Archive for the “Guild” Category

Any thoughts I have on my guild experiences, as well as the running of a guild.

I have the mobile armory on my iPhone, but I’ll readily admit I almost never make use of it.  I don’t know too many people who play WoW, so I don’t do the whole ‘Hey, check my toon out!’ thing.  Hell, even if I did know a heap of people, I still wouldn’t do that.  I don’t bother looking up other people, because I have no real reason to.

However, I was lying in bed last night, and I was bored, so I thought I’d have a little poke around and see what it did (especially since there was an update!)  I didn’t find any fun new features, but I did find out some interesting information.

Turns out, I haven’t done anything meaningful on my Warlock in three months.  Three months ago, I got a Frost Emblem.  That is the last thing I can see in my activity feed.

Which, to me, sounds about right.  I quit playing my 80’s just before the new raid came out.  I just didn’t realise it was that long ago.

I also haven’t logged in to the game at all in a month.  Which is actually really terrible, and means I’ve been neglecting my guild, as well as an awful lot of other things (see: this blog).  I keep telling myself that I’ll play more when my desktop is functional again, but I think that’s just an excuse.  A few months ago, I would have been repairing my desktop the minute it died.  I wouldn’t let it sit there, broken, for a month.  I wouldn’t let my WoW account lie there, untouched, for a month.  I’d be on, I’d be trying to recruit, I’d be working on getting my alt to 80, I’d be working on keeping my Warlock at least somewhat up to date.

Now? Nothing.

I know I’m a little disenchanted with the whole game.  Heaven knows a break may have been a good thing.  But, you can’t just take time off when you have some level of responsibility.  The responsibility to be seen, the responsibility to be organising stuff, the responsibility to be around when people need you or want something.

I sound like an utter lunatic just for thinking this stuff, I’m sure.  I should put aside some of the things I have been spending my time on (futile chasing after a guy?  Excessive socialising [read: drinking]?  Re-reading every book on my bookshelf?) so that I can get back in the game and do all the crap I am meant to be doing.  My non-WoW playing friends would think I was insane, and no doubt some of you do as well.

I guess the big question here is, just how much of a space in your life should the game have?  I know this isn’t the first time I’ve grappled with this, and it won’t be the last.  How much should I push life aside for the game?  When is it OK to say, no, sorry, I don’t want to do that because I want to work on my video game?

All I know is, I’m going to log in today, see what the hell is left of my guild, and begin working on it again.  And pray that not everyone wants to kill me for mysteriously disappearing for so long.

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or: Join Sar’s Guild NAOW!  kkthx <3

My guild is still frantically trying to recruit warm bodies.  Just so, you know, there is more than me nattering on like an idiot in guild chat while everyone else looks on bemusedly.  And, well, it might also be nice to actually run a guild raid for once!

For a long time, I was worried about over recruiting and losing the original ‘feel’ of the guild.  After all, too many new people can create a totally new feeling, and I liked the old feeling. Then I realised that this is a bloody guild, not a Tom Cruise singalong.  Bugger the feelings – there won’t be any feeling at all if there’s no one around! 

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to recruit when you aren’t currently raiding.  Turns out the average person isn’t willing to wait around for you to recruit a couple more people so you can raid.  Which is fair enough I guess, since everyone has the perception that Wrath is imminently coming to a close (which, really, it’s not… heck, there isn’t even a beta out yet!)  Then there are the people who just don’t fit… and then there’s the absolute weirdos (who probably do fit in, but really, I think one weirdo is enough for any guild!)

I really don’t think that I am that demanding and choosy, really.  Sure, it would be a bonus if you had a voice that made me swoon on vent.  Or if you would write blog posts for me.  Or volunteer to come out and give me back rubs and bring me cocktails in exchange for loot.  But none of that is really necessary.  (Seriously though, back rubs are most definitely a 50DKP bonus!)  All I want is people who like to chat in guild chat, like to do a couple of random guild activities every so often, and like to log in a bit.

Is that too much to ask?

(Also: now that I have started a trend of linking songs from dodgy movies… I think I’ll have to continue.  What next, I wonder?)

