View Full Version : Leading A Casual Guild Is Rough

07-09-2008, 06:04 AM
Hello all,

I just would like a moment to vent and ask for help, critisism is fine, just anything that can make things easier for me would be great.

First, let me introduce myself, because I have only posted a few times before. I have been playing MMO's since I was eleven years old, back in '99, playing EQ. I joined Wayfarers of Myth (one of the oldest guilds that is still around today) and followed the guild leader of WoM over to WoW. We met IRL last year, and I moved in with her, and we now lead the guild Sek Sea Pirates.

She has the "Guild Captain" tag on it, but anyone you ask, including her, will tell you that I lead the guild. I deal with promotions, guild drama, try and work with co-ops, do *literally* all the recruiting, lead all the raids, always put instances or pvps together....Do everything IMO what a good guild leader should do.

I love raiding, in fact, I kinda "hate the game" except for raids and instances. PVP drives me crazy (because I honestly suck at it), and leveling up alts makes me want to gouge my eyeballs out. My g/f however enjoys raiding, but enjoys playing alts more and questing and blah blah. With that said, we decided to start recruiting with the "Casual Raiding" tag (Raid 2 or 3 times a week....atm 2...) but really I'd like to push it as *real* raiding, I just have to word some things a few ways to keep her happy, you might know how that goes :p

Anyway, I always get a great group of 10 guildies to log in and do Kara. That group finally gets real geared out, and I'm also actively recruiting (in guild recruitment, rarely in Trade channel, through pugs, and on server/guild recruitment WoW threads). My guildies get geared, say "Awesome guild, but I don't see this guild progressing as quickly as I'd like it to" and leave.

I probably could have EASILY geared 40 people in full kara gear who have just up and left once they had everything to have.

I finally got lucky a few weeks ago, and *somehow* got alot of level 70's together and had enough for two Kara groups, and that sunday decided to give Gruul a try. We had 20 guildies, and 5 pugs, of the pugs only 2 were REAL pugs, the others were friends. We didnt get high king down, because of the guildies we brought they have never done a real 25 man before, so was a HUGE learning curve for them. We got close a few times.

The week after that, we had our base 10 people log on.

So, that's my story. I know it's long, and I probably could have made a blog out of it, but I dont want it to be just a vent. I would really appreciate advice, help, something. I want to experience 25 mans, but my g/fs heart would be BROKE if I left the guild (again, she's been leading since '99, and I've always been helping her manage it). The server doesnt have any 'alliances' that raid on the days that I can raid (I'm a supervisor at Circuit City and have to work around fri/sun night and possibly one other). So, I'm just stumped. :(

07-09-2008, 09:42 AM
This is exactly how my old guild was, they did Kara but never did 25 mans, however with a bit of work we were 3/6 1/4 in SSC/TK without much trouble.

The approach we had was to tell the raiders what we had planned, in our case, hard progress in 2 days a week. We established a raiding core, where people who could and would commit to the progress, and then we filled the remaining spots with casual members who wanted to raid but couldn't do it all the time. The idea was the core forged progress and then we swapped out people to give the casual members a look at raiding.

Then we got people used to the idea of speed pulling and hardcore progress in the time we had, as little slacking as possible. It took a few months to get going, but when we did our first 25 man we started a path of one shotting nearly everything we came up against.

So basically don't give up don't despair and go for it.



07-09-2008, 10:08 AM
I wasn't the GM but once was also in charge of a casual guild. After a lot of attuning and helping people, I got 3 Kara teams running. I painstakingly planned Gruul, got people to sign up, but the day before it one of the Kara team leaders told me that nobody from that Kara team would be going to Gruul. He had spoken to all the people, and they agreed that, even though we needed them for Gruul, they would rather spend the extra day on more Karazhan and avoid the potential high repair bills. It wasn't as simple as finding 5 puggers - not everyone could make it on the extra day.

So we never did Gruul. I gquit because I was so disappointed and had realised that the guild was not going anywhere in a hurry and would happily do Kara forever - they were so casual that they really just wanted to socialize and did not want to take any risks or have to farm to pay big repair bills. And there is nothing wrong with that, but it wasn't what I wanted. It really hurt because I had invested a ton of myself in the guild, it was almost like breaking up with someone rl. They were just the wrong guild for me, and I was much happier in the long run. WOW is supposed to be a fun hobby, not a slog.

