I’ve been a raider for years in varying capacities, I’ve learned a lot in that time, and have decided to share a bit of my experience with my readers. Today we start with the most obvious of segways for someone known as both a Goblin and a Raider, managing the guild bank.
Understanding the War Chest
War doesn’t change, it just gets more expensive. Any seasoned campaigner can tell you that having the funds to back up the effort can sometimes make all the difference. It’s the same with a raiding guild, there’s a variety of things a guild bank can provide that make raiding life a little easier: flasks, feasts, enchants, gems, glyphs, repairs, etc. The problem is managing it and keeping the guild bank healthy. And when you work at it this way it ceases to simply be a guild bank, it becomes truly a war chest.
Merriam Webster defines a War Chest as “a fund accumulated to finance a war : a fund earmarked for a specific purpose, action, or campaign” and that’s precisely what a guild bank should function as for a serious raiding guild. All too often guilds use the bank as a repository for their cast off junk, this is wrong.
Pro Tip: If you know it’s junk and that you don’t want it. Odds are no one else will want it either.
What Do You Want in Your War Chest?
This is something you may want to discuss with officers, but a general list would include the following:
Epic Gems (All Varieties)
Enchanting Materials (All current varieties of Dust, Essences, Shards, and Crystals)
Specialty Gems (For Metas)
Potions (Haste, Mana, Health)
Runescrolls + Drums (For those occasions where you just don’t have the buff any other way)
Gold – Repairs will be deducted automatically from this amount.
Quantity of these items will vary by guild, different guilds have different needs: some guilds are large enough to run multiple raids during a lockout, others (like mine) are tight knit groups with a core and a bench of raiders. These two guilds have very different needs and resources to draw from.
Building Up a War Chest
First you may want to familiarize yourself with some of the finer points (and costs) of a guild bank: [wowwiki], it costs 9350g to purchase a full set of 6 guild tabs. This is a healthy investment for the average raider, but as a group effort is actually easy to accomplish. Raising funds is the tricky part…
Method 1. The obvious way of raising funds is selling BOEs and excess materials from raids. This works, and successful guilds will do this constantly. Some guilds will even make rules stating that all gathered materials (enchanting mats, leather, ore) during a raid go directly to the guild bank. Some guilds even go as far as dedicating time to “farming” older content for materials to keep their banks full of materials and boes to keep the bank flush with cash (selling ULD Drake Runs for example). The difficulty here is that it’s a communal effort, you have to convince 9-24 other people that it’s in their logical best interest to do this, sometimes that can be a hard sale.
Another way is by making your loot system work for you…
Method 2. Many serious raiding guilds use DKP or similar points based systems to distribute loot. My guild uses EPGP for example, which is a derivative of DKP. When we made the move to this system we did a lot of research ahead of time, along with the new loot system we also instituted a donation based system. Raiders can donate up to 500g worth of items for an equivalent amount of EP (Effort Points, or DKP to the rest of you). We accept specific items as well, a Primordial Saronite for example counts as a 500g donation, epic gems are 100g each – so five epic gems will take care of a raiders donations for the week. Participation in this program is of course NOT compulsory, but many people donate every week because it gives them a “slight” edge when loot they want drops.
If everyone donates, then of course it becomes a completely level playing field and comes down to attendance (and in the case of EPGP, what gear they’ve already won) but in this case the guild still wins… Because when everyone donates that’s a lot of gold. Donations can go directly to stocking the bank with materials as well as funding repairs.
Method 3. Still another method which has recently grown in prominence is the GDKP method, it occurs to me that a guild “could” arrange to use GDKP to distribute loot with a portion of the pot going directly to the guild bank. Much like the Method 2, this has every opportunity to greatly increase the guild’s funds. However, it requires a great deal of trust as well (this should go without saying). But it definitely has it’s possibilities.
Of course, there’s no real easy answer. Often you’ll want to use a combination of methods, and experimentation can of course lead to completely new options you never thought of before. For example you may do a full GDKP run with the guild, with the pot going directly to the guild bank for example. This could your guild with all of the money it needs (for a very long time) then reverting to normal loot rules afterward. Similarly you may (especially as a more casual guild) offer guild events like raffling off tickets for rare items like the Mechano Hog, where people buy tickets for 100g each. Winner gets the Hog, guild bank gets the gold.
The point is – think outside the box, and don’t take the guild bank for granted. Think of it as a War Chest, there to ease the burden of raiding and you’ll find a happier, more productive raiding force.