What's worse than both of those things, though? Despite almost every Wow player out there now knowing ICC like the backs of their hands, despite the huge 30% buff, my guild was still wiping on normal mode Putricide. Still wiping on normal Blood Queen, and still wiping on normal Dreamwalker. I got sick of looking forward to the raid, turning up in a cheerful, optimistic mood, only for said mood to gradually deteriorate over the course of the night as I ran through the mists of death again, or shook my head at an incomprehensible (and unexplained) loot council decision.
Instead of continuing to turn up night after night only to have a rather unenjoyable time, I decided it was time to move on. I wanted a challenge, and I was sick of being a "casual raider". So I applied to one of the most progressed guilds on my server and was accepted. So far I've only raided with them a few times, but both times have been joking, laughing, exciting boss-killing fun!
Yes, that's right. Wow had become fun again.
The huge difference between this guild and my previous guild got me thinking about just what makes a guild "good". I've played on many different servers, and on each one there have been a few guilds that were widely understood to be "good" guilds and many guilds that were either bad, or just average. These "good" guilds were usually more progressed than the others, and always had more than their fair share of applications even when they weren't recruiting. But just what makes such guilds work so well?
I had a bit of a think, and to me, the following list contains some of the reasons good guilds are good. If you have reasons of your own, please feel free to mention them in a comment. Perhaps they, along with my list, will assist brand new GMs to create the environment they most desire.
- A Competent GM (or Leadership Group)
- An Excellent Raid Leader
- A Strong Officer Group
- Skilled and Dedicated Players
- A Strong, Cohesive Social Atmosphere
A whole new list could be made about this sub-topic. There are many things that make a good GM. In a broad sense, however, a good GM is confident with leadership, dedicated to the guild, optimistic and encouraging. A guild with a good GM is a guild with direction. If this guild falls into trouble, someone will be there with the will to pull it out.
We all know what one of these sounds like. This is the man or woman with the confidence and knowledge to guide a 10 or 25-person raid. He or she knows all the strats, every class' abilities, every boss' abilities, and can either yell or coax depending on what the situation requires. Having a great raid leader is absolutely essential to having a good guild, because a great raid leader more often than not means the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful raid.
These guys often do the hard work in a guild, or have the specific knowledge to back up the raid leader, so it's vital to have competent officers. The number of officers can vary wildly, but the main thing is that they are a cohesive, functioning group as well as talented individuals.
Players are not just a bunch of sheep to be herded, protesting, toward a goal. "Good" guilds will be full of "good" players. There are many different kinds of good players, but to generalise, a good player is dedicated, naturally skilled, knowledgeable (or willing to learn) and has a positive attitude.
To round out my list, I believe a good guild should have a good social atmosphere. Many people log on just to raid, especially during that grey area before an expansion. But there should always be a group of players, the bigger the better, who log on at other times too - just because they like the game and they like hanging out with each other. The more people like hanging out with one another, the more they'll want to maintain the social constructs that allow them to do so - ie the guild.