Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The 70's...and all you other people

Guild relations time. I'll start off with re-stating that my current guild is pretty cool. The leader is a stand-up kind of guy, knowledgeable in his own right, but also willing to listen and adapt. Most of the players are reasonable, specifically with regards to attitude and team stuff. And we just started rolling out a Guild Calendar to organize some events. All nice things, and I'm happy to be on board, excited to see where things go.

We're build around a team structure. The idea is that the guild is made up of teams of 20 with one coordinator and one assistant coordinator per team of 20. The growth rate is pretty high, and there's now 3 teams (but only team 1 has the full 20 members). There's not too much definition of what the teams really mean, other than when forming instance groups, the idea is to try to form parties within your team first, and then look outwards from there if necessary. Like I said, we're just starting to get organized around the concept.

Sunday night, things changed a drop. I'm not sure if my initial reaction is just that, an initial reaction to change. Or if its a legit uneasiness.

The guild is largely made up of levelling characters. The minimum requirement is level 50, so you see a bunch of players in the mid to upper 50's with a scattering spread out up to 69. Until sunday there was 3 or so 70's.

Then two guys dinged 70. Lots of congrats and such over guild chat. Cool, good job by them. Made my ding 65 feel silly, although I did put my talent point into Aimed Shot and then crit'ed on my first Aimed Shot since my MM build in my mid-20's. And my Crit Alert addon made a cool wild wild west pistol richochet sound effect which made me chuckle.

The first announcement that goes out is that the guild leader is forming a new team for the 70's. He was the leader of my team, so he put another player as the team 1 coordinator, and then shuffled the new 70's to the new "elite" team. He had talked to me about this earlier in the week, so it wasn't a surprise, but the name of it was.

I wish he had come up with a different name, rather than "elite", which immediately makes the rest of the guild feel like inferiors. But I some-what agree with the concept, to allow the level 70's to work together. I'll be there in a few short weeks, so I'm ok with the concept.

The next thing you see is that the guild chat begins to be dominated by those 70's. I'm not sure what "the chain quest" is, but that's what they were going on and on about and how important/how cool it is. From what I could tell from the context, it would appear to be a prereq for Kara, getting the key fragments perhaps, or some other instances?

Not sure, but it pretty quickly created a clear divide between the 70's and everyone else. I got a whisper from one of the other non-70 members, and he was feeling the same thing. I can totally understand the excitement and feeling of accomplishment those guys were having. I know I'll be flying high when my XP bar dissappears too.

What do you guys think? Standard sort of thing guilds go through, and we'll come through just fine? Or should I ask the guild leader to keep up the enthusiasm, but perhaps tone down the guild chat that is creating the divide? I'm thinking that if I'm going to say anything, I should say it now before it festers.


Anonymous said...

Go easy on the 70s and wait till you too get to join the "elite" group! :)

Regardless of how "weird" and "separated" they may be from the "rest" of the guild, if they leave, which many find tempting to leave for 70's only guilds when they stop having fun on "progression" guilds, then you too will be faced with such a challenge once you ding 70!

If, on the other hand, those of you lower than 70 make a real effort to nurture those 70s and get to 70 as well, then, if they're moderately reasonable, they'll wait a bit and may even help you guys get there as well!

Also, it would probably be cool (if you haven't yet!), to find one or more "sister" guilds from which to "borrow" some players to run some instances and to whom to "lend" some of yours so they can run some instances. Of course, without the players actually changing guilds! Just find a couple similar guilds and have all your players (70s?) /join a special chat channel so as to ease up inter-guild communication.

Failure to do all the above will result in something I've been through: seeing a whole bunch of 60s (was before TBC!) drop for end-game guilds when I was 58 or 59 and then feeling bad about leveling my own main to 60 and be left in their shoes: on one side I'd love to see end-game content and gear up, on the other, I'd hate to have to do as those did and leave... Very painful times... Thank Blizzard for alts for such times! :)

Anyway, best of luck on your guild!

pelides said...

