Tobold's Blog
Monday, February 26, 2007
A guild within a guild

Call me a pessimist, but I think my guild is on a slippery slope towards trouble and splitting up. People started raiding Karazhan, and formed static groups to go there repeatedly. So the same bunch of 10 people is going there again and again, advancing their characters in raid knowledge and loot, and leaving the others behind. Meanwhile I'm stuck in the attunement quest, because I can't find a good enough tank to do Black Morass for the final key. Because the well-equipped tanks that are doing Karazhan are doing Karazhan, and "don't have the time" to help others with their attunement.

Of course it is only a matter of time until there are distinctive sub-groups in the guild, guilds within a guild, who share a guild chat channel, but never play together. "Hey sorry, we can't take you with us, you don't have the experience and the gear". Or the even more outrageous "You didn't work hard enough, it's your own fault it you don't have the attunement / gear."

I'm beginning to get sick and tired of the whole leet raiding attitude. I really would like to see these raid dungeons, but I don't want to play this whole us-and-them guild politics game about who is "best". If a guild can't manage to help each other and get everybody forward, and not just a select elite, the guild is a failure in my eyes.
Definitely agree with you there. It's still just a game, but take it too seriously and that's what happens. :(

It's disheartening.
Some people take it seriously, some don't. If your guild has turned into one taking it seriously, its time for you to move on to another one taking it less seriously. Don't hesitate to let yourself go and enjoy the game. Sad ofcourse that you need to leave your friends. Or should i say "friends"?
Blizzard did a terrible thing to raiding guilds with introducing Karazhan 10man as a required instance. You gotta complete it in order to gain entrance into other 25man instances. It would been better to keep it as ZG was. A divertion, a place to go when we can't find 25people.

Now when we gathering for 10man we always end up with 10+ dps classes wanting to join and couple tanks and very few healers. We can mount 1 Karazhan raid if we wait a bit.

Getting SMS from people, "save 2 slots, we will be late" is not an option. 8 man can't do shit in Karazhan. Trashmobs respawn so fast that there is no point in clearing a bit and filling raid after a while. Like we could do in Molten core. Start with 25man and sometime after Maggy we had full 40man.

I love the challenges in Karazhan, boss fights are well done but there is a BIG problem for me trying to administrate raids there within a raiding guild that used to go BWL/AQ40. There is always badfeelings from people left out and I can understand that, but atm I have no choice here other than not going there at all.
I'm having a similar problem in my guild. We have a semi-static group that does some instances and doesn't let anyone in that tight group. I thought I was the only one noticing it, until I heard second-hand that there was at least another person noticing that, and feeling the same way - like crap.

The stupid thing is, at least one of those peope (coincidentally the one that usually organizes those runs) knows better than to do that, as I'm certain he's aware that when we get to instances that require more people, we will either not have enough people attuned, or half the raid will be ill-equiped. And so we'll be evolving a lot slower than we are now.

It's something that can definitly tear a guild apart, and I'm not sure, that my guild will manage to escape that if things don't change, to be perfectly honest.

PS - Sorry if it's a double post, but it looked like the comment timed out.
It seems to me like Blizzard has failed once again. Lowering the raiding cap from 40 to 25 was a step in the right direction for making the game at least a bit more available to the general mass. Then they take 4 steps back making it even less available than most dungeons in the pre-BC game by having tons of "attuning" to do. Long questlines and grinding rep both left and right. It's just silly.
I am not sure that 25man is making the Instances more available. In 25man every person counts as more important than 40man. In the old instances we had on farm it didnt matter much that we invited couple of newbies as long as they didn't blow up the party with Geddon or Vael bomb. The selection will be more strict for 25man and there is not more raidleaders suddenly on a realm that can get those left out into new raids.
The guild I am in is in EXACTLY the same position at the moment - a real 'us and them' is forming. I used to be in the true core of the guild - I helped form it after all - but with choosing to play one of the new races, it slowed down my ding to 70 til after 10 were doing Karazhan. Seems like they're not bothered with us 'lowbies' anymore.
Our guild is a collection of very different individuals, a real casual gamer guild (we made it up to AQ40 Twin Emps before the expansion). At the moment only 1-2 people in our guild have seen Karazhan, because they (one being a great tank player and the other a good healer) were invited to join as a highend guild wanted to start Karazhan and lacked some key people.

