Rise of the Super Guild

I’m not sure if this is a developing trend or not of what guilds will be evolving into. I stumbled across a recruiting thread. What stood out for me was that this guild wasn’t just a raiding guild. It wasn’t a PvP guild. It wasn’t a leveling guild or a social guild or a casual guild. It’s a guild that houses multiple guilds within it. It boggled my mind at first because some of these smaller or medium sized guilds would be sacrificing their identity along with other privileges. But the more I read about it, the more it made sense.

The main purpose of this organization is to bring as many guilds under one banner as much as possible. The rewards? Accelerating into guild achievements, unlocks and progression rewards. With multiple guilds within this guild, hitting those rewards and achievements would be amazingly quick. Maxing out the guild experience everyday would be a certainty. I think what I’m witnessing isn’t just an organized guild. It’s an actual raiding alliance. The efforts of one guild would spillover and help other guilds. Those other guilds will also be contributing in their own way. After looking at the infrastructure, the sub-guilds would be able to operate under whatever conditions they desired. Each sub guild had their own raid times, standards, and so forth. Players won’t be forced to raid with each other. But it’s basically like guild <A>, guild <B> and guild <C> giving up their individual tags and merging into one giant super guild. Their sites don’t change, they still use their own voice servers and such. It’s all just under one tag. Everything else is logistics when it comes to ranks.

All of a sudden, catching 100000 fish doesn’t sound so bad.

Anyone find any flaws with this? Does it sound like something you would personally go for?

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. Those alliances were a common thing even in the stagnation period of summer holidays. I’ve seen guilds merge into one in order to survive. This time, it’ll be merging for a profit far better than just joint raids.
    The only problem which occurs to me atm is the Leadership – a fair number of representatives from each guild (and numbers differ in each guild), and the trust issue:
    there can be only one guildmaster.
    I don’t have to say – what if someone would decide to continue as separate guilds after the aim has been reached? I can already feel the drama.

    All in all, I’d say NO to something like that. Too risky a business.

  2. My thought was exactly the same as Caireann’s. There’s still only one GM. Which strikes me as a recipe for very bad drama.

    Also, I honestly think the lack of an independent guild bank might be problematic for the miniguilds housed within the magaguild. Hrm. I think if that was my situation, I’d try to have a separate guild bank. Our actual guild members would be members of but the officers of sub-guild would all have an alt in to maintain the bank space there.

    Of course I haven’t seen how guild banks function in Cata yet, if there’s major changes maybe that wouldn’t be an issue?

    • Yikes the formatting of that last comment got all screwed up. I was trying to say that within the mini-guild all the members would belong to Team Megaguild, but the officers would essentially be able to have bank alts in “Ourbankguild” to maintain a separate bank there.

      Sorry about that.

  3. I could see taking part in that. Trust is an issue of course, but if you didn’t trust the people then you probably wouldn’t be forming the alliance in the first place.

    If I run a business and someone decides to join with me to take part in my profits, then we’re helping each other out. If we earn enough money for both of us to retire and he decides to go start up that comic book store he’s been dreaming of since he was 4, then he’s more than welcome to do so – but he’s not going to get all the perks he had when working with me. It’s the same issue here with the “only one guildmaster” issue. You’re working with the top dog there to make a single unit (his guild) better for the benefit of everyone in the “company”. If you leave the company, then you leave the benefits. Simple as that.

    • I’m wondering what happens with the One GM decides he’s gained enough perks from the contributions of your miniguild. He removes everyone but his own people, and you have no recourse and no access to the fruits of your efforts.

      In business you have some legal resource if you partner violates a contract – even an oral one. In WoW, good luck getting a GM to step into a matter of guild politics, you have no recourse at all.

    • Is the faith in humanity completely wiped out? Can we no longer hope for things to go well? What happens when he doesn’t kick you and your whole guild? What happens when your guild alliance works perfectly and everyone benefits? What happens when you start downing content that you couldn’t do separately?

      Of course things can go bad, that’s a possibility in any similar situation. The question here is, does the potential for things to go bad outweigh the guaranteed success? Merging the guilds is going to get you the perks, plain and simple. That’s a guarantee. But the chances of the GM being a dick is merely a possibility.

      You shouldn’t ally your guild with another you know nothing about. Do your research before hand, run some raids with them prior to the merge, get to know them first. If there are any red flags raised during the partnership then you know not to merge. If everything runs smoothly, then take a vote and proceed.

  4. I assume that the post on the realm forums by is what prompted this post.

    I predict that it will get quite a few people in – especially those that are leveling or looking for general advancement in the game. However, quite a few of those people will be alienated and seek alternatives where they can raid regularly and get spots. So, hopefully, I will get a few members from it ;).

