Want to start your own guild? Here’s what to consider before you buy the charter
Between several tough raid tiers and the draw of other games — like the soon-to-be-launched WoW Classic — guilds are having a hard time of it. Some have quit raiding and some have just quit — or, worse, imploded in a mess of drama. If your guild has gone dark or simply doesn’t suit your needs anymore, you may be thinking about starting a guild.
But you shouldn’t rush, because running a guild is a big commitment. If you don’t go in with a plan, you could wind up right where you started: with a broken guild.
Here’s how to go about starting your own guild.
Ask yourself why you’re starting a guild
The first question you need to ask before you race over to get a charter is why. If it’s strictly about getting through raids, Mythics, or PVP, there may be an easier way to go about it. Instead of starting from scratch, you might look into guilds on your server(s) that are doing things you’re interested in. My guess — based on what I’m reading in forums — is that they’re likely to be recruiting. Raiding guilds in particular seem to be looking for competent raiders to clear this raid tier before WoW Classic arrives next month. You would probably be more than welcome in most any guild to which you apply.
What kind of guild are you building?
But maybe existing guilds don’t suit, and you have a vision of the perfect guild you could create. The next question to ask yourself is what kind of guild you want to make, and how it’s different from the guilds already available. For example, progression raiding guilds are everywhere, and you’re likely to find heavy competition for recruitment. If you don’t have enough players to fill your raid team, your guild may be dead before you even start.
No matter why you’re starting a guild, you’re going to have to come up with a very good reason for players to join. Brainstorm alongside any players who are interested in joining your new guild and decide what kind of guild you want to be.
Don’t go it alone: recruit your officers first
You should start with some like-minded players to form your officer core, and before you launch your new guild you need to think about the division of responsibilities. Going back to our example of a raiding guild, you’ll want a raid officer (or officers) to manage your raid team. But the exact officers you’ll need depends on your guild’s goals. I’ve already talked about defining officer roles and deciding how many officers you need, so read that article if you need help deciding on officer roles. Whatever officer setup you choose, be sure to define what each officer does and write it down so there’s no misunderstanding.
I don’t recommend the guild leader also act as the raid officer (or any other roles you decide you need). Why? As the leader, you’re in charge of everything whether overtly (as in leading events) or covertly (as in handling drama). As GM, you want to watch everything to be sure it all runs smoothly. If you’re also preparing raids, you are focused elsewhere and intra-guild drama can slip past notice. I know this from experience — you can’t do everything.
If you’re starting a guild with friends, be sure to secure commitments from those friends to be officers, at least to start.
Other things to think about
- Don’t forget the guild bank, which will need some micromanaging. You can’t get all the slots in a bank unless you have one of every class and race, but if you’re just starting out, you possibly don’t need all that space. Decide what you want on each tab and who can see, deposit, and withdraw from every tab. Some guilds have an “officer only” tab but I feel everyone should be able to see what’s in your bank.
- Guild finances can be a highly fraught topic. Do you want to offer repairs to people as a perk? If so, you’re going to need a steady stream of income, and you’ll want to discuss how to fund the bank. There are some automatic ways to make gold: you can complete 5-man and Mythic+ dungeons, raid encounters (one per week), and rated battlegrounds. But beyond that, you’ll need to consider how to make money, and everyone needs to clearly understand it.
- Guild ranks are also important. You can have up to nine ranks, each with its own name, permissions, and purpose. Officers should have their own rank but beyond that it’s up to you how to structure your ranks.
- You need to scout guild hosting web sites, because in-game guild tools are limited. There’s no guild-wide announcement system in-game, so you need a place to let everyone in your guild know what’s going on. A spot on social media or a guild web site can be your bulletin board. Don’t rely on the short “Guild Message of the Day” that you can set in-game, which doesn’t let you post enough to really communicate.
- Think about your tabard. While you don’t need a tabard, it’s can be a nice way to identify your guild. (Plus there is an achievement for designing a guild tabard.) With the available colors and icons, it can almost be harder to design your tabard than to decide what kind of guild you want to be.
Congratulations on your new guild!
Once you’ve decided what you want to be, figured out your officers — and hopefully found the people willing to be those officers —given thought to your bank and ranks, it’s time to actually create the guild.
The actual creation is easy. Just go to the Guild Master in a major city to purchase a charter. You’ll need to pick a name and collect 10 signatures to from your guild. You can’t change the name so be absolutely sure it’s spelled exactly how you want it.
Viola! You are now a guild leader.
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