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Picking up the reins as guild leader has been an interesting and steep learning curve.  I’m not afraid to admit that there was a lot of things I ‘knew’, but didn’t really know, until I was put in that situation myself.  I also am forced to admit that there is something I should be doing, but I can’t work out what it is.  Things seem to run contrary to whatever I plan, or don’t plan, so I am not sure of my next step.  It’s quite difficult when most of the officer core, and most of the core raiders, upped and left the guild in one big mass exodus (thus explaining how someone as incompetent as myself ended up in charge).  The people who I would ordinarily turn to and go ‘uh, what do I do now?’ just aren’t there anymore… nor are the people who could attend things on a regular basis.

I have recruited a few new members, but most of them are somewhat undergeared and inexperienced.  Now, there is nothing wrong with that at all.  A little practice in some early raids, and we’ll be apples.  However, getting people to sign up for raids like OS10 or ToC10 (I tend to only go for the quickies at this point in time) is an absolute pain.  Why?

Because it’s more valuable time spent for most people to do bloody daily dungeons.  The badge reward is greater than that of a non-current raid, it’s a lot faster, and totally brainless.  Unfortunately, it is also never going to help our new and old guild members mesh together in a group and learn how to work together.  It’s never going to promote a sense of teamwork.  It’s never going to give our new tanks and DPS practice at RAIDING.  The things that I think are crucial to a guild that is re-gaining its footing just can not be achieved by doing random dungeons with other people.

Unfortunately, I can’t chase people around with a whip and make them sign up.  I ask them what content they want to do, and I create events based on that feedback.  That STILL doesn’t help.  Guess I just need to recruit more, until we have so many numbers that I can get groups for most everything going.

… Don’t even get me started on recruiting!

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When you have no one else to panic to, you can always rely on the interwebs.


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It’s easy to say WoW is just a game.  That we should just do what we want to do, because that’s what we pay for.  That the relationships we build are ultimately shallow and easily forgotten when we move on to other ventures.

Well, it’s all bullshit.

It’s no secret I have been comparatively unhappy in my current Cenarius guild as of late.  I moved Saresa because she just wasn’t seeing any raiding action on Cenarius, and I figured if I was going to change guilds, I may as well go the full hog and change to somewhere where the raid times didn’t totally suck balls.  However, I worked my ass off on Hermia to try and gear her enough to heal most anything.  Now, she is currently at just under 2k + heals, and is holding her own excellently in the Ulduar 25’s my old guild Arcis has been kind enough to drag me through when they are short a healer.

Unfortunately, most every effort that I make to make Hermia’s gear somewhat acceptable just doesn’t get noticed.  It has gotten to the point where I make comments in guild chat so that people are aware of where her gear currently stands.  I’m not asking to be taken to every run, but I am asking to at least get the chance to go to them.

As a bit of history as to what has happened before (so that this all makes sense)… we have to go way back into the days of Cenarius Saresa.

Sar signed up for every Ulduar run she could possibly make.  Now, she was never taken, of course, but she signed up regardless.  She went to every guild run that she could possibly go to, helped out in heroics, helped out in non-heroics, didn’t mooch off the guild, and pugged her butt off whenever she couldn’t get a guild run to try and improve her gear.  Regardless, she was always told that she was not able to go to Ulduar runs (due to poor gear, latency, and everything else under the sun), and just sat on the side lines.  Eventually, this wore thin, and she transferred…

…where she was immediately able to do an average of 4k DPS.  Not great, but equal to most of her old guilds DPS.

Now, back to present day land…

I didn’t want to see the same thing happening to Hermia, and it felt like it was.  So, I expressed the following to my GM’s

  • I am considering rejoining Arcis.  They have expressed some interest in having a Sar-mutation back on board, and I know that I can get along just fine there
  • The main reason for this reconsideration is that I have never been able to run anything with Reforged past Naxx level.  The vast majority of my progress on both toons has been through PuGs.
  • The other consideration, and the one that really is the kicker, is that it makes no sense to run with Arcis each week and not be able to get EP-GP points.  It’s silly.

The response to this was the following

  • That is fine, do what you like :-) after all, it’s your $15 a month
  • In our defence, you have never signed up for anything. 

