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Filed under: Guilds

Officers' Quarters: When friends switch games

The city of Lion's Arch in Guild Wars 2
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.

WoW has been around for a lot of years, and in that time the game has seen the release of many MMOs hoping to compete with it. When The Old Republic released this past winter, my guild lost a few people. I'm sure we weren't alone in that.

With other big MMO releases such as Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World around the corner, WoW guilds are likely to experience more losses this year. This week, one officer has it worst than most: His guild leader and most of his friends plan to leave for Guild Wars 2 when it comes out. (We'll forgive the fact that he's writing about an Old Republic guild.)

Greetings,

Despite not playing WoW for the past year I do follow your column in the hopes that the advice you offer could be transferred to our SWTOR guild ... My question is: how do you deal with the potential loss of a guild?

... Myself and my guild transferred over to Star Wars: The Old Republic and have stayed there ever since ... Our guild has grown to second on the republic side in terms of server progress, with several server firsts and we have a strong and active community of around 19 people who log in every day (mostly). That was until tonight when a metaphorical bombshell was dumped on me which has made me question whether I want to stay or not.

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

Drama Mamas: The case of the needy guildies

Female pandaren begging Image
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.

Welcome to this week's episode, in which Lisa compares me to baked goods. I think I'm more like a Disney villain, but benevolent. You be the judge.
Dear Drama Mamas

I'm the new gm of a social guild. As such we find that we get a lot of players who are new to the game entirely. We try and help the out but lately we have a number of new people who seem to be taking the "we are happy to help" and running it for all it's worth.

I'm a firm believer is looking for the solution yourself and then asking if you don't find anything. Particularly with resources like wowhead, noxxix, wow insider and blogs for every other thing you could ever hope for.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Drama Mamas

Raiding: Weighing the benefits of 25-man raids vs. 10-man raids

25s 10s raiding graph
According to Wowtrack.com, the number of 25-man raiding guilds is several orders of magnitude smaller than the number of 10-man raiding guilds. Why is Blizzard spending so much effort balancing both the 10- and 25-man raid formats when the 25-man raiding community contains an incredibly low percentage of the raiding population?

Blizzard Community Manager Zarhym recently posted this on a forum thread about the subject:

Zarhym
We'll continue making adjustments as necessary to keep 10- and 25-player raids within a relative alignment, in terms of time investment, difficulty and rewards. It may never be perfect, but we still see interest in both raid sizes for different reasons. And ultimately we'll continue designing 25-player raids as long as there are a decent number of guilds interested in the format. We've seen no evidence as of yet that such interest is waning to any degree that should cause us great concern.

We tend to begin raid design around 25 players anyway before tuning for the various sizes and difficulties. That, when combined with our intent to carry on with 25-player Raid Finder group sizes, makes it very much worth our time to continue designing 25-player raids.

Regardless of what players' personal preferences or opinions are regarding the varied raid formats in World of Warcraft, we don't see removing options as a smart choice in the foreseeable future.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding

This Too Shall Pass: Balance and imbalance in World of Warcraft

Image
First off, we know that game balance is an eternal goal. As the game evolves and becomes more complex (as it does every expansion, because new abilities are introduced and new classes or races make their debut), balancing them all for every role they can fill and every aspect of the game (Arena PvP, BGs, 5-man instances, raiding) becomes ever more complicated. Abilities that seem minor in impact can mushroom in importance due to synergy with other talents or abilities. As an example, Vengeance in PvP became important enough to cause it to be turned off, as gear improved and health pools rose.

This has been the case in World of Warcraft since its debut. Heck, thanks to Indalamar, warriors got nerfed before the game went live. Balance is ephemeral. Your class may be on top one day, but your day will end. Anyone who's tanked for the past six years can attest to the roller coaster of which class is best at which aspect of the role. There was a time where paladins were the undisputed kings of AoE tanking, a time before Death and Decay or Blood and Thunder.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, PvP, Raiding, Hotfixes

Is it time for daily guild XP limits to be removed?

