Guild Advancement 101

Guild Advancement 101

This post has everything you ever wanted to know about the guild leveling system and perks for the expansion.

Guild reputation

Edit: There is going to be a cap on the amount of reputation you can earn with your guild. That value will be capped weekly. It’s not like guild experience (that’s capped daily).

Like most other in game factions, you can gain reputation with your guild.

Note that if you decide to change guilds, you will lose all of your guild reputation and will be required to earn it again when you join a new one. Earning reputation is quite easy to do. As you are earning guild experience, you are also earning guild reputation.

The guild cap

A hard cap of 600 1000 members is allowed for a single guild in Cataclysm. If your guild exceeds 600 people, don’t worry. You don’t have to make immediate cuts right away. The problem you’ll have is that you will not be able to invite more players until your guild drops under the 600 1000 member count.

Guild experience

Guilds can now earn experience which contributes to the level of a guild. The higher the level, the better the rewards. guilds will have access to all sorts of cool stuff like additional bank tabs, increased experience gain, and increased money gain.

Ways to earn experience

There are a number of ways for your guild to earn experience:

  • Killing bosses in an dungeon (At least 4/5 must be from the same guild)
  • Killing bosses in a raid (At least 8/10 or 20/25 must be from the same guild)
  • Rated PvP like a battleground or an arena where 80% of the group is from the same guild (8/10, 12/15)
  • Doing normal quests or daily quests which award normal experience
  • Players leveling up their professions (any)
  • Players leveling up their reputation (any)
  • Complete guild achievements

The experience cap

As guilds are participating in activities to level up, there is a hard limit on the amount of experience that can be earned for the week. Currently, the guild cap is weekly daily. Not sure if that will be changed to daily upon the launch of the expansion.

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I’m not opposed to the idea of imposing a weekly cap instead of a daily cap. This places smaller guilds on a relatively even footing on larger guilds. For example, assuming the weekly cap is something like 10000 experience, the large< Mammoth> guild could easily score 10000 experience within 2 days. However, the smaller <Stingers> guild would take 5 days to reach that amount of experience. It wouldn’t matter though since the cap would then reset every week. Daily would work if the value was small enough that a 10 man guild (for example) would have the opportunity to max out.

Exception: Guild achievements that contribute guild experience will not count towards the cap. If you want to max out your guild fast, all you need to do is knock out some guild achievements!

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Guild perks

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As long as players have the appropriate reputation with the guild and the guild is at the right level, you’ll be able to access guild perks in a special tab in your spellbook. If you’re wondering where to find Mass Resurrection, this is where it will be.

On a side note, it doesn’t seem like Mass Resurrection has a mana cost associated with it. I also wonder if I’m in Ashenvale and I’m in a party with someone who is in the Barrens, if that player dies, will I be able to resurrect them from a zone away?

Here’s a full list:

Level 2: Fast Track (Rank 1)
Level 3: Mount up
Level 4: Mr. Popularity (Rank 1)
Level 5: Cash flow (Rank 1)
Level 6: Fast Track (Rank 2)
Level 7: Reinforce (Rank 1)
Level 8: Hasty Hearth
Level 9: Reinforce (Rank 2) 
Level 10: Chug-A-Lug (Rank 1)
Level 11: Mobile Banking
Level 12: Mr. Popularity (Rank 2)
Level 13: Honorable Mention (Rank 1)
Level 14: Working Overtime
Level 15: The Quick and the Dead
Level 16: Cash Flow (Rank 2)
Level 17: G-Mail
Level 18: For Great Justice
Level 19: Honorable Mention (Rank 2)
Level 20: Happy Hour
Level 21: Have Group, Will Travel
Level 22: Chug-A-Lug (Rank 2)
Level 23: Bountiful Bags
Level 24: Bartering
Level 25: Mass Resurrection

Guild achievements

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Some of these achievements don’t actually seem all that bad. Obviously you need to be in a group that contains a majority of your guild to actually pull them off.

But then you see these achievements…

 guild-achievements-b

… Any farmers out there looking for a guild?

