The Ethics of Poaching from Other Guilds.

We the Negative define poaching to be the Stealing and trespass on to other peoples land or territory to remove and deprive the rightful owners of resources for which are essential to the sucess of a raiding guild. Poaching is Bad.

We the Affirmative define Poaching to be the recruitment of worthy players to our raiding guild who are stagnating in their current guild and are being deliberatly deprived of opportunites that would see them learn and grow. We intend on taking the poachees to places that they would have never seen if they had stayed in their current guild

Smaller guilds cry that bigger guilds are stealing their players, they are not stealing…. They are offering a better opportunity then you currently have the resources or the people to provide, Smaller Guilds also seem to expect that they will hit 25 man content in the 1st week of advertising to the world ” new end game raiding guild.” Ask any of the main raiding guilds – Where you always big? No. They would have started small, if staying the GM of a guild is more important to you then seeing more content, and you are contining to fail at keeping a regular raid going, you are doing yourself a disservice by not moving on or at least trying something different.
Create an alliance, get pugs, use peoples friends that aren’t guildys – they could be potential recruits, and you get to raid. Deliver what people want. Or lose them.

I use the WOW forums for inspiration, and common question / discussion in the Guild relations forums is outcrys from smaller guilds being poached by large guilds. My transition into a raiding guild started off as a poach. I got a random whisper one day, did I want to come to Gruls as they needed an extra DPS, I had only heard rumours of this ‘Grul’s Lair’ business and of course I jumped on it. My guild was stuck halfway in Kara, and I was itching to see more endgame content, we were sucessful eventually and I was asked did I want to come back next week. ” Sure” I say. I was in the course of the run bombarded with requests to join their guild, perhaps it was because when I got on vent they found out I was a girl because looking back then, My gear and gems sucked, I had talent points in all the wrong places, and I was a Dis Specced Shadow Priest.
So I came back the 2nd week, to again offers to join their guild – they whispered promises of Kara clears , new loot, and also somemone to help me be better. It was good timing because I was unhappy in my guild then, and this was an ‘easy’ way out, it was nice to know I was wanted, appreciated, and useable.
and so I was poached, If they hadn’t have tried to recuit me, I’m not sure I would have thought about leaving, I thought I had come in too late to be a raider, raiders seemed leet, and scary good. I never thought I would see the content I am now seeing.

Blizzard seems to be addressing the issue of the requirements to have 25 people to see ‘endgame’ content with 5man versions of raid instances, but in the interim – one the most exciting things about an MMORPG has to be the unpredicatability of other people thats supposed to be the attraction of this style of gaming. People aren’t controllable NPC’s
The problem with losing people is as much with the person who left, as the person who offered them a better opportunity, AND as the person who couldn’t offer them that opportunity.

I have become better because I Left. They were not helping me ‘grow’ and growing is not just about loot. Its about attutide, and constant learning.

Who gets hurt the most from poaching? The feeding guild. Loseing a Tank or a good healer in 10 man content can be devestating, and demoralising. It also means that your that much further away from getting decently equiped players to take on the 25’s, and just as there is nothing you can do to stop a player from leaving, there is nothing they can do when they find out that their 10 man is no more because the Guild leader just quit, real life issues can happen quickly and suddenly you don’t have a team or a guild, either way real people = real lives = real & Ingame personal goals

so I feel while it can be upsetting to see so many of the members you helped gear up leave for green pastures, I’m a firm believer in making people work for their upgrades, and rather then giving that new Tank thats has been in your guild for 1 day at no matter what your level of content that upgrade, you consider what is best for your guild, who stuck around when your guild needed you even if its a up and comming tank that might one day be your Maintank, give him/her the loot. If the new tank quits because of 1 day and no loot, he was never going to stick around anyway, it should make him eager to come back for it the next time.

The Poacher will argue that its essential to the survival of their guild to recruit new people, and they are correct, but there are ways to go about it so that its ‘recruitment’ and not blatent poaching from a another guild at similar content level. There is a difference between ‘targeted advertising’ and whispering individuals promising fame & wealth
The dangers in losing people to other guilds comes from other game interactions that you cannot control. Eg Pugs, that the player had to do because not enough guildys were able to run it, or Friends of Friends.. ex guildys, Forum recruitment messages, trade channel guild spamming, they are all legit recruitment methods.

People leave for many reasons,
If they are guild hoppers after loot, then you aren’t recruiting the right people, Let them go. They are wasting your time.
If they are leaving because the want to see new content – if you can’t provide that content – Let them go,
but If they are really a player that you like, that are good at their class and have not done anything low to hurt you and the guild, don’t take them moving on as personal, and try and keep them as a friend. That way they may come back.

6 Responses to “The Ethics of Poaching from Other Guilds.”

  1. 1 2ndNin July 1, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Alas, guild farming is the only way really for high end guilds to actively recruit barring server transfers as they want to focus on the level of content they are at, and the RNG luck may not allow them to gear someone up in a reasonable timeframe in lower level instances. To this extent badge gear has helped a lot, a player with little raid experience can become well enough geared to become poachable short cutting the casual -> Kara -> Gruul -> T5 -> T6 -> Sunwell poaching / evolution.

