Archive for the ‘Guild matters’ Category

Notes from the Blizzard Developer Q&A, No. 6

The sixth round of the Ask the Devs Q&A chats have finally been posted over at the official blog, and the answers are pretty interesting. If you didn’t know already, this round focuses around the topic of guild advancement. As always, I’ll highlight some questions I think are particularly interesting from the roundup – not everything. For the full transcript, head over to the blog and check it out!

Without any further ado:

Q: The guild perks system makes it unnaturally hard to start a new guild, since a guild without all perks is at an obvious disadvantage in recruitment. In addition, it rewards just recruiting random people (who might only care about the perks) to get guild XP. What are your thoughts on this? Will it be addressed? – Lolisa [Europe, English], Mith [North America]

A: We knew when we decided to add guild features for Cataclysm that this was one of the risks. If the guild perks and rewards aren’t interesting, then there is no motivation to join a guild or work to improve your guild. On the other hand if they are too powerful, then you feel shackled to your old guild, even if it’s not a healthy relationship for you. We were careful to only choose perks that didn’t contribute to player power, and we let you keep any rewards you earn if you ever have to leave your guild. The perks are nice, no doubt, but you’re going to have less fun in an established guild of jerks than you would starting your own guild with fewer perks.

We don’t think recruiting random people is healthy for a guild. Rewards are never going to be a substitute for strong social ties. We really encourage as many people as possible to seek out guilds (and we hope the new Guild Finder will help with that), but joining a guild at random will likely end in tears.

On the other hand, there may be some benefit to having less churn on starting guilds. Before Cataclysm, some guilds would get started halfheartedly and then crumble again after a few weeks or months. Maintaining an active guild asks a lot of the guild master and leading officers. If you join an established guild in Cataclysm, hopefully it will continue to be around for awhile. But because of reputation, even brand new guilds may seem like a more serious option than they were before Cataclysm, since the founders of the guild know that anyone interested is likely looking for a long-term home and are not just hopping from guild to guild.

This is a good one, and something that’s been on my mind for a while now – makes sense it’s the first question. Honestly, the questioner does have a good point – some people just won’t join a guild without the perks, but I have to agree with the devs that in most cases, people won’t stick to a cruddy guild because they have the perks, and people won’t skip over a great guild without perks for a bad guild that has them. Still, I could see this being tweaked a bit over time.

Q: Are you planning to address the issue of Guild Leaders mass kicking members, once the guild reaches level 25? – Bloodbliss [North America], Юхани [Europe, Russian]

A: We don’t really have any interest in controlling who a guild leader chooses to kick, or when. Guilds are fairly transparent and simple player-run groups, and we have to be extremely careful about what systems we implement that impact how people can operate their guilds. We could absolutely make it more difficult for guild leaders to kick their members, and that might help very slightly with these situations, but the result would actually be that guild leaders would just be much less likely to invite new members. We want people to be in guilds, as opposed to making guild masters afraid that if they invite someone they may never be able to kick them if they don’t work out.

Allowing players to keep some level of guild reputation is an option we can look into to help with this situation, though.

Wow – I suppose it’s just an indicator of how little time I’ve had to really get arms deep into the game lately, but I didn’t even know this was an issue. That’s a pretty cruddy thing for a Guild Leader to do, honestly. I see why Blizzard doesn’t want to get involved, but I can see how it would be a problem. Don’t expect Blizz to do too much until it gets to fever pitch, though.

Q: Are we going to see guild houses someday so we could finally get a special gather place for the guild, to meet and interact easily? – Ellidryl[Europe, French], Греланд[Europe, Russian], Ledieri [Europe, Spanish], Bodywreckér [North America]

A: Guild housing is something we have discussed many times. It would be neat to have a place for people to hang out, but every time it has come up as a possibility we don’t think that is worth the amount of time and resources it would take to implement (and do it right). This is one of those features where if we ever decided to do it, the benefit would have to outweigh other content we could be working on. Also, we don’t feel that we need any new ways for players to hide themselves away. If possible we at least like people to be hanging around in the cities, if not out in the world. We know that many guilds, despite lack of official guild housing, have designated meeting locations throughout the world, which we think is really cool. If you don’t have one yet it might be something to explore.

Ah, the old guild housing question. And, of course, the answer that Blizzard has given us many many times: they like the idea, they really really do like the idea, but they just don’t think it’s high enough on the priority list at this point to take development time away from other tasks. Interesting. I wonder if it’ll ever be high enough on the priority list – it’s been something people have wanted since Vanilla.

