I'm a dedicated WoW player who play several alts, but I focus mainly on my Warlock. Since I have a lot of characters, on this site it's easiest that I'm simply known as Saga.
I'm a raider, guild officer and altoholic who loves chasing after new mounts and pets.
This site is where I ramble about my adventures and thoughts as I continue playing WoW.
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Category Archives: Guild Leader’s Guide
Okies, so a friend of mine’s guild is going through a rough spot and for once, we aren’t regarding attendance. What are the differences and what am I, as a guild leader, doing differently to what I’ve done in the past?
Where did all the people go?
We know guilds fluctuate all the time with trends over the hollidays, Start and End of school terms and summer always has an interesting effect. Lately, all guilds have seen a decline, many good ones have gone bust as a result! There is a lot of speculation as to where the people have gone. In our case, we had 3 social members make the move to SWtOR and two main raiders (that we know of) play it part-time.
Are we bitter? Hell no! But we do wish to know what people’s plans are so we can recruit accordingly so those who are sticking to WoW won’t have to miss raids or struggle gearing up another new member who just returned after a 2 year break. *sigh* My friend’s guild saw similar numbers of people moving over. Some let them know their plans, others just disappeared never to be heard from again.
Attendance and Punctuality
Two of the main problems guilds are having at this time is Attendance and Punctuality. This is a tough thing for a casual guild to address since you’re supposed to be, well, casual! Right? Wrong!
Casual doesn’t mean irresponsible or rude. It means understanding of the time restraints people have in their lives and trying to get as far in the game in as little time as possible. My guild raids Max. 2 nights a week for a max. 4 hours per raid. Because we don’t raid more, we need everyone to be present and prepared to roll at the same time. Our progression is comparable to many guilds who raid 3 or 4 times in the week. I like to think this is much thanks to the responsibility and consideration our members have for each other.
What to do?
Many small casual guilds are faced with the problem of missing one or two sign-ups for a raid. Leaders don’t want to punish those who showed up by calling the raid. Often, they don’t want to replace the late people with pugs in fear they will be offended and not sign up next week. We went through this phase for most of last year, and it caused a lot of unnecessary stress!
- Ask for consideration and responsibility. It’s not crazy to ask people to behave responsibly in a game. Just like in the real world, if they can’t make an appointment, they call to cancel. Exchange contact info (even if it’s only an email used for game purposes) so that anyone can leave a message somewhere you look often. People don’t always log onto a guild website, but in today’s day and age, it’s hard not to be able to send an email or text message.
- Don’t be afraid to pug spots. We found many of our best members by PUGing. It is a good way for potential new members to test run your guild and see if your raiding style fits in with what they are looking for. They are PUGing for a reason and you clearly missed a spot. You also get to see how they perform and behave. Are they loot crazy or relaxed? Do they play well or not quite ready for your level of raiding? PUGing is a great way to get to know people on your server.
- Don’t be afraid to call a raid. By cancelling a raid due to low sign-ups, it brings it to everyone’s attention how important every member is. Chances are, the guild will discuss and encourage the no-shows to sign up next week.
- Make your expectations clear. Something I notice is that people like rules. We like to know what is coming. Set your expectations, act accordingly, and people will rise to meet them. If you get into the habit of making exceptions for the “slackers”, the hard workers will see no reason why they should bother trying so hard to do what’s right.
- Replace repeat offenders. Do you have someone who is always late, consistently for the past few months? Ask them what they want, what the problem seems to be. Do your raid times no longer work for them? You can look into changing your raid times if it suites the rest of the group to do so, or demote the person to social and start looking for someone who’s able to make the raids on time.
What works for us?
Every guild will have different rules that suites your group of people. Our guild is made up of somewhat older professionals, students and parents. People who have lots to do in the real world and little time to play for hours on end. We also recruit only those who we feel would be a good fit, regardless of how much we need a certain class. As a result, we keep a harmonious environment of like-minded individuals.
