For winning, they'll recieve not only a profile right here in this post (check after the break to see why we chose them as winners this month), but also a raid pack from Swagdog.com, which includes a big stack of custom-made guild apparel for them to distribute among their guildies and officers as they see fit. If you didn't win but still want to show some guild pride, Swagdog has hats and t-shirts that can be emblazoned with your guild's name and tabard, as well as your character's name and class logo. Huge thanks to them for sponsoring our content.
And of course we're now opening up nominations for the April Guild of the Month. To enter, send us an email (no more than 200 words please) to email@example.com stating why your guild deserves to win. Please note that you must be from the US or Canada (excluding Quebec) and age 18 or older, as them's the legal rules, and also note that even if you sent us an email last month, you must re-nominate your guild if you want to be considered again. You can send us the same message if you want (there were a lot of good guilds that we had to pass up because there was only one winner), but we've got to keep everything current, so please re-send. Official rules are still here, and this month's deadline will be midnight on May 7th.
The Holy Crusade has been around for a while (as Nytok's bank alt guild), but just recently, in the beginning of March, he decided to spruce it up and make it active. He formed the guild, he tells us, for three reasons. First, he'd noted a lack of leadership in many guilds, and so he recruited his father (also a military guy, retired infantry) to help him in making a guild that had real direction from the top. Second, he'd noticed that plenty of guilds have drama and often suffer from a negative viewpoint, so he made it a goal to always stay positive in gchat and Vent. And finally, given that he is short on playing time himself (he shipped off to France to meet the Prime Minister!), he wanted to make the most of his time ingame and help other people level and raid.
And it worked -- Mambacha, Nytok's father, was the first recruit, and we hear that "even on a keyboard running around picking flowers on his Druid alt, everyone can tell he was in the military." Mambacha is instrumental in farming up mats for the guild's tradeskill weekends (more on those in a bit). Aspendawn and Amalaria are two officers who've helped out on creating a positive guild environment, leading raids, and helping lowbies. Mooith and Milkcan are the two debaters in the guild -- Nytok says he constantly hears them on vent crunching specs and rotation. Billyhammer is an officer that always comes along on raids and helps lowbies level up, and Bouncerofish is the guild's "kicka$$ mage." And Slayyer and Riptosem run the guild's website and 100-man vent server. Nytok says there are a few other officers-in-training as well, and that every member of the guild steps up to make them a success.
There are two main reasons we chose The Holy Crusade as our first Guild of the Month. The first is their raiding schedule: every week, these guys raid every raid in the game every week, from vanilla and Burning Crusade, all the way up to Wrath of the Lich King. Nytok says he schedules raids via the guild calendar, and raiding attendance isn't required, so if they don't have enough, they'll PuG the rest. Vanilla raids are 60+, and usually run about half full (but they do fine), BC raids are 70+ and usually fill up, and Wrath raids have all of the PuGs Armoried, plus you can bet, with the military background, that Nytok keeps tabs on anyone that causes trouble. It's quite a schedule, but it sounds like they take it seriously and get it all done every week.
Secondly, the guild has what they call "tradeskill weekends" -- each weekend, the officers choose a tradeskill and everyone in the guild (including Mambacha, who we hear is a farming maniac) goes out and farms up mats for anyone still leveling a profession. As a result, everyone in the guild has the chance to get up to 450 -- guildies don't have to donate if they don't want to, but the whole process is monitored very closely to keep it as fair as possible. That's a great example of how a guild can work together to make sure everyone is better.
Finally, The Holy Crusade promotes a positive guild environment with every recruit they bring in -- they have a guild lottery that goes up into the thousands of gold, and since Mambacha is such a great farmer, Nytok says he's been starting to give out Darkmoon Card decks to reward people who've done well in the guild. And even though it all sounds very complicated, they've managed to keep the guild at the size they want -- currently they have about 40 players online at a time, and Nytok says that once they reach 500 members, with about 70 online at any time, they'll start slowing down on inviting people in, to make sure they stick together as a group.
Great work, and it sounds like a terrific guild. Congrats to Nytok and everybody in The Holy Crusaders for winning March's Guild of the Month award.
Think your guild is worthy of being our Guild of the Month for April? Send your 200-word nomination in to firstname.lastname@example.org, and maybe you'll be here one month from now.