I mentioned on a WoW Insider podcast, not the most recent one but an older one, that Legatum Ignavis has been having difficulties getting the personnel to raid the 25 man instances. And that has suddenly changed.

Although, if you have been wondering, we are recruiting new members. As a guild, we are looking for more level 68+ folks that want to raid, are excited to raid. If you just want to say hi, chat with me, or whatever, you can do so without joining the guild. Feel free to chat me up at any time. Look for Windshadow, Windstar or Windburn on the Kael’thas (US)server.

Recruiting issues 

I said it on the podcast, and it is something most everyone is aware of; on most servers, there are tons of Karazhan raiding guilds, with solid 12-15 player membership. And each and every one of them wants to raid 25 mans, and recruits for it.

Gee. Hundreds of guild with 12 to 15 people, and each needs to increase attendance to 25+ to raid.

In reality, what this means is each guild is recruiting in competition with the others, and the only players to recruit are the ones that have been kicked out of another guild, or prefer to be guildless, or don’t have time to raid or live in non-server standard time zones.

You get guild hoppers from Hell, people that can proudly boast of touring every guild on the server, and being booted from same. They are the most common player floating around looking for a new guild, because those that have shown skill and talent in 5 man PUGs have already been asked to join guilds, as early as the 40s. 

And there will always be someone eager to recruit the bad players, because the belief that maybe this time, we lucked into a diamond instead of a glass ring, seems to be universal. I guess the biggest trait a recruiter needs to keep him going is Hope. 

There are so many ways small guilds try to deal with the issue of low membership. Guild alliances, mergers, and of course ‘poaching’ the skilled and geared players from other guilds to increase raid numbers.

Guild Alliances sound like a great idea on paper. We have 12 to 15, you’ve got 12 to 15, if we join forces we can be 25-30 strong! Let’s take em on!

There are two drawbacks to the Guild Alliance system; Communication and Leadership.

First and most important, communicating who is going to be there for what, what the plan is, coordinating events, discussing strats, managing sign-ups, and working together is far more difficult in a multiple-guild alliance. There are ways to facilitate one, you can create a private chat channel that would require each and every member of each raiding team to sign into and use it instead of private guild or officer chat, an unwieldy system but it IS available. A shared Ventrilo or TS server might be another. 

The leadership aspect is usually the biggest stumbling block. If people are not simply merging guilds, than that probably means that there are strong reasons each guild’s leadership wishes to retain their guild identity. And this means you’ve got two different groups of people that have their own ideas about loot distribution systems, raid scheduling, and progression goals, and the increased communication traffic required to make and agree to a scheduled event takes more effort and time to arrange.

That can all be worked through, yes indeed. And if you are in a successful Guild Alliance that raids regularly, I’d either love to hear from your experiences in the comments, or I’d love to read about it on your blog (hint, hint).

The key point here, though, is it IS work to make it happen… and that can lead to the first bright interest in a Guild Alliance dying away into disuse as leaders are distracted like ferrets with new things… “Ooh, shiny!”

So then we get to the next one, a Guild Merger.

Mergers are probably one of the most successful ways two small guilds can get ready for 25 man raids. One guild has more people, or have simply been better organised into getting into regularly scheduled raids. Another guild wishes to raid, and instead of the guild fragmenting as each player takes off on their own, the guild as a whole decides to retain their friendships and move as a solid mass to another guild.

For both guilds, this can be a very rough time. Each group already has people that like to play together. You add in a group from another guild, people that are used to a different way of doing things, and now you have two established cliques that are going to take time to learn to mix with each other and work together. Expect most players on both sides of the merge to spend the next few weeks running exclusively with thier old friends, because they are feeling uncertain in the new arrangement, and the feeling of the familiar will be reassuring.

Your best bet to make integration run smoother? Immediately organize and run shared events that will create shared experiences and MAKE everyone get to know one another.

Whether you run an SSC event, a 40 man old school Molton Core or AQ, or a full guild participation gnaked gnome level 1 alt raid on Hogger, shared experiences brings folks together. The more you do together, the faster you will restore a single guild identity and foster group interaction.

If you have a merge, and then you have no activity for a while, people will be more lilkely to think of moving on. With the emotional stress of leaving one guild already faced and dealt with, and having no personal attachment to the new guild except old friends, people will be much more likely to say “Screw it, this ain’t going anywhere, and I’m bored, I wonder if Wintermute is recruiting”.

The last most common way of gaining people is the most irritating to most.

Poaching.

You sit there, you’re in a guild that has never raided seriously before. You’ve finally gotten 10+ people that are Karazhan attuned and relatively okay geared. You enter Karazhan for the first time, and you begin to take down bosses. You face Attumen the Huntsman in battle for the first time, and you triumph. You move on to more difficult fights such as Moroes and the Maiden. You are rightly proud of your achievements. Everyone started raiding somewhere, no matter how long ago it was, and you are justly right to be proud of getting in and getting it done. You’re a raider, damnit!

And as your members get loot each week from those bosses, each fight gets a little easier. As you work together, your coordination and individual skills improve. Addons and mods are found and installed. You learn and you grow.

