Archive for the ‘Guild Management’ Category
No matter where you turn in the blogosphere right now you can’t go 2 clicks without being assaulted with Cataclysm information about this, that and the next thing. People preparing, people sharing Beta thoughts, people taking wild guess about what it’s all going to be like. In all that saturation, there aren’t a whole lot of people still talking about the game. They are talking about the future. Which, I guess I understand. The current iteration of the game has been around awhile, and there are new shiny things on the horizon. But let’s be honest here – we are, at best, almost two months out from a release.
Now, I don’t know about you, but for the most part I am feeling overwhelmed with Cataclysm information. And by overwhelmed, I kinda mean that with the exception of some of the resto druid changes, I’m tired of everything being about Cataclysm. As I sift through my blog list in the morning, I find that I revel at posts that are about anything other than Cataclysm, they are a breath of fresh air and I cherish each of them. More and more, I find that I largely just skip over the Cataclysm ones. If they seem somewhat interesting, I’ll give it a skim, but otherwise I generally just shrug and move along.
As I flip through post after post about Cataclysm, I can’t help but wonder if bloggers aren’t sort of doing to Cataclysm, and WoW in general, what the Paparazzi did to Britney Spears. Overexposed and Oversaturated to the point that largely, save the “can’t look away from the train wreck” factor, people just stopped caring. The more I read about Cataclysm, I’m finding, the less I care about it. I can’t imagine that this is a good thing! Read the rest of this entry »
This past Monday I did something that was a very big deal for me. So big that I had largely avoided doing it for the majority of this expansion and had taken on more than I should have alone. What was this big, momentous thing? I had two new officers appointed.
Now, while you may not think that this is a big deal or even noteworthy I can assure you that it most certainly is. For the entirety of this expansion (and most of the last) I have been doing about 95% of the work that is involved with running our guild. I am not too big to admit that a large part of this is because I am a control freak – but there is more to it than that. I think that I have come to the realization that part of it is because I was scared of extending trust. Trust that someone else wouldn’t screw it up and I would have to just turn around and fix it later. Trust that those put into a position of authority would remain loyal.
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In my opinion one of the trickiest things to deal with as part of a guild’s leadership team is often making sure that when you are dealing with problems, either during raids or outside of raids, your brain to mouth filter is intact and functioning. That is to say that just because you are thinking something, doesn’t mean that you necessarily should form that thought into words. This is frequently a lot harder than it seems, and is not limited to how you address your raid. In fact – I would wager that dealing with individuals is far more challenging.
There is no art or science to getting this “right”, and mistakes are frequently made as you attempt to navigate the treacherous terrain that is being “diplomatic”. There will be many missteps along the way, some more painful than others. How many times have you looked back on something, anything, and thought to yourself “heh, I sure didn’t handle that well”. I’d wager probably about everyone who is reading this post
Because learning from mistakes is often one of the best teaching tools, I thought that I’d save you all some learning pains and share a mistake that I made recently to illustrate how I said the right thing, what needed to be said, but in the wrong way. And then analyze how the situation could have been dealt with differently. Read the rest of this entry »
This is something I ponder as I think about a topic that was just recently presented to Monolith for discussion. Are we Invincible? Why, you may wonder, am I asking this question. Well, we have just started the discussion on whether or not we think we should pursue “the Light of Dawn” – or in other words, is chasing Heroic Lich King something that we want to do as a guild.
So, why are you asking if you are Invincible, Beru? Well, you see, it’s a play on words. My attempt to be creative! The mount that drops when you kill Arthas is named Invincible, but from all accountings that I have seen regarding this encounter your guild also needs to be damn near invincible to survive the journey there.
I am having a really hard time placing my feelings on the question that I posed to the guild – so please forgive me as I stumble through my thoughts on the topic a bit here.
Throughout this entire expansion, there has not been a boss encounter out there that I saw and thought “I don’t know if we are capable of doing that”. Until now. It’s not that we don’t have some wonderfully skilled players, because we do. It’s not because we don’t have drive, because we do. But I have watched and read about guild after guild that have out-geared, and out-skilled, us come to this encounter and crumble. Guilds that reached Heroic Arthas months ago – and have spent months trying to kill him – completely break down because of this fight.
