Tag Archives: Guild Rules

Red Leader Standing By!

About 3 weeks ago my 25 man guild finally made the decision to downgrade to 10 man raids. It hurt. This guild *just* went from 10 man to 25 in ICC. For most of Cataclysm we have managed to keep ahead of the raiders leaving and replacing them. Unfortunately, OLN suffers from the fact that we are casual.

We don’t require attendance. We don’t require specs. We don’t have DPS thresholds. We are here to have fun with all our friends, not to chase server firsts. The problem is, only about 2/3rds of our raiders are the kind of people who go and learn every bit of info on their class, min-max, and know every boss video before we ever walk in. the other 1/3rd are very nice people, but aren’t pushing the envelope, can’t be bothered to show up, and our realm sadly does not have a good pool to pull raiders from.

As all raiders are pretty aware, the days of really only needing 8 of 10 or 20 of 25 of the raiders on point are long gone. Even the smallest mistake can lead to a wipe. One person not notice and keep nuking Magmatron? Kiss the raid goodbye. Miss the jump, die in the water, and you were the interrupter on your Nef platform? Game over. Firelands is just as bad. Didn’t see that trap? Too bad, the tank is already dead. Accidentally attacked the wrong foot? Even one person can lead it astray. Regardless of how you feel about this design (I hate it, just fyi), it has had an effect. Finding 10 competent and focused raiders is much easier than finding 25.

So we took our good, consistent, and still present raiders and put their names in a list. 16 raiders. Uh oh. There are only 10 spots. Lucky for our raiders our GM and Officers had no intention of just booting 6 people. However we don’t have enough to form 2 10 mans. So the GM decided we would be rotating people around.

This first week of this was TERRIBLE. We had several people raid 5 days that week, and several people only raid 1 day. The natives were restless. I spoke in a message to my GM and was like “dude, you need a system.” His response: “I KNOW! I just don’t know HOW…” So I decided to apply my game designer brain to this problem.

Our raiders broke down to 3 tanks, 4 healers, and 9 dps. First thing I did was cut “normal” raid nights to Tuesday through Thursday. Previously these were our 25 man nights. So now they are our standard nights. Sunday and Monday, our “cleanup in 10s” nights, became “wipe learning” nights. Sunday and Monday teams are formed based on who is on, and which boss we are trying (so stacking the proper dps for those fights).

Generally the tank situation just worked out. And if all 3 did manage to show up on the same night, they would just discuss it between themselves and sit out. They handled themselves essentially, but we decided to set it up to “rotate” them around. So Tank A tanks Tuesday and Wednesday. Tank B tanks Wednesday and Thursday. Tank C tanks Thursday and Tuesday. But they can switch up as they want or need.

With healers, we were really lucky in that handle fairly well on their own as well. One of our heals even has a super tank offset, so he fills both roles. So that just worked out.

But 9 dps… That makes life tough. They were the hard part.

Joyia’s Plan:

Split the DPS into 2 teams.

Team 1: Warlock, Warrior, Kitteh, Boomy, and a recruit. (Most times it is a great shadow priest, but this spot can be filled with any ranged clothie or mail wearer.)

Team 2: Warlock, Pally, Rogue, Mage, and Hunter.

Then, have the teams switch off nights.

So Week 1: Tuesday is Team 1. Wednesday and Thursday are Team 2.

So Week 2: Tuesday is Team 2. Wednesday and Thursday are Team 1.

Seems a bit complex, but here are the reasons:

1. It stacks the dps to be most efficient in gear drops. With the exception of clothies, each ac is only represented once.

2. It stacks melee vs. ranged and aoe vs. single target. I also stacked the weaker dps with the stronger dps, and the more likely to die with the more likely to survive, so neither dps team is “better” in a sense. They are quite well balanced and hit the same numbers. The aoe vs single target damage makes gimmicks like Rageface still do-able. It balances classes with high burst with classes with slow ramp up.

3. People who run earlier in the week have a good chance of getting several easy bosses and loot. People who run later get 1 or 2 bosses, but have to wipe on progression, however this means they might get to be in the kill group.

4. Even if the week goes badly, raiders know it will only be 1 week before they see another loot drop.

5. Each dps is part of a paired set. So if one warlock is going to miss her night, the RL can just contact the other warlock and ask them to show up. Regardless, most of us are connected on RealID so any holes can be filled quickly.

6. The warlocks are the two toons working on the legendary. Since they are in different groups there is no poaching embers.

7. If you are on the team not running that night, just can just log on at raid time, and check to see if the team running needs any holes filled. If they form up, you can go do dailies, randoms, or even level alts.


