Thursday, April 10, 2014

Guildleader chores - When a guild wants to join yours

When two of your raid members say:

"Navi, can I talk to you about something after raid?"

That sinking feeling...
You get that sinking feeling of uh-oh... who's quitting raiding now! But it wasn't that.  At the end of raid last night, Aza and Owl wanted to talk to me about our plans for raiding.  I didn't know what they meant - people should just be blunt!  What they were trying to ask was whether we had plans for Mythic come WoD.  The reason they were asking was because they wanted my thoughts on recruiting a large number of people from one guild.

The guild they were talking about was a guild on our server, Scion. I have chatted to their GM before, he seemed like a very pleasant fellow.  Owl's shadowpriest was in that guild before.  One thing that I did remember about their guild was that they, like us, like to substitute people in and out during a raid to try and get everyone to raid.  I'm not sure if they do it the way we do, which is for people who need gear from certain bosses, or whether they do it to maximise their DPS and buffs.

The GM of Scion, Alca, had asked Az and Owl if they thought our guild would be amenable to a merger of sorts. Naturally I was hesitant.  That was an exceptionally large influx of people.  I don't like large groups coming into the guild - when that happens, people don't tend to mesh and they stay in their little clump and don't feel like part of the guild.  With smaller groups they can be integrated into the family (think Nath/Jazz). I don't want little factions within the guild who think they are above everyone else. I LIKE being able to chat to every person in the guild when they get online because I know who each of them are. How would I get the time to know every single new person??

So we got 3 of their officers into Vent - the GM, one of their healers and their raid leader. I was a bit nervous, wondering what I was going to say.  I started with what I felt was important to me about our guild - that essentially we're a bunch of friends and nice people and we raid for fun. We don't do it to be stressed out and we I certainly don't want people swearing or abusing each other in raid or gchat or vent.

They all seem to be telling the same story but are they the same?
Alca was very pleasant.  He started out by saying that he was tired of trying to recruit and having people keep leaving to more progressed guilds.  He was looking for a raid team with good people, friendly people, who were good players. Consti took up a lot of vent with his chatter, and I was rolling my eyes at him, thinking how I was gonna put up with that endless stream.  Una was quiet, and hardly said anything but made the occasional comment.

Alca told me that he liked to run a bigger roster - he likes a 50% margin to make up a raid team (so for a 10 man, they run with 15) and he was trying to push for a 25 but without much success. He had approached a number of guilds about a guild merger, including the number one guild on our server, Sample Text.  He also felt that it was important that each player should be playing to the best of their abilities and take advice when they weren't doing as well as others who were similarly geared.

Then I had my turn, chatting about how we do loot - they do a more loot council sort of thing, whereas I am pretty happy with EPGP.  I feel like a stubborn old goat - I spent a lot of time thinking about how to do loot fairly and I think that I don't want to go to loot council as EPGP is so fair and transparent.  I also said that I expect that everyone with our guild tag is well behaved and not a troll in trade chat, abusing people left, right and cnetre.

Though the idea of good nice recruits excites me, there are so many not so goods that have me concerned.

Bursting my rubber duck bubble
  1. It's all very well for the 3 that I chatted to to say that they are friendly and easy going, but what about the others?  It only takes one or two assholes to ruin it for everyone who are not like that to bring the whole group a bad rep (ie OMG all those guys from Scion are assholes!)
  2. What would happen if we had one person have a spat with our guild? If they leave, will they all leave? Though in reality, it wouldn't make a difference, because we would just revert to 10s.
  3. Will they have a snooty superior attitude because they are ahead of us in raiding?
  4. Who's going to lead?  They probably won't listen to us because there are more of them and our people are soft spoken.  In reality I would like them to raid lead because I don't like leading and trying to make HK or Sev do it is painful.
  5. That many new people might be intimidating.  HK feels crowded and nervous about it. And I have yet to talk to Sev.  I need to make sure that we don't marginalise our own raiders for these others.  That shoudn't happen whilst we're trialling stuff out.
  6. They raid differently.  We raid 2 hours, they raid 3 hours but the same nights that we do.  I can't do 8pm starts.  I like our 9pm short raids.  I wouldn't mind going till 12 but people are too tired for that.
Our current officers are hesitant about it.  I know Sev and HK - they don't like big changes and they are both comfortable with the people we have at the moment.  They warm slowly to others, but a sudden rush of new people makes them uneasy. Kyxyn knows about it and we will talk later this evening - in fact, I will talk to all of them later this evening.  When I discussed it with HK he expressed his concerns and finished with "Well, you're the boss, it's up to you."  Which, interestingly is what Jazz said when I mentioned it to her. She said to me that whatever I did, she would be happy with it because I'm the boss. LOL.  Well, if only everyone thought like that :P


All this worrying really is moot - there is nothing happening yet! We're not bringing them in yet.  We don't know if we will get along. But I want to find out sooner than later, so we are going to run a 25 man raid on Monday.  I will need all my raiders online so we can see what we're with, and let them raid lead and see how we go learning something new.  Who knows, we may find better ways to do things.  Or it may all go to shit.  We'll see!

