Guide to Forming Alliances & Mergers

Copied from the original posted by Ashling.

This is a guide to help guild administration with the thought processes behind forming alliances & mergers. It may not have all the answers you are looking for, but it’s intent is to have you think about what you are planning on doing with your friends and guilds. Every guild is different on what their goals are, and it is those goals that you want to keep in mind before starting this process, as it will influence what your individual answers are. It is also advisable to follow a courtship period via an alliance before jumping straight into a merge. =) After going through this guide, I hope you at least understand, why these process either do not work or haven’t been tried or supported more frequently :) Enjoy!

(STEP 1) Alliances

What is an Alliance
Types of Alliances
Purpose: Pro’s & Cons
Process: What Questions to ask yourself and/or your officers & membership
Process: The Alliance- Where to start?
Alliance Case Studies
When Alliances go Bad

(STEP 2) Mergers- Should we?

What is a Merger?
Types of Merges
Purpose: Pro’s & Con’s
What are these feelings ?
Process- Analysis: What to do first?
Process- The Merge- Where to start?
What to do with the old guilds?
Things to Remember
Mergers: Case Study
When Mergers go Bad.


What is an Alliance
A merging of “efforts” or interests by persons, families, states, or organizations

Types of Alliances
1) Community & Casual Grouping- Coffee Talk? (loose knit, extended friends list)
2) Casual Family who want to tackle endgame? (loose knit, but structured on raiding side)
3) Raiding- We need more like-minded individuals. (Highly orchestrated, structured, tight rules, member requirements)

Purpose: Pro’s & Cons. Want to form an alliance with another guild? These are some of the possible reasons why or why not to form an alliance.


Increased numbers
Maintaining control of your environment and members
Keeping that “small guild feel”
“This is my guild, my tabard, my rules, and my friends.”
Test period before merging.
Possibility of continued friendship beyond the alliance
Additional integration with the server community, building a “rep”


Dealing with the other guild’s drama/ siding over friendships vs. leadership
Enforcing Responsibilities (if applicable)
In-House Guild Decisions now effecting the Alliance
Increased time needed during collaborative decision making.
In house vs Alliance Roster (Collaboratively, what does our membership #’s, classes look like)
Bureaucracy – forums permissions, event signup permissions, communication channels between leadership/decision makers, loot rules
Intra-guild expectations – managing different expectations w/r/t guild and raid process and procedures

Process: What Questions to ask yourself and/or your officers & membership

In General

Does my guild need an alliance?
Why an alliance? What makes this guild different than ours, so that we have to remain 2 separate entities? (Size, Age, Loot Rules? Game Focus? Management Style?)
Does this other guild match with our philosophy & rules. What if they don’t? (Rules including: Conduct/ Behavior, Looting, invites, etc.)
Who would be required to participate in alliance efforts & activities?
Expectations: What are we each hoping to get out of this partnership?

About Leadership

How will you work together? (Sharing Resources, taking turns, independently or “on call”, etc.)
How will you communicate both inside and outside the game? (officer meetings, forums, email, voip?)
How will you divide “alliance responsibilities” (Hosting # of runs, VOIP, shared chat channel moderation, etc.)
How will you decide on Policy? (Will you have the same rules? Loot, DKP, age, consideration, grouping, etc.)
How will you assign responsibility for decisions/issues arising from the alliance within your guild?
What additional policies, if any, will we need to implement in order to ensure everyone has clear expectations and knowledge of the rules? (for instance, invite policies)

Guild Membership

Should we get all members to approve?
Are members required to work with alliance members?
What if members don’t support this?

Alliance Membership

I play a lot with this other guild, can they join the alliance too? How? (Application? /join channel?/ Requirements/ sponsorship?)

Process: The Alliance- Where to start? Great! Everything has been gone over, now what do we do?

Announcements: Let your guild members know this happened, and is official. (by forums, GMotD, GuildMail, Meeting, etc.)
Post agreements on website: What did you guys decide to agree on for rules & policy?
Create a common/shared chat channel by typing /join alliancenamehere
WoW Blizzard Chat Information:
Updated GMotD, Guild Info, etc.
Play, Have fun, Enjoy!

