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#1 Edge Equinox

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 05:32 PM

I actually have the opposite problem of the OP in this thread. I've been the leader of the same guild since I started it back in July 2005 when GW1 first came out. Now we're in GW2 since GW1 is mostly dead at this point. Our problem is not that the leader and officers (about 8 of us in total) are inactive--we're on all the time, and we get along great because we've known each other for years. The problem is that nobody else is. Time and time again we recruit new members, and they inevitably stop logging in. The problem isn't that they don't want to represent the guild, it's that they stop playing altogether. Even the seemingly most interested people stop playing GW2 after a few weeks, having made little to no progress in the game. We never hear from them again and end up kicking them for being inactive.

Some people have said that we need to offer something to our new recruits to convince them to stay, and that our problem is that we have nothing to offer them. But what can we offer them? My guild's mission is to create a PvE-centric community that focuses on helping new players learn about the game by offering advice, answers, and help when they need it. We do whatever we can to help these folks and make sure they have whatever assistance they need. We have a very catchy and unique slogan that never fails to get us noticed. And we definitely don't want to just give up and join some larger guild, we've got a bunch of good, experienced, friendly players with great leadership skills and I see no reason why we should throw that away. We don't do PvP and we're not hardcore farmers or dungeoneers--we wouldn't be averse to doing a weekly dungeon run, but we don't have the numbers right now. How are we supposed to "offer" guild members any more than that? We simply don't have the numbers to organize events because it's hard for us to all log in at the same time (we're all adults with lives beyond GW2). It seems like we're experiencing a catch-22: we can't have fun group events with a lot of people because we don't have the numbers to make such events a reality, but in order to gain numbers we need to have fun events to entice people to stay in the game (let alone the guild).

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I might do to make it more likely we'll succeed this time around? So far, the only thing that we've come up with is getting together in a group of guild members to roam around lower-level (1-30) PvE zones, helping random people along the way and talking to them in local chat to see if they need help or advice. Other than that, if anyone has any ideas, I would be very happy to consider them.

Edited by Edge Equinox, 17 May 2013 - 05:35 PM.


#2 Yuhwoo

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 05:39 PM

If I was being selfish, I would tell you to merge with our guild :D
we're small guild made up of RL friends, so we have a strong core.

If I was being realistic - you just have to keep trying.  I am the guild leader for my guild and I do all the recruiting.  It's tough work and can get demoralizing, to be honest - but I keep at it.  There have been a few diamonds in the rough that we found and they have stayed.

I used to work in P&C Insurance, and Insurance 101 states: "play the numbers game."  Keep recruiting and recruiting - most will leave, but a few will end up staying.

I usually recruit only in Queensdale as most of the population is human and lots of low levels are there.  However, mid-level places do help also.  Another way is to pug dungeons with 1 or 2 other guildies and see if the remaining puggers are interested in joining.

#3 Edge Equinox

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 05:47 PM

View PostYuhwoo, on 17 May 2013 - 05:39 PM, said:

If I was being selfish, I would tell you to merge with our guild :D
we're small guild made up of RL friends, so we have a strong core.

If I was being realistic - you just have to keep trying.  I am the guild leader for my guild and I do all the recruiting.  It's tough work and can get demoralizing, to be honest - but I keep at it.  There have been a few diamonds in the rough that we found and they have stayed.

I used to work in P&C Insurance, and Insurance 101 states: "play the numbers game."  Keep recruiting and recruiting - most will leave, but a few will end up staying.

I usually recruit only in Queensdale as most of the population is human and lots of low levels are there.  However, mid-level places do help also.  Another way is to pug dungeons with 1 or 2 other guildies and see if the remaining puggers are interested in joining.

PUGing dungeons has always resulted in people getting mad at me/us for being reasonable and not charging in blindly, so that's probably not going to work. And we already recruit in low-level zones, but it seems that that doesn't make much of a difference since not one of the 30-40 people we've recruited since launch have stayed active.

#4 pumpkin pie

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 05:57 PM

players like to have guild buffs, guild activities.

my guild has guild zerg. its a very good way to get ppl to join you. may be hard to start if you don't have enough members to zerg with. the guild leader welcomes any players, to join the zerg, usually those who joined will eventually become our guild mate. my lowbie guardian gain 3 levels in a guild zerg under an hour.

one zerg (on weekend) session is usually clearing one map. prior to the zerg, a poll  is up on week days so that members can vote which map they wanted to cleared.

time and location of guild rush, mission are also posted on website.

items donated by guildies, are re-distribute to whoever needing them most.

