Guilds: Guild Evolution

So I’m still in Aftermath, and I’ve gotta say I still love this guild. I think though, we’re about to hit a real trying patch in our guild’s existence. We’ve had a number of level 80 folks join the guild and a number of folks hit level 80. Now a lot of the guild’s focus is no longer strictly on getting the members of the guild to 80, but getting ready to raid.

Unfortunately I haven’t hit 80 yet. Several of the other guild members that re-rolled are in the same boat. With the guild changing focus, it’d be really easy for folks who’ve been leveling like crazy to lose focus and feel like the guild just doesn’t care if they get to 80.

I’ve been harbored in a raiding guild before. I’ve gotta say, leveling in a raiding guild is a lonely and frustrating experience. For the most part unless you’re really low level folks will run you through the first two or three really low level instances, but then you’re on your own. You don’t really have anyone to run with because even guild members leveling alts only run with those alts every once in a while, and chances are, they run with folks they know. You know, they run with the folks they raid with. Well if you aren’t level capped and a member of the raiding parties, no one gets to know you or anything about you. Even typing in guild chat for the most part you get ignored, and for the most part you’re just considered to be someone’s alt. Then you get to live vicariously as everyone posts gear links from last night’s raid in guild chat. Woo hoo.

Lately I’ve noticed that my desire to level has taken a total nosedive. Part of it is due to the fact that the ‘Night Crew’ dissolved. Two of the guys in the ‘Night Crew’ were already level 80 so it was sort of a driving force to get to 80 and sit at the big kid’s table so to speak. Those two members left the guild. The other remaining regular member is pretty much ready to hit Northrend, so hey yeah, not like I’ve got someone to run with in the evenings for the most part.

I’ve also noticed that folks aren’t logging into the guild as much. That’s not a good sign. So I started thinking, why were folks logging in to be a part of the guild. What made so awesome when it first started? Then it hit me! When we first started out not everyone had hit 80 yet and we didn’t have a lot of level 80 guildies. For the most part we had a few folks in the high 70’s but that’s about it. These higher level folks would stop and help out the folks as they were leveling, and let me tell you, that made a HUGE difference. I mean, how nice is it to be able to say ‘hey guys hate to ask this,’ and have a level seventy something say ‘Need help with Dead Mines huh?’ and then run out to give you a hand. We also had guild events organized, such as Lowbie Nights where high level guild members would run guildies through dungeons they haven’t been able to group for, a guild group into the Gurubashi Arena, and even a birthday suit run from Iron Forge to Stormwind!

These events took the edge off the grind. We got to know one another by spending a little time together. I mean in some ways, WoW can be a lot like a cafe. You see people coming and going all the time, and you might recognize some regulars if you go often enough, but you don’t really feel compelled to get to know anyone, you’re just there for a cup of coffee. Guilds can be like this sometimes. When we’re trying really hard to get loot or to get that next level, getting to know the folks in the guild around us doesn’t take precedence anymore. This is about when clicks form and people start to leave the guild.

So what I’m thinking is that it’s time to start bringing back the more social events and to bring back assistance to folks who are still working their way up. Yeah this is going to take time away from leveling my character, but what good will it be to get to level 80 and have no one to run with?

Since I have a Death Knight that’s just hanging about in the Outlands taking up a character slot, I figure, hey, why don’t I bring back ‘Lowbie Nights’ and see what I can do to try and get the guild kicking again. This also lets the folks ready for raiding get back to raiding. I’m actually excited about this! This will give me a chance to get to know some of the newer low level guild members. It’ll also give me a few karma points after getting so much help myself when I started out.

Yeah I know there’s a chance that folks will try to take advantage of the help, but I’ve got a couple of tricks up my sleeve. So since I’m doing the runs as Teufeltanz my Death Knight, I can start to set the expectation that when I log on as that character, I’m here to help. On the flip side that means when I log on as Auslander, I’m there to get some serious leveling in. I think that’ll help a bunch. I’m also a big fan of saying no to folks who are obviously just trying to have the game handed to them. For folks that are seriously working hard at leveling, I really don’t mind running them through anything because I know they’re motivated and they’ve gotta be doing something right or they wouldn’t be completing the quests. I also know that folks looking to have the game handed to them now won’t change that perspective once they hit the level cap. That just has ‘drama’ written all over it and won’t help out the guild.

