Wednesday, 20 August 2008

What's the definition of a "Social Guild"

I joined my current guild after having burnout and RL time challenges with a "hardcore" raiding guild. At the time I wasn't really sure what "hardcore" meant, and to be honest, I'm still not sure that I do.

The guild I am now "Mum" to is a "social" guild. Recently I've been wondering quite what that means too. My current frustrations come from our lack of raiding, which is looking likely to improve soon, but is starting to weigh on my mind a little.

A lot of our members are "older", have children, jobs etc. that make it so they can't play at the "traditional" raiding times - i.e. starting at 19:00 or so. We formed as a "Late-night raiding guild", but I feel that we have lost some of the emphasis on raiding in our bid to attract a more mature player.

My rant is this... people are coming to raids late, under geared, under prepared, no enchants or gems, no knowledge of the instance, no add-ons, no food, no flasks and any combination of these. How do you tell someone in a social guild to get their act together without sounding mean, callous, or making them feel inadequate?

I was venting to Barkie last night and it struck me that these people are NOT being Social, adult, mature themselves. Is it fair on 24 other people for one to turn up to a raid with the wrong stuff? Is it adult?

The guild is starting to put together a list of required add-ons, with things such as Omen, LibHealComm-3.0 for healers, etc. and I think this is a good thing. I think we might have to start using tools for working out if people are geared enough before letting them in raids and having a check-list of consumables and stuff which will help with raid performance, but we're struggling with the feeling that this is moving away from being a social guild.

Personally, I don't want to go back to my "hardcore" raiding days where the raid leader checked that all rogues had at least 40 bandages etc., but I want people to learn and grow. I want them to appreciate that a little bit of reading, research and a few gold spent can really make a difference.

I'm thinking that we should start to use our Guild Bank a bit more and provide people with potions, food, maybe even pay repairs, but the challenge will be in managing this and making sure people do a bit of work too. It would be all too easy to scrimp on your preparations and just scavenge from the bank.

I think the way round it is to have "gearing" raids, to Karazhan, 5 man heroics, etc. to help people getter more prepared for 25 man raids and have some "rules" about who will be invited to participate in the larger raids. We are going to have to check people out and start leaving some behind in order to progress. I think we have sat about too long letting the lesser geared people drive the guild, while those who want progress, who want to feel the thrill of downing a new boss have missed out. It's time to renew the sense of achievement and feed our better geared players for a change.

I think this will encourage people to think a bit more about their characters, their colleagues and where the guild is going. We have 3 months or more before WotLK hits and there is so much we can still do and achieve and rather than lose people from boredom I think we need to get more strict.

This is a good article I found.

I'm not really sure if I ended up where I was thinking. This is one of my "something's bothering me, let's write about it" rambles that has probably ended up more confusing than it should have been, but at least it's got a few of my thoughts out and eased the load in my brain.

I would really welcome any comments from anyone who reads this - how strict is too much for a social guild, how do we tell some of our members that frankly they suck (should we tell them?), how do we please the well-geared eager raiders who are losing out and facing wipe-fests as a result of others?

Argh - just chatting to a friend and he said (about people not being prepared) "that's the trouble with being a "Casual" guild". OMG - another phrase - what's the difference between casual and social?


amaryllis said...

For me "social" and "casual" are no different to "hardcore" in terms of attitude towards raiding. The only difference is the raids are less frequent and shorter and more prone to being cancelled/changed as needed. In every other sense, preparation, spec, timekeeping, focus they should be the same or better because people arent burnt out because they were up all night trying to get a first kill. Reading guides takes very little time, improving your play through reading the forums, elitest jerks, plus heal, blogs etc is again easy to do. Macros are easy to make and there are multiple guides to help etc.

This is a subject very dear to my heart, because I absolutely loathe bad manners and i feel that being made to wait for 45 minutes, people being badly geared/gemmed/enchanted/specced is one of the worst things you can do to others in a multiplayer game and there is no excuse.

Doing the above in a "social" guild is the worst crime of all, its bad enough doing it in pugs.

Maybe its just me, but i dont understand why someone wouldnt want to be the best they can be. I feel that you should have pride in everything you do and that extends to gaming, particularly social gaming.

