Building Bucklers: Conclusion

After going over the technicals of Bucklers, it’s time for the part you can’t write in a charter, or list on a website.  I was curious how some of my guildies would respond to this question:  “What makes Bucklers so great?”  I posted that question on my website to see if anyone was brave enough to tackle it and I got two very differently stated, but ultimately similar responses.

The first is from Revix.  He comments here from time to time, and is the pirate on the right in the Bucklers logo (I’m the left):

Bucklers is great because we are a small community of friends that are more about playing with each other and having fun instead of trying to be the best possible thing ever.  We do things at our own pace and still progress just fine, we don’t need to spend countless amounts of time on raids or anything to get the job done.  Bucklers is just a second family, and i think that’s what makes it great.

I think this is a good summation of where Bucklers is as a guild.  Revix points out that we’re getting the job done, and being together is what makes our guild, not the progression or the gear.  Whats interesting to note, is that we are progressing well, and the gear is coming.

The author of the second response prefers to remain anonymous. Their response is lengthy, and I had to read a few times to get the point:

I don’t think Bucklers is so great.  It’s better than some guilds, and worse than some.  What I think makes Bucklers what it is, however, is our ability to let people leave.  We support people in playing the way that they enjoy the game, even if that’s not with us.  We have not collapsed at each exodus, of which there have been a few.  The people in our guild are dedicated to playing with a group of people they enjoy being with, more than gear or status or ego.  If the only person left alive when the boss dies is one priest’s Guardian Spirit and you can’t laugh about that, then by all means find a place that doesn’t do that.  Because Bucklers does.  We work hard and expect others to do so, but if the RNG gives us a hard time or it’s just not our night, at least we can find the humor in it together.  We love raiding, and we love hanging around together.  And we do both without drama and without pressure.  Over time we’ve lost a lot of people because we’re “too casual”, “too unfocused”, “too immature”, “not going fast enough”, “not getting me enough gear”, etc etc.  But in the long run, we have become a group of people who enjoy playing with each other and who work together while having a good time to reach our in-game goals.  It’s not the best or the worse, but it sure is fun.  And our guildies have become friends whom we know are dedicated to the group, not the gear, so we know that they’ll be there to progress and have fun right along with us.

Again, I had to read this a few times to get the point.  It’s true that we were at one point way too casual, and we lost members for that.  Sometimes it was good for the guild; sometimes it was bad.  The best healer/tank/DPS in the game isn’t worth it if people can’t stand playing with them, but losing a good person to a lack of focus is not fun or good.

While we can laugh when things don’t go our way, I’d like to point out that the Bucklers the poster describes might come across as apathetic to the raiding scene, and wiping frequently.  That may have been the case in BC, but in Wrath, we’ve had quick progression on almost every boss, and truthfully in Ulduar, our main wipes have come from attempting things before we took the time to research them, particularly from underestimating trash.  I’ve personally seen to it that we won’t have that issue again.

So, the real question is why do I think Bucklers is so great, and what’s the secret to that success?  Well….



–  Conclusion  –

Greatness is not measured by one standard.  If that were the case, then only the #1 guild in the world would ever be truly considered great, and everyone else would simply be chasing the dream of being that guild.  The word “great” has more than ten specific definitions, and only one of them deals with being the “ultimate”  of something.

Bucklers of Swash is a great guild, and that greatness comes from many factors, none of which are from our current level of progression.  We’re a good guild in that respect, but progression is something we do; not something that defines us.

What makes Bucklers a great guild is that unlike most other guilds at our progression level, we maintain a consistent core player base who haven’t forgotten that we’re playing a game.  With a fierce competitive spirit that many of us share, we come together as team, or even as a family, and we get the job done.  We laugh together, keep it relaxed, and at the end of the day, everyone had a good time and the boss is still dead.  That’s what defines us:  the ability to take care of business, and be playing a game at the same time.

That’s the secret of the whole thing.  You’re playing a game, and if you lose sight of that, the only “greatness” that you can attain is from gear and kills.  When you run out of bosses to kill, and gear to loot, there’s only emptiness left, which by one definition would be the absence of greatness.  If that’s the kind of greatness you want, by all means take it.  I think no less of people that are driven to get as much done as fast as possible.

So, here we are, the conclusion of a week’s worth of typing.  Thousands of words in print on a screen, and what does it all mean?  If you don’t want to be like us, then don’t.  However, if you like what you’ve seen, and you want something like it, you’ve got the basic tools now.  No one else can truly be Bucklers, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  However, you can use us as an example and achieve something similar and be great in your own way.

– Sam

15 Responses to Building Bucklers: Conclusion

  1. Andy says:

    Is that it now, are you done writing about the Bucklers of Swash? Please tell me you have as its bored me to tears.

  2. samueltempus says:

    Then don’t read it. It’s not as if you were forced to come here and do so. The last time I checked, my only responsibility here is to myself by writing about whatever I feel like. If however, I’m wrong, and I’m supposed to be writing specifically for your entertainment, Andy, then it has been my utmost pleasure to displease you.

    – Sam

  3. Revix says:

    good read fine sir.

    and i’ll just throw this out for that andy guy over there. owned. that is all.

