Creating a strong(er) guild presence

90 Troll Shaman
15030
Greetings all. I am going to give you a little back story before I go into what I am trying to do.

My fiance and I transferred from our old realm to our current one, and joined a small guild ran by a friend of mine (this is near the end of August 2011). The guild leader decides somewhere in mid November to quit WoW and fully prep for SWtoR. I effectively become the guild master, and in reality, nothing changes because most of the guild thought I was GM anyways because I handled basically everything for the guild. [SIDE NOTE: The guild is around level 3 when I join, and through guild effort we are around level 12 when I become active GM] This whole time we're trying to START a raid team to clear T11 and start into T12, while people are already progressing Heroic T12. We have a solid team, DS starts, and we push hard. We lose about 4 raiders, and thus start the struggle to recruit raiders and members. All in all, we don't get a semi-regular roster until guilds on our realm are 3/8H and we're barely 5/8N. By the time we are level 21 and 1/8H, the old GM comes back demanding full privlege of the guild, we have a coup d'état, and the guild name is changed. We are currently 5/8H, still trying to maintain a more stable roster, with guilds selling 8/8H runs in their sleep.

Okay, that was a long back story. But I feel it was semi-relevant. As it stands, we have happened to recruit people for pugs (or for guild/raid membership) that have had 8/8H on farm on multiple characters while my guild is still struggling. This has been very demoralizing among the team, and has given us trouble recruiting people to join the guild/raid team, more-so now that MoP is so close.
I have actually been asked by a few of my members to post here to see what others think we could do to make our guild presence stronger. We want a small-medium sized guild (as one of my officers put it "70 unique accounts, with maybe 30-40 active on a near daily basis, and 55+ active at least 3 days a week"). While we understand getting a strong standing when less than 2 months remain in the expansion is unreasonable, we do want people to slightly recognize us when MoP launches, and recruit a substantial amount of people so we can have 2-3 10-man teams running, or a 10-man and a 25-man. Now, we know that in MoP that is more likely to happen, but we need a way/tactic to make people want to join us, and not one of the 10-20 other well known guilds on our server.

Now, if you've been patient with me through that wall of text, I greatly appreciate it, and on behalf of my guild would like to hear any and all suggestions or solutions you may have for us. I can also answer any questions if I was confusing or unclear about something.
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90 Human Paladin
9095
Greetings all. I am going to give you a little back story before I go into what I am trying to do.

My fiance and I transferred from our old realm to our current one, and joined a small guild ran by a friend of mine (this is near the end of August 2011). The guild leader decides somewhere in mid November to quit WoW and fully prep for SWtoR. I effectively become the guild master, and in reality, nothing changes because most of the guild thought I was GM anyways because I handled basically everything for the guild. [SIDE NOTE: The guild is around level 3 when I join, and through guild effort we are around level 12 when I become active GM] This whole time we're trying to START a raid team to clear T11 and start into T12, while people are already progressing Heroic T12. We have a solid team, DS starts, and we push hard. We lose about 4 raiders, and thus start the struggle to recruit raiders and members. All in all, we don't get a semi-regular roster until guilds on our realm are 3/8H and we're barely 5/8N. By the time we are level 21 and 1/8H, the old GM comes back demanding full privlege of the guild, we have a coup d'état, and the guild name is changed. We are currently 5/8H, still trying to maintain a more stable roster, with guilds selling 8/8H runs in their sleep.

Okay, that was a long back story. But I feel it was semi-relevant. As it stands, we have happened to recruit people for pugs (or for guild/raid membership) that have had 8/8H on farm on multiple characters while my guild is still struggling. This has been very demoralizing among the team, and has given us trouble recruiting people to join the guild/raid team, more-so now that MoP is so close.
I have actually been asked by a few of my members to post here to see what others think we could do to make our guild presence stronger. We want a small-medium sized guild (as one of my officers put it "70 unique accounts, with maybe 30-40 active on a near daily basis, and 55+ active at least 3 days a week"). While we understand getting a strong standing when less than 2 months remain in the expansion is unreasonable, we do want people to slightly recognize us when MoP launches, and recruit a substantial amount of people so we can have 2-3 10-man teams running, or a 10-man and a 25-man. Now, we know that in MoP that is more likely to happen, but we need a way/tactic to make people want to join us, and not one of the 10-20 other well known guilds on our server.

