By Themistoklis ?Yenx? Pantazakos
Table of Contents
1 ? The Basics
2 ? Recruitment
3 ? Guild Drama
4 ? Punishment
5 ? Leading a Raid
6 ? Summing Up
Guilds are unarguably the backbone of the World of Warcraft experience. They play a big role in all activities, both Player versus Environment (PvE) and Player versus Player (PvP) activities. But what makes some guilds more successful than others? What keeps some guilds together and going, while others disband prematurely? This article is going to try and answer these questions and give some useful tips about how to maintain a steady and healthy guild.
Creating a Guild ? For beginners
Before we can go into details about a guild, we need to create it first. What all is entailed in creating a guild? I would like to keep the very basics of guild creation to just one paragraph since information on creating a guild are beyond the scope of this article. Apart from a signed guild Guild Charter, you need a tabard. It is my belief that the following tools are also mandatory for a strong guild:
A Ventrilo/Teamspeak server.
A website with a functional design:
Most hardcore guilds? websites tend to have many pertinent data areas, including guild news/updates and so on as well as info about Raids and DKP.
Note: Do NOT be put off by the hard work of creating a guild. One thing you should know that will most definitely occur is player attrition. Things such as players leaving for high-end raiding guilds or due to having little faith in new and small guilds so do not expect them to be devoted. Finally, many people just join small guilds ?just to have somebody to talk with? which is also a reason for early departures. DO NOT let those incidents bring you down! WoW history is full of examples of guilds that went through periods of immense difficulty and still made it to the top.
From my personal experience, there are two areas of recruitment that could be troublesome. Either you recruit with little or no criteria for joining, or on the flip side, standards are too high leading to low recruitment numbers and possibly leading to low guild morale or even disbandment. Apparently, the first one is much more common. It is important to maintain a standard of characteristics and qualities a player must posses in order to be able to join your guild?s ranks, but do not overdo it. Especially in the beginning pay more attention on the person?s attitude rather than on their items and equipment (i.e. you wouldn?t necessarily want somebody with a ?Friends come and go, epics are soulbound!? mentality in your guild just because they have good items). It goes without saying that as your guild expands and grows, expectations standards will rise. My recommendation for a good foundation is to start a heavy influx of low level players that are enthusiastic about the When players ?grow? with the guild, they will develop loyalty and good will the guild as a whole. It is this loyalty that you are looking for and will allow you to reach the major high-end instances as a guild.
That said, several psychological studies have indicated that if people have a hard time getting into one group (e.g. your guild) they are less likely to leave so keep that in mind.
Note (For established guilds, basically major ones with very high standards):Bear in mind that with the emergence of Pay-to-Transfer option, guild recruitment will become a cross server endeavor. This means that high-end guilds will get many more applications and have an easier time maintaining their hardcore status. So, if you are in charge of such a guild, with sky-high standards, DO NOT accept people just because you find none fitting. The above mentioned option will come as an answer to your prayers sometime soon!
Guild drama and conflicts within the guild are one of the basic reasons for the beginning of the end. People stop having a good time and the atmosphere is suddenly ?not what it used to be?. Arguments can take place that split the guild into two (or more) sub-groups. All arguing with the others and pushing their own agendas. It is very important to prevent this, and to address the problem as soon as any dissention begins to rise. Make sure that you investigate each ?conflict? case and haveyou?re your members talk with each other, DO NOT ignore these issues as it will just pile up for later. As a general rule keep everything in the guild at a high level of transparency in order to maintain a healthy status. If, after extensive dialogue, some people refuse to stop being a problem for the guild?s welfare, then you may have to follow up with punishment (we will look at that later). In any case, listen to what sides have to say, while refraining from taking an official position as the guild?s leadership. It is better if problems are solved between players with you just acting as a mediator.
Guild master and officers: Make sure that the officers and the guild master always present themselves as if they have the same opinion as far as guild matters are concerned. Even if some disagree with something, everyone must present a unified front. This is VERY important as it gives the image of a mature, steady guild that won?t falter because of leadership problems. Make sure any differences of opinions are resolved in the officers? chat/forums.
When should you punish a player, and what should be the punishment? The answer to the first question is really simple, very rarely. Try talking with problematic players and explain in logical terms why what they are doing is not acceptable. It is good practice to not come off as offensive of insulting. Always speak with the individuals one on one, in private. People tend to get defensive if you talk about something they have done in public and are generally less willing to admit faults or mistakes.
What happens if that doesn?t solve the problem? Try giving one two warnings, and as a last resort, you kick them. Give the troublesome player a day or two to address the issue. Give them some time to think the matter over and calm down, then talk with them. If they are still unwilling to address the situation or make reparations, then you may have to further escalate the situation.
Why should you kick a player?
1) As above mentioned, when you are beyond the point where you can settle things with talking. I don?t think that needs any further explanation.
2) Inactivity is another reason for removing members. If players disappear without giving any indication as to why, or when they will return, it is probably a good idea to remove them from the guild. Of course this does not include inactivity because of holidays/exams and so on. If it is known in advance and is for a valid reason, inactivity is bearable.
3) Various reasons (I.E.: Ninjalooting, going in rants at general channels and so on).
Generally speaking, refrain from kicking a player when possible. It is a destabilizing event that can lead to guild unrest and lowered guild morale.
Leading a raid
Leading a raid is an experience that will heavily draw upon and enrich your leadership skills. Leading raids can be very challenging, as well as fun and rewarding. However, it is amazingly hard, and requires a lot of skill, nerves and preparation. Here are some tips to help you:
Come well prepared. If practical experience is not possible, at least theoretically prepare yourself by thoroughly studying instance guides. It is very important for the raid leader to be confident and knowledgeable.
Do not get mad and swear in Ventrilo/Teamspeak. Organizing 39 others and trying to get them to correctly do something is hard, but you should remember that everyone is there voluntarily. Swearing like a madman will not help anything and neither will whining about things going unexpectedly. Once again I will mention TALKING as a first resort and swearing as a last. Talk with players, explain to them what they did was wrong and tell them how to do it right. Tell class leaders to keep an eye on their players and encourage everyone to pay attention in order to decrease the risk of failure.
All WoW players have come across situations in Ventrilo/Teamspeak/Raid/guild chat where players are yelling or telling jokes or generally having fun in quite a ?ridiculous? (sic) way. Now, of course you can have fun, that?s why you are playing the game, but don?t overdo it. Do not spam caps and don?t swear too much. Keep things under control. As a guild leader, it is important to convey a sense of seriousness and ability to lead the guild in a steadfast fashion.
Summing up I would like to tell everyone that has read this guide that guilds (and leading them) are a wonderful thing. The experience can provide you with lots and lots fun. Nevertheless, 60-70 different personalities of non-professionals in the same group are an immense challenge in and of itself and thus you need to plan and make your moves with wisdom and intelligence, especially when in a leading position. Have fun and good luck!
Themistoklis ?Yenx? Pantazakos for WarcraftRealms.com
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