Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Guild recruitment

In 2006 I wrote a post about guild management. Yesterday somebody posted the following comment to that thread:
Disorder are a Kul Tiras - EU (PVE) Alliance Raiding guild. We are late to the party but are catching up quick Smile

We have recently got the 5/6 SSC and 3/4 TK point and have been working on Vashj. Due to a group of players retiring from the raiding aspect of the game recently, we are looking to bolster our team for advancement in BT/Hyjal and returning to kick Vashj and Kael butt.

We are looking for the following classes:

Warlock: 1
Priest: 1 Holy
Druid: 0
Paladin: 2
Warrior: 1 Prot (Must be well geared)
Hunter: 0
Shamans: 1 Resto
Mage: 0
Rogue: 1

Any applicants wishing to join us need at minimum full Kara epics / best crafted epics, preferably with SSC / TK experience beyond Lurker and Void Reaver. Our Raid schedule is Wednesday/Thursday/Sunday/Tuesday from 8 til 12 Server time. We have a very good team at the moment and will only take on players that are fully committed to the PVE scene and all the effort it takes to progress. We welcome X-server transfer applicants and will discuss more about the guild 1:1 if it helps.

You can find more details about us at our website
Fell free to fill up application post in the Recruitment topic on forum.
Why anyone would think that posting a guild recruitment add in some ancient comment thread on my blog would get him any applicants is beyond me. The comment section of Blogger is automatically tagged NOFOLLOW, so anything you write here will never make it to a search engine, even if the thread has a high page rank. And as the poster didn't ask me whether he could use my blog for advertising, I'm going to make him a deal unilaterally too: I'm posting his add on my front page, where it will be seen a lot more. And in return I will write about what is wrong with that sort of add in general. Because while this is just one guild, you can find guild recruitment adds that look pretty much identical all over the internet.

I didn't really become involved with guilds a lot in Ultima Online, so my very first real guild was in Everquest. I played Everquest for 19 months, and pretty much all of it with the same people, although a server split shook the guild up a bit. Also I have to say that the highest level I ever reached in EQ was 42, so I never raided. In fact my guild never raided. The whole idea that the only purpose of a guild could be to go raiding was completely foreign to us. A guild was there to hang out with online friends, and to form groups with people you trusted and knew they were competent. And of course the guild purpose determined the criteria for guild recruitment: you were looking for people who were nice, who you could get along with, and who would be loyal to the guild. Loyalty was extremely important, not just for our guild, but for EQ guilds in general. People were building long-term online friendships in that game, and your friends were often what kept you playing even if you were frustrated with some aspect of the game.

Now look at the guild recruitment ad above: It doesn't even mention people! Guilds in World of Warcraft don't hire players, they hire avatars. They need holy priests and well geared protection warriors (surprise, surprise), and don't care much about the character of the player who is behind the avatar. Did you just rob your guild bank and can't show your face on your server any more? No problem, cross-server applicants are accepted with no questions asked, except for questions about their gear and what boss fights they are already trained to do. In EQ guild switching was frowned upon, in WoW it is considered to be a classical raider career, working your way up from small guilds to medium guilds until you finally arrive at one of the top raiding guilds.

In my post about guild management I wrote: "I've seen that again and again how guilds are so concentrated of pushing the front forward that they basically forget about the stragglers coming behind. The worst uber guilds just kick out the people that fall behind. But even the better guilds basically let the newbies fight for themselves, or think that by letting them have an epic from MC they helped them more than enough. But purple loot can't replace the feeling of being part of a community, and new players having to endure pickup groups while the guild is raiding BWL probably don't feel much friendship towards the others. By the time they arrive at being able to raid Zul'Gurub, the guild has probably just decided to not give out any DKP for ZG raids any more, because no officer can be bothered to join these "low level" raids. The gap between players even inside the same guild is growing. And if everything is organized by guild officers that are the guild's top raiders, it is logical that not much thought is spent on the problems of the "lesser" guild members. I've seen some cases where the guild leaders evolved so far ahead of the rest of the guild, that they ended up quitting and leaving the bulk of the guild behind. Or they burned out and quit, with nobody left to take over guild leadership. My hope is that the Burning Crusade fixes some of these issues."