Now, if you've been patient with me through that wall of text, I greatly appreciate it, and on behalf of my guild would like to hear any and all suggestions or solutions you may have for us. I can also answer any questions if I was confusing or unclear about something.


Having returned to WoW this past spring and spent the last 3 months trying to rebuild, I can completely sympathize where you're coming from. And it sucks, doesn't it? LOL.

Anyways, depending on the population of your realm, you may have some unrealistic expectations in terms of recruiting enough for several teams. I would concentrate/expect to be able to gather together ONE team for now. And the best way to get your name out there is to PUG.

Yes, I know. Everyone hates pugging. That is the single-most effective tactic I've found in making friends on your realm, recruiting and getting your name out there. Doesn't matter if it's heroics or raids...we get a LOT of people thru pugging.

Make sure you are using all of your advertising options (trade, realm forums and guild recruitment).

For some guilds, realm-wide activities can be really awesome activities at getting your name out there. Since I've returned, I've seen a lot of fashion show type activities on my realm as well as some PVP activities.

Also, if you want high activity from those who are in the guild, make sure you make that clear from the start. I have a 7 day inactivity limit and remove those people every week. Our core community is active on a daily basis with a few who only log in on weekends and the best way to ensure you have a highly active community is to remove those who can't commit to it. I know removing people is opposite from what you want right now and are likely happy to get every recruit that you can, but if you value quality > quantity, you really DO have to remove people.

Hope this helps a little!
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6685
Right now, recruiting is still going to be hard for everyone. If you are dealing with roster issues right now, you'll probably have some of the same issues up until Mists.

I'm not sure what your presence has been for recruiting off server, but when I had roster issues I made sure to spend a lot of time looking for gems from other servers. At this stage, this may be harder without having 8/8H. Your best bet for off server recruitment is to look for those diamonds in the rough and maybe give people you wouldn't normally give a shot, a chance. Gear will be meaning less and less and you are more looking for someone that has demonstrated they know what they are doing.

As for on server, you just need to stay active and vigilant in your look for members. With people gearing up for MoP, you will find people no longer with raid slots in their old guilds and you may be able to get some from other guilds if you are actively recruiting in trade or anything like that.

What I will caution as incredibly important, do NOT use "led by 8/8H leadership" or any variation in any recruitment message. When you do that, especially when you don't have it in the guild, and people show up to trial or even just pug with you and you end up not being able to deliver, you will sour your reputation on the server and with your potential trials.

As an off note, you may want to consider talking to other guilds about what they are doing to get content down. I've come across many diverse strategies in the many runs I've been in. Some of even the smallest changes had a drastic effect on how the raid turned out. It may also be a good time to look at your members and make sure they aren't letting their characters suffer with the end of expansion blues. Since you are still pushing, it is important to make sure that people are actually optimizing themselves.

Feel free to shoot me an ingame message when I am around if you wish to discuss this further. I can probably be more helpful with more specific and targeted questions. ^.^
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90 Orc Warrior
17225
Your story sounds eerily similar to a guild on my realm (even the number of bosses downed at the time of the coup is the same... weird). In any case, I can definitely relate to your situation as I had a similar situation happen to me in March, which led to me assuming leadership of my current guild.

I think the best approach is be honest with who you are and who your guild as a whole is. Don't worry about other guilds being further progressed; unless you're Korean and has a guild named 즐거운공격대, you're worse than somebody (at least for T13). There is a niche for every type of guild out there and quite frankly a 5/8 H guild isn't THAT bad. There are plenty of guilds who are 2/8 H (Morchok and Ultraxion, lol) and will not do any better. If you really feel you have capable and loyal raiders, then you have vast potential. However be honest with reality. Just because you may have the potential to be a great raiding guild does not mean that you are one. Be honest, recruit people of similar pedigrees, and tell them of your aspirations. Be realistic, and set realistic goals. Don't say "we will be server first in MoP!!! Yeah!!!" Because that just sounds like BS, especially on a large server like KJ. If you are honest with people, you will gain their respect and the right people will join your guild.
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85 Goblin Priest
10480
I think guild recruitment forums are the way to go and be very clear what your expectations are and where you currently are at. Yesterday I changed from a guild that has done 3/8 heroic to 8/8 reg due to two facts. One their raiding time was perfect for me and second their values lined up with mine. (My prevoius guild had the values but the raid time was impacting on my life and I loved them dearly but had to put life first). They are currently recruiting for MoP and I have taken a chance that the reason why their raiding guild fell apart was true. People have different reasons why they joined a guild...so I believe, as other said, there will be diamonds out there, search guild recruitment and advertise. And also grab those people now who are new to raiding, give them a chance. My prevoius guild took me on with no raiding skills and I have been with them with for a year (and would of been longer if I could of made it work) and I was really bad. So bad that if they were not building from the ground up I think I would of got booted. After me perfecting my class I had four offers to join other guild thru pugs that raided with me and my guild. Not on this toon.....on my main. so stink players that are willing to learn are out there. And I was very active in my guild and I think a fair few people knew me on my own realm just by helping out. helping other does create a presence.
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90 Troll Shaman
15030
Thank you to all who have posted here with suggestions and aide.