Q: Are there any plans to allow for easier alt access to the same guild rewards as someone’s main character? Perhaps some kind of +rep item that is BoA and can only be bought by an exalted character? – Serule [North America], Xheevas [Europe, French]

A: This is one of the main reasons 4.1 has new guild tabards with 50/100% bonus to rep. We made sure to place these at friendly and honored so they would be easy to obtain by alts. We are considering adding an even larger bonus to an exalted, BOA version as well. Great minds think alike!

Hah! Awesome – I was wondering when this was going to happen, and sure enough, we have it already. Well done!

And that does it for another round – we skipped a lot of questions this time, but they’re all pretty interesting. Make sure to read the full thread for the whole scoop!

Guild Finder Coming in Patch 4.1

In patch 4.1, Blizzard is planning to unveil the Guild Finder – a new tool that will allow players to find a guild that works for them. Seriously, just check off your primary interests, the class roles that you’re willing to fill, and a little information about yourself, and you can browse guilds that match those interests. Here’s the scoop from the official blog:

In patch 4.1 we’ll be introducing the Guild Finder, a new system designed to enable easier and faster guild recruitment. Guild leaders and players who are looking for a guild to call home will use the Guild Finder to meet one another and begin communications that can lead to a prosperous membership.

The Guild Finder is intended to act as an in-game bulletin board for guilds that are actively recruiting. Previously in World of Warcraft, your options were limited. You would have to publicly post on your realm forum message board, or speak to other players directly via private messages or the chat channels. That can be a time consuming process. Guild Finder will allow your “looking for new members” message to work 24 hours a day, accessible to all of the characters in your faction, from anywhere in the game.

Wow. Talk about a great way to find guilds if you’re a player looking for a suitable – or more suitable – home for your main or your alts. Guild leaders have control over how their guild is listed, and they can see players who have applied to join their guilds as well.

Naturally, a lot of people have asked the question of whether or not this will eliminate the traditional guild application process – where most players have to go to a guild’s Web site, review the rules, and submit an application that way – but I don’t think it will. Guild leaders won’t have the flexibility to contact players who have applied and then put them in a hold list pending an application or anything, but they will get to see who’s submitted a request through the tool. From there, they can reach out directly, accept their application right out of the gate, deny it, or enter a comment. Still, it might be helpful to have a more robust utility.

There’s also the question of whether or not only guild leaders will have access to the tool or whether guild officers will as well: many guilds have a GM, but another person responsible for recruitment and bringing on new members. It’ll be a while before we get answers to all of that, and a better look at exactly what the tool will look like, but Blizzard has a screenshots of what the tool will eventually look like.

What do you think? Will you use the guild finder when it’s available, or are you happy with the way players find guilds now? Let us know what you think!

What to do when Good Guildies Go Bad

Each week over at The Blog Azeroth Forums, the community comes together around a shared blog topic – interested WoW bloggers can pick up the topic and make posts on their own sites to respond to it, and all of the responses are collected and linked at TwistedNether.net. “What to do when Good Guildies Go Bad” is this week’s topic!

This week’s shared topic at Blog Azeroth resonated with me specifically:

What do you do when a normally good guildmate performs poorly or behaves badly? Your rock solid tank comes to raid ungemmed, your master mage dips down into pre-cata dps numbers several nights in a row or your best healer can’t seem to keep from going oom 2 minutes into any fight. What do you do? The obvious answer is shoot the hostage but…

It’s been a while since I’ve been in the kind of position to really gripe about this, but I’m going to take a different approach – not just one around DPS or poor performance in raids and instances, but also when it comes to behavior in general. I definitely have experience with guildies who generally behave badly and can’t bring themselves to either just be considerate to their guildmates or who are just so obnoxious in general that they’re difficult to deal with.

First thing’s first – let’s talk about the kind of guild member I’m thinking of here. Sure, there are plenty who mean well but do poorly in raids and instances because of one thing or another – bad gear, improperly gemmed, using the wrong weapon, poorly spec’d. You know those folks. Some of them may be a bit defensive when called out on their errors (after all, no one wants to be told they’re wrong) but more often than not they’re willing to learn from their mistakes and improve their game if you bring it up to them in a police and reasonable way. These people aren’t the ones I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the kind that constantly link their items in guild chat just to show off what they’ve seen/picked up/looted lately, the kind that use guild chat as their personal trade chat or use it largely to talk to one other person, (the kind that use guild chat for the types of conversations that should happen in whispers, for example) the kind that can’t stop saying wonderful things about themselves and generally clog up guild chat or raid chat with their own self-aggrandizing banter.

They’re the type who are the most defensive when you call them out on their errors, because they simply can’t believe themselves capable of any wrong. They’re the type who will start whining about you when you bring up a way they can improve – no matter how nicely you do it – or build a massive conspiracy theory against them on behalf of you and your whole guild if they perform poorly in raids and find themselves benched.

