Six Steps to Rebuilding Your Guild

Don't just mourn the good old days. It's time for action.

Your guild may have come from humble beginnings, but it grew into a force to be reckoned with. Your membership numbers peaked and you all worked hard to ding up together before going on to conquer every corner of your server. Battlegrounds and instances quivered in your wake and hours of your life drifted into that make believe world as you “pewpewd” and “lold” the nights away with your online buddies.

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But that was a few years ago. Over time people started getting married, having babies, changing jobs, traveling, became redundant, started a new course or perhaps just felt it was time to move on.

The first step to overcoming a problem is to admit you’ve got one.

These days you see only the same 5 people online night after night. Your forums no longer buzz with daily chatter, your last clan meet consisted of 2 gamers and a cat and it’s been months since someone posted up what they had for dinner on your Facebook page. When you log into voice-coms, no one is there to say hello or moan about their day. When you try to form a group you now have to run with disorganised pugs to get anything done. So what do you do about it?

1. Admit there is a problem

The first step to overcoming a problem is to admit you’ve got one. If a lack of online presence is bothering you or your remaining membership then don’t just sit around mourning the good old days or berating those who have moved on. It is time to admit that things are too quiet. It’s time to get recruiting.

2. Go back to basics

Perhaps all you really want is your reliable old bunch of experienced-max-level-supertwinks back so that you can continue with the end-game content you so love. This can be a game-dependent issue but more often than not restricting yourself to the recruitment of end-game players will mean a tiny pool of potential new recruits. Why not open your doors a little wider and help some newer folks get started? Perhaps even roll a new character in order to spend time with your lowbies? Show them the ropes and let them feel like they are part of your guild “now” as opposed to when they get into their armour-of-mighty-endgameness. Chances are you built a good relationship up with your membership of yesterday through leveling and grinding up. This in turn helped you to work together as a team later as well as form some online “bromances”. If you want that bond back again, then be prepared to invest some time in going back to basics.

3. Show an interest in new members

Whilst it is great to hear about all those amazing server shattering things you accomplished 5 years ago it is also important to take an interest in your new members. Have they played before? Are they new to gaming? If not what other games do they play? What style of game-play do they most enjoy? Getting people in the door is one thing. Keeping people and building quality membership is what really counts. 

4. Try a change of scene

Change can be difficult, a risk even, but perhaps a change of scene is all you need to revive your guild activity. Is there an area of game-play that you’ve not yet delved into? Is it time for a server move? Do you need to move your guild into a new alliance? Whilst playing Eve Online I myself saw the benefits of being prepared to move a Corporation around to try new pvp areas, rather than sit in the same place where activity was now stagnant. PissedJedi recently wrote an article on GameSkinny about reviving a guild by changing servers in WoW. Ask yourself, what have you really got to lose?

5. Update your tech

If your forum is a behemoth of irrelevant old posts, in-jokes and dead topics then be prepared to take some drastic action. Check if your administrators are still active or replace them with people who are. Close down or remove those old threads (especially the ones with arguments) or perhaps even consider re-creating your forum entirely. With fresh members in mind, bump/re-post those old “how to” threads and restart your social threads (you know, the “who are you” and “where are you from” ones). Whilst you’re at it, revisit your Facebook page and start poking it back into life. And how is your guild blog looking? Did anyone actually write a post for it in the last 6 months? A guild “reboot” doesn’t just take place within the game itself.

6. Admit defeat

Leaving something you’ve spent years of time with or worked hard to build up yourself can be an extremely difficult decision. Many people stay with their guild or clan out of personal loyalty long after most of the other members have moved on. But if your gaming happiness is being stunted by a lack of people to play with, and no one is interested in building things back up again, then perhaps it is time to start over again?


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