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Filed under: Guilds

What does community mean in World of Warcraft?

What does community mean in World of Warcraft
When I first started playing World of Warcraft, in late 2004 on the server Azjol-Nerub, I knew the people in the guild my wife introduced me to and that was about it. Via that guild, I eventually met people who brought me to another guild, one that raided fairly heavily. That guild moved to Norgannon, becoming one of its top raiding guilds up until the end of Wrath of the Lich King when it moved servers and factions, and I didn't go along for the ride. I instead moved to Cenarion Circle, then Sisters of Elune. In all of this, my sense of community in the game has always been very heavily guild focused.

This means that when people talk about having developed a sense of server community via pugging Stratholme or Shadow Labyrinth back in the day, they're talking about a game I never played. When I was pugging in early BC, before I started raiding again, I was miserable dealing with non-guildmates who often wouldn't listen, demanded a tank with more AoE than a warrior, refused to CC or refused to do so on the targets I asked, and were otherwise often awful. This isn't to say I didn't have any good pick up groups in those days, but if I wanted to get anything done I often had to wait for guild groups. One of the reasons I heralded the advent of the Dungeon Finder was that instead of bothering my guildies so I could get some runs in, I just queued up. No more "LF Tank and 2 CC for Shattered Halls, Paladin tank preferred" or whatever the flavor of the month is. Not that we were running Shattered Halls anymore by that point, of course.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft's top 20 guild names

Top 20 guild names
Based on their database of 230,000 guilds, GuildOx has come up with the top 20 most popular guild names.

Interestingly there are no guild names that really run away with the list -- the most popular guild name only appears 62 times. One would have thought that there would have been names that'd appear hundreds of times, but according to the data that's not the case.

Also noteworthy is that none of the top names are offensive or jokes. This speaks well of the community at large. Here's GuildOx's results:

20. Prime -- 48
19. Requiem -- 49
18. Eclipse -- 50
17. Genesis -- 50
16. Exodus -- 50
15. Asylum -- 51
14. Defiance -- 51
13. Invictus -- 52
12. Relentless -- 52
11. Insidious -- 52

The rest of the list after the break!

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Filed under: Guilds, News items

Drama Mamas: Of flirtations and gquits

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

This week's letter writer is busted.
Dear Drama Mamas,

I recently had a bit of a blow-up with a guild I used to be in that's really making me feel kinda crappy about myself...and I'm not really sure if it wasn't my fault.

Okay, so I was a casual member (i.e, not a raider) in a raiding guild with a female GM who has an....admirer, I'll call him B. B is a core raider who flirts openly and rather explicitly at times with GM (also a raider) over guild chat. GM does nothing to encourage it, but nothing to discourage it either, and as far as I know she's already in a relationship, and she and B live in different parts of the country. She added me to Real ID so we chatted and still do from time to time - I have no romantic interest in her whatsoever since I'm already in a relationship.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Drama Mamas

25 man raiding and the tolling of the bell

It is time to kill 25 man raiding
I have primarily run in 25 man raiding for the entirety of Cataclysm, and I raided all through Wrath of the Lich King and even Burning Crusade in 25 man raids. 25 man raiding is where I have the most fun. I like it for a variety of reasons. I enjoy having a wider selection of classes and specs available, I generally feel like a larger raid makes a fight feel more dramatic, I dislike how empty some raids feel with a smaller group. To me, a 10 man feels like a UBRS run. These are all personal reasons, I accept that they're not universal. I also wasn't impressed the few times I went into 10 man raids this expansion - the fights always seemed much easier, we blew through bosses we struggled with on 25, clearing 10 with undergeared alts due to the extremely forgiving space mechanics of raids like Firelands and Dragon Soul on 10 man.