That is a good point.  However, it’s also hard to sign up for things if you do not get invited to them.  I signed up for every run I was able to make.  I was crushed when I was rejected for those runs week after week.  The GMs said that they weren’t aware of the ‘no go for Sar’ situation, as an officer leads the runs.  But unfortunately they didn’t seem to understand how that has shaped my understanding of the sign up process.  People would sign up and not be taken.  People would log on at the right time and not be signed up, and be taken.  It was a frustrating system.

The final straw was the other day.  The guild was in an Ulduar 10 and needed a healer.  Hermia was available, had healed Ulduar 25 well past what they had cleared, and had already proven herself to be able to pull her weight in random PuGs that other guildies had helped heal in.  I know healing meters certainly aren’t everything, but I am generally right near the top, my assignments do –not- go down unless something goes majorly wrong, and I often help other people cover theirs when I notice they are having trouble (by the way, is that poor healer etiquette?)  I have ‘saved’ a couple of people in tight situations, and I would like to think that PvP healing has actually improved my PvE game significantly.

However, they got another guildie who wasn’t playing at the time to jump online and do the job.  Without even looking in guild.  That really struck a nerve.

It turns out a lot of this has apparently been miscommunication between officers, or a lack of communication.  The Raid Leader just plain outright doesn’t invite me to things (and since the RL is also my boyfriend… well, you can imagine he copped a LOT of snark from myself after I looked like an idiot talking to the GMs about this.  Something along the lines of ‘I’m sorry, I’ll add you to the list’ followed by ‘You can stick your pity invites somewhere dark and stinky’).

At any rate, after a somewhat circular conversation which didn’t make sense entirely… it seems I have upset at least one of the guild leaders somehow.  Today barely a word was spoken to me by either of them, and you know something?  It kinda hurts.  These are people I have known for the vast majority of the time I have played WoW.  Most everything I have ever run, I have run with at least one of them at some point.  When I felt that it was time to leave Arcis, theirs was the guild that I looked forward to being a part of.  They are wonderful people to talk to, to spend time in game with, and just to know in general.  They are fantastic players of the game, but even if they weren’t, it wouldn’t affect my opinion or feelings in the slightest.  To be utterly ignored by them is painful.  I consider all of my in game friends to be right up there with my out of game friends.  Sure, we can’t get a coffee or anything together, but those are the people I talk to after a rough day at work.  When there’s some family problem.  When I just feel like kicking back and spending time with friends.  Losing friends is not something I take lightly.

I don’t know… maybe they are upset or angry or feeling betrayed that I am leaving (again).  The frustrating aspect of all of this is that a large part of me doesn’t want to leave: I have so many wonderful friends in Reforged, and I would miss being guilded there terribly.  At the same time though, I don’t handle rejection well, and being rejected week after week after week to run anything other than farm content gets frustrating and painful.  It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t intended rejection, it’s still there and it still stings.

So… $15 a month, do what you like, it doesn’t matter?  Yeah, right…

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Well, I decided to go with the transfer after all.  Now Nagrand is stuck with my noobish butt!  Muahahaha!  Jokes aside, I am hoping that this works out for the best… I got accepted into the guild I applied to, which is just fantastic (although it’s going to look REALLY bad that I can’t make the first weekend of raiding, since my Mum is coming out to visit), and it seems like a fairly nice server to be on.  One thing which is going to take some adjustment is being on at the same time as all the kids when they get home from school – I am really not used to that.  I’m still spending quite a bit of time on Cenarius though (with a certain someone keeping me logging in there… and everyone else I know on server as well), and my wee Druid is 79.6 as I type this.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll get her out and level her up some. 

Blog updates have been slim pickings as I have been working frantically on writing school reports, programs, and all sorts of other school related stuffs.  I tell you, it’s a bloody good thing I like writing!  However, I am getting more in game time again, and I will be able to update you all with the latest of my noobish adventures.

Signing off, no longer as Sar of Cenarius, but as Sar of Nagrand!  It’s trippy I tell ya… trippy indeed.