It just worked for us. Now, 3 weeks in, we have downed 2 new bosses, in two weeks, and are making great strides on Aly. Everyone is learning all the fights. The dps teams are becoming teams and learning to work well with each other. We have even started making red team vs blue team jokes. Because there has still been a ton of overlap on tanks and heals, including alt runs on off nights, with both teams making up the alt run, we are still a community as opposed to cliques. None of the raiders have left, and most seem to like it as well. By taking Sunday and Monday off the schedule, we don’t have to worry about people showing up those nights either, but generally we have 10-11 people on for those nights, then usually someone just offers to step out. 10 man’s are a bit easier to do this with.

Now this doesn’t perfectly fit with every guild. The team balancing just fell into place for us, but with a bit of thought, and even possibly scheduling which bosses are being done on Tuesday and then on Wed/Thurs to balance the number of bosses downed. It’s a slightly odd way of doing it, that might work.

Guild Etiquette Part 7: Updates

It’s been 2 years since I sat down and wrote down what I truly believe are the 6 most important things a GM has to deal with. However, WoW is not a static game. So these things need updating every so often!

Part 1: Newbs

I am more and more convinced that as a guild you have to recruit and invest in people you know are going to be in your guild for the long haul. Not every recruit is going to be this person. But when you identify this person, hang on to them. They *will* *be* the perfect stone that fills in the hole when you lose someone important.

Newbs are great. But remember, even if the newb is awesome, fun, fits right in, and seems like they are gonna be a permanent fixture, they might not be. Never allow your guild to get in the situation of relying too much on a single person. Are the main tank and off tank a “set”? (Friends or even a couple?) Do not, under any circumstances, allow them to be the only tanks. Train and gear other tanks. You never know when people might take a break from the game. Or worst case, decide to hold your guild hostage.

Part 2: Noobs

Still pretty up to date. Of course, I caution GMs to look for “troll” noobs. These are people who do this on purpose. Excise them, immediately.

Part 3: Guild Chat

This is still completely true. Of course there are culture exceptions. Since writing this, I have joined a rather large guild. They pretty much admitted at the beginning that their guild chat rivaled trade. There were multiple players who seem to have Tourettes of the finger. I identified these people and put them on ignore. Easy as pie.

Part 4: Consideration

Be considerate with guild items and repairs. Many guilds now have guild repairs thanks to the Cash Flow perk. Check with your guild about the thoughts on using that for things that aren’t “guild” deaths. In my guild, we have a sufficient amount of funds that the GM doesn’t care. Some guilds might not.

Check the guild website occasionally. Especially on Tuesdays. And if someone says something in gchat you are unaware of, and you ask a question, only to have them reply, I posted on the forums about it… do not pass go, do not collect $200, go to the forums and read what they posted. They are trying to help the guild, be aware and support it.

Part 5: Who gets to go?

Wow, this is so applicable now. My formerly 25 man raid team has been cut down to a 10 man. We have 16 active raiders for 10 spots. After a week of struggling and just switching people out at seemingly random, I decided to take matters into my own hands and proposed a system that divided the dps up into 2 teams. (10 of the raiders are dps.) Then scheduled the boss kills accordingly so that the difficulty was split between the two teams. This insured that each dps would get a chance to see at least one boss kill each week. And then the teams would switch off bosses each week.

Yes, it’s complex. Yes, it’s weird. But it worked. And it allowed us to stack the teams with the proper mix of melee vs. ranged, aoe vs. single target, and armor classes. The tanks (3) and healers (4) generally sort themselves out with no problem as there is usually one night someone can’t make it. It boosted our progress and helped everyone figure out when they would be raiding and when they could play other toons.

Part 6a: Epics

I am now also convinced that KSK is the *best* loot system when you can’t do small group loot council. KSK is essentially a system that randomizies a list of all the raiders in your guild. Then when an item drops, the person at the top of the list gets first dibs. (Of course sticking to people who can use that item.) So if that person takes the item, they get “suicided” to the bottom of the list. If they pass, the next person on the list gets the option. It’s glorious. Easy, simple, and does not allow for inflation.

If you miss a raid with KSK, you simply stay frozen in your spot and the people who did show up move around you.

We even implemented a system that allowed us to punish people who signed up for raids and didn’t show by knocking them down a spot on the list.

When you hit a new raiding expansion, you simply re-randomize the list. When you get a new raider, you just roll them up a random number and toss them in. At the height of loot going out, when nothing was being sharded and everyone was getting upgrades, it took me 2 raids to move from last, back up to first. Loot gets evenly distributed. Everyone knows where they are on the list.