For us, a clear simple set of rules works. Being reliable leaders who set good examples is the best policy! In the beginning of our “new” way of doing things, it was painful. We cancelled a few raids and had some poor PUGs, but after a few weeks, it’s been smooth sailing ever since, something we’re very proud of!
What do you do with the Crazies?
I’ve been asked, “How do you remain calm and upbeat for the guild when you deal with so much baggage from other people’s lives.”. Answer: Definition, Meditation and Perspective. Let me explain:
We all know who they are. We are all playing with one right now…or recently have. They can be found in PuG’s, Raids, Instances, flying around Orgrimar or even leading your guild! These are the guys who should have The Truly Insane awarded to them as a diagnosis and would be proud to wear it.
You have to define your guild mates! I don’t mean judge them. I mean look at them with objective eyes. See their strengths and weaknesses. Utilize the strengths and fortify the weaknesses. For example: My DD (Darling Demon) is a people person. He LOVES to talk! So I put him on recruitment. He’s great at it! He also gets easily stressed in progression raids. So I ask him not to lead those and try to attend since I have a calming effect on him. Everyone is the same. Good and not so good sides.
Most people are balanced. Their down sides are easily balanced out by their good. But sometimes you meet a person off-balance. This person takes more energy from you than it’s worth and still demands more. The key is to identify them, file them under “crazy” and move on to the next step.
Very few people in the world are pure evil. There aren’t really that many crazies either, just people acting the part. This is why you need to think and think and think before you act. Some people are having a bad day…or year. Some people are undergoing major changes in their lives. Others are simply immature for their age and applied to your guild as the person they wish they were instead of who they really are. Can happen, but you need to find out and bring it to light.
After you’ve “meditated” on the topic, it’s time to talk to the disgruntled member. Be objective, understanding but not gullible! Make sure you understand his/her side of things but remember your responsibility to the group as a whole. If the member demands things that will hurt the guild or inconvenience other non-complaining members, and is in no other way justified actions, refuse respectfully and explain again what your community is about. I believe it’s a game. When it stops being fun, it’s time to re-evaluate where you are. I use this a lot.
After the talk, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be feeling a little drained. Wondering if you did all you could and said all the right things. This brings us to the final step:
When you’re feeling the stress of fellow gamer’s, do yourself a favor. Close your eyes, take three deep breath, open them and look around you….yes, further than your computer desk. What do you see? I see my house, my husband and my son. I look outside and see the city I live in and how much I like it here, but my son is my main source of peace. One look at him and all the troubles in the world don’t seem so great. At the end of the day, it’s just a game.
By keeping things in perspective you keep yourself energized to handle any new issues that might creep up. Remember, as soon as one Crazy moves on, another one is making application!
Sooooo! Finally, after months and months of recruiting (done by my darling other half), we have a guild with enough Tanks, more than enough DPS and the right blend of Healers with two Permanent PUG’s to spare. What did I do to celebrate? I declined the next two raids, of course! Sure, we’re about to kill the weakened Raggy for the first time, but some things are just more important!
It’s all about BALANCE!
We talk a lot about balance in WoW. Balance of classes, PvP vs. PvE, balance of our gamer’s hobbies and the rest of the world. In the Zowy house we are all about balance. I’m calm and patient, Mr. Zowy is energetic and randomly spontaneous. Our Baby Goblin (now 13 months) is a perfect blend of us both!
We strive to balance WoW and our Family Life with mixed amounts of success. The deal Mr. Zowy and I made was: One of us raids Saturday, the other Sunday dependent on raid requirements and sign-ups. Looks good on paper but we can’t always factor in all the variables of life. Will Baby Goblin want Mama or Papa this evening? Are there any last second changes to the raid roster? Will Baby Goblin want Mama or Papa….that one is worth mentioning twice!
Where did all the healers go?
Our guild has been healer-starved for as far back as I can remember. As a result, I (a healer) end up reluctantly raiding both raid nights, while Mr. Zowy is sitting over my shoulder giving suggestions and chasing a very active smaller version of himself through the house. This leaves me feeling a bit begrudged because it isn’t my night to raid and Mr. Zowy more than a little miffed because he hasn’t seen the first 5 bosses in Firelands since our third run through. (Just when he got the tornado dance down too!)
