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View Full Version : Does Blizzard Hate Guilds? What are your thoughts.



Pattyfathead
12-28-2009, 12:00 PM
This is a long drawn out discussion which covers many facets of raiding and guilds in World of Warcraft. I usually prefer to pinpoint certain issues in posts rather than add a tremendous amount of variables which leads to a wandering discussion that is tough to follow.

Unfortunately this is one of those topics. I am just looking for emotions, responses, feelings to Blizzards strategy of making end game raiding more accessable to its players. You can stop reading now if you don't enjoy such long posts.

This is a search for opinion post rather than search for answer post. While we are on the topic though, all ideas are welcome, I would love to see what solutions others would come up with, I have listed some of my own here.

Cataclysm sounds promising to fix many of these issues, but these are changes that easily could have been released with Burning Crusade, and it frusterates me Blizzard took so long to even consider this end of the issue. I would like to keep that out of the discussion till its actually part of the game. This discussion deals with WoW as it stands at this moment.

Onward.


The ultimate goal of the PvE story line in World of Warcraft is raiding. And the percentage of PUGs that are successful at conquering the Hardmode, 25 man, end game content, is minuscule to the number of guilds that achieve it.

So it falls to guilds, created, sustained and driven by players to actually bring Blizzards storyline to fruition. Which I think is fantastic, it gives players the opportunity to really claim this game for their own in a way not many other games can.

But Blizzard comes to the issue of making World of Warcraft accessible to all sorts of players, what have their strategies been?



Shrink the size of raids, decreasing the amount of raiders a guild can viabley maintain, unless they want to move to two or three raid groups. (Lots of Work)
Introduce 10 mans. Very PUGable content.
Decrease the reward of being in a guild. With badge farming being so easy to do, without actually doing the raids. Quantity time spent is now a substitute for quality time spent in a raid. The gap between someone that breaks themself for a guild, versus someone who farms badges on their own. Has narrowed to a point its tough to justify being in a guild for anything beyond commradery. (Which is easy to find outside of a guild)

Blizzard has been attempting to make the end game raid content more accessible. And in doing so they have reduced the draw of a guild and decreased the overall enjoyment of raiding. Reducing the excitement, the grandjeur, the strategy, the comradery, the coordination, ,the difficulty, and awe generation of the 40 man content. To the bare bones, minimalistic, lacking necessity of coordination, lacking strategic raid build, lacking in difficulty, 10 mans.

With the massive changes to the way end game content is played in World of Warcraft since release, what changes have their been to guilds? The guild bank was introduced... A very cool feature, and can help a guild advertise themselves. But its a drop in the ocean compared to how they have reworked raiding to make it more of a draw for people.

My big question is why not Buff up guilds rather than Debuff raids?

Currently most guilds use a currency system such as DKP or EGP. With the increased ease and accessibility of raids I have actually seen just Roll off systems become more popular (Usually featured in those one month wonder guilds you see pop up on your servers a lot more frequently as of late). Guilds that use the system that gives no reward for loyalty have even less ability to retain players than guilds that do setup currency systems.

The currency system is the best a guild can do to keep track of loot, but it actually behooves a player to hop guilds. The player will take a few pieces of loot, get behind on the currency system... Then jump ship. They can go to a new guild, because now they have the gear to be accepted into this higher tier guild, and they get a totally fresh slate on the DKP or EGP numbers. There is nothing a starting guild can really offer these fresh players to keep them from hoping to the higher up guild. It creates this system where once one guild climbs to the top. The few guilds behind it, are basically just feeder guilds for that top guild.

There are two trends I see in guilds now.



The pyramid effect, in which one guild makes it to the top. And it is constantly fed the highest skilled players and the most geared players. Making the job of the guilds below to gear said people, but lose those people before they can use them to match the top guild in content. So it forces the guilds on a server into a certain order, all locked in their position on the progression charts.
Or the rolling wave: The one month wonder guilds. They pop up, they sort of work out for about a month, then they crack under the pressure of no real leadership, no real comradery, no real loot system and break up. Than a month later the cycle repeats itself, and they sort of work for a different month, under a different name, and then break again.