So please understand, I am not a partisan of 10 man raiding. I don't like 10 mans. I find that their elevation to the top form of raiding was destructive to the game, to guilds, and to raiding itself. But they are and have been for some time the primary way that people raid. I hate 10 man raids. But the time has come to accept that we have killed the 25 man raid in all but name. It's not a question of should they be removed. They effectively have been removed. You see a lot of debate on what can be done to save the 25 man raid, and the developers have addressed the issue repeatedly in the Reddit AMA and Best Buy Q&A. But you'll notice that they address the issue by acknowledging it and highlighting the issues facing 25 man raids (difficulty of logistics, higher churn rates, higher recruitment needs, difficulty of encounter movement) but that no solutions are forthcoming.

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Filed under: Guilds, Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The social aspect of WoW

The social aspect of WoW
I always remember sitting in Shattrath. Sometimes for hours, scrolling through trade, seeing the same messages over and over again. "LF1M Shadow Labyrinth, CC."

Every so often, the discussion comes back to how grouping tools are ruining World of Warcraft's social aspects. The arguments are usually the same, talking about how before the Dungeon Finder people had to have active guilds or set up groups via trade, how the servers had a sense of community, how you have to get out there and put groups together and make friends in order to play WoW, and how that's lost now. And whenever I see this argument, I remember sitting in Shattath, sometimes for hours, trying to get a group for Shadow Labyrinth.

People never really seem to remember those times when they're talking about this. Now, I've made a lot of friends in WoW over the years. Through server x-fers, through tiers of raiding, through old school days of dungeon running. I talk to a lot of these people to this day, and I've raided actively since the days of Molten Core. And yet, when people bemoan the tools that have been added to this game all I can remember is sitting in Shattrath, doing the "LFG Shadow Labyrinth" shuffle, looking at other people also looking for groups. Watching those groups demand that any new DPS have CC (warriors didn't) and that any new tank be an AoE god (warriors weren't) so they didn't have to use that CC they wanted you to have.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding

Paragon switching to 10 man raiding in Mists of Pandaria

Even the mightiest among us are not immune to the decline of 25 man raiding. Paragon, who you may remember as one of the world's leading 25 man raiding guilds, is switching to a 10 man raid with the release of Mists of Pandaria. Reasons given include raider burnout during Dragon Soul, difficulty of recruiting players to fill those gaps (and I can attest to that one in a general sense, even far less progression oriented 25 mans are struggling to recruit right now) and player schedules changing.

It should be interesting to see how Paragon does as a 10 man in Mists of Pandaria. Some guilds thrive after the switch, others rebuild and re-enter 25 mans. I personally can't help but think this is a symptom of the gradual erosion of 25 man raiding, myself, but we'll see.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Guilds, News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Mentor Guilds for EU and US realms announced

Back in July, Blizzard announced the Guild Mentoring Program, aimed at easing the process of connecting new players to guilds. Now, both the European and US servers have their initial mentoring guilds selected. These guilds will have their names temporarily changed to make finding them easier for new players, becoming Blizzard Mentor Horde or Blizzard Mentor Alliance for the duration of the program.

The Mentoring program is only available on the selected servers for now, so if you feel you're in need of mentor services, check the lists to see if they're available on your server. The program is specifically tailored for new and low level players to get an introduction to what being in a guild is all about, so if that's you, definitely check it out.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Mists of Pandaria

Limits on guild leveling and reputation removed in patch 5.0.4

Patch 504 guild experience and reputation changes ANY
Patch 5.0.4 appears to have made a major change to the way guilds level and the way characters earn guild reputation. The daily and weekly caps for guild leveling and guild reputation game have been removed entirely, allowing players to grind reputation and experience to their heart's content. With a Renowned Guild Tabard, my alt was gaining a whopping 367 guild reputation per quest turned in, making the grind to exalted a relatively quick one.

But there's more than just the cap removal. Apparently, the reputation and guild experience you gain is no longer limited by level, either -- which means that were I to make a new level 1 and slap on that tabard, I'd still be making 367 reputation per quest completed. Speaking of alts, my bank alt completed a couple of quests in Azshara just to test this theory. Not only did she get a sizeable reputation gain, but she also earned a whopping 60,000 guild experience per quest turned in.

