Small, tight-knit guilds are fantastic. They’ve become my preferred guild of choice and I’m glad that Blizzard made them a viable structure to raiding in Wrath of the Lich King. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my mega-hardcore guild in vanilla, but the sheer mass and competition for spots sapped my ability to make personal connections. The atmosphere of my current guild, Bonus Lizard, couldn’t be more different.
The Lizard is incredibly small, maybe 20 core members, obviously making personal connections far easier. Voices are easily identified, alt character names are mapped to their mains’ name without a struggle, etc. I’ve even been able to learn real names, something I am notoriously bad at. All the camaraderie means the bank is fairly open, members share resources and even though the membership level is anemic, someone is always there to lend a hand in heroics or to deal with the damn dirty horde.
The diminutive membership number does have its drawbacks. The major one occurring on raid nights. Should just one or two core raiding members be unavailable, there’s a chance that the raid could be outright canceled. So far, we’ve had fair warning during Cataclysm raiding, allowing us to continue our raiding schedule with a little bit of guilt tripping or even a PUG or two. The replacements are not necessarily any worse, just inexperienced and out of tune with the rest of the guild. This has inevitably caused poor pulls, bad coordination, and wasted time. In short, wiping. But, you know what? I don’t give a Valiona’s tale.
I treat these rare off nights with much less vigor and passion than I normally reserve for raiding. We’re still out to get the purpalz, but the guild, seemingly as a whole, relaxes during these raids. We joke more, difficult given how much we joke normally, with seldom heard voices chiming in. Raid and guild chat aren’t dark, unused channels and I get to bring my horribly undergeared rogue to soak up loot. Win-win. It’s these times that additional bonding happens. Wipes are shrugged off – “Eh, we’re not full strength” – and we regroup to try again.
Now if this were a full PUG run or even my vanilla WoW guild, I may be running for the exit or have a “Comcastic issue.” But when you’re dieing with friends, it’s so much easier to see the light.