Anyways, depending on the population of your realm, you may have some unrealistic expectations in terms of recruiting enough for several teams. I would concentrate/expect to be able to gather together ONE team for now. And the best way to get your name out there is to PUG.

Yes, I know. Everyone hates pugging. That is the single-most effective tactic I've found in making friends on your realm, recruiting and getting your name out there. Doesn't matter if it's heroics or raids...we get a LOT of people thru pugging.

Make sure you are using all of your advertising options (trade, realm forums and guild recruitment).

For some guilds, realm-wide activities can be really awesome activities at getting your name out there. Since I've returned, I've seen a lot of fashion show type activities on my realm as well as some PVP activities.

Also, if you want high activity from those who are in the guild, make sure you make that clear from the start. I have a 7 day inactivity limit and remove those people every week. Our core community is active on a daily basis with a few who only log in on weekends and the best way to ensure you have a highly active community is to remove those who can't commit to it. I know removing people is opposite from what you want right now and are likely happy to get every recruit that you can, but if you value quality > quantity, you really DO have to remove people.

Hope this helps a little!

Kil'jaeden is actually a pretty large realm, and even being a realist, I find it plausible to have at least two teams: one progression and one for-fun/alt team. As far as pugging, do you mean just randomly recruit to do random raids, or do you mean still pug to get our weekly DS? We are still doing the latter. I have not yet posted a single thing on the realm forums or guild recruitment forums. I just haven't fully thought out what I would be posting, because a few things are changing in MoP. It's also rough to get casuals that may or may not want to raid and not be able to give them a raiding spot when I have an "active" team, though that may just be my own moral dilemma. But I will take this all and try to apply it the best I can.

I'm not sure what your presence has been for recruiting off server, but when I had roster issues I made sure to spend a lot of time looking for gems from other servers. At this stage, this may be harder without having 8/8H. Your best bet for off server recruitment is to look for those diamonds in the rough and maybe give people you wouldn't normally give a shot, a chance. Gear will be meaning less and less and you are more looking for someone that has demonstrated they know what they are doing.

As for on server, you just need to stay active and vigilant in your look for members. With people gearing up for MoP, you will find people no longer with raid slots in their old guilds and you may be able to get some from other guilds if you are actively recruiting in trade or anything like that.

I have not yet tried recruiting off-realm, partially because while the raid roster isn't full, I'd feel bad if someone transferred and wasn't a good fit (again, probably just my own moral dilemma). The other part is that while I want more than one raid team active, I also would like to see some generic active people who just want to chill. Maybe in that sense my expectations are too high, I don't know. But off-realm recruiting looks like it may be worth a shot. Any tips on that?

08/13/2012 04:29 PMPosted by Elgunaz
I think the best approach is be honest with who you are and who your guild as a whole is. Don't worry about other guilds being further progressed; unless you're Korean and has a guild named 즐거운공격대, you're worse than somebody (at least for T13). There is a niche for every type of guild out there and quite frankly a 5/8 H guild isn't THAT bad. There are plenty of guilds who are 2/8 H (Morchok and Ultraxion, lol) and will not do any better. If you really feel you have capable and loyal raiders, then you have vast potential. However be honest with reality. Just because you may have the potential to be a great raiding guild does not mean that you are one. Be honest, recruit people of similar pedigrees, and tell them of your aspirations. Be realistic, and set realistic goals. Don't say "we will be server first in MoP!!! Yeah!!!" Because that just sounds like BS, especially on a large server like KJ. If you are honest with people, you will gain their respect and the right people will join your guild.