  5. “Everything else is logistics when it comes to ranks.”

    You may be underestimating the potential drama associated with those logistics.

    1. How do you manage guild bank access?
    2. How do you manage access to guild funds for repairs? (Yes, you have Cash Flow, but you also have a lot of guild members)
    3. How do you manage access to guild funds for anything else?
    4. How do you manage recruit/kick/promote/demote privileges?
    5. As Caireann points out, who holds the GM toon? (In our smallish guild, the nominal GM in the guiding triumvirate was too freaked out by the “Disband Guild” button being there on her main, so she created a separate alt specifically to serve as the GM toon)
    6. Many addons use the “guild default” channel to exchange information. Who rules on acceptable addon use?
    7. Who gets to use guild chat and officer chat in-game?
    8. Who gets to control the in-game Guild Info and MotD?
    9. If the guild grows to the point of hitting the 1000 member hard cap, who decides who stays and who goes?

    Hopefully people do try to set up megaguilds like the one you describe, so Blizz seriously consider adding in proper guild alliances (e.g. allowing guilds within an alliance to gain rep with each other, then counting members of guilds that have an exalted rep with yours as part of your guild for achievement purposes). But the in-game management of the limited per-guild resources is a serious challenge to the concept.

    • Nimizar: Those are all compelling questions to ask. It’s a logistics nightmare of course, but it’s not downright impossible. It won’t be easy to negotiate the rates and usages of various aspects of the bank, but there is a solution to everything. I’ve noticed there are several prominent guilds that have embraced the idea and I’m curious to see how it’ll turn out in the months ahead.

      It’ll be an excellent “pilot” guild for one.

  6. What it comes down to is a question of what is important for people. Is it more important for you to get as many achievements as fast as possible, or is it more important to have a closer group of “friends”, where you actually like all the people in your guild?

    I’m not saying one is right and one is wrong, but I don’t necessarily think that the superguild will something that we see becoming the rule instead of the exception.

    First, because like I said, I think there are too many people who prefer the family-style guild where you don’t have to worry about locking down the guild bank as tightly, and you don’t have to worry about as much chance for drama because you invite people who you all get along with.

    Also, creating an extremely large guild and maintaining it becomes like a second full-time job for leaders and officers. I think that people with that kind of time and leadership ability are not easy to find.

    So while I do anticipate that some smaller guilds will combine forces for more guild rewards, I don’t foresee the superguilds becoming common enough that any of us to really notice a change.

  7. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

    1. Goodbye to any sense of community. It’s going to be you, your 20 ex-guildies, and 50 people you never met before. Since you won’t raid with them, it’s going to feel like sharing a room with a stranger.

    2. Organizational trouble. As Caireann and Rhii have pointed out, there’s only one GM. Supposing the GM of every merged guild becomes officer, who knows if these people agree? After all, the guilds they come from probably have different attitudes.

    3. Personality clashes. You share a guild chat and someone makes a jew joke. That was perfectly accepted in his/her old guild, but some of the new guildies are offended. Which guild culture wins out? Do the guilds agree before the merge to a common code of conduct?

    4. What happens if they’ll all raiding guilds? One guild needs a person for a run, but there’s no one from their group available. Do they ask for help in guild chat and take someone from another guild? Then why bother having them separate in the first place?

    For me, reason #1 is the most important. I love my guild atmosphere and I wouldn’t want to share gchat with strangers. The guild perks are just not worth it. (Did I miss something super important? Why all the fuss? I think guilds will be able to function perfectly fine without any perks… and I’m sure my reasonably sized guild, about 30 active accounts, will manage to gain them at a decent pace.)

    • Jen: Yeah, and those are all solid objections. It really does depend on the sub guilds and the people within it. Its always possible to mute guild chat entirely and just setup their own chat channel. I can see there being a set of established rules when communicating within the super guild chat. The officers and GMs of the respective smaller guilds don’t really have to agree on a whole lot since they can run their raiding outfit however they see fit. Some want to stick with their close 5 man group, others want to do strict 10, some may want to do straight up rated BGs or raid 25s. As long as one group doesn’t outright harass the other, it should work out in theory.

      I’ll be keeping an eye on it to see how they tackle the different challenges though. Might even learn a thing or two myself.

  8. I would file this under unintended consequences of a too-high cap for daily earnings. If cartel-ization is the new future for WoW guilds, expect the guild perks/advancement system to get overhauled soon after launch.

    I thought than only the 10-ish top earner’s points would count so as to remove the incentive for this sort of thing, did that change?

