8 Questions Your Guild Should Ask Itself


I have to share this. I saw an excellent post on Plusheal asking for advice about a fresh and new guild trying to find it’s legs (actually it was about how to democratically disagree, but that’s a topic for another time). One of the Plusheal acolytes, Caveat, replied with a great list of questions to help “reality check” your guild. Here it is!

  1. Do you have a clearly defined identity?
  2. Do you have a clearly defined schedule?
  3. Do you actually FOLLOW that schedule? (some of the best recruits we have had recently left a guild whose raid times started the same as ours- but while we start pulling within 5 minutes of that time, the other guild routinely failed to pull for 45 minutes or more. We went thru that stage, and figured out we were shooting ourselves in the foot )
  4. Do you have legitimate and fair looting system, with defined rules that are followed?
  5. Do you have a plan for progression?
  6. Do you have fun playing together?
  7. What is your vent environment like- are you foul mouthed teens or boring old geezers? (Each is ok, but appeal to totally different players)
  8. How are you with female players?

What would you add to the list? More importantly, how would you answer these questions about your own guild?

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28 thoughts on “8 Questions Your Guild Should Ask Itself”

  1. Hmm… I think my guild scores pretty good on this. We’re pretty new as well (made a few months before wotlk, and only started serious raiding 1month into wotlk).
    Thou, I don’t think you should ask the question “how are you with female players?” but more ask the question “how are you towards all your guild mates” I’m a female player myself, and my guild just treats me like all the other guys. Imo, you shouldn’t be thinking “its a girl, treat her the same” but just be friendly towards everyone in the guild. And not focus on treating a female gamer the same. (I don’t like these posts where they’re single’ing girls out, just treat us the same like you wouldn’t anyone else) a good guild isn’t about treating female gamers right, but then being rude towards the other guildies. But that’s just my opinion. 🙂

    SuicidalPriests last blog post..Writing

  2. “8 Questions Your -Raiding- Guild Should Ask Itself”
    Fixed. 😉

    That said, I would probably answer them less than favourably about mine, considering my guild is a casual/heroics guild. Heh.

  3. I wish the question “how are you with female players” weren’t so necessary, but it is.

    I can’t imagine that I’d like raiding very much if raid chat were like Naxx general chat, alternating misogynist/gay-bashing language with ascii pictures of boobs. And Chuck Norris. Girls hate Chuck Norris 🙂

  4. 1. Do you have a clearly defined identity?
    Yes. My guild is a raid-first guild that has the goal of being the top if not one of the progression-leaders on the Alliance side of the server.

    2. Do you have a clearly defined schedule?
    No. Raids happen on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday from 7-11 PM CST, but targets are not announced before invites are handed out.

    3. Do you actually FOLLOW that schedule? (some of the best recruits we have had recently left a guild whose raid times started the same as ours- but while we start pulling within 5 minutes of that time, the other guild routinely failed to pull for 45 minutes or more. We went thru that stage, and figured out we were shooting ourselves in the foot )
    Well, if you count the time allocation as the “clearly defined schedule,” then yes, it is followed to the letter.

    4. Do you have legitimate and fair looting system, with defined rules that are followed?
    The guild follows a RDKP system. Officers rarely, if ever, pull rank on loot allocation. If you have the lowest RDKP ratio, can equip the item, and put in a bid, you get the item. Period.

    5. Do you have a plan for progression?
    The GM has a vision that he shares in snippits.

    6. Do you have fun playing together?
    I have fun playing with about 1/3 of the guild’s members. Another 1/3 I haven’t had the opportunity to talk/play with at length, and the last 1/3 I just don’t like very much.

    7. What is your vent environment like- are you foul mouthed teens or boring old geezers? (Each is ok, but appeal to totally different players)
    Vent has a lot of sexual innuendo, but not a ton of cursing. Comparatively, it’s probably pretty tame.

    8. How are you with female players?
    2 of the 5 officers are female. The current main tank is female. The tenured healing priest is female. I’d say the guild is an equal opportunity employer.

  5. The question a raiding guild has to ask itself is this: How many of our raids can fail (either due to not enough people or everyone having a bad night) before the guild starts to fall apart?

    I think the average is about 2 ;P

  6. @elfennau: any guild, regardless of their identity, can answer the questions above. take yours for example. here are the answers i would expect from a focused, fun casual guild.