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I finally got a chance to talk WoW to a real life friend of mine.  Now, I don’t usually talk WoW in real life at all, as most of you probably know.  I don’t have many friends who play the game, and it’s just one of those things non-WoWers just don’t understand.  However, I have been waiting to talk to this friend for a while, because I have been considering a server transfer for quite a while now, and his guild sounded like it might be interesting.

Now, I am totally putting the cart before the horse here and getting all caught up in things before I know for sure what is happening.  He still has to talk to the GM, I still have to make up my mind, not to mention the small fact that I need to be able to spare the money at the time and I need to talk to the GM and all that fun stuff.  However, it really is something that I am tossing over in my mind, and it’s a difficult choice.

I absolutely adore 99% of my current guildies.  Really, I do.  They are all such fantastic people, and I have made some exceptionally great friends on Cenarius over the years.  My RL friend pooh poohs this, of course, but I am the sort of person who can get along just as well with someone over the internet as I can in real life, if not better.  I have no doubts that I will meet people who are just as wonderful, but it will still really hurt to leave all my Cenarius friends.  Of course, Hermia is staying on Cenarius, at least in the short term, but as much as I could promise I will log on all the time… I know that I won’t.  It will be just like when I left my old guild, and my log ins on my other characters just slowly dwindled away.  Doesn’t mean I won’t resolve to log in there and say hi fairly often, I guess!

The other issue is the same one I come across every time I change guilds or run with someone new.  It’s the real reason why I avoid PuGs, why I preface everything I do with ‘please be patient, I am a total noob’, and probably why I haven’t looked for a raiding guild sooner – I just don’t have any confidence in my ability to play.  I know deep down inside that I am not a bad player.  Certainly not what I would term a good one either, but definitely not a bad one.  However, this doesn’t stop me from feeling scared that I won’t be good enough, that I will be forced to change and do things I don’t like doing to be better, and all those sorts of things.

And, of course, there’s the whole ‘playing with RL friends’ thing.  It’s been a long time since I have played with people I know IRL, and it’s kinda scary.  I don’t want my real life friends knowing what a noob I am!

I really just have no idea what to do.  I swear, I have spent less time wracking my brain over much more consequential things than this!

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I must preface this post with the statement that I have not (as yet) set foot in Ulduar.  A combination of the lack of time and the lack of gear means that I have not had the opportunity to experience first hand the immense difficulty that supposedly is Ulduar.

Ulduar is seen as a place which is so terrifyingly difficult that it is going to be a total wipefest.  While smaller guilds have the ability to scrape together enough people for a 25 man run, the 10 man run means that people are left out.  It is the manner in which people are left out which tends to cause problems in guilds.  For most typical 10 man runs in a typical guild, most anyone can go who is interested, and that generally keeps people happy.  As soon as something comes out which is deemed to be ‘hard content’, a guild becomes much more selective of who they will take, claiming that they need to take their best players in order to succeed.

I remember this phenomenon distinctly from when ZA first hit server.  Guilds who were after mounts and better loot (or even guilds who just had trouble downing the place) started placing limitations on who could go into raids and who could not.  This invariably led to resentment on the part of those who were left out, and quite often to the fracturing of guilds.  There would be a distinction drawn between groups, and the perception of not being ‘good enough’ to be a part of the small core who got to see all the content made people feel uncomfortable.  Some people who were a part of that small core also unfortunately found themselves feeling like they were ‘superior’ to the other people in the guild, which led to complaints about having to carry people through content.  The people who were excluded from the runs often decided that they would prefer to go to greener pastures where they would feel more appreciated.

I can see a similar thing happening in many smaller guilds with Ulduar at the moment.  Many guilds are taking the ‘cream of the crop’ into Ulduar10, which leaves many people in the guild feeling like they have been rejected.  These people often can not form their own runs, since the guild will not always have enough tanks and healers to support 2 runs.  This leads to a very difficult situation.

Not everyone can fit in a 10 man raid.

