Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Guild Size

Nothing eventful from last night, just some random heroics to knock out achievements (Ramps, Durnhold, Seth. Halls). I was able to AoE Chain-pull them all, which was a nice change from way back pre-kara, when I spent three hours in a pre-nerf Heroic Durnholde before deciding it was impossible. 

Therefore, I look to some meta-discussion of WoW. Today - Guild Size!

I consider my guild "small". I suppose I define small in that the large majority of the guild logs on for every raid, and members can easily get into raids more often then not. We've never had to call a raid for lack of members, although on one or two occasions we've had to take some alts if a strange composition is required. A Breakdown by rank...

GM: 1
Officers: 8 (2 Healing, 2 Magical DPS, 2 Physical DPS, 1 Tank, 1 DKP)
Core: 16
Raider: 16
Probation: 3

Out of these 44 potential raiding members, we'll have anywhere from 25-35 log on. If its farmed content, everyone typically gets in for at least part of the night. The breakdown by role is...

Healers: 13 (4 Shamans, 3 Druids, 2 Priests, 4 Paladins)
Tanks: 5 (2 Warriors, 2 Druids, 1 Paladin)
Physical DPS: 10 (2 Shamans, 3 Rogues, 1 Paladin, 1 Warrior, 3 Hunters)
Magical DPS: 16 (3 Priests, 2 Shamans, 2 Druids, 4 Warlocks, 5 Mages)

Now, this only reflects current raiders. We have some MIA people, but this is generally the right ratio.

Why is it sized the way it is? There are a few, really good reasons I like being on the smaller end of guilds. The biggest, is that people get more playtime. When considering the guild - LOKI can progress faster because everyone can experience/learn progression content faster, and there are less bodies to gear up with the set amount of epics. From a personal standpoint, people are more likely to get to raid each night, if not for at least part of the night. I see it as win-win, as long as people can play the majority of the raid nights. Smaller guilds are also easier to manage. There are less people to recruit/evaluate, less to provide resist gear for, ect. 

I also like the idea that all of our members are part of the "A" team. We don't have room for bad players. We recruit such that everyone is interchangeable - If I can't trust a mage to spellsteal, or a warlock to ranged tank something, or a healer to keep an assigned target up - why keep them in the guild? 

The whole A Team / B Team idea completely blows my mind. We have two guilds on my server I would classify as "large" guilds. Both run two 25 mans at a time, and have two separate teams. What I can't understand, is how they've managed to work out that their B team (typically) clears 4/5 Hyjal, and 6/9 BT while A team is in Sunwell, and then their A team takes the raid ID and kills the T6 dropping bosses the next night while B team does T5.  Oh, and A team can take any B team member out of that raid, at any time, as a replacement.

I don't know how the B-team farmers put up with it. I don't know how A team members can be so selfish. The idea that a guild can operate under this kind of "only we get to progress and see top content while you clear trash bosses" is boggling.

And while I know that not all "large" guilds take advantage of their players like this, the A Team / B Team mentality is sure to form in some way. There will be better players, worse players, and people making the easy choice of which to bring to hard content. I can see no advantage of having a large guild where people get to raid infrequently - the benefit of being able to stack a raid any which way seem to pale in comparison to having experienced players.

Anyway. I run a small guild, and love it. I image that most people's guild falls somewhere between the two examples I've listed, and I'd like to hear exactly where. How big is your guild, and why does that work / not work for you?


Talldar said...

We're 14 members, tendency growing. It's enough to do 10-mans once a week, and since that's enough for the most of us it's a good match.

We manage to get some Puggers aboard every once in a while because we tend to keep a relaxed and fun atmosphere in our raids / groups, and I hope we'll grow up to about 25-30, essentially giving us the opportunity to do 25man modes of dungeons later in wotlk.

It works great for me because small means no drama, strong bonds, knowing each other very well and it gives a very personal atmosphere. We're really picky in who we recruit. To us, atmosphere is more important than size / success.

Herc said...

Guilds that separates A team and B team usually don't last a month if theyre not one of the top guilds in the server.

And even then people eventually move if they know they have the gear/skill or know the right people and not getting enough raid time.

Guilds that do simultaneous raids succesfuly for a long period of time ... well there's not really many of them. The ones that do, they have a strong structured system and of course a good base of followers.

With Wrath coming up you will see some top guilds over recruiting ALOT and I mean alot, this is really common. They do this to cover their base and to see for the first few months who they want to keep. Eventually their size will go back to around 35+ raiders not 50+ with people getting kicked/leaving.

Why do some guilds do this? Because they can. People come and go and the officers want to have the guild keep going. Why would the raiders join guilds like this? IMO it's taking a chance that you'll get in the "A" team cause of the status of the guild see, see content get some purplz. If not some people will move on.

kahalm said...

We are 20 aktive accounts and know each other in RL (We even live in the same city). Fortunatly only really few players wouldn't in the guild if not for the "friend" bonus. Unfortunatly our guild is too small for raiding 25er contend but this will change with the 10 man systhem in wotlk and I really look forward to this.

Arideni said...

The guild in which I belong is a small one. We were all gathered up by a few friends & selected for the purpose of Wrath of the Lich King 10-man raiding & Heroics.

Most of us started transfering early (well, I didn't have to transfer) about 2 or more months ago. Since then, we have been running 7-15 man raids on everything from Onyxia to AQ40 & world bosses. It's been great, but even we have problems with people not showing up or lack of advanced scheduling & weird availability.

It's something we've worked to overcome, though & will be more solid in the future.