The Guild Sphere: Avant Garde

Its thursday, and time for us to have a chat with a new guild. This time Avant Garde was so good to answer our questions. Avant Garde, is a North American raiding guild founded in March 2011 [US West (PST)]. The guild has a laid back atmosphere but when it comes to PvE progression they put in 100%. Many of their members also enjoy PvPing or levelling alts to raid with on their off days. Chec kout the interview below:

Where did your guild’s name come from?

Our name is a throwback to an old WoW guild that several of our members were a part of. Literally translated Avant Garde means Vanguard, in that sense our mentality is to be on the cutting edge of progression.

Can you give me a quick 2-3 sentence description of your guild?
Progression and endgame will be taken very seriously but no one’s looking for a second job. We will make progress through skill and dedication without the obscene time grind.

How did your guild come about?
AG’s backbone is composed of several old guilds that the leadership was a part of. We sat down and decided that we were no longer enjoying other games as much and decided a change of pace was called for. It was an easy choice to become a serious contender in The Old Republic.

What kind of play style do you focus on? PvE, PvP, RP:
Our primary focus is the PvE endgame. That’s not to say we frown on PvP, we have many members that love to do nothing but PvP in their downtime.

What is your guild set up? How do you run your guild?
We’re going to have a core group consisting of at most 18-20 members to allow some substitutions in the group without leaving too many riding a bench. Even if someone finds themself sitting out one week, it’s my personal goal to have a secondary group (8 or 16, dependent on several factors) set up comprised of alts so we can ensure our whole core gets to raid each week.

That said we also plan on having casual minded operations scheduled regularly as well as group PvP.

How serious do you play and/or run the guild?
We’re set up such that our core will be very serious towards progression indeed. However we still have a casually minded subset in the guild that will play at their own pace. Unless there’s an actual raid going on though it’s just a relaxed atmosphere for all.

Do you have ranks or a certain hierarchy in your guild?
It’s a pretty standard setup, Guild Master with 3 Officers to start. Everyone in leadership has held a similar position before in past games, we don’t promote based on personal relationships or time served, purely merit. Past that we’ve got Core Members (Trial goes with that) and Casual/Social members. Everyone is very approachable at all times and we don’t have a strict division based on ranks.

Why did you choose The Sith Empire?
We chose the Sith Empire for a pretty simple reason, it looked like it will have a more compelling story. Also many of our past guilds have always played on the ‘good guy’ factions so many of us were looking for a change. On top of those it’s always fun to be the underdog (as we all know the Light Side always canonically wins out in the end).

Why do you run a guild?
We run our guild because we were pretty specific in what we wanted from the game. It’s difficult to to get that when we don’t have a say in how things are run. That said we felt all our previous collective experience could only benefit a new guild in TOR from a leadership position.

How do you approach Raid Planning?
Approaching PvE progression isn’t a wildly varied process. The raid leader has to do his homework well in advance of the actual raid and make sure he understands the encounters well enough to manage 15 other people through them in order to maximize efficiency. We ask that since our raid leader is putting in his own time for this that our members also do what they can to be prepared for raids by doing what research they can and having the required consumables and credits for repairs.

As far as the schedule goes ours is pretty standard for our level of play, 3-4 hours a night 5 days a week.

Are you always open for new recruits or do you want to keep a certain guild size?
We are always open for recruits. As I stated earlier, our goal is to have a core roster of 18-20 players but many among us have friends joining that can’t meet such a devoted schedule. As such we’ll be encouraging and running multiple casual raid groups to keep everyone in the guild involved. That said we feel that a total roster of more than 75 is probably pushing it, past that people start to get lost in the fold.

Age requirement?
Our standard is 18 and over but we make exceptions in certain cases following an interview.

Guild size?
50-75 is our ideal size.

What makes your guild stand out from everyone else?
What makes your guild unique? From the moment The Old Republic was announced our leadership knew that this was the game we were looking for. We’re an experienced group of players and we’re going to hitting the ground running at launch.

How do you spend your time until release?
Do you know each other in real life or do you spend a lot of time on forums? We spend our time discussing logistics or just playing other games prior to launch. Many of us know each other from past guilds so we do often spend time hashing it out on the forums.

What other games are you currently playing as a guild?
As a guild under the AG banner I can’t say we do anything of that nature currently. Though we still have various people in the guild that play together in games like League of Legends, Battlefield 3, Starcraft, WoW, and several others.

If somebody is interested now how and where can they apply for membership?
If someone is looking to apply they can visit from there they can apply and send a PM to the guild leader. We also have a website active with forums here

One last question, if there was one thing you could ask the Dev’s to include, what would it be?
A challenging and compelling endgame. Keep us coming back for more.