Now whats the solution?



The solution is to add features that allow players to make part of that guild their own. Get attached to a guild so they will stick with it, even if its not into the high end content yet.
Guild Halls,
Guild Trophies,
A more intrictue ranking system,
Accessible websites run through Blizzard, links from the armory.
Fix the VoIP system, or just subcontract it out to ventrilo or teamspeak.
Unlocking quests based on time spent in the guild. Take the idea of BoA gear and translate it to upgrade based on the content they have cleared, purchasable through time with a guild.

Bring back 40 mans, No, bring back 80 mans!

I played EQ, (I know there were a few other games that touched its raiding scale, I am not well versed in them) the raiding was MASSIVE, on a huge scale the World of Warcraft doesn't even touch, but has every ability to. Don't bebuff the size of the raid, buff the ability of guilds to keep enough players together to do these large raids.

For example, Take a 40 man, but really toon it to a 35 man. This way a GM can run this large run, but he can still fit in a few of those wives, husbands, children, that don't perform at the level required for Vanilla 40 mans. The largest issues to keep guilds together is people have friends. And they want to raid with friends, but with wow Raids its all or nothing. You either have 40 hardcore players to get the job done, or the guild falls apart. In EQ you could bring 60 great players, and if you had 20 players that were good but not great? Thats OK, the raid could still happen and you could include those players and it wouldn't change the fight.

Blizzard basically wants to make the game accessible to players that are just average. I think thats great, but its an injustice to this game and especially its very skilled players. To bring the raids down to their level of "just average" Rather than bring guilds up to the point of "Fantastic" so they can actually handle "Fantastic" content.

I am fortunate enough to run a guild that is at the "Top of the Pyramid" now. But it was a bitch to get to that point and it didn't need to be. I for the longest time was, by no choice of my own, the feeder guild for a larger guild on my server. And I had no way of convincing people not to jump. Know why? Cause there was no reason to, there was nothing I could offer them at that stage.

And now that I am in that position of being the top dog. I am flooded with apps from guess what. All the small guilds that are trying to make it below me. And I am stuck, because if I don't take the skilled, geared players below. I will lose my "King of the Hill" spot, and I am not willing to be in that low position again. So in the process of maintaing my spot, I am screwing the rest of the smaller guilds on my server by accepting their skilled applicants, that are looking to jump ship.

I just want everyone to have the opportunity to explore the raid content, and the joy of downing a very difficult encounter with 40 of your closest friends.

So now I am at the point where all the guilds on my faction side of my server are crumbling. And all I want is to grant people all the ability to raid, so I have streched myself to the point where the guild is ballooning, running up to 6 10 mans a week, 2 ICCs, and Three ToCs a week. Its mayhem, but we are the only guild that can semi keep it together, so there is no other option for people on our server.

I want every guild on my server to succeed, help Blizzard!

Anyways, Thoughts, Ideas? I would love perspectives from both ends. GMs trying to keep guilds together. Players that are desperate to find non fail guilds. GMs that are running the top guilds that notice themselves screwing other guilds even if they don't want to. Etc. Etc.

Thanks in advance!

http://gmcompensation.blogspot.com/

Proletaria
12-30-2009, 11:27 PM
Blizz hating guilds? Feeder guilds, runners, pyramid structure?

Sounds like you need a healthy dose of "it's a game."

But, all joking and mockery aside. I think the development of content that is more readily puggable, as well as the promised guild-achievement/status whatever you want to call it things coming in Cata, I would say blizzard is still concerned about guilds.

We're a far cry from a WoW in which pugs clear so much content that any and all guilds unable of server firsts are pointless. I've been with my current guild in an officer, co-gm status for almost a year now. In the past (for most of vanilla and half of BC) I had been a very hardcore raider. Server firsts were worth loosing sleep over, and my old guild regularly jacked promising talent from other guilds on the server. These days i'm lucky if we aren't falling into the catergory of "months behind." We aren't casual, and we expect our raiders to know their stuff, but we're all busy individuals IRL.

