Monday, January 31, 2011

Gearscore for Guilds

If you look at the new Raid and Guild Leadership forums, you'll see that there's a fair amount of antipathy for Blizzard's new guild levelling scheme. There's a lot of small guild leaders bemoaning the fact that everyone wants perks, so they join the higher level guilds which have unlocked more perks.

While there's probably a little bit of perk-hunting going on, I think that most people are opting for higher-level guilds for a reason closer to the reasons behind Gearscore.

Gearscore was a weak proxy for raid experience which in turn is a weak proxy for effectiveness. People used Gearscore because they wanted to have successful pick-up raids, and didn't really have any other quick and easy method to evaluate strangers.

In the same way, people join guilds for new opportunities. Opportunities to meet new people, do new content, earn a high PvP rank, etc. People leave guilds when they feel they can't obtain those new opportunities.

Guild levels are a weak proxy for activity, which is a weak proxy for opportunities. It's not a big stretch to say that a Level 13 guild is more active than a Level 4 guild. There are probably more people playing regularly and actually doing stuff in the high level guild than the low level guild. And in turn, there's probably more opportunity to do stuff in an active guild than in an inactive guild.

Now, of course this may not be strictly true. For example, the raid team could be fully established, with no room for you. Or the players could be very clique-ish. Or maybe the tenor of guild chat is offensive to you.

But on the whole, that Level 13 guild probably offers more opportunities than the Level 4 guild. So people prefer to join the higher level guilds, even though they are not motivated solely by perks.

Of course, though, this leaves the same problem as Gearscore: how do you bootstrap yourself to a higher level? You need people to become an active guild, but people won't join you until you become an active guild.

I don't really have any solutions for that part.


  1. How does new guilds form?

    In classic, I saw lots of guilds grew out of a group of core friends. They invited people that they grouped with, who they thought were cool, and who thought the guild was cool in return. "friends and family and cool people"

    In raids, lots of guilds existed and recruited to raid. "need to raid, with not cool people".

    In Wrath, elite players split from large guilds to form their elite 10-man guild.
    Sometimes, the spare-parts (members invited to fill a raid on wipefests but don't usually get a raid spot) gets tired of being used and leaves forming their own "breakup guild".

    In Cata, I think it'll be difficult for a disheartened group to say hey let's go make our own new guild - especially with no perks. So then you'd end up with problem (tension and rivalry) existing within the guild, but no one wanting to leave - or at least like you said - go to another Big guild so you won't miss the perks.

  2. I've seen this problem on my own server already where some are just looking to join the highest level guilds. For me thats the Horde side of my server. There are Guilds advertising their level and people flocking to join those guilds, some are. Thus making some those guilds seemingly super sized up much bigger than most were before.

    There are also quite many guilds on my server quite big that have never even heard of at all. Some of these guilds are much bigger than some the legacy guilds that has been around on my server since BC which were more well known guilds and top raiding guilds. So not sure whats up there. But there are many guilds i've never heard of that are quite high level.

    Though as well quite a few the highest level guilds i know of on the server don't advertise either, i guess they are already so large they don't need to or maybe don't want anymore players. There are some players which i have seen in trade specifically searching out to get into the guilds some of these guilds are among the highest level ones guild level wise. Wether they are also the top raiding guilds is a different matter as well.

    I do find on my server there are new guilds forming daily you can tell from trade chat and some are finding it hard to attract new players and thus advertising constantly as a result.

    My own guild is a smallish mid level guild thats been around since BC and most the majority core of the members have known each other since around that long as friends majority of that time. When i restarted playing at Cataclysm i moved back to my old server to play again with my old guild members who some were active. Some have been inactive since late WotLK era. But playing with a few friends were more important that having to search for a guild of strangers. I've leveled 4 my lvl 80's i had since WotLK now to lvl 85 all 4 are at Honored level with my Guild at least that helped my guild to level up.

    Our guild don't advertise much and the GM don't though he's not against taking in any new members. Guild is quite stable. But we take in members very slowly as a result if many at all. Many that are active are all now lvl 85 so as a result the guild level much slowly or what can seem very little especially since we don't have many at all that are less than lvl 80. Yet a decent group of veteran players all around most are that are active. The other half haven't been around much since WotLK.

    What i have found sometime when i do take the time to advertise for out guild is that people often asking what level guild is and perks and if your not close to what the highest level guilds are on the server they no longer have a interest.

    I wont say everyone looking for a guild is like that but quite many are and many are just after the perks that others have already put in the work for to get their guild there to whatever level they are big, medium or small guild.

  3. I'm really surprised on this. I mean our guild maxed out XP every day without any kind of farming. I don't really see how can problems emerge. I mean every active guilds will be 25 in the same month. One in the beginning of the month, the other is at the end, but it's not like there will be lvl 8 and lvl 25 guilds (besides newly started ones)

  4. But is it just reversing the trend?

    One of our issus here for the last couple of expansions, their are too many guilds here, every single guild is constantly recruiting because of lack of members.

    Every single guild in the top 20 has a recruiting post in the first 2 pages of the realm forums. Ahh lets start a new guild and promote ourselves as a future top 5 raiding guild.

  5. The cap for guild leveling is so low that those who are complaining about bigger guilds being far ahead of them just looking for something to complain about.

    I left a huge guild that capped their guild leveling every day. They were level 14 or 15 at the time. I joined a small social guild of about 15 players who had very little time to play. They were level 10. Nowhere near the difference you'd expect.

  6. Question, if people are hopping to the guild with just the maximum perks, would you really want them in your guild anyway? They'd probably hop right on out the second something more opportune presented itself.

  7. I really appreciate this being said. I find that, as I trundle about the game on my daily business, I am relentlessly invited to Such-and-Such's guild, because they're level X and that's justification enough.

    I like to bring a guild up from the ground. This new guild leveling system gives a new sort of involvement in one's guild that I feel has been unparalleled in times past.

    In fact, I don't think someone's guild level should even be mentioned in recruitment. It's rather offensive that people think they can persaude others with offers of candy. Saddening it is that others go for it. Bait and switch.

  8. Gearscore was, and actually is, a plague. It was created by a mediocre player with mediocre achievements.