Unfortunately, there is no way you can get 20 people into a 10 man raid.  It just isn’t going to happen.  Some people will be left out, and some people will be left out all the time. The issue is, how do you decide which people are left out?  Do you base this on gear?  On skill?  On availabilities?  How do you walk the fine line between ‘casual, just wanting everyone to have fun’ and ‘serious, we want some progression’?  The minute you choose people for your raid in a way which is inconsistent, or not transparent, you leave yourself wide open to people feeling resentful and angry.  There are some steps you can take to avoid this, but in all honesty, I can not see a way around this problem without offending someone.

1.  Make your selection process clear and transparent

If you are selecting people based on merit, make it VERY CLEAR how you are doing it.  Gear?  Well, make sure that you clearly state this.  DPS?  Again, state the minimum DPS that you are looking for, and also discuss utility – sometimes it is acceptable to take a lower DPS if they are performing some essential utility.  You need to ensure that people have a clear understanding of why they would be invited or not invited to a raid.  If you do not use a sign up system and do things in a more ad-hoc manner, you need to again make things transparent and clear.

2.  Selecting people – stable or changing groups?

It is very difficult to decide how to set up 10 man runs.  Should you have your groups stay the same, to ensure that people know the fights and don’t have to be taught anything?  Or should you rotate people through so that everyone gets a shot at it?  I guess this one really comes down to what you want to achieve.  If you want to take your time and keep people happy, then it is better to let everyone have a go.  If you want more progression, you are far better off sticking with a core group.  At the end of the day, this comes down to whatever the purpose of your guild is: if you are progression oriented, then you should aim for progression over ‘happy-gooey’ (for lack of a better term).  If you are a more community based guild, it would be well worth your while to adopt a people-friendly approach.

2.5.  How do you structure your groups?

Do you have an A group and a B group?  2 groups of relatively equal abilities?  Again, I believe that much of this comes down to what the purpose of your guild is.  If you have an A group and a B group, someone is going to get hurt that they got put in the ‘crap’ group rather than the ‘good’ group.  You might be unlucky enough to end up with a whole group of people who resent both the top group and each other! (Something along the lines of ‘I should be up there, I am tired of being stuck with these noobs’)

3.  Knowing when to cut your losses

As I said, at the end of the day, as with ZA, someone is going to come out of this hurt.  This someone might be hurt enough that they leave the guild.  If this happens, you need to assess whether this person had rational grounds for leaving, or whether they were over reacting to a situation.  If they did have rational grounds (they were unfairly excluded, they weren’t listened to, all that sort of stuff) then you need to reassess how you are structuring things, and decide whether that is the best fit for the guild.  If they left in a prima donna moment, well… that will happen sometimes, regardless of the situation.

I can see Ulduar10 being just as messy and ugly as ZA was.  In fact, in some ways I can see it being much worse.  One thing is for sure – Ulduar will certainly test out guild management and a guild’s ability to keep people happy.  Having been on both sides of the spectrum on this issue, I can see that it will be next to impossible for the average guild to keep everyone happy.  No matter the skill or gear level of the guild, there will always be a perception that some people are more favoured than others.  I’d love to hear how your guild is managing the transition to Ulduar, and ways guilds are dealing with this issue.

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Casual Guilds Are Not Easy! is a weekly series (usually) on Destructive Reach which is devoted to the running of those oh-so-mysterious creatures, the ultra casual World of Warcraft guild.  This series covers many of the problems which arise in the day to day running of a casual guild, possible solutions to these, and the implications of these solutions.

So, you have recruited some people, and your guild has grown to a decent size.  Everything seems to be going swimmingly… until a couple of people leave.  Suddenly, you have lost a decent chunk of your core membership, and you aren’t sure how it happened!

Attrition is a fact of life for guilds.  People will come and go from guilds, and while it can be difficult to take (especially the first time it happens) it is something which is healthy and sometimes necessary for guilds to survive and grow.  However, there is a point where attrition reaches extreme levels, and this can often hit guilds hard.  Most people have been in a guild where a large group of people have left and gone else where, and it is a challenging experience. 

People generally /gquit for 3 basic reasons.  Quite often, there is little a guild can do about this.  However, sometimes things can be changed within the guild to try and keep members.  If your guild is losing too many people, you might need to consider assessing the situation and seeing what things could possibly be changed.  However, you do need to balance the needs of individuals with the needs of the guild!