This makes it much, much easier for guilds to level, whether you're part of a small friends and family guild or just wanting to level a guild for your bank alt. In either case, guilds should have a much easier time hitting level 25 before Mists officially launches in September.

[Thanks to Matt for the tip!]

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Guilds, Mists of Pandaria

Drama Mamas: The prodigal GM returns

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Actions. Consequences. Drama.
Hello Drama Mamas,

When I joined over two years ago, our 25-man raiding guild used a 2-headed GM system. Of course, only one had the guild controls, but they would pass things back and forth at times and had equal say in policy. Over a year ago, one of them, the creator of the guild left the game due to some heavy real life issues. Guild control was passed to the other, and another co-GM was assigned. We were told often that the old GM would be returning soon, but none of us ever heard from him.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Drama Mamas

Officers' Quarters: A closed guild opens its gates

Gates of Uldum
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.

This week's email presents an interesting case: The leaders of a guild that hasn't recruited anyone in four years want to open up its roster again. And one of them just might have stumbled on a brilliant recruiting pitch!

Dear Scott:

Recently I was promoted to a pseudo-Guild Lead (I have all the power but not the title). Not a Co-GL, a pseudo-GL. The founders of the guild are still keeping all of their power and titles of GL and Co-GL, but they aren't as active anymore and want the guild to go in a different direction. So below them and slightly to the left is me, the pseudo leader, trying to take the guild in this new direction while at the same time bring back a lot of our current members.

Now to explain. About mid Wrath a lot of the guild members transferred their mains to a different guild in hopes of getting better gear ... Things got worse early Cata. I'm not sure what it was like on other servers, but on my server and in randoms there was a lot of bullying and people just being mean. And I'm not talking about the everyday mean you can encounter online, I mean guild members were brought to tears because of the harassment and haven't played since. About 80% of the guild dropped off. I'll be honest, because of the harassment I faced, I haven't done a heroic or raid since.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Drama Mamas: Problem guildie vs. inassertive GM

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Brownie points to the person who can concoct a connection between the above video and this week's letter. I failed. I was just in the mood for the song.

Dear Drama Mamas,

I've been thinking of writing for some time, and have reached the tipping point. There is one obnoxious and rude guy in guild who ruins the fun for the overwhelming majority of the rest of us. He curses, bullies, and complains nearly constantly in guild chat in what has to be intentionally improper English (since still spells his class incorrectly after years of playing), and yells loud obscenities in vent if he doesn't win a drop. He shows a lack of respect for everyone (and our time) by coming to raids woefully unprepared (like tanking in an alt group without an offspec so he has to be MT, without gems or enchants and improperly specced, while not knowing what he needs to do in his new role and not knowing his own abilities) and causing us to spend hours on wipes and not be able to complete the run. The GM is stuck in a place where she's damned if she does and damned if she doesn't, because if he doesn't come he makes things even more miserable for everyone. No one is sure why she puts up with him, because he's been rude and very inappropriate to her as well.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Guildie vs. guildie at the Auction House

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

I don't think we've had Auction House drama before. How delicious interesting.
Hello ladies

I have played WoW on and off since vanilla, but I always seem to return at the tail end of an expansion. I came back this time 3 months ago and decided to start fresh- new server, new faction, new toons. I have alot to prepare for the release of MoP like this but I thought I was doing pretty well.

I joined a really great guild who has an unwritten rule that we don't undercut others on the AH, and alot of the members go as far as waiting until others have sold their items before listing the same thing. As such we're all pretty open with our gold making 'secrets' with each other.

I have a friend who, like me, has two gathering professions on his main, which are also the same as mine. He was complaining that nothing was selling well anymore this late in Cata, so I shared with him a few of the things I gather and sell, my main money maker was something I specifically told him sells a little slow but does sell, so don't get carried away putting too much on the AH at once. Very quickly I found he was flooding the AH with what I suggested to him, undercutting me by 10-20g each time and soon enough things were selling for less than half of what they were before. I pointed out to him, again, he does not need to flood and undercut so much, but he did not listen.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Economy, Drama Mamas

Officers' Quarters: 9 warning signs that your raid leader is bad

A raid wipes to the Lich King
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.