Part 6b: Legendaries

Hello can of worms!

How to decide who gets your guild’s Legendary:

1. “Best” class. The current Legendary is a dps caster staff. First, you should chose a pure dps. Why? Because that’s all they *can* be. They will *always* be using the staff for it’s intended purpose. I love my priest and I love dpsing on her. But most of the time in a raid, I am gonna be healing. The legendary is wasted on healers.

2. Tenure. Do not give the staff to someone who has only been in your guild for <3 months. They could take embers and leave. Or even worse, get the Legendary and leave.

3. Attendance. Don’t pick a person who is known for disappearing for long periods of time. Don’t pick a person who only makes one raid a week. You want to get to a legendary as quickly as possible and try to get more than 1. Focus, and work on getting it for that person who is *always* there and ready to raid.

4. Always make sure the raid has one of the collectors in it. In my current guild we have 2 people collecting embers, because we have 2 teams of dps. No this is not the most efficient way, but it works with our system. We just have to make sure there is always one of the two people in the raid.

5. Someone willing to do the leg work. Legendaries are not easy. They take time, money, and a great deal of extra work. If the person isn’t willing to shell out their own 9k for the sands, then they shouldn’t be offered the staff.

Take these ideas and sort your possible legendary wielders, and have the list approved by officers. Then post it, so the guild knows what is going on.

Guild Etiquette Part 6: I can haz Purplz?

And finally it comes down to it. Epics. why do we raid? Epics. Why do we grind? Epics. What causes the MOST drama in WoW? Epics. (To be fair, Legendary counts here too, but there are so few and they are so hard to get, most of us are in it for the Purple, not Orange.)

Purples, lovely purple colored names that shout our awesomeness to the world. Lovely gear that is usually better looking than the average hodgepodge of blues and greens that make you look like rainbow barf. The look, the stats, the item level, these are the reasons we love purples.

Loot distribution is a variable thing. it is different depending on if you are in a PUG, 5 man all the way up to 25 man and changes depending on the “status” of a raid and the make-up.

1. People you don’t know.
If you have PUGed anyone not in the guild and or “normal” run group you have to do several things right up front. First off, make sure the loot rules are clear. Second make sure they still have a chance of loot, or else they are going to leave.

Good Compromise: In 5 mans I generally set the “loot rules” to: A. Roll Need if you are going to put it on now and/or as soon as you gem/enchant it (main spec). B. Roll Greed for Off Spec and “flavor” stuff, but err to people who are going to use it. I may want said polearm to level my polearm skill with a good weapon instead of a sucky one, but I shouldn’t take it away from someone who will use it as their main weapon for a DPS spec. C. No one is gonna need anything. With ToC this is more and more true. Here we just roll greed on everything. You can sell it, or if there is an enchanter you can hand it to them if they agree to disenchant it for you.

25 mans are a bit different. If you get a good 25 man pug rolling, first you are awesome, congrats, but it can also be a loot headache. A. Need for On Spec. B. Greed for Off Spec. (When considering dual specs you lean towards their “standard” main spec. So if someone is usually a Shadow Priest, they should Need dps gear not healing, regardless of what they are doing for your raid.) C. BoE items – Everyone Greeds. D. If you get an item, your name goes on the RL’s List. You can’t roll again until everyone else in your “armor class” set gets something. This requires a Keeper of the List who can quickly identify the 4 roles (Tank, Heal, Ranged DPS, Melee DPS) and how they apply to the various armor classes (Plate, Mail, Leather, Cloth, All). They group everyone together and then keep track. This also means raiders will wait to roll on a good upgrade over small ones. E. Tier Tokens are exempt. Everyone rolls on a tier token if they can use it. F. If it isn’t claimed (wtf? how did this happen) it gets dis-enchanted and the shard is /rolled for, just like BoE items.

2. Guild Runs:
5 mans – Loot Council and Roll Offs. Aren’t we glad we can trade? Fortunately we can hand off gear easily now. 5 mans are usually either only one player can use it, or very easy to loot council. Loot Council is the act of deciding who can use something more, or one person expressing a great need and everyone else passing. The only trick is, as a guild run, you really should consider passing all de items to the enchanter and then letting them keep any dream shards. Roll for Abyssal, but they use the dream to buy new enchants, unless your enchanter has them all.

25 Mans… And now everything changes.
First off, when something isn’t taken it should be dis enchanted and the mats sold by a trustworthy guild officer to fund guild progression repairs.

