing speed clears. Here are some other ideas:
  • Critter Cataclysm Assign every player a zone and have him kill every critter he finds. You probably won't get all 10,000 in one night, but you can get yourself a lot closer. This activity is rather boring on its own, so spice things up by raffling off a nice item to participating members for every 200 critters killed.
  • Do You Like Fishsticks? Northrend fish. From pools. 10,000 of them. If you let this achievement build up over time, you may wait years to get it. If you dedicate a night to it, however, you can get there much faster. But who wants to sit around fishing for an hour or two? Like the critter achievement, a raffle for every few hundred fish would make things more fun. Hold this event during the Kalu'ak Fishing Derby to make things even more interesting. Afterward, you can funnel some of that seafood into Dinner Party.
  • License to Slay The Slayer achievements won't be fully possible until goblins and worgen are running around, but you can target some of the lesser-played race/class combos with a dedicated PvP night. If you're on a PvP server, you can scour the world in a gank squad. If not, your best bet is probably running battlegrounds and keeping an eye out for specific combos. You can also work on the battleground achievements while you do so.
  • We're Here to Stay Another PvP night could be dedicated to the City Attacker achievement. Earning the "For the" achievements doesn't always result in actual PvP battles. On some servers, enemy players let you breeze in to their cities, murder their beloved racial leaders and waltz out. Well, that won't fly here. You need to poke the slumbering bear. I recommend going after the auction house and banker NPCs. That's sure to generate some animosity. Just make sure you bring all the firepower you can get.
  • To-gather Forever 50,000 herbs. 50,000 ore/rocks. 10,000 skins. These are intimidating numbers, but a dedicated night can put a solid dent in the requirements. My suggestion for making this an event is to create teams of herbalists, miners and skinners and pit them against each other. Have a race to 500 items and provide prizes for the winning team. Try to keep the teams relatively even. Otherwise, adjust each team's goal amount accordingly. (You may also need to adjust for the fact that skinning requires you to kill stuff.)
Craft fair

Speaking of intimidating numbers, the crafting achievements are equally imposing in scope. Even if you hold a gathering contest for the raw materials, you'll still need more mats for these achievements.

Fortunately, there's no stipulation that says the materials have to come from your guild or that the finished products have to be used by your guild. You just need to turn items into other items ... 36,000 times.

By holding a craft fair, you can accelerate this achievement, raise your guild's server reputation (read my book to find out more about that concept) and possibly get some skill-ups for your members to boot. During the fair, set up your crafters in organized groups throughout a major city (I recommend Shattrath, for minimum lag). Then offer in trade chat to make flasks, cut gems, disenchant items and craft epics at no cost. Tell people where to go for each service. For maximum turnout, advertise the fair ahead of time both in trade chat and on your server's official forum. Ask your members to decline all voluntary tips and I guarantee you'll get an even better turnout the next time you try it.

These are just a few suggestions for how to earn these achievements quickly. I'm sure you can think of more -- post your ideas below!

/salute

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

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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