And then, you’ve got Prince on farm, your group of friends are now geared well enough to kick ass in Heroics of all types, getting even more upgrades and badge rewards, and that kicks opens the door to even better progression. Suddenly your small guild explodes into success, and fights get easier across the board.

And then your mage announces in guild chat “Hey guys, going to leave the guild to join a guild of my real life friends, it’s been great, take care!” and poof! he’s gone. Instantly.

And people say “Oh, wow, well that’s cool. But damn, now we’re gonna need to find someone to fill that spot. I wish we had some warning his real life friends were playing WoW. Maybe they could have joined our guild.”

And someone else says, “I just did a /who, and he’s already in (insert the name of a very high progression guild on your server here)”.

“That bastard! Why couldn’t he jsut say so?”

That’s right. Maybe the player went off looking to move on up to the big time on his own. Maybe the player ran some PUGs with some guys from the higher-progression guild and got told “Hey, you’re pretty good, come give us a call if you ever want an invite to raid with the big boys. We could use a guy like you.”

Either way, whether you call it poaching or guild hopping, it’s pretty hard on a guild, and I think it’s lame. You got started in a guild, you learned to raid in that guild, you got geared up in that guild, and then you bailed on the guild to go raid new stuff. 

From the person that left’s point of view, the rationale seems to be “You losers aren’t going anywhere, you’re doing the same old crap, so I’m moving on because I deserve better. And it’s your fault for not progressing more, recruiting more, or living up to my standards, so don’t blame me, it’s all your fault.”

Now, from my personal point of view, I believe that if you started with a guild together, and you progressed together, and you would not be nicely geared out and attuned and attractive to that upper progression giuild without the efforts of your mates in the current guild, then if you want to do more than your guild currently does, then there are more mature, unselfish ways to handle it. 

You can always decide to take no personal responsiblity and just go with the flow. It’s a game, and you play for fun, and you’re willing to go along with the rest of the guild cause it’s easier and takes little effort or time. And that is 100% fine. Very few people either can or should be an officer. It is a thankless job and people that do it are treated, quite often, like shit by those that aren’t getting their needs met. Not in my guild so much, but I have seen it often enough in the past in other guilds. It’s like people forget that officers are players too, and start to look at them as paid employees of Blizzard there to make sure the player has fun and is kept entertained.

If you ever look at me, and you start to think I look like your personal entertainment director, that is when you can go take a flying f&^k at a rolling doughnut. kthxbye.

Back to the topic, if you want to raid more, then instead of whining about it all the time, you need to get off your ass and go do something about it.

Whether you are an officer or not, if there is nothing scheduled, if the future calender is empty, then take the initiative and start trying to organize a run yourself. Discuss a possible Raid in guild chat, find out how many other players, whether in Guild chat or in guild website forums, are actively interested in raiding something new. Get some enthusiasm and some participation from others.

If you are blocked by a lack of people, then talk to outside friends about the guilds’ goals and maybe joining together to raid. If you are an officer, explore the idea of alliances or mergers with other guilds around your level of progression. Do the work to try to make it happen. Run PUGs looking for good people, and let people that are responsible and mature, people that are in very small guilds know that your guild is looking for more permanent players to raid, and that if the guild is small maybe even the entire guild would be welcome to join.

If you work on making it happen, if you honestly try and try and you cannot get anyone else in the guild to work together to raid, and you really are commited to raiding more than the guild is willing to do, THEN it should come as no surprise to anyone if you tell people, openly and honestly, that you want to raid more or group more or whatever your goals are, and that those personal goals just aren’t happening in your current guild.

Openly and honestly are the keywords. It doesn’t have to be a drama llama if you want to do things the majority of the guild are uninterested in.

It’s when folks sniff around looking for a better life on the other side of the tracks, sneaking around behind everyones back, making no effort to build a life within the current guild, just getting your upgrades and then looking to move onwards and upwards across the backs of the guildies without ever once looking back that gets people pissed as hell.

Big Blow Up

There is one last way a guild can get new people. And that is if another guild on your server self-destructs, and the players abandon ship in droves.

Sometimes, this happens because a group of players are tired of trying to recruit on a low population server, and a bunch decide to all server transfer together to a place they figure will have more people for raiding. The rest are left going “wtf?” and have to either limp along and try to compete with everyone else to rebuild (most usual scenario), or instead decide to split up and move along.

Sometimes guilds fracture because the leadership has massive drama. And we all get to hear about it eventually.

I’d love to see a post from one of the heavy thinkers about the various ways guilds stress to the point that they actually have a big messy blow up rather than just a few folks leaving in dribs and drabs.

But you get my point. You’re looking for 6 to 8 more players, and suddenly famous guild X has exploded, and good players that are reliable and knowledgeable are loose on the hoof. And they WILL NOT be out there guildless for long. Count on it.

Tying it all together 

This is what happened to Legatum Ignavis last week. We were in Kara, farting around, and suddenly one of the best guilds on the server, one of the few guilds with a completely unblemished and sterling reputation for fairness, knowledge, skill, and solid friendly considerate mature players just exploded. And no, I don’t know why. I never asked.