What is the reason behind the majority of your guild’s desire to raid? Progression or Purples? If it is progression then you will likely find a mix of DKP and Loot Council to your liking. DKP allows for players to get the specific items they want. This may fill an immediate need or complete a set. If using a zero sum system it also ensures that the only way someone can get exceptionally ahead of other guild members is to not get anything and raid an exceptionally long time. Which logically means they *should* get whatever they want. Loot Council allows a group to decide where the item can do the most good. Gearing the main tank and a spare, gearing the healers, etc first is a form of Loot Council. This can have two drawbacks though. One, there are no backups for these slots that can even hope to fill the void. If the main tank soaks up all the gear then there are no replacements for when real life gets in the way. Two, the people who get this attention tend to burn out faster. They have to be present for a raid to happen. They get all their gear quickly so they lose interest in the raid quicker. If your guild is just farming content, then go with rolls or DKP. This assures the widest distribution of purples among your raiders.

DKP systems:
DKP is a numerical way of tracking who should get the next item. DKP systems are wide an varied. A good system should follow these rules:
1. Easy to understand. If a person looking at your guild wants to know how long they are going to be waiting on gear it is good to tell them up front. This prevent disappointment later.
2. Obvious. When the spiffy sword of uber-awesomeness drops, everyone should be able to tell, without having the loot master explain, who is going to get the item.
3. No one gets too far ahead. No way to “bank” points. There are two things that cause someone to get ahead in DKP. One, they raid every single raid and then some. These people manage to get into pug raids and just badges to get what they need. By the time the guild is getting it, they already have it. To be fair though, these people are working twice as hard and putting into the raid without taking anything away, so they should have a ton of DKP. Two, Horders. These are the players you have to watch out for. They won’t bid on items they clearly need to save dkp for bis items. How to combat them? Well it depends on your guild personality. A view I have seen taken was the GM taking the person aside and explaining that if they didn’t start upgrading their gear they wouldn’t we welcomed back to a raid. Letting an item get sharded because you want one specific uber item and then getting all your other upgrades while everyone else is just passing because they don’t need it is just underhanded.
4. Timers. There needs to be a time limit on the DKP earned. Use it or lose it. 6 months seems to be a wide range for this. After 6 months purchases no longer count against you and earned points are removed.
5. Need is free. Hybrid classes make your raid flexible. Dual Specs do even further. But building three sets of gear instead of just one? Yeah it sucks. By allowing players to need on things for offspec they can gear with items that would otherwise get sharded. Off and Dual Specs. There isn’t a great solution but one is to have your raiders register a main and off spec. They can change this setup with permission of the raid leader. This way they have to bid on certain items and can need on others.
6. Character specific *not* account specific. Why? Should the Raid Leader be able to build 2 months worth of DKP then bring his alt with greens and blues to a raid and get the uber-sword? That’s why DKP needs to be limited to toons not accounts. Also it means if you need an alt toon (switching a dps for heals for example) it doesn’t gimp the main toon to gear the alt.

What happens when something goes from Progression to Farm?
1. It depends on the make up of the raid. If more than 50% of purples are still going on players main spec and not to off spec or shard, it is still progression for that group, even if it is easy.
2. Once it is farm, let people still spend DKP if they want. Ever wanted something with a low drop rate? You know what I am talking about here. Even on farm these are contested items. Let people spend their DKP if they wish.
3. Alts begin to come out of the woodwork. Ever been on a farm raid that wipes due to low dps? Your alt percentage is too high. Run some ToC or 10s real quick on an off night to help with this, but ensure enough high level players are willing to assist to help with this.

Final words:
It needs to be fun for everyone. It needs to be fair, or at least quantifiable for everyone.
More drama happens from loot than any other. It is going to happen and not always be fair or friendly. Remember those bosses will drop that loot again.
Is it worth it to lose your guild and friends over a piece of gear you are likely to see again? Worth it to eventually not want to play WoW because of the loss of the people who make this game fun?
Don’t be a douchebag.

Guild Etiquette Part 5: Who Gets to Go

Raids are the pinnacle of difficulty in WoW. They are the place where you get the best achievements and the place you get the best loot. Every raiding guild has one goal. Get raiders and kick the crap out of whatever big nasty is the biggest nasty.

As sometimes happens, you can have too much of a good thing. So what do you do when you have 30 raiders show up to a 25 man raid?

Step 1: Is it progression or farm night?
This first question is required for determining who should be in your raid. Progression means you want your best raiders, most prepared, and best geared. If it is a farm night, usually you want to make sure your worst geared players get to go, but hang on to a core good group so it is still easy.

