Archive for the ‘Guilds’ Category

How Casual is Too Casual?


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?


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!

Goon Squad Captures Wintergrasp in 62 Seconds

Witness this in all it’s glory, as the Goon Squad of Mal’Ganis starts from scratch and within 62 seconds completely dominates Wintergrasp.


They’re billing it as the fastest Wintergrasp ever, and while I suppose that could be true, it’s definitely one of the most interesting I’ve ever seen. The trouble now is that everyone will wind up trying to duplicate this strategy, and while I applaud the Goon Squad for their epic conquest, they were also pretty lucky: I don’t see this happening terribly often.

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.

Silvermoon University

Role-playing is difficult in Azeroth. All around you’re surrounded by players actively not RPing. The chat channels are packed with Chuck Norris jokes, leet speak, epithets. Without a strong guild, roleplay is nigh impossible to find. And most guilds are focused more on raiding and endgame progressions than anything else.

That’s why when you do actually find a guild that is into RP you make note of them. And when you find a guild that does it with as much style and humor and intelligence as Silvermoon University on Twisting Nether does, well that’s when you submit an application.

Silvermoon University is a Horde-side roleplaying guild that takes on the role of an actual university. New members are termed Freshmen, while the guild leadership are faculty. They have field trips to Alliance territory or into instances. Members of the drama department write actual plays, and then perform them complete with costumes and extras.

The website though is what entirely sold me on the guild. The flawless presentation. The conceit of the University being carried through so far as to have a yearbook with quotes and trivia featuring the guildmembers. It’s pretty much perfect.


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.

Role-Playing with the Crimson Watch


The first real guild I joined Twisting Nether was “The Crimson Watch.” They were a role-playing/endgame guild when I joined with nightly scheduled runs or RP events. By far the most popular event was our guild induction ceremony held every Saturday afternoon on Dreadmist Peak in the Barrens. This is the mountain whose top is covered in black fog and cultists and contains a jewel that lowbie players must shatter.

We would meet in this cave, with the jewel, and dress in our ceremonial crimson robes. Everyone would be walking, not running. Everyone would be in character. Our guild leader, Morghul, would stand atop the plateau in the cave and the officers of the guild would kneel beside and behind him. The entire guild was expected to come to these ceremonies. The screenshot above is one that I took during one of our inductions.

Inductees would be given a speech about our motivations and about the goals of The Crimson Watch. Then they would be called forward one by one and asked to perform three tasks: donate one gold to the guild, prove they had spilled Alliance blood, and then spill their blood before the guild. This was done using the /emote command, of course. If they satisfied these requirements and also spoke once over Ventrillo, then they were given crafted crimson robes and were official guild members.

Every week after the ceremony the officers would dream up new challenges for the recruits. They would have to duel the strongest warrior. They would have to hold themselves underwater until they died. They would have to sneak into Teldrassil and leap from the tallest branch into the sea. They would form a raid and attack Ashenvale. They would be summoned to the starting area for Dwarves and Gnomes and would have to occupy the buildings there. Every week it was different, and every week it was fun.

The role-playing built guild loyalty in a way I haven’t seen elsewhere.

Raiding Guilds: Hardcore vs. Casual

The term “casual raiding guild” may sound like a contradiction. I think, however, that a lot of guilds reach the point where they have to make that distinction. The guild that I am in is reaching the point where the difference between “serious” and “hardcore” is starting to cause some friction. This is a friendly, mid-size guild presently on AQ40, looking forward to Naxx. Most of the people in the guild have been together for a long time, and they’re a good group.

Things that would have been acceptable before, though, are now causing friction: rules are being set regarding going AFK for any amount of time other than short “ok, everyone back in five minutes” group breaks. If you leave early on any “wipe run” on a new boss, you are not entitled to bonus DKP. There are increasingly strict requirements regarding all the various sets of resist gear that you must have, and you won’t be invited if you’re not geared up – although guildies will help you get the required kit.

The distance from “casual raiding guild” to “hardcore raiding guild” is enormous in terms of what is required from every member of the guild.

Do you Vent?

I have to admit that I have always been a little bit hesitant about using external clients like Ventrilo or Teemspeex while WoWing. For those of you unaware, Ventrilo and Teemspeex are two popular Voice over IP clients that allow a group of players to communicate via voice chat using a third party program running in the background. While my initial protests involved technical aspects like possibly impacting my already crappy framerate and latency given my horrible hardware, I have to admit that I was probably a little more hesitant about saying something stupid that couldn’t be deleted (or even worse, could be recorded and become a minor internet phenomenon). Though my main is part of a fairly casual guild that has not yet found the need for massive coordination, I have started a “twink” character in the 29 battlgrounds who has joined a specifically twink-oriented guild on my server in order to make premade raids. After a month or two of playing in silence, they strongly suggested I set up Ventrilo so as to better contribute to and streamline the team’s battleground performance. I took the plunge and downloaded the latest Ventrilo client for Mac, and decided to finally see what all the fuss was about.

Join the Kuurian Expedition!

I just got word of this via an Education in Second Life mailing list:

“The Synthetic Worlds Initiative is a research center at Indiana University whose aim is to promote innovative thinking on synthetic worlds.”

“The first Kuurian Expedition has been founded in World of Warcraft, on the Silver Hand server, Alliance side.”

I’ll be joining the guild as soon as I restart my WoW subscription

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