Tobold's Blog
Monday, April 28, 2008
How to prevent guild hopping

I just had a crazy idea which if implemented could change the face of WoW guilds forever, and make guild hopping a thing of the past: What if when you left a guild, all the epic gear you got in raids was automatically taken off from you, and put into the guild bank. You keep all crafted epics, PvP epics, and badge loot epics. But everything that dropped from a raid boss you only got because of the guild, so why should you be able to keep it when you leave that guild? I bet that would stop people from searching for more advanced guilds all the time, always setting back the guild they left behind. What do you think?
After being in a guild in which the GM started running things like daycare after a few months, I think your idea is well... less than good.

I normally agree with your ideas, but this one... no so much.

If I've invested time in a guild helping it gear up, and that guild decides to go hardcore and raid 5 nights a week and that doesn't work for me, why should I get stuck in staying? I would just quit WoW rather than start another toon.

That seems like it would just annoy people, given all the issues that already exist with raiding and items Doing this seems more likely to push people away from in game guilds, or just encourage guild drama as members go through raids at different rates and get stuck stewing in the same guild.

A "carrot" seems like it would be needed to go along with the "stick", something like item drop rates increasing the less the members of that raid had guild hopped, or special items that drop that are usable by guild members, or something else along those lines.
It would work if the only reason people guild hopped was because they were trying to get ahead. Some leave guilds because of serious problems in the guild. Gives too much power to GMs imo. =/

However, if it was implemented, people might be more careful about choosing their guilds. It might seriously slow down the formation of guilds, but ones that managed to get going would probably stick together longer.

Then again, the guilds that survive might end up with more people that hate each other than is the case right now, simply because people couldn't leave. >.<
This is a freakin great idea. I think blizzard should make a guild hall. When items drop, raid leaders can either have their memebers roll for the item, or place the item in the guild hall.
If you have access to the guild hall(premission levels kind of like the guild bank?) then you can go in there and take any equipment you want. You can wear the equipment, and if you leave the guild the equipment goes back to the guild hall.

This would also work great for gearing up newer recruits!
I have a serious problem with a one sided punishment if someone leaves the guild.

I think some sort of guild faction that the guild built as a team, that allowed members to purchase, gear, titles etc would work better. Then the player would lose thier faction if they left. And the guild should take a faction hit as well.

But if only one side of the equation get punished it gets very problematic.
Disagree completely.

What if a person's work schedule changes and they can't raid with the guild anymore? What if the guild's raid schedule changes?

There's a million other reasons why this just isn't a fair solution to what really isn't a problem imo.
You would force people to stay in a guild that might randomly have recruited a full roster of jerks just to keep their gear?

How horrible.
Sorry Tobold, I'll have to disagree with this idea. :)

As others have mentioned, there are many cases where someone leaves a guild not because he wants to go into another that is more progressed, but because the guild has problems/drama that someone can't really fight against (the GM/officers acting like jackasses, for an obvious one).
This already exists, although a bit less, with DKP. When you leave a guild you lose all your DKP, which depending on the guild can really set you back weeks/months.

I agree with the comment that while maybe a good idea, its one sided to punish the player, not the guild.
Uh...every raid epic I have came from pugging...with multiple guilds and some unguilded people.

And usually you are for more casual raiding...sorta flies in the face of that, as under your system, you aren't able to keep pieces of gear you got while helping that guild also gear up...not every drop is usable for your the guild got geared from your help, but you have nothing to show for it.

But at the heart of the matter:

What's wrong with people guild hopping?

Why would you want to force people to stay in a guild? Some guilds arise when the old guild has grown dysfunctional and members who want to avoid the drama but still play together form a new guild.

Doesn't it give whomever is titled as Guild Master exclusive control of the individual players?

I know you like to ask questions that inspire thought, even when you don't necessarily agree with the idea itself. Here's one I'm thinking you threw out there for responses. Otherwise, it seems anti-casual.
What would happen to the raid gear that players had when they were gkicked for whatever reason?

