What, exactly, is a “good guild”?   4 comments

Last night we had a full night of raiding on Yogg. We had a heartbreaking 2% wipe on Yogg. We had frustrations on Yogg. We did not kill Yogg. By the end of our raid I was mentally exhausted and frustrated. I was sosure that we were going to have a Yogg kill yesterday that I would have put money on it. I logged out of the game disappointed and, well, angry. Perhaps “emotional” is a really better word for the mix of feelings that I had.

In my slew of emotions, I wondered to myself why am I so upset about this, whydoes it bother me so much. Those are really very hard questions to answer…and if you really get down to it, delve deep into my psyche.

First and foremost, I have spent hundreds of hours of time with Ulduar.  Between researching the instance non-stop, to raiding the damn place 6 nights a week (2 – 10 man, 4 – 25 man), my frustration level with not being able to “finish” the zone on the 25 man is very, very high.  This, I think, comes from a number of factors.  I really have the competitive play mentality of those in some of the higher echelon progression WoW guilds, but my choice is to play with people that, generally, I do adore…even if they can’t consistently push out 6k dps. 

So, as I analyze my brain last night, the true answer is that even if we aren’t “the best” I still want to be “good”.  We were the second horde guild to get to Yogg…I really do want to be the second horde guild to kill him.  Even though I know that it really isn’t that important.  We (I) have worked SO hard to keep the guild together through anything and everything that has happened over the past 4 years, that I really just want to be “successful”.  And here, in these statements, lies the truth.  Even though we do not consider ourselves to be a competitive guild (we run with the philosophy that we are a progression guild, but will not kill guild morale just for the sake of progression).  The problem is, that I am, in fact, a very competitive person.  Thus, I most definitely have my own challenges that I must overcome.

So…as my thought processes work through everything, I ask myself:  “Well, what is a good guild”.  Along with that question comes “why do I feel all this pressure to succeed”.

Progression wise, only 4% of guilds worldwide have killed Yogg-Saron according to WoW Progress and 4.57% according to Guild Ox.  Assuming we get a kill tonight, we will be in the top 5% of guilds to down him…I think that is not bad.  And that would be great…if that is all that it took to make a guild “good”.  But it’s not.

I guess this is what leads into my frustration.  Every single raid that I am in, I feel like I give 110%.  I come fully prepared, I never have to ask for an extra flasks or mana pots.  I have thoroughly researched the encounter,  not just strategy, but every single comment from anything I can find from anyone trying to eek out a tiny bit of extra information to help us overcome our current obstacle.  I have fully researched my gear, my spec, everything there is to know about my class.  After every raid I analyze my performance, I look for ways that I can improve and I look for mistakes that I made throughout the night.

And here is where I think the problem lies…I would venture to guess that only about 15% of our guild puts in this much effort and preparation for every raid.  And when it comes down to it…I think I would not be nearly as frustrated as I am right now if more people would put in even half of the effort that I do.  I could wipe to Yogg all night if I felt that every single person in the raid had as much invested in our success as I do.  I know, I know…I’m the raid leader and a member of the leadership, I am supposed to have more invested!  It’s just that sometimes, I wish everyone else would do just a teensy bit more.

(/sigh…sorry this is getting a bit ranty, let’s get back on topic!).

What is a “good guild”?

A guild is a group of players, or team mates – if you will, that join together for a common goal.  Not all guilds will have the same goals, and therefore cannot all be measured by the same meter.  A lot of what makes a guild “good”, I think, has to do with what you want to get from the game.  If you want a  more social experience and that is your number one priority in the game, then a progression guild that is focused more on performance than friendships is probably not going to be a “good” guild for you.  But does that mean that a social guild that is months further back in regards to progression is not a “good” guild?  Absolutely not.

I very much think that determining if a guild is “good” is a very personal thing that cannot necessarily be judged on a macro basis.  When I think about this, I break down a few things that I think someone should look at in determining if the guild is “good”.

  • What are the guilds goals?  Do they have clearly defined goals?  Do these goals match yours?
    • If your goals don’t match the guilds goals than it probably isn’t going to be a “good” guild for you.
    • All guilds should have “mission statements” or “goals” set that lay out what they hope to accomplish and do as a guild.  A guild without a clear understanding of who they are or what they want as a guild probably is going to have some conflict.
  • How long has the guild been around?  Do they have a reputation?  Is it good or bad?
    • As a rule of thumb (although not always accurate), a guild with a history attached to them is probably going to be more stable than the guy that is spamming trade chat with recruitment information.
  • What is the guild’s player-base?  Are they going to be like minded?
    • If you are a thirty-something gamer, I would wager that you probably aren’t looking to spend your free time in a guild full of kids that just got off the school bus.
    • On the same note, if you are a raid focused player, you probably don’t want to spend 5 nights of the week leveling alts and raiding 2 nights of the week.
  • How much effort does the guild put into their recruitment application?  Do they really try to get a feel for who you are?  Do they offer interviews before tagging you?  Is it important to them that you fit in as part of the team?
  • Does the guild leadership have a reputation that precedes them?  Are they known for being fair, or for kicking the guy that couldn’t make the raid in a given night because his kid got sick?