    Identity: casual/heroics
    Schedule: very loose since guildies run with each other whenever they feel like it
    Schedule Adherence: strong, since the schedule itself is loose, which is not a bad thing at all!
    Loot System: the in-game group loot system is completely fine for heroics
    Progression: heroics, nothing wrong with that!
    Fun: if that’s what you want and enjoy, then it will be more fun for YOU
    Vent Environment: depends on your guild members, but casual guilds that use vent are probably very laid back and more social than anything else.
    Female Players: in my experience, female players in casual guilds are super nice. casual guilds are suited for the stay-at-home mom type of player, who bring a warm, welcoming facet to your guild environment.

    krizzlybears last blog post..Random Thoughts on a Monday

  7. Hi, I’m a healer and officer on azjol-nerub (eu)

    This post has made me think carefully about how our guild operates and to be fair I’m happy with most my answers:

    8. Good mix of female members everyone treated equal
    7. I’m probably closer to the ‘boring old geezer’ but we have a full age range and all get on really well.
    6. Yes always !
    5. No -this is what I’m leading up to…
    4. Yes
    3. No
    2. No
    1. Yes we aim to be a casual friendly raiding guild.

    So we all get on, have a good mix of talented players, fair looting but we fail to get groups together for 10mans.

    We currently have about 40 80s, and people sign up to raids in the cale but on the day we always have a shortage.

    I believe we lose members because of this and the ones that stay do so because its a nice group of people and we run enough HCs to stave off boredom (at the moment)

    The guys and girls that really want to raid end up in PUGs and then get saved which makes thing even harder to organise.

    Any tips on how to get more commitment without going hardcore?

  8. “# What is your vent environment like- are you foul mouthed teens or boring old geezers? (Each is ok, but appeal to totally different players)”

    “# How are you with female players?”

    For the record, “foul mouthed vent” and “good with female players” are not mutually exclusive. My current guild’s vent and guild chat is definitively R rated, and the Ladies are, I would say, generally more colorful than the Gents. “Healer Chat,” is far worse – some might say because it is dominated by certain specific female guild members.

  9. I actually appreciate the “how are you with females” question. Being that I am about one of three females in my guild right now (and two of us are officers), it’s a necessary question. We are core raiders.

    I don’t think it’s necessarily saying that the females can’t be subjected to swearing and all that in vent if they don’t mind it, but I for one would not be putting up with any guildie who decided to use the sort of bravado they usually reverse for the “boys” including putting down women or making comments aimed negatively at women. Which I have encountered. I think that’s what it means.

  10. “Do you actually FOLLOW that schedule?”

    This is very important. My guild is quite casual and our raid times vary. We use a web-based tool for signups, and you know the scheduled invite and start times when signing up.

    Invites are usually 30 minutes before the start time and the rule is that you lose your “spot” 15 minutes after invites start. The rule is also that the “start time” is the time of the first pull. Everybody should be inside and buffed BEFORE that.

    Last night, we had a run scheduled to start at 9pm with 8:40 invites (a slightly smaller window than usual, but we’ve had queue issues). I was AT the portal by 8:40 and ready to go, but the first pull didn’t actually happen until after 9:30 because the raid leader decided we should wait for one specific person to log on because we “needed the dps” (he wasn’t even signed up for the run).

    I’m not cocky enough to think they can’t be successful without me, but I am consistently one of the highest DPS in the guild. I have removed myself from all 9pm raids as far out as they are scheduled, and I won’t be surprised if more people do the same.

  11. I think Spinks brought up a very good addition: How many failed raids (or whatever your guild set out to do) can your guild take before breaking?

    The question is complicated in many ways. What fail means changes a lot depending on guild vision. For some it might be wiping in X or failing to achieve Y rating in arenas. I know for my guild failing would be missing the server first. I am confident that we could (and have) spend weeks wiping on a single boss and not fail apart (looking at you SWP). But missing a server first or two would be so damaging to the moral of our guild because it strikes at the heart of what we set out to do.

    It is interesting that as a guild that has established and achieved what we set out, failing is a very different event then if we were a new guild. To be new provides ample opportunities to continue upward movement, even if that movement is in small steps. For a guild setting out to get a server first (or glad title or full tier or whatever) failures are expected along the way. For us, as the guild who got almost every TBC server first, failure is not expected nor allowed. Failure for us would be a larger set back. I hope we would make it through that, but it could very well kill us.

    All 8 questions above are great questions, but I feel that Spinks question gets at the heart of it all by asking What is Failure? What happens if/when we fail? All the rest follows.

