Topic Guild Bank Sorrows
So I'm in a guild where someone took items out of the guild bank and sold them on the Auction House. We did contact a GM in game about it but were turned away with the line "nothing was actually stolen because he had permission." We have posted on our website a set of rules stating items in the guild bank are for "personal use, not for personal gain" and the rule goes on to state that selling anything from the guild bank on the Auction House is completely unacceptable.
But then when it happens (someone takes a stack of flasks and sells it on the AH for personal profit) Blizzard views it as legit.
So now we are faced with issue of "Do we restrict bank access to Officers only? And make our entire membership go through officers to get withdraws?" One of our members claims MOST guilds do require their membership to go thru Officers. I was wondering how true this is.
Also as a part of our current evaluation of our guild bank, I was wondering how do other guild organize their banks? How many tabs do you have visible to lower ranks? What kind of things do you stock? What kinda of things do players actually withdraw from the bank? etc
Also, is it acceptable in your guild for officers to keep overstock on their personal toons?
Speaking for my guild and all the i have been a GM or officer for yes many items are restricted to officer only. My personal guideline has been popular high end materials flasks ect. need to go through officers or trusted members. If you are running a raiding guild where the guild provides all flasks and consumables for the raid team i would advise doing a weekly draw, give your team a weeks worth of flasks and anything more they must provide themselves. If they sell them and come to the event unprepared then you know who is robbing the guild. Long story short never put anything in a open tab that you actually care if people take them.
For things like flasks, great feasts, and other things for raid use only, they stay in a restricted tab that only officers have access to. Depending, members can drop items into that tab, but not withdraw.
Stuff for leveling up professions are in tabs that are open to members, but have limits on how much per day they can take out dependent on rank.
Trial ranks with extremely limited or no access are common. Taking time to get to know someone and make sure they understand the guild community and rules is good; in game interviews and/or applications can help a lot to weed out chaff and find people who fit the guild concept.
You can make it so someone cannot see a tab, can see but not use, can deposit but not withdraw.
If you've got so much excess that officers have to keep overflow on an alt, you can probably stand to sell off or distribute some things anyway. When we get a ton of cloth and dust in our bank, I grab my tailor and turn them into bags for peoples' alts. Most of my guildies and their alts have no less than 18 slot bags in all of their personal banks, and many 20 slots.
Once our bank gets full of stuff, I let people know it's getting cleaned out, and then a few days later sell off any excess that sells and then put the cash into the GBank. I make sure that members know that's what's happening, too. Stuff that doesn't sell goes back into the bank--there's generally a lot less.
For my small, friendly guilds of close pals, we include the allowance of "if your alt can use something, you can take it--as long as you, guildmate, are using it somehow." But we have a guild culture of people who contribute to the bank while being allergic to removing anything for fear of looking greedy! Also not a lot of need to take stuff, because we have a few very active farmers who provide a lot of raw mats and make things for friends.
Edited by Gigglefoot on 3/24/13 12:40 PM (PDT)
It seems like people always come looking for advice after the fact. I wonder if someone could make a nice sticky on guild bank structure suggestions...
Here's my advice to avoid future issues.
1. Probationary period for new members with no bank (or very little bank) access. I like two weeks; others may have different suggestions.
2. One tab for deposits only. Have one or two officers handle where they go. No other tab should have a deposit feature. This restricts the ability to stack items and remove more than what you deem "fair". In my guild all officers can move items. Each officer is responsible for managing a tab or two. One officer handles the organization and sale of unwanted items in the deposit tab. I can log on, for example, check the deposit tab and all potential raid items and leveling mats will be in certain columns. I can then move them to the appropriate tab or put them in the "sell" column. Each officer handles the surplus and unwanted items in their own tab.
3. Limit access and withdrawal to tabs. As members go up the ranks, they get more access and are allowed to withdraw more items per day. We have one tab for raid items and high end mat storage. Only officers have access to those two tabs.
4. Set up some simple rules for withdrawals and make sure people know what they are. My guild says items are to be used by the toon withdrawing them. You shouldn't withdraw for others, especially those without access. Items are not to be withdrawn for AH sales. Breaking those rules can get you removed from the guild quick.
