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The Ranks of Ironsong Revealed and Explained
Penned by Blademaster-Warlord Sreng'jin Skullclaimer

In ascending order, the Ironsong Order of Precedence is as follows:

Peon: This rank is awarded to those who have successfully petitioned for membership, but have not yet completed their trial period. Peons are not considered full members of the Tribe, though this seldom impacts the way in which they are treated by the Tribe.

Grunt: After successfully completing the period of trial, new members are given the rank of Grunt. Grunts are full members of the Tribe who serve the Horde well and bring distinction to the Tribe by constantly striving to embody the ideals of Ironsong. In limited-space events, Grunts are given preference over Peons during the invite process.

Blooded: Some Grunts go above and beyond, serving the tribe with distinction, skill, and above all, consistency. The rank of Blooded is awarded to those that demonstrate their dedication to the Tribe by participating in Tribe events with great regularity. The Blooded are those that have been members for a long time, and are well-known to their Tribemates. The Blooded also must demonstrate skill in battle.

Iron-Singer: Those who choose to enhance their tribemates' in-game experience by running roleplay events can be awarded the title of Iron-Singer. Our Iron-Singers must demonstrate a significant degree of skill and talent at roleplaying, and encourage the character development of other tribe members. Iron-Singers also must demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the lore of Azeroth. Raiders and Iron-Singers hold the same degree of prestige; the fact that Raider appears higher in the ranks is just an artifact of the built-in rank system.

Raider: Raiders are those who serve the Tribe by running instances, raids, PvP sessions, and the like, for their Tribemates. Previous Raiders have earned the rank by hosting attacks on Zul'gurub, the Barons of Silithus, Shadowfang Keep, and action on the field in Alterac Valley, Arathi Basin, and Warsong Gulch. Raiders must demonstrate leadership skills, tactical understanding, and the ability to make their raids a regular event. Raiders and Iron-Singers hold the same degree of prestige; the fact that Raider appears higher in the ranks is just an artifact of the built-in rank system.

Champion: The coveted post of Champion is occupied by only one character (and sometimes their alts) at a time. The Champion is nominated at the discretion of the Tribe's leader for some particularly great feat. The Champion serves a vital function by bringing a fresh voice to the Officer Chat channel, and some of our past Champions have gone on to become Officers themselves.

Advisor: This rank is a sub-officer position that serves a dual purpose. First, the alts of guild leaders and officers hold this rank. In addition to this, some former Champions are made Advisors, because the council of officers felt that they benefited from the Champion's wisdom in the Officer Chat channel.

Blademaster/Farseer: These are the officers of the Tribe. They have the ability to promote, demote, invite, and remove people from the Tribe. Most of the officers at the time of this writing were founding members of the Tribe, though a few have been promoted from the ranks.

Tribe Leader: At the time of this writing, the rank of Tribe Leader has been held by two individuals, and went by different names respectively. The current Tribe Leader is Sreng, and his official title is Warlord. The other leader, who held the title for several months time before returning the title to Sreng, was Shillatae, and her official title was Witch Doctor.
Thanks for the info Warlord, I have always kind of wondered what the responcibilities of the various ranks were.
Etsuko - Monk
Razzlixx Blingwell - Warlock
Cloudjumper Wildmane - Druid (Inactive)
Thanks Sreng! I was never quite sure of the order of ranks, though I had a general idea.
Don't mess with the trees!

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

~Bill Cosby
Watch this space as we continue to fine-tune things. That said, we've spent a lot of time on working the rank system out and several things major and minor have changed about it over the two years of Ironsong.

I should emphasize that Champion is an honorary position that includes some but not all of the officer privileges. Mostly access to officer chat as the Champion is chosen as something of a representative of the Tribe at large as well as for their other accomplishments. Any Grunt who becomes a Champion will be rewarded with a new permanent promotion in addition to the temporary rank of Champion for however long their tenure turns out to be. Usually this is Iron-singer in recognition of their special contribution to the Tribe and their place in the Tribe's history as a former Champion, but depending on the nature of their activities other ranks are possible as well.