A nasty guild master could kick everyone out of his guild and easily acquire uber Sunwell/BT gear for himself and two dozen "alts". He could then spin all of his alts to new accounts and sell them on ebay. This could be huge! :)
It would really screw those of us who raid with a raid group made up of members from lots of different guilds.
That doesn't seem even remotely reasonable. Guild hopping is one thing, leaving a guild for legitimate reasons is another.

Also, does this apply to people who get kicked from a guild? What if an officer decides they don't like someone for whatever reason and boot them. This someone was a longtime raider and they lose all their gear?

I was never a real raider and I still think that's a bad idea.
This already exists, although a bit less, with DKP. When you leave a guild you lose all your DKP, which depending on the guild can really set you back weeks/months.

Agreed. While it’s not uncommon for a player to blow all his DKP and then leave the guild, he did EARN the DKP in the first place. I have a hard time getting mad at someone over gear when they attended raids and did all the things needed to EARN the DKP. That being said, I can get mad at someone who leaves a guild for a higher progressed guild. Not because of the gear, but because they left me hanging. That person is just an asshole.

I’d rather see an Ebay style “rating” for both individuals and guilds. How about leaving feedback when you join or leave a guild that could be read? It could help with PuGs too.
This one's not all that well thought-out yet, sorry. The casual-schedule folks that value their game time and equate it with RL currency would flip the hell out. A good friend of mine is what you would call (on the surface) a guild-hopper but his reasoning is never to jump ahead of his current guild. He hops purely to protect his ability to find something to do whenever he logs in. He plays regularly, but rarely "enough" to meet a "hardcore" guild's raiding schedule (his wife has him cut down to 2-nights a week) and once he finds a guild is collapsing on its casual-skill or casual-schedule to the point where it cannot field a 25-man raid, he looks for another guild that can; sometimes taking many steps backward in guild progression just so that he has a chance to play in the content he prefers.

In our guild, which is progression oriented, he became miffed that he was passed over for an off-night run for the non-raiders and he took off for a much more casual guild.

That particular casual guild was populated largely with the folks that benched themselves (willingly) from our raids in favor of a "more casual" environment; those same folks were also less interested in their class mechanics, strategies, etc, and it showed horribly in their attempted progression raiding.

Since then, he's hopped servers and two more guilds; always choosing guilds that would let him sign up in advance for raids (he's regular as clockwork, very reliable) and all of which would eventually lose their skilled / regular players to other guilds. He hangs on until they finally cancel 25-man raids and then he starts looking for a new home.

Not all guild-hopping is done by greedy little casual weasels that just want gear. Some of those folks actually want to play the game and have that often-heard "life" restriction that I keep wondering about.

This idea of yours would squash both types of casual player, I believe, all for a hope of leashing some skilled players into your terrible guilds which would fail because they'd never even join those types of guilds to begin with. Hundreds of unprogressed "casual raiding" guilds would fold within a few weeks, unable to recruit any new members without first getting a better reputation for success.
Other commenters have done an excellent job pointing out that such a system is rife for abuse by the officers.

I'd just like to add that this proposal would fail at its actual goal, as high end guilds would ALSO have lots of raid epics in their guild banks from whomever it was that quit to make them need to poach in the first place. If anything, poaching would INCREASE, as top guilds would be risking absolutely nothing by inviting people, gearing them from the guild bank, and being able to promptly see how their skill actually measures up without having to guesstimate what they'd look like if they were geared properly.
Here's another version:

Let there be Guild Faction/Rating that is created by raiding or some such process. Raid loot is affected by the rating: if your guild is Exalted with Murloc Raiding faction, lets say, your Murloc Raid loot is Purple, otherwise it's a lesser valued "blue" version (or maybe less stats and let it still be purple for epeeners.)

This lets you keep your gear, but if you forsake the guild where you got it and were using it for full value, you lose some value to your gear. You'd have to join another Guild with high faction to "energize" your gear to the top level.

