On Guild Leadership June 15, 2011Posted by Stormy in Guild Stuff, Uncategorized.
(Subtitle: Wherein I Swear About My Guild Because I Love Them)
This is one of those Vry Srs Posts about Vry Srs Guild Bzns. If that offends you…well, have a nice day anyway. As the Asylum has experienced a bit of a growth spurt lately, I’ve been doing more and more thinking about exactly what it means to run a guild. I’m bound to ramble a bit here, but I have a point, I promise.
What Does It Mean to Be An Officer?
Last week I read a post somewhere in BlogAzeroth* where someone mentioned they’d been using ElvUI for their primary WoW interface. “ElvUI? Intrigued priest is intrigued.” So I did some research and ended up downloading it**. One of the more bizarre features of ElvUI is that when I hover over another player I can see not only the name of their guild but also their rank within the guild. I’ve learned more about the structure and overall failure of the WoW guild system this week than I have in my two years of playing.
*I hope the OP will forgive me for forgetting exactly where **And have been fighting with it ever since, but that’s another show.
A) I’m downright shocked at how many guilds use the basic Initiate/Veteran/Raider setup that comes with the guild UI. For crying out loud, people, where’s your creativity? Undoubtedly our Triage/Straightjackets/Lab Techs/Inmates setup was funnier six months ago when we thought of it, but at least it matches the theme of our guild and is a little bit clever*. I wonder what else this says about the people running the guild and their level of commitment to it. I always get a chuckle out of the recruitment ads in Trade when people are so proud that their guild has one bank tab and a tabard. Way to be committed to the success of your guild, guys.
*C’mon, Inmates running the Asylum? That’s funny, dammit.
B. Everybody and their brother is a guild officer these days. Every time I turn around I’m running into Ipwnulol, Officer of ShadowyKnightsOfAwesome*. I can appreciate that everyone wants some level of control and to be the King of the Castle, so to speak, but we can’t all be kings without also having some serfs and vassals. Some of us just don’t have the temperament to be a guild officer, whether we’re sleeping with/brother of/coworker of the Guild Master or not. But the problem goes deeper than that. These days everyone’s solution to solving guild drama seems to be to /gquit and go start their own guild**, so every day in Trade there are six new Level 1 guilds recruiting and trying to get their guilds off the ground. If you want to know why your guild is having such a hard time recruiting, it’s because just on your own server there are nine other guilds exactly like yours with the same ethos and same goals, and you’re all fighting over the same people.
*Fer cryin’ in the sand, people, I know WoW is not a job, but at least spell your guild’s name right.**Yes, I know. Sue me.
C. So what does it mean to be an officer? I was an officer for a brief time in $OldGuild and since August I’ve been part of a three headed hydra that runs Sane Asylum, and in my experience my idea of what it means to be an officer is a hundred and eighty degrees removed from what it means to other people. As co-GM of Sane Asylum, my goal is to make sure my people are taken care of. If you’re in my guild, you’re a priority for me. If you’ve got a problem, whether it’s with a guildie or a quest, it’s my problem. If you need leveling mats, raid flasks*, or have a freshly-dinged 85 that needs help getting some gear together, your problem is my problem. I will forever have a grudge against the former GM of Sane Asylum because back in March when people in the guild wanted to move part of the guild in a hardcore raiding direction, his response was a flat “No. Do it my way or get the hell out.” That’s not how I roll. As an officer it’s my responsibility to anticipate and also roll with my guild’s wants and desires. If you want hardcore raiding, fine, we’ll see what we can do.
I found myself in an interesting situation the other day when, for the first time in months, I wanted to throttle a guildie through the internets**. We were getting ready to go do a random together and he said he needed a minute because he was going to buy a bag (one of the new ones you can get by earning rep, y’know?) from one of the quartermasters. EXCUSE ME? There are four netherweave bags and three embersilk*** bags in Tab 1 of the guild vault because I put them there, and dammit I expect you to use them. I put a great deal of effort into making sure that the people in my guild, especially the new baby toons, get the things they need. That I would put in that kind of effort and then you’re off buying things from a quartermaster just absolutely frosts my ass, and I actually sat and stewed about it for several hours.
*I know I come from a guild that put a very strong emphasis on the we’re-all-in-this-together let’s-help-each-other-out style of guild management and that $OldGuild is an aberration in that sense, but I read posts on other guilds’ websites or bloggers bitching about their raiders not coming prepared with raid consumables or spending hours farming stuff, and my reaction is “Seriously? What the fuck is wrong with you?” If it’s a guild-sponsored raid there are flasks in Tab 7 of the guild vault, there always will be, and where those flasks come from is *everyone’s* problem, not just yours. When you’re in that raid and you get a new drop, there are stacks of every kind of blue gem in the ore/gems tab of the GV, and when you’re ready to have it cut I’ll be right back on my druid the jewelcrafter, thankyouverymuch. **Watch me get shit for this one in the comments. ***In January when I was leveling tailoring, if you’d have told me you were using stacks of embersilk on embersilk bags I would have kicked your ass from here to Dragonblight. Now I can’t even give the stuff away.
Long-winded GM is long-winded. My point is this: being an officer of a guild is the most rewarding thing I’ve found in all of Azeroth, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Every day when I log on my first priority is check for mail/PMs/forum stuff, check the GV to make sure everything’s intact, check the GuildFinder just in case, do the jewelcrafting daily so I have an ample supply of tokens for when someone needs something, *then* go do what I want to do. Although I trust my partners in crime completely and totally, I’m going out of town for the rest of this week and I’ll be checking in occasionally just to make sure everything’s going well…because it’s my job.
…and I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that we’re always recruiting…