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Posts with tag guild-alliances

Officers' Quarters: Forging alliances for Mythic raiding

Weaponized Gronn
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.

In the wake of Blizzard's announcement that Mythic raiding would only support 20-player raids, 10-player Heroic guilds have been left wondering how they will adjust. This week, one guild member wants to know how to manage a successful alliance with another 10-player raiding guild.

Hi Scott,

I'm a member of a small 10-man heroic raiding guild. We have been worried about the changes to raiding that are coming in Warlords of Draenor, since we are a very close-knit guild of friends. Most of us have been raiding together since early Wrath. We haven't been looking forward to recruiting 10+ more people, so we were thinking of resigning ourselves to running the new Heroic (current Normal) content and hoping not to get bored or lose too many members to other guilds.

We recently received the offer of a guild alliance from another 10-man heroic guild on our server.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: One realm's solution to low population

Low population realm's shrine area
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.

Low population realms have been a problem in WoW as far back as 2007 and they continue to be. Blizzard has opted not to merge realms like other aging MMO's have done. For a long time, players asked for these mergers. They've watched their already low-pop realms bleed more players because of the population problem, making the issue worse and worse.

Recently, Blizzard unveiled their solution this ongoing issue: virtual realms. Potentially slated to arrive in patch 5.4, virtual realms could be the answer that we've been waiting for. In the meantime, however, one low-pop realm has taken matters into their own hands by organizing their guilds and creating a better experience. They call it the Kargath Guild Council on Kargath-US.

I had the pleasure of interviewing two of the minds behind the KGC -- Battlevixen, officer of Bloodsworn, and Merciful, guild leader of The Iron Fist -- about why they founded the council and the challenges they've faced along the way.

What was your realm like prior to the formation of the KGC?

Battlevixen: Prior to KGC, Kargath suffered from attendance issues that did not allow a lot of guilds and groups to raid. We had a lot of smaller guilds/groups that could not fill a 10man roster. Very few players were able to even pug because of this. There was also almost no communication between all the various guilds. Each guild kept to themselves for the most part.

Merciful: In addition to people who just stopped playing WoW, we were losing good players to other realms. The notion is that Kargath is a dying realm, and once that takes root in people's minds, they self-select themselves off the realm.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Rebuilding your roster

orgrimmar's gates under construction
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 now from No Starch Press.

If there's one phrase that drives sports fans crazy, it's "rebuilding year." In sports, a rebuilding year is one in which expectations for the team are low, either because the team traded away aging veterans, gave starting positions to young and inexperienced players, or both. But sports fans are an impatient bunch. We don't want rebuilding years -- we want championships. Thus, teams do everything they can to deny that they are, in fact, rebuilding.

The same is true for guilds. Potential recruits don't want to hear about rebuilding -- they want to join an established organization in its prime. Thus, when your guild is in that starting-over situation, it can be very difficult to dig yourself out of the hole.

For some reason, I've received three emails about this topic over the past two weeks, so I figured I'd feature one of those emails here. I chose the one that bounced my message back when I tried to reply to it, so at least that person will know I did respond!
Dear Scott and the Officer's Quarters,

I am writing to ask for some perspective on the current state of my guild and the actions I could take to turn things around. I am the GM of a small guild on one of the older, more established WoW servers. I am told this server has been around since the early days of vanilla WoW.

As with any established server in any game, cliques are formed, reputation is king, and small guilds have a hard time flourishing when three quarters of the active player base belong to one of a few monster guilds. Our server has both monster progression guilds that field multiple 10-man raid groups in addition to 25-man groups as well as the Mega-store bargain perks blowout guilds that give every member the ability to invite new members with no real guidelines for membership.

My humble guild began as a way for a few real life friends to play together. Raiding, progression, and consistency were never a big deal for us toward the end of Wrath. Once Cataclysm came along with guild levels and the perks associated with them, our roster of casual and fun people plummeted. Some left the game completely because they were accustomed to blowing through the Wrath content without any difficulty. Others were deployed with their military units to the ends of the earth to fight real life wars. At this point we are left with the few real life friends in addition to a mere one or two other active members.

Enough of the back-story, now it is time for the point of my email:

How can a weak-roster guild survive amongst the concrete establishments of the dominant guilds? What can I do to find new members who could be beneficial to the guild and our goals of breaking into raiding without having to beg?

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: The perils of guild mergers

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 now from No Starch Press.

