Dress for the Guild You Want

A small, 10-man guild may seem to lend itself to a more casual approach when it comes to running the guild. There is a much smaller member base to contend with therefore the formal structure and systems typically in place for a 25-man progression raid guild may not feel as necessary. While it’s nice to dream about a guild where loot rules, websites, raid sign ups and the lot aren’t needed, there’s a reason any successful guild out there employs them – they work.

I’ve seen many a prospective GM attempt to create a 10-man raiding guild with very little forethought, going about it with an “I’ll just get a group of my friends together and we’ll go raid stuff” fly by the seat of one’s pants approach. If you treat your guild that casually, so too will your members. It may work for a short period of time but if it’s long-term stability and success you seek, a different strategy is required.

Before purchasing Production Company’s charter, much prep work was done to make sure the guild’s first impression was a strong one. It was imperative that even the very first member who joined the guild understood we meant business. I put the website in place complete with our goals and mission statement, guild and loot rules, membership application, raid calendar, and FAQ. I even populated our forums with several posts such as raid stat requirements, keying guidelines and the like to get people in the proper direction right off the bat. A Vent server was purchased, and I had the design ready to go for our guild tabard.

My goal was to make the guild feel established at its inception. While the initial membership would consist mainly of friends I had been playing with for a while, it was important they perceived us as a real guild the minute they received an invitation. The foundation I had set up in advance not only provided a sense of permanence and confidence from the beginning, it set the appropriate tone and gave us an identity. We looked official from day one, so people treated it that way.

Take your guild as seriously as you want your members and the WoW community to take your guild. If you truly want a progression-minded raid guild (let’s take the word small out of it), act like one on day one. The success of a guild will have very little to do with its size and everything to do with its implementation.

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4 Responses to Dress for the Guild You Want

  1. shopshopshop says:

    I disagree with your argument that casual-style loot rules (loot rules, etc.) My guild, which will begin raiding in Cataclysm, is set up in an odd way. We will likely only raid once or twice per week, but we all approach raiding with a serious mindset: min-max our stats, read strats, etc. Loot, however, will be dealt with simply by rolling/discussion between members.

    We have done this in the past when running 10-mans. We /rolled for all loot and positions like “raid leader” are far less strict than in 25-mans. It’s easier to have a discussion on vent between a few guild members with a 10-man than a 25-man. There’s also significantly less loot competition, especially with a roster that’s well-spread out throughout cloth, leather, mail and plate.

    I think a guild’s place on the casual-hardcore line is largely dependent on the attitudes of the players involved. If players approach raiding seriously, then the guild will too. If there’s a mix of players who do and players who don’t, it will muddle the raid’s intentions. But I think player attitude plays a larger role than guild rules.

    • Gaia says:

      Thanks for the comment!

      I don’t think Roksi is arguing that using a “casual-style” loot setup is a bad thing, our own loot setup hardly even qualifies as a loot system. I think instead she was simply suggesting that when you are first setting out to establish a guild, the resulting group is going to be a direct reflection of how seriously you consider the task. Too many of the guilds that spring up (at least on our server) try and somehow meld a carefree “we’ll figure out along the way” approach with an assumption that they will still progress through the content at a “progression oriented pace.” These are the same GMs that you see posting in the guild relation forums a few months later asking how to handle raiders who won’t sign up, avoid progression fights, cause drama over loot results or are unable to bring their new alt to the raid. It is far easier to relax the rules at a later point than it will ever be to try and rein in rules that start out too lax. How you set the tone for your new guild via the different types of advanced preparation she described will have an impact on what sorts of recruits you attract and what sort of guild culture you end up with.

  2. Brunpal says:

    I believe Roksi was saying to have formal codified loot rules in place before you start recruiting. As opposed to deciding on the loot rules right after the first boss is killed. Formally decide to use DKP. Formally decide to use Suicide Kings. Formally decide to be casual.

    For example, ProCo formally has a casual loot system. No that’s not a contradiction. We are expected to have a list of all boss drops that are upgrades for our character. This is part of our raid signup. Gaia and Roksi know what’s wanted on a boss and by which characters. When something drops there is a simple /roll for it. -After- the roll we may discuss it while we are already clearing. “Is that a big upgrade for you?” etc. And it gets decided in a casual, yet formal way.

    We don’t loot it off the boss, we open trade with Gaia who has been free to ignore the /roll based on the entirety of the situation. Including what else is on everyone’s submitted list of needs. For example, if there’s a BiS item for a player, Gaia will know that and enters into who finally gets the item. But because everyone gets along and knows the loot lists there’s no drama. It’s not about who’s got what, it’s about what the group gets done.

    • Gaia says:

      LoL, you’re giving me far more credit than I deserve. I regularly send the item to the wrong people, or miss the fact someone actually /rolled on an item and loot it to myself to get DE’d the whole ability to trade an item for up to two hours made me completely and fully lazy when it comes to paying attention to the loot process. It actually ends up working out pretty well though because everyone ends up chatting about what an idiot I am for sending the new dps wand that the warlock rolled on to the ret pally instead of the holy priest who said that they might want it for their offspec so that he gets to deal with trading it to the person who should have gotten it instead unless he decides that it is actually more of a sidegrade for him and the holy priest that has been going shadow more often than he has been healing could benefit from it more and so he sends the pally over to the priest to give it to him instead all while I get to get back to clawing my way through trash mobs, which is what I actually enjoy, rather than playing “will you rub my wand” through the trade window with the rest of the raid. -walloftextcritsufor9000!-

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