We never have any welcome gift. I don't think those are needed. in-fact I choose the one guild that has the best management instead of those that send me food and buffs on joining. I usually "send back to sender".

#5 Loperdos

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 06:08 PM

View PostYuhwoo, on 17 May 2013 - 05:39 PM, said:


~snipfu

I used to work in P&C Insurance, and Insurance 101 states: "play the numbers game."  Keep recruiting and recruiting - most will leave, but a few will end up staying.

~snipfu


This basically.  My guild and I (I'm the co-leader) have the same issue as the OP.  We are a relatively small guild that started with a bunch of real life friends who got together and created a guild, like we have in a couple other games over the years.  Myself and the leader are the only two who do any sort of recruiting generally, so its a slow process and we've seen lots of turn-over.

The numbers game is true, but its more fun to think of it like testing if the spaghetti is done...keep throwing pieces up against the wall and eventually you'll get some to stick. :)

#6 Rp40

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 06:24 PM

I hat to say it but this is a culture problem. Other members see th inactivity and don't want anything to do with it.

Once you start loosing that momentum its tough to get it back.

Fortunately you don't have the reverse problem which requires you to move on. ( other thread you linked )

As the leader you must consolidate and cut your losses and culture.

Here is your strategy

Immediately kick all inactives no exceptions

Alter your name And logo. You want to be the growing guild on the block. Not the dying one. This helps frame you as such. Play your current members off as new recruits to show the community growth

Market yourself as a new brand. Your pve goals have a unique niche that can be filled and inspire growth.


Lastly you must find enjoyable end game content. Pve has far less replay value. It is on the leaders to be creative and find guikd content.
Run guild missions often. Inspire friendly competition within the guild to help set pve goals and meet them.

Mix it up once a week to not burn out your members. 1 pvp or wvw night once in a while won't kill you.


#7 the_brolice

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:02 PM

You never said, what do you want more people for?

Possibly because more people = more fun?  Want to work together to progress toward something in game, like getting big enough to do guild missions?

Maybe if you make it clear what you want guild members for, and what members can do within your guild, that might attract better members for you.  Then again, it might not.  As mentioned above, you're gonna have to go through the numbers game.  But there are other older players in this game too, that you could find a common ground with.

#8 Scorpion

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:09 PM

The biggest problem that I've noticed when I join guilds that are active, they aren't really that talkative. They usually have some sort of circle with a few people and talk among themselves. Even you I would try to strike up a conversation or something I usually wouldn't get a reply. I'm not saying your guild does this, but for me it usually makes or breaks it for me.

#9 Edge Equinox

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:33 PM

View Postpumpkin pie, on 17 May 2013 - 05:57 PM, said:

players like to have guild buffs, guild activities.

my guild has guild zerg. its a very good way to get ppl to join you. may be hard to start if you don't have enough members to zerg with. the guild leader welcomes any players, to join the zerg, usually those who joined will eventually become our guild mate. my lowbie guardian gain 3 levels in a guild zerg under an hour.

one zerg (on weekend) session is usually clearing one map. prior to the zerg, a poll  is up on week days so that members can vote which map they wanted to cleared.

time and location of guild rush, mission are also posted on website.

We would love to do this but we simply don't have the numbers or activity. How are we supposed to do these events if we can't even count on people continuing to play the game after the join the guild?

Quote

items donated by guildies, are re-distribute to whoever needing them most.

I always direct new members to our bank. Nobody ever takes advantage of it.

View PostRp40, on 17 May 2013 - 06:24 PM, said:

I hat to say it but this is a culture problem. Other members see th inactivity and don't want anything to do with it.

Once you start loosing that momentum its tough to get it back.

Fortunately you don't have the reverse problem which requires you to move on. ( other thread you linked )

As the leader you must consolidate and cut your losses and culture.

Here is your strategy

Immediately kick all inactives no exceptions

We did when we decided to do something about our problem. We're now down to 8 members, all of whom are veterans from GW1.

Quote

Alter your name And logo. You want to be the growing guild on the block. Not the dying one. This helps frame you as such. Play your current members off as new recruits to show the community growth

This honestly doesn't make any sense. First, nobody really seems to know us, so bad reputation isn't a problem. Second, why should we pass off our old members as new? Don't people want experienced players to help guide them through whatever they're doing and answer their questions?