With many guilds struggling to keep viable rosters, officers are left with few solutions. The first is of course recruiting players. However, finding those quality members can be a long, difficult road, fraught with setbacks and frustration. For some guilds, a better option can be forming an alliance or outright merging with another like-minded community. This week, one officer wants to know how to manage it -- and how to keep a few negative nancies from spoiling the endeavor.
Another similar guild on the server is about to merge into our guild. [. . .]Short background: both guilds have two 10 man teams: A progression and casual/alt team. We're going to keep the same teams intact for the most part (with minor shuffling for integration) [. . .]. Moreover, the alt/casual C Team will have a bigger pool to draw from for the easy/entry level stuff.

Officer structure will largely stay the same – we have a GM, raid leader & heal officer (me) / they have mostly the same but with an extra pair of officers.

So, aside from those details we grouped the officers from both sides into Vent last night and had a chat about the above and general future.

Personally, I'm excited. I think new blood will refresh the guild and the personalities are already so similar that I don't foresee any problems.

That was until we hit our guild forums.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Pre-expansion doldrums

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 this spring from No Starch Press.

On most servers, guilds experience a severe lull in interest and activity prior to the release of an expansion. Players get sick of the old content. They achieve the goals they care about. Then they do other things with their free time until the next expansion gives them new goals to achieve and new content to conquer.

These pre-expansion doldrums hit guilds pretty hard during the long wait for The Burning Crusade, especially considering that many raid teams were unable (or unwilling) to progress into AQ40 or vanilla Naxx. The situation grew so dire while players were awaiting Wrath that poaching -- despite its stigma -- became rampant (so much so that I had to rant about it).

Now we are facing the same situation again while waiting for Cataclysm. One guild leader is reaching out for advice on how to recruit in this environment.

Hello, I am writing in hopes that this could be answered in an upcoming Officers Quarters feature.

I am an officer in a small, semi-casual raiding guild. We exclusively do 10-man content; we lucked into having a group of players that enjoy raiding, but not the "cat herding" required for the larger 25-man raids. I use the term
casual loosely; we're (mostly) serious raiders, we just don't have attendance requirements for raids nor a complex looting system. We've had relatively steady raid progression thus far, where we're working on a few (normal mode) encounters in the upper spire of Icecrown Citadel. In short, we feel that the 10-player difficulty was designed for our level of play, and enjoy the challenge that it provides.

Unfortunately, we've also run into the problem of some serious guild attrition.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership) Guest Post: What Cataclysm might mean for guild alliances

In this installment of's ongoing guest post program, we welcome Nico Deyo. Nico is a sometimes mage blogger and all-around nice gal who writes at Empowered Fire.

It's no secret that Blizzard is going to be changing the face of guilds in Cataclysm with guild talents, perks from being a collective entity, and rewards for using their new tools. While this benefits the majority of groups, what about those who have created something outside of the standard? They might not be a large chunk of the WoW playing population, but for the people who raid and socialize differently than the average player, the systems raise some new and troubling questions. Blizzard's particular idea of a guild is becoming the predominant social unit in Cataclysm, and those who don't fit into it might be all but left in the dust when it comes to new mechanics and rewards.

So who doesn't fit? I'm talking about two groups, mostly -- guild collectives/coalitions (several guilds who have banded together for a common purpose) or raid alliances (a very specific coalition or mixed group of people formed into a team for content). Both are two structures that have emerged socially and pragmatically to fill gaps that the traditional guild structures of yore haven't met.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Drama Mamas: Too many cooks in the kitchen

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Meet the drama llama: the attention-starved, manipulative player who seems to get more of a charge from being immersed in emotionally charged social situations than from actually playing WoW. They're the ones responsible for creating friction in your raids, fanning flame wars on your forums and running guildmates out of Vent, right?

Not always.

Oh sure, drama llamas take top billing in many an online drama, starring in guild breakups and social meltdowns all over the globe. But the Drama Mamas see just as much drama generated by well-meaning players who take it upon themselves to "fix" unsavory situations -- when far be it from their place to do so. The heat feels hottest when there are too many cooks in the kitchen ...

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Guild Achievements may be incoming to WoW in the future

For those of you who group, raid, and otherwise hang out with your guild, here's some pretty cool news for you. Tigole has said over on the Beta Suggestion Forms that the dev team is very interested in the idea of guild achievements, and does plan to visit them in the future.

It's a small tidbit, but it's enough to get the old wheels turning. The most obvious achievements will probably revolve around dungeons and raids. Get X% of your guild through a certain dungeon, perhaps, or finish the dungeon in an all-guild group. We might also see accomplishments for getting a certain amount of guild members their tier sets or legendary weapons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items, Expansions, Raiding, Achievements

Guild alliances in the UI

Violet_helix asks a good question over on WoW Ladies LJ -- is there a way in the official UI to form up guild alliances. And unfortunately, as the commenters answer her, there is not. Guilds who want to raid together just have to kind of do it.

