Guildleader chores - Guild mergers and joint raiding with other guilds

Guild mergers sometimes sound good on paper, but some experiences in the past have led me to be rather wary of them.  Mergers usually happen because of raiding - the guilds involved are both unable to fill their raid roster and the hope is to combine them to make sure you can fill a raid.  Guild co-op raiding also occurs to help support a full raid.

One of the experiences I had in the past was an influx of raiders who were all friends from armed forces, and formerly part of a guild together.  As they all flowed in, our raiding roster swelled and we were filling our raids comfortably.  Some of the regulars started to become more casual as they found themselves edged out of their raid spots by these keen been new hot shots. However, there was some sort of discontent with the leader of that particular group after a few months and he left, and all his friends left with him, which left us crippled in our raid roster for a while. This was back in WotLK.

In BC, our guild decided to try a joint guild run with another guild.  That worked for a little while but there was a lot of discontent from raiders in both guilds and it eventually stalled. Loot distribution was the hardest part of that. How do you split loot fairly?

One for you one for me, OK?
You would think that it would be easy.  On first look, if 15 members are from one guild and 10 from another, then 3/5 of loot would go to one guild and 2/5 go to another.  But which loots do you allocate? Surely not 3 Tier pieces to one and the 2 rings to another.  And then there are other things to consider - what if one guild is supplying all the tanks and the healers? Is it fair to say that they get one loot and the DPS guild takes 4 loots?

That's why I really like fair loot systems like EPGP.  There can be no argument about loot then. Unfortunately that works for an in guild thing, but its a little harder with a mixed group - it could be done, but boy is it laborious.  There must be a better way.

What I think would work is an EPGP system that works for both groups kept separately on some website - it would mean a lot of work, but it would be fair.  However, many of us are on limited time schedules, with things in real life that we should be doing or attending to, and haven't got hours to spend entering numbers into spreadsheets.  What I don't want to hear is top healers or DPSers feeling like they deserve more loot because they are contributing more to a raid than the guy who is at the bottom of the DPS but brings all the carts and food for the week for the raids.  SOMEONE has to be at the bottom, right?

Communication is always the most important part of this sort of relationship - actually, communication is important to all relationships, really.  What you need is to set the ground rules early, and make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Too many cooks spoil the broth.  There needs to be one, or maybe two representatives from each guild to do the communicating.  You can't have 20 people putting their piece in because there will always be someone stirring the pot and that incites others to do the same.  There also needs to be respect for the chain of command.
  • Don't make any decisions unless everyone in the negotiating party agrees.  If one side is reluctant, then it will always come back to haunt you or lead to a breakdown later, as their doubts will inevitably rise up and lead to a breakdown in the relationship.
  • Don't rush into a relationship. That's when mistakes are made.
  • Document.  Keep a record.  Keep a tally somewhere of who got what loot and in what situation (eg ratios of your guilds) because you will need proof to back your claims if someone's memory is faulty.
  • Keep your side of the guild informed of decisions made.  Nobody likes to be kept in the dark, especially since everyone is part of the raid and plays an important role. Allow the opportunity for objections and questions, but in the end, if they want to raid, they need to follow the lead of the leaders/negotiators.  This may sound like it's opposing the second point, but a nominated leader has to be speaking for the guild, and be strong enough to stand by and support decisions made.  If someone continues to have objections, ask them to offer solutions that are workable - there is no point objecting if you don't have an alternative solution.
One of the things that is against joint raiding is there will be no guild credit or progress recorded as a guild. A guild kill requires at least 7 members of one guild - if you decided to run mythic, then having 10 from each guild would result in nobody getting any progress recorded formally.  Guild progress and ranking does matter to some people - hey, even I like to look at where we are at compared to other guilds, and at the moment there are a lot of guilds where we are at the moment - and there is some pride to see us moving up the rankings as we progress through raids.

Are there people out there who joint raid or who have done well with guild mergers - what I mean by well is that they have survived 2 tiers since the merger.  I see many guilds forming and breaking up or transferring away faster than you can kill a Warbringer, but what I really want to hear or get advice on is from those guilds who have made the decision, stuck with it and how they made their relationship work.