Step 2: It’s Progression.
Sort out the required people first. Tanks, Heals, Buffs. Obviously you need your main and off tanks. Any extra tanks are told to switch to DPS. Tank healers, Raid aoe healers, and then fill in to the “max” number of healers needed, all else switch to dps. Remember with heals once you have your well geared tank heals, all other healers need to be spread out among the healing classes for maximum buff coverage while making sure to err on the side of aoe raid heals. Any remaining heals, switch to DPS. Now you have your vital people. time to whittle down the DPS. First pull your required buff classes that you haven’t already gotten. Ones to watch out for: Warlocks with CoE or Boomkins. Shadow Priests with the +hit buff. Paladins, Hunters, Priests with replenishment. Once you have all these filled out, now you go for your big guns. Big guns are people who consistently top the DPS charts, listen well, and always come prepared. Fill in remaining holes with people who are consistently good at raiding.

Step 2: It’s Farm.
First set aside your tank and heals. Now, ask if anyone is willing to step out. Pull the people with the worst gear and check how many there are. (Worst gear defined as people still wearing more blues/greens than purples.) 5 or less, put them all in the raid. Depending on the awesomeness of your core tank and heals, and possible high dps selection you should calculate how many “dead” players you can take. Assume all of the low geared players will die 2 seconds into the fight and *not* assist in any measure. Some guilds can take as many as 10 dead players. I usually try not to take more than 8. Then fill out as usual, erring towards the lower geared players end. You would rather take 2 DPS that put out 3k each and need gear from the instance than 2 who do 6k each and need nothing. You will still need a few heavy hitters, but try to bump the people who have zero or one upgrade left in the instance.

Step 3: Fair is Fair, roll for it.
Some guilds have all the remaining DPS /random for their spot. This is a fair-ish way to do it. But we all know the people who get screwed on this.

Step 4: Always give out some form of “raid credit”.
Bad rolls, poor gear fall, or whatever, make sure that people who show up on time and ready to raid but get turned away don’t have it happen to them again. If you show up ready to go and don’t get to, give them a raid credit. Think of it as a ticket they can use to ensure their presence in the next raid. Limits should be put on this like it can only be used on the same instance (Naxx for Naxx or Uld for Uld, but no Naxx for Uld) and it has to be used within the next two weeks.

Step 5: Multi-night Raids.
In the beginning most guilds can’t clear a raid in a single night. Raids like Naxx can get split over multiple nights. How do you pick who gets to go then? Always always give first priority to the people who are already saved to the raid.
Have everyone who was on the first raid whisper the raid ID to get their invite. Or simply compare the attendance list. This makes sure the people who cleared the first half get to experience the second half. Once you have them in the raid, identify needs and pull in to fill the holes following the standard selection criteria.

In the end, always choose your dependable people and make sure people get a good chance to raid.

Guild Etiquette Part 4: Consideration

This signature from the official Blizzard forums sums it up nicely:

Your $14.99 says you can play however you want.
But the rest of the raid’s $359.76 says to know your role

When you play WoW alone, solo, as if it were a single player game, I am all for doing whatever you wish. But when it comes time to raid, Courtesy is King. 24 other people are all depending on you to do what you must to see that this is a successful raid. Some laugh at the use of the word responsibility, but that is what raiding is, even for the casual crowd.

1. Be on time. If the raid starts at 8, be online at 7:30 and double checking your gear for the evening.

2. Double check your gear. We all do things other than raid. But be sure you are raid ready at pull time. This means PVP gear stowed, no fishing poles, no tournament lances.

3. Check your spec. Are you PVP specced? If you are one of several classes (like Warlocks) there are only so many of a certain spec that are useful in a raid, have you checked with the others to see what specs they are? Unless your raid leader has made it clear it is okay, be sure to not double up. Also be prepped to be either of your specs for the raid. Dual Specs make you valuable to a raid group.

4. Reagents, shards, food. The shame rank is especially useful here. If a Warlock shows up to a raid without soul shards… SHAME. It is simply inexcusable to show up to a raid without a vital part of your class’ equipment. The tank doesn’t show up without his weapon, you don’t show up without yours. Reagents are needed and yeah, the cost sucks, but hey, that utility you prove with that reagent is part of why you get the invite. Everyone in the raid has some form of cost. As for food, bring stat food, regular food, or feasts, I don’t care, but do not rely on Mage food. The one time you really need it, is the one time a Mage won’t be on the raid.

5. Repair. Nobody likes the guy who has to leave the raid 15 minutes in to go repair. Do it before, when you check your reagents. Repairs bots are awesome for this.