Alliance Case Studies

1) Severina, Court of the Ruby Grail, Maelstrom
We have a very successful alliance with another guild on our realm. Both guilds use Guild Portal so we are able to share our events calendar and certain forums on each others websites. It helps us stay informed and work together. In game we have a chat channel that we created. All of our members join this channel and we can communicate with each other easily via that channel. One thing I would suggest is to make sure both guilds are like minded.
RIP & CRG (our guilds) are both casual, adult guilds… so it works our really nice. We are like one big happy family.

2) Ashling, Pay it Forward, Greymane
We’re currently in an alliance w/ 4 small guilds.. I’m fairly proud of the work we’ve done developing it. You can check out what we’ve set up here: … ID=1401400
We haven’t sponsored the site yet officially, as we each have our own gp site, but it’s a base location to hold information about each of us, etc, and all that good stuff :) Right now, our current project is setting up the “raiding” policies.

3) Anaea, My Other Mount is a Tauren, Aerie Peak
MOMiT has been a part of two alliances in our lifetime as a guild.

In one, MOMiT agreed that we could contribute approximately 8 people for another guild’s MC raid while we were getting ready for our own ZG runs. As our ZG runs began to grow, we were unable to maintain that figure (they were all in ZG) and formally dissolved the alliance.

Because we had a more formal contract, loot rules were decided on between guild leaderships; for instance, as we were contributing about 1/4 of the raid we were entitled to 1/4 of the rare drops like Core Leathers, etc. Similarly, we received between 1/3 to 1/4 of the epic drops from bosses. Leaders from both guilds joined a chat channel to discuss loot during the run – this meant that downtime after boss kills could drag on, and sometimes the other guild’s members were confused and would roll when they saw my guildies were rolling on a piece of loot that I had claimed for the guild.

Even though it was a bit cumbersome, it did the trick during the time it was necessary and we’re still very friendly with the guild with whom we were allied. Many members continued to raid occasionally with the other guild as individuals (in other words, without our loot considerations) after the end of the formal alliance.

In another, less formal alliance, we simply reached out to people we knew in a guild with whom we were familiar. We invited the members we knew on a few raids, we enjoyed our time with them and offered spots to others of their guild who were online at our raid times and wanted to fill in, and it worked out well for both of us. Honestly I can’t remember what our loot rules were, so I’ll dig through our forums to try and remember.

Invite rules were important in this case because we weren’t working very officially through the guild, and were dealing more with individuals. We gave members of the other guild who were interested access to our event planning forum and web signup. As we didn’t have too fierce a competition for raid slots, they were able to sign up in advance the same as full members (though none did that I recall). Raid slots were reserved for people who had signed up on our calendar, or who had messaged the RL/officers regarding their desire to attend. At the official raid start time, any unclaimed spots were reserved in their entirety for members of the other guild – they were coordinated through an officer of the other guild.

After a misunderstanding among the membership, we had to officially update our invite policies to make it clear that members of the allied guild would NOT be dropped from the raid for latecomers from our own guild. Our former invite policies had left this implied, when we should have spelled it out.

As this was a very informal arrangement, it just fell by the wayside as TBC was released and we began leveling again. We’re still on friendly terms with the other guild, and many members essentially use the other guild’s tag as a friend’s list when they’re looking for more players for a group or to run with. :)

When Alliances go Bad

The Alliance process is more forgiving when relationships turn sour. If guilds can no longer agree for any reason (member dispute, working with the other officers, policy creation, alliance direction), the guild can simply remove themselves from the alliance. As a warning, some members may not approve of the alliance, or think it will work, and may potentially leave before giving it a chance.

(STEP 2) Should we merge?

What is a Merger:
any combination of two or more business enterprises into a single enterprise.

