Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Way Of The Guild Master..

Greetings fellow GM's aspiring guild leaders/officers and my usual reading folk! This post will be slightly different to my usual work. As you may or may not know I have started my own guild over on Ravencrest EU/Alliance. This was something new for me after my break, It was going to just be a social guild for close friends but it has extended to recruiting other players. For sometime I had a guild recruitment on my blog and it has received some great feed back and our little guild is flourishing. Our players are what make the guild and I just want to share with you my experiences as a GM. Its totally different from anything I have done before and I have to say, I'm enjoying the game more so because of it. Sit back, relax and enjoy my little diary entry as a GM, the struggles, the achievements and more.  

I had a vision when I first started this venture, I wanted to create a home for players. A place they can feel welcome, be themselves and generally enjoy their playtime a little better. In all honesty I was not even sure were to start.. I had this vision but I did not know how to put it in to practice or were to even start. If I'm really honest, the first thing I learned was, not to worry who is not going too join your guild and make the whole idea a huge disaster, but focus on the players who share your ideas and have the same Mind-set as you. 

What I have learnt
What is most important to me is the members and that they are happy. Of course not every decision you make is going to go down a treat, but you have to sometimes go with your head and not your heart in some situations. I have already within the few weeks of the guild being active come across problems such as people want to leave due to no real focus on raiding etc, but that was not our main goal. Raiding will always be there in game, but the foundation of the guild needs to be worked on. I have had countless nights this week just talking to new members, people interested in joining and the already great members we have been blessed with to make sure they know the goals. Forget the auto guild invites, You have to get to know every person. That has been my goal since day one and still to this day I make sure every member is happy. Happy players = Happy guild.

Keep It Fun
For to long guilds have become stale and inactive over the years, I have seen this personally as I'm sure everyone of you has too at some point. Being in a guild back in the day was a proud thing, to have that name over your head was important. The way the game has progressed and the introduction to guild perks, guilds became necessity more than a wanting to be apart of one. Our members joined from level 1, rock bottom. Now level 16 with a ton of active players we have turned the new guild persona into something amazing. People are finally happy being apart of a guild. With alts, friends and family joining every day we have changed the look on guilds and our activities are what spur that change to come even more so in the future.

Already we have created a few guild events such as Pre MOP clears, Fishing tournaments and more. This gives players the choice to be apart of *out of leveling* events to bring the guild closer. Our first one being the Fishing competition in STV was a blast! It's this like this that I think make a guild closer, fun and keeps your members excited about the next one. Who thought fishing could be so fun.

Never Take, Always Give
Player game time is so important, some of our players don't even have 2 hours to spare some nights to take part in guild events, but giving them the option to join when they can is important. Never expect players to join your events, raids etc. From day one we have always said, if you can't make an event, you will always be able to join others in the future. We don't want to make people be on at a specific time, ever. With the introduction of the flex system, this will make that even better for us come WoD when we decide to raid. We want our members to be able to take part in events when they want and not feel pressured to be on, we all know how tiresome that can be at the best of times. Forget enforcing things upon players, just enjoy the time you have.

Talk to your community and your guild members have great ideas so listen to them. We did this by creating a feedback thread on our website and have had a great response. Its great if you can come up with events and updates to the guild ranks etc, but asking your players for advice is always a great thing, two or three opinions is better than one, that way you can try and make the best of both worlds. I don't mean keeping this between you and the officers, but ask everyone. Leave polls on the website, ask in green chat... what ever is best for you, but communicating with the guild makes every member feel valued. That's important I think. I'm new to this line of duty so I always ask for ideas and help. 

ake sure there is always time for you. I have been lucky in terms of letting the guild run it's self now, the members are on the same wavelength as me and know that they are free to do as they wish, I don't need to be there to make events, the players have that ability also. But never feel like you have to do everything yourself. At the start I was working on a website, getting a vent server, updating forums, events and recruiting.. long days of just talking to people too, but again ask for help. Syana was one of our first members and I noticed she was great at talking to new players and making them feel welcome, few days later she was promoted to recruitment officer. Not to say she deals with every recruit, I do that too, just not as much. But that extra hand allows me to pass new members on to her and give me some time to complete other things. Kalinyx is studying to be a web developer, but with their spare time she overlooks the website and has done a great job in re working it to our needs. Never try and take on the world, you wont be able to do it. Trust your players and they will trust you.

The entire time this has been an active project, I have focused on changing it from *Guild* to *Home*. From raiding/pvp only guilds, to the completely dead ones just being used as a perks snatcher, they never really make you feel welcome. Not to mention those horrible auto guild invites. It's these types of guilds, granted not all of them, But most that actually make the game some what worse. You don't know who you're playing with, who else represents your guild, who's a troll and who's not. So what I have done... and yes it sounds tedious, but speak to every new member. Ask what they are looking for in the guild, and go over the basic idea/vision of the guilds motives. 9 times out of 10 you will find the right players for your home, and make sure your home is the place for them. 

Set Goals
If you want the guild to reach is potential set goals you can meet and exceed. These are the goals I had on my original post:

My Short Term Goals
- The guild is Brand new, So building the foundations is key. I have already added 5 bank tabs named:
Materials, Equipment, Consumables, Enchantments & professions. (more coming soon) May not seem relevant now, but it will shortly. 
- Reach level 25. With a handful of players (friends and family) it will take some time to recruit. We're not using any kind of macro spamming, we're doing it the good old fashioned way. Speaking to players and really finding the right players for the guild.. as I said, it may seem crazy creating a guild from scratch with such a strong passion for a social feel, but who knows, there may be people out there who want to find something like this.
- Enable the chance for you to meet new players. A way of doing this would be through our facebook page (Under construction) and/or our Twitter.
- Get the word out, that their is a guild out there, looking just to create the real and true guild feeling. I have played the game long enough to know when I am in a great guild and a steady guild, but we want both.
- Events such as arena games over in open arena zones, winners take gold from the gb.(more info to come)

Long Term Goals
- I want to create a Podcast team around WoD release, covering information on the expansion, lore, class shows and speaking to other guild members who wish to take part.
- A real Website with forums, polls and more.
- For players to really enjoy wow for what it is, The game is supposed to be enjoyed with friends and like minded people, not gold farmers and so on.
- Guild contracts: This works so the guild members should not have to use AH so much. Items in the GB will be sold for half the AH price. That money will go towards guild events and re supplying players. I also want to introduce the actual contracts. These are weekly tasks players can complete to farm items like meat, skins, herbs and so on and be rewarded from the guild bank with more gold. I have used it before and it worked amazingly well. 
- For players to be proud of what We as a community have created.
- WoD raiding. We will be raiding in WoD no question. Thanks to the changes the normals will have the same system as our current flex does. Making it easier to build a team and even if you can only pop on for an hour, still be apart of the event and maybe get some loot along the way. We want raiding to be a choice for everyone, not a necessity. 
- More to come. 

Some of the short terms goals have already been reached, so now we have our work cut out for us to reach the long term goals, they are possible. If the members have joined knowing whats in store and want to help the guild reach that peak then it will. Once your guilds running, people are aware of everything, it's time to just enjoy it. Have fun, talk to players and I promise you, the game will change for the better tenfold.

I'm new to the whole guild leader thing, I'm new to alot of this so I'm always looking for advice from guild leaders, so please, if you have any feedback I'd love to hear it. I have so much more to learn and so far this experience has been great I hope to share many of great moments with you! Watch this space.

Vaylen - GM of Forged Legacy/Alliance EU/Ravencrest.

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