Your g/f will probably be very upset, but I am sure she will get over it if your relationship is a good strong one. I think she is relying too much on you to get her fun and this isn't healthy - you should try to have at least one separate hobby and, silly as it sounds, "own" your own happiness.

07-09-2008, 10:14 AM
When we broke into 25 mans, it took a lot of work and motivation. I had 2 Kara team running and I I planned a Gruul's run, everyone was ready, etc... People just didn't believe and I had to butter them up a lot to get them in there, you need to make them believe they are capable of doing it and they will do it.

To make a long story short, we killed HKM and Gruul each on the 3rd pull ever for the majority of the guild raid, I think 3-4 of us had been in there before. One thing people don't realize is they vastly outgear Gruul's now thanks to the badge gear, so it's really just a matter of convincing them of that.

Now, converting from casual to raiding is a hard task, you're going to inevitably step on someones toes, makes someone upset, etc... It happened to us, and we lost 15 people and a few officers because of it. As hard as it sounds, you're better off chartering a "Hardcore Raiding Guild" than trying to convert a casual guild, because in the end there will be people that are more concerned with people, and others more concerned with progression, and they don't mix well.

07-09-2008, 10:26 AM
The standards of play for a casual guild and the expectations for raiding nights are what is going to kill you. It's not a gear issue as you can be Sunwell ready without setting foot in any T5/T6 content. :P

The problem is that you are recruiting people who aren't going to care enough to do it right, to be perfect in their execution. I believe that players with limited playtime can do well, but not if their expectation is that of a casual environment. They will be slow on things like capped out gems and enchants and they're going to balk at things like spending 400 gold a week on flasks and consumables. That's not even mentioning that they are probably 9/10th keyboard turners with limited understanding of DPS rotations and talent/group synergy.

Non-casual raiding types aren't going to give your guild a second look unless they think it has a chance at success and if you have a bunch of casuals they will give it a pass. I agree with Muggs, re-charter and set the emphasis on raiding importance. It will cause a lot less headaches for you.

07-09-2008, 10:42 AM
Dude, if you are doing all the work in your guild, it's you're guild. Not your GF's.

If she loves you she'll realize that you're miserable being casual and that you wish to raid more.

Bring it up with her. Say, "Baby, i love you, but i just can't raid." Let it be a known issue and see how she reacts to it.

If she'd rather have you in her guild and know you'd be miserable, than let you do something more raid-o-rific, I would suggest finding a new guild and a new girl.

07-09-2008, 11:27 AM
Moving from casual 10-man content to the 25-man content is an uphill battle. It can be done, but takes the commitment of more than just one person. 25s can be done in a casual manner. Several guilds on my server do it well. Get everyone on the same page. Lay out a plan for how you want to reach 25-man and set measurable goals. Share these goals with the guild!

Are your weekly raid scheduled for the same time/night every week? This is the first step. Make things consistent so that people can show up the same time every week and expect something to happen. Then give them something to do at that time. Not enough for kara? Run a heroic. Too many for kara? Run kara and a heroic. PUG if you have to, but make sure people are busy for the scheduled raid time and spread the word. Once people realize that something, anything will be happening they will show up. Consistency is key. Be upfront with your goals and raid times when recruiting.

Provide incentives to your current raiders to convince them to stick around. Give them a vested interest in the future of the guild. Delegate your responsibilities. Responsibility leads to interdependence which leads to cohesion. Cohesion leads to ownership. When guild members believe that they own the guild, they move en masse towards a common goal (the one you laid forth ealier!). Suddenly, you have transformed your job from cat herder to coach.