  9. I would prefer if Blizzard allowed actual alliances so people didn’t feel they had to do this.

  10. Sounds good in theory, but I think it’d be flawed in implementation. You lose a sense of community when you jump from 40-60 active players to 200+ or more! With that many people, regardless of how you have the leadership structured – there’s a lot more room for division, dissatisfaction and more.

  11. Blizzard already killed this off with the character cap of 1,000 and the game is probably going to suffer from a major bug come Cataclysm that causes disconnects over 1,000 characters. Might sound like a lot, but alt’s can add up fast in guilds.

    I happen to be in the largest guild in the world, AIE, and it’s a great guild full of great people. It’s an asshat filter, and frankly, compared to other guilds I’ve been in, small and large, it’s the best guild by far. They do so much community stuff. Large guilds can be great too.

  12. I think that is a brilliant idea, especially considering the fact that you could divide each sub guild into its own rank. So “Officer” rank could actually be “Destiny Guild” and “Recruit” rank could be relabeled as “Ascension Guild” and so on and so forth.

    In theory that works, but then you look at the 1,000 member cap, and realized that you can probably fit about 20 mid-sized guild into the fold. That is a lot of guilds, and a lot of people working towards very common goals.

    I say I welcome the concept of the Super Guild, and whoever came up with that idea deserves credit!

  13. We merged with our sister guild recently. More to optimize the guild advancements and be able to offer those perks to others that we raided and/or played with regularly.
    I wouldn’t be comfortable though,taking in other guilds strictly for the perks. For me the merger meant taking in folks we were familiar with and knew to be like-minded in their ideas of what a guild should be.
    In this scenario, I can see where each guild can create channels and essentially function independently from each other. I can also see where guild drama can rear it’s ugly head around bank rights and so forth. I believe it would be possible if there were ground rules in place. Perhaps where each guild would have an officer that was a representative to the mega-guild with something akin to a business model. Attending regular share-holder meetings. lol
    This is not how I play and I would find this type of guild uncomfortable and distant, but that’s just my style.

  14. Wasn’t there a limit of the top 20-25 players in a guild actually contributing to guild advancement? Or had that already been removed?

  15. The limit of daily cap “players” was removed long ago apparently. There was a blue post saying that, not too sure where it’s gotten to. I believe MMO Champion has it somewhere as well. The daily cap was supposedly made bigger to make it pretty damn hard to cap it unless you were in a very large guild.
    Like Matt said, I believe the logistics behind it would be very hard but if all the GMs n officers of the merging guilds talked it out, it wouldn’t be as bad. It would be like Matt’s idea of having a PvP Division except it would be a guild division. Members aren’t forced to do things with the other guilds but they can be allowed to as long as they follow the other guild’s conduct.

  16. http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=26435397268&sid=2000&pageNo=3#45

    ^For the top X player part. It has been removed it seems.

  17. Speaking of socialistic achievements, don’t forget about these:

    http://cata.wowhead.com/achievements=3.15080

    For most guilds, this would be daunting. But with a super guild with multiple active players fishing and creating flasks? Everyone’ll benefit from the recipes. Granted, we’ll all get there eventually, but that is another lure.

  18. I doubt things would stay static, you tend to have cliques etc forming over time. Now previously that wouldnt be a problem, personality conflicts develop a clique splits off and you have a a new guild. Except now that new guild would lose all the benefits. I might commit a lesser played alt on a different server to that sort of guild but never my main.

  19. The biggest one for me is reputation. One person can spoil it for a guild, and the more ‘sub guilds’ you have, the less control the central leadership has over recruitment, so you get the trade trolls in etc.

    If they don’t care about that sure, but point to the Top 5 on Server raiding guild who doesn’t care about reputation?

  20. Is the cap really that high? Is it set per week? Per day? Will it be impossible for a guild of lets say 40 active members to reach that cap?

    If so…yah, the cap should be lowered.

    And yes, the achievements are something that will take time with less members. I don’t think this is such a bad thing. If everything is done too fast we’re back to where we are now. Bored and with loads of people shouting obscenities in trade chat.

  21. Where I think the idea fails for me is that the other sub-guilds in your super guild can have effects on your sub-guild that they would never otherwise have – guild reputation (not the game mechanic), guild policies, personality clashes.

    @ Shyraia Tobold wrote a great post about just that recently. I agree with both him and you. I’d much rather do things a bit slower and have something to do than complete everything quickly and be bored.

  22. The main benefit of this seems terribly transient in the grand scheme of a full expansion.

  23. I agree with Dynalisia:
    How long would you expect to get to the level of guild perks that you’re after? 1 month in a not-too-big guild? 2 months? Is it worth it to merge for a couple of weeks less to get to that guild level, and having to put up with the possible downsides?

