Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.
PvP is a controversial topic in the Warcraft community. For some, it's the only reason they play. With so little PvP content in the game compared to patch after patch of mostly PvE content, they can sometimes feel neglected. Others have zero interest in PvP and resent when their class gets nerfed in the name of competitive balance. As for me, I enjoy PvE far more overall, but I want PvP to be just as fun and rewarding. I'm hopeful that Blizzard will be able to achieve a tighter class balance this time around, even though historical evidence and even Blizzard's own words point to the contrary.
So what about PvP guilds? Why aren't there more of them? This week, one reader wants to know if a PvP guild can survive despite Warcraft's raid-focused endgame.
I recently went looking through your past articles, and I'm in need of some help. I'm looking to start my own guild -- specifically, a PvP guild. I know, that seems quite contrary to the majority of guild related issues you discuss, but a guild is a guild, right?
That's what I want to know. I'll give you some background. Two friends and myself recently got back into WoW, leveling new characters. We formed a guild with our alts and their 70s, and I am now almost 70 with my first character. These friends are about to go overseas for 3 months, and I'm thinking of forming a PvP guild in their absence. Of course, I will ask them and see if I can be GM and get some donations to start off. They PvP with their 70, so I don't think there will be any trouble when they come back. No problems so far.
The thing is that this is my first end game character, and when it comes to end game, raiding doesn't appeal. Winning a BG or Arena match, or dominating the other faction's leaders, is what appeals to me. I don't need to be in a guild for this, but I think a strong PvP guild would be great. I'm envisioning being feared by Alliance and cheered by Horde in our Battlegroup. I'm seeing the guild topping the Arena charts. Faction leaders will fall to our might, despite the enemy rallying to defend when they hear we are coming. Grand visions -- but are they unrealistic? Do people even want to join a semi-serious PvP guild?
Hi, Lonelymage. First of all, hats off to you for having the guts and the vision to put your own guild together. It's never an easy thing, and I hope some of my past columns can be useful to you.
Right now I'd say you have some things working against you, but you also have some things working in your favor.
What will hold you back at this moment more than anything else would be your existing character. If it's an alt as you say and you can prove to people that you've got extensive PvP experience, that will certainly help. However, people you recruit are going to look you up in the armory and see that you barely have any Arena matches under your belt (if by that point you have any at all). They're going to inspect you and see that you have very few honorable kills. That's not going to inspire their confidence.
It would definitely help if your two friends were around for the first few months to help you get the ball rolling. So for you, the timing is not the best.
You've asked me if it's possible to run a guild like this. In general, my answer is a solid yes. There are several reasons why now is actually a great time to start up a PvP guild.
For starters, PvP achievements have heightened interest in PvP. I can't speak for everyone, but I've certainly found myself in battlegrounds more often than in the past. I could care less about honor at this point -- I'm there solely to earn achievements.
The more difficult achievements, like slaying a racial leader, are going to require a disciplined and coordinated team. A PvE guild could certainly dedicate some of its time to these goals and be successful, but it's not always easy to drum up interest for such a thing when players are spending so much time raiding (and farming for raids).
Another factor in your favor is that the WotLK expansion has a wealth of innovative PvP content: a new style of battleground, more dynamic arenas, more PvP dailies, and Lake Wintergrasp, the centerpiece that Blizzard hopes will finally bring real, active world PvP to Azeroth.
I fought in Wintergrasp for a bit in the beta. Initially it's pretty confusing, so I can't really say whether I liked it or not. But it certainly seems like coordinated teams are going to be much more effective there than your typical mindless zerg. Since the zone is noninstanced and populated purely with players from your own server, you can really make a name for yourself. Winning Wintergrasp has all sorts of benefits for your faction. With a forceful presence there, you could actually become the server-famous heroes you imagine.
But that will take serious dedication. When you recruit players, you have to do it with the intent that you will be that coordinated team. That means getting a Vent server and getting to know your teammates. That means using addons to schedule PvP events just like a raiding guild schedules raids -- and making sure the support is there so that you don't have to cancel them. That means every player you bring on board has to be dedicated to dominating.
That stuff doesn't happen overnight. So it's going to take a lot of patience on your part. You might have to start off just playing a ton of battlegrounds and trying to find those dedicated PvPers. The cross-server queues make finding those people on your own server much harder, so I recommend starting up some PuG teams to queue up with. Talk to them about what you have in mind.
It's a shot in the dark, but it's got more aim to it than spamming an ad in a chat channel or posting one on a forum. It also gives you the chance to back up your talk with some battleground wins.
Once you have the foundations of a solid guild, look up who the more successful Arena teams on your server are. If any of them are unguilded, recruit them. If they're in a guild, offer an alliance for some faction city attacks. Guild alliances might actually be your best bet in the early going.
In my opinion, a guild that is entirely dedicated to PvP can be a powerful force on a server. It requires a strong leader to keep the organization active and relevant, and not just another chat channel for a few random Arena teams and BGers. I imagine it would be incredibly easy to let a PvP guild degenerate into precisely that.
What about you, WoW Insider readers? Would any of you out there be interested in a guild like this? Does anyone already lead such a guild? Tell us about it below!