Rynadur, who had been a former officer in that guild way back in the old days, and who has remained a friend to many of the players there, immediately acted on it to offer some of those players a home.

And a whole ton of people, each of whom has been nice, friendly and knowledgeable so far, came on over.

I expect that, in time, some of them will move on to other guilds as they get settled in and have time to decide what they intend to do next. But I’m sure that many of them will form friendships here, and choose to stay.

But we have suddenly gone from a guild that was doing Karazhan and Zul’Aman every week, and trying desperately to scrape together enough players to get a single Gruul’s Lair run organized with a weeks worth of preparation, announcements and organizing, into a guild that has more than 25 level 70 players on almost every single night, without anything regularly scheduled at all.

So things have changed. Suddenly. Starkly. And we need to change with it.

Well, that means one thing to me. If we have that many people now that are used to running strong and regular, then if we sit on our ass, they will get bored and wander off because they have no emotional involvement with the guild yet. And there are plenty of other guilds out there that might get them where they want to be.

Right now, our new schedule is to run a short Gruul’s Lair every Wednesday night, since that is a fairly straight up trash-free encounter, and a serious SSC run every Saturday. Two 25 man raids every week, which seems fairly reasonable. Maybe we can change it up to a Tempest Keep Loot Reaver run on Wednesday if we need to change it up.

But at least two runs every week that the guild can get accustomed to seeing on the calender.

No more seeing people log in and immediately ask “Are we doing anything tonight?”

Because they’ll KNOW. Damnit, they’ll know.

My dirty secret

On a personal level, I am not that interested in progression. I’m just not. I do not really want to raid in 25 man teams. At all.

I like playing with other people, very much. But I don’t really give a shit about loot, except as a tool to help the group better. What I raid for, and run for, is to help make friends happy.

That is why I do not run a Heroic every day, grinding Badges of Justice to get gear upgrades. I could. Certainly. But I’m not in it for loot, except as it makes my performance for the team that much better. Once I hit the level where my performance is more than satisfactory for our current level of progression, my thrill at gearing up dropped WAY off.

My ideal is running with a group made up 100% of people I like, good friends. In five man runs, that is pretty easy to arrange. Just off the top of my head, in seconds I can call out Gerolan, Kellas, Rynadur, Occulus, Whirlish, Irviding, Joppers, Jalard, Elystia, and Caladorn. There are more, so very many more, but you get the idea. And I always get nervous mentioning real peoples’ character names, since they may not want any publicity.

In a ten man run, it gets harder to guarantee that you’re hanging with people that are capable of handling the vast power that is TS with a captive audience. Our guild has a lot of very nice people in it, so I’ve been damn lucky, with only one or two notable exceptions.

But the larger a raid gets, the greater the chance there will be people in the run that I don’t care for. People that are there because we need a certain number of people, and a certain mix of classes, to accomplish the mission, and whether you are enjoying playing with someone or not does not seem to be a consideration for most people when it comes to raiding.

I know that it still amazes me, some of the assholes I used to see in 40 man raids, but they were there anyway, becasue you need the warm bodies to get the boss down. And it’s an aspect of the game I hate. I just have no problem whatsoever in saying to myself, “I have a choice between raiding and dealing with that asshole on the run, and having to listen to him on TS, dealing with his total lack of give a shit for others, or I can not raid tonight at all. I think I’ll pass.”

But then I remind myself I’m not there for me, I’m there because the rest of these people are my friends, and it DOES matter to them, so I guess I’ll just suck it up and do my job and keep my mouth, almost, shut.

But yeah, am I the only one like this? Am I the only one that doesn’t dream of freaking Black Temple or some other shit? Am I really the only one that is just happy to be here hanging with friends?

Somehow, I don’t think so, but it seems like all I ever hear about on the web is raid, raid, progression, end game, progress, progress, move on, move up, who you downed? What boss you on? You only at Kara? You only at ZA? You only at SSC? You only at TK? You loser, nothing you have to say is worth hearing, nothing you have done matters, if you aint’ at the same level I am you just don’t know how to play the game, you worthless noob. Yadda yadda yadda.

And I look around, and I do a Black Morass run with friends and have fun, and I wonder, “How is this not fun enough? Good friends, good times. Right?”

But so long as my friends do want to take the next steps, do the raids, and attempt the progression, I’ll be there to help make it happen, and to lend a helping paw.

25 Responses to “Recruiting, Progression, and Complaining, oh my!”
  1. Rhoelyn says:

    Wow. There’s so much to address in here. Great post, as usual, but especially meaty, today. :) I am in a guild alliance that I believe works very well. It’s been around for a long time, and the people who have the gear are running raids in SSC and preparing for the jump to Black Temple and Hyjal. We do use custom-made in-game chat channels as our alliance “/g”, and though it kinda galls me to be typing /7 and /8 and even higher numbers to type in these channels, it works pretty well. I’m not going to bore you with more details, but if you want to look us up, we’re the creatively-named “Proudmoore Guild Alliance.” :P pma.guildlaunch.com

    As for progression versus having fun with friends… The top of the list is having fun with friends, but I find that after the 1,289th Kara run, even great friends make it only passable. I get bored seeing the same thing. I want to progress to see new environments, learn new encounters, and better master the mechanics of my class. I always have some fun with my friends when we group up and go 70-pwn Scholomance or something, but I’d rather gather up with them and go take a look at Void Reaver and the Lurker Below.