Guess what? The Burning Crusade didn't fix these issues. I just need to change the names of the raid dungeons, and the paragraph is as true as it ever was. Guilds do not recruit nice people and then train them in how to raid. They try to recruit fully trained and equipped raiders. And as the only way to get a fully trained and equipped raider is to get him from another guild, loyalty can't be a selection criteria. EQ had blacklists, WoW has a "don't ask, don't tell" policy on why you left your previous guild. And if somebody asks, "I left my old friends because with you guys I hope to advance faster" is a perfectly acceptable answer. Being available for raiding "Wednesday/Thursday/Sunday/Tuesday from 8 til 12 Server time" becomes a more important selection criteria than unimportant things like being nice, polite and helpful.

If a guild's only reason of being is raid progress, with no friendship or mutual help outside raids involved, the thought of losing your "friends" isn't going to stop you from quitting the day you get burned out by the game. If a guild was a band of brothers, lacking a holy priest or protection warrior wouldn't be a problem. Somebody would volunteer to create a new character, knowing that the guild would help him to advance fast to the point where he could help them out with their raiding. Most companies and most armies in the real world hire people with talent and then train them to their needs. Why can't that work for WoW guilds?
Aside from your server reputation, there's little to prevent you from leeching off a guild. With name changes and server transfers, even that's not really an issue anymore.

Maybe Blizzard could snag an idea from EvE and do what it does best: refining ideas. EvE has two mechanics that don't necessarily discourage guild/corporation hopping, but guarantee that there will be consequences: Corporation history and standings.

EvE keeps track of your previous corporations in an uneraseable and public log. With a few clicks, a recruiting officer can check the applicant's previous corporations as well as his standing with them. If there were any drama involved with his departure, it shows. For more information, the CEOs (guild masters) of those corporations can easily be contacted.

Naturally, WoW guilds can require that the applicant provides a guild history with their application (mine does), but there's no easy way to know whether the applicant is whitewashing or flat out lying.

However, some guilds have knowingly accepted applicants who were guilty of ninjalooting or griefing. Other guilds may protest, but that's about it. Since there's no intra-faction PvP and the PvE that matters is instanced, all threats of retaliation will be hollow.

If there can be no consequences, self-restraint will be limited at best.
I completely agree with your comments.
I recently /gquit my Belf's guild.
I found their attitude towards raiding completely unacceptable.

I was in the guild for 6 months, but when it came to raiding Kara with a new team, rather than looking for players within the guild who were almost (but not quite) ready to go there, instead they went out and recruited a lot of new players.
Some of these people had never even raided, didn't know how to play their class properly, and had real bad attitudes, but that didn't matter; they were available to start Kara the next day, rather than in 2 weeks, so they were invited into the guild and put straight into the team.
The fact I was a guild member with a good attitude and a lot of experience of Kara wasn't even considered. I wasn't ready, so too bad.
Then unsurprisingly there was a lot of drama connected with this new team - people who didn't get on, others who thought they were too good for the guild etc, and a lot of the newbies /gquit.
So, suddenly there was a place for me in the team after all.
The only thing was, the raid time was now too early for me (6.30pm on a weekday, rather than 7.15pm as originally planned). There was no discussion about what was the best time for everyone, the raid leader decided the time to suit him best, and everyone else had to fit in.

My suggestion that I could be on-line at 6.45pm and ready for the actual start time of 7pm was rejected, I HAD to be there at 6.30pm or I wouldn't get a spot; No discussion allowed.
Progress over people, that is all that mattered.
So, like a lot of people before me, I typed in /gquit.
Guild mechanics need to be diversified.

I don't feel like i am in a community at all.
I don't think all guilds fall into the same category - it's what you make it.... see our description from our web site for example :-

Clouds of Darkness is a guild who has been around since september 2006. We grew steadely and have now a core of members who know eachother really good ingame and some also out of game.

Currently we are raiding karazhan on two weekdays. We want to expand our guild so we can do the bigger 25 man raids too, but still at a relaxed level. Our current karazhan schedule is Wednesday first part, and finish on Sunday. If we have a second raid group, it's up to that group to decide what days they want to raid.

Most of our members are mature people, both in age and in behaviour. We are people who like to raid, but not extensively. When we are raiding we are focused and try to do our best. But we never try to loose our temper, and never ever kick people for making mistakes. With this attitude we've killed the prince and nightbane in karazhan and doing that now on a regular bases.

