When I get tired and frustrated with the people I play Warcraft with they’ll often say “Chill, it’s only a game.” Of course, this is right, World of Warcraft is only a game. I think, somewhat perversely, it’s usually these same people who are sniggering about your low DPS or you dying in a fight. The self same people who are quick to jump to play the “L2p” (Learn to Play) or “nice DPS for ilvl ^^” cards. These are usually the same people who have been focusing solely on the boss and not attacking any adds at all, a practice that in Throne of Thunder (Horridon, Tortos et al) became fatal.
In LFR I can sort of tolerate it because it’s clear from experience that people who access that content do so individually, with singular and selfish goals. Indeed, the content is dumbed down to allow for this non-cooperative approach. It’s within a guild environment that I find the elitism and dismissive attitude genuinely offensive.
I’ve said before that there is a guild out there for everyone. It’s true. There are more guilds, especially in the pre-expansion run up period we’re now in, than there are raiders. So there really is no need to settle and not shop around. Use guild probationary periods not to put on a show and exert yourself to get through it. Be yourself and thoroughly evaluate whether the guild you’ve joined is the right one for you.
What I look for in a guild may be very different from what you’re looking for. That’s fine and if it’s the case we should wish each other luck and go our separate ways. What I am looking for is social raiding. I want my cake and eat it. I want fun and laughter and community and I also want progression raiding. I will sacrifice some progression for building a stronger community, but ultimately I want to raid and I want to progress to new content, clear 10 man ‘normal’ and do heroics.
If that’s what you’re looking for in a guild I’ll tell you some things to look out for. Alts have always been a thorny question for social guilds. In hardcore raiding guilds you can have alts wherever you like, but on raid nights you’re on your main, progression raiding with the guild, or you’re out. In social guilds we encourage good people to come and socialise with us and maybe raid. So where a guild stands on having members, even raiders, with raiding mains in other guilds is an important choice. I’ll tell you why: conflict of interest. If you can’t come raiding with us because you’re raiding with another guild then you’re not committed to the guild. Progression raiding requires a degree of commitment and if you want to build a community that has fun and enjoys it’s raid nights, as well as a just having a raid ‘group’, then commitment is much more important.
You can either try to organise your raid nights around the available nights of people who have alts in your guild, rather than perhaps less gear and experienced raiders who have all their chars in your guild. Or you can say these are our raid nights: you are welcome to raid with you main char in this guild on our raid nights, but if it conflicts with your main char’s raiding in your main guild then you can’t raid with us unless we’re short one raider. So people can be welcomed to socialise with you, befitting your social nature, and raid when it suits you, but your priority is to your committed members. Even if they have lesser gear which might slow your progression.
This attitude moves a guild from being a successful alt guild, whose raiding is progressive but sporadic – at the whim of another guild’s schedule – to a guild that develops it’s own members and tries to build a consistent roster. I recently moved from the former, a guild with some very well geared ‘alt’ raiders who couldn’t attend every raid, they had 13/14 progression Siege of Orgrimmar. I moved to a guild that’s trying to rebuild a social raid team, after the GM and officers “moved on”, we will hopefully complete SoO together, gearing each other up on the way, we’re currently 3/14 SoO. A new proto-team – a work in progress.
It’s often the case that these ‘alt raiders’ come with some baggage. Their fortunes are not tied to your guild (they’ve cleared the content you’re working on now) and neither is their commitment. If your developing raid hits a wall they’ll probably fail to turn up until you overcome your current Tortos and have started free wheeling through bosses again. They’re often arrogant and dismissive of weaker members of your raid team and, given their monumental gear level and farm experience of the content you are on, that’s usually everyone. While they make your raid more progressive they also make it more hostile and aggressive. You may advance to Garrosh Hellscream but who was left behind? Once Garrosh is defeated do you feel elated or do you want to start the heroic content while most of your guild is trying to put together farm runs in normal so they might be able to join you, or moving to guilds with less progression who are interested in them as people as well a raiding ciphers and will take them with them as they progress to new content.
Ultimately the question of alts is a question about whether you’re solely interested in getting deeper into a dungeon and getting more gear or whether you’re interested in the progression of the guild. If there are several alt raiders in your guild’s raid take a look at their ilvl and the ilvl of your officers compared to the rest of the guild. What story is it telling you?
I look for a guild that is interested in building a team for the future. A guild that wants to develop the people it has, nothing is more rewarding for me than recruiting a low level player, with no max levels characters, supporting them to max level and through the gearing process and seeing them access end game content with the guild and become a valuable member of the raid team and your guild community. It beats the hell out of suffering the remarks and elitism of arrogant pricks and the dismissive attitude of, not really bothered, kids. Even if I am trying to deafest Sha and Galakras again and not Garrosh.
If you don’t really know what kind of guild you want to create it’s easy to go wrong and end up with a guild you didn’t want. I did a fast Flex run on Friday with some great guys who really know how to raid and for them a race through flex is like me roaring through a 5 man with my main. I only had a couple of stupid deaths and I also managed to post some respectable DPS, fifth on the metre overall. I guess the results are in: I can play destro, reasonably well. The guys in the fast Flex are probably the best raiders I’ve run with since Wrath and yet they prioritised fun above all. After all, World of Warcraft is just a game. We like to kill bosses, get loot, progress, but at the end of the day we game to have fun. My idea of fun is not clearing 10 man normal with pricks whose raiding mains are not even in my guild.
My old guild will get Garrosh down any day now and good luck to them. They have some lovely people, but they also have an unhealthy mix of raiders fit for nothing but LFR content, who have no real concept of cooperative play and what makes raiding fun, and overgeared, arrogant…who believe everyone in that guild is a n00b because if they could actually play their class they would leave for a decent, more progressed guild. They must be having a really good laugh at me. I left for a less progressed guild, in transition, rebuilding it’s raid team. I’m much happier now and having much more fun, which in a game is what matters at the end of the day.