Using A Personal Guild Bank For Storage? - Reader Question

Today's question comes from Ed who wants to know about what's involved in using a guild for storage purposes.

Hi Jim, 
Recently I've been buying up some cheap (<20g) 83-84 greens for when that market becomes viable (for certain plate items it's happening already).  All of these items were dumped onto my bank alt - and inevitably he no longer has room for anything in his bags or bank.  I am thinking about starting a guild just for the bank space, but am not sure what is involved and what the pitfalls are.  I guess it's worth it, seeing as every gold blogger seems to take it for granted that everyone has a guild bank.  Here are a few issues I'm hazy on and would like your input in.
Do I need a second account to add my alts to the guild? 
Do I need to level the guild for it to be worthwhile - and if so, how should I do this? 
How do I unlock the tabs and how many do you get starting off? 
How much will I need to invest to make the bank viable? 
Anything else you've experienced on the matter :) 
Thanks in advance,
All the best,

Thanks for the question Ed! As someone with a few storage guilds I'll attempt to shed some light on the ins and outs of using a guild bank for storage.

Q: Do I need a second account to add my alts to the guild?  

A: Yes and no. Yes you will need a second account to invite your own characters to the guild but if you have a close friend, relative and/or guildmate that has an extra character and/or character slot they can help you get set up.

All you need to do is invite their character to the guild and raise their rank high enough to be able to invite people to the guild ("Officer" rank usually allows it).

You then log onto each character and have them invite you into the guild. Once you have your characters in the guild you can remove your helper from the guild.

If you don't have any friends, relatives and/or guildmates to help you you can perhaps ask one of the people you asked (sometimes paid) to sign your guild charter to stay in the guild for a few minutes to help get your alts into the guild.

Q: Do I need to level the guild for it to be worthwhile - and if so, how should I do this? 

A: The first two guild perks you, Fast Track (+5% XP from monsters and quests) at guild level 2 and Mount Up (+10% mount speed), are definitely worth having if you are planning to level any characters in the guild.

Mists of Pandaria has made leveling guilds surprisingly easy even for individuals. I reached level 3 on one of my storage guilds simply by leveling a few characters. If you're doing any kind of dailies or serious leveling you'll likely get level 3 in a few weeks.

That said, if this guild is strictly for storage you don't need to bother worrying about leveling it up at all. The perks that really make a difference to gold-making are at much higher guild levels (Bountiful Bags at level 23 specifically).

If, however, you're going to be leveling anyway and a character isn't already in an important guild you might as well level your storage guild while you're at it.

Q: How do I unlock the tabs and how many do you get starting off? 

A: You unlock the first 6 tabs by having the guild master purchase them. They start at 100g for the first tab and increase in cost with each tab. The rest of the tabs are priced at 250g, 500g, 1000g, 2500g and 5000g.

If you buy all six tabs the total cost will be 9350g. Each tab has 98 slots and purchasing them all will net you 588 slots. That said, you are by no means required to purchase all of them.

Tabs beyond number 6 cost gold are unlocked through guild level and guild achievements. Tab 7 costs 10,000g and requires guild level 5. Tab 8 costs 20,000 and requires the guild achievement Stay Classy.

Q: How much will I need to invest to make the bank viable? 

A: As stated above you don't have to purchase all the tabs. How much you invest will really be up to you and your gold situation.

Not counting the nice perks of an easy 5% bonus XP and 10% mount speed at guild level 3, you could purchase 3 tabs with 294 total slots for 850g.

If you compare that to to a bank alt with 11 Netherweave Bags (4 bag slots + 7 bank slots) plus their 16-slot Backpack (assuming a cost of around 20g per Netherweave Bag) they would have access to a total of 194 slots for around 220g.

Purchasing 4 guild tabs would give you 392 slots and cost 1850g.

By comparison, two bank alts with all Neatherweave Bags would end up with a combined total of 384 slots for around 440g.

This assumes, of course, that you have extra characters/character slots to spare on bank alts.

Also guild banks can be handy for storing materials that are used by multiple characters. I used the guild bank to store my Truegold materials for my 3 Alchemists and it worked quite well.

Ultimately the choice is up to you. I personally like having my own guilds but I also have gold to spend.

(Also, not to throw a monkey wrench in the works but I'm storing my 83-84 Mists of Pandaria items in the mail by sending them to one player who leaves them in their mailbox. They can stay in the mailbox for up to 30 days at which point they are returned. If I want to sell the items the character then sends them to the player who sells them for me.)