Once Baby Gobs goes to sleep, Mr. Zowy is then able to join us but half the raid is over and it means a very kind and understanding DPS has to step out to make room for him. It’s not been easy, nor without discussions, but we’re making it work and when in doubt, I always choose to say good night and turn off the PC.
I don’t want to attend every single raid!
One part of me is happy raids have been happening and our progression has been steady for a while. A huge part of me wants to spend the evening with my Little Goblin (even though I get the other 5 in the week as well) and watch Mr. Z. enjoy himself raiding a full raid again.
House of Nerds
My father was one of the original nerds! Being an electronic engineer before laptops were invented, we had an Atari 2000 when I was very young and I remember spending hours with him playing PacMan, Salmon Run and Breakout. It was relevant to his work, was his argument, much to my mother’s frustration. He also taught me to program some basic Basic on that thing. It was inevitable I should meet and fall in love with a gamer, written in the binary code of my life!
Because we are both gamers, in the same small casual guild, sometimes shit happens. On rare, occasions, we’ve raided together, juggling Baby Gobs between us, until his bedtime. One sits out on trash to give him the attention he needs then hurries back to the raid to kill a boss while our pride and joy cheers us on from his play box. 15-20 min break is called after a couple boss kills to put babies to bed, get a drink, stretch legs, call distant relatives, or anything else you’ve been meaning to do for a while. Sometimes, it’s good to be the Raid Leader!
Lucky for us, our guild mates are of the most understanding sort. We aren’t the only parents in the guild but we are the only parenting couple. They don’t seem to mind us taking our time as long as we offer our excuses and lots of chocolate brownies. (guys love chocolate brownies, girls!) Thanks to them, my guilt is minimized!
Plan for this weekend
Due to low sign-ups and an utter lack of a third (fourth?) healer, we managed only 6/7 pre-nerf with one-half of one evening trying to kill Raggy. This weekend we have the sign-ups, the proper classes and the determination to make it all happen! This weekend, I expect Raggy to be down 3 hours into the raid after clearing the instance first! I jokingly told the guys I’d give them 2. Instead of laughing, they roared and shouted it shall be done! haha!
There will be a small twinge at not being in that all important First Kill Photo, but I expect I’ll be cheering too loudly to care too much about it.
Scratch everything written below!
Sure the guild is doing great, I’m proud of them and 99% of everyone is pleased. Unfortunately, one officer is not. Now, for what ever reason, he’s felt it’s his responsibility to be the wet blanket in our happy picnic of a guild.
Small Ventilation Process: that’s what these things are for, right?
Last Saturday, I skipped a raid. Since I’m also raid leader, and have lots of little conversations the whole week long regarding the raid, I thought it would be handy to make a message on the officer’s forums to communicate all the information I had; then wished the, then one and only, officer luck in getting things started.
When I logged in around 22:00, I was bombarded with whispers and rather abusive language in officer’s chat. He was offended that I should have the audacity to think he wanted to know what was going on to make it easier for both himself and the rest of the guild! How dare I ask him to take a member who’d not seen the beginning FL content because he’s been busy every Sat. for the past three months?! In sharing my communications and ideas for the raid I was taking “This Queen Bee Thing” to far and if I “didn’t realize the GL title was purely cosmetic with no meaning to it what so ever” he would ask for demotion! (this isn’t the first or second or third time he’s threatened me to step down from being an officer)
How did I handle this? Two sides to every story, right? Well, I forced myself to stay calm. Asked the raid what had happened with the officer. They gave me their side. He didn’t want to work out a rotation so he begrudgingly stepped out of the raid and suffered till I came online at which point he vented. I told him we would talk tomorrow, that I think I must have written something wrong and unintentional in my post to him. I would re-read it and was sorry for the miss communication.
The Next Day it all became clear!