Yes that really is an inflatable dog shit.


10 comments:

  1. I don't know anything about Scion at all, so I can't comment at all regarding this situation. I've had good and bad experiences with mergers in the old days. I suppose what it comes down to is how close the two guild cultures are and avoiding segregation.

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    1. That's so true Tacky. That worries me the most.

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  2. To be honest, the very biggest problem with a change like this would be ... well ... not being a Frostwolf anymore. :(

    It has been my guild for the last 7 years, with a lot of wonderful memories - I know the people wouldn't be gone, but just the identity of being a Frostwolf means a lot to me. I'm not sure being a Scion would be quite the same ...

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    1. We will still be Frostwolves. They are coming here, if it does go ahead. So don't worry!

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  3. We've been in the position where we've considered this type of move before. In the end it didn't pan out because it turned out the other guild who, we were told, wanted to join us, hadn't actually discussed it properly prior to approaching us. But we have been down the road of discussing the possibility, together with all the pro's and con's.

    If the other guild members are generally considering joining your guild, and adhering to all your current guidelines and ways of doing things, then you're halfway there .. but that is the "small" half - as you mentioned, you still have to consider the impact a large influx of new people will have. And you can't think that having a large influx, and then having them all leave again, will simply leave you where you were at before. It won't. At least not initially - the people left behind will feel deflated (why did they leave, what's wrong with us ..), or they will have struck up friendships with a few that left and may consider leaving with them.

    You need to consider what happens if they don't all want to join - or they do some things different to you and prefer to stick to that. You need to consider whether they consider it more of a merger (what happens to the two seperate guilds - do you dissolve them and start anew; do you "rename" one of the old ones to retain the perks, bank slots and achievement; which do you use; how do you combine vaults, what do you name the ranks and who goes where?) or if it is more one guild being absorbed into another (which goes where; what happens to the officers in the absorbed guild; what about the other ranks ..).

    I do think that now is the time to decide this, or do a trial run, to see if everyone gets along - you could even just consider the alternative of simply becoming an alliance. Everyone stays where they are, nothing changes, but you hash out some sort of schedule for shared raids ... the in-game calendar makes it a lot easier now to organise joint raids, but there are also addons out there to make it even more simple. You can also set up a joint chat channel so that people from both guilds can chat.

    We successfully ran in a guild alliance for a number of years, so it can happen - you just need to plan everything well and have a good relationship with the other guild and it's officers.

    Whatever you decide, it's going to be a lot of work - so good luck!

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    1. hey Sprowt! I have thought about all those things - it's a tough call and when I worry there seem to be more cons then pros! We will see how it goes on Monday - that will give a better idea of how things go! Because if that goes poorly then the whole discussion goes out the window...

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  4. Way back when I had a say in anything remotely important in a guild, we had another guild approach us to merge with us. Very friendly people, seemed to fit our guild philosophy, we took them in. If only we had done some trial runs and hung out with them for a bit! What a mess. It sounds like you are approaching this well, and I am all for caution and slow going. Sprowt's suggestion to just raid together seems like a good one, in that if there are any problems, it doesn't result in the guild being torn apart.

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    1. The only problem with that is if we want to count progress - only guild progress counts, not guild alliances. But then there are the team balancing things as well, do we do 10 each for mythic? Or do we do one tank each? It's such a headache!

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    2. We had a solution for that, when we were in a guild alliance. The reason we had the guild alliance was because the two guilds, individually couldn't QUITE get a raid group up. So what we did was take turns .. one week our guild arranged the raid, and took all of their own guild members, plus any extras from the other guild that was needed, the next week it was the other way on. Obviously it's not ideal, but as long as you had the minimum numbers of your own guild members, you still got the progress count .. it just took longer. Of course, of you had the numbers to do it without the other guild, then there was no point to the alliance, as it took twice as long to progress ...

      It all depends on how much you desperately want those progression marks for your guild, compared to how much you simply want to enjoy raiding regardless :-)

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  5. I hate to be negative but guild mergers are difficult. I was an officer in a previous guild and it only takes one spat to cause massive dramas. What you would find is a lot leave and some stay because they would enjoy our culture, playing styles and most of all humour

    Sabrehawk

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