Is your guild level 25? Surprise, most guilds are -- or at least most guilds that have been up and running since the first days of Cataclysm are. The higher-end guilds or guilds with plenty of members pushed the leveling cap every week and managed to hit level 25 in a fairly short amount of time. Others with plenty of members followed soon after. In fact, as long as your guildmates were running dungeons on a daily basis and maybe indulging in some PvP or raiding, it was pretty easy to hit that daily cap.

However, there are plenty of guilds out there that were established later in the expansion, guilds with fewer members. And those members may be awfully tired of running the same heroics over and over by this point. At the beginning of the expansion, running those instances was all well and good -- they were new, interesting, and perhaps most importantly, they contained gear upgrades for just about anyone. However, we're at the end of the expansion. Most people have seen the heroics far too many times to count, not everyone is raiding, and there's a lot less activity from players in general. It's typical for that end-of-expansion lull to occur.

But when you're trying to get a guild to level 25, it's awfully hard to do when there's a daily XP limit in place. Is it perhaps time to remove the daily cap and let guilds level as they will?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds

WoW guild master apparently a really good qualification for running Best Buy

Normally, when electronics retailer Best Buy chooses a new executive vice president and president for Best Buy Digital and Global Business Services, WoW Insider doesn't cover the event. Still, one little tidbit in the Best Buy press release announcing the promotion of Stephen Gillett caught our eagle eyes:

Gillett, an avid gamer, is widely considered one of the most innovative Guild Masters in World of Warcraft, the massive multi-player online role-playing game where millions of gamers enter a virtual world creating guilds, engaging socially, questing and celebrating achievements.

I'm not sure I've ever heard of the guild that Gillett leads, but it's probably a really awesome one. And I bet that Lisa Poisso will be grabbing him for a 15 Minutes of Fame column soon. Still, it's cool to see a press release actually treat World of Warcraft as something to be proud of, rather than a really embarrassing thing you have to hide from your date because you're afraid she'll think you're a nerd.

Filed under: Guilds, News items

Guilds recruiting this week

Looking to find those special someones to shack up with each night and go kill a giant internet dragon? Can't find enough warlocks to DI every shadow priest you have? Then you've come to the right place!

Welcome to the return of our weekly guild recruitment post. Every Friday, we'll bring you listings we've been sent, even featuring a couple guild's websites right here on our front page. Hopefully this will turn into a great resource to help guilds and guildies connect to go kill some dragons and elemental lords.

Knights of Tranquility
http://kotguild.shivtr.com
Recruiting Mage, shadow priest, warlock, arms warrior, death knight tank
More information Our guild, Knights of Tranquility, is a tight knit group of laid back, fun, sociable older people (30+ years old) who like to progress and see new content, but we strongly believe in the social aspects of raiding, and WoW-life balance. We have a good sense of humor and are respectful of other people's values and beliefs. We place a high value on the individual worth and contributions of our guild members, and pride ourselves on putting enjoyment of each others company over loot/achievements. We have some sort of guild activity going on every day, and each night guild members will be sitting on Vent chatting with each other and having a good time. We have a Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday raid schedule, between 7:30-10:30 p.m. PST. We are a level 25 guild who has currently gotten down 1/8 Heroic Dragon Soul. Our guild has been around for six years, so we have a long history of mature raiding.

Conquest
http://www.cqgaming.com
Recruiting: Resto and Balance Druids, Holy Paladin, Hunter, All Priests, Mage, Warlock
More Information: Conquest is a 25 man Alliance World of Warcraft raiding guild on US-Ner'zhul. We're currently at 3/8 hard mode and are close to pushing heroic modes. We formed at the end of Burning Crusade and are one of the oldest and most stable guilds on the server.

If you'd like to see your guild in here next week, just copy and paste the following info (along with your specifics, of course) to adam@wowinsider.com or leave it in the comments:

Guild Name: The name of your guilds, we won't publish racist or R rated names, so don't be that guy.
Guild Website: Give everyone a link! If you've got no website, just leave it blank.
Recruiting: Tell us what classes and specs you're looking for.
About: Give everyone a short (250 character or less) blurb about your guild. Again, no racist or R rated material will be published.