Thats my rant over :P

Knurd said...

This has been becoming more and more of an issue lately. With the steady influx of PvP gear, (I promise I am not getting started), people have not had to learn the social aspect of the game.

Instead, they have gone into a battle ground un-prepared, done their own thing and been rewarded for it. They have not had to learn that the Tier gear we are wearing is a status symbol, it means that we understand how group cynergy works.

I have seen some guilds that are true social guilds. They have no rules. Run what ya brung! That's fine and dandy .. but those are the guilds that are still wiping on Ilhoof and Prince while we are tanking Hyjal trash.

The same can be said about the "hardcore" guilds that are working their way through SWP right now vs us. They micro manage everything ... including how you play. There is more than are you ready for this in terms of gear ect? That is why they are wiping on the twins and we are not.

The lines have to be drawn somewhere, and where that line gets drawn is what decides how far you go.

Rakhman said...

We only raid Karazhan and have been doing so for a while, so we can carry people who don't bring consumables, and indeed they are generally not necessary any more.

When we started ZA we were faced with the issue of gear & skill level and consumables. We have basically "evaluated" people's gear level and said not everyone can come if your gear is not good enough, and we carry on karazhaning to gear those people up. I think we also said you need to bring consumables if you are chosen for ZA, but given those going to ZA are generally seriousish raiders, they will bring consumables anyway. On the question of skill... in Kara it's ok and we can compensate for some mistakes by being quite cautious (eg everyone stays below 100% tank threat, none of this 130% stuff). In ZA we try not to take those players who are a little suspect with their class skills, if they are needed to do something specific, although we have a small pool of players so sometimes you just have to suck it and see. As it were.

Our guild is a "social" guild and a "guild which raids", not a "raiding guild". This means there is no pressure to raid, people sign up of their own accord, and raiding is done as a side activity to levelling alts etc in the guild. Which means if you sign up to our raids, there are raid regs which you need to obey, such as having the right mods and I can see in Wrath coming with consumables. Failure to obey enough times results in a raid ban. And if members don't like this, then raiding isn't the focus of the guild anyway so these members won't be raiding.

We are also trying to get people to nominate "mains" so that we can try to focus their attention on gearing up etc come Wrath and hopefully get some 10 man raid progression going.

Mushy said...

Guild "classes" I see as a hard one to define as they branch off in multiple ways, you have hardcore, hardcore progression, casual, casual hardcore, social, social casual etc.

When I first joined CS I figured it was social casual, but over the summer it went to social.

I guess it's all down to what each individual person thinks when there's no clear definition set by the guild.

I do agree that a fair few people take the piss, heck I'm probably one of them - I raid in PvP spec, but I have decent PvE gear with me so my characters don't suck and it's gems and enchants are up to speed (in general at least) - I also like to think I can play ;) and I do bring food at least usually, and pots, my lock being the exception as it's still being geared and I only do PvE on it for the 60 badges for the PvP cloak.

As for how to tell or should you tell people? I'd be blunt (but you know me Seph :P) - if you suck and you're causing wipes, go read some guides on your class, the instances etc - and stop eBaying, you're a 70, you should have the basics by now, you leveled up ffs! I'd definately start blocking them from instances unless REALLY needed (if we have 0 locks and we need one for some trash I'd bring mine if wanted for those packs, but I'd never sign with it, mage and rogue are different in that they are geared for MH/BT and late SSC/TK so either can go, but I always sign as mage)

I side with Amaryllis as well that being 45 minutes after start time (lets forget invite time here) is just rude - thanks for making me sit here and do nothing while you mess about for an hour, it's fine, honest!

Muron said...

There are a lot more casual raiding guilds popping up now. Some things that my casual raiding guild has done well I think are.

1. 2 manditory progression raid nights a week. But 1 optional Kara and ZA a week (at least) to help gear people, and give other options.

2. Differentiation between raiders and regular members. Raiders get spots in raid first, and first chance on loot and people are promoted/demoted as necessary*.

3. Loot council supported by DKP. Run DKP but just use it to help you decide who gets loot don't use it as a final decision, if you have great officers loot council is a great way to do loot, and it always helps to have the DKP to back up your decisions.

