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Officers' Quarters: Saving a PuG guild

Scott Andrews

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Anyone who has an unguilded bank alt can appreciate this scenario: You're in the auction house, minding your own business, when without any warning the whole auction interface goes away, only to be replaced by a guild charter that someone wants you to sign. It's pretty annoying and rude when people do that without asking first. If you're not in a guild, it can happen to you anywhere.

Usually they don't want you to actually stick around once the guild is formed, but other people actually send guild invites this way. It's not as bad when it's a noncharter invite, since it doesn't close any of your windows. But it always mystified me that people would recruit like this. They don't know anything about you; you don't know anything about them. So it's not so much a guild as it is a long-term pick-up group. I suppose some of the members must know each other, but everyone else was just scooped up fresh from the Barrens. Do you ever wonder what might happen if you actually joined that guild and stuck with it? This week's e-mail comes from someone who did.

Hi Scott --

Thanks for the column. Believe it or not, even those of us who don't lead guilds tune in and get some good tips and advice from you.

I'm an unashamed noob who suddenly has a guild issue. Here's how it breaks down . . .

I got massively bored with my Night Elf Druid after getting him to Ashenvale, and nearly gave up on WoW. I'd only sunk three weeks into the game, and still had another week in the bank, so I rolled a new character. Right out of the gate, I decided to play a more social game: get into more pick-up groups, join a guild, and figure out what these "instance" thingies were all about. So when I was in the middle of a fight and a guild invite popped up onto my screen, I joined immediately.

No, it didn't occur to me that someone spamming invites at level-2 characters might be a member of a pretty weak guild.

So now it's two weeks later, and I've had almost no contact with my guild. In fact, the guild doesn't really seem to exist in any meaningful way. Members that don't quit within two days simply stop logging in. The guildies who *do* login seem to be good folks, eager to play a better game and have a good time, but there aren't very many of them. I'm now the highest-leveled and most-active player in the guild, but as a low-level, uninformed new player, I don't know that I have much to offer to the rest of the folks. And in terms of gaining new skills, experiences, or insights, I'm not getting anything out of my guild membership. In fact, I'm in pretty much the same boat I was with my druid, and I'm losing interest in solo grinding against gigantic spiders. It seems like, without good, solid teamwork, a guy misses out on a lot of good stuff WoW has to offer.

Here's my question: How does someone repair a guild? What can a noob bring to the table in a guild setting, that can help his officers and guild master revitalize things and move on ahead? I hate giving up or abandoning people, but I guess quitting the guild and shopping around for a more experienced, more active guild might be the best option for me. What do you think?

Thanks . . .


Ziggy, you are boldly blazing new territory. Most people would have given up long ago, and I respect your desire to save this guild from itself. Even though you aren't an officer, that's officer-quality initiative!

Yes, you probably would be way better off trying to find a new, established guild. I can't imagine a worse way to start a guild that just randomly throwing invites at characters without a guild tag. I could write volumes about how to find a good guild, but plenty of people before me already have, so let's focus on your desire to fix this "PuG guild" you've found yourself in.

The first thing I would do is find out who's in charge and see if they've given up, too. It's a simple matter: Hit the O button, click on the Guild tab, toggle Show All Players, and see who the highest-ranked members are. Now see how long it has been since they have logged in. If it's been longer than a week, these people probably aren't too interested in running the guild.

Send the guild leader an in-game letter politely asking the officers what they plan for the future of the guild and what you can do to help. You might even ask them if they want to turn the guild over to someone who is online more often. Go ahead and offer to take over if you want to. I wouldn't worry too much about how they'll react. You have nothing to lose!

If it's been shorter than a week since an officer was online, or you do see one of them online frequently, you should approach him or her about your concerns and offer to help move the guild in the right direction.

It's possible that you'll never hear back and the officers will never be online again. In that case, it's going to make your job all but impossible, since no one will have access to the guild interface and presumably no one will have the authority to invite new members or promote existing ones. Your only recourse would be to have everybody quit the guild and form a new one, run by officers who actually play. However, without any viable means to communicate this transition to all of the members, making sure everybody is aware of the new guild will be tricky. You'd have to add every character to your friends list and whisper them next time they're online.

For guilds to thrive, they need above all else a means to communicate. The best tool for this is a Web site with your own forums where members can post ideas, officers can schedule events, etc. But sites generally cost money and they do take time to set up. You're probably a long way from that step.

So, once you get the officers' attention, suggest they schedule a meeting using the only means of communication available to you: the in-game guild interface tools. They could change the guild's message of the day to tell people about the meeting, and put more details in the Guild Info window. Make sure they give members at least a week's notice. You could have everyone physically meet somewhere in Azeroth, but really you just want as many people as possible online at the same time. The purpose of the meeting is (1) to see how many people actually care about the guild, (2) to get to know each other a little bit more and find out what everyone's needs and expectations are, and (3) to discuss steps for taking the guild to the next level, such as scheduling nights for regular instance runs, setting up the guild bank, and so on.

If the current officers aren't interested in doing this, ask them to promote you so you can set it up and run the meeting. Don't worry about being a "noob." If you have the highest level character, it's possible everybody else is a noob, too. We were all noobs once, and I certainly had no idea what I was getting myself into when I was the one running around getting everybody to sign our charter (and I actually knew 9 out of the 10 signees!). But it's worked out for me -- it can work out for you!

At the meeting, if nobody shows up for it, you've pretty much established that the guild is a dead end. Go ahead and quit. Find a new guild and move on. But you might be surprised. Maybe people will be excited that someone is willing to take charge and make it into a real guild rather than a bunch of strangers with a common chat channel. What you do next will all depend on what the members want. You might not have all the answers, but at least they'll know that someone is listening to them and trying to help.


Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!

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