We want to do more, see more content, meet nice bosses :) etc. That's why we need more like minded people. People who have the same goals as the guild. People who are patient, don't mind sitting out a karazhan run, and want to help other guildies to get things done, when they have time.

We don't want people who are asking all the time if they can come to our raids, complaining that other guildies are not helping them on quests or who are generally nagging. We also don't want people who don't want to put a little effort in the guild, like registering on the forum and making thing easier by installing addons like group calendar etc.

We don't require much. We don't require you to respecc if you have a certain specc, allthough if you can have a good healing specc and are willing to heal, you are applauded very much. We like it very much if people help contributing to raids the best way they can. We do not however enforce it.

We also don't enforce coming to raids. We use group calendar and you can sign up for a raid. If you, however, have signed up, we do expect you to be there, because if you won't you will let 9 or 24 other people down, depending on the raid.

We are not a hardcore guild, but a casual one. If you want to raid 4 times a week or so, you probably get bored and will leave. In such a case, it's better not to apply.

In short, if you have read all this, you are probably patient :), if you liked what you read, you may want to make an application on our forum.
I don't think all guilds fall into the same category

I totally agree. While the example of the recruitment ad was typical for many hardcore raiding guilds, there are also very friendly, close-knit small family-type guilds, and everything in between. My own guild for example doesn't list classes or spec as requirements for recruitment.

You will however notice that the friendlier the guild, the less advanced it often is in the raid circuit. It seems to be hard to be both nice *and* successful in raiding.
It seems to be hard to be both nice *and* successful in raiding.

Like in RL Tobold...

Guild should have tags in my opinion so you could do a search on criteria like hardcore, casual, pvp, pve, raid, mature, ...

A search tool like in eq2 with the guild name, an orientation, the contacts, etc should be a cool start to put in place.
Seems guilds are still a hot potato when it comes to creating that community feel in a game. From my experience guilds that recruit so readily that the have a swam of players in their ranks early on suffer from lack of community feel.

Think the guild mechanic in MMORPGs has been the most underutilised by games publishers since the early days of the '90's.
I think there are many community oriented guilds in the game. Ours is one. But those guilds aren't necessarily very visible. I would say they are mostly small guilds, more often casual than not. We are such a guild and we have never really recruited actively. We are known on our server but only to those who have been there for some time.

Even we struggle though to make it a good community and include everyone. There are always a couple of members who aren't integrated well into the guild. It is one of the biggest problems we have.

Sometimes I wish there were a few more "common" goals for groups of people that didn't require us to go raid. Something more fluff. Guild banks are an ok first step that gives us an opportunity to work together. But I want more. I want an in-game event calendar with sign-ups. I want some kind of guild-quest.

I also like the idea of attaching an un-eraseble guild history and standing to any character regardless of name or realm changes.

Bye Yashima
Maybe part of the problem is there is no reward mechanism for building a strong guild. Instead you are only rewarded for raid progression.

In EQ2 don't guilds get points to spend based on the levels of the characters in the guild, how long the guild has been active, etc? In LOTRO there are some similar rewards (based on the guild lifespan). Was something like that present in EQ?

Maybe that is part of the problem: players are merely acting based on the reward system that Blizzard has set up.

Maybe also its so easy to solo, that there are few opportunities to build meaningful memories with other people.
Every time I think about coming back to WoW, a post like this reminds me why I left.
A Tale in the Desert (ATITD) is/was an MMORPG that has a great community feel to it. One of the features is the ability to be in more than one guild. So you can be in different guilds that have different purposes (socializing, quests, special events, ... etc). So you could be in a guild who's sole purpose was to finish a specific quest (very little socializing), yet still be in another guild that was very friendly and more general purpose.

The old SWG had some great community-building tools. If you could get enough people together, you could create your own city. The city, depending on the number of citizens, had its own civic structures (bank, auction terminals, npcs, housing, shuttle port).

Question. Are most raiding groups just one guild? Can't several guilds get together to do raiding together?
You read the advert and decided that the guild was not for you. I would say that makes the advert a success.

There are many different communities all with different reasons for existing. Harcore raiding is just one of them. You probably see more adverts from them though because they have more need to advertise.
...We grew steadely and have now a core of members who know eachother really good ingame and some also out of game....

