Like many of our fellow 25 man raiding guild friends, we experienced our share of recruiting problems. Players had been losing interest in Warcraft. Every raid night was a dice-roll to see which line ups could be fielded. Some days we were able to raid short-handed with 23 or less.
It’s really easy to sit back and say “Just recruit”. I commend those who have the weight to attract candidates. The reality for the rest of us is that it’s a little different. If you divided the 10 million-ish players among their different criteria, you’d end up with categories based on stuff like:
- Time zone (Region)
- Focus (Competitive, hardcore, casual)
- Loot system (DKP, loot council)
- Activities (PvP, PvE)
One of the officers in guild proposed wholesale acquisition of a guild instead of a merger.
For the sake of definition:
Guild merger – Complete integration of two guilds with agreed upon distribution of players (roles), leadership, and loot. Possibly includes name changes and site changes. Resources tend to be combined together.
Guild acquisition – One guild completely absorbs and assimilates a guild. Generally, no leadership spots are given. Bank items can be distributed as they see fit. Sometimes, there is no pooling of resources. There’s minimal (if any) changes to the absorbing guild’s identity or website.
Several months ago, we ran into a guild that was looking to be acquired. Seems that their officer corps was in a mess.
More importantly, they couldn’t find anyone with the time, dedications, or skills to lead the group. Ultimately, they decided they still wanted to play together as much as possible and went shopping for a guild that was willing to consider taking them in.
What were the qualities?
From our perspective, when looking for guilds to pick up, we’re looking for a number of key aspects:
- Skilled players that can suit our immediate needs. No point picking up 2 surplus tanks and extra rogues if the present raid already has 4. If we’re looking for healers and ranged DPS and that group had those players, we’d talk business.
- Similar progression. We wanted to avoid having to re-teach certain encounters. We also wanted to minimize gear gaps.
- Similar raid ethic and mindset. This is just for general raiding compatibility. Players that have the same attitude towards raiding are generally more cooperative with each other and are willing to set personal feelings aside in favour of getting the job done.
- Compatible personalities. Similar to the above point. Minimizes any personnel disagreements or verbal fights/arguments.
- Indifferent to leadership positions. Non-negotiable. Leadership structure already in place. It’s okay to have leadership aspirations like being an officer, but that can come later after getting a few raids under the belt.
- Raid times and hours. Also non-negotiable. No point in picking up players who can’t raid because they have to go to sleep early or because they can’t get home from work early enough.
We decided to jump on their Ventrilo servers. It was extremely important that we figure out what the intentions and philosophies of each other were. We found that there were a surprising number of questions. Here’s the questions we received and how we answered them:
- What happens to the social players?
We’ll accept all of them. They can participate in whatever activities they like but if they’re looking for spots on the raid or rated BG teams, they’ll need to apply.
- How is loot handled? Will our status prevent us from rolling?
We use loot council. Initiates are allowed to express their interest in an item. You won’t be prevented from rolling on an item that is an upgrade for you.
- What kind of raiding opportunities can we expect?
There’s a spot for you and your players on our progression team. If your contributions are solid, we’ll make sure you see action.
- What other activities are there?
We have a Minecraft server that some of the players like to mess around with. We have a growing group of competitive Starcraft 2 players. League of Legends games usually occurs nightly with as much as 2 or 3 5 man teams firing off at once.
- What happens if things don’t work out?
If things aren’t compatible, Ner’zhul has a balanced and decent sized population. There are other raiding guilds on the server you could consider working with that might be willing to give you and your team a shot.
- What roles are looking to be filled?
[At the time] Ranged DPS and healers.
They weren’t the only ones with questions. We owed it to ourselves for due diligence. No one likes to waste anyone’s time. Here’s the questions that we asked them:
- Why do you want to merge with us?
No one really wants the job of being a GM or raid leading. We just want to play the game and raid.
- Is it an absolute requirement for all of you to raid together?
It’s preferred but we understand that there isn’t going to be roster slots open the whole time. We’re okay with being in the same guild at the very least.
I can’t say for sure the viability of a 10 man guild absorbing or merging with a 10 man guild. But a 25 man raiding guild taking in a 10 man guild appears to be easier to handle and coordinate since much of the infrastructure and power base already exists. Whereas two 10 mans trying to join forces might need additional time to work out leadership structures, guidelines, and other administrative details.
Have you ever been a part of a guild merger before? How did that end up for you? If you could have done something different, what would it have been?