Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Guild Ranks and Guild Banks

Most guilds approach guild ranks as if they were in the army. They set the ranks as if they were a hierarchical chain of command, where each rank commands the ones below it.

But realistically, most guilds are small enough that there's really only one power relationship: Officers and Members. Officers command members, and that's pretty much it. The actual hierachy is very flat, regardless of the number of ranks.

So rather than looking at ranks as a chain of command, it might be more productive to look at them as mutually-exclusive "tags". These would label your membership in specific ways. For example, many raiding guilds will have "Raider", "Guild Friend", and "Alt" ranks. There's no chain of command present in those ranks, though some will be higher-ranked than others. It's just a way of labelling characters to make it easy for the leadership to sort them.

So what other ways of labelling characters might there be? One example I found on Elitist Jerks (sadly, I don't remember the guild that did this) was a guild which had the "Tank", "Healer", and "DPS" ranks. Now this is very useful way of categorizing members for a raiding guild. It allows the leadership to quickly see at a glance exactly how much of each category they have online. This is especially useful with hybrids, as you could have 3 paladins online, and each in a different category.

This setup was pretty interesting before 2.3, but with the introduction of Guild Banks, it becomes downright amazing. Permissions in the Guild Bank are tied to rank, and having different ranks for each role has a lot of benefits. For example, you could dedicate a Bank Tab for each Rank. Healers would have their own Bank Tab, dedicated to healing materials. (I forsee a lot of mana potions being stored.) Tanks would have their own tab, etc. You could even split up DPS into "Melee DPS" and "Ranged DPS" and give each of those groups their own tab.

The other advantage comes with repair costs. You can set different withdrawal limits for each role/rank, and perhaps give the tanks a larger allowance to fund their repairs. There are a lot of intriguing possibilities with this setup.

The key idea here is that treating guild ranks as a power hierarchy is possibly the most limiting way to look at ranks. Approaching ranks from a different angle can allow a guild to use their Ranks and Guild Bank much more effectively.


  1. that is an amazing idea. well form my guild i plan to make a tleast have a very orghanized ranking system. and i will puit your idea to good use and i will tell you how it works in the future

  2. The idea of creating ranks for each raid role is an interesting one, but then you'd lose the possibility to differentiate between Officer/Raider/Guild Friend/Alt/etc. You could use the comment field (which I believe you can sort by) to achieve the same functionality, but again you lose the normal uses of the comment field ("gone till X", "soandso's alt.")

    If you could set permissions for columns/groups on each tab, role-based permissions would be great. With tabs as expensive as they are, it would be very difficult to do on a tab-by-tab basis though. Having a Healer, Physical DPS, Ranged DPS, Tank, and a general purpose tab is already 5/6 tabs and 4,350 gold :(.

    I think you could achieve similar class-level functionality without losing the rank structure by creating separate ranks with the same title. For example, you could have three separate Raider ranks and treat the top rank as a "Tank" rank with repair-from-bank enabled. It would be a little extra info to track elsewhere for the guild leader. I guess it would also look funny to see "X has been promoted to Raider." three times in the chat window ;).

    The ideal solution would be for Blizzard to implement tag-based organization instead of single-level based, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

  3. sorry for the sloppy writing there.heh,i was at school so i was typing fast lol

  4. Kadaan, Tank/Healer/DPS doesn't have to be the only ranks. You could go: Alt, Guild Friend, DPS, Healer, Tank, Officer, GM.

    And yeah, it would be expensive in terms of tabs, but what else would you use a guild bank for? 1 general tab, and 1 tab for each role should cover the vast majority of uses for the guild bank.

  5. Yea, it's definetly a good idea. It's VERY unconventional, but it is a pretty solid idea. Although most officers in raiding guilds are probably intimately knowledgeable of their raiders (at least they should be, otherwise guild drama is very likely), it makes it easier to invite on the spot. Also, if money is an issue tank/physical and caster/healer can be combined into one tab because their potions are similar. An officer tab isn't really necessary either, at least on paper it isn't.

  6. Our guild (Ravens, on Sporeggar EU) uses a set-up of ranks mainly for the guild bank tabs.

    By using the log to see who deposits what, the officers promote you if you donate stuff, and then get access to the better stuff, gold for repairs, etc. We use color coding (Grey, Black, Brown Ravens) to control which tabs and what permissions you have.

    It is very nice and creates a drive in the low-ranked players to participate more in the guild.

    As for different tabs for roles - it's an interesting idea, but you lose the control mentioned above. You might have a tank that you would give high permissions for withdrawal - but what if he is rarely on? Or does not have a gathering profession to donate things?