Guild rewards

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Guild rewards (like an additional bank tab) can be bought. Your guild needs to reach the appropriate guild level, have the appropriate achievement, or the members need to have the right reputation to purchase or use them. Members can buy items like that Worn Stoneskin Gargoyle Cape for 1200g. The item is considered bound to the guild. If that player leaves, the item is returned to the bank. Actually, it looks like once a player buys a next generation heirloom item, it’s theirs to keep. No word on whether or not the ability to transfer it to other guild members is going to stick though. The vendors for these can be found in capital cities near the NPCs that offer guild services.

Guild UI Stuff

guild-activity

The guild UI pane experienced an overhaul. There are a number of different ways to sort the guild roster now. You can see how much experience a person has contributed to the guild and where they rank (and look at that Matticus guy, he’s ranked 18th. The hell’s he doing? Sitting around capital cities trolling trade or something?)

guild-profession

You can even sort the roster list by professions and see what everyone in the guild has. The [View All] link shows what your guildies can produce combined. No more having to sticky forum threads with list of players who can craft specialty items.

My personal favourite? No more receiving messages asking “Matt, link enchanting”.

Guild Controls

Shots of the guild controls courtesy of Kurn. As you can see, it looks like ranks can physically be shuffled up and down the ranks. I’m not sure what the cap is on new ranks. Permissions of ranks have largely remained the same. Bank tabs are now purchased directly from guild control instead of the actual bank. Lastly, there is now an option to enable a rank that requires players to have an authenticator before they’re allowed to reach that rank.

What about you?

Are you still floating around somewhere hopping from guild to guild?

Not quite sure what you want or what to do?

You better figure it out fast!

At the very least, I’d suggest guild shopping now. Any guilds that are still actively doing stuff are a good bet to be stable into Cataclysm. To me, that indicates a leadership that has some idea of what they’re doing if they’ve managed to hold things together this long. I know some people are waiting for Cataclysm to arrive before they start the guild shopping process. But isn’t that a bit late though? Wouldn’t you want to look around now at the proven guilds instead of waiting to see what Cataclysm guilds flop or emerge as power houses?

No rush, I suppose. You still have around 2 months.

Frequently asked questions

For achievements like “Bushels and Bushels”, will the amount of herbs I (and other guildies) have farmed before Cataclysm count towards that total? Or do we all start at zero when this gets implemented?

No. Anything gathered before the guild achievements kick in will not be counted. The only exception is the achievement for We Are Legendary.

Question about “mobile banking” and “have group, will travel”: Does the guild share a cooldown, or can anyone in guild with enough rep to use it do so independently?

I can confirm that the guild does not share a cooldown. I activated my guild Mobile Banking ability and checked with the rest of the guild. It activated my 1 hour cooldown but it did not trip the cooldown of anyone else. I suspect Have Group, Will Travel will work the same way.

Current Legendaries Don’t Count?

I’m wearing a sad face.

The guild rewards you guys are seeing in game are not hooked up yet. Guild rewards have 3 requirements that must be be met before you can use them. First and foremost, they must be unlocked via a guild achievement. Let’s just say, that for example, you need to complete the new guild achievement "We are Legendary" in order to unlock the Dark Phoenix. That achievement requires the guild to gain access to all 6 legendary weapons currently available in the game. (note that all guild achievements start on Cataclysm launch, so anything you have now will not matter, it must be done with your guild after launch)

Source

It appears my Val’anyr will not count towards that guild achievement. I wonder if it’s because of a technical implementation or what? I understand that players come and go. I’m aware that guilds will rise and fall. Is that alone a valid reason to punish the guilds who are still around who have legitimately worked hard on current content (when its relevant) to earn those weapons?

The Wrath weapons had quests related to it. It would seem easy to simply do a check to see if that player had the quest complete. Otherwise, an inventory check might be needed for older weapons like War Glaives or Thoridal.

Getting Val’anyr took us about 6 months from start to finish. We’re very close to finishing our first Shadowmourne (7 shards away). Knowing that we have to go back and redo or reclear most of the older instances for it even though we already have some of them just so that it counts seems odd to me.