Types of Merges

A (Acquisition) Guild A joins Guild B under Guild B’s leadership and organizational structure & leadership.
B (Acquisition & Reorganization) Guild A joins Guild B w/ a new organizational structure to include leadership from Guild A.
C (New Creation & Organization) Guild A and Guild B create a new Guild C with agreed organizational structure.

Purpose: What would be the advantages and disadvantages from merging one or more of the allied guilds with another?


Less administrative Financial cost (webspace & VOIP)
Less web maintenance (1 site vs 2 or 3)
Ease of communication via in game mailing, channels, and event planning.
More resources for leadership with in the guild, perhaps an expanded officer structure, rotating roles etc.


Loss of identity and comfort in the guild.
I am a control freak and don’t work well with others.
Larger guilds are harder to manage.
The more people in guild, the more chatter in guild chat. – Our members like it quiet.
Members will quit, and we don’t want to lose numbers
I can’t work with “that” officer or GM.
I don’t agree to these policies and structural guidelines.

What are these feelings I have about loosing our own guilds and forming something new?

This is normal! Just make sure any of your “concerns” are voiced – listened to!- and addressed. Remember, you’re both in the same situation =)

each loyal to their own guild
commonalities vs differences
losing the feel/ cliques/ people ignored
number of chef’s in kitchen/ officer roles
Fairness in “merging/ acquisitioning” i.e. one guild absorbed vs creating a new guild.

Process- Analysis:

After you’ve thought about the above, and are still interested in continuing, there are some things to agree on and what points are necessary for the effort to continue? Each part (Chicken, Egg, Rooster) takes “time and effort” and should be agreed upon. Decide a priority order that can be done, so ‘time’ isn’t wasted on one section. For example, there will not be a merge, if we can’t agree on the rooster. Or Discuss the egg first and meet that agreement. That way when the chicken comes up, we can inform the members at large with more details as to what is going on and how it may work.

Which came first?

1) Chicken: Seeing what the other guild itself is like by submersion into their environment.

Testing (moving an alt/ main to the other guild to be a member of their environment)
Who needs to ‘test’, GM’s, Officers, both, as needed, All or nothing
*Note – when this is done, questions will by asked by your membership it is noticeable that your alt has “left the guild. “Communication” Noone likes structural surprises that can put their game time in jeopardy.

[i]2) Egg? (leadership logistics & Merger Type (A, B, C)). [/i/This can be very important to the moral of the membership. If it is an acquisition, there can be “turf” issues, If it’s an acquisition & reorganization, there could be questions on why this member remained an officer, and I did not.

If B or C –
Management Structure/Who will be the ONE to rule them all, or will a council be used?
Loot Rules/ DKP
Rankings/ Website Access – How will the ranks be reorganized, and what will the “privileges” be?
Name/ Tabard
Philosophy/ Charter
How will the leadership be divided?/ Officer Requirements & Responsibilities
Will there be double duty/ rotating duty/ or will some officers step down?

3) Rooster (own guild/officer/&membership agreeing?) Make sure communication w/I the Guild and notifications/ surveys, etc. are done to keep everyone informed and in the loop about the future possibilities, or processes that are being done.

Do we get the go ahead from just the GM’s, GMs & Officers, and or membership at large.
Are all officers in support?
Are all members in support?
What should the membership expect?

How will the transfers be done? And at what rate?

Each will have to decide where their priority lays as far as which priority comes first- Is it your membership (the rooster)? Is it the end result (the egg)? Or does it even matter (the chicken) I tested their guild and I don’t want a merge anymore! So there’s no reason to worry the membership.

Process- We are going to Merge- What Now?

Communicate the Change – In-game Mail, Forums, GMotD, Guild Info, Meeting, Etc.
Implement the Change from the decisions resulting in your analysis (Charter, Tabard, Rules, Member transfer)
Timeline for Change – How long can this process take?
Remember, this is a relationship. It depends on the goals you have set forth. Abrupt change can be difficult on some, so it can be beneficial to implement the merge itself over the course of 1 to 4 weeks or more.

What to do with the old guilds?

