When you think of guilds, many of them are limited to one game title. Rare is a guild that can sustain itself on more than one title simultaneously.

You might be asking yourself why would a guild want to participate in more than one game at a time. In my experience, I’ve found that often the game itself doesn’t quite matter. What players care about is spending time with each other and that they inevitably get bored playing one game or burned out participating in the same content. Engaging in different games allows everyone to take breaks from a specific game but not necessarily from each other.

For a time, Conquest had divisions ranging from a World of Warcraft raiding guild, a PvP team, a League of Legends team, a Star Wars: the Old Republic raid group, there was a Minecraft server along with a Battlefield 3 and a Counterstrike: Global Offensive server.

So what happened?

The PvP team lasted about a year but due to high turnover, it was difficult to maintain any sort of consistency.

Players running the League of Legends team lost motivation due to the wide variance in skills among the team.

The Old Republic was simply too buggy with the raiding mechanics at the time which frustrated that team.

Not enough players were interested in Minecraft, Battlefield 3, or CS: GO.

The missing element from all of these games were leaders and server admins who were dedicated and tenacious enough to stick with the games despite the ups and downs. There needs to be enough momentum and desire from core players to really start and maintain a foothold in other games. Not everyone in a guild who plays one game is going to be interested in another title. Some simply just don’t have the time to support more than one MMO.

I can understand a question that goes through a potential leader’s perspective: Why bother joining up with another organization when I can simply form one myself? Perhaps the best advantage of that partnership is that much of the administrative stuff is reduced. You don’t need to completely rebuild a site from scratch. Most established guilds already have voice servers that can be used for coordination. There’s already a thriving community that’s bound to have a few players interested.

In my case, the games I’d love to eventually expand to are Heroes of the Storm and Star Citizen (I have a Constellation class which needs it’s guns manned). I had also picked up WildStar, yet my experience with The Old Republic taught me that bugs and balance issues would crush the game before it could really get going. There was a group of players that raided in The Old Republic, but the crashes caught up to us and many players lost the motivation to play. There wasn’t a person who was the “glue” who could hold it together. One person may not be what makes a guild, that one person has to have enough drive within them to begin snowballing the group to begin with. That means organizing activities, recruiting players, and just being active in general. It’s absolutely draining to do that in more than one game. If possible, it’s often ideal to team up with someone else who is just as passionate and focused on other titles. Sadly, players just get bored and lose interest.

That being said, there are plenty of successful multi-gaming guilds out there.

But I want to focus on one game! What about a multi-division guild?

Easy! You can pull that off too! I mentioned earlier on that my guild used to field a raiding team and a PvP team. It’s not uncommon for guilds to participate in both PvE and PvP aspects of any game. To really maximize it though, I’d suggest scheduling events on different days. Work with your PvP leaders (if you have them) and ensure that the schedules don’t clash. Some raiders love to engage in PvP and vice-versa.

What about multiple raiding groups?

That’s a little trickier to pull off. I had a conversation with one of our latest behind-the-scenes contributors, Kaotica here. Her guild, Entropi, has three raid teams that have downed Heroic Garrosh: One 10 man, two 25 man. Quite the accomplishment! Why three teams? Because some of their players had changes in their lives and work schedules which prevented them from raiding with the main team. Eventually, it reached the point where they had enough raiders to snowball and jumpstart a second team that raided at a different time. Players were motivated enough to recruit and run their own group independently but still reported to the leaders. In the end, they all wanted to belong and stay within the community.

My next question was about envy and the group 1 and group 2 problem that always plagues these kinds of guilds. One group gets frustrated and pissed off that their group isn’t progressing as fast as the other one and they end up causing a ruckus. Kaotica assures me that they immediately pounce on those types of issues right away and remind everyone of the big picture. If players still have problems with that, then it’s obviously not the guild for them and are shown the door. There’s a certain mature mindset and mentality that goes with that kind atmosphere. There’s an acceptance that you might not be the first group in the guild to get a certain boss. At the same time, everyone’s a part of the team and they all try to help each other progress. There’s a friendly competition within the ranks but it doesn’t escalate into anything more. Quite enviable, to be sure.

It’s not easy though and Kaotica tells me that it took the better part of a year to get to where they are today. Careful and selective recruiting is their secret. Even Midwinter agrees that it’s far easier to deny a potentially problematic player from joining than to remove them later on. If you do want to expand your focus, recruiting alone isn’t enough. You need to find leaders who want to make something happen and empower them with the necessary tools to do so. Give them their own section on the site. Establish separate voice channels for them. Support them with the necessary resources but remind them that it’s ultimately their show. They might have aspirations to run their own guild one day but the world needs more guilds and leaders. It’s a great safety net for them to start with. None of the burdens of a GM but enough responsibility as a raid leader and a recruiter. Just make sure everyone’s on the same page though.

This is where I’d insert a sports analogy but I don’t know enough about football to really make it. I was going to say something to the effect that most head coaches probably ended up being an offensive or defensive coordinator before taking over the top job for another team.

Anyway, if you’re the GM, it’s okay to be ambitious. But don’t stretch yourself thin. Focus on one first but start keeping an eye on others and grooming them for leadership roles.