Characters in Multiple Guilds

In a week of discussing guilds, it would be amiss to imply that everyone would have one and only one guild at a time. Certainly if you play more than one MMO, you could easily be in more than one guild. And because of the way raid guilds work in WoW, it’s not too awkward to be raiding in more than one guild at the same time on different alts – assuming you want to play a lot and the guilds have compatible schedules.

Raiding in multiple guilds is really an option for the hardcore only. Whether it’s better to raid for four nights a week in one guild or two nights a week in two different guilds is mostly academic for more casual players. I also suspect this will be increasingly popular in Cataclysm with the more restrictive raid locks (i.e. less raid content for any single guild to tackle in a week since they can’t do 10 mans as well as 25s).

What does it mean for raid guilds though? Well, for a start, you can’t be sure how many other servers or guilds any of your raiders are also playing in. Usually it won’t matter – you’ll have your fixed raid schedule and you assume that people who sign up are able to make it. If they can’t then you boot them and find someone else. But what you can’t assume (as a guild officer) is that every member of your raid considers it to be their primary obligation, even in that MMO. This is one of the reasons why Cataclysm will shake things up, even for people who don’t expect it. You may think you are in a tight knit raid guild right now, but how many of those raiders will decide that actually they’d rather focus on a different alt on a different server when the expansion hits?

This is a big change from both vanilla raiding and from the older MMO era. Back then, you joined a guild and then that became your primary in game focus. Sure, there would have been a few people even then who found time somehow to keep multiple guilds on multiple characters but usually one guild would be aware of having the alt.

I do feel that this can put officers in an awkward situation. Running a guild, any kind of successful guild, is a commitment. A tight knit well organised raid guild can take a lot of time and energy from the officer players. And when the rest of the gang is obviously less committed (due to running several alts in several other guilds) it can be hard to justify the effort involved in organising.

When I’ve been in different guilds in WoW at the same time, it was usually because of having characters on different servers. And some of them would be more social guilds that I joined just because I felt lonely on a new server with no one to talk to, or because I wanted to RP or do something else that was compatible with my raid schedule. Joining a PvP guild as well as a PvE guild would accomplish the same thing. And I think this is key – joining guilds which have different but compatible goals in game can be a huge benefit for players. It’s just a case of being able to fulfil any guild obligations without burning out completely. Or in other words, multiple guilds is a way for players to get around WoW’s restriction that one character can only be in one guild. You just roll lots of alts and do different things on each one, if that’s your aim.

I’ve also been in guilds in multiple games at the same time, but again, the more social ones would have been fine with low attendance. In LOTRO, the guild I am in is remarkably laid back. I think they understand that, especially with lifetime subscriptions, people come and go.

Are you in multiple guilds at the same time? And if you are an officer, how do you feel about guild members who do that? Or would you rather commit — heart and soul — to a single guild?

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10 thoughts on “Characters in Multiple Guilds

  1. To be honest if you’re doing this it’s best to keep it secret.

    No one really sympathises with someone who can’t raid tonight because he’s raiding with his other guild. If committing to a raid guild is like a marriage having a second one on the side is like adultery.

    • or Bigamy?

      Noticed the other night someone /signing for a raid [progression content] with…ie may be a bit late but my other raid is due to finish 10 minutes before this one starts….

      Certainly felt like I was getting cheated on. And this from someone who raids 10 man and has alts in other guilds (and not just bank alts). And I’m not even a officer….

  2. I have tried to have characters in RP guilds and it just doesn’t work. I’d like to raid with some out of guild friends, but I’m committed to my guild and so the guild schedule takes priority (especially at the moment when we’re suffering summer slow down.)

    I understand why people do it, but raiding with other guilds during our official raiding hours, especially without talking it over and explaining it to an officer, means you really don’t belong in our raid team anymore.

  3. I raid actively on 4 chars.
    2 horde 2 alliance.
    All of them are in different guilds and I swore to never put all alts in one guild. Why? If some guild collapses to drama, I have always other refuges to go to instead of feeling my whole world crumbled.

    How do I manage? I have dedicated days “this day I raid on this char”, also I have 2 chars raiding on the same day but the hours don’t collide, one guild has set times 19:15-22:30 and other one 23pm-2am. I can count on the first guild they won’t extend more than “one last try” because the officers work early or something like this and have a big NO-NO towards staying late.

    And yes, because of alts and tight schedule I ditched one guild because they thought it’s okay to swap raiding days around “this week we raid Wednesday and Saturday, the other week Thursday and Sunday, yet another Friday and Monday”. No m’dears, put up one day and stick to it so I can avoid nasty surprised and overlaps.

    Two of my characters raid once a week, third raids usually once or twice and third one two or three times (we have 3 days but some are cancelled due to lack of attendance, sadly). Raid 4-5 days on the same char? No way, it would be boring, at least class switching makes me experience the same isntance differently.

    Oh well, I don’t raid 25 man content. Poor people who feel obliged to raid 10 and 25 on the same char, then they can’t have so many alts.

    And I’m happy Cataclysm supports my model, instead of raiding the same content 4 times a week on one char (remember TOC?) you have the choice to keep to one char and feel less busy, or raid on few alts.

    I honestly do not understand people who say they ran out of content, have nothing more to do, grinded what was to grind… yet they play only one character. Actually I find it bad game design where to stay competitive you need to keep to one character and spend all playtime on it.

