Guild Leader Perspective: Scheduled “Fun” Events

One of the things that both frustrate a Guild Leader along with bringing us joy:  Fun Runs.  Why you may ask?  Attendance.  The most fun things can be ruined simply because people say they want to do them, guild leaders schedule them out, and so few appear, you can’t make the run happen.  As a leader, we have to try to keep activities going to meet the needs of the guild, or it becomes a stagnant wasteland of raiders logging in to raid and casual players feeling like they have no value in the guild.  Cross realm grouping can help, but it can also hurt.  This leaves the guild leader in a tight position, schedule runs ahead of time and hope enough people were interested in running them or wait and see who’s online and risk people thinking that there is nothing planned.

I have tried to approach fun runs several different ways over the course of the past two or so years that I’ve been in charge of them.  Even before I took over the Guild Leader position, I was Co-GM and still had the charge of fun events.  I have polled the guild to see what they are interested in….which unless it was an actual poll instead of an open discussion, led to arguments.  Do I guess what people want (poll choices) or leave it open for discussion (arguments)?  I have just scheduled things based on guild achievements.  We did happen to get most of our raid and dungeon achievements this way (Vanilla, BC, and quite a bit of Wrath), but when we got closer to the end of Wrath content, attendance dictated if we could actually complete the objective or not.  Sure we can 3 man Illdian, not so much Heroic Ruby Sanctum.  I have tried not scheduling things and then just typing in guild chat around our usual time “hey who wants to go do some mount runs?”.  This has had some success, but then leaves people who aren’t online at that time feeling left out, because it wasn’t on the schedule.

When it comes to cross realm grouping, that opens up another can of worms.  People lead differently, different servers have different “norms” for how they handle loot, and what one person takes seriously, another is in for fun.  In general, cross realm grouping can make the worst raid finder look organized, quick and drama free.  Not to say you can’t have fun with cross realm grouping, there is a lot of fun to be had, but its like organizing a guild run except without voice chat and with raid chat turned off.  It takes an extra layer of communication and understanding, or people wind up frustrated without really understanding why.  We have slowed our cross realm experience down quite a bit just to give the guild members a breather.

The options then become, do you make “fun” runs mandatory, so that you can actually schedule them out and be inclusive to people who don’t’ normally raid, or do you maintain that as “fun” runs they are optional?  That, my friends, is one of the most frustrating things about keeping a guild active.  I maintain that fun runs should not be mandatory, but I will change the destination if it will not be “fun” to run it with the handful of people who regularly show up when attendance is low.

How are fun runs (or casual/alt raids) handled in your guild?

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Guild Leader Perspective: Guild Ranks

Today I feel like talking about guild ranks in the guild…from the perspective of a guild leader.  While not all guilds are alike, most guilds use some sort of ranking system.  If not, chaos is bound to creep in.  Before we grew to our current size (which is still somewhat small) we didn’t have any officer ranks at all.  We recently added those in with some responsibilities for those people.

In our guild we have the following ranks:

GM, Raid Leader, Guild Banker, Officer, Officer Alts, Raider, Casual Raider, Casual, Alt, Applicant

That’s quite a bit for a guild as small as ours some might say.  But let me explain them for you and they’ll make much more sense.

GM–well that’s a built-in wow rank, no way around it.  Someone has to have the GM hat.  That happens to be me, it used to be my husband but he decided that I was technically running the guild and he was more of the raid leader.

Raid Leader–Next in line from the GM is the raid leader rank.  This happens to be my husband and all of our alts.

Guild Banker–Our guild banker is the person who makes sure the guild bank doesn’t become a wild jungle of level 5 enchants and mana pots that no one wants but they can’t seem to just vendor either.  They also try to keep the bank stocked with things we need for raiding, like fish, and herbs and enchant mats.  They have the most bank permissions outside of the Guild and Raid leaders for getting things out of the bank.  They also have an authenticator.

Officer–Our “role leaders”  one is a melee dps and the other is a ranged dps.  I tend to cover the healing lead role and my husband tends to cover the tank lead role.  They also are there to help out in general, if they see potential raiders in the guild, they let us know.  If they see a problem I may have missed, they let me know.  No one is promoted to officer without a clear role they are to carry out as that position.  They also have more banking rights than the average user.

Raider–Our core raiding team.  These are the players that are ready for progression raiding, have high attendance, and maintain their status.  They are ready to step into current content.  They have access to a special tab that we put items that are related to raiding in (such as buff food, enchants, pots/flasks, ect) in limited amounts, as well as the lower tabs.

Casual Raider–These are people who could step into current content if asked, but  may not be up for full-time raiding.  Or may need some work on their gear but are interested in raiding.  Usually they are willing to hop in and help where they can, even though they can’t make every raid.  They can request things from the raider tab and have a bit more access to the bank than casual players.

Casual–These are the players who aren’t really interested in raiding current content (because they haven’t expressed interest).  They have access to non raiding tabs of the bank, in limited amounts.

Alt–The alt of any player who is not an officer, banker, raid/guild leader.  They have no bank permissions. (except to deposit, I’ll explain our banking system on a different day)

Applicant–this is the rank of anyone joining the guild to begin with.  Without an in guild sponsor, they must stay in this rank until they have earned their spot in the other ranks.  This is also the rank of inactive (for over a year) players.  This rank has no bank access other than depositing into the deposit tab and viewing the free tab.  They must ask to receive items from the bank.

Previously we have had different ranking/banking systems, and have “loosened” up the permissions some, and it wound up allowing some unnecessary drama to occur.  So, now, we have it set up a bit more structured.  Ranking is very important when it comes to your guild.  You should never have anyone you don’t fully trust in ranks 1, 2 and 3.  With current policy, if you don’t log into your GM character once per 90 days, those are the ranks that have the ability to become GM in your place.

Officers should have a reason to be an officer.  You can give ANY rank in the guild the option to view and speak in officer chat.  Every guild I’ve ever been in that hasn’t had clear roles for the officers, has ultimately wound up with  unnecessary drama.  Clear roles, and a good definition of those roles goes a long way in guild harmony.  However, just remember to not be so rigid that you can’t readjust your rankings every once in a while if needed.