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Posts with tag poaching

Officers' Quarters: 6 tips for officers on soon-to-be-connected realms

Officers' Quarters 6 tips for officers on soontobeconnected realms MONDAY
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.

Blizzard began the process of connecting realms a few weeks ago. After two successful connections, Blizzard is finally picking up the pace. Last week, they announced six more pairs that will soon become one. For officers, the weeks before and after a realm connection will be a crucial time. Here are some tips to put your guild in the best possible position within your newly forged community.

1. Don't wait for the connection.

If you intend to recruit from the new population, the time to do so is right after the connection is announced. Players who are looking for guilds on the combined realms will start shopping around immediately. The guilds who are proactive in this phase are more likely to land those players.

Visit the other realm's forums and say hi. You can post a recruiting announcement there, certainly, but you can do more than that. Introduce yourself. Ask questions about the realm you'll be connecting to and get to know the players there. Strike up conversations and become someone that forum users not only recognize, but like and respect. They will be far more likely to consider joining your guild when the time comes if they already know that an officer in the guild is a decent human being.

You can take that one step further and roll an alt on the other realm prior to the connection. There's no better way to get to know a new realm than to play on it and meet the players there "in person."

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Charter pirates

A pirate fires cannons
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.

I never thought I'd be writing an OQ column about intellectual property, but here we are:

Hi Scott,

I'll make this short and to the point, because I'm honestly at the end of my rope with just how disrespectful, inconsiderate, and shady some folks who play this game are.

Without going into too much detail, we removed some folks from our guild a few weeks ago; they tried to poach our members and couldn't, so they ended up stealing our charter instead.

I found out because I noticed them advertising in trade chat, so I scoped their website out. Lo and behold, there were MY words I worked so dutifully on, for many hours, over the course of a few weeks, with my co-GM and other officers. This charter was the result of almost a year's worth of questions, concerns, comments, and experiences we all have shared since forming our guild, and to see another guild just blatantly rip it off was infuriating.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: All star team

All the faction leaders
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.

This week, a raid leader faces a difficult decision: stay with his current guild or join the hottest raid team on the realm. (FYI, this email is from mid November so adjust your progression expectations accordingly.)

Hello, I am in a conundrum and require some help.

I am a Raid Leader for a guild, and have been since early Dragon Soul for this guild (2 years in total). our team has always gotten content down, just took a long while to due so, usually to low numbers and unskilled players and poor attendance. We have been progressing through Mogu'Shan Vaults and Heart of Fear with some pace, just getting Zor'lok and Will of the Emperor this Thursday on Normal. Now i am one to play to the utmost caliber, pushing the limits of my class (Blood DK) with both mitigation and damage, even ranking on all bosses killed aside from Elegon.

Now here's where my issue is, a guild on the server that was just recently formed and stomped 6/6 MSV and 4/6 HoF in 1 week has asked me to tank for them.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: How to avoid the feeder guild label

A fern feeder moth in Grizzly Hills
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.

No community wants to be known as a feeder guild. No raid team wants to see its best members leave for more progressed guilds when they have the opportunity. No guild leader wants to fall victim to poaching over and over again. It's an embarrassing place to be. How can you stop the bleeding and shake the label? Read on to find out! But first, this week's email:

Hi Scott.

I'm GM of a guild that is not a hard core raiding guild. We have been around since Ulduar and were founded at the break up of a guild that existed since vanilla. ... The founding principle of the guild was no drama and keep it casual. This has crystallised into my own rule as GM: advice for other players is fine if you ask if they want it first. Unsolicited "you are rubbish" comments are not allowed.

... One advantage of the guild is that the atmosphere of advice and support over criticism means that "OMG you Noob" players either change their tune or leave. This mean the relations between guild members generally remain good even after people move on. So on to the issue.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Members turned poachers

a sign reading
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.

It's bad enough for an officer when you start losing core raiders. As any long-time officer can tell you, though, things can always go from bad to worse. This week, a guild leader falls victim to a member's alt guild that suddenly turns into anything but.

Hey Scott--

We lost three of our core raiders yesterday, and may be losing more.

The girlfriend of the Raider Leader/MT in our casual 10m decided to start an "alt" guild. Not a big deal in its own right, myself and the other GM were a bit concerned about her underlying intentions; she'd been a core raider up until about three weeks prior to her founding this new guild. Myself and the other GM are not sure why the girlfriend stopped raiding with us; it was a choice of hers, and when we inquired as to whether everything was all right, we were always assured it was.

Co-GM and I noticed that to start her alt-guild, she'd recruited several members from our guild: mostly alts, but what concerned us was the handful of mains that left us to join the alt guild. Slightly annoyed that we, the leadership, hadn't been notified of her intentions, we spoke amongst ourselves with how to best handle this; if it's truly an alt guild, we should not have to worry about our ranks thinning. We weren't going to reprimand her, demote her, or remove her remaining character from the guild. We're not like that. She, along with her boyfriend, had been kind and helpful in the past.

Late the other night, I saw that the boyfriend, along with the another core raid dps who I'd been particularly close with, had left the guild to join up with the girlfriend's alt guild. I was crushed.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Guild wars


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.

