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9-26-2011 @ 10:32AM
Okay, I'm in a similar boat, but we did rebuild. This is what I did (as GM).1) It is beyond imperative that the GM and the officers are hands on and this needs to be all-hands-on-deck affair. No one can be afk. if you, or your officers, cannot commit to the effort of rebuilding, then you need to reconsider what your goals in the game are. I'm not trying to be a d***, but if the officers are MIA then the guild will follow.2) Figure out what your guild is all about. Are you a competitive progression guild, hardcore progression, semi-casual or mature raiding, casual, pvp, social? Be honest with yourself, because there are folks that fit these buckets, and if you are honest about your guild's goals then you stand a better chance of obtaining, and retaining, great people. If you are not clear, or are afraid of who you are, then you will find people joining and leaving since you, and they, are not on the same page as far as expectations.3) As mentioned above, take a good look at what you are as a guild and see if there is anything that sets yourself out from the crowd. If you're hard-core/competitive progression, what sets you apart from all the rest? If you're semi-casual - what's your approach to raiding? In either case, do you promote alternative forms of content? Do you promote a social aspect to your guild? How long has your guild been around? What level are they? I'm not saying you have to, but your answers will help define you. This is your marketing strategy.For instance, competitive progression and hardcore progression are going to look at your rank on your server, as well as other things that indicate your team is aiming to be the server best or run with the pack in the top 10 server-wise. Semi-casual runs a wide gamut so do you cater to the family/working player? Do you raid responsibly? What do you provide to the player to make THEIR time in game more effective and enjoyable?4) Recruit, recruit, recruit. At our lowest ebb, I had re-written our guild recruitment page in the forums. I updated as many non-Blizzard Wow-sites I could get my hands on. I actually found a rocking tank from a site called looking for guild dot com. If you are worried about what to say because you are rebuilding, Matticus gave me the best advice ever - you're not rebuilding, you're going in a new direction. You can also pick up on some resume tricks - if you aren't 6/7 or HM in Firelands, don't mention it. If you're still in T11 say things like "we're farming T11 to be able to hit Firelands running" or some such. Be honest. NEVER tell anyone you're in content you are not in - but never make it look like you're not current because you CAN'T do it. Make it so you CHOOSE to be there for strategic purposes. Before the FL nerf, one of my friends, and a server best raider, told me that with where my team was, our best strategy was to stay in T11 for ONE of our raid nights and visit FL on the other, even if it was just rep farming. And that's exactly how we marketed it.Also, there are a lot of people out there who were gone for the summer and are coming back ill-equipped for Firelands. That is a potential recruitment base since most high-end progression guilds are not going to help theses people gear up.If you're not running with the progression pack, don't make your recruitment post look like you are. My new recruitment post clearly states "Walking a Path Less Traveled" The copy is nothing like the typical forum recruitment thread. We talk about the people who are tired of the rat race of progression raiding, the folks who are too far behind the gear curve - folks that want more than just one thing and are tired of seeing a dead guild on off-nights. Folks who read our app know exactly where we stand and what we are. I am not saying folks are beating down our doors - but what we are doing is not wasting anyone's time. The folks who are coming to us are not at the beginning of the decision-making process, but at the end. They already know we are a fit with their in-game goals, it's now a matter of whether we fit "culturally."5) Don't be afraid to admit to rebuilding. I know this goes counter to what was written above, but the fact is, you're not alone. A lot of guilds are rebuilding. The folks who are going to want established teams are folks who are looking for a specific type of raiding. I'll tell you, I had to replace almost 80% of my raid team, and when we finally got Shannox down Tuesday (in our first foray into FL since I needed to rebuild), I had folks sending me tells they were thrilled to be part of the *guild's* progression. And nerf or otherwise, you could feel the energy from the raiders who knew they got the guild its first Shannox kill.However, be gracious about why you needed to rebuild. Drama is off-putting. If you need to rebuild because of drama, a simple "disagreement with guild management" suffices. The only thing you need to clarify is if the break happened because of a debate between hard-core and casual approach to raiding. And if that was the reason for the break, then before you go back to recruit, you have to take a firm stance on your approach to raiding and make sure you have buy-in from all of your raiders. But if it was simple hair-on-fire, crazy-drama, then anyone who needs to know that dirty laundry is probably going to bring their own drama to the table and is someone you probably won't want in your guild.6) Do things in guild. When we couldn't field a raid, we ran 5-mans or FL trash. I have an officer dedicated to building up pvp, and we started pvp nights. I have another guildie heading Legacy Night Sundays. It doesn't matter if only 3 people show - eventually there will be more. Activity breeds activity. 7) Network, network, network. PUG your raids. I found some wonderful guild friends and got several new guildies through pugging. If you are bringing good people to the table, word about you will get around and people will be more willing to look you up, app, recommend you to friends or even start an alliance. And don't leave it to just raids - ask them along to the other things you do. Rebuilding is a hard, long, tiring process. It can be greatly rewarding if you put in the effort. But I will not deny that it can, at times, be heartbreaking. Patience is necessary. And be honest with yourself. If the game ceases to be fun because rebuilding is consuming you, then is it worth it to you? I wish all my fellow GMs in similar straits the best of luck.
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