WotLK and Guilds: A heady mixture of problems

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I’ll admit that I’m an officer with a raiding guild in World of Warcraft. I love my guild and those that are in it provide no shortage of fun when I can join them. So when Blizzard announce so many changes to the way dungeon raiding will work in their new expansion, I start to worry. I start to consider how this affects the fairness of attending a raid, how we can organise teams, how our guild will resolve any crisis that occurs as a result of these changes. It’s a headache that most gamers will thankfully avoid in their tenure on Azeroth.

One recent change has set guild officer heads spinning, with a global outcry from the general WoW public shouting about unfairness to those who dedicate real time to the game. The change entails the addition of items to raid bosses that will bind to your character when they equip it (BoE items as they’re referred to) as opposed to the long-standing bind on pickup (BoP). I can understand where these people are coming from, but really, it’s all just about ego and pride. No longer will an item from a boss seem quite so “epic”, but these are just the woes of an individual… I worry about Guild implications.

What follows is a response I penned in regards to this issue to our guild and I hope it gives pause for thought for other guild officers out there:

The official line by Blizzard is a sensible one. They want to see raiding guilds benefit from their dedication by rewarding them with extra cash-flow pathways, spoils for Alts or other raiders who immediately benefit (i.e.. improve the guild ASAP) etc.

But… it’s the social knock-on that is problematic. For example, we’ve downed BT up to Illidan, but realistically we only earned up to Bloodboil (pre patch, I believe we’d have had Bloodboil and RoS soon regardless), but we’ve also not gone out there and made out that we’re pimp as hell for getting to Illidan – we know the score. Many other guilds have ruined their reputation by flaunting kills that they know they would have otherwise needed more practice on. Similarly, when the Sunwell badge gear came out, people were considering themselves to be top-shelf when all they had to do was farm heroics daily and receive T5-T6 quality gear for their effort.

In other words it brings a risky social stigma that will really only affect people who are guided by their ego’s. And let’s admit it… many high-end players take great stock in their ego – I know mine is cast-iron, but I’m not above saying “Sure, I didn’t really earn it”.

What matters is what is done with these items. If people get them just because they can… then that’s their prerogative, more cash to the guild coffers. If people get them thinking it’ll help their applications… then only get it because it’s a worthy upgrade and don’t make out you actually killed the boss unless you really have. That second point is a huge issue for a guild application process because they’re going to have to know what items are BoE and ways of verifying actual experience – generally a trial-run will fix things right away, but how do you sift out the chaff from the wheat?

It’s not the end of the world, but it generates a hell of a headache for raiding guilds in general. As some posters on the WoW forums have noted, Guild loot rules will now have to consider this extra condition for loot. Those that are running on a point based system (like DKP) will have a hell of a lot more to worry about than those who already “roll on BoE drops”, but it’s another WotLK issue on top of already changing Raiding rules.

The WoW community can make a mountain out of a mole-hill, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t real problems with the concept – they just require more time and effort to incorporate.

Feel free to link this to help with any guild-disputes you might be having, officers everywhere need support when dealing with large numbers of people and any help you can get is invaluable ;)

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One Response to “WotLK and Guilds: A heady mixture of problems”

  1. Says:

    In my opinion, this new system that Blizzard put in will stop a lot of people from attending raids, people will say “Heh, I’ll just step out of this raid, the Raid Leader can send me the BoE loot.” Also, It is like welfare epics… I never liked the idea of just…. pvp for a few hours, hey! I’ve got a nice new epic! It WAS fair before they took out the pvp system where you actually had to farm to get pvp gear, and that was when pvp gear ACTUALLY MEANT that you had skill in the game you play. BoE epics from bosses will be people having supreme gear, they will have as good gear as us, the raiders that spend hours a week learning the fights, progressing in the raid instances, and killing the bosses and getting loot, imo, it is totally unfair that people can just buy gear off the Auction House and they will be as geared as us. It may pay for guild expenses (Like Flasks, Pots, Food, etc..) but the point is if someone gets that, people will talk to them the way people talk to people with welfare epics, they will just say “Lol, that guy has a welfare raid epic, he cant be good if it is a BoE”. Spellstrike set, Spellfire set, etc are different. Because they required you to farm for hours on end to get mats required to make the items, and the items are very good when it comes to raiding. I suppose people with these BoE epics will get a trial run in Naxx as you stated and just be epic phail.

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