The main GC crying at the moment is similar "can't find suitable tank" for all these 5 man instances is a common theme. Most often issued by DD classes, suddenly in need for tanks & healer classes. Fortunately, our guild has quite a lot of them, but never enough as more people are 70 and belong to a DD class than a tank/healer class.

Once we have a 10 man team together and they start raiding Karazhan, I think this will have a similar effect as with Tobolds guild. It was similar wirh UBRS raiding in the beginning, only the really quick (not the best!) players were in that group. But the advantage of UBRS was that only one person needed the key, not all 10 of them.

In my opinion (and I am a raid leader of our 100 main char guild but leveled really slow), Blizzard messed this up (again). Next thing, many 70 instances are too hard for the casuals. I don't whine, I enjoy a challenge. But I see that the even more casual gamer in our guild will be turned away from the hard encounters and start equipping their twinks. I personally will look into the direction of LOTRO if WOW gaming / raiding won't give me any more thrill.

Fortunately, our guild is quite seasoned and we have very few real eager / leet characters in our midst.
Just reading about how tough the Heroic dungeons are is a put-off to me.
I'm a casual player - after a hard day's work where I put up with endless amounts of BS, I want to relax in the evening.
I will probably do most of the attunement quests I can, but I doubt I will go any further than that.
As for Guilds, I remember when our guild was formed, and it was promised that no-one would be left out, and that as a minimum, the guild would make sure that everyone had a chance to get their Dungeon 1 sets and as much Fire Resist gear as possible before any thought to Onyxia and MC would take place.
Of course, it never worked out like that. As soon as some players had all their gear, they quit the guild and joined a raiding guild, or worse still, remained in the guild but went raiding with other guilds and never teamed with their guild again.
The weird thing about that is when I consider the words "guild" and "serious".

ISTM that "guild" implies working together to attain a common end goal.
And "serious" implies that someone is willing to do what it takes.
So taken together, a "serious guild" leadership would *require* that when a guildie is willing to get the needed attunement, then a "no man left behind" mindset would have guildies falling all over themselves in an effort to help their fellows attain the attunements they need.

Sounds to me like your situation is a case of serious selfishness / self-advancement, which in the absence of strong leadership will inevitably unravel a group.
I think most of those posting here are looking at this issue from the wrong prespective.

Tobold's guild is shortsighted and poorly managed. Even in the most serious of endgame raid guilds, it is important to always plan your membership not tuned to the instance you are progressing in, but rather two instances ahead of where you are.

In this case that would be Gruul's Lair and Magtheridon. If Tobold's guild leaders sacrifice membership for the immediate instant gratification in Karazhan, they will fail when Karazhan becomes obsolete which is about 2-3 months away.

Last night my guild downed the first boss in Gruul's Lair. The only reason we are where we are, is instead of saying screw you to the unattuned members, we scheduled mandatory attunement night to run people through the chain. Players are expected to get themselves to the Arcatraz portion of the chain, and the guild will take care of the rest.

In order to succeed in tBC endgame, a solid guild will need 30-35 reliable raiders to field a balanced 25 man team every night. You are never going to get to that point if you gear and care for only 10 people.

Besides, truth be told, Karazhan loot is roughly equal to heroic loot, though worse in many cases, so this whole Karazhan craze is way overstated. Karazhan is a good place to learn group dynamics, new raid mechanics with smaller encounters, and to get to know your teammates more intimatly. It is NOT a gear intensive instance, nor is it a requirement to move on to the next zone.

In thsoe regards, we switch our two raid teams every week, then lock them for the week. This week was my off-week. I ran heroics and got more gear than I did the previous week when I raided Karazhan and downed 8 bosses.
Let's call it new-years-guild-cleansing, wich often occurs when new content requires new structures: e.g. raidsize decreases fron 40 to 25/10. I am also in the left-behind gang right now, with a core of people raiding Kara and others left behind. I honestly do not care right now for raiding spots, cause i know my class will be needed later, i know the Karazhan loot still is crappy (will change soon) and i have way too much fun running pickups in 5mans. I think it's actually healthy for the guild, cause it shows to everyone what the guild is about, it it is focused/hardcore/casual.