That is exactly what I plan to do. :) Sometimes it's the fact that I can't promise things that just turns people far away. It's even worse when I do trial a person and I can promise like 3/8H and we can't do it due to them, or if I promise small to moderate activity in-guild and suddenly no one plays for a week.
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90 Troll Shaman
15030
08/14/2012 01:07 AMPosted by Bixter
I think guild recruitment forums are the way to go and be very clear what your expectations are and where you currently are at. Yesterday I changed from a guild that has done 3/8 heroic to 8/8 reg due to two facts. One their raiding time was perfect for me and second their values lined up with mine. (My prevoius guild had the values but the raid time was impacting on my life and I loved them dearly but had to put life first). They are currently recruiting for MoP and I have taken a chance that the reason why their raiding guild fell apart was true. People have different reasons why they joined a guild...so I believe, as other said, there will be diamonds out there, search guild recruitment and advertise. And also grab those people now who are new to raiding, give them a chance. My prevoius guild took me on with no raiding skills and I have been with them with for a year (and would of been longer if I could of made it work) and I was really bad. So bad that if they were not building from the ground up I think I would of got booted. After me perfecting my class I had four offers to join other guild thru pugs that raided with me and my guild. Not on this toon.....on my main. so stink players that are willing to learn are out there. And I was very active in my guild and I think a fair few people knew me on my own realm just by helping out. helping other does create a presence.

Another suggestion to use the guild recruitment forums tells me I'm overlooking something very useful by not going there. I shall head there to see what others are saying in their post, and devise my own!
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90 Orc Warrior
17225

That is exactly what I plan to do. :) Sometimes it's the fact that I can't promise things that just turns people far away. It's even worse when I do trial a person and I can promise like 3/8H and we can't do it due to them, or if I promise small to moderate activity in-guild and suddenly no one plays for a week.


This is to be expected at the end of the expansion. My guild has basically been reduced to showing up one night a week to clear DS, then do very little. We used to do DS progression on Thur/Sat, and do an alt run on Friday and then a FL run on Monday. Then we do RBGs on Sundays. So as you can see, guild activity has dropped significantly. Luckily people still log on and at least do transmog runs and stuff, which is good. However you can't expect people to be hustling and bustling this late into an expansion.

If people are unhappy with what you can promise, then they are not what you need. Period. Don't worry it's not just you, I've had applicants who are 8/8 N demand a permanent full time spot from my 8/8 H group (not "I would like to get there someday", but "give this to me or we're done"). People expect unrealistic things for themselves and want to be carried, again because it's late in the expansion. With every guild bleeding members it's become more of a 'buyer's market' (where the guilds are selling themselves while people are shopping for guilds) and so lots of undeserving or mediocre players slip into otherwise decent guilds and get carried to various heroic kills. These people will be benched and replaced if they can't cut it when MoP drops and raiding is reverted to 0% status.

Also, do not take any crap from trials. They are a trial because you want to see if they're a good fit for your guild. If their suck is preventing you from kills, then they are not what you need. From experience running a 10 man I know that even with 1-2 new people we can generally successfully get every kill. If we can't, then likely one of the recruits is severely under-performing. For instance on our 3rd week after we got our first H DW kill, we couldn't get a repeat kill because a recruit did approximately 1/4th the damage on congealing bloods than another guy of the same spec and less gear. He never got invited back to H DW since.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6685
The same things that apply to on-server recruitment apply, for the most part, to recruiting off server. Be honest and upfront about what you've accomplished and what you want to do. Explain what has held you back without blaming or whining about others. All you'll have to do is, "I know we can do more than this, but roster issues have definitely hurt our progression." And, as I said, you may have to look more at people that have the potential, rather than people that have demonstrated they can do what you need.

My strategy for recruiting has always been a bit less orthodox. In large, I don't deal with applications. I would initiate conversation, giving some background information on the guild, either through RealID or through a post asking them to get in contact with me so we can organize a Vent chat. This Vent conversation puts a human 'face' to your guild and it is much easier to persuade people to consider your group as an option. It also allows you to allow your potential recruit to possibly chat with some of your members and get a feel for the guild's personality.

But as I mentioned before, you need to make sure that you guys are not just saying you are capable of the content. It is important to make sure that your group, especially since they are still progressing, are min-maxing as much as possible. It also shows that your people are serious about content and at least create the appearance they are capable. I know before I started my guild and I was looking for guild that that was an important thing. It was also one of the things that helped my decision to leave my old guild (the GM was tanking with awful stats during progression). I'm aware that sometimes people may be capable of doing things without doing this, but it is important from a trial's perspective to show you are confident, capable, and taking things serious.

