Tuesday, 13 January 2009

What a guild offers

Following some of the blogs around I stumbled upon the Greedy Goblin discussing what a guild has to offer. One of the most important points made is that the true essence of the guild lies is a `filtering' process - eliminating those that can not cope with a set standard of performance and keeping those that can.

Overall, guilds in my opinion should first clearly set a schedule and the depth of content they are aiming for. Whether you want to raid 1, 3, 5 or whatever days - it needs to be stated as an overall guild policy. Subsequently, you need to aim towards a certain instance (if PvE oriented) level. The guild I am currently in has a clearly defined approach to this, from which we never deviated. 3 raids per week. Perfect for those with real life commitments but who still want to devote some time in the game. The second part of the aforementioned `policy' is that we aim as high as possible. In tBC we went up to mid-sunwell and in Wotlk we recently cleared all content, all the way to 25 man Malygos (which nonetheless is somewhat comparably easier than in the past). 10 mans are `filler' raids. This was achieved with a set of simple things.

  • Fairly clearly defined guild structure
  • Compliance to our 3-day raiding schedule
  • Stable guild and raid leadership
  • High level of player base performance
  • Focus on the content and the achievements and not the loot etc.
  • Clearly defined DKP based rules

Greedy Goblin mentions the latter as a point of friction. In our guild things are simple. The rules are rules and you can bid for what you need as main spec and off-spec. What eliminates friction is common sense and the nature of the players. When the aforementioned social filtering works, the people involved are not frantic about loot and maintain an open mind about it. If the guild performs at the end of the day you will eventually get your hands on anything you might need. Maturity goes a long way...

So, at the end of the day a guild offers an encapsulation for the player. Social and game-related rules are there to keep things going. That along with the players reasoning and understanding that no system is perfect but given certain thinking it is what will get you far. I have found this the hard way when I was GM and now I am accepting things as they are - simply because it is the guild’s rule. It is the leaderships job to maintain these social attitudes and standards in order to ensure that the guild `works as intended'.

And to add an extreme example to the above...

One of the guild officers had an in-game aspiration of becoming a Scarab Lord, having done the quest line for his own gratification he was missing the last bits. During the Xmas holiday he informed the guild that he would transfer in a `virgin' realm to finish up the quest line and eventually return back. I must admit I found his cunning thinking and determination quite pleasing. But above all I was pleased that everyone in the guild backed him up and not a single soul commented negatively - something which I would expect from other non-maturely thinking guilds. In fact - as he maintained the channels of communication with us - he mentioned that others doing the same transfer-thing as him were not welcomed back to their guilds. Am I the only one thinking it is cool to have a Scarab Lord in the guild? :p

Wow is above all a social game, a shared virtual environment. When you become friends with someone, when you develop a sense of camaraderie and you contribute to the community it is hard for someone to be against you. Yes, the guild does filter morons out. But it also gives a sense of belonging. At the end of the day I feel that each player’s obligation to a guild, apart from the attendance - which as Greedy Goblin points out ought to be clearly stated - is to maintain the culture of the guild, abide to it and if possible contribute to it.


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