A 10 man setup is way to sensitive to care about raidspots. Kara is way to hard to switch people around, to satisfy everyone. If a guild actually struggles in this period of the progression, it wasn't a solid guild to begin with period.

There are many players who joined 40 raids only to get loot they could not get elsewhere, not to support their new guild. Minimized raidsizes now make it easier to spot those kind of players. But now it becomes kind of hard to boot them off, cause many may realize those people represent the core of their raid setups. Give it time, the new flavor of Karazhan will vanish soon enough and things come back to normal.

I guess things will get much worse, when guilds need their members to max all their factions in heroics. Good luck getting all those DPS classes through this mess with only a couple of tanks and healers. 1 group content for raid progression is just stupid and makes zero sense. Especially the tank problem won't solve anytime soon and with the recent patch message, things won't get easier.

The problem is class distribution bundled with their talent system e.g. limited skill sets. As long as 5mans are played you need a lot of tanks and healers. When 5mans become harder you need dedicated tanks and healers: protection warriors, holy priests, holy paladins, resto shaman/druids. Guess what classes/specs had the lowest populations since WoW 1.0? Protections tanks and dedicated healers.
My guild is the same way. About 13 or so people are kaza attuned. They goto kaza every few nights and get torn apart. They could be helping the guild get attuned, but rather they jusy flood guild chat with complaints about kaza.

I'm on my way to the third part of the key. It has taken me forever because no one wanted to run steam vaults or shadow labs.

The biggest issue I have is not with my guild, i'm an amazing pug'er, but my issue is the sheer lack of tanks. Its really getting annoying. Every group I get in gets 4 people, "LF1M tank"....we wait 20 minutes, no tank, one person drops, they rest get fustrated and drop as well.

Or...I get a group, it has a tank, guess what!!?!? The tank is fury and can't hold aggro or tank massive hits....we wipe two times. Tank says "Damn, I can't afford a repair bill with these crappy heals" disbands.

I completed shadow labs once, with a feral druid. I know its off topic but I'm so sick of the tank situation...blizzard went from 5 man dungeons(scholo, UBRS), any tank will due(pally, druid, fury warrior) to 5-man almost raid like structure needed. You need to have a good core, tank/healer needed! This throws the whole casual thing off because 9/10 warriors aren't protection.

@Crazyflanger: I agree. We have 2 Warriors in our guild at lv 70; the only problem is that they are Fury/Arms spec, and they just can't hack it as MTs. It's all very well them 'having a go', but constant wipes or DPS/Priest deaths are not fun.
How many times have you been in a PUG only for someone (usually the Priest) to drop out after waiting 15 minutes or so?
No offense, but if you have only two possible tanks and they are both DPS, you need to recruit or find a new guild.
I see this in my guild as well. There are 8-12 "elite" type folks, they folks you see whenever you login. They are almost always in some l33t dungeon somewhere, after l00t of some kind or another. They are all keyed up and waiting around. Then there are the non-elite, time-impaired folks. The men and women playing when their kids go to bed. My biggest gripe (since I'm one of the time impaired) is being called "lazy" by the l33t folk. I'm not lazy. In fact, whenever I login now, my purpose is going after attunements..and that's just sad. There are zones I really haven't quested in yet. Because of the guild lust for purples and RAIDING, I find myself trying to scrap together groups to get key bits. The l33ters are off seeking their gear, while we can't even get in the door.

That, and my feral druid main just lost some armor and dmg. Oh well, I kinda saw it coming given the hurt I was putting out.
As I said on the "2.0.10 patch" thread, Blizz planted the seeds for this problem back in the pre-BC 2.0.1 patch.
My prediction is that there will be a widespread nerf to top-end instances (and perhaps changes to the attunement process) within 6 weeks.
I guess I'm just lucky. The guild I'm in is huge. We got prolly 16-20 70s now working on there attunments. Another 15 are between 65-70. Moving fast. We never really raided all that much pre-BC. Hell we actually were just starting to get some decent raids fielded. We stopped after the BC was announced with only an occaisional run into MC, ZG, or AQ20. Big fun and helped us ready ourselves for Ony. After BC hit it weas a mad dash for the mighty 70. The attitude in the guild is pretty much " If you want to go, Ask. We will make the time to take you where you need to go." Progression is nice, but the founders and old guard (of which I'm old guard) have made it clear that the more people we can get to 70/raid status, the more fun can be had. Not to mention the ability to field multiple raids(if handled correctly). We've had people leave cuz we weren't progressig fast enough but the style we use enables us to progress consistantly and constantly.