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Market yourself as a new brand. Your pve goals have a unique niche that can be filled and inspire growth.

Even in GW1, we WERE a unique brand. We were one of the few guilds to have a good, catchy, non-generic slogan, and I didn't see any other guilds that emphasized teaching new players--new-player friendly, maybe, but not dedicated to helping new players.

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Lastly you must find enjoyable end game content. Pve has far less replay value. It is on the leaders to be creative and find guikd content.

In GW1 we never really did endgame content except for a normal mode dungeon run on a weekend if there were enough people to do it and they expressed their interest and availability. This was never a problem in GW1.

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Run guild missions often. Inspire friendly competition within the guild to help set pve goals and meet them.

It would help if we had enough members to generate enough influence to be able to afford any of these things...

Quote

Mix it up once a week to not burn out your members. 1 pvp or wvw night once in a while won't kill you.

We simply don't do PvP, though I wouldn't object to WVW. We're a PvE guild, I advertise us as that, and if people want to do PvP they can join another guild that's more tailored to their interests.

View Postthe_brolice, on 17 May 2013 - 08:02 PM, said:

You never said, what do you want more people for?

Possibly because more people = more fun?  Want to work together to progress toward something in game, like getting big enough to do guild missions?

Maybe if you make it clear what you want guild members for, and what members can do within your guild, that might attract better members for you.  Then again, it might not.  As mentioned above, you're gonna have to go through the numbers game.  But there are other older players in this game too, that you could find a common ground with.

We want a bunch of people so we can 1) form a community where people know each other and log on not just to play the game, but to play the game with friends, and 2) create an atmosphere where the older, more experienced players can help the newer players. Our philosophy is that if you know something, you can always teach or explain it to less experienced people, no matter how inexperienced you yourself may be. A level 10 who started 2 weeks ago knows more than a level 2 who just started a few minutes ago, so the level 10 can help based on his or her experiences and perceptions of the game. As they learn more, they can teach more. Our goal is to get people to the level where they can lead, teach, and help on their own as independent, self-sufficient senior members of the guild, where they're able to help pretty much everyone. Our current members, the veterans from the GW1 guild who came to GW2, all fit that bill. They're very friendly and helpful and enjoy helping people out. What we want is to elevate anyone who's willing to that level of competence and sociability, and encourage cooperation and helpfulness.

View PostScorpion, on 17 May 2013 - 08:09 PM, said:

The biggest problem that I've noticed when I join guilds that are active, they aren't really that talkative. They usually have some sort of circle with a few people and talk among themselves. Even you I would try to strike up a conversation or something I usually wouldn't get a reply. I'm not saying your guild does this, but for me it usually makes or breaks it for me.

We have the opposite problem. We try to encourage conversation whenever we can, and even tell potential recruits that we WANT them to talk about anything and everything they want to, since we enjoy having conversations. But none of the members ever talk, no matter how much we try to get them started on a topic they're interested in, ask their opinion about something, or explicitly ask them how they're doing or if they need help. I don't see how to do more than what we're doing, either. People first stop talking, then they stop playing GW2 altogether. I don't get it.

I should add that we are NOT hardcore. We don't promote speedy completion of PvE content, min/maxing, gimmicky builds, or speed clears of dungeons. We want people to play at their own pace, have fun, and become part of the guild community, and not force their hardcore views on the guild or any of its members. We have no distinct goals, other than promoting individual growth and teamwork at whatever pace is comfortable to each individual member. We don't rush people through content, we help them as they request help or whenever we see the need to step in and assist people with content they're struggling with.

Edited by Edge Equinox, 19 May 2013 - 07:35 PM.


#10 Rp40

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:53 PM

Running a guild can be like running a business so I think I know what I am talking about.

Also the problems you lacked in gw1 exist in gw2. This is just a different game. The developers wanted gw2 to be more pvp orientated compared to gw1

Also gw1 had new content coming out quick at the star and lots of pve opportunities.

Thus this will be hard for you

If you don't think re branding will rejuvenate your guild consider switching servers.

If you have a core group they'll do it and you open up your guild new a new market.

You may need to be more flexible in your boundaries if you still can't get people due to lack of marketing.

#11 Edge Equinox

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:25 AM

Well, I appreciate the responses so far, and I don't mean to be difficult, but it seems there's not much we can do other than continuing to recruit. Maybe if we could just get all of our permanent members on at the same time and really go for a massive recruitment drive, we could get enough people to find some diamonds in the rough.