I think these well-managed mid-level guilds are still doing quite well. Even if they occasionally loose good members to top-guild sniping, or other members to the age old "irl" issue, things still chug on and raids are more stable, predictable, and successful than pugs.

End-game is no diffirent. While half (normal mode) of the content may be a joke for them, hardmode is usually not. Guild prowess with the new guild-achieve system will probably be more incentive than ever for hardcore guilds to strut their stuff.

vine
12-31-2009, 05:37 AM
Woah, you and I have polar opposite ideas of raiding and guilds. First of all I'm not sure what kinds of players your guild attracts but it sounds like leeches and losers if they pop in and out as soon as they upgrade. Maybe you should be working more on screening decent people.

40 man raids again? 80 man raids? Are you kidding? It's hard enough to organise 25 people some nights with conflicting schedules and last minute RL. The thought of having to be a raid leader in an 80 man makes me want to scream.

Blizzard introduced 10mans so more people could see the content. It also allows for smaller, tight knit guilds. You sound a little elitist complaining about the raids being puggable, it can only be a good thing if more people get more fun out of the game. Heroic modes are there for a reason. Plus there's zero chance of a pug 80.

TBH it sounds like the issue may be with your server if all the guilds are crumbling. I haven't seen or heard of it happening like you describe anywhere else.

I like your list of "solutions", but many of those will be covered with the new guild rewards system (coming in Cat I think). Can you expand on "more intricate ranking system" because that's more than a little ambiguous.

Xianth
12-31-2009, 05:42 AM
The changes coming in cataclysm mean the answer to your question is: no

Pattyfathead
01-04-2010, 10:38 AM
Pattyfathead:

Cataclysm sounds promising to fix many of these issues, but these are changes that easily could have been released with Burning Crusade, and it frusterates me Blizzard took so long to even consider this end of the issue. I would like to keep that out of the discussion till its actually part of the game. This discussion deals with WoW as it stands at this moment.

Xianth: The changes coming in cataclysm mean the answer to your question is: no


Looks like you didn't read my post, and just responded to the title. Cata is to little to late in my opinion. They have already shrunk 2 million subscribers from their peak. Cata is a reactive approach to fixing mistakes they made attempting to use a different solution. Its better than nothing, but its not here now, or for another year.

Thank you for the response though it doesn't help me.

Vine: Excellent response!

Fortunately my guild has found some great people, so we have made it beyond. It sounds like you have a very mature server which is great. I have not heard of a server without turnover in guilds anywhere else. Although my experience is servers is limited only to 4, which is nothing. So I am not the person to listen to there. My impression is mostly driven by the turnover numbers on progression websites. Noticing the change in which guilds are on top with new content, and players traveling in and out.

However, it is just a game. And it involves many young kids which I like to give the opportunity to raid, which I admit are flakes. If I had in game tools to make the game feel more like a home for them (They are not players I can take on the hardmode stuff, they do not have the discipline) then I could retain those players, rather than just ignore them.

Since blizzard is trying to make raiding more accessible, it seems they would want to reward the stronger guilds for retaining players that aren't in the 99th percentile of skill.

I am suprised by your lack of interest in larger raids! Thats a raid leaders dream. I take joy when I actually have to really put my mind to work figuring out where to place all my assets to conquer a fight.

The complexity of strategy in 25 mans regular mode, has been reduced to "Main tank is <insert name here>" Go. And hard mode isn't that much harder. Minor changes in heal assignments, specific tank rotations and targets. And ten man is just "Go"

Yes it would be insanely difficult to organize that large a group! But thats the best part! The real life issues are already here, thats not going to change with how large a raid you have. With every raid group, you account for certain amount of "unpredictability" and you recruit a percentage beyond the standard build for backups. Say you recruit 10% beyond the raid build for backups. It is the same with an 80 man raid, that 10% is just a larger number.