Efluvia for example was made Champion for being the first rank and file Tribe member to successfully organize and run a Tribe raid for several consecutive weeks. As a result Efluvia was given the option of receiving either the rank of Iron-singer as is most conventional /or/ the rank of Raider because her contribution was in the raiding/instancing arena. As a dedicated RPer Efluvia chose Iron-singer to best reflect her focus, as I recall.

Just some additional insight. As ICly my Tribe Leadership is as a Witch Doctor, expect ceremonies like the Blooded Rite that was held some time ago to be more my style for major promotions (i.e. promoting a group to Blooded, the changing of the Champion, appointing a new Advisor). More Moot fun! As always, allowances are made for folks who can't make Moots due to IRL considerations, but pageantry is fun!

Feel free to ask any questions you have of any of us about the rank system, here or in-game. Also know that we rarely have demoted anyone, if at all, so some folks may hold ranks according to former criteria. Just putting that out there to avoid undue confusion.

"She is a soothsayer. She’s a mystic. She is a witch doctor, able to see into people’s hearts and minds. She’s also touched by the elements." -Naomie Harris
Well, what is this blooded rank? I suppose that's a new addition? It would seem to me the majority of grunts would deserve that rank.
Quote:Blooded: Some Grunts go above and beyond, serving the tribe with distinction, skill, and above all, consistency. The rank of Blooded is awarded to those that demonstrate their dedication to the Tribe by participating in Tribe events with great regularity. The Blooded are those that have been members for a long time, and are well-known to their Tribemates. The Blooded also must demonstrate skill in battle.

The Blooded rank is new. We have held one ceremony thus far. Not all Grunts will be deserving of such title. I feel Sreng's description was well worded. "Above and beyond" are the key words and this is voted on by Officers and the criteria might vary. We were feeling that some members were long timers who always supported and helped the other tribemates...but did not necessarily run events. This rank is for those players we wish to recognize...and it represents the heart of Ironsong.

In the last ceremony, we recognized Uglawha...as he always runs to the defense of the Horde towns and he does so using RP tactics such as calling out alerts IC and calling for help IC from his tribemates thus getting them involved. He was not running scheduled events, and thus did not qualify as a Raider or Ironsinger...but was making many above and beyond contributions by coming to the aid of his tribemates no matter their level...rping at moots...being friendly to others...donating items etc. These things eventually add up. Aside from that, he has been with Ironsong for a very long time and was one of our Senior Grunts.

Look at it this way...if Peons are like Soldiers in boot camp, and Grunts are like the enlisted or regular army soldiers, then Blooded are like hero-enlisted. Perhaps like a soldier who accepts a promotion to squad leader because of heroics in battle. In RP terms, these would be the most trusted soldiers in the tribe and the ones the Officers would entrust with special missions.

In general, all of our tribemates display these qualities. It is our duty, as tribemates to help one another, so we cannot reward each and every kind gesture. The Blooded rank however is for those who go above and beyond the call of duty on an ongoing or continuous basis...and will also be used to reward those who have been with us for a long time with a rank slightly above Grunt status.

I have a great love of this rank and I feel it represents well, some of the very finest players in the tribe.

Hope that answers your question Fili

Sing True Ironsong!
Filiminjaru Wrote:Well, what is this blooded rank? I suppose that's a new addition? It would seem to me the majority of grunts would deserve that rank.

No. The majority of Grunts deserve to be Grunts. Grunt is a rank to which more respect should be given - Ironsong doesn't admit and retain just anyone. Your observation that many Grunts are great members is what we want. Grunts should embody the values of the Tribe as seen in the Code of Conduct and elsewhere.

Any rank above Grunt is a recognition of certain things for which the officers and I keep watch. If some of the rank descriptions seem a trifle vague it is because the ranks are not a reward scheme - gaining a higher rank in the Tribe is normally meant to be an honor and responsibility. As a result we prefer to just let the Tribe know the gist of it so everyone knows basically what the ranks are. If anyone feels motivated to run events, regularly drop what they are doing to help others, take time to give loads of feedback that the officership finds useful, etc. that's great and we want to acknowledge that and to a limited extent encourage it.

