Uncommon guilds – the Training Guild
This is a continuation of my earlier post on associate guilds, delving into one of the types I find… fascinating, if rarely seen. Everybody knows that most guilds are aimed at top level instances, with most of the rest being aimed at battlegrounds. I’m going to write a few articles on some of the less common guilds, starting with one of my favorite oddballs – the training guilds. No, not “how to train a guild” or even “how to train guild members”. I used to call them “farm team guilds”, except that in WoW farming has a completely different connotation. And in the earlier post I used my third description – Development guilds. I’ve rarely seen it on various games, but when I do… it’s worth examining.
The basic premise is simple. It’s a guild where everybody is developing themselves in preparation for the endgame. The quirk is that THIS guild won’t be doing that endgame. The clue here is my label “farm team”. In several sports – most notably American Baseball – there are teams that are less than top tier in which players are seasoned. And when they’re ready, they’re brought to the Big Leagues. The same principle applies here.
Members are brought in at a certain point. The guild does nothing but run (repetitively) instances and quests, over and over, with a rotating membership. When the member’s reached a certain level, the Big League guild (or more often guilds) which support this guild run the player(s) through an evaluation instance or two to see if they’re interested in bringing the player on board.
The guild leader -and guild officers – are often trusted alts of members of the sponsoring guilds, but are rarely officers in those guilds. They act as, well, as headmasters and trainers in a school. They accept applicants, train them, EVALUATE THEM, and send the names of those “ready” up to the majors. Sometimes, guild XYZ will say, “we need a Warlock” and the Headmaster (this guild’s leader) will present those he thinks ready. Sometimes the Headmaster will say to the guilds that he’s got a player – perhaps a hunter – who is ready and would be an asset to the guild, and the guilds make their recruiting test and play.
There are a lot of benefits to this. Not least is that the training guild will be able to report not only the skills and gear, but also how well this member works and plays with others. Does he promise more than can be delivered? Is she always on time and ready, or is there an inevitable wait to pick up a repair?
To make it work well requires some support from the hosting guild(s). Ideally, each guild’s officers and members commit to a block of time – either on their primary or their alt – in which they’ll run these guildies through instances and quests. Minimally, the guilds provide some members who guarantee support.
What the headmaster does is SCHEDULE RUNS – much as senior guilds schedule raid runs, and with similar arrangement. Time and place, in advance. As for other functions of a ‘normal’ guild – guild bank and guild support (enchanters, alchemists, that sort of thing) – they are optional, but I don’t tend to recommend it. It’s somewhat hard to wrap the mind around, but the players are passing through – there is no long-term investment.
I think this sort of guild can be a lot of fun for many people. It gives numerous benefits all around, many unanticipated. For example: if the Major Guilds have members who need rep runs (say, the guild decides Exalted in SSC is mandatory so repairs can be done on site), the Training Guild’s scheduled runs provides an unexpected opportunity.
As with all guilds, doing it well is hard work. Many of the difficulties are different from a “normal” guild, meaning the leader of such a guild is treading ground on which advice from experience is rare. But it can be rewarding – for the guild master, the supporting guild(s) and their members, and the “students”.