Or maybe there will be 6 new legendary weapons added in Cataclysm.

Or perhaps We Are Legendary won’t end up being an actual guild achievement, but more of a Feat of Strength.

Your thoughts?

Herding Kingslayers

Herding Kingslayers

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I regret to announce that my planned post for today has to be put back to a later date.

Why?

Herding Cats and friends downed Lich King 10 last night. OK, the post title was a bit of a giveaway.

Excuse me a second.

w0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000t!

 

I’m really happy. And really proud of my group. And really excited that we got it. And really, that’s a lot of reallys. Why? Well, any guild leader or raid leader is proud when their group achieves what they set out to do. But I’m particularly fond of my group and I hope you don’t mind me rambling like a proud parent today but it’s true: we’re not your Usual Suspects, and it goes to prove that you can achieve it no matter your setup.

For one thing we’re a casual guild. We only raid one to two nights a week – Sunday and every other Wednesday.

We’re also not a full ‘guild’ – Herding Cats started off raiding as a real life 5 man of friends filling the spots with PUGs. We went hunting for friendly and mature instead of imbah skilled players. We ended up with a network of people to work with – and a core 10 which melded together as a single unit. Herding Cats became Herding Cats and Friends.

We’ve never all been on voice comms. Some of us play in the same room, adding one or two over skype. The rset of the communication has been achieved through everyone working towards clear text communication.

And, like any raiding group, we’ve had our share of drama. We all found it stressful at points, there were clashes and strains. Heck, it was just two weeks ago while we were learning the Lich King fight that one of our Herd Friends suddenly dropped news that he was going to another guild.

Through all that – we achieved – and I’m proud of us. The line up:

Ulram (bear tank) – managed to overcome finding tanking really stressful to do a perfect job with crazy amounts going on – including finding the time to do extra hybrid crazystuff. Also came up with some cunning tactics including the last piece of the puzzle which got us through Vile Spirits to victory. Can put more varied inflections into the word “arse” than anyone else we know.

Ekatrina (paladin tank) – and dedicated co-raid leader. Took to tanking like a foodie to the Fat Duck. Never made the same mistake twice; often didn’t make the same mistake once. Always knew where the fack to stand and tough enough to calmly eat Soul Reapers for breakfast in strict 10 man gear. Came up with the very practical (and immensely satisfying) idea of making us practice the Defile Dance with Tirion Fordring playing the role of Arthas.

Pitil (discy priest) –  started out a tad unconfident months ago: ended up as the healer performing the most complex and versatile role in LK fight – and professionally so. Also, our raid’s provisioner of cupcakes/vital provisions.

Gorgakh (resto shaman) – rock solid. Always totally reliable and consummately calm, which in healers are nigh-godlike qualities. Even when he had a kitten attacking his foot.

Thrakha (Fury warrior) – example of what someone *can* do if they really work to be the best. And inspired that in others too, keeping the tanks sharp ;) Currently to the best of my knowledge raiding with three different guilds at once, with corresponding numbers of fish feasts.

Urkra (Unholy DK) – went from being very unconfident as a wow player to topping our DPS meters and rarely making mistakes and keeping an open mind on play improvement and new tactics. Achieved all that on a non-official Hardmode: completing half of the bosses unable to talk on skype due to playing in the same room as his wife watching X-Factor.

Nergalian (enhancement shaman) – Sharpest reactions of everyone despite a slightly different style of playing – and despite the kitten Conan, slayer of raids. Her bouncy multi-cultural pop music and fish feasts also kept us all going up on the Throne.

Karkass (destro lock)always cheerful and positive, which is a raid-saver at times. Also, always willing to be flexible on filling different roles, which in turn helped keep us all sane. Karkass’ brainwave of teleporting back from the Valkyr was also something of a lifesaver. Overall: Karkass the Lifesaver.

Simbaria (survival hunter) – having missed most of ICC, he joined us at the last minute and picked the LK tactics up immediately and flawlessly. Impressive.