  12. I’m inspired to write one on women in raiding guilds.

    Maybe I can finally explain to Lodur why Chuck Norris offends my sensibilities. XD

  13. I’m kinda offended/shocked/not sure of the word i’m looking for at #8. I’m a chick, and I’m the only girl in my raiding guild (minus the GL wife who logs on once a week)

    I’ve seen guys who cause drama kicked from guilds without a second thought. I’ve seen girls who cause drama kicked from guilds then people repeatedly say ‘its cause shes a chick.. what did you expect they’re all drama queens.’

    People perpetuate the idea that women have to be treated differently than guy players. If a guy was offended by a racist joke, how is it different that a women is offended by a comment about ‘women belong in the kitchen’ ? It isn’t. Yes, it needs to be handled… but nothing above and beyond how you would handle a disagreement between two of your guy players.

  14. FIrst, let me say I find it extremely flattering that you think my ramblings were worthy of a highlight post Matt. I’ve been reading your stuff for a while, and I never expected to see my own name pop up when I came to the site today. I’ve just spent the last 15 minutes posting to my guild that I’m famous 🙂

    Allindra summed up #8 for me very well. I’m not suggesting that women need to be treated with kid gloves. If I even came CLOSE to that, my wife (who is one of our MTs and as competitive as I am) would disabuse me of that notion pretty quickly. But some guilds will have an environment where women are treated like equals, and others exist where that doesn’t happen. I like to think we fall in the former, but that’s not really the point. When examining what your guild is, and more importantly how you get quality recruits, you have to be aware of whether that individual or couple is gonna be comfortable. Personally, I like the fact that we have a player who was heard to scream “Squeal, bitch squeal!” over vent as she was making the climb to High Warlord (Love ya Enale!). Some guilds will have an environment where the women will feel comfortable to be, and those guilds can show that as an attribute that might get other female players.

    It gibes with #7- I have a friend who plays on a differnet server who is quiet, doesn’t drink, and doesn’t like swearing. He’s a great player, but I know that he would not be comfortable with some of the drunken pvp nights we have.

    I do really like Ott’s addition- Trying to build a guild that can survive the inevitable ups and downs is one of the toughest things to do as a GM.

    There is one more good question that sync’s with #6- what is the definition of fun? Is it just hanging out, seeing the fights, progressing with excellence? This particular debate is one that our leadership talks about on a regular basis.

    Once again, thanks for the compliment Matt!

  15. I was the original poster, and the guild this refers to is finding it’s legs. I have to admit I went over Caveat’s checklist in my head and it’s a great way to gauge how your guild is organized. Thanks for the help guys, appreciates it.

    Garamondes last blog post..Naxx25 Cleared

  16. Loved the post til I got to that last question about female players. As a female player, raid leader, and guild officer I couldn’t get past the “WTF?!” factor. Despite knowing that 75% of all female toons on my server are played by guys. Guess I’ll have to head over to the original post to see if more detail can be found. But I appreciate this being posted here (as I pay much more attention to this blog than to the plus one) as my 10main raiding guild with about 20 raiders has been struggling to balance guild goals, guild realities (time constraints for raiders) and fair treatment for the raiders.

  17. I think #8 is a valid question. I’m in a casual guild and we have a fairly decent number of female players. However, I have pugged into 25 man runs before and while using the guest guild’s vent the first remark I have heard after I actually spoke (not because I’m a girl, but because I was a guest) was “OMG, it’s a girl!!!!” and it degenerated from there. So there is an attitude/expectation out there about girls/women playing WoW.
    That being said, I’ve had the opposite experience and nothing was ever said.

  18. Two additional questions….

    *) Do you have a succession plan? (aka, if your GM or one of your key officers stops playing or just quits the guild, how will it be handled)

    This next one might only apply to more serious raiding guilds…

    *) How do you handle performance problems?

    Amavas last blog post..Where are the servers?

  19. I think we are very democratic. Overly at times. I think any of our officers would be able to step up and continue furthering the guilds progress if the gm quit. I don’t think he will however. We will bench people who aren’t performing take them on roics and coach them up until they are where we need them to be.

    Garamondes last blog post..Naxx25 Cleared

  20. I once belonged to a guild that’s irrationally dictatorial. It imploded. Then got into one that’s overly democratic. It exploded.

    The success of a guild is almost pre-destined by the kind of leadership within. Adherence to rules & schedules, comfy environment, outstanding progression, fair systems- these will fall into place under a good leader.

  21. I was actually surprised by the “what does your guild feel about females” comment. Are there guilds who do not prefer to have them?

    I myself am female in a RP guild that also raids (I know, wow!) and *most* of our consistent raiders are female. Definitely a majority. Toons do the same thing not matter what gender their pixils happen to form or who’s controlling them (given the same amount of intelligence :P).

    So I’m not sure why that’s a question at all.


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