    It’s laudable, that you will still put in the effort to help your friends reach their goals, even if they’re not yours. :) I’ll bet not getting bored with the game and seeing new content are great side-effects of this selflessness, whether you’re conscious of them or not.

    Ponderously Yours,
    ~Rhoe

  2. Waradwen says:

    “And I look around, and I do a Black Morass run with friends and have fun, and I wonder, ‘How is this not fun enough? Good friends, good times. Right?'”

    This is exactly why I just left my former guild, which I had been in since I started playing nine-ish months ago. When I joined, the guild was a social/family guild that raided, having cleared Kara and Gruul’s Lair, and was working towards further coolness and gear. The last few months, though, the progression meme took root and it became the end all and be all of the guild, to the detriment of the social side. Guild chat became silent, with few exceptions other than people looking for enchanters or jewelcrafters. And that wasn’t fun for me, so I started avoiding playing my main, focusing on the totally awesome Pox Arcanum anti-PuG experiment, which worked for a while but eventually I missed playing my main too much.

    I think progression is an easy way to keep score in the game, which is why it is so appealing to so many people. “I’ve cleared BT, I’m cooler than you.” Something like that. I’d rather find my own entertainment, spending time with fun people in-game, than try to derive some sort of self-worth based solely on how far into the endgame content I’ve gone.

  3. Dammerung says:

    Most of this article I have almost zero experiance with. My one guild I’ve ever really been apart of was a loose group of gamers from a different game. They almost all left to join a different guild so they could raid and myself and Wulfa ported to Drenden.

    So the majority of this article was like all of raiding is to me… an interesting read and nothing more.

    Then:
    “And I look around, and I do a Black Morass run with friends and have fun, and I wonder, ‘How is this not fun enough? Good friends, good times. Right?’”

    And I had the thought that this is -exactly- what Bliz is aiming at with the badge rewards. You can sit and run 5 man runs with family and friends and you’ll be able to get good gear(“progression”) without having to sacrifice the fun.

    This is also why Arena is so wonderful. Nice rewards without having to suffer through the 25+ person stress.

    My wife, brother and brother play WoW. We want to be in a guild so that we have friends to chat with….but I really don’t terribly want to party with very many people outside of that circle. We will be able to eventually 4man almost everything a 5man can do, and if we need a 5th man getting a dps isn’t hard.
    We’ll get our loots have fun doing it(I don’t enjoy large events).

  4. Barona says:

    Would I like to see BT? Sure. Do I realistically have a chance to do that and keep my family life intact? Nope. So what do I do?

    I hang with my friends in Black Undertide on Uldum. We have been around since the server started up (though I fully admit I am 2nd generation BU). Player come, players go. We have guild drama. We have a good portion leave (myself included) for a raiding guild that seems similar to ours (though it dies in the pre-BC era). We have some leave for PvP Guilds during the Hours On End Preset Battleground Era. We have some move over to “less progressed” guilds who are more likely to do the “lower level” instance runs needed to gear up.

    But in the end, most everyone comes back. We have a /bu channel that everyone associated with the guild is welcome to join regardless of what guild they are in, so we all keep in contact regularly. We all chat, we all hang. We got two groups farming Kara this past summer when everyone had time, but never really got enough at the same time to 25 man stuff. We do partial presets of Battlegrounds when we feel the mood, and try to hit Kara or ZA once or twice a week when we get enough on.

    We don’t keep score, but it is fun to find new stuff. We hit 25 mans with others when we can, but will never see TK, let alone BT. And we are pretty much OK with that.

    But wtfpwn Kara with 0 deaths in 3 hours or less? A blast. Stealth running a Heroic in 20 minutes just because we can? More fun than it should have been. Turning our pretty impressive teamwork into ZA success? Very satisfying. Dancing with an Alliance Protest Dance Party in AB? Great way to spend an afternoon.

    Our guild has a core which most 25 man guilds covet, and we regularly get offers to bring that core to another group. But that would mean turning into something we are not, and we are just not willing to do that. We gladly ooo and ahh over cool new gear (my Flaming Death Skull Shoulders – I mean, Gnarled Ironwood Pauldroons – got lots of airtime recently), but the effort and change needed to get the Latest and Greatest just isn’t worth it to us.

    Yes, sometimes it gets boring (less so for me, since I have less time to do stuff than most of the group) and we look for different challenges. But the core is always there, and playing for fun with friends is what keeps us going. And, to be honest, is the reason we are one of the oldest, if not *the* oldest guild on a long-lived server.