(Ahem, I’ve been instructed to put this in by Kat):
Mimetir, aka Apeorsa, figured out every fight mechanic first time, bent the needle on the healing meter, pushed through raidleading challenges from a vanishing raid member to general stress levels, and NEVER STOOD IN DEFILE. Seriously, not once.

So what now? A break from raid leading – just a couple of weeks to chill. Then in a couple of weeks we’re all meeting up for a Herd Moot/guild meet, and we’ll look to our next goal then, probably with the help of copious amounts of ale.

This is an article by Mimetir, an owl (and resto shaman) of a raid leader on The Venture Co. (EU) You can find my twitter feed here.

Little Things of Joy

Little Things of Joy

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Those that have followed my posts here since I started writing know that I’m a two-faced WoW player.  =)  I don’t mean two-faced in that way.  I mean it in another sense.

I belong to two guilds.  Unpossible, and Team Sport.  Both guilds are fantastic, and I’m so proud to be in both of them.  I always consider myself a multi-faceted player.  I like progression, and I also like casual.  Each guild provides me with a different part of that.

We’re all in the mood to pound our heads against the new content.  Whether you’re struggling or conquering, it’s always exciting to battle new bosses and collect your new rewards.  It’s something we’ve all come to love about raiding or just gaming in general.  What about some of the little things that bring you joy?

Unpossible

Lodur and I have definitely bonded since we started talking.  I had been looking for a new place to send my priest, since my last guild wasn’t working out.  I wanted a place that was progression-oriented but had the same “family” feel that Team Sport does.  When we started talking about Unpossible, my eyes lit up.  It seemed (on the surface) like everything I was looking for.  It wasn’t brow-beating its members into submission.  Family and real life always came first, but they were all there to conquer the endgame content.

The application process was complex but well worth it.  I was being asked to join raids, main nights as well as off-nights.  This is one of the oldest surviving guilds on the server.  Most of this team had cleared Vanilla WoW content together.  Needless to say, I felt like an outsider.

There were two moments that absolutely solidified my feeling of being a member of Unpossible.

The first, was our first walk into Icecrown.  No one had seen the..

Instance not found.

Our palms were sweaty with anticipat…

Instance not found.

Okay, let’s at least try to get a warlock inside so we…

Instance not found.

Sweet, we’re all in!  We manage to get the first couple of mobs down until the huge Skele on the wall spawns.  Almost reminiscent of the terror that the Statue of Liberty spreads in Ghostbusters II, we lose a couple healers and a couple DPS.  It’s okay, let’s have them rez and run back.  Everyone rebuff…

Instance not found.

You get the point.  All joking aside, stepping into Icecrown and figuring things out from scratch made me feel like I was truly an Unpossible member, even if we only got one attempt in on Marrowgar.

The second solidifying moment came a week later.  Now that the initial instance server issues had been somewhat resolved, it was easy to actually get our whole team in there.  We cleared Marrowgar with little difficulty, and it was time for Deathwhisper.  With our raid leader hollering out orders, demanding we step it up and get the hell out of Death and Decay, Deathwhisper’s health dwindled.  People died to the invincible ghosts.  Healers started to drop.  We were seconds away from the enrage timer.  Then, she enraged.  Tanks were one-shotted.  Healers were brushed into non-existence.  Two people remained, and the DoTs were ticking away.  1%.  0.7%.  100k Health. 47k Health.  6k Health.  The final raid member at 4,000 health.  “You have defeated Lady Deathwhisper.”  Screams echoed through Ventrilo.  It was the first time I had been there for a guild first.  So satisfying.  I’m truly a member of Unpossible now.  Killing a tough boss is one thing, but bleeding and sweating for that first kill with a new guild is amazing.

Team Sport

I’ve been gaming with most of these guys since early BC, when my warlock was 40 and had just gotten my first mount.  We’re a rag-tag group of knockarounds, but we love the game, and we love trying to do our best at it.  There may be people that disagree, but people generally really enjoy adding us to their raid.  We’ve got about 18 members with varying schedules, so it’s tough to get our own raid together.  We don’t mind.  We all knew this signing up.  Anyone that applies to Team Sport (yes, we even had someone server transfer to play with us) knows this as well.  This doesn’t mean we’re lackluster about raiding.  When we can get enough people on, we jump all over it.