  4. Nave says:

    As a rogue and an officer, I’ve enjoyed the Buckler’s saga.

    That’s not to say I wouldn’t enjoy a post about SubDaggers in BGs…


  5. samueltempus says:

    Thanks Nave. 🙂

    Funny you should mention that. I’ve been using Mut/Prep all weekend in BGs (I farmed almost 80K honor this weekend). I’ll have to try out the full subtlety daggers build, as well. It just might take some time, as I’ve got Mut/Prep to talk about first.

    Thus far the only problem with that spec is that if you don’t get something bursted down, you’re out of energy, and regen is painfully slow. More to come soon.

    – Sam

  6. Lyndiana says:

    I’m just going to own to being the one who sent Sam that wall’o text about Bucklers so that I can add to it, lol. I didn’t realize that Sam was going to post the whole thing. /facepalm! For those who don’t play with us, I did an epic fail, I’m sorry. Bucklers has great people, but I didn’t think we’re *great* as in epic because that’s not our goal. Sam did well to point out that we’re great in our own way. And I didn’t get across that funny fails are a thing of the past, and what Bucklers does is to laugh about it and move on. What people said about us was what they wanted to paint us as because we wouldn’t be jerks about raiding like they were. We are good raiders and good people. And while I don’t think that we’ll top the World First charts, Sam has done Bucklers justice to say that it’s a great guild to be in. Well done, “fine sir”. Your guild which you lead is proud of you.

  7. pitrelli says:

    I really enjoyed this, I have recently started my own guild so is very useful.

  8. samueltempus says:

    I’m guessing that your Paladin’s the guild leader. I enjoyed your recent post on the status of your fledgeling guild, and would love to know more. If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know. 🙂

    – Sam

  9. Dinaer says:

    Your guild sounds a lot like mine. In any raid, if we laughed and had fun, then that is more memorable than the bosses we killed. I think that my guild is, if anything, even more casual that the Bucklers of Swash. That’s both good and bad.

    The only problem with a guild like ours is that its sometimes hard to recruit good people. “We have fun” is not always the selling point that people are looking for. They like to hear about progression. The best players often go to the more hardcore guilds, and we’re picking up from what’s left. If your guild is like mine, then your core group is outstanding, but beyond that its a little weaker.

  10. Lyndiana says:

    Dinaer, I relate to your reply! And it reminded me of a comment from yesterday’s WowInsider post “How do we start a guild?” that said “…no matter how wacky and non-typical you think your requirements are, THERE REALLY IS A GUILD TRYING TO MAKE IT WORK THAT’S DOING THE SAME DAMN THING.” That made me laugh. It’s so true. But hopefully there’s just one per server so we can haz all the people! =)

  11. pitrelli says:

    Yeah I decided to make my paladin the leader as I guess I now class him as my main, I still venture out on my Rogue on occassion but still find myself bitter about the playstyle.

    It is very early days at my guild and we are looking for more members, once we have a bigger pool of players I think things will pick up but at the moment we are a bit stagnant. I myself would rather have quality and fun players over numbers however a few of the members are becoming agitated over lack of numbers atm. This imo is one of the hurdles most guilds fail to get over, however I am unsure of how to recruit i.e. any class, any level. Or perhaps go for the level 60+ looking towards doing more endgame.

  12. Andy says:

    Owned, lol. For what its worth I read your posts via RSS and for the most part find it interesting and enjoyable, the bucklers stuff, less so. I guess you caught me on a bad day and I was out of order with what I posted, I would never usually click through and comment on any site. I have deservedly had my arse handed to me by yourself and I can only apologise.

  13. samueltempus says:

    No worries Andy. I’ve got some good Rogue material on the way. I know that the Walls o’ text about Bucklers were a lot to sift through, but for what its worth, I’ve had several people tell me that they enjoyed it and it was helpful. I’m sorry that it didn’t quite fit what you were looking for, but maybe when I post some thing funny about Bucklers (there’s way too much material to choose from) It’ll be more your bag.

    That being said, don’t be afraid to comment. I love the chance to communicate with the people who read the posts here. I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, just make sure you don’t come across sounding like a troll. I defend my blog with pride.

    If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to post on, I’m always open to suggestions. Either pop me a comment or an email, and I respond fairly quickly. 🙂

    – Sam

  14. samueltempus says:


    I won’t lie. It’s harder to get good quality people this far into an expansion. We tried it in BC and all but failed. The good news is that with the 10 man progression model, it’s a lot easier to make it. If you can put together 8 solid people with 4 or 5 other people that have the potential to be solid, you’re good to go.

    If Bucklers didn’t take up so much time, I’d come help you recruit / raid, but that would require me to roll a horde (not opposed) and level from 1-80 (eww). Oh well. I’d say mainly recruit people within the 60-80 range who show the competance to fufill their role in a group, if not the eagerness to learn how to do so. I’m sure you’ll find some people in heroic groups too. Keep at it, and good luck.

    – Sam

  15. pitrelli says:

    Thanks Sam , much appreciated. I’ll be putting in some work towards this over the long weekend and see how we do

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