*If your not gemming/flasking/enchanting or geared enough for the raid your on member status. Doesn't mean you can't come, but it means others get first shot at coming to raid and rolling on loot.

Our motto is that because we only raid 2 nights a week, we have to be even more dedicated to do the same amount of content as the higher end guilds. Make sure people know your only casual about the amount of time you spend raiding, not about your dedication to it, and you expect the same from them.

Anonymous said...

We are are social and friendly guild and being social doesnt mean you cant put up ''rules '' for attenting raids. We have had these discussion in the past but havent really done anything with it.

If we make rules for how to attend raids we migth exclude some of the the ppl in the guild from some of the raids but not from all, and the ones that cant make it will know what is expected from then so they will eventually..

Beeing prepared for a raid:

Bring food and pots that you need.
( if you havent got the pots or food you need ask in guild if someone can make it for before we start)

Enchants: Ask in guild ( before we start)

Gear requiered for the instance that we are going to:

Make something that we can follow so that everyone knows what are expected to be able to attend, ex, either we follow be imba or we go by something else like, for this instance you need xx stamina , xx dmg, xx +heal...

If you have less then this and signup you migth not make the raid or will be put in if not all spots are filled....

Raid starts at 22 invites starts at 21,45. If your not online at 22,05 you will be replaced if possible. If you state that you migth be late you still migth be replaced but your welcome if spots are not filled.

We all have limited playtime so i dont think having rules on how to attend will change the guild.

so the bottom line is come prepared...



Gruffer said...

I would suggest having 2 member status in the guild.. 1 as raider and 1 as ordinary member. This should not make a diffrence when it comes to loot, as we are using SK. But when we are talking of 2 dps classes and we only need 1 dps. Then the raider should be picked to come before the ordinary member. As i have read in our forum, we will now have 1 day a week set up for progression. This is a good thing, only i fear that it will not change much in preparing.
Sephrenia i know you dislike the talk of Dkp but i seriusly doubt you will see any real changes on matters of preparing before you start using it. Reward with Dkp for good preparing, I am not talking of -Dkp punishment as i doubt this will do any good.
Btw i agree with most of the people who commented above me.
Our biggest problem right now is that we never have enough signups and we allways end up asking in guildchat to fill out last spots. Giving "slackers" an excuse for not being prepared.
Regarding the guild bank.. start using some of that gold. I see absolutely no reason for a bank to have 10K gold or more. Atleast buy out 1 more slot for the bank. Also maybe let the bank buy consumables from players farming them. For a fixed price. If you use Dkp.. give people the possebility to buy gold from dkp? Just start using some gold :-)

Khryses said...

I think it's a bit harsh to call people who are asked (rather 'begged') to come to an encounter to make up numbers 'slackers'. This is of course different than people simply not signing then expecting to get a late place - i would agree that that sort of thing is slacking.

I've come to Gruul on a few occasions under geared and unprepared because i was asked to fill the last spot. I did not put my hand up as soon as someone asks in GC 'any more for Gruul' because I know my toon is undergeared for such encounters and i would not sign up or put myself forward for such encounters unless there is no one more suitable online.

I agree that some people might be undergeared, poorly geared/specced, lack knowledge of an encounter and completely lack an understanding of their present limitations. I for one know that i am undergeared for best part of Kara and above but i make sure i know the encounters, know my class, have a decent talent spec and i am trying to work towards having a decent supply of consumables at any one time and constantly improving my gear.

I respect the importance of being on time and being prepared. Frankly i think that if invites start at 9:45 and raid starts at 10:00 people should be replaced if they are not ready by 10:00. As i read somewhere else, 'if you are 1 minute late to a 25 man encounter you are wasting 25 minutes of time'.

I personally would rather be told that i am too crap to be first choice for an encounter rather than contribute to wipes.

The issue of gearing and progression is a difficult one. Until you have 25 people with Kara level gear who can play at the same time you will not have good progress in Tier5.

I don't like the idea of raider/normal member either, especially because of the interpretation of what is a raider and what is a normal member. If i had the gear i would be a raider, but i don't yet so does that make me a normal member? I go to tier 5 content on request and a raider gets priority on gear over me because i'm not a raider. I don't see the incentive on a non-raider going essentially dividng the guild to the point where any person with a non-raider toon would find it difficult to ever become a raider.

