There are two types of guilds in WoW: Casual guilds and raiding guilds. I believe that the WoW endgame is really only accessible to raiding guilds, and that players wishing to experience the endgame need to join a raiding guild. I also think that Blizzard needs to focus on this difference and, with a few tools, could make it much easier for casual guilds to move into raiding.
Here is a comparison of the main differences between raiding guilds and casual guilds:
- Are composed mainly of level 60 characters.
- Strive for a balanced roster, with equal numbers from each class.
- Aim for about 64 members. Enough redundancy to ensure that events happen, but few enough to allow everyone a chance to raid.
- Activities are scheduled in advance.
- Loot is handed out using a system with 'memory'. What happened last run changes how loot is distributed this run.
- Have formal mechanisms to pool resources to make necessary gear. Classic example is Dark Iron gear for tanks.
- Characters range from level 1 to 60.
- Are usually not concerned with the class of members.
- Size usually varies wildly from ten people to hundreds. However, normally do not have a lot of 60s.
- Most activities happen on an ad hoc basis, depending on who is online.
- Loot is distributed using a 'memoryless' system, most often the random loot systems built into the game. Casual guilds generally are not concerned with what happened last run, except in a generally vague manner. People may pass because someone hasn't gotten something in a while, but it doesn't happen in a formal manner.
- Pooling resources is done rarely or on an ad hoc basis.
Raiding guilds are structured the way they are because that is generally the most efficient way to raid. A casual guild, in contrast, is not set up to raid very well, and these differences are often barriers that prevent casual guilds from really experiencing the endgame of WoW.
Hopefully my next post will explore some ideas that could really help casual guilds overcome these differences.