Dealing With Guild Bank Ninjas

Posted October 8th, 2010 by Miss Mediocre

I started this post yesterday, went in five different directions with it, didn’t like it, and so today I am starting over!

I have been Guild Master of my main character’s guild since it was created back in October of 2005 (the 17th will be it’s 5 year anniversary, hehe). The guild has been pretty inactive since the end of BC, but now that Cataclysm is approaching and many of the characters who have been offline in the guild for 6 months or more could be coming back, I have been considering starting it back up again. I was asked a few times throughout Wrath why I hadn’t attempted to return the guild to it’s former fluffy glory, and I even had a few people ask if they could be GM and attempt to get it back on it’s feet, but I could never give it up! Now that I am online all the time again and my focus has shifted back to the Alliance, I’m starting to entertain the thought of starting to recruit some members.

My biggest concern about resurrecting my guild is my stuff! There have only been two people active in the guild for the past two years, and everything in the guild bank, we put there. We could take everything out, but a lot of what I have collected was in preparation to someday share with guild mates. I am more than happy to give a guild mate some rare chest piece I found or a stack of Fel Iron if they are leveling a profession, but what I have seen happen far too often (from running my Horde guild) is that as soon as someone joins the guild, they ask for stuff, and as soon as they get it, they leave. Or as soon as they reach a high enough rank to access the guild bank, they use their 1 item a day limit to take a stack of the most expensive thing in there, and then quit the guild.

What I am thinking to help eliminate the threat of guild bank ninjas is as follows :

  1. LIMIT Guild Bank Access! – I am thinking that only the highest rank in my guild will be able to directly withdraw an item from the guild bank.
  2. Charge A Fee! – Since you are not usually taking things out of a guild bank that belong to you, I believe charging 50% of the average Auction House price for items is totally reasonable! It might be more work for myself and the officers to mail out items CoD and then deposit the money back into the guild bank, but I’d rather deal with that than some random level 47 hunter making off with a stack of 20 Titanium Bars!
  3. Watch The Logs! – Officers can ninja too (as I have learned from personal experience), so making a point of checking the guild bank logs for items and gold withdrawn/deposited every day will help me keep an eye out for such things! It will also let me know who is donating useful things to our bank.
  4. Follow Through! – If someone does manage to get away with some of my guild’s stuff, there’s nothing worse for a ninja than calm and persistent pursuit. Informing them that you will pass knowledge of their betrayal on to every guild they join from then on is scary to your average “opportunity ninja” (meaning ninjas who don’t ninja every chance they get, just when they believe they can get away with it). They will probably be really angry and lash out, but if you contact a GM as soon as the ninja joins, most Guild Masters who have dealt with ninjas before, will be happy for the head’s up, and kick the ninja asap. There’s even a chance the ninja may even return whatever they stole if you can be diligent enough getting them kicked from other guilds!

I don’t know how all of these methods will work, as I have only ever had the opportunity to try out the last two I mentioned, but I think I am going to give it a try! I remember running a guild was a lot of work, but it also was very fun at times and I have never found a guild I liked as much as mine, lol. As I succeed/fail with my preventative guild ninja methods, I will update my list!

Thanks for Reading!

6 Responses to “Dealing With Guild Bank Ninjas”

  1. Scallywwagg

    I am a guild master also and I have learnt a lot about the guild bank. If you allow all members some kind of access you will always have people taking advantage. In the early days when I didn’t have much idea, I used to allow some access to each tab and people would deposit mats and other items, a bunch of low level crap along with a few more expensive items and they would take what they needed. You would see people taking items they couldn’t use and for the most part people who were spoken to apologised and returned items – some people thought it would be ok to take items to sell! When people have no access it’s easy but when they have access you see the measure of the player.

    Of course I learned and the guild moved on.

    We have graduated to a social/casual raiding guild and now only my 5 officers have access to the bank although currently we have almost cleared it out and have 30k in there ready for Cata. No one ever graduates to guild bank access unless promoted to officer. We would give items out for free – at the officers discretion. Some new members may be asked for a “donation” but generally the kind of people we have in the guild buy their own items and enchants and would only ask if they really needed it. I like the idea of charging the fee thought.

    We do offer enchants for members on items of a certain level with the enchant mats gathered from raids and gems for raid gear bought from the guild bank money. We have used mats in there to help members level up their professions but that’s about it.

    To be honest, you have made me think, I the bank has probably been underused and I would be interested to see how it turns out for you. Maybe I have lost my faith in humanity and the assumption is that people will ninja so I don’t even go there.

  2. Miss Mediocre

    Scallywwagg : It really is unfortunate that restricting guild bank access to everyone but officers seems to be the only way to guard against people taking things they shouldn’t, because it would be nice to be able to just have everyone share equally and take only what they truly need. I like the idea of offering enchants with mats collected by the guild, and hopefully can incorporate that into my guild!

  3. Scallywwagg

    You are absolutely right. We have also started an online application system for all members just so they have to put a little effort in, to be able to join the guild. We don’t currently recruit a lot of members but those that apply want to be there. You might inspire me to change things for Cata.

  4. Miss Mediocre

    Scallywwagg : An online application is a good idea, though I think I’ll have to recruit more people before I can implement that as currently there’s only 2 active members in my guild. It does seem like if you can make some kind of a connection with someone outside of the game, even just on a guild website or forum, they are perhaps less likely to be hardcore guild bank ninja! :)

  5. Amalada

    I think your point about watching the logs closely is the best way to go, in combination with a tiered rank system. Let me explain a bit about what I mean. Each tab should have different permissions. In our guild, I’ve set the first tab so everyone from Member rank up can access 3 stacks/day. The second tab is Raiders and above (3 stacks/day), the third tab is Raider and above (1 stack/day), the fourth tab is deposit access only except for Officers or the GM, and the last 2 tabs are viewable by all but only accessible by officers and GM for storage and the “shop”. Then store things according to where they should go. We keep cloth, ore, and other things that aren’t current (i.e. leveling things) in the first tab, flasks, elixirs and other basic raid things in the 2nd tab, enchants in the 3rd tab, etc. Epics get stored in the 5th tab so guildies can see them and request them, but we have to get them out for them. Gems are here too. Most important, watch the logs and see who is abusing the system. Also, when you recruit new members, make use of a “recruit” or “newbie” rank where they don’t have access to the guild bank for 2-4 weeks. That gives you plenty of time to see what they’re really like.

  6. Miss Mediocre

    Amalada : Thank you for your suggestion! I had tried a similar tab set up with my Horde guild, but still ran into people who would stay in the guild for months until they reached the member rank with guild bank access, and then they would take whatever they could sell for the most. It was only pre-Wrath trade goods/gear/rep-turn-ins being taken, but some of those things can still sell for over 1000g a stack! Players would never get away with more than a few stacks before it was noticed and they were confronted, but then they would just quit the guild. Maybe I’ve just had really bad luck with this sort of thing, but my trust for the average WoW player is pretty minimal, lol.

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