As I’ve said several times, I recommend guilds be single (or at least clearly prioritized) purpose to avoid losing folk to conflicting desires. But let’s face it – everyone wants to do more than one thing, and most people aren’t going to do one thing forever. If nothing else, they get burned out doing “only this” or “only that”. One of my preferred solutions to this is the Associate Guild solution. Note up front that Blizzard does a TERRIBLE job of supporting this — you’re going to have to work around a number of issues. Still…
The associate guild system allows you to have several dedicated role guilds under a ‘guild umbrella’. Think of it as a clan system, with each ‘family’ doing its own thing, but the clan getting together (or sharing members) on an occasional need.
What this allows you to do is have: Raid; Instances; PVP (maybe separated by BGs and Arenas); perhaps a Development (another post…), you get the idea. All belonging to OurGuildClan (OGC for the rest of this article), but each with a particular focus.
The difficulty is in the details. For example, Blizzard has NO tool for you to participate in a multi-guild chat. Well, actually they do but you have to play a bit of trickery. With the “unassigned” channels now available, you can use guild chat for your particular ‘family’, and have everyone /join OGCchat to talk across the clan. Other details that must be worked out is rules for sharing people across the clan (do your loot points carry, and if so how?), and lateral transfers, and if there’s a clan squabble how it’s resolved (you think Guild Drama is bad, try Family Wars…) Oh, and how bank(s) are shared, and profession assets/savings, and… oh, it requires a bit of thought. But it keeps the family together even when they’re all going different directions.
It’s a technique. It’s especially useful when a guild has aged, and some people are no longer interested in the guild’s main purpose BUT all their friends are still there.
Oh – I’ll add a couple of other benefits besides coping with spreading interests. It’s a great way to train people in guild management beyond being officers. Secondly, it’s a useful solution to a rather longstanding problem with alts.
If you’re going to try this, I recommend serious discussion among both the guild officers AND the guild as a whole. And I also recommend that you have enough members/alts to ‘fill’ all the guilds you’re associating — lest they die from being too small. I generally recommend that everyone use the same home webpage, but each guild get its own subpages for ITS business.
It works – for some people, some of the time. It requires work. It may be so much work it’s not fun – and if so, don’t do it. But if you’re reaching for a solution to a separating guild that nobody really wants to see separate, it may be your solution.
Oh – I almost forgot to mention. Another time this can be useful is bringing two or more smaller guilds together. These merges carry their own problems – not least, “Who’s in charge” and “We did it THIS way” – and this is one way to keep this a bit smoother. Not always, not necessarily best, but a workable alternative.