Well, we've had what we call the "A Team" syndrome in my guild. There were 10 of us that got to 70 really really fast. I was 6th, a day behind the GM. We were nowhere near ready to run Kara and one hunter got to 70 2 days before me. He got into all the new places... Mech, Bot, Arc. Add to the fact that most people are on the East Coast in my guild and I'm in Seattle, groups were usually filled by the time I logged on. It was REALLY frustrating. No one's fault, but still frustrating.

So there were a handful of people that got their keys and some heroic gear and they started running Kara. I had left the guild for a while at this point, but they made a beeline through Kara... then people took notice and wanted in too.

By the time we were ready for two Kara runs, the pioneers were already sick of the place. Then people started noticing the loot.

Ugh. It got UGLY!

When a bunch of us were ready to dig in for Gruul and SSC, well, a lot of people were still running around in greens and blues and desperately needed Kara. The "A Team" didn't want to go anymore as they were just sick of the place and we had a tank shortage.

You can see where this is going...

We're essentially a new guild now with some old timers and we're rebuilding. Lost some damn fine people along the way, but things are finally starting to look up.

The "A Team" syndrome is fairly natural. How it's dealt with is a very delicate thing though.

Jensyth said...

I totally agree that the "elite" title is a bit poorly chosen because it does create an immediate sense of inferiority for non-elite members. I'd suggest the guild leader that to avoid that he choose completely random, silly names. Team Ramrod (a la SuperTroopers), Team Silly Nannies (i think family guy), etc. Basically, you still keep the same people in the teams so the 70s can help each other, but you avoid making anyone instantly feel inferior.

As far as guild chat getting taken over, I don't think that can be avoided. Would you rather they not talk? Would you rather they create a new channel that only they talk in? I think both options would be much worse.

I think overall, it just got off on the wrong foot with the "elite" team putting every non-elite in a bad frame of mind, and then the added kara attunement quest talk somewhat 'reminding' everyone else that if you weren't talking about it you weren't "elite"

Kestrel said...

In my first guild (on another server), ranks were level-based. Don't know if they modified it with the expansion or not, but it worked well.

In my current guild, the founders (of which I am one), the GM, and a few other characters are "Uber"--by rank. Our alts are Officer rank.

I would suggest you have a chat with the GM, and explain that "Elite" is a bit off-putting for those who are <70, regardless of whether they are 9 or 69. Instead, substitute something that doesn't quite have the same "cliqueness" to it. Even "Uber" is more tongue-in-cheek.

Amava said...

Awesome comments guys. Thanks. I think I get more out of the blog then you do sometimes :-)

I definitely don't want to let this new phenomenon of having a bunch of 70's in the guild fracture things. I want to do whatever I can to encourage an environment where those still levelling do not feel excluded from the excitement and hub-bub. And at the same time, the 70's dont feel like there's a bunch of lowbies nagging at their heels.

I'm in the middle, kinda. I'm one of the higher sub-70's in the guild. At my current rate of levelling, I'll probably hit 70 in about 2 weeks or so, unless I get all excited as I get close and call in "sick" and power through a level or two ;-)

I did talk to the guild leader for a second last night. Only very briefly. I actually went in with a different topic..the guild lacks a mission. If we had a mission, then it will be much easier for me, and other sub-70's to focus on what our goal is. And when we see people hit 70, we'll know that all that excitement is consistent with the guild's goal.

He thought its a good idea to come up with a mission, so he had his #2 guy set up our first guild meeting for this saturday. I'm pretty excited to see what we cover in there.

Anonymous said...

There are a couple of things that I would think of. First is that it might just take a bit of time before the new challenges and excitement of hitting 70s and experiencing some new content normalises to a sensible level.

Otherwise, one suggestion about the clogging of gchat with stuff that is being a bit unhelpful might be to create some different chat channels. So you could create a questing channel that people switch to when they are questing together - this might just make it easier to not have everyone have to listen in to all of the uber discussion of stuff that is not at your level.