The only little workaround that is available, of course, is the chat channels -- those can be created and even moderated in an ad-hoc way (though I believe that they can't be given permanent moderators, which means that if someone leaves the channel, they could lose moderation privledges). But even if a guild alliance is able to keep up a chat channel and keep it moderated, they can't do things like leave a message of the day, or store ingame information on guilds or members as regular guilds can. There is an addon called Guild Alliance that will do lots of that stuff, but there's nothing official.

Should there be an ingame UI for creating alliances? We've been promised more backend guild-based content (like guild battlegrounds and even guild housing), and if Blizzard does choose to heavily update the guild system, there could be a lot of benefit to guilds aligning. Not to mention with the 10/25 main raiding split in the expansion, it's not unexpected that we'll have smaller guilds who join up with each other for the big raids rather than huge guilds with big raiding teams. On the other hand, the practice isn't so widespread at this point -- there may not be enough alliances out there to start officially recognizing them within the game world anyway.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding

Officers' Quarters: My pre-Wrath rant

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Bleak is the word I would use to describe the current situation for raiding guilds. For many guilds, activity and recruitment are at all-time lows. It's becoming harder and harder to cobble together enough people to run anything these days. Must we simply endure? Is there no hope for us until Wrath launches? Will we officers respond to this crisis with moral fortitude -- or weakness? Will I actually use boldface to call out our officer community on their behavior? Find out after the break! But first, the author of this week's e-mail relates his own guild's experiences.

Hi Scott,

My name is Dmitry. [My guild is] a casual raiding guild made up mostly of people over 20, who either go to school, or work, or both, many of whom have kids. This is all taken into account and we have a very strong RL-before-WoW stance.

Unfortunately the past month or two has been really hard for us. Our MT was gone for 3 weeks because of a new job, lots of people went on vacation because of the summer, others stopped playing as much to spend more time with their kids, etc. After having guild firsts on Mag, Hydross, and Lurker in 3 weeks in June our guild has started to go backwards, having trouble taking down Gruul some nights.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Broken alliances

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

No, this column isn't about one of the most annoying Horde-side quests ever. Seriously, who actually goes back to Badlands -- the farthest possible point in Azeroth away from any Horde zeppelin or portal -- at level 50 to do this one stupid quest with subpar rewards? Does any quest in the game out-level its zone more than this one? OK, so maybe the beginning of this column was about that quest. The rest of it, however, is going to be about ending your alliance with another guild, because that's what this week's e-mail is asking about.

Hello Scott:

Your Officers' Quarters: Dark pacts [columns] helped our guild a lot. I am an officer of an progressing casual guild. We currently have enough signups that we no longer need an alliance. The alliance guild helped us somewhat in progressing so it's hard to tell them to simply go away since we have enough guild members to fill the raid.

My question is how should we approach the alliance guild to peacefully break the alliance and make most if not all the people happy?



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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: "Cheating" on your guild

A little while back, we got an email from one of our readers named Sam asking about why WoW players are so guild-oriented when it comes to raiding and grouping, whereas his friend who plays FFXI switches groups depending on days, or sometimes even times of the day. Now, having come from EQ, and spending time in many other MMOs, I can honestly say that WoW isn't terribly unique in that many people tend to stay loyal to their core group. In City of Heroes, I was very much involved with my SuperGroup, and still stay in touch with some of the folks I got to know there. (The ones who didn't come to WoW anyway...) In EVE, double-crossing your Corp can get you in deep trouble.

That said, I don't know that I totally agree with Sam. Having spent time in EQ, you did not generally go outside of your guild at any time for raiding, unless you were looking to join another -- or get punted from your current one if they caught wind of it. In WoW, I've seen guild alliances and even open-to-all alt runs posted on the forums featuring members from many established guilds. But I know that there have been days when I dreaded another PUG due to horrendous tactics and playing. Bad PUGs are the fastest way to get me turn to only running with my guild for a little while.

On the other hand, I know many small guilds don't necessarily like folks running with other guilds because they are concerned that their members are going to be poached by larger guilds. But for every single one of these types of insular guilds, there is another that is part of a raiding alliance, with their members mingling freely with other guilds.

What do you think? Do you, like Sam, wonder why people are so utterly devoted to playing and raiding with only their guild? Or do you also see the alt runs and PUGs and think that there's a nice balance in WoW of being able to play with your guild as well as with other people? Does your guild have a policy of "don't run with any other guild" or are you in one of the many different guilds that actually has a raiding and grouping alliance?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Features

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