...We want to expand our guild so we can do the bigger 25 man raids...

I believe this is of course how most guilds start. A group of friends that enjoy playing together and develop strong ties and trust within the game. The problem is the clickish nature this creates. I find myself in this very spot right now.

Perhaps this is a result of The Solofication of MMORPGs. While leveling, you generally only need one or two others to assist you with some of the harder quests, but you can still skip those and get to 70. In instances, you only need four others. This naturally creates small groups within a guild that become comfortable grouping together. If you're fortunate that group can be larger than 25, but most probably you aren't that lucky. So you start recruiting and there is no emotional attachment or even a motivation to create new friendships there, because you have "your group" for regular stuff and only need these others for the raids.

So I suppose we can blame Blizzard for creating this, but whether they've contributed or not it's the player that has the power to change that. The GMs and officers need to make an effort to ensure that all members feel they are a part of the community if they want that type of loyalty, etc. The hardcore raiders probably aren't going to do that as their focus is directed elsewhere and if that's not important to them, well those of us for whom the social aspect is more important don't have to join.
Sorry, Tobold. Tried to link your blog, but I don't think it worked.
Guilds need to be different i think the system needs to be created to encourage community.

The only real purpose of a guild now is PVE advancement. Espcially with the recent que times for pre made pvp.

Most guilds are only there for PVE advancement and this encourages the type of decisions Tobold describes.
And in these types of guilds it is no surprise when you leave no one really notices that you're gone.

Or even worse the guild gives you a bad rep.

The top guild on our server bad mouths the people who leave so much you wonder how they managed to accomplish anything at all. But their common goal wasn't friendship it was killing end bosses. You realize the years they worked together obviously they never really cared for each other.

Not saying all guilds are this way, but it seems to be a high price to pay for epics.
Most companies and most armies in the real world hire people with talent and then train them to their needs. Why can't that work for WoW guilds?

Early on I was lucky enough to be on Cenarius. It was shaped by several guilds that rolled over from other games. And for quite awhile there was the unofficial blacklist. The greedy only loot driven people found themselves locked out of all the higher end guilds because the guild masters had a pretty tight community.

But this game is only about loot. And when the devs implemented the incredibly stupid mudflation with BC with a heavy hand to force everyone to buy the expansion pack it all just broke. I realize there are a few guilds out there that manage to pull it off but the game rewards selfishness, and greed and actually punishes the nice guy who tries to help people out. I think the solofication of the game and the sick mudflation they use to balance thier mistakes are two of the biggest factors causing the greed. Then throw in the uber assinine (probably a small percentage of them to be faif) raiders that set around telling everyone how easy it is to raid the endgame and how much they much suck and it just screws the whole game socially.
What always surprised me in WoW is the amount of hate you get when leaving the game, a guild or anything...
Improving WoW's social environment is like trying to pitch communism to Warren Buffet, it's futile. The community is spoiled and corrupted. Without radical and unpopular changes e.g. forced grouping, you can not change players behaviour.

The guild situation struggles under the weight of PvE design. You see, in EQ there were classes for the less gifted people. If you had a crappy gaming rig and couldn't even push more than one button, there still was a class for you to be valueable for your raid. Remember when casters could just look at the bottom and still be efficient, cause there was no LoS? Casters with bad machines did this all the time. (Although that changed after 5 years).

There wasn't a reason to be angry at bad players, cause a single bad player couldn't wipe your whole raid, rendering hours of played time worthless. Right now in WoW those things can and do happen. What we see is the differentiation of skill and social viability. A more skilled player is more valuable in the endgame, than a nice one, cause the nice one can wipe your whole raid within a second.

As long as the endgame continues to stay this tight and demanding, the social environment of guilds has no chance to improve. The endgame does not reward nice players, only skilled ones. Oh and by skill i mean the ability to learn scripted events and gain situational awareness e.g. push button A when the light turns red.

We have a fury warrior. His gaming machine just sucks, so bad, that when we do Maulgar, he is unable to run away from the whirlwind soon enough to not die. He always dies. Every. Single. Time. It's a very nice fellow, but for a raid he is trash material as DPS. To be efficient, he has to buy a new gaming machine, to be valueable as a DPS spot. We outgear most of the content. A very classic underachiving raid, so we take'em with us. Chances to really progress with such players in WoW? Bad to zero.
However dumb it might seem that they did this, you just gave them hella free publicity either way XD
@ doriandra

its probably because you are a relatively skilled player. Which means you impacted thier progression when you left. As someone who plays healers I've been on the end of that before.