1.  The goals of the individual no longer coincide with the goals of the guild.

This is one of the most common reasons for people leaving guilds, and one which little can be done about.  In a casual guild, this generally means someone is leaving because they want to go to a raiding guild, or another form of more hardcore guild.  Generally speaking, most people will leave on good terms if this is their reason for leaving, and it will have very little harmful impact on a guild.  It can be a good opportunity for a guild to forge ties and relationships with other guilds in some cases, by maintaining a close relationship with old guildmates.

However, sometimes people leave because they feel the guild has no goals.  It is difficult in a casual guild to maintain the balance between personal freedom and guild achievement.  While I will be going into guild goal setting in a separate post, it is always a good idea to ensure that your guild has a goal and at least a monthly organised guild activity.  A guild activity does not have to be ‘progression oriented’ – it could be knocking over some old instances, an RP event, a trade fiesta… whatever you can come up with.  Your officers should also be helping to keep people interested and participating in guild life, especially if the interest is there.

2.  The guild is no longer a good fit for someone personality wise, or through some other personal issue.

While you can’t force everyone to get along, and some people just don’t mesh well with other people, you can try to avoid people leaving through personal issues by ensuring that drama is kept to a minimum.  You can also never completely eliminate drama, but you can do your best to ensure that it doesn’t have a huge impact on the guild.  Set clear standards for chat channels, especially guild chat.  Discourage offensive language and behaviour – it may not offend you, but the odds are it may offend someone.  I remember two people in a guild I was in who would quite often use incredibly offensive language with each other in guild chat.  While everyone knew they were friends, and they were just bantering, it was incredibly uncomfortable and off putting (not to mention incredibly inappropriate in front of our younger members!)  Behaviour like that needs to be kept to private channels and whispers.

When there is a dispute, try to encourage people to resolve these through private chat.  If they can not resolve it themselves, offer to create a private channel with an officer, or ask them if they would like a mediation on vent.  At the end of the day though, if someone is a bad fit, it can be a good thing if they leave.

3.  ‘All my friends are leaving!’

A very common reason, which is generally started by one of the above reasons.  An unfortunate side effect of people leaving a guild is that they quite often take all their mates with them.  Annoying as all heck!  To combat this, you really need to do the above suggestions, and hope.  If people feel that they really fit in your guild, they may think twice before leaving, even if their friends are looking for something different.

At the end of the day, as I said… attrition is going to happen.  While prevention is great, there is no sense beating yourself up over it when it happens.  Casual guilds do tend to fluctuate in size…a LOT.  Especially once an expansion pack has been out for 6 months and people are looking to get into more serious raiding.  Fortunately, casual guilds are not so dependant on having set numbers, classes or specs, which makes the guild much more tolerant of this fluctuation.

So, in brief:

  • People don’t want to be bored: organise things for people to do occasionally
  • Encourage friendly chatter and develop a community within the guild
  • Accept that not everyone is going to be a good fit
  • Accept that people are going to find new goals
  • Try to create an enjoyable experience, and enjoy it yourself!

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Casual Guilds Are Not Easy! is a weekly series (usually) on Destructive Reach which is devoted to the running of those oh-so-mysterious creatures, the ultra casual World of Warcraft guild.  This series covers many of the problems which arise in the day to day running of a casual guild, possible solutions to these, and the implications of these solutions.

A guild is not a guild unless it has members.  Sounds pretty simple, right?  Well… not necessarily. These members need to come from somewhere, and it can be tough to find people to join your guild, especially if you need to find people to join who do not know you.  Recruitment is a difficult thing for all guilds.  How to make yourself known, how to not look like asshats by recruiting the wrong way, who to recruit… it’s all very hard.  The first thing to think about it why you want to recruit.  This will influence the way you recruit and who you recruit.

Casual guilds tend to have various reasons for recruiting, whether it be to break into 10 man raiding on a casual basis, to have more people to run various guild events, or merely to increase the size of your guild to something more self sustaining (that is, enough members to allow for conversation to flow in guild chat, to have guild instances be run without too much difficulty, etc).  If you are unsure as to why you want more members, you should not recruit until you have come up with a good reason.  Why is this important?

