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Officers' Quarters: A tempting offer

Mimiron's big red button -- do not push
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.

It's not easy being anything less than a max-level guild in this era of perks. Most guilds can't wait to hit that final level and have access to all the bonuses that players of long-established communities have enjoyed for the past year. This week, one guild leader has an opportunity to skip the guild leveling process -- practically by pushing a button. Should he take it?

Hi Scott,

I messaged you awhile back in regards to guild realm transferring (this was before the service was implemented). We've done well overall and our progression has been fantastic overall, making us relatively competitive in Heroic Raiding.

Currently, I have an interesting option available to my guild. One of our officers has access to a level 25 guild, while we are only in the mid teens (we are a small, tight-knit group). He has offered, rather graciously, for us to move over to that guild and change the name of both of our guilds, so we could keep our guild name.

Besides the financial issues that this present (I prefer not to waste money), I am apprehensive of taking this offer. Yes, it is a level 25 guild, but we did start this guild from scratch on this server and part of me feels that we'd be taking an easy way out just to have some perks. Yes, the perks are nice, and yes, this probably makes raiding slightly harder than it needs to be, but it does feel like we are giving up on a group endeavor and taking an easy way out. My other, in the way back reaches of my sometimes paranoid mind, is that if I have a falling out with this officer, it would be incredibly, incredibly awkward.

Should we consider taking such an offer?

Sincerely,

Unsure

Hi, Unsure. You've already offered some compelling reasons to decline: taking the easy way, giving up on a group goal, monetary costs, potential fallout from future drama, etc.

My reason is even simpler: Don't mess with success.

Worth the headaches?

It sounds like you have a good thing going right now. Steady heroic progression can only be achieved by a healthy and dedicated organization.

Inevitably, some of your members will oppose this move. Debate will ensue, with players on each side. Rifts will form, and tempers could flare. Is it worth injecting drama into your community this way?

As a worst-case scenario, do you want to risk losing key members of your raid team over a temporary gain? You'll get those perks eventually, and they will mean more to your guild members because they earned them.

Common goals build community

Look at it this way: Have you ever joined a guild that could clear a raid that your old guild couldn't? When you went on that first raid and got the achievement for the clear, did it feel like a real accomplishment? Without the hard work, it's a very different experience. Don't take that sense of accomplishment away from your guild.

Common goals brings players together. Guild leveling and achievements, even though many are actually obtained through solo activities like questing and fishing, provide the satisfaction of group success. Your players talk about them, celebrate milestones, and work together to make them happen. As a long-term bonding experience, it's hard to top in WoW today.

Assessing the risk

The most relevant question to ask yourself is this: Will we gain more by taking this step or by continuing on as planned? If your guild was relatively new and your lack of perks was a major recruiting obstacle, then it might make more sense to make the switch.

As it stands now, you are more than halfway to max level. Your players have put a lot of time and effort into leveling the guild and earning achievements. It seems to me that you have more to lose by marginalizing and possibly angering the players who have done the work as opposed to whatever you might gain by jumping to 25 prematurely.

I also worry that the guild just won't feel like your own guild anymore, even if you juggle the names. It seems like a silly thing, but human beings are possessive of what we build. We know the work of our own hands and experience a special attachment to those things.

Rather than accepting this offer, I would suggest motivating your players to earn those perks and achievements legitimately. You'll all appreciate them a lot more if you get them the right way.

/salute

Officers' Quarters keeps your guild leadership on track to cope with sticky situations such as members turned poachers or the return of an ex-guild leader and looking forward to what guilds need in Mists of Pandaria. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to scott@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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