I have never been a part of a successful guild merger. I have been involved in three, and in each case the downfall of the guild has been imminent. Why is it that when two (or more) groups try to combine their resources and members, they fail most of the time?

1. A guild merger is often a symptom of deeper problems within one or both of the guilds. Guilds with no problems a far less likely to be interested in mergers than those with lots of discontent among their members.

2. Officers don't like to give up respect and privilege. Guild officers earn respect from members. That’s why they are officers. In a guild merger, some officers are bound to get demoted, and those who aren’t have to earn the respect of a whole new group of members. That inevitably leads to friction within the larger group.

 3. Play styles and rules are bound to be different. Loot rules…the bane of a guild’s serenity. Even if members aren’t thrilled with the loot rules that a guild uses, they learn to deal with them. If a new group comes in and has a different way of determining looting, who gets to lead and go on raids, or the way that promotion within the guild structure is handled, it leads to accusations of favoritism.

conclusions after the jump.

These are the three main issues which I have observed to cause meltdowns in newly merged guilds. What can be done to prevent dissent? I'm not sure, since I have never seen a successful merger, but I think that the most important thing is to take time, before and after the merger. Make an effort to party with your guild-mates-to-be before the merger. Talk with the officers to find out how they handle conflict within their group. There's usually a reason that they are officers; maybe it's their leadersip ability, or their willingness to help others, or their skill as negotiators. Communication before, during, and after solves most problems, and for Pete's sake, deal with internal issues before joining together. Nobody wants a whole new load of problems dumped on them right after they join up.

Have you ever been a part of a succesful merger? How did you make it work? What are your horror stories from failures?

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.

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