Guild splits can be traumatizing for all involved, often ending in bruised egos, stabbed backs, and rancor all around. (Yes, rancor isn't just that monster in the pit under Jabba's throne room.) In the best outcomes, the two factions can ignore each other and go about their own business. Unfortunately, it doesn't always turn out that way. Sometimes, as you'll see in this week's email, one faction isn't content to live and let live. Sometimes, it's war ...
I'm an officer in a smallish casual raiding guild. We just recently got enough of our players geared enough to start raiding and are starting the process of continuously wiping on early bosses to learn the encounters. The officers aren't freaking out about our difficulty in completing the encounters or the fact that some of our members still aren't raid-ready yet, because we understand that the game has barely been out a month and some people didn't get it until Christmas or later.

Our problem has been that a couple of the more hardcore members have been causing quite a fuss and complaining that the guild is going nowhere and in some cases, openly attacking officers and general members in guild chat. This has gone far beyond the occasional good-natured ribbing and has become a major source of tension in the guild.

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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)

Breakfast topic: Poaching

I'm working on growing our little guild. I've met with some success. I don't spam trade chat to advertise our guild bank, vent, website or or smokin' hot tabard (all of which we have). I like to get to know people a bit before I bring them into the fold. The best way that I know how to do that is to run instances with them.

Since we're small, I PUG a lot, so I'm introduced to many players. I'm looking for folks that are both good at what they do and would be a good fit for what we've established. I've found that many times people pug because even though they're in a guild they can't seem to get the assistance that they need. I find that some are actively looking for a change and others just generally enjoy the experience grouping with my comrades.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guilds, Breakfast Topics

Poaching for skins

I have to thank you, other players on my realm. If it wasn't for you, I probably wouldn't have reached 450 Skinning already. Yes, the garbage of dead mobs that you leave behind becomes my profit -- when you leave that worg corpse or the dead drakonid behind, I'm all too happy to run over, skin it, and clean up that little mess you've made, while sticking a little gold in my pocket as well. Matthew is right there with me -- he calls it poaching, though we're both referring not to stealing, but to simply skinning the leftover mobs of all those players before us.

Truth be told, I probably poached more than ever down in the mines of Netherwing Ledge -- there were always players killing down there, and what they didn't skin, I did, both for the quest skins and for my own Knothide. But in the expansion, things are even better -- everywhere I go, there are fields of leftover mobs, and even when someone is able to kill a mob before I get there, I hover over them to pick up the skin afterwards.

Matthew has put together a list of all the great places to pick up extra skins -- I'll agree that Coldarra is full of poaching options right now, as is Kamagua on the other side of the continent. Grizzly Hills, also, is not only full of creatures to skin, but lots of leftover corpses as people quest across the zone (though odds are that if you keep up on skinning, you'll be 450 by then anyway). Think of it as a service -- we're the garbagemen of the realms, cleaning up your kills so the next can spawn and the circle of loot can go on.

Filed under: Skinning, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Leveling, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

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: No poaching!

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

If the wildlife in Nagrand didn't reproduce faster than rabbits injected with Viagra, one could accuse the genocidal Hemet Nesingwary, or even the Consortium (with their endless need for ivory tusks), of funding poaching on a massive scale. And of course, we would be the perpetrators, guilty of the annihilation of entire generations of species. But fortunately, those elekks, clefthooves, and talbuks never seem to become endangered. This week's e-mail is about a different kind of poaching, but one that is no less nefarious.

Hey. I have been reading your blog for awhile now and I am an officer in a small casual guild (66 accounts) that one day hopes to have some endgame on farm. The problem we seem to have is people just leaving with a stealth guild quit. When asked they normally say they left for a friends guild or something along the lines of "just wasn't working out." About a week later I see them in Shattrath with a guild tag of another guild that I know just poached them from us. I understand that it's their $15 a month but is there anything that we as a guild can do to keep them? We seem to lose one once a week.

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

Children of a lesser guild

The worst part of guild membership is, by far, watching a guild die. I've seen guilds die from poor recruiting practices, internal drama, and, in one memorable case, a disgruntled member with /gkick privileges. But the most painful death I ever saw was that of a large casual raiding guild in which I was an officer. We weren't very good, and we never progressed far, mostly because anyone decent in our guild was immediately recruited away by one of the high-end guilds on our server. We kept it together for several months, but in the end, ten of our best players (including our two tanks and the best healer) were poached away by another guild. Eventually, the guild leader and I left too.

Judging by his post on the EU General forums, Aires, GM of Flames of the Phoenix on EU-Terenas, is having the same problem. His small Kara guild is being eaten away by larger guilds who whisper his members, invite them to come to 25-mans, and then ask them if they'd like to join. Admirably, Aires does not cry about it or name names, but asks a general question: Is it ethically right to poach members from smaller guilds who don't approach you first?

Opinions seem to be divided. On one hand, few people will argue that it's "nice" to cannibalize a smaller guild, and many SSC/TK guilds who do this to "loser guilds" would scream bloody murder if a BT/Hyjal guild did the same to them. But every server also has a limited supply of players who don't suck, and new recruits do have to come from somewhere. Plus, there's no real way to steal a player who doesn't want to be stolen in the first place.

The thread also contains a rare personal opinion from a Blizzard employee. CM Vaneras says that your answer to the question basically depends on why you play the game. If you play for what Vaneras terms "shiny epics", you probably won't see anything wrong with poaching, while those who play for "the cameraderie and accomplishments of a guild" will hate it.

What do you think about guild poaching?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Forums

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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