#12 rick1027

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:41 PM

i think you should look for other small guilds and just do stuff with them and decide if you want to do a possible merge. anything you built up doesnt have to be completely lost as in storage it might just become personal storage for the 8. 2 strong small group might become a medium decent strong group that will attract people more and end up becoming a large strong guild in the end. the same thing happened tto a guild i was in and we found another to merge with and we are getting bigger everyday now that we have decent numbers. merging doesnt have to be an end but maybe a new beginning with less struggle trying to get bigger by slowly building

#13 Dasryn

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:19 AM

players like to be engaged.  you said you and the other officers have known each other for a long time IRL, are you coming of cliquey to the newcomers?

how many people have joined a guild and you struggle to find your place as everyone outside the officers are mere numbers?

you need to engage your guildies.
  • set up guild bounties,
  • schedule days in which you level lowbies,
  • set aside a day for dungeon running,
  • get 1 or two groups together and run dungeons guildies want for the gear,
  • same with fractals,
  • desginate a WvW officer that exposes guildies to that ( i know you said you were pve but there are a lot of pve elements in WvW),
  • designate a DE officer who watches Dragon Timers for World Event bosses
i mean, its really hard to believe that its the guildies that are leaving that is the problem.  if you cant retain members outside of your core RL friends, that says more about you than the guildies that are leaving.

credentials:
Spoiler

Edited by Dasryn, 22 May 2013 - 10:20 AM.


#14 Edge Equinox

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 05:59 PM

View PostDasryn, on 22 May 2013 - 10:19 AM, said:

players like to be engaged.  you said you and the other officers have known each other for a long time IRL, are you coming of cliquey to the newcomers?

Not at all. We always try to get them involved in conversations, including trying to ask their opinion of a benign (often non-GW-related) subject if they seem reluctant to talk. Even if we ask something as simple as "what are you working on?" or "what sort of build are you aiming for?" people just never respond, not even when we whisper them.

Also, we don't know each other IRL. We all met in GW1. I may have the opportunity to meet one of the members this summer when he and his family are going to visit a city near where I live.

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how many people have joined a guild and you struggle to find your place as everyone outside the officers are mere numbers?

We do our best to emphasize the fact that the members aren't mere numbers. The officers dedicate as much time and energy as they can to trying to make the new recruits feel comfortable and that their needs are being met.

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you need to engage your guildies.
set up guild bounties,
We don't have the numbers to get the influence to unlock that anytime soon. Neither do we have enough people to participate in them.

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schedule days in which you level lowbies,
Our goal isn't to "level" people. They should proceed at their own pace. If they want help we can give it, but we are firmly against "rushing" people to level 80 or pushing a faster rate of progress than they want for themselves.

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set aside a day for dungeon running,
We don't have whole days. We're generally on in the evenings for a few hours, and we don't really have weekends free. Also, it would help if we had enough people to actually run dungeons. PUGs we've worked with in the past have almost always failed because we have the guildies on the one hand who know how to work together as a team and other people who know little or nothing about teamwork and aren't willing to slow down and plan things out before running in blindly.

Quote

desginate a WvW officer that exposes guildies to that ( i know you said you were pve but there are a lot of pve elements in WvW),
We don't really do WvW. For one, we prefer the player cooperation of PvE as opposed to the player competition of WvW and PvP (you never have to work against other players in PvE). Second, our server, Isle of Janthir, is scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as WvW rank. We're always outnumbered, and it's not very fun to always be losing due to something beyond anyone's control.

Quote

designate a DE officer who watches Dragon Timers for World Event bosses
We've done group events a few times, and those were fun. But we don't really have enough people to make this an ongoing affair. We're lucky to have 3 or more people on at a time.

Quote

i mean, its really hard to believe that its the guildies that are leaving that is the problem.  if you cant retain members outside of your core RL friends, that says more about you than the guildies that are leaving.

They're not leaving the guild...they're leaving the game. That's what bothers me. You would think that even if they didn't like the guild, they would continue playing, but they just log off and are never seen or heard from again. Also, we're not IRL friends, we all met in GW1 and got along great and learned how to work together well solely in the context of the game.