Maybe even have Guild/Personal ratings like arenas, where you gain a personal rating as you raid with other guilders (or even alone, but at a slower pace, if you PUG raids.) You could grind Raid Gear Points - resetting to 0 every time you left a Guild.
I think it would work as an option set by GMs at the founding of the guild. When people joined, they would be informed that much of the gear they earned from then on was subject to confiscation.

In fact, scrap this idea completely and create a mechanically supported lend/lease system for items from a guild bank. Officers can set how long items can be removed from the guild bank, perhaps indefinitely, but as soon as the player in question leaves the guild all borrowed items are returned automatically.
I follow your blog avidly. I find it entertaining and informative, as it provides and alternative perspective to mine on WoW (in a relatively advanced guild, raid Sunwell Plateau 3/6, etc).

Most every post you make is worth reading/digesting. After reading this one though, my first thought was, "you are a fucking idiot". Thankfully, I have the context of the rest of your site to temper this really dumb train of thought.

when people get gear in raids, they earn it with their investment of time. whatever other means is used to determine who gets what, is ancillary to the fact that the people in the raid are the ones who deserve the gear. how would putting it in the guild bank retain guild members? re-think your idea man, this one must have come after a long night of drinking......
I disagree with the posters who say there really is no problem with guild hopping. Tobold's solution sounds attractive but it is too quick and dirty. You need something better to REALLY make everyone happy.. oh wait thats impossible, well you need something better to make most people happy. Sometimes guilds go bad.. to the detriment of their members. Sometimes its just the leadership that goes bad. So some mobility is good. The problem comes when members are guild butterflies. Flitting here and there, taking and never giving back anywhere near as much as they take. What you give to the guild should be built in to determine how much rewards you get and those rewards should carry with you to a new guild but your track record shouldn't thus encouraging you to stay with the same guild if at all possible.
An excellent post, Tobold! Not necessarily an excellent idea, but certainly an excellent post. This took you what? About 2 minutes to type up after your "Eureka!" moment? But look at the wealth of conversation it's sparked!

I especially like that everyone has been extremely polite, including Dynewolf who expressed his initial thoughts, and in no uncertain terms at that, but who also managed to be very tactful and respectful in his delivery.

I like Preston's idea, of being able to send BOP items to a Guild Bank if nobody in the party has a use for them, but I think it would be prone to abuse, and not necessarily at end-game level, either. Can you imagine the Twinking that would occur if BOP items could be 'sent' to a Guild Bank by your Main, to be picked up by your Twink, who never sets foot in the Instance. Insane!

Again, great idea for a Blog post, Tobold, and gratz to everyone else for keeping it civil.
This idea (like the socialist nonsense it is) would never fly.

honestly i can't believe you have so many hundreds of subscribers and you post stuff like this.

I disagree with the posters who say there really is no problem with guild hopping. Tobold's solution sounds attractive but it is too quick and dirty. You need something better to REALLY make everyone happy.. oh wait thats impossible, well you need something better to make most people happy.

After numerous tobold posts related to items, raiding, casual vs. hard core, etc., I become more and more convinced with each one that if world of warcraft is to do better in these areas, it needs a gigantic overhaul as to how it handled items, raiding, character progression, etc. With the current setup it has, any small change will be almost certain to have a bunch of negative effects thanks to how the game elements interact with each other.
Alright, let's say I get a bop for a caster and I'm a Mage, hoorah! Oh wait my warlock just hit 70, I wish I had that piece on him :(

Oh I know, I'll leave teh guild and rejoin, then pick up the item on my warlock! Hooray!

That doesn't seem like a big deal to me, but I think it's bop for a reason, and this could allow you to bypass that.

jesus effin tobold, I cant read your friggin word verification crap dude, it takes me like twenty friggin tries. it overlaps letters, puts n's next to m's, whil overlapping, it really sucks a lot
Reasons for leaving a guild are plenty and most of them sound. So holding gear hostage in a game that is heavily based on BOP items is no good idea.