Onward for this week's list of guilds, collected from Twitter and Facebook.

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Filed under: Guilds

What type of loot system works the best?

Loot drama is most often the biggest and juiciest type of drama. Lots of different guilds handle loot distribution differently, though most either do need/greed rolls or use master looter paired with some sort of external system. Sigtyr on the official forums brings up the loot council method, where a few individuals in the know get to decide who gets what piece. Sigtyr certainly feels that, despite objections from the peanut gallery, this system works the best for his group.

This discussion raises a good question: Is there such a thing as the "best loot distribution model"? When Star Wars: The Old Republic launched, Bioware seemed to have gotten a whiff of loot drama in games like WoW and even EverQuest (where anyone could loot anything, anywhere), devising a new system that is in use in its normal-mode operations (the SWTOR equivalent of a raid). There, most loot is auto-assigned based on class and spec. Personally, I've found that model to be frustrating because, among other things, it doesn't select against someone's receiving the same piece over and over again. Overall, I think that system fails because it takes the option away from the players and makes gearing up through operations as frustrating as needing on a piece of gear in the Raid Finder.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding

How do you keep your guild busy during the pre-expansion lull?

It's become something of a cycle over the years: An expansion is released, servers are glutted with players eagerly devouring content. As the expansion goes on, patches are released with more new content to play. But eventually, all good things must come to an end -- and when the last patch of an expansion is released, guild leaders have to contend with players who get ... well, flat-out bored, really. With nothing left to look forward to until the next expansion is released, it's hard to keep a guild entertained.

As far as my guild goes, we keep ourselves amused by going back and completing old achievements or clearing old content. Any raid mounts that we may have missed along the way are picked up for all. In between that, people run old-world raids on off nights for transmogrification gear and other achievements. But in every guild I've been in, there's always a lull at the end of expansions. Once you've beaten that final boss and dinged that last achievement, what do you do to keep your guild entertained when the expansion is drawing to a close?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds

If WoW is social media, what function do guilds serve?

Wil Wheaton and the rest of the Axis of Anarchy from The Guild
In my time playing WoW, I've been in a lot of guilds. I've played in guilds that were fighting for the realm-first heroic progression spot and others that were content at realm 15th. I've been a part of the Reddit guild families, which are so large that they need a chat mod to link the multiple guilds for all their members. I've also been in guilds like my current one that have a grand total of 15 people as members.

The World of Warcraft guild experience is as wide and varied as the players who play this game. I'm an unabashed guild-hopper who wants very specific things from a guild and is willing to leave if they don't happen. Other players are loyalists, who find one guild and form lasting bonds that keep them playing with the same group of friends for their entire WoW experience.

Is WoW social media?

Cynwise at Cynwise's Battlefield Manual wrote a post last month about the fact that World of Warcraft is a form of social media. There's no denying that fact: The entire MMORPG genre is based on the idea that you are playing a game with other human beings, not just facing off against the computer as in the genre's predecessors. In fact, I'd go even further and suggest that in many ways, WoW has potential to be an ideal form of social media.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds

Drama Mamas: Choosing between preferred class and raid leader

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.

Happy Presidents' Day, if you are in the United States! Otherwise, happy Monday.

We are getting in letters for an all-new results edition of Drama Mamas, but we could still use some more. If you have written the Drama Mamas and we have answered you in print, please send us an email at robin@wowinsider.com. We will compile the responses in a future column, once we get enough of them.
What's up Drama Mamas?!

Today I come with a problem of sorts... I'm part of this guild where we were all pretty close and get along great, we have been that way throughout cataclysm and I feel sorta connected to these folks.

Now about a month or so ago a few of our core raid members that were originally on the team I was part of quit the game. That caused a rift in our guild and the leader of our second raid team stepped up to the plate and now leads our core group (as well as the guild but that's a different story). While we were trying to figure out who makes the cut for our first raid group we held try outs of sorts and in the group was myself and the rogue from the second group (we both play rogues so we needed to see who got the spot). Well I was beaten by the rogue of the second group by a slim margin so the leader decided to take him on as a regular.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Drama Mamas

Breakfast Topic: How and why did you leave your previous guild?