Yes I was very ambiguous on my solutions. I didn't want to force a bunch of solutions onto the page. And then not get solutions from other people cause I had already listed them.

In terms of a more intricute ranking system. More! Just more would cover it. The tools are in place to change what each rank can do. But I filled up the 10 ranks in moments, and could definately diversify each persons roll with more ranks. 10 more ranks could easily be used. I have a mod that displays what a persons rank is on mouseover. Add that feature in game, so when people are interacting with members of the guild. They know what level that person is within the guild. Also, they could take the tabard system a bit further and add patches for ranks. Nothing complex graphically. Simple large symbols smacked onto a tabard. I way to display rank symbolically rather than textually. It would provide incentive to wear the guild colors and become a more cohesive unit.

Proletaria: Thanks for your response.

You made great points, that I can't really argue with. Only thing I would say is:

Sounds like you need a healthy dose of "it's a game."

Once you are cruising tankspot.com, to me you are already past that point. ; )



The bottom line is, it sounds like most people are satisified with the way guilds have been in the past. The direction Blizzard is taking them now. And anything that is missing they feel like waiting a year for cataclysm is more than reasonable. General feeling I get here.

Most of this just stems from feeling like there is nothing else in game I can do for my guildies to streamline and improve their experience. I want more (coining a word) edittablility.

Thank you for your responses!

Bashal
01-04-2010, 10:47 AM
I don't see how Blizzard would make something in their game and then hate on it; if they didn't like something they made, they'd simply change it.

I mean think about it: most players are in guilds, so if blizz "hates guilds" and start doing punitive things to guildies, then the majority of their player base becomes unhappy, and the /ragequit of wow begins.

That would be self-defeating of Blizz; it makes no business sense.

My guild didn't get very far at all when the standard raid size was 25-man. We were probably on the brink of falling apart until we found out the expansion would support 10-man modes for all raids. We can raid everything now.

The only thing going back to 40-man content would do is just kill every single guild that was unable to support it. That's a lot of guilds, btw.

Pattyfathead
01-05-2010, 11:21 AM
Bashal:
My guild didn't get very far at all when the standard raid size was 25-man. We were probably on the brink of falling apart until we found out the expansion would support 10-man modes for all raids. We can raid everything now.

The only thing going back to 40-man content would do is just kill every single guild that was unable to support it. That's a lot of guilds, btw.


You specifically state that because 10 man was released, it saved your guild. Not killed it. When I suggest bringing back 40 mans I by no mean remove 10 mans. I just mean make it an option. Blizzard can maintain the ability to raid in small numbers while bringing back the great raids. Your guild is a testament to the fact that the option to raid in larger numbers does not kill the smaller guilds. Some of them yes, but only the ones that aren't happy in the smaller scale raiding.

I don't think Blizzard "Hates" any part of their game. But saying Does Blizzard "Neglect" guilds, doesn't make nearly the same statement. Its merely to spur discussion. I hope my post went on to explain what I was really getting at.

If we want to talk business sense the fact is subscriptions have fallen recently, which is common as they reach the mid point of an expansion. I'm just drumming up ideas to keep subscribers entertained throughout the expansion. These ideas, are business sense.

Eravian
01-05-2010, 11:33 AM
One thing that I had thought would be interesting and would promote more guild cohesiveness is to have some items that are "Bind on Guild, maybe, earned through Guild Achievements or something, so that players jumping ship don't take all the guilds best loot, and the option of getting a guild hall, like you suggested... although rather than a hall I thought it would be cooler to have a ship or airship, even. Just think of the guild bonding from gathering 500,000 gold, 20,000 saronite bars, 1000 titansteel bars, and nuts and bolts out the wazoo to have your guild engineers make your very own guild airship, like the Skybreaker. =D You could even give different ranks different abilities, like officers can pilot it (slow moving flying vehicle), some can use jumpships, etc. It would be awesome to raid Ogrimmar by flying beside it and launching 40 people into the city on catapults and flying mounts...

