PCG's new alt policy
This week, Blizzard have announced a hard cap on guild size. Now, a guild is only allowed 600 characters in it. If a guild has characters above the cap, it will no longer be able to invite new members.
This is a problem for us.
At our peak, we believe we had around 700-800 characters, over 500+ accounts. Since we launched the guild, hundreds of PCG players have reached level 80, raided, created an alt, raided on that... we’ve grown well beyond Blizzard’s new cap. The new cap will be enforced with patch 4.01, which may land as early as next week. Unfortunately, and entirely against our wishes, we’re going to have to change the way the guild operates. And we’re going to have to get a shift on.
Over the last few days, we’ve put a large effort into removing what we believe are inactive players. Previously, we’d do this by looking at when that character was last online via the guild list. Now, we’re using a character’s activity feed in the armory - if they haven’t ‘achieved’ anything over the last two months, or received a loot upgrade, then we’ll remove them.
That’s brought us down to about 400 characters, over around 250 accounts (you can check how many accounts are registered to the guild by typing /ginfo).
But in doing that, I’ve kicked a vast number of players I know will be coming back for Cataclysm - old friends who we all will want to play with again.
So we’re having to consider further options to help us keep the guild size in check, while maintaining that special PCG feel.
Here’s what we’ve come up with.
We’re going to aim to create a council of guilds across the server, all of which engage in all activities - levelling, raiding, pvp. I hope that in six months time, we’ll have integrated a vast influx of new players, with our awesome veterans, along with friends and guildmates who return after their accounts lapsed. If we get this right, PCG will be stronger than ever, and more fun than it’s ever been.
The PCG Guild Council
Over the next couple of days, we’ll be creating three new guilds for PCG players. The first will be on the Alliance side, but with strong links to PCG. We’ll host it on these forums, and it will have access to Ventrilo. We hope, six months into Cataclysm, that PCG will meet Rebel Alliance on the battlefield, and it will be a clash of titans. If you want an Alliance alt to tinker with - Rebel Alliance is the place for it.
We’re also going to create a new Horde guild; the PCG Swarm. The PCG Swarm will be a sister guild to PCG - linked via chat and guild-to-guild mods, with the same rules, the same ideas, the same events, the same attitudes, and many of the same players.
Finally, we're going to create a Goblin only free-for-all muck-about-nonsense fest. This is for pure, stupid kicks. One day, we'd like to do a full Alliance City raid using only Goblins. PCGreenskins is about making that happen.
Only one character per account in PCG
On December 1st, we’ll be implementing a firm one character per player limit to the current PCG guild. We’re going to ask that all alts are transferred to the PCG Swarm. We’re going to ask you to make a forum thread in the new guild introductions forum, that will act as a profile - who you are, what your main character is, what alts you have, what your goals are... anything you want to tell us. We’ll provide a template to help. Any characters that are not listed as a main character on this forum after December 1st will be removed from the guild.
We're limiting the growth of PCG
We’re going to cap the size of PCG to 350 accounts. If we get more players than that, they’ll be directed to the Swarm. If the Swarm starts to fill up rapidly, then we’ll create another guild, and so on.
How you can move one extra character into PCG
When Cataclysm launches we’ll be disbanding the current raid wings. Players will be able to bring one alt into the PCG guild through three ways: joining the new Cataclysm end-game raid wing, joining our forthcoming end-game PvP wing*, or a kind of ‘veterans’ program. How people earn veteran status is still under discussion. The raid and PvP wings will start once our end-game activities begin - it’s impossible for us to say when that will be, but we’re just as keen to smack around end-game bosses as you.
If you’re in a raid wing, a pvp wing, or a veterans program, you’ll also get a small rank increase - no extra benefits, but a new rank to show the rest of PCG how awesome you are.
*We’d love for volunteers to step forward to help us in this.
So, those are the changes. I wanted to explain why we came to this structure, rather than some of the (good) alternatives you’ve suggested. Here’s an FAQ.
1) Why don’t we create a guild for levelling, and then bring characters across when they hit level 85, or why don’t we split the guild into a pure raid or pure pvp segments.