Most likly the dungeons will get tweeked to increase difficulty and prolong the attunements. Blizz is banking on the Exp to last until the next, or close to it. Killing of the druids will help slow down the progression as more people look for 'real" tanks to do the dirty work.
Our guild was headed this way, and then said this morning - no raids this week, get attuned, keyed, and level up! By putting raids on hold for seven days, we're hoping to get those in the low-mid 60s up to the point they can join in the fun.
Been reading this blog for a bit know and this post struck home so I decided to finally comment.

I started a guild for BC, and a huge mistake I made was asking my two roommates to help lead it with me. One is very helpful (we'll call him D), and I'm glad he's there. The other (B), however, is incredibly selfish. He got his character attuned to Karazhan - one of the first in the guild to do so - then started getting an alt to 70.

We emphasized to our members to get keyed, and D and I helped out where we could, asking people where they were on the chain and trying to put groups together.

B, however, felt that doing that was handholding and refused to help at all unless someone personally asked him. Even then, I never saw him with a group to help get people keyed for Karazhan. I was frustrated as hell at him, and I didn't even need to be keyed. Then, when I talked to him about it he got all defensive, like he usually does, and said that these people weren't working hard enough and weren't putting in any effort themselves.

Our guild is very small - only about 15 or so level 70s total. Had our first Karazhan run last night and needed 3 non-guild members with us to help. I really want to make sure I get everyone I can into groups and avoid this elite core thing that most guilds have going... we'll see how well that goes.
This caught my eye:
" Most likly the dungeons will get tweeked to increase difficulty and prolong the attunements. Blizz is banking on the Exp to last until the next, or close to it. Killing of the druids will help slow down the progression as more people look for 'real" tanks to do the dirty work."

I would disagree for two major reasons:
-- Blizz has nerfed the game in many ways with the BC, including stuff that wasn't "advertised" as far as I know (I just happen upon examples every-so-often)
-- In order to extend the game, Blizz can and will simply add more content -- there are several instance "stubs" available; in fact, I was at the gates of Uldum in southern Tanaris last night.

In other words, I think that "a bit easier, little more" is the WoW business model -- and Blizz has the financial foundation to pull it off, too.

So if current assessments are that the attunements / raids / heroic are too tough for the tank pool, IMO Blizz will nerf content, and soon. I also would say that it's quite likely that warriors (and maybe priests) will be given a free respec within 6 weeks' time under the excuse of "class review".

Finally, I expect that Blizz will drop in new content by July at the latest, probably in the form of additional instances, and probably as a platform to start with "teasers" for the next expansion.

But, who really knows?
If a guild can't manage to help each other and get everybody forward, and not just a select elite, the guild is a failure in my eyes.

Very important point. Because if that's happening, then the guild isn't a guild, and the elite are as much if not more to blame than the people who are behind. The point of the guild is to advance the guild. If the people who are ahead aren't taking the time to help the people who are a little behind, then in a sense, it's the same as if they were ninja-looting all of the drops in dungeons, which would probably be as damaging to a guild's progression as not helping those you're going to need later on.
I think people need to cool off and stop freaking out. Anyone that's been around since 2005 Realizes that instances start off tough and then get easier. Fact of the matter is when I got to 60 on my first character Dire Maul wasn't even in the game yet and Upper Black Rock Mountain was a challange. Stratholme and Scholomance were wipefests still.

Guess what I'm saying is that these instances offering a challange are going to become easier and they're going to be farmed. Just give it time, what's the hurry. If you're competing to be the first on your server to conquer it, then realize other guilds all over the world are going to beat you too it. So again, who cares.