Throughout all of this, maintain a positive attitude and keep everyone's spirit up. Muggs stated above, "...they vastly outgear Gruul's now thanks to the badge gear, so it's really just a matter of convincing them of that." This is 100% true! Even without much kara/badge gear, you can destroy Gruul & Co. If people believe they can do it and they will. /train (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Engine_That_Could)

07-09-2008, 11:28 AM
If you are serious about bringing your guild into 25 mans the best advice is keep trying. The jump from 10 mans to 25 mans for a guild is one of the worst experiences I have ever had in Wow. The ratios of required classes is all wrong to get a good balance (2 tanks/ 5 DPS / 3 healers vs 3-4 tanks / 14 DPS and 7 healers) from multiples of 10 mans. The problems with people not having experienced 25 man and progression type content before versus the people who want to be hard core. The level of organization compared to 10 mans is more than twice as hard. It takes a lot of patience and willingness to deal with all the setbacks and just keep going. Our guild was in your situation in the fall of last year. We got our first HKM kill in late Jan. We are now 5/6 SSC 3/4 TK, 2/5 MH and 1/9 BT. I can try and advise you to some of the mistakes we made and how we tried to fix them.

Organize the signups and the days for the raid. Get a mod or a simple forum post that shows what day the raid is where people can say who is showing up. This way you can see the group composition and know if you will be able to pull off the raid. If you are a few people short a few days before you know if you need to sweet talk some folks into coming to make your numbers. If you are massively short people you can make contingency plans.

Setup a core group of people that have committed to being present for the 25 man raids. Depending on the number of people who rotate in and out I would put this at about 15-17 people. Make sure that almost all if not all your tanks and healers are part of this core. These are the people that you want to learn the fights inside and out. These are the people that you want to rely on when you get a new person in the run that needs some instruction or tips. Make sure that any special classes and roles that are needed for the fight are core people also (such as the mage tank for HKM). Also make sure that you have at least a half trained backup for these key roles so you aren't completely stopped if that person can't make it one night (or drops off the face of the earth like our mage tank did).

Find a way to reward the people that have put in the work to get the 25 man raids running. Nothing hurts more to someone that shows up for three weeks doing progression and when you finally get the boss down it goes to some guy who showed up tonite for his first time and died 30 seconds in. There are a lot of issues setting up a loot system. But there are a lot of threads here on loot systems. They key seems to be finding what you want to reward and pick a loot system that rewards that. Discuss it with the people that you expect to be raiding a lot. Discuss it with your officers. Then open it up to your guild members to comment on. Also remember you can't make every one happy with it but you can make it fair.

Always have a raid. You have people that have committed to giving you their time to do raiding. You are responsible to them for getting a raid together. If you are some people short beg, borrow, steal or pug people from friends or friends of friends. Get friendly with people from other guilds especially guilds that are one or two more tiers progressed than you. They will always have people who are willing to come PuG some of the instances that they no longer run either on their mains for fun or on their alts. Make sure that when you invite them that they know that you are doing progression. If you cannot in any way shape or form get a 25 man together, get a ZA run together. That way you are at least get to help out the people who did show up.

Grow your guild. Aside from the GF running the guild for a reason of not leaving I am guessing that you want to stay in the guild because of the people in it. Find the members that are good or mediocre players and are willing to learn to be good raiders. The two don't always overlap. have class leaders mentor people. Give them help with their gear, their rotations and their enchants. Teach them how to find the information for themselves. Point tanks here. Point DPS classes to their respective sites like the Warlock's Den. Point every one to Elitist Jerks. I would rather have a good person that is a solid player that is willing to learn than a perfect rotation epicced out dick any day of the week.

Recruit heavily but selectively. But be open and honest about what you are trying to do and where you are at. Know what roles that you will need and want to fill out the raid. Target people that you think would want to be doing the same progression level as to where you are at. People that are or want to be more progressed will just up and leave for a different guild when the opportunity presents itself. One of the best ways honestly is to find people from 5 man pugs. Run them and if you see some one interesting mention that you are looking for people. Don't push just see if they are interested. It works almost like a prescreening process.

And finally set realistic goals for each raid night. This way you can celebrate the little successes with even having to take down a boss. And you can track and set marks for progress that people can see. Communicate these to the raid at the start so every one knows what you are aiming for. It may be that the first night you want to make sure that you have a clean pull for HKM. Then the second time is you want to insure that all of the mobs stay controlled. Eventually it will be we want to clear the instance in 45 minutes so we can go do Mags.

Its painful. Its ugly. Its a lot of work. But it seems to be worth it. Things start to run smoother and smoother. Of course then there is a whole different source of problems for you to deal with.