    It is fun, it works for us, and as long as Blizz keeps sending out new content for guilds our size (we are the target demographic for ZA and Heroic Badge Loot), it will likely keep us together for the forseeable future.

  5. Rob says:

    Every story has two sides, and leaving your family is hard thing to do. But eventually you get tired of leaders not showing any leadership, raids being cancelled, spending the whole week (literally, every single night) in kara for the 3rd or 4th month in a row, trying to recruit on a server which is almost dead last in progression. Then you realize things weren’t meant to be, and you move over to a guild which are strangers to you but are a) highly organized b) fun to be around c) know their stuff d) have their acts together. We are still trying to get to 25 mans, since we all want to see the end-game 25mans, but we have two kara teams and we clear the whole thing in 4 hours once a week.

    So, its a tough call, but I’d rather not be spending 20+ hours a week in kara week after week. You need to figure out the organization of the guild and their desires/goals. Realize that unless you are the GL (or his best buddy) things aren’t going to change just because you want them to. If they don’t want to do 25 mans, if they are happy in kara and ZA, then it’s *not* going to happen. So, yeah, I’m happy I left. And every time I show up to play my alt, sure enough, they’re all in kara, again.

  6. Gerolan says:

    Damn right I want publicity! BRING ON THE E-STALKERS!
    :P

  7. Dinaer says:

    We are on the same wavelength, BBB.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing new content, but I really only enjoy playing with my friends as well. I have only done 2 or 3 PuGs in my 2+ years of WoW. Adding a whole bunch of people to your guild in order to go to 25 man content is not much different than a PuG. Just because you both have the same guild tag under your names doesn’t automatically make them your friend or a good running-mate.

    Ideally, it would be great if I could add a group of people to my guild who had the patience to get to know each other before running headlong into 25-man instances. That doesn’t work. When people jump to a new guild they usually want to get going with the raids RIGHT NOW and if you wait they just jump to another guild.

    So I am content to run 5-mans and Karazhan with my good friends. I’ve been offered spots in more advanced guilds but have turned them down. Last night a guildie asked for a SV run to get a key frag. I had more fun doing that than I had in the past few months of Karazhan raiding. That’s why I play. Fun > loot.

  8. bigbearbutt says:

    BTW… “Wall of text crits you for 10 gabillion. Your sense of interest has died.”

    It sounds like your guild alliance is going very strong, I will definitely come check out your website. That sounds pretty awesome, that you’re making it work.

    Grats.

    Yep, it looks like a lot of folks are in kind of the same spot, as in, you want to raid, you love having fun, but you want to keep your family atmosphere.

    I think, considering how nice the new folks we got have seemed to be, that if we get our ass in gear and be reliable in facing down challenges, most will stay and we will all have a lot of fun without killing ourselves.

    I can face two days of raiding a week. I can do that, and I think most other folks can too.

    And for those that want more raiding, well, there are always ZA runs and Kara that take less organization in advance.

    I’m hoping two raids will be enough to fire up our guild, though.

  9. Kanandi says:

    I agree whole-heartedly with the above post. Go BBB!
    Our little group of friends (all 12-strong) is just hitting lvl 70, and while even the 10-man instances are something we look forward to ‘eventually’ we are having a blast running instances, helping each other explore Outlands, and exploring the old azeroth zones far too much to dedicate ourselves to powerlevelling and Phat Lewtz. There’s probably a majority of people out in the world of Warcraft who fit hte same boat. We just don’t frequent the forums and blogosphere with regular reports of boss-downings, so the public view of Uber-raid may be merely the more vocal sub-set of players.

  10. Logan says:

    BBB – I have a question for you. You say you like playing the game because it offers you the opportunity to do something you enjoy with people you like. You also say that you have no interest in running 25-man raids (but you’ll do it so that you don’t let anyone down). My question is this:

    If the situation worked out with your guild where you were running 25-man raids with a group of all (or almost all) friends and you kept the “fun” in the game, would you change your tune about the upper-level raiding?

    I ask this because while I do differ from you a bit (I want to see content as much as possible… complex boss fight mechanics and elaborate dungeons like BT interest me), I am also similar in my views (if I’m not having fun with people I like, then raiding really isn’t worth it).

    I can personally attest to guild makeup and guild dynamics/friendships playing a huge part in whether or not raiding is fulfilling. The guild I just left was formed for the sole purpose of raiding. It started fun, but quickly got old. The guild I am currently in (with some older WoW friends) is much more enjoyable because we know that our primary purpose is to enjoy the game. Our secondary purpose just happens to be to kill Illidan ASAP. Sure, we raid 4 nights a week, but probably 90% of our raid time is spent joking around, making fun of each other, playing ridiculous 80s music and bad hip-hop over Vent, and talking about random crap. The other 10% of the time is when we are focusing on new bosses. Perhaps this situation might work better for you? The only tough part is ending up with the right group of people to make it work.

    Oh, and the old guild disbanded last Sunday after getting stuck on Lady Vashj for two months. The new guild is done with Hyjal and halfway through Black Temple. I say this not to keep score (what’s the point of bragging about something that hundreds of guilds have already done before us?), but to show that friendship and fun take the gaming experience a lot farther than desire to progress ever could.