  24. I think this is a very scary example of what blizzard’s guild perk system can cause – people are going mad over those benefits and instead of creating a system that will take guild size into account, you got a system now that will clearly favor monster-guilds. i don’t like it at all.
    at the same time, no matter how good some of them are, I’d never agree to join such a merger. there is lots and lots of possible issues and potential drama on the horizon, i don’t envy that at all.

  25. This is all being done for the progress of Guild unlocks. So my thoughts are: How hard is it to reach the cap in a day? If it takes 100 players doing 1 hour of play a day (100 player hours per day), my guild won’t make the cap. On the other hand, if it only takes 10 player hours then no problem. Does it take 5 guild runs of any single dungeon to max it out? That’s the info I think we really want. If it’s been posted some where I haven’t seen it. How much XP earned ,bosses killed,dungeons completed, BG’s won do we need to hit the cap? My guild would take pride in the larger achieves if we do them by ourselves, but we would feel lost in a larger guild-collective. I think lots of folks will stay in their current guilds if they know they can make just as much daily progress as the corporate sized guilds vs. mom and pop guilds.

    Thanks in advance for any light shed on this topic.

  26. It is a legitimate question whether the benefits of setting up a super guild are even worth the effort, or if normal-sized guilds (30 to 60 active players) will get virtually all the same achievements and perks within a similar enough time frame. I think the jury is still out on that, because more information needs to be gathered, not to mention Blizzard can always change things.

    On the other hand, when it comes to logistical and social concerns, such as those expressed by Nimizar and Jen, I think the difficulty of solving most of them has been grossly exaggerated. Many game mechanics already in place, along with only a little bit of outside-the-box thinking, can avoid just about every one of the issues of potential drama, bank inequity, administrative disagreements, etc. A couple earlier commenters have already come up with examples of effective solutions.

    I don’t really want to go into intricate detail, but there are a few basic concepts that I think are essential to the success of a super guild. The first is trusting the leader. I start at the top because the WoW guild structure necessarily grants a single character total control over all in-game aspects and assets of a guild. How said trust is gained is entirely open to innovation. The GM could be someone well-established and highly-regarded on the server, like a George Washington type. Another option is for the leader to be elected, either by members of the guild or by representatives from each sub-guild, resulting in a quasi-constitutional democracy. No matter how this is accomplished, it is crucial, because people won’t accept large risk of their guild being stolen, disbanded, or completely taken over without their consent.

    Another key component is compartmentalization. If this is done properly, members will never have to worry about personalities clashing or a lack of closeness. Sub-guilds would, for all intents and purposes, operate independently of one another, making all their own rules. Each could have its private guild chat channel, website, voice communication, raids and raid times, loot rules, events, and culture. Problems arising from personal and guild differences will quickly evaporate when disputing parties have the option to simply not associate with one another. Persons refusing to conduct themselves appropriately in “public” guild chat may be deemed by leadership to be too disruptive, too offensive, or otherwise unfit to speak to the entire guild. Their privileges would be revoked via demotion or outright removal. This would likely cause “public” guild chat to become strictly a destination for items that are extremely important or hilarious to everyone.

    Unfortunately, banks are awfully limited in terms of space, number of tabs, and gold distribution, but there are some decent work-arounds. Sub-guilds are certainly free to create alts outside their super guild, maintain private guild banks, and use them however they want. Therefore, super guild banks need not house items at all, but if people don’t want to waste the space, the tabs could be individually distributed by vote or auction. Because the only pool of gold in each bank is indivisible, repairs and other expenses would probably be best handled without use of central funds, so sub-guilds would need to come up with ways to compensate their raiders, or simply leave it up to each player to handle his or her own money.

    Rank structures within super guilds would be such that each sub-guild has its own officer and member ranks and can add ranks as necessary, such as a “time-out” for aforementioned agitators. All recruitment, removal, promotion, and demotion decisions would be made by the respective guilds. For instance, let’s say player ‘P’ wants to join sub-guild ‘Q’. P applies or does whatever Q requires, then Q’s representing officer in ginvites and promotes P to a rank designated for members of Q.
    Here is an example of a hierarchy:
    1 GM
    2 officer representation from sub-guild A
    3 officer representation from sub-guild B
    4 officer representation from sub-guild C
    5 members of A
    6 members of B
    7 members of C
    Any ranks beyond those would likely vary greatly from one guild to the next.

    The effectiveness of ideas I’ve put forth here is open for debate, and odds are there are many, many more I haven’t even considered, but I think it’s quite clear that dismissing super guilds almost automatically as being unworkable might be a bit hasty, if not closed-minded.

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