Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.
Mists of Pandaria has given us some fantastic raiding experiences -- it's easy to forget just how many activities this expansion currently offers. Much of this new content is either group-oriented or can become group-oriented if you want to make it so. With Mists' third content patch set to go live tomorrow, now is a great time to look at some of the many guild activities that are possible in this expansion. Here are nine ideas that go beyond raiding.
1. Earn your Stormbreaker titles.
Some of the achievements for this meta can only be accomplished solo, but many of them are much easier with some help -- and some all but require it. The summoned elites for It Was Worth Every Ritual Stone, for example, mostly require a group to take down. Some classes can't solo Tak'u with all of his powers active if they can't dispel his robust HoT for Our Powers Combined.
Ready for RAAAAIIIIDDD?!?ing is rough to solo. It can be accomplished most easily right after a server reset, but with a raid group you skip that hassle. Every roach squished counts for everyone in the raid.
It's tricky to solo-kite a deadly Loa-Infused Bloodhorn to the vase for Direhorn in a China Shop. A few guildmates can clear out any interfering mobs or even Misdirect the bloodhorn to a tank near the vase. The Crumble Bundle is a breeze with a larger group to blow up packs of mobs that daze-dismount players and to search for the pieces. A healer or two can make sure even the worst jumpers in your guild earn Platform Hero. Speed Metal, You Made Me Bleed My Own Blood, and the These Mogu Have Gotta Go-gu are all soloable, but faster and easier with friends.
When in Ihgaluk, Do as the Skumblade Do and Blue Response require a keen eye. Guildmates can help each other by alerting the guild when these NPCs are up. (Addons can help too.)
The most aggravating (and boring) of all the achievements for this meta is Zandalari Library Card. Fortunately, a group can help with this part, too. Just form a raid, mow down trolls, and make sure your partners turn autoloot off. Everyone should only pick up the books that they need. Leave the others on corpses for another player. You need to pick up the book for it to count.
2. Go big at the Isle of Giants.
The Isle of Thunder wasn't the only new area added in patch 5.2. The Isle of Giants provides an opportunity for guildmates to tackle an area that is frequently fatal to solo players.
This place offers tons of great rewards. You can farm both the new Zandalari raptor pets and Primal Eggs. Make dinosaurs extinct again by gathering their Giant Dinosaur Bones for rewards from Ku'ma, including a raptor mount. Keep your eye out for War-God Dokan, who drops rep items and supply bags. Mobs on the island also drop the Ancient Tome of Dinomancy for your guild's hunters. The trolls here can drop books for the Library Card achievement, like their Isle of Thunder colleagues.
3. Form a hunting party for Warbringers and other rare spawns.
The continent of Pandaria is home to a boatload of rare spawns. Many of these can be solo'ed at 90, but it's more fun -- and more efficient -- to hunt them in a group. Besides, who doesn't want a Crate of Kidnapped Puppies?
Warbringers used to be easily soloable by certain classes, but Blizzard made that much more difficult with some hotfixes. They are well worth killing for their awesome mounts, rep items, supply bags, and the associated achievement.
Warlord Gurthan is a an elite in the Dread Wastes that requires two players to summon. He's only available when the Klaxxi dailies send you to the Terrace of Gurthan.
You can also go after Gokk'lok's Shell so your guildmates can all be works of fine art. Since you're already wet, you might as well go take on G'nathus -- with his 43 million health -- in the waters off of Townlong for his pet.
4. Collect pets in older raids.
The old raids can be solo'ed now, but they sure go faster with a couple of friends. You might reduce your chances of getting the drop when you have to outroll others. However, if you can clear the raids several times faster every week, and have a much lower chance of wiping, you'll get the pets you want with less overall hassle than you could alone. Just make sure people agree not to take multiples of the same pets.
Pet drops from raids aren't technically new, but patch 5.1 added new pets to vanilla WoW's raids and now 5.3 will add new pets to Karazhan, Serpentshrine Cavern, and Tempest Keep.
5. Hold a pet battle tournament.
Love them or hate them, pet battles are here to stay. Many players who try them find them surprisingly fun. Why not drum up some interest in this mini game by hosting a tournament?
Be sure to give people a few weeks' notice to level up their fighters and get their team together. Have prizes on hand to reward the top victor(s) of the day. Pets, of course, would be the most appropriate prizes.
This activity could be done once a month if your guild has the funds to award prizes every time. Also, if you invite players from outside the guild, you can use the tournies as a recruiting tool.
6. Cheer on your guildmates in the Brawler's Guild.
Sure, the Brawler's Guild is about as solo as content gets, but that doesn't mean it can't be a social activity. There's a reason, after all, that Blizzard designed the fights as spectated encounters rather than one-player scenarios.
Your support can be more than moral -- you can also buff the living daylights out of guildmates to make the brawls a bit easier. Some friendly advice, or even a friendly voice on Vent to give helpful warnings, can mean the difference between emerging victorious or having unrecognizable bits of you hosed off the arena floor. If you really want to have some fun, ask someone in your guild to do a play-by-play in voice chat.
The achievement Haters Gonna Hate is a lot easier with some guildmates to huck rotten produce at you. You can also earn achievements there when you're just hanging out, such as Bottle Service, Rabble Rabble Rabble, and of course I'm Your Number One Fan.
7. Escort caravans and gang-tackle Kor'kron elites.
Much of the new Barrens content can be accomplished solo, or with random players on your realm, but it's more fun to bring a guild group. Caravan escorts will go smoother with some organized backup.
The new Kor'kron elites are not solo-friendly. When they spawn, they appear as red X's on the map. Those are brave orcs in the Barrens -- let's go kill them!
8. Slay your faction's enemies on the Isle of Thunder and in the Barrens.
The conflux of players in these areas makes them ripe for world PvP. An organized guild group can really do some damage to hapless solo questers and antagonize enough opponents that they form a group against you. It's also fun to harass enemy-faction raids attempting world bosses. They will be particularly infuriated if you don't even try to pull the boss yourselves, but merely lie in wait. Good times!
9. Party at the Wanderer's Festival.
Many players don't know about this little in-game event celebrating Liu Lang, the first pandaren to leave Pandaria. It takes place every Sunday from 9-11 PST at the beach in Krasarang Wilds where the statue of Liu Lang sits. If you have regular guild meetings of any kind, why not meet at the festival?
Roleplayers may enjoy the atmosphere and it's a good excuse for everyone to kick back and hang out with guildmates in a more relaxed setting. You also get an achievement for it, and you can tame a turtle pet that's only available there.
Of course, you can also tackle challenge mode dungeon runs and, starting this week, Heroic scenarios. Do you have other ideas for guild activities in Mists? Please share them below.
It's a great time to be in a guild. Take advantage of it!
Officers' Quarters keeps your guild leadership on track to cope with sticky situations such as members turned poachers or the return of an ex-guild leader and looking forward to what guilds need in Mists of Pandaria. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to email@example.com.