  11. Tydodrmwlkr says:

    I think that WoW has taken MMOs in a new direction. I can’t remember which feral druid blog that I’ve been reading (maybe Of Teeth and Claws…? sorry if I’m wrong) mentioned that this game has made it so people can play and enjoy most of the content solo, which I enjoy, as I tend to most of my gaming alone.

    That being said, I’d love to be able to play with my friends. They got me started on this game and unfortunately, I’m the only one who’s made it to 70. I’ve made some other friends, but will likely never have the time to raid consistently myself. I find it hard to maintain those friendships, as I can never really catch up to them gear wise :( and therefore can’t really even explore the same content (being only somewhat ready for heroics myself). I’m just starting to play again with one of the friends who got me started, and we’re leveling a couple sets of alts up together, which I really enjoy.

    I think that if you can have fun playing this game, keep doing so and if you can find a group of like-minded people who you can get along with, by all means, hold on to them for dear life, because you will have a great time doing so. I hope that everyone can find a good group of friends to play with and enjoy this game as much as possible.

    I think I’ve even inspired myself to follow my friends who left my current guild to form another. Good adventures all!

  12. Bigheart says:

    I’ve seen a few of the things you described firsthand. I was in a pvp guild that went pve pre-BC. We were doing ZG and AQ20 and things were looking great until some loot drama occured and the next thing you know 25% of the guild started another guild. We didn’t have enough people to do the 20 man content anymore so we attempted an alliance with another similarly sized guild and overall it seemed to be working out. The hardcore raiders of the alliance guilds split off into a 3rd hardcore raiding guild that eventually left our server for a chance at seeing more content. That left a bad taste in my mouth for raiding.

    Fast forward post-BC and I’m in a small guild of RL friends hitting the 5 man content when I run into a guild during a PUG and discover truly wonderful people that I had all but given up on trying to find. 2 weeks later my guild was absorbed by the other guild and we’re happy as clams. We still just a wee bit too small for 25 man content and figure if it happens it happens. We haven’t run Kara very many times and after trying ZA once we decided we’re not quite ready for that one. TK? SSC? BT? Hyjal? I’d like to see someday but probably never will. I’m over 40 and can’t afford to raid every night at the risk of losing my lovely bride of 18 years. It’s my fate and I accept it.

    Yeah, heroics are fun and with good friends they are even funner. Helping others get geared for Kara etc is fun too when they are appreciative. Our loot drama is nobody will roll NEED on anything.

    Long time reader, first time poster and fellow feral tank. *salute*

  13. Braveship says:

    BBB —

    Been reading you for a while, but my first time posting. Reading your “I really don’t care so much about 25-man raiding…” comment felt GOOD to me, because that’s felt like my dirty little secret for a while now.

    Was in a guild for about a year — good people, lots of fun. Started running Kara, and after a bit, the drama began to bubble up. Lost a few guildies, and then after a merger (which I, ironically, brokered), we thought we were all set to put Kara on farm and move into “bigger and better” things.

    I had some RL and computer issues, and was offline and out-of-game for about 5-6 weeks. When I came back, I was guildless. Not only did I get booted, but the guild dissolved when (or so I’ve heard from former guildies) the new GL and his core of friends went on a booting spree, raided the guild bank, dissolved the guild, and the server-jumped. Good times. ; )

    Anyway, since I’ve been back, I’ve been rediscovering my love for the game. Finally levelled up my cooking skill to 375. Started seriously saving for the epic mount. FINALLY got my feet wet in PvP — both BG’s and Arena. And I’m having a ball. I think that I’ll get itchy to delve into raiding again soon, and I’ve already had all kinds of offers from former guildies who are scattered around the server in new guilds. But until then, I’m pretty happy doing the occasional PUG, gearing up via PvP stuff, scraping together pennies for that elusive epic flyer, and — above all — having FUN. I still get the chance to hang and chat with friends from the old guild, so all is well.

    Thanks for making me feel a bit less… awkward about my raid apathy. Nice to know I’m in good company.

    Braveship (Anvilmar — US)

  14. Kal says:

    Interesting. This is almost precisely the situation that my guild is in, save that we’ve not been around that long. All of a sudden a good chunk of a much more advanced guild joined us, and it’s tough to figure out what to do. We don’t want to do too advanced content because we’re just not ready for it gear-wise or player-wise, but we also don’t want to bore the new players who just joined us. It’s a lot of pressure. I like the idea of doing 25-mans ASAP.

  15. bigbearbutt says:

    Logan, that’s a good question.

    A very good question.

    Before I answer that, I want to mention that I specifically did not mention my long time in real life friends that I play with when I can. They are all in drastically different time zones, and so we never ever raid together. But when it is possible, and our respective families and children allow it, we love to get together (typically very early Sunday morning server time) to run a five man, or do stuff with each others’ alts. Ina, Mark, Andy, James, you know I love you guys. :)

    But to answer your question, there are two parts.
    First, while a guild sets forth guidelines for acceptable behavior, those guidelines HAVE to be loose and free enough for everyone to have fun. A guild should be fair and accepting of players of many different ages and backgrounds.

