I raid with an extremely generous 25-man raiding guild that is chugging along quite nicely through the Siege of Orgrimmar. They are kind enough to provide not only guild repairs, but potions, flasks, and feasts -- now noodle carts -- as well. The guild is pretty good about keeping everything managed, and raiders do a pretty good job about keeping the guild bank filled with materials for all the stuff that the guild supplies on a typical guild run.
But we've had a problem recently that picked up in patch 5.4. Someone mentioned that the guild bank wasn't making quite as much gold as it used to, and player repairs are bleeding the guild bank of gold almost faster than it can be put in. This seemed odd to me at the time, but I re-doubled my efforts to continue sticking herbs, gems, and whatever other useful items I came across into the guild bank, figuring it would all balance itself out. It turns out, however, that we aren't alone with our weird little problem.
When Lissana over at Restokin pointed out that her guild, too, was experiencing these issues, it piqued my curiosity. Something that I'd thought a unique issue with our particular guild wasn't quite as unique as I'd thought it to be -- and Lissana did an admirable job of summing up the issue and pointing out what was going on. I've never been a guild leader myself, so guild finances were always something someone else managed, nothing that I really paid attention to beyond dutifully putting stuff in the guild bank to replace the things I took out of the bank.
Guilds make gold in a myriad of different ways. There's the weekly guild challenges, the slow trickle of perk rewards, and the biggest of all, selling stuff. BoE recipes, BoE gear drops, crafted gear, materials for crafting said crafting gear -- the list goes on and on. And as Lissana pointed out, Siege of Orgrimmar is missing all of the stuff to sell. There are no BoE epic drops. There's no BoE patterns. The crafting materials, Spirits of War, aren't really valuable enough to be worth selling for any substantial amount of gold. There are no epic gems to be cut and sold, like there were with the Dragon Soul raid in the last tier of Cataclysm.
Because of this, guild profits are taking a dive -- and it doesn't help that since the guild is a raiding guild, we're pushing through new content every week. Pushing through new content and progressing means wipes, and wipes mean repairs. New gear that we acquire needs to be gemmed and enchanted. It's always a little tough at the beginning of a tier, but Siege of Orgrimmar seems to be far tougher than usual to sustain guild profits at any kind of reasonable margin. Heck, it's hard to even break even, at this point.
Lissana had a few suggestions regarding the issue, with two that really stood out to me in particular. First, increasing guild funds from the Cash Flow perk. At the moment, rank 2 of Cash Flow takes 10% of the gold looted from an enemy and chucks it in the guild bank. But mobs on the Timeless Isle, where everyone is currently spending all their time, drop a pittance of gold. And as more and more people finish doing whatever it is they've set out to do on the Timeless Isle, that pittance is going to diminish even further. Increasing the Cash Flow perk, even temporarily, would give guild banks a nice boost.
The second, and the one I found far more interesting, was to increase guild raiding challenge rewards. Currently, guild challenges allow for one raid encounter killed per week in a guild group. There's also the standard 7 heroic dungeons, 3 rated battlegrounds, 3 challenge modes and 15 scenarios as well. If what we're doing at the moment is concentrating on raiding, why not give us more than one challenge a week for a raid boss? It would help even out the shrinking gold situation, and rewards us for what we're dedicated to doing -- raiding. It could even be expanded to those guilds who complete bosses on Flex or even LFR difficulty as well.
One of the other things I've noticed with Siege of Orgrimmar is that it doesn't have the unique weekly challenge bosses that we found in the Throne of Thunder. I miss them -- I liked seeing what I'd get out of the goodie bag every week. I wish we had them in Siege -- but more importantly, those weekly bosses present a unique twist on guild challenges. Instead of offering people a goodie bag that may or may not have anything useful in it, why not re-introduce them as guild challenges that chuck a substantial amount of gold in the guild bank?
The lack of epic gems this tier isn't missed, exactly -- it wasn't really necessary to amp up the stats we get with gems when we've got reforging at our fingertips, the ability to upgrade our gear via valor points, and Warforged gear available as well as regular gear. But at the same time, I wish they'd made a return. Dragon Soul was incredibly lucrative for guilds, mostly because the epic gems were only found in the raid itself. Those that didn't raid had to purchase the gems on the auction house -- and even those of us that did raid sometimes found ourselves buying gems from the auction house because we hadn't gotten the color we needed. We're missing that chunk of income, and it hasn't been made up anywhere since then.
Guild leaders and guild members -- are your guilds noticing a distinct lack of income this patch? Are you running out of ways to make gold? Do you utilize the guild repair feature in your guild? How are you keeping yourselves in gold and income? Do you think there should be some adjustments made to guild income in the future? Leave a comment below, and while you're at it, check out Lissana's post over at Restokin -- it's a good read with some really good ideas.