Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guilds, or How I learned to stop worrying and tolerate 24 people

I realised that most of my posts start with “OK,…” or “So,…”, which I’m sure is very bad style. I believe it comes across as dropping you in in the middle of a thought, which may be slightly disorienting. I’m going to try not to do that going forward.

In my previous WoW post, I mentioned groups and raiding. To recap the relevant bits – when you reach the end of the WoW levelling train (currently level 80), you really have two choices. You can start another character from scratch to experience a different class or different zones, you can start fighting other players in big groups or small groups, or you can start raiding. Three choices – start from scratch, player vs. player, raiding, or go for achievements like OK I’m already bored with this Monty Python bit.

My choice was to raid. To recap, this means coordinating a group of 10 or 25 people to kill some really BIG monsters. In the current iteration of WoW, the 25-man raids are seen as the “real” ones and the 10-man raids are usually used for training, impromptu groups, and people who aren’t as good at the game. Putting this together with the previous paragraph, this means that in order to continue progressing past the level cap, I needed to work together with 24 other people. Yuck.

Option 1 is to try and join groups made up of whoever happens to be around at the time. This is sketchy for several reasons, most of which are related to the problem that none of these people will necessarily see you again. What this leads to is playing with:

  1. People who suck. As MMO’s go, WoW is not difficult to learn, and yet there are people out there who cannot manage to push the same button over and over again.
  2. Dicks. Due to the John Gabriel Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, you’re going to encounter people at their absolute worst.

Option 2 is to gather a group of people – a “guild” - with whom you can kill monsters week after week.  In addition to being able to select out some of the fail from PuGging when you are recruiting your guild, you also eliminate it by the mere act of staying together – you can train people to get better at the game, and the sense of anonymity which enables the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory is lost if you have to deal with these same people tomorrow.

My current guild celebrated its 3rd birthday a few weeks ago. We began as a splinter from another guild, and have gone through a number of changes during the intervening time. We’re currently on our fifth Guild Master (GM) – me. I pretty much seized control after our last GM decided he was going to reorganize the guild without telling anyone, about 6 months ago. The guild has had its ups and downs, but we’re currently doing pretty well (if I do say so m’self.)

Next WoW post will be about… probably managing guild recruitment, with what has worked for us and what hasn’t. Probably.

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