He was still furious. Refusing to speak rationally or even without swearing. It all came down to one line I’d written in the post. After reading that one line, he saw red and didn’t even bother reading the rest. I had assigned two other moderators as this officer has a tendency to show up 5 mins before raid invites. I was pretty sure he wouldn’t have time to organize who was going and do invites on time. One moderator was to look for PuG’s if needed, the other was to do invites and give assistance to those who needed it and do healing assignments. The officer was to raid lead, be loot master and (here comes the horrible thing I said) “be the voice of reason ” . I thought the wink made it obvious that it was a tongue in cheek joke but he went mental, completely missing the point. *sigh*
“Be the voice of reason” is apparently one of the most offensive things you can say to this particular person. Odd, since we joke about how that’s all I am around here and the key to keeping things running smoothly. Maybe he thinks I’ve done nothing while he logs in twice a week and doesn’t even greet people. I guess the guild started raiding and having fun all by it’s self.
Since Saturday, we’ve appointed another officer to the ranks and I have made it perfectly clear that I have taken enough whispered abuse from this particular hot head and shall suffer no more. One final chance till he blows up again (which I’m sure he will), at which point, I’ll be hunting for an officer again *sigh*. Some may ask why I don’t demote or kick him now? Well, I believe in trying all avenues before giving up. If I didn’t, this guild would have fallen apart ages ago *raises glass* Here’s to hoping he’ll surprise me!
Why am I writing this all here??? Who cares about guild behind-the-scenes drama?
Why? When we agreed to take on a new officer and with this decision, the first officer deleted all our posts in which we had conflicts in.
Why am I letting you all read this? Saga forced me!
I became a Guild Leader by inheritance, not because I created the guild. Our guild was created by a good friend of mine who I’ve known for some time outside of WoW. Because of some personal complications, she asked me to hold onto the guild until she returned. She knew I would uphold the original values she laid out: Maturity, Respect, Real Life > Any Game! I asked her about how long she thought it would take. ”1 month +/-” was her reassuring reply. 6 months later, I was still the GL and she still wasn’t close to being ready to return.
We were lucky as a guild. When she first left, raiding pretty much ceased. In all those months, only one newer member decided to leave and was really sorry to do so. We didn’t blame him, but it says a lot for the community we created. People preferred to stay with us, not raiding, than take their chances on some other guild who was. After 6 months, I had an argument with my officers (they were becoming pessimistic) and something awoke inside me. I had to turn this guild around, get raids going again, the guys deserved a strong leader. Looking around for one, I realized, with horror, it would have to be me!
Now, I’d have difficulty leading a horse to water, and I can barely manage my shopping list much less a raiding guild, but I had to do something. So I stopped talking things over with the officers, who had become distant and almost bitter for various reasons, and took action. I called in favors from non-officer guildies and other guilds, met people in BH runs and made a point to remember the nice ones. I made decisions and posted events in the calendar. Didn’t have enough sign-ups? We PUG’ed the spots to the best of our ability. The raids would go on! Once we had 7 PUG’s! Hardly a guild run but it still felt great.
Slowly, but surely, things picked up! More of our afk members began returning. People were signing up for raids. We were getting applications from some of those guys we met in BH! There was a pivotal point when we could have relaxed our standards for the sake of raiding, but we didn’t. We stuck it out and have raided every week since 2 weeks into 4.2. I look around me now with a sense of pride in my guild mates for all their hard work and loyalty to the guild.
So, what’s the problem? Surely there must be a hook here. Well, tonight, I won’t be in the raid. We’re busy and taking the night off to visit family. By taking so much upon myself and being involved in every aspect, from Guild Leading, Raid Leading to Voice of Reason, I just realized a small part of me is afraid things won’t run as smoothly without me there. I soften the sharp edges of some members and explain in more detail parts of a fight to others. There are 100 little things I do each raid to ensure our guys have a good time. For someone who didn’t want the roll to begin with (and someone who’s been saying she doesn’t want to raid every single raid anymore), I’m surprised to have this twinge of sadness. My guild has grown up. It doesn’t need me anymore!
Still, I couldn’t be more proud of my guys and gals!