Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Wife Aggro on guild drama

Poor Pvthudson, not only does he have Wife Aggro, he now also has a guild drama. Copra linked to it in comments of the last post, but Blogger doesn't turn URLs in comments into clickable links automatically, you need to proceed them with the full <a href="http://www" etc. HTML code. So as this guild drama is such a typical one, I took the link and made a post out of it. Danger being that Pvthudson doesn't really like people linking to that post, as the fact that he wrote about it on his blog already got him kicked out of his guild.

The lesson from his long guild drama post is that if your guild has a Karazhan A team and a B team, you're guild is already near certain to experience guild drama in the not-so-far future. Having the TBC raid circuit start with a mandatory 10-man raid with one-week lockout has turned out to be the greatest guild killer in the history of WoW. In many guilds it lead to an elite of 10 players advancing fast through Karazhan, because they always play together and have the optimal raid composition, and the remainder of the guild advancing far slower because the composition is less optimal and varies from week to week. That creates a gap between the A team and the rest, and can easily end with a permanent split, when the A team suddenly notices that you can't kill Gruul with just 10 players, but is unwilling to split up and help the other players to get through Karazhan often enough to be ready for the next step.
I don't have a solution, but I'll take a step farther back.

Most of my guilds "A" Kara team are too busy raiding or farming for raids that rest of us are having to resort to PUGs to get keyed, and for normal group quests and instances.
I agree with anonymous there. While I love Kara the fact that it still requires keying while TK and SSC do not is ridiculous. You're already forcing smaller groups than raid guilds are built to truly sustain but once you have a group going through Kara it's hard for them to slow down and go backwards to get another group keyed and then even after that group is keyed it does nothing but lead to the inevitable clash between the group that's been clearing Kara and the group wiping earlier and frustrated.

It is strange that the "opening" instance causes so much alienation. Even worse is how good some of the Kara loot is, making Kara pretty much mandatory to continue on.
I hate the 10 man content, I still think it will be the bane of communities in this game. Good post Tobold.
Kara has pretty much killed my guild and we are one the last original Horde guilds on our server (charter signed on release day).

Pretty much how you describe it happened to us. Also what happened is Team A got sick of the game powering through Kara and have either stopped playing or now just PVP and are part of the Waiting On Warhammer crowd.

Now it's hard to even get one Kara raid since most people are sick of it but we still need to gear up new players.

I wish it would be like what ZA sounds like, shorter timer and more casual. The first raid entry should have been a 25 man raid. Kara should have been better than some drops but not as good as a whole. Like how ZG had some better drops than MC but MC overall had better drops.
Thank you for saying this. It's exactly what I have thought and experienced since the BC, and seen in mine and in multiple guilds. Yet, no one will admit it, certainly not Team A.

Once team A is ready for 25-mans, they bring team B for it wether ready or not -- since team A is all about "progression". They they sit and wonder why they don't get anywhere in the 25's.
another reason to make alts, more $$$ to feed the lazy pig named blizzard.
Very recognizable. On my server none of the major raid guilds of old have survived. My own guild tore itself apart in the A and B group fashion.

Now for the next phase. For Group A does not sit around and wonder why it can't get anywhere in 25-man raiding when they take Group B along. Instead they declare Group B utter noobs, then leave the guild to form their own elite hardcore uber etc etc guild with a Group A from another guild. These two group A's typically tear themselves apart within a month as well.

One of the basic problems is that WoW is very centred around loot. All of the game's incentives point at it. Meanwhile guild leadership has no in-game tools to speak of to organize their guild or create guild cohesion. There are no guild halls with communal areas, achievements, special things you worked for, etc etc. At best there's a guild bank, which is all about... loot. A random MUD has more guild support than Blizzard's multi-million dollar success story called WoW. It's a blatant shortcoming.

10-man raiding made it even worse in that everyone can start their own guild. 40-man raiding guilds were relatively scarce, especially the successful ones, so at least people felt like they better not screw up and stay a part of such a story. But everyone now thinks they can start their own 10-man guild. The result is a landscape of ruin with eventually a dramatic impact on bottom line.

I quit WoW over my guild tearing itself apart. Every sane person eventually tires of raiding, as the carrot simply stops looking appealing. But you keep coming back if you got friends and a commmunity to return to. Such a community is pretty dang hard to achieve in WoW at this moment and I see no near-term improvements.