5. Clear out the junk and things that aren't used. If items sit in a tab too long, we remove them and vendor or put on the AH. The gold goes back into our coffers and the bank stays tidy. I like that :)
Our bank tab system (for a largish social guild):
2. Bags - netherweave and frostweave. We have lots of tailors and we like to be able to supply bags to members who are leveling toons.
3. Leveling mats - items used for leveling various professions.
4. Random stuff - pets, gadgets and a few tasty transmog pieces.
6. MoP mats - gems, cloth, food, leather, ore, bars, enchanting mats...all that stuff you need endgame.
7. Surplus tab - max level mats stored and ready to be placed in neat little stacks in tab 6.
8. Raid tab - items collected by, made by our raid team for our raid team- flasks, gems, food, enchanting mats, etc.
edit for spelling.
Thank you all for your insightful advice! If anyone else sees this thread and would like to add some more advice, I will be checking back periodically. ^_^
Initially, I did not think it was relevant, but several people suggested the probation period (which we already employee). This particular offender has been with the guild for almost a year. Never cause any other type of trouble. In fact, found him quite nice and pleasant. His participation in the guild had earned him "mid-general-membership" rank. Part of Blizzard's response to us was because his account was not compromised. So anyone else looking for Guild Bank advice, keep in mind, it's not necessarily new members that are trying to scam you.
Again thank you everyone! And please anyone else reading this feel free to add more advice for me and anyone else who might stubble across this thread.
6 Gnome Rogue
it's not necessarily new members that are trying to scam you.
Wanted to touch on this point.
It's not the fact that they are "new" or "old" that determines whether someone would try to scam you, it's whether or not they consider their association with your guild community to be more, or less valuable than the items in question.
While there are certainly people out there who hop from guild to guild and take what they can, the majority of the truly damaging issues are caused by the characters who have been in your guild long enough to be "trusted" but who's players have become disenfranchised with the guild, or with the game in general.
I'll never recommend anything other than restricting bank use.
But then, I haven't been part of a guild with any focus on "leveling" in years. So my view of the purpose of guild banks is pretty much that they're there to hold stuff for raiding. I can see how it can be cumbersome if the bank also (or exclusively) holds BoEs of various levels, loads of profession mats and the like, and any time someone wants something, they have to go through an officer.
So you have to work with the tools available and set up your own rules/restrictions/expectations. That means using the GB tools to allow only limited withdrawals, and teir your bank tabs (e.g. tab 1 is all Light Leather, while tab 5 has Trillium Ore and Magnificent Leather), with increasing restriction. Then build a culture within the guild that respects what's in the GB so people think twice before making a withdrawal.
To be honest it depends on how much your guild values its items. What I do is give all raiders access to the high-value tab with flasks and so forth and yet, they could potentially steal 2 stacks. Non-raiders have no need for it. However, my level of caring about flasks is very limited since we go through enough of them to open sweatshop somewhere (in my home office normally). The real good stuff like Blood Spirits, Sha Crystals, Golden Lotuses, etc is kept by me in my bags. This is because a) I am reachable at all hours of the day and night and will provide as necessary and b) the only way they can get stolen is if my account gets hacked, at which point Blizz will reinstate. This won't work for many guilds but has worked for us.
Edited by Kuroyi on 3/25/13 4:08 PM (PDT)
There are several hard and fast rules about access to Guild Banks...everything after that is personal preference.
1) New players and idle players should never have access to anything you can't replace for a few gold. First, you'll want to restrict recruits from having damaging access. Second, idle players are hack-targets, so after some time you should consider demoting them to a rank with no permissions.
2) High value items need to be kept away from people you don't trust implicitly. It's great if you want to make flasks for the guild to use, but you can't leave them out for anyone to take. Or, if you do leave them out understand that someone will use them; consider them already gone and don't get upset if they're taken.
3) Almost no one needs deposit access, even to tabs that they can withdraw from. One, you don't need dummies cluttering things up. Two, this prevents people from stacking items and withdrawing stacks; it also allows you to break stacks out into individual items for people to use one-per-day.
However you organize the guild bank and ranks, you should adhere to these three rules.