Maybe I was being optimistically exaggerative when I said we have 8 people. Of those 8, 2 of us (including me) are on every single night, and the rest have been on only sporadically due to schedule complications. So we have 1-2 people on most nights. Perhaps this is what's killing us. But then, how does any guild go from one or two active members to a full complement of guildies? Somehow, in the past, we've had times in GW1 when the guild had 40-50 members total and 6 or 7 on at a time most of the time. But things have just fallen apart despite our best efforts. We used to do weekly dungeon runs, and with more members on we could run pretty much any content we wanted to. But either activity tapered off for no apparent reason, or some upstart in the guild wanted to do hardcore PvE (something we specifically state as not being our thing) or full-time PvP and left, and many people left with them.

I understand that we should do things to engage guild members, particularly because we used to do those things in the past when we were able to. But I don't see why the purpose and principles of the guild should be compromised just because people develop their own interests. Is it wrong to say that we don't embrace PvP as a guild, or don't want to do hardcore PvE? To adopt those things would be to destroy the new-player-focused, cooperative, easygoing personality we've had throughout the years.

I'm not trying to be contrary or handwave away all of your suggestions. I just don't see how it would even be possible to implement them 1) with our current situation and 2) without moving away from what makes this guild what it is.

#15 Zasiah

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 01:23 AM

Honestly, you guys sound like the kind of guild I'd like to join.  I find most guilds invite me simply to have more numbers, bug me to rep them when I'm not, and never ever speak to me. Ever.  I've been invited to so many guilds and as soon as I join any communication with anyone in the guild stops.  They basically ignore me, even when I iniate conversation (or attempt to).  I've pretty much given up on the whole guild concept and just solo stuff now.

#16 Dasryn

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 02:22 AM

View PostEdge Equinox, on 22 May 2013 - 05:59 PM, said:

snip

honestly, if there are only two of you consistently logging in, and group content is that important to you, i suggest joining another guild.  that way your GW1 pals can stick together and you wont have this headache to worry about.

owning a guild is a second job - sorry but thats how it is, just like you volunteering at the local church or fire department.

its a huge responsibility and if its not something you are able to focus on, then it just might not be in the cards for you.

#17 Edge Equinox

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 02:28 AM

View PostDasryn, on 23 May 2013 - 02:22 AM, said:

honestly, if there are only two of you consistently logging in, and group content is that important to you, i suggest joining another guild.  that way your GW1 pals can stick together and you wont have this headache to worry about.

owning a guild is a second job - sorry but thats how it is, just like you volunteering at the local church or fire department.

its a huge responsibility and if its not something you are able to focus on, then it just might not be in the cards for you.

Then I guess we just have to buckle down and keep at it. We've been in the same guild since I created it shortly after GW1 launched, and we're not giving up on it. Apparently the only thing that will work is to be persistent in recruiting, so if that's my only viable option, then that's what I'll be doing. I'm not going to throw eight years away, even though there's not much I can really do.

Edited by Edge Equinox, 23 May 2013 - 02:30 AM.


#18 Dasryn

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 02:36 AM

View PostEdge Equinox, on 23 May 2013 - 02:28 AM, said:

Then I guess we just have to buckle down and keep at it. We've been in the same guild since I created it shortly after GW1 launched, and we're not giving up on it. Apparently the only thing that will work is to be persistent in recruiting, so if that's my only viable option, then that's what I'll be doing. I'm not going to throw eight years away, even though there's not much I can really do.

no one is asking you to throw 8 years away.  GW2 supports the ability to join multiple guilds.  you can even join a guild off server.

this is an option.  of course its not a mandate.

but feverishly recruiting will not solve the issue.  the issue isnt recruitment, its retention.  engaging players isnt simply sparking some conversation with them, i mean, its getting them to participate.  participating in guild events gets people invested.  when you have a sense of investment, you stay.

#19 El Duderino

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 02:42 AM

I haven't read much of the thread, but I read the OP, so excuse me if I repeat anything.

First, the #1 best thing I think any guild can do is to get voice communication - and make people use it. Don't be pushy, but badger them to get on. Of course, you have to make the voice com fun and compelling to want people to get on. This is pretty easy as long as people are personable and want to make friends.

Second, what is it your guild does and is good at? WvW, sPvP, dungeons, guild challenges, casual laid back? Define what your guild is and look for those kinds of people when you play. If you find someone that you have fun with, get them on the friends list and look them up when you get online. Invite them to do stuff. Invite them to the voice com before inviting them to the guild. Create a relationship.

Last, invite them and keep them. Make sure you stick to your principles. Weed out inactive players. Set up guild events. Engage them on a regular basis with the guild.

Some of this may be a lot of work and some of it may come naturally, but I don't think artificially enticing people to join a guild is the answer - making them want to be part of a community of friends is.




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