There’s much more to being a guild leader than been the head of a bunch of merry men (and women). Even if you’ve been a guild leader in other games, you may be better off learning a little bit about AoC before starting up a new guild or taking over an older guild. This guide (on the native blog site) has a lot of links back to the forums, resource sites, and other blogs, hopefully providing a useful resource for new guild leaders.

Here’s some things to think about as you ponder starting a guild.

What is the goal of your guild?

  • Are you going to be a leveling guild that can offer advice to newer players?
  • Do you want to raid?
  • Is it a cooperative of individuals who get together to build a city for it’s benefits?
  • Do you want friendly pvp groups?
  • Do you want to RP?
  • Do you accept F2P players?

Additionally, are you raiding during US prime time, Europe peak hours, or some other time? Knowing what time you want to do in game activities can help you recruit people who will have a similar playing schedule.

Do you know enough about the game to help/lead people?

If you’re not familiar with how crafting works, what being an architect entails, the basic progression of areas you can visit at rough level ranges, and the basics of the game’s interface such as understanding how the game breaks the game up into different instances of the same area, maybe being a Guild Leader isn’t something you should do yet.

A player on Crom was having trouble getting through his level 30 destiny quest. While I was offering some advice, he mentioned he was the leader of a guild. I joined to help him out and quickly realized he was more interested in being a leader in title than actually what it took to build a city. Part of this was because he kept asking for members to donate the structural elements instead of materials (even after I explained how it worked). I ended up building 90% of the T1 city (using materials I gathered and bought using gold from several of my 80’s). One day, I saw the bank was empty of all the blue items, crafting materials, and money I had deposited (secretly hoping some other players would chip in). Seeing the Guild Leader had changed an alt to the Lord and had left the guild. I followed his leadership example and did the same.

Building a City and Battlekeep

You want to build a city? It’s not cheap nor easy (see above). Here’s the approximate list of materials you need to build a city:

600 Copper (or 60 Braces)
2140 Sandstone (or 214 Bricks)
1350 Ash (135 Joints)
210 Silver (21 Plain Facades)
118 Parchment (at 37.5 silver each)
59 Ink (at 25 silver each)

So, in addition to farming for hours and having an architect to make plans, the Guild needs 59 gold. Age of Conan is a game where most level 80 characters can earn about 1 gold per hour, with efficient grinding. 59 gold for a level 40 is a fortune. And that’s just for a T1 city. (I’ve never done the T2 or T3 architect, so I’m not sure how much it costs, but my guess is quite a bit).

Additionally, there’s a hierarchy of building items, which means that even if all you want is a Trade Post, you still need to build a lot of things before you can get one.

Stage 1: Keep
Stage 2: Armor-smith, Weapon-smith, Alchemist, Thieves Guild, Walls*, Towers*, and Gates*
Stage 3: Barracks, Library
Stage 4: Temple
Stage 5: Trade Post
Stage 6: Architect Workshop

  • *Walls, Towers, and Gates don’t need to be completed to go on to Stage 3.

And if you want to have a Battlekeep. You need to be able to defend it. While sieges are rare these days, a new guild consisting of mostly new players, and most under level 80, will have no chance of winning against seasoned 80’s.

Bank Management

As illustrated above, being too generous with Guild ranking can have huge repercussions. Every online game has suffered from someone raiding a Guild bank and quitting the guild, leaving everyone else angry (and poor).

Another item to consider is what do you want to store? In general, I’ve seen most guilds stack valuable resources, rare items to pass out to members, and health, stamina, and mana food. Since space is limited, don’t use the Guild Bank as your own personal storage locker for social items/junk.

Learning the Ropes

There’s some big guilds still in the game which are a great place to get learn the ropes of raids, 6-mans, and general guild management. Join one and spend some time raiding with your guild and doing pickup groups to learn how certain battles work.

Here’s some things you may want to learn about before and while you’re starting your own guild (depending on your goals):

  • Set up and learn how to use a Guild Bot. This provides access to AA Timers, and other useful tools.
  • Setup a guild webpage using sites like GuildPortal or GuildLaunch.
  • Learn how to use basic macros and scripts to advertise and provide information to members.
  • Learn how to use parsers (Burnstats) (GuildStats)
  • Learn the where to get the quests and the mechanics of the fights for T1 and T2 raids (if you want to Raid)
  • Learn the fights for some of the 6-mans (if you want to do 6-mans)
  • Have at least a basic understanding of the different arch-types and their key T2 AA abilities (Resolve, Tainted Weapons, etc.)
  • Understand what you want the guild to be and advertise appropriately
  • Be prepared to have to spend a lot of time recruiting and then helping recruits
  • Set up a TeamSpeak3 or Ventrilo account to use for voice chat
  • Get familiar with the AoC forums and understand the game’s schedule for the World Bosses and PvP events.

Human Issues

Scaevacas, the Guild Leader of Requiem Nex, posted on the forums some other things that Guild Leaders have to address:

  • Dealing with drama
  • Dealing with stalkers
  • Dealing with loot arguments
  • Dealing with loot whores
  • Promoting / demoting / kicking players, when, how, and why
  • How often to have officer meetings
  • When to change the rules, and how to deal with minorities
  • How to handle terrible players
  • How to handle elitist jerks
  • How to handle multi-guilded players, especially when they PVP against players in your guild
  • DKP? open roll? other?
  • Dealing with people’s psychological needs
  • Dealing with conflicting personalities
  • Aligning groups goals with your own
  • Reacting to competing guilds

Note: I assumed DKP was Dragon Kill Points and linked the Wikipedia page for reference. If I’m way off base, I’ll update this later.

As someone who hasn’t had to deal with things like this in a game I had originally left out this human interaction as part of being a guild leader. This takes time, patience, and is a lot of work. This work load is why a lot of players would rather be in a guild than running their own.

Conclusion

In my opinion and experience, most good Guild Leaders are knowledgeable and experienced players. Even though I’ve been playing basically since launch, I’ve never wanted to start a Guild since I don’t always have the time to play enough to be a good leader as well as experienced enough to lead a raid, despite knowing the basics of the T1 and most T2 fights.

While T3 is often accomplished with pickup groups these days, it may be safer to presume that you’ll have to work up to it, especially if you’re approaching new players. But as Scaevacas concluded his post, “I’ve seen my fair share of [the list above] over the last 5-6 years, and being a guild leader is stressful, demanding, and time consuming, but also has its rewards when everyone is happy.”



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