Final point is about GB. I agree with Gruffer. The gold could have more purpose and it might be an idea to have some internal trade in respect of consumables via the GB and certain consumables bought in from AH on occasion so that people can have a break from raid prep once in while.

amaryllis said...

I agree with
"I think it's a bit harsh to call people who are asked (rather 'begged') to come to an encounter to make up numbers 'slackers'." Especially as the person who has to be persuaded into raiding one night, might be on time and full of consumables the times they actually logged intending to raid.
I do however feel that with the ease we can make gold at the moment, there should be no need for the guildbank to fund potions etc. That said, I have no idea what the money in the guildbank should be used for :P

Sephrenia said...

I don't think we have a guild full of "slackers". I think the challenge is that SOME (not all) people aren't very aware of what they can do to improve their characters, or the way they play.

Ofc we have no challenges with the people we "encourage" to raid with us when we're short on numbers. We wouldn't expect anything then.

What I do have issues with is people signing for something they are obviously not prepared for.

I think this discussion is something we can take back to our guild forum (once it's working again) and open up to all members and see if we can get some good, helpful advice out there.

Also, my opinion is that once the new Council is decided we will work on ways to make sure our raids are more effective and will have to be a bit firmer in who we take along.

Logic said...

this is a sensitive issue in our guild, we have a variety of players in our guild some likes to pvp a lot some likes to level 252145 alts and (as i see it) a minority who likes to raid and really wants to progress.
i'm one of those who wants to progress (even if it's a very slow progress). the excuse of "i have joined the raid because you asked me to" is not valid when it comes to enchants, gems, pots, repairs etc. players should have self-judgment "am i good enough for raiding this instance? do i know my roll in this fight?" and so on...

the next part is a bit harsh thats why i'm posting here and not at the guild forum
in the past few raids i felt like a small group of players are "carrying" the others trough 25 man raids and i shouldn't be this way, as i see it if you are undergeared you need to do everything possible gearwise not to become a burden on the others ,that means bring flask, pots, oil & enchant your gear.
i have wrote a very nasty retirement post about that but i have edit it because i didnt want to cause unnecessary drama (although i might cause one with this post)
if things get better i might consider renewing my payment although i'm pessimistic about it

Logic, former council member of CS.

p.s. sorry about my spelling & grammar i hope you all understand my point

Anonymous said...

This is a difficult subject, I for one am very casual about the game and it's content. For me it is very much just a game and there are alot of people who take it far too seriously. I have a tiring job to go to and a son to take care of and i just don't have the time (or patience) to browse forums, websites and/or blogs just to tweak my character that extra little bit. I want to play the game, not read about it...

This attitude clashes of course with the people in the guild who are more or less dedicated towards their characters, the guild and the game. I very rarely raid nowadays but have come along a few times to fill out a Gruul raid. If i log on for some casual playing I am obviously not prepared for a raid and will most likely not have flasks/pots etc with me. Is the raid supposed to wait for me to get pots or is it acceptable to be "undergeared" then?

I don't really know where this is going, just ranting like Seph I think. Reading other comments here, I guess I'm just to casual to raid...

Anonymous said...

I'm on WoW a lot less now, and I'm drunk while I type this, so excuse any really random stuff I type - I'm trying to make it make sense!

This is probably slightly more aimed at the last post. I've been hardcore (not overly hardcore - I was in a guild ranked 5-7th on the realm depending on who you asked on a ahead of all realms - Magtheridon (pre TBC))

If I'm asked to come to a raid (on an alt or as a last means) to fill numbers I can't be classed as ungeared or unprepared as it's helping out the guild, however if I'm a main, who's under geared or prepared or both and I sign, then I'm wasting 24 other people's time.

You have a tiring job? So do I, is your's more tiring than mine? Maybe so, at which point if I don't have the energy to sign for a raid I won't, but don't get me wrong, I sleep 4 hours a night at most and I'm shattered constantly - I still know how to play my class(s) and I know my enchants and gems to get, without spending my waking hours readin forums.

Hmmm think I got to that ranting stage while drunk, never a good thing, probably best you forget everything I typed here.