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Officers Quarters > WoWApr 1, 2015 6:00 pm CT

Officers’ Quarters: Think beyond raiding

Fighting Poundfist

You ask — OQ answers. This week we have questions about saving a struggling community and recruiting for a slow-progressing raiding guild.

Rosander asked
What do you do when the guild you are member of is dying, and is hemorrhaging members badly? […] Some went to one guild, and are much farther than we could make at our best, which is now going down, and others to a different one that is even more successful (and for which I’ve tanked a few times, thanks to the former members that went there). When do you call it quits in trying to keep the guild afloat, for even the second in command knows that the guild is dying, all because of this expansion, for we were doing SoO very well (normal during content/heroic when 6.0 dropped)?

Is it worth trying to maintain the guild when even more are leaving in the near future, and all your top dps are now gone[…]?

Sometimes, gquits have momentum. When the problems with a raiding guild are systematic and deep rooted, all it takes is one or two key members to leave. Then the remaining raiders see the writing on the wall and follow suit. As more leave, even the players who had no intention of leaving start to question whether they should stay.

It sounds like it may be too late to salvage your current team. What you need to do now is think about rebuilding:

  1. Assess the reasons people left. Was it because progression was too slow? Was the raid leader ineffective? Were there policies that members disagreed with? Talk to the people who left and try to figure out why.
  2. Come up with a plan to address the problems head-on and rebuild the team.
  3. Acknowledge the departures. Tell your current members what you’re planning to do and ask for their help rebuilding.

It’s either that or give up. I can’t tell you when the right time to do that is. If your heart is still in it and you want to make it work, then give it a shot. The worst case scenario is that you waste a few weeks of effort and the guild dies anyway. If you feel like it’s time to let go, then you’re allowed to do that, too. No one should lead a guild when they no longer derive some personal satisfaction from leading it.

Yoojine asked
I understand that LFG is a huge boon to raiders who can’t commit to a raid schedule, but it’s also murdered recruiting for smaller, casual guilds. Once you fall behind the curve you have almost no hope of getting players on a long-term basis — why would they join your guild when they can progress further pugging, and do it on their own schedule? I really feel like small F&F guilds like mine are going to be a side casualty of the new and improved LFG — we’re only 6/7, 1/10 H (I feel even worse for guilds that only do Normal), teetering on having 10 players, and I haven’t managed to recruit anyone all tier.

So Q4tOQ: What are some ways to recruit long-term members for more casual guilds who maybe can’t boast the best progression?

It’s not just WoW. The MMO player base as a whole seems to be shifting away from dedicated guild activities and more toward temporary social constructs such as PUG raids. Blizzard as a business needs to offer players the opportunity to see content on their own terms in order to keep people subscribed. They’ve done their due diligence with LFR and the new Group Finder. Many newer MMOs are even friendlier to solo players with no mob tagging, shared resource nodes, etc.

The players who decide they don’t want to be part of a guild anymore tend to be the less dedicated players by default. That means guilds such as yours have a smaller pool of players to draw from. That means a lot more competition for those players.

Targeted ads

So where does that leave you? When you’re advertising for players, leave your progression out of the message entirely. I don’t suggest this as a way to trick people. If they ask about it, you should be honest. But I believe you’ll have better luck recruiting people who don’t ask — who don’t care about progression. Who are just looking for a community that makes them feel comfortable so they can enjoy the game more.

To that end, make sure you inject some of the personality of your guild in your recruiting messages. Your message will appeal to fewer people perhaps than a generic message, but the people you turn away wouldn’t have fit in anyway. The message will resonate with a few, and those will be the recruits you actually want.

Beyond raiding

Also, social guilds need to think beyond raiding. Offering alternative guild activities is a great way to stand out amid a sea of social raiding guilds. Everybody raids, but guilds can do so much more — pretty much anything that people currently use the Group Finder to do. Dedicate a night once in a while to mount farming, rep farming, garrison invasions, achievements, Ashran, or transmog runs. These activities are more fun with players you know.

If the current officers don’t have time, find a volunteer to organize them from among your members. If they do well, give them a promotion to officer rank.

When you’re up and running, advertise that you organize these activities. On those nights, open your groups to PUGs and let the Group Finder work for you for once. Be friendly to players when they join you. Start a conversation and make them feel included. Some people won’t care, but again, those aren’t the types you want. They are the growing population of the “guild disinclined.” The players who respond and actually want to interact are the people you should go after.

Invite others from your realm to come along, too. Post in trade chat with invitations to activities instead of the guild itself. Make sure to include your guild name when you do. Name recognition means something within a realm’s community. People may not care about your guild at first, but when they see how active you guys are, it might spark their interest.

That’s it for this week! I’m about three weeks behind on questions at this point. If you have a question that needs a more urgent response, please state it as such and I’ll try to prioritize those. Until next time…


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