6. Mods. Make sure all your mods are working and up to date. Some casual guilds don’t require mods, but Deadly Boss Mod and Omen are so helpful and wonderful you should use them if possible.

7. Boss Strategies. Have you been to this instance before? Have you done the role you are about to do for this instance? Be sure to brush up.

8. Know YOUR ROLE. Dual specs allow raid leaders to pick and choose people, not only based on their ability to do their main role, but also their ability to do their secondary role. If you are a Holy/Shadow priest, know both roles and play the one the Raid Leader asks you to. Sure DPS is easier and more fun, but without heals, the raid doesn’t make and nobody gets purples.

9. Learn to Role with it. Yes I did mean Role. This is best explained with a story.
Awesome guild goes into Naxx 25 for the first time. Gets to the first boss. Starts fighting. Right before the first insect swarm the warrior tank goes down. DK#1 flips on frost presence, taunts, and takes off running along the wall. Cheer! The raid is saved. Gets to other side, Off tank does his job with the add and here we go again.
Suddenly DK#1, hero of the hour, goes down. DK#2 flips to frost presence, taunts, and then takes off around the circle. (We have the boss at half health.) Someone laughs and says, hey, third and fourth DK, be ready. Not too long and the second DK goes down, and sure enough DK#3 took the raid leader seriously and immediately shifted to his new role, frost, taunt and run. In the real world this is called adaptive survival. You saw a need and shifted to fill it.
Back to the story. DK#4 gets his chance to be a hero, and the boss is getting pretty low. Suddenly the off tank dies and there is an add slaughtering the raid. The two warlocks, as a team, start scorching bursting the add to get aggro and kiting him around the room into the frost mage’s aoes, effectively locking them down.
Then DK#4 goes down, with the boss at 2%. Bad-ass mr. pvp rogue steps in, pops evasion and tanks the boss just long enough for the mages and warlocks to burn him down. By this point all the ret pallys and elemental shamans are healing. Anu goes down with 8 of 25 raid members standing. Now any hard core raiding group would hate to be a part of this story. But for us, it is the thing of Legends and we talk about it all the time. If a raid leader shouts out in the middle of a raid to switch to x. Know your class well enough to switch.

10. Have fun. If you aren’t having fun, find a way to have fun. Raids, especially progression raids can get wipe-y and tense. A good raid leader should call the raid before shouting starts, but tempers can flare easily. Remember this is still a game, and your guildies are your friends.

Guild Etiquette Part 3: Guild Chat

Communication is everything. Communication in online games is vital to the success of a guild. Despite hating to have a ton of grammer nazi rules I find that setting boundaries for communication prevents problems later.

Prime Rule: Don’t Be a Douche.

1. The assumption is made that you are a mature adult. If you aren’t, then it is assumed that you either act like one or the mature adult in your life has your profanity filter turned on. The occasional curse here or there (or in the event of a <10% health wipe a great deal of it) is to be expected. However if someone asks you to stop, you stop (see Prime Rule). There is also a fine line between what you might think is okay and what someone else thinks is okay. Some people don’t mind the B word. For me, it is the big red might as well be a summoning spell button. Err on the side of caution

2. Do not under any circumstances make it personal in guild chat. Ideas, suggestions, theories, all perfectly legit to argue with and say they are stupid. People, not. We are here to have fun, not be verbal punching bags for others. There is some measure of, oh we were just playing, but it if happens too often from one person, get rid of them. If I see it in my guild, you’re gone. There are better ways to deal with something you see as a problem than to attack a person. Don’t talk bad about other guild members.

3. If it is something that would be said in the Barrens or a bad trade channel day, don’t say it in Guild. No Chuck, No Murlocs.

4. 1 4m 2 l33t 4 u. Anyone who still talks like this is a douche. See Prime Rule. In fact for that matter, I won’t correct your bad spelling, the you’re/your their/there/they’re thing if you promise to use full words (2, u, etc).

5. Long winded rants about guild policy. There is a time and a place. That time is whenever, the place is the guild forums, behind the password protected part. Guild chat is not the place.

6. Arguments about loot. This should be handled in whispers. Specifically whispers to the Master Looter. Don’t whisper the person who got the item. Don’t whisper the GM. Whisper the master Looter and discuss with them first. If they agree, they will take it up with the person. If they don’t, well that’s for the Loot Etiquette part, but lets just say, look to Prime Rule.

7. We don’t want to hear about your sexual exploits.

8. No SPOILERS! We all love movies, tv shows, books. If it ain’t on DVD, keep it on the dl. Use a good 6 month rule of thumb or if it is on DVD. Then it is fair game.