Ultimately, I suppose that I think the measure of a “good” guild, is individual.  I know that I have as much respect for well respected casual guilds as I do for well respected progression guilds.  I firmly believe that every success that anyone has is noteworthy, no matter when it comes in the progression chain.

So, in answer to the title question:  I think a “good guild” is a guild in which you can accomplish your goals in the game in an enjoyable fashion.  Being number one isn’t everything, unless that is what defines you as a guild.  Bering number one certainly doens’t grant you status as a “good” guild, just a “well progressed” guild.

Ultimately, I do think that Monolith is a “good” guild.  We have fairly defined goals, we try very hard to be fair to everyone and respectful, and we invest in our members and try to think of them as more than just pixelated characters on the screen.  Even if I get frustrated from time to time, that is more myself putting my own “goals” as my priority for myself.  I really want Monolith to remain successful and respected, and as a progression guild some of that is tied to how well we are progressing (hence the Yogg stress =P).  I work very, very hard to try to accomplish this task, and sometimes when people play poorly…or say, run into extra clouds five bloody pulls in a row after four hours of wiping, I just need my own personal sanity well to refill =)

What do you think defines a “good” guild?

4 responses to “What, exactly, is a “good guild”?

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  1. I do the same thing. I don’t know how many times I find myself thinking and yelling about “how much LOKI sucks” with temperature and voice raised to very slowly remember that we are 5th Ally guild on our server… that the front page of our server on WoWProgress. I used to be in a guild that probably wouldn’t have made page two.

    Whats a good guild? I think you covered all the stuff that would be important to me if I were searching for a new guild. I would want a guild who would think two or three times about letting me in and make sure they thought I was good enough. A guild with a good rep, who gave people a fair chance, but didn’t hold their hands.

    I guess I know the guild I’m in right now is a good guild for me because my heart would break 100% if I had to leave.

  2. Brilliant post.
    I’m currently very much rock and hard place. I have a very hectic real life at the moment, and I’m in a casual raiding guild, who’s raiding needs fit mine – once or twice a week, and you don’t get shouted at if you can’t attend.
    However calling to me keenly is a spin-off from my old guild. I used to be a semi-hardcore raider with them, four or five nights a week.
    They split off from the main guild (whom I left due to personal problems and I wanted to cut down on my raiding), and none of the people who were getting me down in old place, are in the new one.
    They want me to come back to them, but I feel really loyal to my current group of people.
    At the moment I have an alt in the spin-off guild (Sapphrina), but I feel really 50-50 split as to where Espreya should be.

  3. Aeritmus, I completely understand where you are coming from =)

    It is always easier to always complain about all the frustrations than to recognize all the positives! I fall into that trap all the time…and then smack myself a bit when I realize that I really am greatful for all the good things we’ve got!

    Sof, That is most definately a tough place to be! Guild splits are always hard. Leaving a guild is always hard. Having all of your friends one place and you another is also hard!

    I’m not sure what I’d do if I were in your shoes…but I’m sure that everything will work itself out!

  4. I like to experience WOW and find it very hard to do so with so many that treat it like a college class, where everything is to be studied. Don’t get me wrong, I like to come prepared with food and other buffs, but not “knowing” everything about an encounter that my character would not know.

    To me, this spoils the excitement. Already “knowing” how to beat a boss before I’ve ever faced him and having someone tell me exactly what to do because they’ve already done it, is not as much fun as figuring it out on my own. Brainstorming with a group of guys who are facing it for the first time.

    I got a group together of 4 guys who took the challenge of beating all the 5 man dungeons at or below the recommended level. Half the fun was figuring out how to beat the MOBS without already “knowing” how others had done it. We finally beat them all and it was a lot of fun.

    I’d love to find a group that wanted to do the 10 man raids that way too. But most I’ve been in so far are led by someone who already “knows” everything. Not much fun in my book. People just after the gear and not the experience. In a hurry to get stuff and wanting every advantage they can find getting fully decked out 80’s to help them.

    What makes a good guild? A group of guys that learn how to work together and compliment each other, rather than following the “one and only right way” to do every boss. Ones who are creative and come up with new ideas, rather than just follow what others have done before. Ones who are as interested in seeing you advance and get better as themselves, because they know the strength is in the team, not any one individual.

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