In the end what I’m really hoping to do is to breath life back into Aftermath. Since the guild started up over the holidays, we all had more time we could dedicate to the game. A lot of us were also all starting at the same time, and that helped out a bunch too. So now that the dust has settled and folks are back to the grind, we’re all starting to go our separate ways and we’re drifting apart as a guild. I think it’s time to get the band back together you know? 


7 Comments

  1. Lannister January 26, 2009 7:25 pm 

    A lot of good points here, Aus.

    Where’s the “Aus-some” picture?

  2. CreepTheProphet January 27, 2009 1:12 am 

    Ooops, forgot to scan it this morning! Gotta somehow remind myself to do that when I get home.

  3. faradhim January 27, 2009 9:16 pm 

    I have to tell you what you are describing isn’t uncommon at all. People who play wow tend to resolve into different groups. Some of them are casual, some of them are leveling/exploration oriented, some of them are social, some of them are hardcore raiding.

    Having the right people in the guild makes the difference between success and failure. My guild’s (doctors of philosophy)founding principal is “friendship > lewzt” and we only recruit people who fit that principle. Because our guild culture is so casual and laid back “the bleeding edge” raiders often don’t find us appealing at all (even if they joined the guild, they would leave after a few weeks).

    It sounds like to me you should consider joining a new guild that has a more casual outlook on game.

  4. H00LiGAN January 28, 2009 2:28 am 

    Hmm, this is what I was afraid of when I joined the guild. I don’t want to be left too far behind and then find out there is nothing for me when I hit 80.
    ~H00LiGAN aka Muadeng

  5. CreepTheProphet January 28, 2009 11:12 am 

    Your guild philosophy is right on Faradhim, and Aftermath is like that. I really must have presented us in the wrong light. Our guild was designed to have a more casual outlook on the game. Some of our newer level 80 folks haven’t participated in raiding before so I think that excitement may have created some of the raiding focus. I really feel that there’s room for casual raiding as well as maintaining a more social approach to a guild. With the changes made to the game for WotLK, I think this is much more possible than it has ever been. There are achievements, old world dungeons are unlocked, there’s a whole world of possibilities out there, it’s just a matter of setting a date, setting a time, and getting folks jazzed to participate. Whew, think I’m going to need another post!

    And Muad/H00LiGAN, there’s tons of stuff to do when you’re 80. I’m thinking up all kinds of ways that the guild can group together for activities that anyone can participate in and I’m hoping that in doing so, it’ll pull the guild back into that same ‘in this together’ feel we had when the guild came into being.

  6. faradhim January 28, 2009 6:57 pm 

    BTW, I was told it was just like this after the release of BC. Casual guild breaks up on the issue of to raid or not to raid. Before the release of BC our guild would frequently loss level 70s to higher level raiding guild. People want progression and they will go to the guild they can get that from. Don’t get me wrong, raiding guild losses people too, they just losses them to higher tier raiding guild. But when people get burnt out from raiding they would long for the days when they were able to make friend and have fun was more important (i.e. in a casual guild). The whole cycle starts again. Don’t forget, the game never ends. It is the process that makes it interesting. Finding something you enjoy, stick with it and find a group of people who shares your interested.

    If want to take a break from your alliance toons feel free to reroll a DK on my server (dawnbringer) and look me up.

    Fara

  7. CreepTheProphet January 29, 2009 12:51 am 

    Thanks Faradhim, I’ll have to visit sometime at least.

    Yeah, it really looks like fluctuating guild rosters is just a part of the gig. Actually my next post is going to hit on a lot of what you mentioned about there being so much to the game and how that can keep it fun and lively.

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