Oh yes, I know this type of person very well. And admittedly, they’re not always the type who was “good” before they “went bad,” usually this type has always been bad, but they made friends somehow, right? So what do you do about them? Click the jump, let me offer some suggestions.

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Blizzard’s Guild Advancement Guide Helps Guilds Master the Basics

I had meant to share this when it was a little newer, but Blizzard recently posted a Guild Advancement Guide to the new Community Site that explains the basics of guild leveling, achievements, reputation, and some general tips to help your guild do well in all of its endeavors, whether it involves raiding, instances, or just being social and trying to keep a motley crew of friends together and on speaking terms.

Of course the post really focuses on things like the Guild UI, perks and achievements, and the technical side of being in a guild or running a guild, but the tips are great for people who are confused about all of the changes to the guild system in Cataclysm and are looking for some more information about it.

How Much Do You Love Your Guild?

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I know you love your guild – but how much do you love your guild?

Don’t worry, you can change names to protect the innocent, you can be as vague as you want to be, or you can be as specific if you want to be if you love your guild and all of the people in it. A lot of us absolutely love our guilds and everything about them, and a lot of us absolutely hate our guilds and are only sticking around for one reason or another. What’s your story?

Every guild has issues, there’s no doubt about that, but I think I can attest to the amount of guild drama that any person has to deal with tends to center around why your guild does what it does.

Are you in a hardcore raiding guild? You’re likely to have loot drama, raiding drama, and benchwarmer’s drama – you know the kind, where people have to sit out raids and get upset because someone they think doesn’t deserve the raiding slot gets it over them, or because the shaman got that epic mace instead of the rogue.

Is your guild a casual, friends-only guild? You’ll probably get social drama: “Why did she say that about me?” “So and so doesn’t like me and doesn’t invite me to heroics.”

If you’re prepped and ready for those things, you’ll probably enjoy your guild experience much more than someone who’s in the guild for a different reason. For example, the hardcore raider who joins the social, casual guild, only to gquit a week later because they’re not running heroics every night and raiding three times a week. Or alternatively the socialite who wants to make friends who joins a hardcore raiding guild that treats their gameplay like a job will naturally find themselves wishing they’d never applied after a week or so.

Me? I love my guild – I’m definitely a more casual player, looking to run dungeons and experience content at a leisurely pace – I don’t need to raid three times a week – maybe here and there on the weekends. I’d rather make close friends than have a character decked out in epics, but I don’t think you have to sacrifice one for the other.

So what about you? What’s the secret to finding a great guild, and what’s the secret to staying happy? Have you found the perfect guild, or are you still searching? Shout it out in the comments!

How Casual is Too Casual?

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I’ve known a number of people who gave hardcore raiding a try and left in favor of a more laid back casual guild environment: a group of people who were friends as well as teammates, where people logged in to do more than just hit the scheduled raid time. The huge hulking raiding guilds are usually comprised of people who are more serious about the game than they really are about being social with one another (yes, I realize there are a number of exceptions to this), so some players are confronted with the choice: raid and progress, or make friends and play together. Don’t get me wrong, there’s tons of room in between these two, but most people will come down harder on one side or the other. This isn’t really an RP, PvE, PvP issue – there are plenty of people who come down on either side regardless of the game style they prefer. But let’s talk about the casual, friendly side for a bit.

I’ve been in a number of guilds since I started playing the game, some of them incredibly personal, some of them ridiculously impersonal and hostile to new people, some of them so insular that you could never penetrate the wall of clique that was already there, some of them warm and inviting. All of them however have been largely social guilds with light, casual raiding – never more than once or twice a week, usually weekends when everyone had some time off work or school. But one thing that’s happened to nearly all of them is that the casual simply grows too casual – people start drifting off, leveling alts that aren’t in the guild, the raids go from stuffed so full people have to get benched to so empty they’re cancelled for months at a time, and eventually to the point where you can sign on during peak hours and there’s no one there.

This happened in a guild that I ran for a while, and again in a guild that I’m happily a member of because I have many many friends in it. So this brings me to the question: how many of you has this happened to? Lots of people love casual guilds, but how casual is so casual that you’re willing to leave it for another guild-even if you have friends in it? Is there such a thing as a “too casual” guild, or is that the very definition of casual, and “casual raiding” is an oxymoron?

I’ll admit that partially this is me dealing with my own thoughts, but partially I’m curious how universal this experience is. Fire away in the comments, and I’ll include your responses in a follow up post later!

What Loot System Does Your Guild Use?