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Today I came across a post by Matticus (http://www.worldofmatticus.com/2010/04/20/in-which-i-attempt-to-bring-order-to-chaos/), in which he laments about the struggles of guild leadership, recruiting in this pre-expansion period, and the challenges presented by progression and recruiting. In his post he speaks very candidly about some of the struggles he is having as guild master in trying to hold everything together, and some of the compromises that he feels obligated to make.
After reading his post, and some of the comments that others posted, one thing struck a little bit of a chord with me. Matticus, quite honestly, stated that because of his challenges in recruiting, he feels obliged to take on raiders who create conflict…and turns a little bit of a blind eye to the tensions that are starting to arise. One of his posters commented that if you want to progress, you have to make that a goal beyond anything else and cannot care about how members of your guild feel.
And to both of those comments, I find myself asking why. Why should you compromise the standards of something that you want to build? Why does someone feel that the only way to progress is to do so in an awful environment? Read the rest of this entry »
(Hopefully when you read that the song popped into your head!).
The other day Lath mused on how guild’s run their guild bank and make money, and asked for people to share how their guild does things. Being the “banker” for Monolith I thought I’d share a bit on how we built our guild bank and what we do with the funds that the bank holds!
How Monolith Makes Money
Our guild bank is fully self-sustaining. That is to say that we don’t ask/force people to contribute into the guild bank. If we are ever short on anything, and there is a short in the AH for those items, we will ask people who want to make a little extra gold to CoD items to our bank mule and we will buy them from our guild mates. Our main source of income, since back in the days of SSC, has been to sell BoE epic items. We first started doing this with the rare patterns from SSC and TK. We would craft them and transfer some over to the alliance side to sell, and keep some on the horde side to sell, so that we built up resources on both factions to be able to take advantage of both auction houses.
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Recently I have been following the many bloggers that are members of Brotherhood of Oblivion. I honestly don’t know how I came to find all of them, but from reading a few of the blogs, I came upon other blogs, that lead to other blogs, and I’m sure I still haven’t even touched on them all. But that’s not the point of this post.
Through my visits to these blogs, I’ve observed that there seems to be a tension that is wound so tightly within their guild right now that if it’s not slowly released it’s going to spring and take a few casualties with it.
But Beru…this isn’t your guild, it isn’t your mess, it’s most definately none of your business, why do you even care? Well, honestly, as I’ve been following everything I find myself rooting for them to pull everything together. And wtf…we are a community are we not?! Aren’t communities supposed to support and help each other? (Stop sniggerin’! I know I’m probably putting my nose where it doesn’t belong…but I just want to help!).
So, in my effort to help, I thought that maybe I’d give an outsider’s view of some of the issues that seem prevalent right now…and then I can offer some completely unbiased (and also unsolicited) advice on how to maybe smooth those issues out! (If you don’t want this advice, please feel free to stop reading here :)). There might even be a tidbit for anyone, regardless of who you are, to elaborate on, or pick up!
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I came across this thread on my realm forums the other day that’s got me thinking a little bit. The thread itself is your basic “lol you/your guild/your server sucks” thread that is ripe with all kinds of trolling. However, there was a comment in there where a couple of posters commented that they not only clear all of the content, but have fun doing it along the way, and how they didn’t see anything wrong with that. And of course the trolled response they got was basically if you aren’t a top 100 guild, you suck and should get a life.
The commentary going back and forth almost got me riled up enough to post on the realm forums, but then I remembered that I should “never argue with an idiot. They will only pull you down to their level, then beat you with experience”, and abstained. But as the post goes back and forth, my mind is still perplexed. I am curious exactly what is wrong with just having fun? Why is being “ranked” they only measure of a guild’s strength for so many?
Why is it that people are criticized for just enjoying something without concern for competition? In the thread above one of the posters even comes out and says they aren’t about the same things as other guilds. They place their values in different places, and they quite enjoy the game the way they play it. And yet they are criticized for doing things they way they would like? They don’t want to be the best, and they 100% understand and make no claim that they are, yet critics tell them that because they aren’t the best they are a failure. How does that work?