I would, as another poster suggested, focus on getting on one solid team up and running then move from there.
Edited by Seináre on 8/14/2012 9:03 AM PDT
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90 Human Warrior
16770
I've actually found the past few weeks has been fantastic for recruiting. We occasionally need a filler for our progression team and are getting some quality players. While many of them are not necessarily joining they are often offering their services to return next week and help with progression.

What is really helping us kick butt in recruitment though is our off nights. Simply put we are staying active and staying visible. Every friday we are running icc25 heroic for shadowmourne shards. I've actually started turning away recruits from those runs as we've had such a huge influx.

We've also found that many, many players are simply finding themselves in dead guilds. People want to take a break to avoid burnout or recover from it. They want a break before playing hardcore in MoP. 2 or 3 people from a guild leave, activity is down. Players have less incentive to log in because their friends aren't there. Its a trickle down effect that has been happening the past few months. We're taking advantage of it. Try to do the same.

Although it sounds like you are doing what we are doing. I can only guess at why you are struggling. It could be a number of things: raid environment may just not be enjoyable (for any number of reasons), 8/8h could expect too much so maybe try taking people with 3/8H or even 5/8h or even 1/8 or no heroic and test them them out to recruit them up. Loot rules may be prohibitive to puggers. You took over this guild recently, perhaps they have a bad reputation that you'll need to recover from.

One thing I always do with puggers is to include them in the banter. A good example is a pug I put together the other night. We had 5 guildies who were new members. I got 5 puggers, one of them a rogue collecting clusters. When I posted loot rules I referred to the rogue and said something along the lines of, "elementium clusters will to go esmxxxx only if he pays each of us 5k per cluster" Just a little joke. I immediately stated it was a joke so there was no confusion. But my guild always does this kind of stuff. I've pugged into runs where the guilds members just go about their normal banter and ignore me. I'm a means to an end. Its not bad or wrong or evil. But imagine if your guild treats puggers like a means to an end. Will they be interested in coming on board?
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90 Human Paladin
9095
08/14/2012 06:49 AMPosted by Dalent
I have not yet posted a single thing on the realm forums or guild recruitment forums. I just haven't fully thought out what I would be posting, because a few things are changing in MoP.


Then this is exactly where you should start. You really shouldn't be recruiting until you're able to full flesh out your guild: raiding schedule, raiding type, other types of activities that you'll offer, the type of people you want, etc etc.

You can't make your presence stronger until you HAVE a presence. Get those things figured out and you'll be more able to target your recruiting efforts.
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90 Troll Shaman
15030
Again, thank you all for your input. I know I'm probably coming across as totally ignorant, but I really just like minute details more than I probably should.

With that said, here comes a stupid question: do you think an active guild site (or even a semi-inactive one) would be beneficial? Or is that a "depends on your guild" type thing? And do you think it might be helpful? As it stands, we have a Facebook group, and those of us in it are sorta active on it, but some people don't want to join.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6685
Again, thank you all for your input. I know I'm probably coming across as totally ignorant, but I really just like minute details more than I probably should.

With that said, here comes a stupid question: do you think an active guild site (or even a semi-inactive one) would be beneficial? Or is that a "depends on your guild" type thing? And do you think it might be helpful? As it stands, we have a Facebook group, and those of us in it are sorta active on it, but some people don't want to join.


That is not a stupid question.

Unless your site serves a purpose and it is used, it really is a waste of time and energy. Few people are just randomly going to stumble upon it. Most people are going to be directed there or will be looking specifically for your guild. In those cases, it can be good to have one if that is how your group operates for recruitment.

We once tried to set up a forum for our guild to exchange information and have discussions. It really didn't gain us anything. We have long since stopped using it. It was a good experiment, but we just don't have a need for such a thing.

We also run a Facebook group that you can join by choice. It has been a good way for us to stay connected as the word can be then passed through the g%!#!vine.

If there is some unique need for you to have a site, then it is probably going to be a good idea to set up one up. But just for, "Well other guilds have them and these features are kind of cool." is not a reason to set up a site, at least in my mind. It can be good to post rules, but that may become more important as your guild grows and specifically on the nature of your guild (we don't do this as we are more laid back and just the way we are set up).

Also, Astarae's advice is solid.
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