There are many options including, but not limited to: A personal pad (for personal alts, or fall back purposes), A leveling guild (pending there is leadership to take over), Giving it away (ask in a town if someone wants a free guild), /gdisband (leaving possibly a few members guildless). Whatever the change, don’t forget to update any other things that may be attached: Website (and payments), VOIP (and payments), DKP Accounts, etc.

Things to Remember (Courtesy of Stix, C H A O S, Skywall)

*Retention will be bad. Expect to keep only about 50% of the merged players. Some people don’t like change – others take the opportunity to make change.

*Don’t be afraid to gkick – ever. Give warnings, then /byebye. Don’t sacrifice your guilds culture. They need you more than you need them. You don’t need to keep their *Bad Apples* – guild merger doesn’t mean you have to take their old problems.

* As a GL – keep focus of your vision of your guild. (If you have no vision of what your guild is – then you might have some major assimilation issues)

Mergers: Case Study

1) SugarWood, Crystal Dawn, Staghelm
From my experiences, no guild merger is a good one, or at least very few are. No matter what happens, it always seems like one guild is destroyed, both in name and in memory. I never did like that fact.

2) Lukar, Darksun Clan, Ravenholdt
In my opinion, you need to have ONE leader. You can’t have two serperate leaders when this is done otherwise you’ll get split loyalties and things like that. That happened to one guild on my server when another guild broke up. They absorbed that guild but there ended up being a sect of <The Darksun Legion> and then the rest of <The Dawnbreak Vigil>. The Darksun part broke off and joined another guild as mostly new characters. (Yes, I remade the guild but without those people in it.)

3) Wordorf, Gamers Against Morons, Gorgonnash
GAM merged with a guild over a year ago. We’re still together. Main thing to do is just make sure people are cool with the changes.. Dont leave people out of the whole process.

4)Centurians, Cant Touch this, Darrowmere
The biggest problem with merges is new leadership. One time on a diff char i was a nice high ranking officer in my guild. My guild merged because they wanted more members. The new GM and i didnt like eachother at all. She booted me from guild….and then that guild like 2 weeks later merged with another guild….The new guild told the GM they would accept only like 3/4 of the members…and the GM accepted. The other 1/4 members were now guildless. And guess what…that guild was the biggest…best guild ever…huh…what….if disbanded after 3 weeks cause of Bad leadership. The guilds Disbanded…forming the old guilds and most of my old guildies were back. Well…that was a waste of time. Merges are most of the time bad cause of the too many new members. Recruiting however has members coming in over time so the guild can keep track of ppl….get to know them and the current members still are with the same ppl so there usually isnt two giant sides to everything…its the guild vs the new guy, and this is ok for the fate of guild (not so much new guy, the fate of the many is more important than 1) Also….make sure the guild ur merging with isnt filled with run beggars….i mean spamming run beggars. This also means….if ur guild is gettin pissed about them….trust me…fix it while u can.

5) Stix, C H A O S, Skywall
Well here goes my take. I’ve been GL for over a year, and been an officer for an extra 3-4 months before then. While under management,we’ve had many many mergers. Always our side. Keeping our CHAOS name and leadership. For smaller guilds: 0-10 People (regardless of toons – could be 30 toons) they were granted immediate membership status/priviledges. Access to guild bank and other full member status rights. Larger Guilds: 15+ people/players we usually (with the exception of 1) offered 1 council membership seat to one of their leaders. We have 9 Council Members – 2 are from mergers, and 1 other left the guild when he couldn’t change it. Since we have so many council members – it is hard for that one person to come in and sabotoge the whole place. Worst case scenario – they don’t like it and leave.

When Mergers go Bad.

There are many examples past, present, and future, where this will happen and ruin everything. Please be thoughtful of your membership when considering this option. Without your members, there is no guild. Communication, Patience, and time will tell. You may think it’s a good idea, but remember, yours and others’ true colors will only shine in moments of conflict, and until those are seen, it may be an ideal recommendation. Make sure you know who and what you’re getting into, and be willing to work through the rough patches and/or accepting of failure.

Last updated 6/8/07

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