Have fun, help your guildies, do quests, wipe in karazhan. But if you're guild is neglecting you now then face the facts. They're probably people that play more often then you, are better players then you, and it only makes sense to keep them in karazhan. Since it would be my bet, those people are the same ones to pull you and anyone else not with them through your Attunements, answer your questions about questing, and blazes the trail ahead for the rest of you to follow behind with little to know effort or thought put into it. Thing is we're 1.5 months into this and some people aren't even 70 yet. While Real Life takes prescedence over the game. Surely you understand why these people who've dedicated more time and basically have been your personal player-tip-guide-book. Should get first stab and learning and being in the new instance?

less QQ more PEWPEW
Because of this, more and more people are starting to move servers.

Have noticed on the Oceanic Server I'm on, there's a huge influx of people moving over from other Oceanic Servers. These are people already attuned to Kara and looking to find new homes. The exodus is something like 8-10 people each time but they don't have the proper mix for the runs.
Very recognizable post, Tobold. On my server every top guild has split up one way or another. They either kicked half their members or literally blew up. The same happened to my guild. A select few rushed to level 70, got attuned, jumped in Karazhan and from there on everyone else were n00bs and they were l33t. Noobs that made it to 70 afterwards were a threat to their precious spots in Karazhan (for right now everyone plays 7 nights a week). So they packed up their bags, created their own little guild... and began to spam Shattrah with recruitment messages shortly afterwards to get fresh filling material. It's almost comical.

So is this all due to guild organization? Naturally a well-organized guild can withstand some shocks. But let's not fool ourselves. Much of this is due to game design choices. Poor ones, for that matter.

WoW offers precious little features to help you customize and run a guild. The interface is hilariously primative and the options totally limited. You can't have guild halls, guild taxation, special guild assets, etc, other than by working round them in weird ways. The average MUD has more and better features to support guilds. This all adds to the dominating theme of WoW: loot. Guilds are in most cases for most people a vehicle to get loot. You don't get loot, you go somewhere else. A sense of community, belonging, etc... you can have it, but game design ain't stimulating it.

Great idea to add more casual 5-man material. But it should have been casual 5 and 10-man material. And let's do away with the nasty attunements that act as stupid road blocks. Then have raids that are all of equal size around 20 or 25 players so guilds can cater around that. Instead of a 10 versus 25 man split.

All game design decisions. Stories about how l33t some folks are and therefore pushing the envelope make me laugh. I've been deep into Naxxramas and all it takes it the will to grind every living moment of your life. Other than pushing a button or two you really don't require any skills that any intelligent beings can't master in no time. I'm not in a rush to get back on the treadmill. Loot doesn't interest me and content-wise I haven't even seen half of the TBC instances yet. That should occupy me until LOTRO comes out!
Everyone is blaming the wrong people. It's not Blizzard's fault, nor is it the need to go to a 10 man's fault, it's people's fault.

You needed to go to UBRS to get into BWL and Ony, I don't see people saying that was a mistake.

If a guild can't be bothered to help it's own members get attuned, it's a failure, it's not a guild, just a few kids who think they are above the others. There's no comparison to a guild who was already raiding to require attunements from people who were applying brand new - that is different. This is a guild who is hitting the raid dungeons together, and the "top" members absolutely refuse to help the others.

These ones in Kara did their attunements easily with friends and the guildmates who got to 70 first, then expect other friends to PUG it, forgetting how painful and slow that is. Then having the audacity to say the members left behind are somehow less able, when they took the easier route themselves.

It's not Blizz, not the raid size, but people are the problem, people who get so focused on getting to the end as fast as they can, they don't give a damn about anyone else.
anonymous wrote "those people are the same ones to pull you and anyone else not with them through your Attunements, answer your questions about questing, and blazes the trail ahead for the rest of you to follow behind with little to know effort or thought put into it."

If those people bothered to help others you'd be right. But in most cases, and it appears in Tobold's case, they are NOT helping with attunements, NOT answering questions about questing, and NOT helping them follow behind with little effort.

And "better players"? Hah! Often that just means they have more time. I'm better than many priests who've gotten to AQ40 though I've never gotten to BWL, I can tell just from reading their crappy uninformed theorycraft. Being better has little to do with how far you got in the game or how much time you put in.

The effort people put in is solved by participation based DKP, no need to create classism or not help others, just institute dkp then the people who were there first don't need to worry. maybe dkp for a 10 man is silly, but if it makes the "better players" actually act like better players, not "elite" jerks, then maybe it's a good idea.
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