Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How to make a raiding alliance work

I have done this a couple of times now, and raiding alliances are something that can save your guild if you are suffering hard times.

Generally people are in your guild for an overriding reason: levelling, PvP, social, and/or raiding.  Take away the ability to raid and I really hope that the other aspects of your guild culture can carry you through.  For most raiding guilds and guild leaders, this isn't the case and people start leaving often leaving the guild leaders devastated and struggling to cope.  There are 2 ways to deal with this situation - gdisband or... a raiding alliance.

So, what is a raiding alliance?
A raiding alliance is when 2 guilds in a similar situation and similar progression come together and share a RaidID in order for them both to continue raiding.  This is good when both guilds are at about 2/3 strength.  It allows both guilds breathing room to recruit and regroup while keeping the people in their guild active and happy (and hopefully progressing) and more importantly, staying in each respective guild for the longer haul.

How do you start a raiding alliance?
First and foremost you need to identify quickly that you are in a dying situation.  Exams, Pre-Patch boredom, Faction Transfers, RL... all these things can contribute to a guild going from a roster of 35 people quickly to a roster of 20.  You should watch your realm forums and trade, see which guilds are recruiting and how much and of what, try to identfy a guild that you think you can plug the gaps for and check them out on one of the progression websites to see if you think they are about equal to your achievements.  Also, ensure that their raiding times are compatible with yours.  Stick with one guild at a time.

Next, approach the person doing the advertising (usually an officer if not the GL themselves) and ask for a chat.  Broach the idea of a raiding alliance initially, perhaps warm up with some conversation about raiding and their recruitment status.  Give them time to think about it.  Generally you will have some idea of their reaction very quickly.

Assuming you have a positive reaction to your approach, get all your officers together on VoIP for a chat and planning session and set the first date.

Things to make planning and organising easier:

  • Create and advertise in guild some joint channels for cross guild talk
  • Create a joint officers channel for ease of communication
  • talk on VoIP to each other
  • give each other access to restricted sections of each others' guild forums
  • promote the idea within guild
  • encourage pugging from within the guilds
OK, I have an alliance, how to I run the raids?
First of all make sure you have an even balance from both sides.  12/13 people it has to be an even split.  If one of their team drops out, they replace them from their StandBys, if one of yours drops, you replace from your own.  It is really important to keep the numbers as even as possible.

Sort out your loot rules with the officers early.  I recommend /roll but whatever you decide, keep the rules clear and consistent.

Ensure your officers communicate often and early about each raids team so you have the best possible chance to progress.

Have an RL/strategist from both sides talking and settling strat early.  Make sure there is one RL per raid, and it is a good idea to rotate this person raid to raid.  The RLs must be on the same page, running the same strat.

If someone needs talking to for buggering things up repeatedly, have the RL from that guild talk to the person, not the RL from the opposing guild.  Make sure that this communication about nub ups is communicated in the officer channel and that the right officer deals with the situation and reports back.  Do not step on the other guild's toes when it comes to discipline.

Praise liberally, and thank the other guild for the run after each and every raid.  Be grateful for their help, because without them, you currently wouldn't be raiding - even if they are in the same situation.

Try and build up a parallel heroic 10 man at the same time as your alliance raid.  At some point you will have enough people to do this, and then you will have enough people for the alliance, a 10man and some on SB.  That is the end goal, to get everyone raiding at the specified raid time!  Rotate officers into this 10man to run it and support guildies and make sure they understand how important the 10man is to the overall goal of getting back to guild only 25s.

What shouldn't you do?
Never complain about the other guild to your guildmates, and stomp out any negative thoughts in public.

Do not force anyone to attend a raid they dont want to.  Not everyone in your guild is going to be comfortable running with another guild. Get your officers (or you) to approach everyone and see if they are happy with the runs.  If at any stage someone says they are not happy, let them know that is ok and they dont have to attend. Keep communication up about the entire process.

Never ever under any circumstance poach from the guild you are allying with.  I don't think I can emphasis this enough.

We have enough people to run our own raids now
When you hit critical mass, make sure you test the waters first.  You will probably have a bunch of new people that have not run in a 25 with you yet.  Go back to the previous tier's heroic/hardmode content and test out their raid awareness.  When you are happy with the team, it is time to talk to the other guild and propose that the alliance ends.  Give them at least a weeks warning, and let them know that if they are still struggling the alliance can return for a short period of time on a negotiation basis.

But, we really like running together, we don't want to stop!
This is also a great outcome.  If you really enjoy each others company, you could consider merging your guilds together.  But that is a whole other post (and yes, I will put one up about it in the near future, having done it successfully).

  • Suss out the other guild properly - do your homework
  • Don't force people to do anything they dont want to
  • Get the Loot Rules straight early, and be fair
  • Keep attendance to the alliance raids even as possible
  • Make joint chat channels
  • Give ample warning of the cessation of the alliance/merger