What don't want is to foster a class structure or make people feel pushed to do stuff in the game that might end up feeling like work. By far the majority of the Tribe will always be Grunts, by design. A higher rank is our way of saying, "Hey, you are doing this stuff you totally don't have to do and that we would be totally fine with you not worrying about, just because you are into it. We appreciate it." Most members want to just /play/, have fun, go on some runs, do some RP, show up for interesting sounding events, whatever. No one has to do more than that at all. If you do anyhow we might offer you a rank in recognition. You don't have to accept it but if you do you have a little more responsibility to represent the Tribe's values.

I hope this gives a bit more insight into our ideas for ranking. Blooded, Iron-singer/Raider, and Champion are achievable with the right kind of effort but Ironsong is defined by our Grunts more than even the Tribe Leader, Blademasters and Farseers. The Grunts by and large are who other people in the community will see as members of The Ironsong Tribe, who potential members will meet for the first time, who make up our raids and RP events' participants and whose opinions and needs as a whole the Tribe's leadership takes into consideration when planning the course of the Tribe.

I've always felt that Grunt was our most underappreciated rank in the Tribe. Promoting a mass of people to Blooded would in my opinion devalue the Grunt. Our invite standards have gone through an evolution over time and we don't currently make a Peon of anyone about whom the officers don't already have positive regard or with whom we aren't willing to work and teach. We've also stretched out the Peon trial to almost always last at least a month for new members and I do extend that when I am unsure about someone. As a result I feel that the rank of Grunt is more robust and valuable than ever.

Ultimately, Ironsong is a community. That could be said of any in-game guild but I feel it's even moreso due to our size (largest guild on Silver Hand currently). We try to give people a fair shake without losing what makes us Ironsong. Recognizing exceptional effort is part of being fair. The fact that the Tribe as a whole is so great raises the bar on what "exceptional" looks like and that is just how it should be. The quality of our quantity astonishes me most of the time. : )

"She is a soothsayer. She’s a mystic. She is a witch doctor, able to see into people’s hearts and minds. She’s also touched by the elements." -Naomie Harris
I'm a Grunt and proud of it....*nods*
While I completely agree with what Shillatae said, I wanted to know if there was the possibility of another rank being added?

Right now we have Peon for the new folks, Grunt for those that are regular members in good standing. However after that there is really nothing further without exceptional effort. And yes I think it is very beneficial to reward exceptional effort, because I know the effort the officers and raid leaders go through to keep things running smooth and they should be recognized for this responcibility.

However for those members that don't put forth such exceptional efforts, but still consistantly contribute to the guild and guild events, I think there should be a rank that recognizes these efforts. Perhaps a new rank of Veteran could be created? This would recognize those guild members who consistently support and promote the guild over a significant period of time, but maybe are not the exceptional folks that make all the really big things happen.
Etsuko - Monk
Razzlixx Blingwell - Warlock
Cloudjumper Wildmane - Druid (Inactive)
Thanks for your Suggestion Grym. In general, officers have discussed this...but we feel we do not wish to take anything away from our Grunt rank, as Tae stated so well in the previous post. The Grunt Rank does hold prestige within the tribe. To get that rank a player has already passed a number of tests. It is a rank they "earn."

Beyond that, the Blooded rank has a wide enough range to cover the few things the other ranks did not. The most minimum reason we might award the Blooded rank is for longevity in the tribe. In essence, Blooded IS a Veteran's rank. Blooded also meaning "the life's blood" of the tribe, or the heart of the tribe.

If Blooded are the heart of the tribe than the Grunts represent the soul of Ironsong. We are all one big family...a community as Tae said...and we must keep a balance in things. Too much ranking would probably add undue pressure to members...and we want everyone to come here to be able to relax and feel at home. The ranks, in the most basic sense, are all just to add some fun and flavor to the tribe. It is important, but it should never be "all-important" in my view.

