Thursday, October 22, 2009

How is your guild doing these days?

Most people, me certainly included, are not constant in how actively they are playing MMORPGs. One is more likely to play at high intensity levels just after new content came out, and there are dips in activity at other times. Of course not everybody is on exactly the same schedule, but there is some correlation. In a mature guild in which the overall number of members isn't moving very much any more, any such decrease in general activity results in less people being online at any given moment.

In World of Warcraft and games with a similar raid endgame, this causes a particular problem: When activity drops too far, the number of guild members online can drop under the fixed minimum number of players needed for a raid. If normally 10 to 12 people turn up for raiding, but now its just 7 to 9, raids get cancelled, and suddenly nobody can raid any more. That puts some strain on guilds, often resulting in players leaving to join another guild, where the number of raiders is still high enough. Which isn't really a good solution, because once activity goes up again, the initial guild still hasn't got enough people to form a raid, while the other guild now suddenly has 15 people fighting for 10 raid slots.

I'm writing this because I detect a lull in activity in my own guild, where some of the regular raiders have gone to play DDO instead or, like me, reduced their raiding activity. Reading through various World of Warcraft blogs, I see quite a number of the typical "my guild is imploding" blog posts, so I was wondering if the decreased activity and resulting guild problem was widespread. How is your guild doing these days? Would you say there are less people around? Did that lead to any problems?

Of course the more interesting question would be whether we could come up with a system to solve the problem, but Wolfshead already beat me to that.

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