- Sveral
As a total noob I think that currently the separation starts from the starting levels, at least for the people who enter the game as new players. Like I posted earlier, it seems that the Old World content -which is neatly absent from this discussion, too- is just a stepping stone for people already at the level cap, for powerlevelling another alt to fill the Team A/B/whatever. This effectively makes the Old World instances, which have been the training grounds for the older players totally out of reach of the newcomers.

Later on this results the fact that the Guilds raiding Kara et al constantly cannot be persuaded to even give a chance to a new player full of enthusiasm to compete, as s/he doesn't have the 'credentials' of running the earlier instances.

The newcomes will be left to the mercy of PUG hell, and most probably -without any real connection to older and more experienced players- will leave the game as an unsatisfying grind.

THe guild drama in question shows the problem that the older guilds easily fall prey to: elitism and favoritism. The possibility to entertain weak rl ego is immense, and it seems that people turn into egoistic pigs without even noticing it. Couldn't there be an incentive to help, guide and support the lower level toons/players?

I wholly agree with Sveral on the issue of WOW guild tools being inadequate in handling the needed guild co-operation and communication: this may be one reason why the guilds fail, as the information gets buried in the dialogues and restricted areas of the Guild forums.

I believe also, that people who start guilds think way too small in the beginning, and when the guild grows to and beyond the critical mass, they cannot cope with the huge requirements of running a guild. At that instance it becomes easier to resort to the closest friends and most active players and forget the rest, causing the separation of Team A and Team Z.

I wrote a comment on Pvthudson's blog about the Guild Management 101 earlier, that he should write a book on the subject he discussed there: the facts are there, the ability to write is there, and there seems to be a need for this kind of guide. Just look how well the book about Syndicate is selling and that book covers partly the same cesspool: guild building and management.

As an updateable e-book this guide might provide a nice addition to the living... maybe paying for the playing of several games!

Ahh - more music to my ears. The sooner this overrated raider-centric abomination disppears from the mmorpg radar, the better.

So much early potential and so many good points, all undone by their bizarre obsession with pandering to the few...
In my opinion the problem lies with players, rather than the 10 man nature of Karazhan.

If you are in a Guild, surely you have a common goal? The selfish attitude that 'I got my Karazhan gear now, and I don't want to help other people in the guild get theirs' is so disappointing.

For me, Karazhan is the most fun instance in BC. Forget SSC, where you just spend hour after hour wiping for minimum gain; at least in Karazhan you can put down 4 or 5 bosses in a 2-3 hours, and get some nice rewards for doing so, too.

There should never be an A and a B team if the A team is all the best players and the B team is all the worst players (or rather, the less well-equipped players). Mix it up, get some of the B team in the A team's raid, and that shouldn't hurt too much.
People's selfishness really piss me off at times.
The problem is a guild isn't really a guild anymore. Unless they are hitting 25 man content. What I see in game now is:

Hey I left my guild I got jipped on loot, lets get 9 other people that were kicked out and run the UBRS of Burning Crusade. Ill get the charter and lets call it something stupid

I see guilds with no leaders on all week. I see guilds with no regard for how their members behave, just a total collapse of the community, if one can consider it ever a stand up crowd.
True, so very true. Good pointer, pvthudson!

People seem to have forgotten totally what a Guild should be and what it takes to make a good community. And Blizzard isn't exactly helping on the community tool side, either, making it pretty clear that the game is about the last 25 man raiding.

Maybe someone on Blue will read and react. Who knows?

I have to agree as well, as the same thing happened to me.

I was in the top 40-man raiding guild on the server (we cleared Naxx), and when TBC came out, the Kara groups were formed by the cliques, and those who weren't part of the clicques were told to PUG for their rep grinds and that maybe you'd get into Kara on a B, C or D team.

At that point, I shelved that toon and took a break from the game. I wasn't going to grind rep and heroics with PUGS, and the leadership didn't want to lead.

Blizz really screwed up there. I loved the 40-mans. I miss those days of MC, BWL, AQ40 and Naxx.
Vlad really hit the nail on the head; it's not the game, it's not the 10-man Raids, and it's not the "Guild", it's the people. Just because you have 20 people in the Rabid Rabbit Killers doesn't mean you have a Guild. You have a Guild when those 20 people are willing to work together. You have a Guild when the elite 10 run Kara for a month or two, but also help others slowly get attuned, or run Heroics with them. You have a Guild when some of the elites are willing to sit Kara out and let the newly keyed folks have their turn with the A-Team. You have a Guild when the elite 10 are willing to split 50:50 to form two Kara Raid groups when enough of the slower (for want of a better word) members get Kara keyed to allow for that.

If you don't have this you don't have a Guild, you just have a group of players who share a common Chat Channel.
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