    And behavior that may irritate the HELL out of me, juvenile behavior, behavior using inappropriate language, loud and constant chatter on TS, lack of prior proper preparation (As the Mannyac mentioned in a previous post), lack of concern for the feelings of others, lack of consideration for the time other people are spending doing the same thing…

    All of that is not really against any fair rules, unless your guild specifies an age limit in an attempt to get more responsible players, which I don’t honestly think can possibly work anyway, since I don’t think physical age is any guarantee of responsiblity or maturity.

    Nope, to be fair, a guild should accept any player, in my opinion, so long as that player is honestly good hearted and well intended. Even if that person may irritate the hell out of me with juvenile behavior.

    And when you ahve an event that requires 40 players, or even just 25, the likelihood that a guild with such an opne memebership policy will have… wildness… is very high.

    And so my answer to you is, given a normal, open, welcoming guild, it is fairly certain that a cranky old jackass like me is going to find someone that annoys the living shit out of him.

    However, if it were somehow possible to be in a guild of people that all shared the same level of personal responsibility, the same sense of duty to the group to do my part to make the run as successfula nd fun for everyone as possible, then I would be DELIGHTED to raid, probably all the damn time, and I would be far more eager to push the limits of progression and to see what challenge lies just around the next corner.

    I’m aware that makes me a shallow guy. But it’s the way I am, and one thing you can probably agree on, I never claimed to be perfect. Hell, I never claimed to be anyhting other than a cranky old WoW gamer.

    But I do try, I try very hard, to be nice to all players in this game, and to not be prejudiced based on behavior that I may think is immature and annoying as hell. I really do try. The farthest I go is to make a mental note to avoid running with that particular person, whether I meet him in a PUG, read his notes in the Trade channel, or am forced to deal with him in a Karazhan run.

  16. Logan says:

    :)

    I can relate to your crankiness. While I enjoy joking around and having fun as much as the next guy, I also realize that there are times when people need to get down to business (in real life too, not just WoW), and it annoys the hell out of me when the goofing off starts to do nothing but waste my time. I think the line that separates a guild that has fun raiding and one that lets things get too out of hand is having a group of players that understand that there’s a time to STFU, get serious, and listen to whomever is in charge.

    That’s tough to achieve in a game… a game that people play for fun… usually to escape from real-world responsibilities for a while. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have ended up in a situation where my guildmates know where to draw the line between having fun and just plain wasting time. I wish more guilds were like that so that people weren’t so turned off to raiding or made to feel like raiding is a second job.

    Whatever happens with the new additions to your guild and your new raiding schedule, I hope it works out in a way that keeps the game enjoyable for everyone, and not just the hardcore few or the ones who only want to get online and dick around. GL!

  17. Ellende says:

    Thank you! I hear you 100%, totally on the same page. I can’t really be bothered by progression except that it keeps the players I like together. I do like to see new content every now and then, but prefer 10mans much better than 25man raids, more fun, more focus when needed and, from an officer point of view, very much easier to run.

    Wish you were European so I could join you in game ;)

  18. Steve says:

    Great Post, It came at an odd time, as I am currently getting ready to leave my Guild, who I have been with for coming up on 2 years. I am leaveing beucase, my wife and I are looking for 25man content, and it always seems that when we start to get a good group of geared / skilled players together, something always happens and most people leave. This time its our turn to leave, hope we find a better place to call home.

  19. Asara says:

    Hey BBB :)

    Excellent post :) To me, progression isn’t about the whole “we’re better than you because we’ve cleared BT”. It’s about the feeling that comes when, after a month of wiping multiple times on one encounter, you finally get to the point where, inexplicably, everyone suddenly gets it. Things click into place, and you see that dang fish’s health bar going steadily down. You don’t dare get too excited because people could still lose it and we could drop a whole platform to a spout, or one of those annoying cleaving melee adds. But no, things are really working, we’re almost there, and then finally, he’s dead. Those weeks and weeks of “learning” have finally paid off and we have conquered!

    That feeling right there is why I raid, why I stick with my guild when “that guy” has gotten on my last nerve, when I’m down to my last 100g because I’ve had to spend so much on repairs. I love new shiny purples as much as the next girl, but even loot is secondary to that sense of accomplishment.

    I wish you best of luck in your endeavors with Gruul and starting the 25-man content.. may that feeling soon be yours!

  20. Kikidas says:

    I’ve a variation on “poaching” for you. I wasn’t poached from my “main” guild, the one most of my alts are on. I left because the guild was NOT progressing… and I was. I did heroics, got patterns, went to PuG’s … and my main guild kept wiping on Attumen because no one would get off their ass and do the things they needed to do to DO IT. They didn’t read tactics. They didn’t know how the fights went. They didn’t have the gear to start Kara, etc.

    Briefly, I became raid leader because I did all the above and I pushed people to do it. With me, we hit Curator and downed him.. once. After that, everyone wanted in, blamed me for not letting them in, a bee farted and it’s Kiki’s fault!

