Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Guilds and the Solo Player

The idea of a guild might sound counter intuitive to some soloers.  A guild connotes grouping and socialization and while that might hold in most cases its not true across the board.  I find a guild to be extremely useful.  I speak of course about Vanity Guilds although there may indeed be guilds which are home to soloers exclusively.

Guilds provide numerous benefits to the soloer, the first of which is a tag which protects you from the seemingly endless ginvite spam and 'join our guild, were really gr8 guyz' whispers that bombard a new character from the moment they phase into the starting area.

Then of course, there are the guild level perks which provide some really nice bonuses. 

Virtually all of these are of interest to me and are applicable to soloers with the exception of the last perk, Mass Resurrection.  Even Honorable Mention may come in use someday should I decide to work on PvP achievements in Battlegrounds.  Actually, scratch that, it will come in useful as all non current dungeons award honor these days and if I don't spend that honor on PvP gear I can spend it on Honor mounts or convert it to Justice Points which has a multitude of uses.

The third great benefit of a guild is of course storage.  Storage is always an issue with me.  I am a packrat and WoW never ceases to generate items that I simply cannot part with.  You'll take away my Light of Elune, Linken's Boomerang and Burgy Blackheart's hat out of my cold dead hands.   Well in theory anyway as those items are all in my now-shelved main's bank.  That toon (Eccentrica) has all personal bank slots purchased, with Embersilk Bags in all slots, all Void Storage used, and 3 Vanity Guilds with 13 vault tabs between them.  Yes, I have issues.

I'm trying to be a bit more sensible this time around.  I am not yet collecting miscellany although I haven't ruled that out for the future. 

In the meantime, guild vault storage is fantastic for acting as a central location and clearing house for trade materials.  All non-soulbound, non-junk items get sent to one character who sorts the mail, gathers stacks of items and places them in the bank.  Crafting characters can then just go to the bank to withdraw the materials needed.  Multiple tabs help keep things organized and provide longer term storage for items such as BoE blues, buff food and item enchancements, higher level mats not yet useable and items intended for sale on the AH.  I like to keep clean bags and clean mailboxes.  Less stuff goes missing that way.

On top of Guild Perks are of course Guild Rewards which are tied to Guild Achievements.  Some are obtained by reaching certain guild ranks, Heirloom Cloaks at Guild Level 10 for instance.  Others require the completion of set numbers of activities for instance the Guild Herald pet after looting 100,000g from creatures.  A large proportion of Guild Rewards are completely within the grasp of the soloer. 

I'm aiming for Heirlooms at a minimum, the aforementioned Cloaks at GL10, Helms at GL20 and Legs for Working Better as a Team (600 skillpoints in all professions).  The last will take a while (obviously), but it is obtainable nonetheless. There are really only about half a dozen rewards that will remain firmly out of grasp.

One last benefit of a personal guild is that it provides another marker of progress.  Watching your guild grow in rank over time, and having rewards unlock gives you smaller goals to work towards and adds to your sense of accomplishment in a game that is geared toward group work.  How cool will it be to unlock and achieve everything a soloer can do, and say "I did this, and I did this by myself"?

Having established the value and utility of a Vanity Guild, you've only to go and create one.  In every capital city resides a Guild Master who will sell you a Guild Charter for 10s.  He functions as a conversation, not a vendor.  On purchasing a charter you are prompted for a name and once selected and internally 'approved' by the server the charter is placed in your bags.

You then require 4 unique signatures for your charter.  A WoW licence can only sign a charter once.  This means that you cannot hop onto a secondary account and sign the charter on 3 separate characters nor can anyone else.  If you are in the position (as I am having coerced my husband and children to play at one point or another) of having multiple WoW licences, you can log into each of those licences and sign your charter.  Alternately you can go the old route and ask friends, acquaintances or strangers to sign your charter for you.

Should you approach strangers to sign your charter, you will encounter greater success if you remain polite, to the point and most importantly respectful.  In the past when I've gone this route I've always started my conversation with an apology for bothering them, a simple signature request, the reason why, the offer to come to them to lessen their inconvenience, and an offer of compensation for my intrusion into their play.

This is a sample macro: "I'm sorry to disturb you, but if you can spare a moment, would you please sign my banking guild charter.  I will come to you, can offer 25g and will wrap this up quickly."  I do this as a whisper, I never open the charter to them without their consent, and if I do not receive a reply or consent I do not persist in pestering them.  The starter areas and the first towns outside of them are the best places to do this, and some starter areas are more productive than others.  You'll find far more unguilded players in Razor Hill and Goldshire than you will in Azure Watch or Falconwing Square.

Once you've obtained your four signatures, return to the Guild Master, work your way through his dialogue again (starting with 'How do I form a Guild'), and register your charter.  After the ding and whoosh and the sudden guild chat dialogue that pops up you've a bit of housework to do.  If any of the four players who've signed the charter are still online, I thank them all in Guild Chat for their time and assistance and wish them well.  Most people know the drill by now and will /gquit.

Before everyone scarpers off, you may want to ask one of them to invite all your alts to the guild (if you've only one account and can't perform this yourself).  Offer compensation for the further intrusion and inconvenience.  Usually the compensation is refused but at least you've been considerate and polite and offered it.  You will need to open the guild interface, go to the guild info tab, find the guild control button and assign that person's rank the permission to invite.  Then log onto all your characters and whisper the invitor.  Do try to wrap this all up quickly so they can get back to what they were doing.

In the interest of politeness and courtesy, once this is all done, I wait a further 5 minutes to allow any AFK signators to leave of their own accord.  After that I remove all toons from the guild but my own (done via right click toons name in the guild roster, select remove OR by typing /gkick 'insert toons name here' into the dialogue box).  Then I bask in my new status.  For a moment anyway.

Congratulations.  You own a Vanity Guild.


  1. Indeed. I totally agree. That's why I always make personal guilds and level them. The benefits, and all the potential bank tabs, are wonderful.


  2. Indeed they are. They are so simple to start and now effortless to level. Any serious soloer should really consider creating one.