Since Wow is only about gear and progression when a skilled player leaves it hurts the guild. And the greedy people who were getting what they wanted get upset that you have slowed them down.

Pay attention. I bet they don't get upset when some scrub that always wipes leaves do they?
I'm still a firm believer that a lot of this can be solved by a cross-server dungeon LFG tool. Open the pool of players that we can form PUGs with.

A lot of bad talk surrounds PUGs, but as a career PUGGER in WoW, I can attest to the fact that when properly constructed and lead, a PUG is just as reliable as any other group.

The tool would have to be robust enough to search for certain specs (tanks, healers) and also give a way to see a characters itemization level.

People laugh this prospect off all the time, but if Blizzard wants to continue truly opening up the content to the masses, then cross-server LFG is the way to go.

People doomed Battlegrounds when cross-server queues were talked about, but after-the-fact, cross-server battlegrounds saved them. Without cross-server queues, battlegrounds would suffer from even worse than-they-are-now wait times.
People doomed Battlegrounds when cross-server queues were talked about, but after-the-fact, cross-server battlegrounds saved them. Without cross-server queues, battlegrounds would suffer from even worse than-they-are-now wait times.

Before that the waiting times were long but the experience was fun and it felt meaningful and personal to go onto a BG because you got to know the people. There was actual conversation beyond flaming and insulting.

Now BGs are a way to farm cheap epics for people who do not like PvP and these people on the other hand ruin the experience for the players that like BG-PvP.

Playing in random BG feels like being controlling a single unit in StarCraft now while the rest is being controlled by a bunch of apes and retarded drunks with a bad temper.

I would not call that an improvement.
However dumb it might seem that they did this, you just gave them hella free publicity either way

Fully intentional. It's the least I can do to balance my badmouthing them. :)
@Sam :
It is so true that it pains me...
It pains me because it was a raid, not a guild. One which had always claimed to be no greed. Until some people left and then it was a regular "you don't play WoW, You don't exist anymore !!!"

Where is the friendship and fun there, someone which is not skilled or ubergeared is not necessarilly a dumb.
And if you wype in a group because of someone, is it better to say everywhere he is a newb or to explain him the issue.

Since i'm back, i'm leveling a lot of toons and i'm not taking part in any guild to avoid the drama.

I miss the friendly guild group, i am not missing the drama a seconde, you cannot win on all side.

The badge farming is an issue now i think because people expect everyone to know all on every donjon to go for it the fastest way to get more badge a day.

I still love to play wow, i don't blame blizzard for this, i just blame human nature and greed.
@ doriandra

You should blame blizzard. They set the stage and threw out the rewards. Since launch people have been asking for guild quests, honors, etc that would give people a reason to be loyal to thier guild.

one of the biggest fights I ever had with leadership of a raiding guild was trying to set up a system where we rewarded our non raiders who were donating mats to our bank and effectively subsidizing a big portion of our raiding.

Sadly they didn't understand till most of those casual players who thought it was cool to be in a well progressing raiding guild left because they were not really part of it.

but blizzard could fix it. They could set up some sort of guild faction that could unlock special vendors, and was two way street.
Imagine if when you left the guild not only did you lose your guild benefits and faction but they lost some faction as well. I bet those officers would suddenly be worried about morale of the forgotten on the bottom then. Log in for a raid and find out you cant go to your vendor because you pissed off all the lowbies and your faction is 100 points short. Those would be sweet tears for me.
I'm with heartless on the pug issue. I've had some bad ones but god I learned how to do things I never would have without that pain.

But most pugs aren't that bad. The time forming the group and the times when you lose a member halfway through and have to spend 30 minutes or more finding a replacement are the problems. I think cross server pugs would be a wonderful Idea. Anything that makes getting groups easier for those that want them can only help the game.
Well there is still rep even now. Server transfers have hurt this some, but still if you haven't transferred your rep follows you.

Every server has a "guild of the unguildables" who get laughed at. I know which guild this is on Kirin Tor. It contains many of the same players who had bad reps 2-3 years ago.