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Loot rules for guilds vary about as widely as guilds do; more often than not no two systems are truly alike. Even so, most of them can be traced back to some similar system, like the widely used and adopted DKP system. WoW Insider wrote about SWAPS this week, a new system I hadn’t heard about before, but what about your guild? What loot distribution system do you use? How do your raid leaders decide who gets what?

Our guild doesn’t really have a system, and perhaps that’s one of the defining factors of a casual guild – the people who make the runs get to roll on anything they want or need – need if you need it, greed if you want it or no one needs it, and usually our folks are good enough to ask up front “mind if I roll need on that?” and we can scorn them if they shouldn’t or approve if they should. It’s never really backfired on us.

That’s not to say there hasn’t been the occassional “but that’s a bigger upgrade for me than the person who outrolled me” drama, or the ocassional confusion from people who are filling slots on a raid with us. But while that works for us, the biggest raids we’ve ever organized have been 10-mans.

If you’re in a raiding guild, how does your guild handle loot? How do you manage pugs? Do you think the rules would be different for guilds running 10-mans versus 25-man instances? Does your guild’s loot system work for you, date back to the old days of 40-mans, or is it fundamentally broken? Let us know in the comments!

Top Six Guild Names We Could Live Without

Good to be back and writing. To set things off on the right foot, I figured I might as well shoot straight for the big one and bring you my ultimate list of Top Six Guild Names We Could Live Without. So, without further ado I bring you… the LIST:

6. “Cliche of Place” guilds. “Defenders of Azeroth”, “Knights of Stormwind”, “Killers of Hearthglen”. “Heroes of the Horde” are chewed out, cliched, and as unique as Ford F-150s in Dallas, TX. Your guild name should stand for something, not just your inability to think of a good one.

5. Ümløût åbüße – if you can’t spell it without putting accent characters all over the place there’s three reasons. Either the original name is barred from being used, someone else already grabbed it, or you’re just in love with bad 1980′s Amiga BBS jargon. Accent characters stopped being hip when Mötley Crüe sold their second album.

4. Fad names. “Two Draenei one Cup” was funny for a week.  “QQ Pew Pew” for two. Ain’t no more.

3. The “Daddy took me to the movies” guild name. “Spartans” was a good name before 300 was released. “Browncoats” still is, because only insiders get it. It ends there. “House Hufflepuff” is as unlikely to attract players with anything but a two-hour playtime allowance on weekends, after chores and homework, as “Fellowship of the Ring” is.

2. The “what’s so bad about it?” name. “Sapped girls can’t say no”, “Come in the Van”, “Naga stole my bike”, “Your mom is a Horde” are – at best – immature jokes that stopped being funny about a second after they’ve been uttered the first time. Should you find yourself still finding them funny I recommend a deep and long soul searching.

and, finally,

1. Any guild named Drama, Nihilum, Death and Taxes, Aftermath, Premonition, Death Wish or any of the other so-called “bleeding edge” guilds, unless you’re the original. Naming your guild after one of those not only shows a lack of actual creativity, it’s the WoW equivalent of a slightly pudgy teenager wearing a Chicago Bulls 23 shirt and thinking anyone will mistake him for (or think him capable of playing like) Michael Jordan.

So much for guilds. Next time we’ll talk about the top character names that should get their owner kicked in the bee-hind.

Dumped

Well my (now former) guild, of which I was a charter member (one of the first 5 folks) has unceremoniously dumped me, without so much as a whisper or mail in-game.

Not that I wanted flowers or a “Dear John” letter, but the original Guild organizer had left to pursue interests outside of Azeroth and I had never done much with the group, but I did trade some items and run some quests, so I wasn’t a complete unknown.

Now, unfortunately, I’m getting messages left and right from folks I’ve never met recruiting me to this guild or that. I think I’m better off – especially since I’m a haphazard-playing, tanking Druid – to just finding random “friends” and enjoying the game that way.

Is my guild assessment wrong? Should I have done more? Is it wrong of them to dump me this way with no notification? Is it kosher to just invite folks willy-nilly to a guild without playing alongside them first?

I actually feel sad a bout this.

Teh Drama

The good thing that happened this weekend was that I had a second character hit 70, and my main got attuned for Karazhan. The bad thing that happened was that guild drama is escalating, and this morning I removed all of my alts from the guild, including the level 70 hunter. (I left the lock.)

I’m reading about a lot of guilds who are going through the same issues; everyone from Tobold to wow_ladies are posting the same things.

Pre-TBC, I wrote about the changes to guilds build around raiding 40-man instances that TBC was likely to cause. And you know what? I was wrong, and I was right. Guilds are imploding, but it seems to be for a reason that I never anticipated: previously supportive guilds dividing out into haves and have-nots, per Tobold’s post.
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