Thursday, January 27, 2011

Using a Guild as money maker

So I decided to level another shaman. But unlike what you might think, this isn't going to be a post about me having an OCD about leveling shamans and warriors. No it is going to be about something else completely.

When the new guild perk system was first announced many questions where raised as to how it would work in practice. Blizzard had hoped for it to be a special reward for those longer lasting, dedicated guilds. Critics immediately pointed out all the ways it could be exploited. Blizzard has gone through some precautions to avoid explotation of the new system. It is unfortunately so that people will exploit any system, so that alone isn't an argument that a system is bad. It's only when exploitation takes over the intended usage that one has reason to raise a hand and say "dear sirs, this isn't working very well". For one you have to have a certain guild reputation to get at the really good rewards. Let me tell you that you get guild rep really, really slowly unless you do alot of guild dungeons, so becoming honored with your guild is really nothing you achieve over night. It really does filter the dedicated guildies from the hangarounds in my opinion. The guild perks however, at least most of them, will affect anyone in the guild. From the newly invited with "loser" rank to the 3-year standing officer will be affected equally by most, if not all, guild perks. So the other day I encountered a really clever thing.

I was running around on my shaman in one of the starting areas for goblins (which I really enjoy by the way) when I randomly got a guild invite. The guy hadn't whispered me beforehand and I had never heard of the guild before. This isn't unusual behavior, as soon as I play an unguilded character I can expect to get random guild invites left and right. I usually just ignore them, or start my own guild to get rid of the hassle. But not this time. The guild in question didn't have a horrible name (like... Defenders of Alliance) and most importantly, it was guild rank 7. There I was, lonely goblin without any BoA or friends since I was on an off-server and the possibility to join a guild with some nice guild perks became really tempting. So I thought - sure, why not? As rank 7 I get 10% more exp from mobs and quests, faster mountspeed and less durability loss upon dying. Quite the bargain for simply being in a guild!

I quickly checked the roster and noticed that the guild had over 750 members, with more people joining the guild by the minute. Whoever was the head of the guild was clearly just inviting anyone, as they had with me. I wouldn't have looked twice at such a guild any other time, but now I was actually gaining quite alot from being in it. But the guy who owned the guild probably gained even more by having us in it. At rank 7 the guild bank gains 5% of all the money looted from mobs, and as the guild rises in rank, so will that momey flow. And all those golds flow into a guild bank run by... whom? I had no idea. Did I care? Not really. I had my perks and whoever had invited me would get 5% of everything I looted (actually it's an added 5%, so no money loss for me). Fair deal? I thought so, and any time I didn't like it I could just skedaddle my way out of there.

5% of my earnings is quite modest right now (we're talking copper). But imagine 750, by now probably even more, people who run around looting various amounts of money. How much gold could that be per day? And no one is actually doing any real work to get it. The members just do what they would've done anyway - quest. And whoever holds the guild just has to clean out the inactive players now and then (which takes no time at all) and invite new players continously (which just is a /who [lowbie zone] or /who [lowbie level] and invite everyone on the list. Sit back and profit.
  • Is this a bad way to make money? No.
  • Is there any deception going on? Not really.
  • Is this a good deal for everyone involved? Yeah I'd definitely say so. My shaman is damn happy about those guild perks.
  • Is there any drawback of this system? Well I can only see of one. You have to do it first. A server can only provide so many players for huge lowbie guilds like these, so once this idea catches on it might be as tedious snatching lowbies as it is to snatch glyph buyers before being undercut. And these guilds will naturally have a huge movement of players coming in and out of the guild. But so what? No one has to stay longer than they want, and as long as they are there everyone gets something out of the deal.
I could never have thought that the guild perk system could be turned into this Guild Business thing, and I'm not entirely sure what to think about it. Overall I actually think it is a great idea since no one comes to harm and it really is a win win situation. Eventhough this particular guild has 750+ members and you might think of it as an abomination, I had some nice chats with people and when I get high enough level to do instances, chances are high that there will be at least one player my level who might want to do an instance with me. It's also yet another great example of how people really can turn anything into a profit making system.

This guild also allowed me to confirm my view that people from GB seem to have the worst english (he later states that he is from England).


  1. Yeah... I've been keeping an eye on this new phenomenon and I don't know what to think exactly either, I'm probably more concerned than you.

    The money is not taken from you, correct! But they are earned BY YOU. This weird relation between the two makes it hard for me to relate to it, who's money is it really? I don't know, but judging from the system, only the guildmaster's.

  2. I read this post with interest. Unbelievable how people can find ways to let systems work for them, which I was that clever.
    Is it bad? No, only because it's not intended maybe. Therefor I disaggree with Ironyca. It's just how western civilisation works.
    They made a company and hire people to work for them.
    The guildleaders are in fact the stockholders/board,the members are employees, the perk benefit is the salary, the moneyflow to the guild is the company profit.
    When you work for a company you normaly get only a fixed salary. What you make is for the company which benefit from it. If you want (a piece of) the profit you've to become a stockholder, get high in the organisation or make your own business. If you don't want that just don't work for that company.

  3. One addition:
    This will cause (huge) inflation when it becomes generally accepted because it creats gold out of nothing which flows to certain points iso get spead out over the entire community.
    In worse cage scenarios this will ruin WoW.