9. Begging and Selling. Ask for help once. If you get it, awesome. If you don’t, drop it. Have something to sell? Good for you. If you are offering a discount for guildies, you can pimp it in g chat up to a max of 4 times an hour. If it is the same price as the AH, shut it.

10. Bragging about breaking the law, talking about suicide, hurting people. If you don’t want the cops to know, don’t talk about it in guild. If you threaten suicide, I will take it seriously and I will notify a GM, who has your info and WILL call the cops. If you are having a rough time and need an ear to lean on, that’s fine, but don’t do it in g chat, that’s what whispers are for.

Final Rule: There is an ignore feature for reason. I have been in several guilds where I have had people on ignore. I have also had those people on mute. I made sure my raid leader knew in the event that person might be a source of info the RL would know to repeat it. In the rare occurrence the person on ignore is the raid leader, make sure an officer or your class leader knows. Once I had the lovely joy of explaining to the only other officer in the raid why he had to do the loot distribution and make sure to repeat everything because I had the RL on ignore and he was originally the master looter.

Guild Etiquette Part 2: Noobs.

A newb is someone who is new. A Noob is someone who does stupid stuff as if the were a newb, but really they should know better.

Every so often a guild gets a noob. You have to do something about these people fast or they will infect your good players and suddenly you will be living in Noobville and all of your raids will be Wipefests.

1. Identify the correct noob. This can be a bit complex in a 25 man raid. You might have to talk to your class leaders, or dig through Recount/WWStats to find them. Noobs are tricky, and no one likes being called a noob, esp when they aren’t.

2. Compare noobishness across events. Is this person having an off night? Is this person *always* doing something stupid? Are they a problem in Heroics too? Or did they just decide to try raiding and drinking? This ties into #1, but when dealing with a Noob, it is always good to be sure.

Noob identified, now what?

3. Ask noob to chat with you in officer’s vent or other private vent channel. Talk with them. Now this is a bit tricky. You have to be polite and root around for *why* they are being such a noob. Do you like playing your class? Are you having fun playing WoW still? Are you watching tv/playing Bejeweled at the same time as raiding? Frame it in concern. We noticed you seemed to be struggling, how can we help?

4. Gear Noobs. These people just don’t get their gear. They also don’t get why they need this gem over that one or that enchant over this other one. Best way to fix this, ask if they need help funding the enchant or gems. Offer to do the group dailies with them. Have the class leader do some research and post a best in slot list or a best non-raid list.

5. Spec Noobs. Simple – send them to Elitist Jerks for the cookie cutter spec. Talent Chic does a great job of helping them if they have a specific desired talent. (Note: Some people just want to play one way. This is okay. If you have an open slot and they are there, let them play their weird spec. But it is *always* good to have a progression rule. Ie – in progression raids you have to be spec approved by your class officer, or you get bumped if there is someone who is spec approved and you aren’t even if you have better gear.) All of this also applies to Glyphs.

6. Don’t Stand in the Fire Dude. Everyone has one. This is the guy who can’t dance, gets hit by every flame wave, and moves on flame wreath. The best way to fix this noob in general is to have the raid leader have an announce program. This program should announce to the entire raid or even the entire guild that they screwed up. It also helps to have a shame rank. This is the rank you give someone when they do something seriously stupid. Pull a side in KT? Shame. Pull a boss while the healer is oom? Shame. Drop a Grobbulus bomb in the middle of a raid? Shame. Pretty much anything that wipes a raid can be worthy of a shame rank.

There are some specific ways to combat DSitFDs on certain boos fights. Best example: Heigan’s Safety Dance. It can be tricky. So have someone drop flares in the center of each zone. then tell people to run to flares and stop until the next section pops and start running again. If they are well placed, you’ll have a Safety Dance achievement in no time.

7. You’re a great guy… but. Sometimes you just have to go out on a limb and hope the dude understands. Undying and Immortal are exceptionally hard achievements, and if you want to get them, everyone in the raid has to be on their A game. Explaining to a player that their noobish ways, while fine for farming, will not be tolerated in a progression or achievement run is hard. But if you are honest, specific, and offer a chance of redemption, it can go a long way to preventing a frustrating shouting match.

All of these are excellent ways to help deal with noobs. Just giving them the cold shoulder will cause problems, or letting them be the punch line will lead to trouble. Above all try to be remember, this person is a part of your guild and could be a great member. Identify the true problem and get with the fixing.

Guild Etiquette Part 1: Newbs.

Not to be confused with noobs. That’s part 2. This is with new people to your guild.