    If a “nolifer” plays 40 hour a week and another player plays only 20 hours a week, let’s look at the design, if you need to spend 20 hours raiding / doing heroics etc. to stay competitive, the “nolifer” will play 2 characters and the other one will “keep to his main”, yet all the 3 characters will be close to each other. If the design though is only spending who 40 hours per week on one char makes it “maxxed out”, the one playing less will never catch up and look gimped.

    Also there should be enough “optional” content for someone who doesn’t like alts, but the “main flow” should be slimmer. The “main flow” is gear and raid progress, if you leave no cap on “badges” and multiple lockouts available the same week for one char, one will feel compelled to clear ALL the lockouts because 1) he can 2) he’s getting bigger profit than skipping it. In cataclysm 1) he can’t raid he same raid more than 1 time on 1 char 2) he’s not getting profit from ALL the possible activities of the week so he’d feel compelled to skip the least profitable (a raider would skip daily heroic for example).

    In my opinion it’s a great idea to reduce grind and let people enjoy whatever they like in the time left, play alts, do pvp, hunt achievements, RP, or just do some irl activities instead. It will be overall healthier for us all.

    P.S. I know some guilds who have a rule “no alts, apply with your main”. I avoid them like plague because they think players are guild property and can be called to arms whenever guild officers wish. Heard the argument “is it reasonable for guilds to require player’s real ID?” If yes, you’d guess I’m against this idea. I’m a punch clock player, I like everything planned and outside the “official times” it’s my free time and it’s none of your business am I playing an alt, another game, sitting in a pub or sleeping on a sofa. However there’s a second side to it, I believe players who declare some day and hour is fine for them, they shouldn’t mysteriously disappear. It might be “just a game” but we deal with people, be responsible – not towards “pixels” but other people who sit there and count on you.

    P.P.S. I don’t get the marriage comparison. I rather take it as a job than a marriage. “I work for you 9-18. I will come at 9 and go away at 18. I won’t disappear without reason. I will do my best to perform my tasks. But it’s none of your business what I do past 18, I might have a second job, so what.” People don’t like comparing wow to a job… but isn’t comparing guild to a marriage even more sick? I mean… Job is something you do for a profit, and you’re united around common goal, you might love it or hate it, but it isn’t embedded in the definition of the term. While marriage… this is something emotional. Love is “mandatory”. Also there are rules, in “western civilization” the rule is “you love your spouse and no one else can be an object of the same type of love” (let’s exclude other types of “love”, the wider definition), and even in Islam where polygamy exists there’s a rule “husband has to love all his wives equally”. While jobs are different, you might spend less time and effort on some, and yet do it at satisfactory level because of its nature (it’s easier, less time consuming etc.) Jobs aren’t “jealous of each other” while wives / lovers are.

    When a guild acts towards its members like a jealous wife, I’d quit.

  4. I keep all my chars in one guild, as I think, there’s no need to be in one guild to raid together. I know, there are different opinions on that.
    That might change with cataclysm. Then there will be advantages for guild-raids.
    As a RL I prefer to know about “contracts” that might interfere with raids I lead. Thats just fair.

  5. I like that in Guild Wars all my chars are in the same guild.

    Some will hate this feature for sure – but to me it makes sense. I have multiple chars, but I am only one person. On how many weddings can one person dance at the same time? Maybe women can do that, but I am not that good at multitasking. :)

    I would feel like a social parasite. This is also the reason my Klingon in Star Trek Online is not in any guild/fleet. Because my MAIN Federation char is already in a Federation guild. I would have to split my time between two or more guilds, and well, who likes a player who thinks of your guild as 2nd choice.

  6. It feels like a slap in the face if you’re a guild officer and a member can’t come to a guild raid because he’s off in another guild on an alt.

    However, we don’t own PEOPLE, and we certainly can’t tell people how to spend their time. What does it matter whether the person is in another guild on the same server, on a toon on another server, or simply doing something (Gasp!) IRL. A GM might frown on a commitment Monday night to raid with another guild, but not on a commitment to play soccer that night.

  7. As an officer, this is a huge slap in the face to the guild. As a player, it’s an annoyance. I think if you are one of the people doing this, and you can manage your schedule and not hold any of your multiple guilds back, that’s fine. I don’t think I would advertise it, unless you are really close with your guild’s leadership and precise with your attendance.

  8. As a GM, I perfectly understand that people don’t want to feel ‘chained’ to a guild – and I have no right to ask them to be. If you want an alt in another guild for whatever reason then go for it, I’m not your keeper! In real life people have different social groups, it can be the same way with WoW.

    I also don’t mind if people decide to raid with other guilds rather than mine (as we are primarily a social guild and do 10 mans only). In either of those cases though, don’t expect priority if you do decide you want to raid with us one evening or want something from the guild.

    My only caveat is that if this is done ‘sneakily’ it can cause problems… if you just move an established character out one day, or start raiding with another guild without saying anything about it to your officers or guildmates? That just smacks of a lack of respect to me, and isn’t likely to go down well.

  9. I’ve been a member of two guilds for 2.5 years. One is Horde, one is Alliance, they are on different servers. The raid times do not clash, so I don’t have a problem there.

    I never planned to be part of two guilds. I joined my alliance guild on my druid and felt at home there. Very shortly after I met a bunch of local WoW-players at a pub and they convinced me to roll a character on their server. So I got new friends and a second guild.

    The guild with RL friends in it sometimes gives me grief about being part of two guilds (asking: “So, when are you going to quit your Alliance guild?”), but it’s mostly died down.

    While it can sometimes be difficult, I enjoy it. Raiding is what I enjoy most about WoW and having 2 guilds allows me to raid more and effectively have two mains. This setup, to me, is much more enjoyable than joining one guild who raids 5x a week.

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