In fact, the guilds who would accept these players are usually comprised of people who keep getting /gkicked themselves, or else are new to raiding and rather clueless about who's who.

The guilds that have progressed beyond t5, may be nice or may not be nice, but it certainly isn't true they don't look into your background, from the few people I know. (Im in a casual still in t5 guild) In fact maybe one reason some of these guilds are still in t5 is they just accept anyone and don't care.

Though having account-based data and which guilds you've been in would help stop server transferring as a way to get away from your rep.
Well we tried to do that in wow and it worked until we got some bad eggs who played good and talked good in front of you but not behind your back. I really think shalkis has the right idea. Wow has no built in guild stuff its really just a name with no history or consequences or anything. In fact I've never played a game where it mattered as much as Shalkis is describing (EVE doesn't count for me I only played it for a day) I think this could work for wow and lotro and other newer games like warhammer. There need to be consequences for treating your friends like dirt, or people will continue to do it. There also need to be rewards for treating them well, intrinsic (already existing) as well as external(non existent currently).
As a GM of an end game raiding guild, I have to say that I feel some of the onus for becoming integrated into a raiding community is on the individual player. An officer of a raiding guild is responsible for not only the day-to-day responsibilities of maintaining a raiding guild's resources, but also for the needs of approximately 30 to 40 other raiders.

If you are having serious concerns about your position in a guild, I believe it is your responsibility to speak with an officer about what you can do to become a more integral member of the team. No one will know more or care more about your needs than you; it's just the way humans are wired. If the idea of approaching an officer of your guild intimidates you then here is some generic advice for becoming a more valuable member of your raiding team.

1)Become someone who can be counted on. If you say you'll be there then be there and if you can't be there then let someone know.

2)Become someone who never has to be told something twice. If memory isn't your strong suit then get a notepad and take notes, but I always notice who picks things up the first time they are told to do something.

3)Become someone who takes feedback well. If you're straggling behind then the only way to catch up is to improve yourself. If you are lucky enough to have someone approach you and try to help, you should do your best to remain open to their feedback. If you appear resistant to coaching it becomes more time efficient to find someone who doesn't need coaching or is more open to coaching.

4) Become someone who helps yourself. If I have limited time to spend with my raiders, I am going to prioritize that time on people I see making an effort to take responsibility for their own improvement. Experience has taught me these people are the most likely to be worth the time investment.
did you forget that they can pay for a name change?

I think server transfers and name changes pretty much did in guilds that were trying to keep out the jerks. It's impossible to know anymore what they've done where or to who.
@ auzara. those are great words. But in my experience it is harder to find a GM or officers that are actually willing to listen to that feedback with an open mind.

I've watched 2 guilds go under as the officers "patted" me on the head and told me I just didn't understand. Sure some of em apologized after it all blew up. And maybe they actually learned something.

But it is human nature to blame the person who brings the problem to your attention. Most people try once or twice get burned and then give up trying to let the leaders know how it is in the trenches.

One thing I've commented on before is that the smaller raids require more guilds which mean more leaders. But BC didn't magically create more good leaders. So you have more guilds but not more good leaders to lead them.
to add to my post.

Your number 4 entry is where most guilds lose thier loyalty factor. The core group of officers is usually helping each other our regularly. I'm not saying this is wrong. But when people see that and then can't get guild help filling a 5 man on a non raid night and have to pug all the time. Then you have self reliant people coming up through the ranks who have no reason to be loyal to you or your guild.
there is only one reason in wow for a guild. To get help getting your stuff. If you aren't getting any help from the guild, then you have no vested interest in any thing they do.
Tobold, I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on the tradeoff between "nice" and "progression" guilds. And whether it's possible to have both.

My last "nice" guild dissolved as follows:
- We kept working on trying to train unskilled players (one such player was an elderly grandfather of another player, and the combination of poor reflexes and low situational awareness often wiped our raid).
- The officers argued about whether to keep the lesser-skilled players in the raid rotation.
- Some raiders got frustrated with the situation and either left the guild or took long breaks from the game.
- We fell below critical mass and could no longer enter 25-mans.
- More raiders switched guilds or left the game.
- The remaining officers decided to try to salvage the situation by giving up the guild and finding another Kara-level guild to absorb our remaining raiders. We're now starting 25-mans again.
one thing I haven't seen touched on here is that with the launch of BC on top of all the other problems caused by changing the raid size. The implementation of the massive Mudflation created this get it done quick or you'll never see the content mentality.