Guild gathering
I have no hard data, but my guess is that guild hopping has greatly decreased since the advent of guild reputation and perks. If you're going to leave a max-level guild that you are at least friendly with, you usually have a really good reason. In fact, I think many people stay in guilds far too long just because of the time investment in gathering reputation.

But guild levels haven't always been around, and many people who played before Cataclysm guild hopped. I've never been one for bopping from guild to guild. I like to get comfy in a guild and stick with it. Taking time to properly choose your guild helps, but sometimes guilds devolve into places you don't want to be. I've been rather lucky. Of course, the WoW Insider family of guilds is my main home, and it's a rather wonderful place to be.

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Filed under: Guilds, Breakfast Topics

I am a killer of guilds

I have a confession to make: I'm a guild killer.

I don't do it deliberately, I swear. See, back in vanilla, my raid guild lost pretty much all of its officers to EverQuest II right around the time Ahn'Qiraj-40 was coming into play. So the officers who were left (and the new guild leader) decided I should also be an officer -- and I agreed, which was probably the worst decision I've made in my life. Two weeks later, the guild was belly up and I was off trying out a roleplaying server for the first time, since I now had loads of free time to play an alt.

I figured it was simply the lack of leadership experience that had ultimately killed the old guild. The officers who had been promoted weren't really officer material, myself wholeheartedly included. After losing most of our officer corps, the wind had gone right out of the guild's sails, so to speak.

But see ... the trait of guild killing followed me after that. I couldn't help it. And I began to wonder if maybe I am just a terrible, terrible choice for an officer.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds

Drama Mamas: How to find gaming buddies

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.

We've talked before about how to leave your guild, but what happens after that?
Hey Drama Mamas!

Today i write to you lovely ladies with a problem that I have been wrestling with for almost 4 years: finding someone to play World of Warcraft with. Here is the high and low of it, or rather the long and short:

Four or so years ago my brother starts playing a game that I considered to be a money sand trap: World of Warcraft, I cannot honestly say I was friendly to the franchise as at the time I was Neverwinter Night's personal slave (still am sometimes) but to make a long story short (too late) I was persuaded to take a vacation to Azeroth and I have never left. I fell in love with the planet and its people and while my hearth stone will always be set to Neverwinter, I am really enjoying my time in Azeroth.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Drama Mamas

Guild champions volunteer spirit beyond the borders of Azeroth

Evening of Giving
From Olympic medalists and Hollywood actors to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? Where World of Warcraft and cool ideas and people meet, you'll find players who deserve 15 Minutes of Fame.

Noble knights in shining armor are a dime (a silver?) a dozen Alliance-side in World of Warcraft. Where you find one or more Alliance roleplayers, you'll find a veritable solar flare of the Light. In most cases, however, the buck (or the Light, as it may) stops right here at the boundary between Azeroth and Earth. But in one longstanding Moon Guard (US) guild, the Light spills forth into all corners of members' lives. The Bearers of Light's noble guild foundation rests on charity, both in game and out. Moving beyond regular newbie zone assistance events, the guild recently embarked upon a real-world community challenge that's racking up life-changing results.

Since its inception in the classic WoW era, this guild force for good seems to be filling an apparently unique niche among Azerothian guilds. Back in 2009, WoW Insider's David Bowers (then author of our roleplaying column) wrote about discovering the guild with his own character: "The guild I eventually chose is called The Bearers of Light on the Moon Guard server, and I chose it because its members pledge to be kind to others. It was the first and only guild I've ever seen in World of Warcraft that is explicitly founded around the spirit of benevolence and charity. I felt that it was a perfect match for me personally -- if you've seen movies like Pay It Forward or read about ideas such as random kindness and senseless acts of beauty, then you will have seen the kind of impact this theme can have on a group of people. Once kindness itself is a goal, it makes life so much more livable."

Looking for inspiration to start your new year off on the right foot? Look no further than The Bearers of Light.

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Filed under: Guilds, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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