Pattyfathead
01-05-2010, 11:39 AM
So a "BtG" item(Bind to Guild) . IF a player did decide to quit, the item would just get dumped back to the guild bank. Thats very interesting, I like it. =)

Also a guild hall being a ship like a skybreaker. I think thats a great idea. I was thinking like an instance entrance everyone walks in and just ends up in their guild hall. However, a airship would legitimize not seeing guild halls all over the World of Warcraft.

Also, the beauty of having a guild hall/airship option, is it would fix dalaran lag. Put a bank in there, and all the necessary vendors. Than the only reason to go to dalaran would be for trade or trolling in trade chat. Players that didn't want to deal with it, would just stay away and keep the traffic there lower.

Knigit
01-06-2010, 07:02 AM
The ultimate goal of the PvE story line in World of Warcraft is raiding. And the percentage of PUGs that are successful at conquering the Hardmode, 25 man, end game content, is minuscule to the number of guilds that achieve it.

So it falls to guilds, created, sustained and driven by players to actually bring Blizzards storyline to fruition. Which I think is fantastic, it gives players the opportunity to really claim this game for their own in a way not many other games can.



I don't think this reasoning stands up. Hardmodes are not really required to progress the story line. In fact, someone who pugged 10 man content all through WotLK has seen the main thread of the story in almost its entirety, the exception being Algalon.

Having said that, I do think content is more accessible now and this does allow people to operate outside of a well developed guild. Many would argue that this is a good thing.

I would assume that the upcoming Guild achievement system is what will tip the balance back towards guild membership again.

Warsreign
01-06-2010, 08:00 AM
Coming from end game raiding in both Vanilla, BC and now I find Blizzards trying to bulster guilds and make it easier on them to replenish their rankings as old players leave or get burnt out with new blood. Nothing was more frustrating then leading an end game raiding guild and seeing 15 or 20 apps to replace one or two guys that got deployed or something. And in those maybe one could possibly fill the void of where we were at without having to go back to much to catch their gear up.

Obviously now pugs seem to be doing great only because content is learned and achieved however you'll begin seeing a differance now because you can only go so far on badge gear before you have to begin raiding to get where you want to be and even then you'll normally always see good basedline player guilds reaching the tops first before that can happens. And like was said before that's where you have Heroic Modes.

But with anything Blizzard also sees the fact that friends and familys don't always get a long in the same guild environments and at least now no matter what guild your in you can still get yourself ready and pug with your friends and such still seeing the content and story lines.

How many out there had to sit back and watch as Naxx or Sunwell came and went before they could see the stuff in their guilds but they loved them so much they didn't want to leave. Now skilled players can get together no matter what their guild progression is and still see the things they want to see. This also applys to many guilds who just can't manage higher end guilds such as 40 or so because of server numbers or what not.. computer issues allows people to use 10 mans and still see the story as well as guilds to learn fights before attempting in 25s. And those guilds who prefer only a handful of close friends to play with instead of random people you dont know or have to deal with recruitments over.

Do I agree that it's to easy? Yes obviously there should be some break between releasing of Badge gear compaired to content to give those guilds a buffer zone a bit but ultimately it's not that deterimental to a strong guild if pugs achieve things faster then your guild does, if anything they can sometimes bring that info back to help balance your groups out and finally push past something thats been walling you for awhile.

Salloman
02-06-2010, 04:23 PM
As fore mentioned, I think Blizzard is attempting to address these concerns about guilds in Cataclysm. I am looking forward to these changes and interested to see how they work out.

While i would agree that pug success has gone up, I dont think that they weigh out to make pugs preferable. It may differ from server to server, but while my server has some very good pugs that run fri-sat, I dont think it is responsible for guilds dying. Guilds are really about planning and the Work that the Guild Leadership puts in. The more work the less likely people are to leave a guild.