As an example, for a while I used 3 tabs to offer every glyph available. I designed it so that new members could withdraw 1 item from these three tabs. It acted as both a honeypot and useful guild service: if someone withdrew another class' glyph I pegged them as an inconsiderate player and not to be promoted. With 1 glyph per day, you could fill a new alt's most preferred abilities in as little as one week, and it shows responsible use of guild resources.
Currently I have 3 tabs dedicated to regular Member Perks, Veteran Perks, and Champion Perks, based on the expansions of the game (Champion contains Pandaran items). I still limit all new members to 1 withdraw from the Member Perks tab. Instead of glyphs, Member Perks now has items like Netherweave Bags, Dust of Disappearance and other low-level items that can go missing without making me cry.
But, even Champion characters are limited to just a few withdraws per day, and still have no access to the final 2 storage tabs.
Officers have expanded access to all but the last tab, which is mine (sue me). I reserve that tab for anything even co-founders don't need access to. Can't be too safe...
Why would blizzard view it as any other than legit? They give you rules to go by - allowances for people to take stuff out or put stuff and the ability to restrict it from 0 to (not sure how). Any further rules you place are personal guild rules that blizzard has nothing to do with.
Hopefully your response to the person who blatantly broke the guild rules was:
/gkick <insert name here>
Yes you can lock down the guild bank and hassle your officers every time they log on with requests to get stuff out. Or you can watch the kind of people you recruit.
Or, go a middle ground. Keep a tab or two of high end stuff that you want to keep tabs on and really don't want to lose. have the rest of the bank be stuff that you dont mind losing if you let somebody in who doesn't follow the rules.
A lot of it will depend on the kind of guild you run and more importantly, the size. The smaller the guild the easier the bank rules can be.
But then when it happens (someone takes a stack of flasks and sells it on the AH for personal profit) Blizzard views it as legit.
Because it is - you gave them permission to withdraw X stacks, they did. Your guild rules, aside from living your web server where you could easily change them, are just some stuff you wrote, it's not part of the actual game. Blizzard doesn't want to hire people to interpret badly written possibly changeable rules from a bunch of websites; they give you a way to control who has access, and it's up to you to deal with anyone who abuses that access. If Blizzard did try to enforce everyone's badly written and unwritten rules, they would need a lot more GM staff, and they would probably rather ditch guild banks than spend huge amounts of money to support them, so they leave the responsibility to the players.
Ok, now that the op has been told, several times, why it is the guildmasters job to ensure the security of the guild bank...not blizzard's job....
You learned another very important thing with that abuse of your bank. You learned something about a specific guildie. Does that guildie still have access? Still a guildie? If so, why? It's up to you to decide, on behalf of your guild, what the best course of action is regarding that guildie. And then you must take that action.
No matter how you organize your guild bank.
If this individual is unable to work within your honor system and follow your guild rules. I would suggest demoting them to a rank with No access, or remove them from the guild altogether for a severe policy violation.
How are your other members going to react if you do not take steps now. They will see this as an opportunity for their own self gain, or all of your membership will just stop contributing since your "guild rules" are not enforced.
Another suggestion: Include on your guild policy what ramifications there are to violations of the stated policies. You should also post these policies on the GB Info Tabs. Each bank tab has it's own Info Tab.
just explained it here
<usually have to repost how we organize our guild every few years here
as far as him taking stuff, it is correct unless he was hacked and u lock his account until the real owner can unlock it, u gave them permission
our current bank and rank system might help u though
we have 4 tabs so far.
stuff- newbros cant even look at it, members get 1 stack goons and raiders 2
LW/cloth- members get 1 stack, goons and raiders 2
GM tab- no one but me can even look in it
gems- no one gets into this besides 1 stack for raiders. no one but raiders can look.
Also - on the tabs that you allow some access but separate into less than full stacks, be SURE to disable deposit rights.
It can help to make sure that someone with 1 stack allotment can only pull 2 flasks for LFR, instead of combining the stacks to a full one and pulling the full 20.
We have a probationary period of 1 month for new members with no gbank access. Sometimes it seems long, and other times it goes so quick. This gives us time to get to know them, and for them to get to know us. If a new member rarely shows up, they don't get promoted. If they fail to show up for 3 months, they are removed. They really aren't serious about being part of our guild which is casual.