So this causes more and more guilds to tell thier up and coming player. Just pug get your gear and when your geared up then talk to us. Creating the perception that they just don't give a damn about anyone not in the core raid group. So these people leave, give up whatever and the guild doesn't have the steady stream of new people to fill in when raiders can't show , get burned out etc.

And those guilds eventually just fall apart because they keep haveing thier progression stopped because 2 people burn out or get poached and they have to either poach from some other guild or gear up 2 new people
Of course raid guilds aren't going to post that they're looking for nice people. Raid guilds are going to post the nuts and bolts of what they're looking for (what role they need somebody to fill) but any raid guild worth anything isn't going to guild somebody without an application period. That's the time when the raid guild finds out if you're an a-hole or don't know how to play your class. Really nice people who don't know how to play their class will most likely be given some time and guidance during the applicant period to see if they can catch on and improve. It would be unfair to assume that people who have done nothing more than 5 mans in the past will truly know their role in a raid enviroment right off the bat. Jerks who play their role well are most likely shown the door. If the nice people show the ability to improve, those are the people you guild. If they don't show the ability to improve then they're most likely shown the door as well.

Is that harsh? It's just reality. There are plenty of really nice people who'd like a spot in a top raid guild. Being nice doesn't make you special. Being nice while not being a detriment with your ability while clearing new content? Now you're talking.

The thing is, if you're reasonably intelligent, aware, able to react, and pleasant to be around you'll be able to get a spot in whatever raid guild you want. Even if they aren't recruiting, most raid guilds are always on the lookout whether they will admit it or not.
World of Warcraft has its own culture. It has its own language, its own customs, and its own margins for success. How much of this culture is a product of design, I cannot say, but I am sure it plays a part, and is tied up in this dsicusion on Guilds.

The culture in World of Warcraft itself tends to pressure people, just as any other culture does, to conform to its standards. I play a Retribution paladin, and feel that pressure any time I run with someone for the first time, in a dungeon or on a battle ground. If things go well, that’s great, but if things don't go well, then I feel the glaring eyes on me. Every bad story anyone has heard on the forums about Retribution Paladins comes floating up. That's what happens to minorities in a culture when things turn sour. And you know, it affects me in much the same way as that sort of pressure effects anyone else. I get sad, or I get defensive, or I get argumentative. I feel pressured to do something else, to be something else, and to do things the “right” way, even if it really is the wrong way (going holy will not allow me to be a Holy Warlike Knight, which is what I want to be. It will only make other people accept me even if I am a far worse healer than I was a damage dealer). The fact is, if anyone took the time to get to know me, they would see that I know my spec as well as anyone can be expected, and I have all those personality traits that could be considered "nice."

When we are children, and we get scared or hurt, or even when we want to have fun, we want to be around "nice" people. But as we grow up, we are trained to throw that away. "Nice" is not as important as "Successful." The "nice" people seem to be more and more an impediment, because our goals have changed. We no longer want to be around “nice” as much as we want to be “progressing.” How often have you heard, “I loved working/dating/playing/being with you, but I could not pass up this opportunity.” Sure, sometimes it’s a lie, but often, it is the sad truth.

WoW is no different. The culture says that to be successful, you have to have accomplished something tangible. What's worse, you have to have done it in a way that stands above reproach. I am covered in head to toe in Epic gear, but it was not got in the right way. I don't have a 2000 arena rating, and I have not participated in killing Illidan. I am the WoW equivalent of a low level employee at a fast food restaurant. I am insulted by those who got it in the “right” way, and it all somehow reflects so much more on my character than my attitude and talent does. I suspect a great many on the poor side, scraping to get by, just doing their best, get awfully tired of being looked down upon because they bought their shoes at the Dollar Store. In fact, such pressure is so high in the states, that people are spending money they don’t have to improve their diet and education, on better shoes and clothes, because such things give the appearance of success in their sourrounding culture.

Most people don't want to feel unsuccessful, especially the young ones to whom image (self or otherwise) is all important. Western culture, especially in America, drives us to be successful, and fills us with a sense of failure or guilt of we fall below the mark. WoW is no different.

Just as in life, we have to be strong enough to resist these attacks on our character, the regrets or threats of inferiority, and be with those who really matter to us, doing the things that give us real joy.