Is each and every member totally top notch?  No.  No team is totally perfect.  Even I’m not completely on my game (I’ve had a few too many “Diet Cokes”).  Personally, I was a little worried about some of the coordination needed for some of the ToC fights.  After initial struggles with tanking Northrend Beasts, we made it through Icehowl, and one-shotted Jaraxxus. 

Here’s where it got interesting. 

A lot of guilds have CC rotations and full-on strategies for Faction Champions.  Druids, Warlocks and Mages alternating their crowd control.  Rogues and Warriors locking up healers.  I initially tried to craft a CC plan.  We tried it, and we failed.  So we did it the Team Sport way.

Team Sport is known for our love of PvP.  We have various Arena Teams, and we do Battlegrounds galore.  Our pally tank, Dralo, is one achievement away from his Battlemaster title.

“Everyone go into your PvP spec, and let’s just kill Horde”.

And we did.  In one shot, and it was easier than any Faction Champs fight I’ve ever done.

This, was my moment of pride with Team Sport.  We’re still struggling on Twins, but we annihilated the Faction Champions with ease.  Yes, I know this was after the nerf.  Yes, I know that overall it’s easier.  Still, we got such a kick out of doing that fight, because we did it the Team Sport way.  We trusted all 10 of us to know what to do, and we came through.  THAT is some group synergy right there.

How about you?  Is there a little thing about the game or your guild that makes you happy or brings you pride?

ThespiusSig

“Big” image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

A Prescription for Raid Morale

A Prescription for Raid Morale

medicine

Raiding can always be stressful.  Although the content has been called “too easy”, some of us still struggle with certain encounters.  We’ve cut our teeth on Normal Modes, and make the step up to the Heroic.  Haunting are the nights of banging our heads against Icehowl cause one raid member is just a little slow on getting out of the way.  We shake our heads in disgrace because a DPS class is too used to “being carried” when we try Yogg+Anything.  Raid nights get called early, curses ensue, and it’s just not a pretty sight.

Whether it’s in raid or out of raid, I firmly believe it’s essential to insert breaks and morale boosters.  And by breaks, I don’t mean “Take 5 for bio and beer.”  I mean something active.  A couple examples:

In-Raid

Trivia Games

Kalheim, a feisty paladin in my guild, holds trivia games during downtimes in the raid.  While waiting for invites to go out or waiting for that last member to come back from an AFK or bio break, he puts up topic-centered questions for us to compete for the fastest answer.  These quizzes will encompass a variety of topics, usually gaming-based.  He pulls out Classic WoW Lore, the names of BC Boss spells, Super Mario trivia, and even gaming company trivia.

You can reward your raiders with anything you want.  A gem, some gold, free flask/food, whatever you want.  The key is simply to make the questions challenging but not impossible.  A topic or genre you and your guild talk about often; you can include everyone.

The Whipping Boy

First off, this is pretty much a voluntary position.  In no way do you want to ostracize one of your raiders who cannot take the brunt of it.  In our guild, this whipping post has a name, and that name is Zabos.  He’s an incredibly likeable guy, but he’s really easy to tease.  He can take it, because as a player, he’s really good at what he does.  He’s one of our officers, and talks a lot of smack, so the guild will lay it on pretty thick.  The guild has built up a tradition (before my arrival) of /gkick’ing Zabos out of the guild when a new boss goes down.  It adds an extra level of fun to progression and cohesiveness of a guild.  The phrase “Shut up Zabos!” gets passed around a lot.  It just makes me laugh.