Originally, our guild founders set up the gbank to only allow mains to withdraw. Their logic was that withdrawals should be equal between players. If someone has 10 toons versus 3 toons, should the person with more toons have access to more stuff? It's kind of fair, but it is also a pain to only be able to withdraw on a main. Most people didn't bother. The officers concluded that it would benefit our guild to have more people train up profs to help the guild. So we opened prof tabs up to alts. This is in the context that we do not sell or buy from guildies on anything. If we help a guildie gear up, then we help our guild succeed in raiding. It avoids misunderstandings and drama.
We have a blue gear+ tab where we encourage any donations of blue and purple BOE gear to be put. It helps us as guild to have better geared people and any contributions are welcomed.
We allow every page to be viewed and deposited in. I have been in guilds that had a deposit only page. I was that officer spending so much time transfering items to the correct page. It's a pain to do. I prefer to have the pages set up to allow ranks of trusted people to get what they need.
We have a raid supply page that has flasks and food for people. We have a rank for long-term committed raiders who have access to this page and of course officers.
We also have a locked page that only officers can access and give items out for. These are rares and items that could be taken advantage of.
Our rule is that items can be used to improve your personal gear, improve an alts gear, or improve profs. All of these help the guild. However, if someone takes guild items to sell on AH for their own profit, they are stealing from the guild because mats needed to improve guildies are gone. We had a 13-year-old kid do that awhile back. My officer who was managing the bank saw his excessive and frequent withdrawels. He was using gbank mats for profit. We moved him to new member rank with no gbank acccess. Since he was young, I wanted to help him if possible. He never logged on again and was removed from the guild.
You are not the first post on these forums to find a longer-time member of a guild turns out to be out for themselves and take advantage of the guild. My sympathies to you. I don't know what could help to solve that. My only offer of help is to watch people under pressure. How do handle it? How do they handle people? The ones who do well are our officer candidates.
Be well, I hope thnigs work better for you.
Edited by Sarabande on 3/29/13 3:46 AM (PDT)
We have tiers of permission. For us, initiates can see what we have but can't remove anything. Our officers know who's who and will give things to people when they are appropriate items. The next rank up can take a few stacks from some of the tabs. The second rank from the bottom (not including the hacked/inactive rank, which also has no permission) is reached at about a month after joining the guild, if the person is active on their guild toon and hasn't done anything to warrant NOT being promoted.
The last tab - where we keep flasks, current gems and enchants, lvl 90 gear, etc. is restricted to the Guild Leaders, Officers and Veterans. GLs and Officers can remove quite a bit (since they are responsible for getting things for people) while veterans (who have been loyal members of the guild for close to a year, participating in the guild on a regular basis) can take a few items for themselves. We're a small guild so we can keep track of people, who they are, etc pretty easily though. Our officers know to make sure that the requests make sense. Also, we are pretty careful with who we bring in. Still you can't be too careful.
In the very early days of the Guild Bank, we had pretty loose permissions. Someone promoted a new person too soon and at that rank, they took as much as they could. Looking at the log, it made no sense since he couldn't use all of the items. I looked on the AH and there they were - at least 2 of the 5 items he took. I spoke about this briefly to one of the officers (I was temporary GL at the time, the officer's dad was the actual GL, but now I am) and then promptly gkicked the person. If I can't trust the person, they have no place in our guild. If they think doing this is OK, they have no place in our guild.
I now have this in my rules - no one is to take items from the bank to sell for personal monetary gains. However, sometimes I or the officers will take things out to make space, and then put whatever gold we got back into the bank. (Unless they're just cheap items we vendor for space). We encourage new people (and those who are interested in joining) to visit our site. Our rules are right there on the home page. I've also posted this on the guild vault tab notes. Unfortunately, I don't know if everyone knows this even exists. At least that way, it's in writing.
I'd say live and learn from this. I'm not saying you have to restrict EVERYTHING, but consider what is valuable to you and keep the permissions conservative. Consider how and when you promote people. Keep your eyes out on the tabs. Make it known that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.