The reason forms the basis for your recruitment.  When you seek out new members, people like to know why you would want them.  They also want to know what your guild does and why they should be interested in joining.  Believe it or not, people are not going to want to join a guild because you say in your ad that your guild is awesome and the people in the guild are great.  They will want to join a guild because it has the same goals and ideas as they do.  This means that you need to be accurate when you state what your guild does and what you want to do.

A common trap guilds fall into is to exaggerate their achievements or overstate their goals.  Many guilds feel that they need to say they are aiming for much higher content or longer raid hours than what they really are for people to be interested in their guild.  There is a misconception that people are not interested in joining guilds unless they are raiding.  If this was truly the case, why would your guild exist at all?  Consider just how many people are playing World of Warcraft, how many people are on your server, and ask yourself – can ALL these people truly be interested in raiding?  If you want people to stay in your guild, then they have to join it for the right reasons.  Saying you farm Naxx might pull in lots of members, but they aren’t going to stick around when they discover you only go in there once a month and struggle on the third boss!

Casual guilds tend to have 2 large pools of people to recruit from: New players who are unguilded, and people who are quitting raiding and wish to have a more casual playstyle.  Now, I don’t have statistics, but I would also suggest that the most successful recruits (i.e – people who fit well into your guild and appreciate your guild philosophy) are people who are recruited by friends.  This isn’t to say that recruiting campaigns can not be successful – it is just much more likely that the people your members recruit through saying ‘how about you join my guild for a while and see how you like it?’ will stick around and be productive members of the team.

Friends recruiting friends often makes me think of a saying we used when I used to work in retail – ‘Stock sells stock’.  Basically, it meant that having more stock on the shelf would increase the sales of a product.  You can take this expression and apply it to your guild – members breed members.  No, this doesn’t mean your guild members should go forth and multiply to create future members!  The more members you have, the more members they themselves will recruit.  However, this does not mean that you have to have a HUGE membership base to ensure your numbers grow.  Quality over quantity, always!  You also do not want to have to have members just for the sake of it – always keep an ‘ideal guild size’ in mind, and ensure that the size fits your guild’s personality and needs.  There is no ‘right’ size for a casual guild – there are equally successful 25 and 300 account guilds out there.  Just go with what works for you and your members.

I personally think this form of relaxed recruiting is what works best for a casual guild.  Sure, it’s slow, it doesn’t really guarantee that you will get new members, but it does help make sure your members are a good fit for your guild.  Active recruiting is not as likely to have as high a retention rate.  However, if you are interested in active recruiting and need to increase your membership quickly, just keep these few points in mind

  • Don’t over sell your guild or make false promises
  • Ensure you talk to someone before you throw out the invite to see if they will be a good fit for your guild
  • Don’t poach!  Good for eggs, bad for guild reputations.
  • Consider all the different forms of advertisement – chat channels (please don’t use LFG), guild recruitment forums, etc.  Chat channels may be your best bet as a casual guild, but don’t be afraid to put a well written advertisement on the forums.  Make sure you don’t spam either!
  • Target the right groups in your advertising.  Remember – people who are new to the game, and people who are retiring from raiding and want to kick back a bit.  Don’t aim for raiders and hard core players.

If you must advertise, please, please, PLEASE avoid the following!

  1. ‘Have Tabard!’  (um…. yay?)
  2. ‘Will pay you gold to join’  (sounds like people REALLY want to stay in your guild buddy)
  3. ‘Have a Guild Bank’ (as does most every guild on the server)
  4. ‘Officers drawn by lottery each month’ (great, the guild could be led by total nincompoops next week)
  5. ‘We enjoy RL meet ups’ (just a bit full on for recruiting people, true or not)
  6. We have cleared x, y and z (unless it is true!)
  7. We do lots of fun stuff (very specific, aren’t you?

I don’t have space to cover advertising as well, but if there is enough demand I will certainly do a post on it.  This merely addresses common pitfalls and how to avoid them, and basic approaches to recruitment.

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