June 30, 2009
A New Guild, A New Challenge…
For those who haven’t had a chance to figure out who we are, or who may not know our background, I’d like to take a moment to go over the events of the past few weeks that have led us to where we are today.
Let’s start from the beginning. Fedoldinn and Middea are both experienced players who have been on the Bloodhoof server for many years. With the exception of a few breaks here and there, we have played since shortly after the initial release of World of Warcraft in one form or another. We enjoy the PvE side of the game and are focused mainly on raiding, although we have a tendency to become slightly obsessive about achievements and playing the auction house in our free time.
Most recently we were both in a well respected 25 man raiding guild called Mental Atrophy. While we were not a part of this guild from the beginning, they worked their way up to C’Thun and ventured into the original form of Naxxramas. We joined in The Burning Crusade and managed to kill Illidan and enter into Sunwell Plateau, killing Kalecgos before patch 3.0. In Wrath of the Lich King, we farmed Sartharion 3D weekly for the Reins of the Twilight Drake, achieved the Immortal title from Naxxramas and Heroic: Glory of the Raider before patch 3.1.
For almost two years Mental Atrophy was a significant part of my life. Needless to say, it was a sad day when the decision was made for the guild to stop pursuing end game raiding. Although many players have moved on to other raiding guilds on the server, the community continues to live on and we are proud to say we are still a part of that great community today.
Soon after hearing the news, we started to think about what it was that we wanted from the game and what we were going to do. Several options were considered, from applying to other respected guilds on the server and continuing on with 25 man progression raiding, to creating our own guild and leading with the ideals, dedication and passion that we play with.
Needless to say, the latter won out and we set out to start creating an identity for ourselves and making our vision a reality. A lot of work went into setting up the basic infrastructure and putting our ideas down on “paper” (online) and then came the real work: convincing other people to join with us. We had decided early on that we were going to stick with 10 man content and not attempt to pursue 25 man content at all. This was for several reasons, but they mainly boil down to the following:
- it is much easier to stack and make changes in a 10 man group,
- it is easier to find 10 excellent players than 25 excellent players, and
- it is more fun playing and rewarding playing with a smaller group that you can get to know well
Well, we’re into our third reset as a guild now, and although we had a solid infrastructure in place before we went public with our plans, we have seen a few minor issues come up. Of course, most of these are to be expected with any guild, but the transition from 25 man to 10 man raiding has been a bit of a challenge in itself.
Being used to having a much larger pool of players to draw from and having guild rules based around a larger player base for so long has made it easy to overlook what is going on in the smaller group dynamic that we now have.
Here is a short list of “issues” that have come up:
- it’s harder to recruit for 10 man than 25 man content
- it’s harder to recruit when you are a new guild versus an established guild
- main swapping, spec swapping and lack of role definition early on
- gear difference and lack of motivation to run old content
- the divide between players who’ve seen the content and those who haven’t
- achievements vs progression
- friends and filling raid spots outside of guild
- guild alliances with other 10 man raiding guilds
Recruitment is tough everywhere these days, but it presents entirely new challenges in the smaller raid format. We are by no means a casual guild even though we are focusing solely on 10 man content. However, it’s hard to convince players to focus on 10 man content when most of the population only considers 25 man content as “raid worthy”. Adding to this issue is that although our names may be fairly well known on the server, we are a new guild and are not as well known as more established guilds are.
In order to try and get groups into Ulduar weekly, we’ve had to make some compromises. Early on it was tough to figure out who was going to fill out what role in our raids as most players had dual specs available with decent experience in both, and some had well geared alts that they could swap to as their main if needed. I think we’re past the role definition stage thankfully, and we all know what we prefer to play and are flexible enough to shuffle things around on nights when necessary.
Unfortunately, none of us have mastered the art of being able to play multiple accounts at the same time effectively enough to fill out the missing spots in our raid rosters. To accomplish this, we’ve had to invite friends from past guilds to join us on nights they aren’t raiding.
And of course, last but definitely not least, it’s summer time. This has been a notoriously tough period for raiding in each of my previous guilds as many people go on vacation or simply take time off away from the computer to enjoy the nice weather. It’s probably the most challenging time to start a new guild and recruit players.