Q: Anything else you've experienced on the matter :) 

A: It is very easy to get a guild up and running. The guild charter only costs 10 silver and only takes 4 guild charter signatures.

If you want to get signatures in a hurry I've found that going around the human (Alliance) and Blood Elf  (Horde) starting areas and whispering players I see without a guild offering to pay them 100g to sign my guild charter can be a quick way to get a guild set up.

Some people say 100g is too much but I am willing to pay the gold to get done with as little fuss as possible. If you don't have 400g to burn on  guild charter signatures you can pay less (50g, etc.) or ask your friends/family/guildmates if they have (or can make) alts to sign your guild charter.

If you are looking to power-level your guild I've had some success making level 1 characters, placing them in the guild, leveling them to 15 or so and then deleting them and repeating the cycle. I did this with two accounts and it was twice as effective. This is how I got one of my storage guilds up to level 2.

All quests that give your experience, no matter the difficulty, give you 60,000 guild experience (I believe). This is true for starter quests as well which generally are fairly easy to breeze through.

In my experience I found that leveling hunters through the Undead area to be the fastest level 1-15 on the horde side.

While this may not work as well at later guild levels, it is one way to power-level for those who, like me, generally like playing alone.

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  1. A pretty easy way to level a guild is with the Candy Baskets (until Hallow's End is over). They give the same 60K Guild XP as any quest. If you have 2 accounts or a really good friend (and a 2 seater mount) you can grab every basket fairly quickly.

    An add on called Candy Baskets (go figure) will add the locations to your in game map and even give the info to TomTom for quicker travel.

  2. Hi Jim,

    Thanks so much for the speedy and comprehensive answer :) I think I will bite the bullet and go for the guild bank, it looks like there are quite a few quality of life benefits, especially shared storage for my alts. The initial gold outlay isn't so bad, especially if it makes it easier to make more :) I've tried using the post method as storage - but I do play all my alts on occasion and it bugs me seeing that envelope on the minimap :D

    I'll probably pick up a few levels on it too - thanks for the candy bucket tip Chris.

    Cheers guys, will let you know how I get on.

  3. Very interesting article, moreover, it intersects with the optimal set of proffs for the secondary characters.
    Any plans to update - ?

  4. Hey Jim, thanks for posting this up for the readers. I would make a couple comments on it in addition if I can.

    1 - Concerning the slot cost debate, it's worth noting that over the long term, fixed costs today become relatively cheaper tomorrow. When the last tab at 20k was initially priced, this was in the Cata market environment and so with the release of MoP and the natural inflation cycle, 20k by comparison becomes relatively cheaper. This effect only compounds over the long term, so paying a fixed price today on any set commodity that has equally effective use in the future (like bank slots, glyphs and the Traveller's Tundra mount for example) become relatively cheaper the longer you hold it. To put it another way, consider dropping 20k on a BOE Epic item today - will it still be as useful in 6 months, yet alone another expansion? Compare that to 96 extra bank slots which will ALWAYS be useful, no matter what the content progression and you can see what I mean.

    2 - Also consider the option of buying a guild already established. I've found people will come and go from the game (GMs included) or people will transfer servers and not wish to maintain or transfer a guild with them. You can negotiate some very attractive prices on established guilds without the extra hassle and can get the extras (like guild levels) effectively thrown in for free. Watch / Advertise in /2 and see how you go, you might be pleasantly surprised!

    3 - Also consider allowing people in your storage guild early on to level it up. Why do all the work yourself? You can bring in new people with the basic XP perk, offer attractive incentives with free repairs and withdrawls from the guild bank and allow them to level it up for you. Especially at this stage of the Xpac where levelling it still going on, it's not a bad idea to think about setting these guilds up for future use by yourself.

    4 - If you can, higher level guilds are better to obtain. If you can get your hands on a level 25 guild, consider it seriously (even at big cost). The perks for a high ranked guild are great for your alts to get benefits and you can transfer gear between your alts in the guild without coughing up the fees for the mailbox. A rank 25 guild right now is a very good place to park all your alts and share the same space, without needing to send your stuff via mailboxes, saving time and money.

    Hope the tips / advice help!

  5. Great article and some very good comments too! :)
    I currently have 2 Bank Alts each with their own Guild Vault.
    One stores all my transmog stock and the other stores all my profession mats.
    The basic 6 bank tabs works fine for me and although a little pricey to buy all 6 (or 12 in my case with 2 alts) the quality of life benefits are worth it in my opinion.