I don't see a difference between the man who left friends behind and stepped on those around him to get to the top, only to have a broken life filled with empty riches, and the fully geared epic raider who gave up his friends, the spec he enjoyed, and the hours he might have otherwise invested elsewhere, just to feel "successful" and “progressive.”
"Most companies and most armies in the real world hire people with talent and then train them to their needs. Why can't that work for WoW guilds?"

Because, Tobold, the real world is precisely like WoW - you got it wrong. People are hired for what they can provide at that moment, and then cast aside when they can be replaced by someone cheaper or younger. Why should WoW be any different?
If "It seems to be hard to be both nice *and* successful in raiding", then that is the fault of the developers. They make a game that is supposed to have this great 'community', but then put all sorts of obstacles in the way.

- Encounters that are too hard, or that require too much time
- Lack of sufficient tools for people to manage their so-called 'community'
- Loot-based elitism that the average player simply cannot overcome, and that is actually encouraged by the developers
- Lack of incentives for the 'community' to work together

The average person is selfish at heart. They will only do what benefits them in the great majority of instances. Developers can't design a game around some idealized 'community' that they dreamed up, expecting people to act in a selfless, altruistic way, without designing the game to actually support that type of ideal.

And, as you pointed out so well, WoW simply does a horrible job of providing incentives for otherwise selfish people to come together into their ideal 'community' where selflessness and altruism win the day.
Guilds in wow are like any other group in society: they serve to have some sort of purpose. You aren't going to join an amateur volleyball league and expect to do much more than play volleyball. You don't join a bowling league to do stuff other than bowl. You join these teams to get better at doing what they were created for.

These are the equivalent to the wow "goal" guilds... they have a specific purpose, like PvE Raiding or PvP competition. If one stops wanting to do the raiding or the pvp, then one has no real place in those guilds anymore.

There are, of course, other types of guilds. My church has youth group meetings weekly where college students and local families can get together, enjoy each others' company and spend an evening each week eating and relaxing. We get people of all walks of life, from working professionals like me to naive college freshmen, and we just have fun together. These would be the 'casual' type guilds that just get together to chat and have fun together.

If you were to pit my church group against a bowling league at bowling, we'd probably lose quite handily. Maybe we might get lucky and find out that a bunch of us were all former bowlers and eke a win out; sometimes that happens. However, if you compare bowling averages from casual groups like my church group to the average bowling league, I'd bet the average bowling league would be a lot higher.

If you wanted to improve your bowling score, you could pretty easily join a bowling league to learn and get better. Similarly, in WoW, if you want raid gear and to experience raid content, you join a raiding guild and focus on that. I don't expect a bowling team to listen too much about my week, or cook for me, or hang out with me afterwards. The bowling team members are primarily there for bowling first, and chitchat second. Likewise, if they are looking to win a seasonal competition, they would be looking to recruit good bowlers, and not really care too much about the bowler as a person.

It's just how groups of humans tend to work themselves out.

A quick fix would be to make "experience gotten per mob" not lessen the more people you have with you.

Sure people may exploit this to gain experience faster, but it will take away one of the main reasons people prefer to solo than group while leveling up.

Another pro-group change would be to make items dropped from mobs for collection quests drop for each person in a party.
The only issue I have with your analogy RAWR is a church bowling league or a Little league team etc etc. Only plays with the groups they decided to play with.

In wow you have everyone getting all lumped together in PVP and competing for mats when farming etc. Imagine you had to come into work and fight the former proffessional linebacker and his friends who all came to work as a team for a cup of coffee or a chance to use your fax machine or even computer time.

That's how wow works. T-ball players going out against the New York Giants. And a bunch of people trying to explain to everyone why thats ok. And its not.
Woody Allen said (I believe I am getting it right), that 90% of life is showing up. If I am hiring an employee, knowing that they will show up for work is more important than any other thing about them.

For a raiding guild, attendance will be more important than any other criteria.

Unfortunately, attendance is a rare commodity in an MMORPG, so guilds will often be willing to overlook other undesirable traits in an applicant to progress.
Quote: "Most companies and most armies in the real world hire people with talent and then train them to their needs. Why can't that work for WoW guilds?"

It can, and it does.

Author's experience does not encompass WoW.
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