So many times you will see someone achieve something that is huge for them, only see some jerk comment “grats on being months behind noob”. It’s to the point that people have to qualify their accomplishments with “I know it’s old” or “I know we are months behind”, which in my opinion is just flat out wrong. An accomplishment is an accomplishment regardless of when or how it is achieved. Everyone is entitled to celebrate their accomplishments, regardless of how small they may seem to someone else. Who cares if they killed Boss X 3 months after Guild A? They still killed Boss X. They still put in the time, and had the fortitude to set a goal and meet that goal. That is a lot more than many people can say about themselves in, and out, of game.
So what is so wrong with having fun? What is so wrong with being “months behind” if you are enjoying the journey along the way? What effect does it have on you? If you don’t like it, just stay away! As my mother used to ask me as a child “Does it hurt your big toe? No? Then what does it matter to you?”. (See Mom! You knew someday I’d see the wisdom in your ways!).
If being highly competitive and the rush of being first is what you are looking for, then it is fine to place yourself into that environment. But I think it’s important to understand that not everyone is after that, and not everyone should be expected to have the same goals that you placed for yourself. For some people finding a pleasant environment to enjoy the game is more important; for others finding an environment that fits their playtimes and lifestyle is more important. But what gives anyone the right to begrudge others for having a different set of goals than they have for themselves?
Whether it be the person that is looking for the hardest of the hardcore, or the gal that just wants to see everything before the next chapter but takes her time doing it, or the guy that just wants to play with his friends, everyone is equally entitled to participate in the fashion that suits them best and in which they have fun. And nobody has the right to begrudge them for that. Ever.
So tell me, Mr. Forum Guy, exactly what is it that’s wrong with just having fun? Who are you to dictate what makes something “good” or “bad”?
No, you perverts! I’m not pondering the latest love triangle presented in the most recent Twilight film. :P
What I am talking about though is choosing how to gear up. Largely, I am curious on how many people pass over upgrades waiting for that one item they desperately want to drop.
Why am I curious about this? Well, because we are starting to see a lot of things that I believe to be upgrades for folks head to the shard bin and I want to know why. I suspect it is because people would rather have item x and don’t want to have other loot on their record that might prevent them from obtaining the sought out item when it does drop.
For example, I picked up a ring last night from the gunship battle that was a very minor upgrade to my 258 ring, but an upgrade nonetheless. I had known that it was somewhere on my list of “good things” to pick up at some point, but previously we had seen lots of interest from our DPS casters trying to nab it up, so I had largely just written it off figuring I’d wait for the ring from Sindragosa at some point down the line that itemized spirit over crit.
Imagine my surprise last night when the ring was in the chest and nobody sent a tell requesting the item. I thought to myself “well, I’m sure not going to let it just rot”, and so I picked it up. But then I got to thinking, why had nobody asked for it? I mean, I know that it’s a very well itemized ring for caster dps having haste, crit and spell power. But what had all of the sudden made it so undesirable that where I had 5 tells on it the first time we saw it, I had zero tells on it the third time?
I suspect the answer is pretty simple: Coveted Loot.
People sometimes seem to set their eye on that one item that shines so bright it blinds them from acquiring other things that would be upgrades for them. While this is all fine and good, it really starts to irk me when people let things go to the shard bin that would have been an upgrade, and that they will in fact ask for the next time it drops after they have obtained their coveted item.
To be fair, I also set my loot priorities, and when things drop I will prioritize when I ask for them, but I also won’t let anything be sharded that is on my list and is an upgrade for me. That just seems wasteful and silly!
So I am curious! Do you hold out or do you take your upgrades as they come? Would you let an upgrade shard just to have a better chance at something down the road?
No, I’m not talking about the way that world class Yogi’s can contort their bodies to do things that shouldn’t occur in nature. I’m not talking about improving your downward facing dog. I’m talking about being given lemons and making lemonade.
One of the first, and probably most important, lessons that you learn when you start down your career of choice is that the more rigid you are in how you think things should be done, the more stressed and frustrated you become when they don’t work out they way you had envisioned them. As such, if you don’t learn to think outside the box, and you don’t learn to “roll with the punches”, you end up with an ulcer and more grey hair than you should have at such a young age!
It is equally important that after you have learned these valuable lessons in the workplace, that you let them flow over into the other aspects of your life…including WoW. The fact of the matter is, there are just somethings that you cannot control. Read the rest of this entry »