    There are of course guilds that transition between these, however smaller guilds often suffer from not having dedicated raiders, or indeed raiders that are primarily non-raiders, this means it can slow and even stall raiding, perhaps the key thing is that raiders want to raid, it might not always be progress but raiders tend to enjoy the 25 man and a struggle on a hard boss. By not fulfilling these needs or desires in part of their guild population guilds will offer their raiders to the next tier of guild, again it fits in with the poaching idea that the only people you can recruit are those at a reasonable level below you, and you need to be enticing enough for those raiders to join you.

    Casual guilds and each stage of the ladder suffers from this, but the tiered nature of content without a different path through it ensures that there is a limited flow of people to the top end guilds and that it is very hard on other guilds when a bump occurs and raiders desert.

    I can say from personal experience that raiders want to raid, my former guild encountered problems over summer, issues with raid attendance, cancelled raids, recruiting people in pre-kara gear and attempting to gear them up for 4/6 3/4 ssc/tk raiding is hard, and leads to a lot of wipes even on farm bosses leading to bad feelings and recriminations. The closeness of WoTLK means that several raiders started to leave, and the rather obvious chain reaction of others leaving, and indeed a hard situation becoming worse as a guild that could scrape together 25 raiders now could only scrape 24 at best, so without pugging the raid doesn’t happen, and people seem to have a chronic hatred of pugging.

    Recruitment thus is a two edged sword, and is unfortunately necessary for the continued progression of the top end guilds. This does present an interesting point though, what if there was a “third way” through the game, there is 25man raiding and 10man in WoTLK, but by making badge gear available (at stupidly high costs perhaps or becoming unlocked with server progress) then there is a pool of recruits who can be mined relatively easily into new content by the high end guilds, and a steady stream of people that can / are geared for lower tiers of the game. Implementing this “bypass” should of course not detract from the raiding, the badge gear should be “lesser” than the tier gear sets, and available on a basis which does not force raiders to gear through it, so perhaps initially its server locked until you first clear instance x (so clearing kara opens up blue badge gear of mid kara level for expensive costs in badges + potentially a kara token), as other instances are cleared this gear becomes progressively cheaper allowing casual players the gear to complete instances with a relatively lower level of difficulty without actually altering the dungeon itself. Again though the tier gear and the raiders are the step ahead, or several steps ahead, the progress of the server becomes key then to letting other guilds catch up and progress, and indeed guilds can choose not to use the badge gear if they wish to do the instances properly. In this way you get an evolving server, a story of the war where armour and such like are given away to adventurers as the need arises. It also ties in as a gold sink, a vendor may need 1,000,000 pieces of adamantite to start crafting the adamantite spork of diggingess to reach the new content, or require that the server provides certain elements to keep a portal open. Eventually once the progression stops the features can be enabled permenantly (stabilised rifts or whatever), but until then you can pace progression, and allow guilds not on the cutting edge to reach it and stay within striking distance of actual progression, ideally helping to stop the bleed of players as a larger number are poachable at any single stage.

  2. 2 Rick O July 1, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Back when I played Dark Age of Camelot, they had the concept of an alliance. An alliance was a bunch of guilds that maintained their own distinct identity, but still had access to a shared chat channel. If two or more guilds liked each other enough, or found each other useful enough, they could join into an alliance and thus extend their common pool of players. Everybody won.

    But WoW doesn’t quite have that. Maybe you could fake it with a custom chat channel, or with a shared Vent?

    Let me play Devil’s Advocate here.

    Why don’t the less-progressed guilds apply to be absorbed en masse into the more-progressed guilds? Write up an application, make it presentable, and start talking to people. What guild leader wouldn’t at least stop and think about gaining 5-7 good toons all at once instead of just one at a time?

    Seriously, if you’re having trouble finding the toons for Kara then it is time to start thinking about a different route. Is it ego keeping you from joining another guild — you just can’t bear to not have your own guild name? Which is more important — progression or identity?

    I’m not advocating one way or the other, as it will come down to a personal choice. But, I will say that guild that won’t even entertain the notion are gimping themselves.

  3. 3 2ndNin July 1, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    For many people they don’t want to raid, they want to raid with friends, they want to progress with people they know and have a small enough community to be happy with.

    Being absorbed results in losing that identity and having an inherent clique basis in the new guild, which can be highly disruptive to that guild, what if you want to kick one member for not being right for the guild, do you lose all of them?

    Not plugging them, but its the only site I know,, is a raiding alliance, basically a group of players / guilds that raid at the appropriate level, you keep your tag, get dkp, but also get to raid at the level you want to… seems like a good plan.

  4. 4 dionadar July 2, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    One thing that people tend to forget is that people join guilds for the benefits, of which there are:
    guiding by better/higher members
    supporting one another

    If you do not provide all of these things you are going to lose people, who will go and get their services at another guild.

    That’s life.

  5. 5 milehighclub July 5, 2008 at 3:57 am

    I think you’re totally over analyzing this.

    It’s just like fish in a pond.

    Small fish = food for big fish.

    Small fish only survive for short periods of time till they get eaten by big fish.

    It’s stupid to over think this as “poaching” or “aggressive recruiting”. If a new guild can offer more than the old guild, the player should leave. Simple.

  6. 6 Jami May 25, 2013 at 6:34 am

    I am not in a position to view this website
    correctly on saffari I think there is a drawback

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