That is the situation as it currently stands, however we are always evolving and changing and as time goes on, perhaps this is a rank idea we will use in the future.

Thanks as always for the feedback.


Sing True Ironsong!
The simpler answer is that it is not possible to create any new ranks as the game has a hard limit on the maximum number of them and we are not interested in removing any of those we currently have.

Again, there is no reason for people to even /want/ promotions. This is what I was trying to explain. They aren't rewards they are recognition of those who both do unnecessarily cool stuff and are willing to be held to that level of performance. When I said we don't want a class structure I mean that we don't want any promotions that are more or less automatic which is what your suggested Veteran rank would essentially be. Also, it would be a lot of needless bookkeeping to measure the time each member (of our hundreds) has held a particular rank. Currently we only do it strictly for the Peon rank using officer notes.

Promoting folks beyond Grunt without exceptional cause such as those previously listed in the thread would be counterproductive. I've tried here to explain exactly how that is in my prior post and this one. We've spent two years refining this system and are very happy with it. While we are always willing to accept suggestions that is not the purpose of this thread primarily. We listed the ranks for the Tribe to see and gave a basic definition, we have no immediate plans to change the ranks we have either in name, function or qualifications and the game would not permit us to add another.

Besides, "exceptional" effort doesn't have to be extreme. Setting up a weekly 5-man run at an off time and doing it regularly could net you a Raider rank. Running one RP event and also being a high quality member overall could net you an Iron-singer rank. Blooded is for those who aren't motivated to run an event and so we make you bleed a bit for it and take our time picking people to hold that rank so it doesn't get diluted. Big personal projects that demand the respect of the Tribe can net you the Champion rank.

What do you want us to reward? Seniority? Popularity? (I can't choose this latter or Eve would take over the Tribe from me!) Anyone who is basically just playing the game but is also adhering to the Ironsong Code in good standing deserves precisely the rank of Grunt. I maintain that this is a position of honor and even should someone pursue a higher rank they should never disparage the Grunt.

Peons are another story...Big Grin Hehe.

"She is a soothsayer. She’s a mystic. She is a witch doctor, able to see into people’s hearts and minds. She’s also touched by the elements." -Naomie Harris
Ah, alright, thanks for clearing that up. Smile
Etsuko - Monk
Razzlixx Blingwell - Warlock
Cloudjumper Wildmane - Druid (Inactive)
Thank you soooo much for this! I was very curious about the ranking systems and this not only helps show the philosophy of the tribe (being about teamwork, not reward system) but it also allows those of us who didn't know what the different ranks we saw meant and what their significance is.

I only have 2 things to add..

1) you can only have 10 ranks per guild.. so I think with the 9 that is currently in place that it covers the majority of things the tribe seems to need. Most guilds work on a reward system.. you do x-number of things and you get this rank, I like that ironsong has a more laid back approach, and when I became a grunt, I was very excited and felt like I had just won the lotto! With a tribe this large, that is a hard thing to maintain.. so I applaude those that have worked on the philosophy of the tribe, both in defining it and in living up to it and have stayed true to it!

2) my last thing.. is it possible to get a post of this for peons to read? I know when I was a peon the ranks and names were very confusing to me and I really struggled to understand who everyone was and their place in teh tribe, this listing of them would have aided me a lot and saved off many questions. And I am sure other peons of now and the future would benefit from such a post as many of us come from guilds or backgrounds that are very different from ironsong. This is just a suggestion/request.

But thanks to all who have made this tribe so welcoming and open to newer members! You all deserve a big hug!
(( I'll second posting this for peons to read. I I know that was one of my questions when I first joined the Tribe. "What's a Blademaster? Should I be scared of them?" *laughs* ))
We will post this again, in the Prospective Peon section, but first we want to make sure it is as clear as we can get it. Thanks for the input. And yes, Qaza, fear the Blademasters! *smirk* But the Farseers are more terrifying.

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