Random, Off-the-wall “Attempt

This should explain itself.  After a long night of progression, you need a break.  Something to make you laugh or wake you up.  We specifically have a Morale Officer in our guild, Shenweh, who is responsible for making sure everyone is in good spirits.  When things are getting tense or tired, it’s her job to create little fun events like this:

Out of Raid

Actual Alt Dungeons

I have several alts at a variety of levels, and I have some real life friends that all stick together.  They play super casually–usually only once each week, if at all.  Although I have two 80s, their level 45 character is their highest.  The other night, we managed to get all five of us on together to do a run of Uldaman.  There was no run-through, there was no level 80 to accompany us.  Because the healer and our hunter were lower than the rest of us, we really had a chance to take advantage of crowd control and focus-firing.  Since they’re all new to the game, it was a great chance for me to be able to show them a fragment of what makes this game so great for me.  I hope that at some point they may be able to step into a weekend/off-night raid with me.  Here, I lay the groundwork. =)

If you have friends that are trying to learn the game, take the time to actually play it with them.  I know how much that means to both people.  It also gives you a little break, and a little time to relax.

Arenas/Battlegrounds

In my opinion, always have at least one person you know well to go on this adventure with.  Arenas can sometimes be a great way to get out some frustration (if they go well).  If you turn off the Battleground Chat in a Warsong Gulch or Arathi Basin, they can actually be pretty fun with a group of your friends.

Achievements/Holidays

Blizzard has given us this interesting little outlet to occupy our time when we’re not raiding.  Even little mindless ones involving pets or an Azeroth raid can be entertaining enough to ease your mind.  See if any of your guildmates have never seen AQ40 (I just had my first encounter before writing this).  If there’s a slew that have never been inside, show them around!  Especially if you’re in a leadership position, this shows your raiders that you’re invested in how much everyone’s enjoying the game.  Gotten all the achievements you want/need? Then just tag along for your friends’ benefit.  Share funny stories.  Reminisce about things that happened in those old raids.

———-

You can decide to do these on raid nights or outside of your standard schedule.  Think of it this way.  Although this game as fun, you want to avoid having progression start to kill your soul after a while.

What sort of things do you do in order to keep your raid’s morale high?  What do you do, as a player, to detox in-game?

ThespiusSig

13 Tips to be a Naxx Immortal (and Undying)

13 Tips to be a Naxx Immortal (and Undying)

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This is a guest post by Ulkesshern, a Holy Paladin from the EU!

Undying and Immortal two achievements that are on paper really easy to get, but in practice seem to be fiendishly difficult.

Below are some random tips to hopefully help you all get some of the coolest titles in the game.

  • Do Razuvious first – Until you kill a boss you aren’t saved and thus have no raid ID to be marked as “Contains Dead People” should the mind controllers mess up and get someone killed, simply wipe the fight, disband the group and reform it with someone else as the leader and try again!
  • Use scrolls – Lucky you scribes, you finally serve a purpose! Especially in 10 man you aren’t going to have every buff, for example I’m frequently mage-less, a quick scroll of Intellect later and I’m a happy man, Scrolls of Fortitude are also a life saved!
  • Buff up properly – It really is serious business, don’t skimp on consumables!
  • Die on trash, lots – Its fun and doesn’t endanger the achievement!
  • Use Divine Intervention during trash – If you are a Paladin the last thing you want to do is somehow DI someone during a boss fight, keep it permanently on cool down (Stupid as it sounds I have heard of this happening)
  • Take it steady – its not a DPS race.
  • Take three(normal) or seven(heroic) healers – its much better to have bored healers than stressed healers.
  • Don’t try and do all the other achievements on the same run!
  • Don’t be afraid to sit someone out for a while - the achievement is granted to all players who take part in the Kel Thuzad kill on a clean raid ID. If you have someone who really can’t dance for example then get them to sit the fight out!
  • Health Potions and Health Stones are your friends – DPSers, use them!
  • If a DK dies while under the effect of Shadow of Death then its okay! He’s not dead yet!
  • Having Undead in your raid doesn’t make the achievement impossible, despite the contradictory nature of their bios, Forsaken aren’t dead! (or are they and when ever you resurrect one you are killing it :/ )
  • Relax and have fun!

There’s also one extra tip that I have not been able to personally verify, there seems to be some strong evidence kicking around that only deaths from Baron Rivendare count…. I don’t know for sure, but my advice is if someone doesn’t die to him but does to one of other horsemen don’t give up and keep going, you might still get it!

Image courtesy of flaivoloka