A good raid leader is the heart and soul of a successful raiding guild. Guilds have been made and broken by these stalwart, savvy, and thick-skinned individuals. A great raid leader is a truly special asset that all guilds seek but few are lucky enough to find.

The rest have to settle for whomever is willing. Unfortunately, while willingness can be difficult to find in and of itself, the role requires so much more than that. Those who fail at it often do so in spectacular fashion. Others are less obvious in their failure, and their raiders suffer for years as a result. How can you tell your raid leader isn't managing the job very well? Read on.

(Also, before I start the list, I want to note that every single item here is drawn from a real example. I've either experienced it personally or I've read about it in emails from you. This column was actually inspired by an email from RBG Leader. Thanks!)

1. Your raid leader is quiet in Vent. A raid leader needs to be the most vocal person on a raid team. He or she has to coordinate mechanics, explain guild-specific strategies, call out for cooldowns and battle rezzes, warn the raid of impending special abilities, get on people's case when they're consistently messing up the same thing, announce breaks, request suggestions, etc., etc., etc. It's not a role for the shy.

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Filed under: Guilds, Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

What is the future of cross-realm play?

I have way more friends than I have any right to, really. Considering my personality is just shy of misanthropic and I look like I was trapped in a cave for 10 years, the fact that I seem to make friends in World of Warcraft surprises me. But I do, and there lies the issue: My friends are everywhere. They're on Malfurion, Cenarion Circle, Norgannon, Sisters of Elune, Zul'jin and now Ner'zhul. I still have characters on Dark Iron to chat with friends there.

The advent of Real ID, allowing me to group with these disparate friends, has made my life in game a lot smoother overall. Why, just last night I convinced Anne over on CC to log on an alt long enough for me to go inside Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj and punch everything in the face. Just because. I had no reason; there were bugs with unpunched faces, and it was bothering me.

Recently, I've noticed a spate of discussion on low-pop realms. Low-population realms have been one of the most enduring problems World of Warcraft has had in its years of operation, so much so that recently it's been announced that Mists of Pandaria will include a new feature allowing certain zones to exist across several realms for ease of grouping and questing. The cross-realm zone concept is as much to help with the shortage of low-level characters in general (most of a realm's population is often at or near the level cap at any given time) as it is to help low-pop realms, but it's still a step in the right direction for them.

With Real ID and now Battletags allowing for cross-realm raiding and the implementation of entire zones across several realms, I find myself wondering if the future of World of Warcraft will see a radical shift in how we think of the realm and how it is used. We already can randomly group with players on many realms for dungeons, Battlegrounds and the Raid Finder. We can group across realms with our friends for dungeons, PvP or raiding, as well. We're about to be able to meet players from other realms as we level. What's next?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: Never say disband

Ruin's raid team beats Blackhorn
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.

Guilds fall apart. It happens so frequently these days that we take it as a matter of course. They can also be rebuilt, if there's a member intent on reviving them -- but is that always the wisest course of action? This week, one guild leader who refuses to disband is wondering what to do next.

Greetings, Scott!

Here's the TL;DR version: Raid Finder killed my guild. I want to resurrect it.

Here's the Paul Harvey version: A friend and I founded a guild at the outset of Burning Crusade. Our intent was to offer a place for mature people with real lives to be able to experience the raid content that at the time was mostly the domain of the hardcore players. We wanted to be serious about raiding, but more casual about attendance. ... We were never the top guild on our server, but we were fairly successful throughout Burning Crusade.

Wrath of the Lich King threw a monkey wrench into our works. It wasn't easy in BC to keep forming 25 man raids, but at least we always knew where the bar was. WotLK's split 10 and 25 man raids gave us a very tough decision to make every time we couldn't fill out a 25 man raid.

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Filed under: Guilds, Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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