I think something like a guild history for a char, accessible by public would suffice. There's such a history in EVE Online and if the Corp Recruiter sees any applicant six months old with already a dozen of corps in his CV - this guy has a hard time finding a corp.
How about having all the epics bound to the guild instead of the person at *all times*? You form a raid and assign gear to the members of the raid from the guild's "armory". Loot drops, it goes into the guild's available pool of armor. Again, the armor never becomes bound to a person, just worn by whomever it is assigned to for any given raid.

You could also make it so that these epics are only useable in raids if you wanted to...I'm not sure if that's a good idea, but I think this idea opens up a lot of "design space".

So if you leave a guild, you take nothing away from them, but perhaps the guild you go to has stuff just as good waiting for you. Players would be evaluated on skill and experience rather than what gear they have.

At the same time, if you wanted, you could maintain the badge system, so people would own some of their best gear, and not be totally naked without their guild. Make badge gear useable outside of raids, or possibly even _only_ outside of raids - make it look really cool, but be less powerful than what drops from 25-mans. You end up with a great Heroic gear set that is "yours" and you take what you need from the guild armory when you go out raiding.

Why are random people on the internet better at designing for WoW than the people who get paid for it?

If your goal is to surround yourself with unhappy people who only stick around for the loot, then this is a really great idea. But if you want to build a functional guild, this is a really, REALLY bad plan.

I'm left to wonder why you even see people leaving guilds as a problem. If somebody wants to leave your guild, why try to stop them? Wouldn't your guild be better off if the unhappy people moved on?

One person leaving usually means nothing - people leave all the time for all sorts of reasons. When it happens, though, it's worth identifying the root cause - it could be an indication of some larger defect in the guild that's sewing general discontent.

It's possible that, rather than the player failing the guild, the guild has failed the players.

how about people who stay with their guild but who raid with others?

What about guild alliances and raiding teams made up from people from all sorts of guilds?

Thanks to all of those who took this as it was meant to be, a rhetorical maneuver called "kicking the cat", which very well succeeded in getting the discussion started. I know very well that the solution is too simplistic to work. Tranfering bop items to the guild bank can never be part of any viable solution. And if the idiots who threaten to /unsubscribe every time I post something crazy really would leave, I'd be more than happy.
I do not agree. There are for sure different cases, but my experience shows, that not only I need guild to get the gear but also guild (other members) need me (tank/healer/DPS) to get the gear. There are DKP systems that enable quite reasonable distribution of items: the more useful you are the higher probability you have to get needed gear. As simple as that. Your idea in real world would make people changing jobs to forget some/all of their experience.

GM might make new joiners to leave some deposit, that would be return after meeting some requirements. This thus would probably discourage some candidates.
This would work perfect if guilds could assign a GuildID to an instance, so that any member of their guild could participate in the raid. Then guilds could have multiple instances open for their members. Then, all rewards gained in a Guild Instance could be guild specific and returned to the guild upon quitting.

Anyways, Blizzard will never do such a thing. It's a good time waster to think about, and day-dream about that main tank that left your guild in the shitter for 5 months. However, I would tack that 5 months up to more of pigeon-holed game design than to the MT quitting. Just bad form IMHO to have activities so reliant on one toon.
Have a guildbound concept that changes to soulbound after a fixed duration or guild set duration. For example, you recieve loot in a guild raid (see the questions now, is this a guildbound raid or free roll?), it is yours completely after (x) days, if you gquit prior to (x) days, you lose the items to the guild bank as they were guildbound (an now distributable to another guild member). If you remain past those days, they items change to soulbound and you can take them with you on a gquit.

If you got gkicked you keep (x) guildbound items but not all or something.

No real solution here, loot is always going to cause issues.
I have a similar reaction as to your other post: doing this would give too much power to guild leaders, and they would treat their players worse than many already do.

People have every right to guild-hop. If you're not running a guild people want to be in, why should they be there? Make a better guild, and get used to the natural selection.

This game is a much, much friendlier place when guilds have to compete over players, rather than the other way around.
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