One of the reasons I love PCG as a guild is that we’ve got players at every level, and every part of the game. Last night, we had 50 players online at once. We had a raid to Yogg +0 zero going on. Some PvP. And lots of heroics and levelling. I love that. I absolutely believe that the reason PCG has been successful is because new players can always see everything that’s going on at once. If you join at level 0, you’re motivated to stick with us because you can see the 25 guys fighting in ICC or Ulduar.
2) Why do we want to limit the number of accounts in the guild to 350?
350 accounts gives us room for 250 further alts from raid, pvp and veteran applications as the expansion develops. We think this is the right balance for the start of a new expansion pack. This number is subject to change - we may raise of lower it depending on guild recruitment. We may also raise the number of alts we allow in the guild dependent on our size - but don’t expect that until well into the expansion. If we make a decision to raise that number of alts, I do not, then, want to have to drop it back down again.
3) I have many alts. Which character should I keep in PCG?
Keep the character you want to raid on, or level first, and the character you think you’ll be playing the end-game on from the start of the expansion.
4) How will this structure affect my guild reputation and guild experience?
This is really complicated, and it’s been really hard to figure out. We have limited information on how this will work in the long term, but here’s what we think.
The guild experience is based on the guild’s activity during a day - levelling, boss kills, honourable kills, etc. Obviously, we want the characters in PCG that are going to be doing the most stuff at the start of the expansion. However, guild reputation is the harder problem. Guild reputation is a system that Blizzard are adding to make guild hopping harder. Guild reputation comes from the same activity; questing, raiding, pvping, etc... and it gives you cool vanity items (from pets to the awesome Scorpion mount). Earning guild reputation has been glacially slow on the beta - it could take months to get to exalted. However, we think that you lose all guild reputation if you were to swap guilds. Therefore, if you moved from the Swarm, to PCG, you’d have to start your guild rep from scratch.
5) How will this affect guild achievements
When we’re organising battleground or raid groups, we’ll have to always have the acceptable guild member ratios in mind if we were to bring in alts from the Swarm.
5) Will you still kick people if they haven’t been online for a month
Yes. Ish. Because guild rep is a) awesome and b) hard to earn, I’m not going to be as vicious in my kicking of unplayed characters once Cataclysm launches. Instead, I’ll be setting a date each month for when we’ll do the kicking in both the Swarm, Rebel Alliance and PCG, and we’ll make sure you know when that’s going to happen.
6) Will PCG still be recruiting?
Yes. If there’s room in PCG, we’ll hold recruitment days - publicised in advance - when PCG is open to recruitment. Spots will be taken up on a first-come, first served basis, from both new players and players in the Swarm. We will not recruit alts from the Swarm into PCG.
7) WTF Alliance man? RU MAD?
I want a Worgen in a dress.
Thanks, Tim. Great read
Sounds good and not as complicated as I thought it would end up being.
ps The reduction in guild size has had one side affect already, the armory App now shows the guild properly, as of 30 minutes ago it was showing us as having 450ish members.
sounds good, but with 3 horde guilds you could end up spreading the people too far.
also I have seen mention of guild to guild addons, I assume these will be explained to us when these changes happen, as I didn't know there were any addons to link up multiple guilds.
Good stuff, sounds like a good plan!
Can i ask is the guild gonna still be taking on new members was planning on server transfering this week.
Sounds good, Hopefully mods exist to make the guilds feel properly integrated. Well done on dealing with this in such a timely fashion, by the way, must have been something of a headache.
Thanks for getting this up and running so fast Tim.
See i said there was no need to worry and we will be fine. :D
The new structure sounds awesome.
One problem I have and possibly others do as well. I have two WoW accounts and therefore at the moment I probably have one too many alts in the PCG guild. Can she stay or shall I kick her out :)
Great ideas and i think it will work just got to pick a wing, cant wait to be part of it cata is going to be awsome. Its a shame blizz cappped it so low but i surpose they have there reasons.
Thumbs up from me! Looking forward to the new format.
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