We are an old guild, been on the server for a long time. The issues are that Guild growth is never fast! While it may seem like your growing fast at any one time, you can expect a similar exodus at some future date. But not all will leave if you culture and foundation is strong. This is the problem I see with a lot of guilds that are one month wonders as you put it. I have noticed its always the same players though. So those players are not looking for a long term pay out, but a quick one that is self serving. Teamwork is a foreign concept for many of these players.

By Blizzard introducing the 10 man raids to all raid content has been a huge step in helping the smaller guilds and allowing these guilds to weather player drop out. I think the issue is more with the maturity of players. My experience has been that older players 25+ are more likely to stick around with a guild they feel comfortable with, than go through the drama of shuffling through multiple guilds. It has A LOT to do with a players objectivity too. Its a game first and foremost! Progression hurdles are frustrating for all guilds and often can be guild destroyers. Strong leadership and objective Raid leaders make all the difference in these situations. The biggest problem is there are no prerequisites to starting your own guild, and often Guild Masters unqualified for the arduous task of organizing a large group of people over the internet to a common goal.

While I would agree that Blizzard could to more, it really is up to the GL to set the foundation. To outline the benefits of being in a guild to the members and the members understanding such. People will eventually do what they want, and I always preach that you have to go through 10 players to find 1 good one. Good pugs will happen, nothing you can do about it, players will ninja gquit without a word and times will be tough. But thats the cycle of our society in WOW. Only thing you can do is keeping trucking with your vision! And Yes it is fustrating, and all guilds see it! All guilds suffer from it and all we can do is set our rules and our culture to work against it. Rolls suck, Loot councils suck, try and stay away from them! lol

Acheronia
02-10-2010, 12:19 AM
Wise words, Salloman.

While I believe that Blizzard have neglected the importance of the guilds and the whole system is in sore need of a proper award system, there's also more to take into account. The hardcore raiding of Vanilla has passed for some time now. A lot of those people who were dedicated to that mode of raiding, have moved on in life. Married life (wife aggro), kids, job, global economic meltdown. All these factors come into play as well. The new blood are younger players who either didn't sign up to WoW until after BC or WotLK, or they never had the opportunity to do Vanilla raids. Sure there's still plenty of Vanilla players around who would love to see that kind of raiding again, but Blizzard had to evolve pretty quickly to keep the guys who's not use to 40 man raids. In the process they assumed that the big guilds will look after themselves, the medium guilds will struggle on as before and the one month wonders.. well.. they'll remain just that.

As for suggestions for guild perks:
1) I want to click on a players name in the guild window and see what his total monetary guild bank contribution has been. Keeping track of deposited items might be a bit much.

2) I want to see a star system in guilds for the time that a player has been in the guild: 1 star = 1 month, 2 stars = 3 months, 3 stars = 6 months, 4 stars = 1 year, 5 stars = 2 years. It resets the moment someone /gquits. Will hopefully make people think twice bout rage /gquit or horsing around with that.

3) I also want more ranks, including an Assistant Guild Leader who has all the functionality of the Guild Leader, other than kicking the Guild Leader :P

4) I want an alt system in the Guild. You sign up for a raid and when the raid leader mouse over the name, all the alts for that character are available.

5) I want to be able to set a restriction on items deposited in the guild bank: no grey items, for instance. This tab only accepts jewelcrafting items, that tab only accepts gear items.

6) I want to be able to flag a character as healer, dps or tank. And set up the raid event in calendar: 2 tanks, 3 healers, 5 dps and move the people that have signed up into those spots.

A lot of suggestions to do with raiding, but that's what it's all about: setting up the guild to make it easy for the guild master/mistress and officers to manage the guild and reducing their stress and therefor enabling them to better at management and leading.

Banterloft
02-23-2010, 02:45 PM
You also have to keep in mind with Cataclysm that the changes made here will reflect Blizzard's next big thing which I expect we will see some point in 2012. They are experiementing with the mistakes they made here. I'm sure that the guild "togetherness" will be a big part of the next gen Activision game structure.

OP - The Guild Hall would be a pretty great idea. I don't think it would ever happen, but it would be a great idea none the less.