    So I quit being raid leader and I quit the guild because I was being told it’s my fault that we weren’t progressing. I tried organizing runs into instances and heroics. No one could be bothered. They wanted it handed to them on a silver platter.

    I quit because being a raider and raid leader in that guild was going to make me leave the game. I took my ‘raiding’ alt and I went into a progression guild with her. I still did 5-mans and heroics and ventured into Kara with my main guild, just not with my warlock (usually).

    I will say one thing.. since I left (and a few other people who were self-propelled but not able to carry the whole guild with them), they got off their asses and have progressed. Was it a wake-up call? Mebbe. Was it just timing? Mebbe. Who knows! But they’ve downed Prince a few times now as a guild. (Which is absolutely awesome for them!)

    Kikidas is currently guildless due to “Big Blow Up” … twice. :( It’s depressing having to look for another guild and make new friendships and “prove” myself, all over again.

    My other alts are having fun in my main guild, which is what I want for me and for them. :) Kikidas comes along occasionally to blow things up where applicable.

  21. Zalitar says:

    I like to raid. I like to level alts. I like to level trades.

    I have had friends that /gquit and join guilds that are progessing faster than my current guild. Some stay away, others come back. My guild is a Raiding Casual guild, as opposed to a Casual Raiding guild. Raiding is important and structured, but the casual aspect of the game is a very close second. A lot of people go to a harder raiding guild and, although happy to be moving on to SSC, are kinda bummed because their new guilds are just not very friendly usually. They always complain about constant QQing in raids over gear and, as one person most aptly put it the other day, “Their mutual selfishness is all that holds them together.” In other words, each person is their for selfish gain, and in order for them to get what they want they put up with each other for a few hours a night.

    You complain too often about not winning a roll on a boss drop in my guild you will soon find yourself not getting invites to the runs. If you roll on stuff that you don’t need that someone else does, you’ll get uninvited fast. But if you can be cool about it, roll when you need, accept when there are others who aren’t as well off as you and they might need more than you, then your turn will come and you will get the drops and gear often enough to progress.

    So, we’ve downed Gruuls once. We run one or two Kara groups per week, have downed the first three bosses in ZA. Sure, I’d like to see all the good stuff to come. Just not enough to bail on folks that have helped me get where I’m at, and who I trust to do their job well, and who I know won’t toss the guilt trip at me if I say, “Hey, those boots are a vast improvement on what I’m using now.” There is some trust and comfort in that.

  22. Shardekra says:

    I went guild hopping lately on Blackrock, trying to find a guild that matched my level in the game and also felt right.

    The first one I joined said they would rush me through kara to gear me up for SSC/TK. That didn’t happen, and after I left I said my apologies to the GM and he sid it’s ok, the guild was essentially dead from day one anyway.

    The next 2 guilds I joined just didn’t have much life to them, no socialising in /g at all.

    Then I found my current guild, Cymbrogi (pronounced coom-bro-gee, means “brothers in arms” in welsh) which raids around the time I want, is filled with very friendly guys and is only just starting SSC/TK (gruul down twice).

    So far I am making lots of friends in here, although I am still just a trial since my schedule has meant I have only been on one kara raid, and then only up to opera.

  23. Lenaiya says:

    Heh… silly me clicked the Submit button before I got finished… >.<

    Anyway. Raiding and progression with SASU = much fun and goodness. :D But it’s difficult to find a great group of people like that, and I count myself very lucky.

  24. Lee says:

    I’ve been in four guilds now, and three of them I started with my wife, and in two of those three, with close WoW and RL friends. I like instancing. I kinda like raiding. I LOVE playing with friends. I joined to help my wife, who levelled a 60 gnomelock through three of four awful guilds, and only had one girlfriend she liked to play with, who was taking a WoW break. I’m actually an Adventure Game player by temperament. So levelling my first toon (feral Druid Aggedor on Kul Tiras) was an achievement, and it was done because I was enjoying playing with my close friends.

    My wife and I left a guild over some policy drama between the officers (us) and the GLs, which couldn’t be resolved. We took a break, and a few months later, friends of ours from the same guild started talking to us about leaving and starting a new guild. Feeling positive, I started a guild for them on another server, and we started dicking around for fun. Got a vent server and the works.

    Then one or two holdouts who had complained about rerolling convinced us to help them start another guild on our original server, and build it carefully to be the guild we were all proud of. Sadly, somewhere in that first month or so of building it up, our visions diverged, and my wife and I ended up leaving, with more drama than I wished for, and ending a few friendships I’d cherished.

    We took an extended break, closed our accounts, and quietly started looking for other ways to have fun together. A couple of our closest WoW friends stayed in touch, and finally one of them convinced me recently to go back to our little starter guild for fun, and that’s exactly what it’s been. I’m not even tanking; I’m the guild healer, and still I’m having fun, playing it my own way and enjoying the company again.

    I may never get to see 25-man content, and will consider myself lucky to make it back to 10-man content in time, but I know for certain that I’ll never join another guild that puts raiding before friendships.

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