All guilds have some form of attrition. Real life, other games, other guilds all steal away your members and cut your numbers. If you have a good guild with good people, this isn’t a huge concern. You will get new recruits just from people being attracted to the awesomeness. Or the fact you raid in a time slot that is good for them, they like someone else in your guild, they heard you took down Yogg, or they had a good experience with one of your guys who said, oh you should check us out if your guild is the sux. This influx is the result of people just looking for a home, for whatever reason, and it is where a large number of your newbies will come from.

Now here is the really IMPORTANT part. Ready?
These newbs are the foundation of your guild in 3 months or less.

Remember that all guilds have attrition. This is approx. 25% every 3 months with a guild of 60 or so active unique members. Which means every 3 months you lose a 4th of your guild. You have to replace these losses somehow and that is with these newbs. Each new recruit has the hidden potential to bring other recruits, be the main tank, heals, dps chart topper, pvp arena master, raid leader and officer. This newb is going to be important in the future of your guild.

So how do you keep your newb and turn them into a core member of your guild?

1. Do not greet them with foul mouthed jokes and jibes. Your newb may love joking around and goofing off. They may cuss like a sailor. But they might not. You don’t know them yet and they don’t know you. You have to get to know them.

2. Do not treat them like a second class citizen. Everyone understands that you aren’t going to get bank access the first day, but make all the “limitations” clear. No bank access, no g or power leveling from members, no begging are all good limits to have. What isn’t good is no vent access, no standard forum access, no calendar viewing, no ability to have input on discussions. I am not saying you should listen to every word your newb says and give it the same weight as your raiders, but if newb makes a good point, or wants to be a part of a discussion, you need to welcome them, after all one hopes they will be a raider soon enough.

3. Do not boot them from their first raid. If someone joins a guild to raid and then gets bumped from the first raid, no matter your reasoning, you have just told them they are not going to be raiding with you. Think of it more like Fight Club. If this is your first night, you have to raid. Also this is a great point to induct them into what is expected of a raider. Vent, Mods, Flasks, Food, Glyphs, Enchants, Gems, Strats, if your newb gets even some of them right, and rolls with what they miss, you might have a solid raider on your hands. In fact I once found a guild that made it policy that if you wanted to join as a raider, you were required to be present for the first raid lockout and if you missed even one night, they booted you from the guild. It was your way of showing your dedication to their guild, be there or be gone.

4. Make sure they get *something* on their first raid. It is counter intuitive, I know, but hear me out. It falls in with #3. If someone comes to a raid and walks away with nothing, how long are they going to put up with that before finding somewhere new? I am not saying let them grab every purple, or even that they shouldn’t pay their dues, I am saying that people like Epics. If they get Epics, they will be back. They will jump through your hoops. They will get enchants, gems, food, etc, for Epics. They will bust their butt for you and the guild if it means Epics. My second raiding guild had a great DKP system that meant usually if more that a few items for a class dropped in a raid, the newb would get one of them. If the newb got it, they were stoked, and also pretty much guaranteed not to get anything else unless all the core raiders passed on it until they had been raiding for a month or so. (Note: This rule can have some shift if say for example nothing but bad gear for their class drops for the whole raid. I have been in Uld twice where nothing good for caster dps dropped.)

5. If you have *That Guy* in your guild, keep him away from the newbs. Every guild has one. For the most part they can be useful for identifying problems. These are the guys that wear the title of Elitist Jerk proudly. They know everything about most classes and they want to tell you what you are doing wrong. Have an officer or a GM pull this guy aside or in whispers and make sure he understands you value his services but if he doesn’t keep his mouth shut around the newb for at least a month, you will find another EJ who can do his job. The best example for this was in the guild that had a newb rank: Foundling. A foundling was someone who was new, might be raiding, and was working through their newbness. Our EJ was not allowed to even speak to the Foundlings until they became full fledged members, unless they spoke to him first or asked for advice.

6. Try to include the newb. Explain guild in-jokes. Explain relationships. Explain the goober that keeps dying in every fight. The more you make them feel included the more they feel like home. If the newb understands who Rapido is, they will understand why it is your “Fail” rank. If your newb knows that Bubbles is a 40 yr old Marine and is married to Ieatbabies, they know *not* to hit on the chick with the hot voice on vent.

7. Not every newb works. This is vital for any guild. Newbs are important, but are also potential poison vials. Be ready to have to baby sit them for a few days and maybe even have some talks. At the end of their newb period it can even be good to let them go. You might need people, but they need you more than you need them. If they don’t play well with others, politely show them the door.

Good luck, and happy hunting.