Casual guilds are a completely different sort of animal to your regular raiding or ‘less casual’ guild. There are guides everywhere to help GM’s who run raiding guilds, hardcore guilds, and all the other sorts of guilds which do not fall under the ‘casual’ banner. However, there is very little about your family oriented guilds, whether it be what the heck they do each day, how to run them, or how to get all their members to even agree on something.
A good start would be to define what I mean by a casual guild. In this particular instance, I am talking about a super casual guild who:
a) Do not raid, or do some limited entry level raiding as a guild.
b) Have no requirements as to level, playtime or attendance for their members
c) Rarely schedule instances/raids – most are started through a ‘Who wants to do x?’ message in guild chat
d) Members have widely varied play times.
e) Members enjoy and participate regularly in a wide variety of activities, whether it be instancing, questing, farming, battlegrounds or arenas.
There is a misconception that a guild with these aims and membership is much easier to lead than a guild which raids 3 times a week and has a core of excellent max level players. Leading a casual guild is difficult for a variety of reasons, and the challenges which are presented to GMs and officers of such guilds are complex and do not have simple black and white solutions. In this series I am hoping to show exactly what some of these challenges are. I really can not provide a definitive solutions to these challenges, because every guild is different (ESPECIALLY every casual guild), but I can provide an insight as to your options and the implications of these.
These are the topics that I am thinking of covering in a weekly series, thus ensuring that you, the reader, are not totally inundated with ‘casual guild’ posts and are still able to get your Destro Warlock fix. If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to email them to me via the contact form (‘Contact Sar’ in the header). This goes for ALL topics, not just this one! I do love receiving emails!
3. Choosing your officers
4. Setting your goals
5. Combating Attrition – how much can you do?
6. Resources for GM’s and Officers
Please note: I reserve the right to change the order of discussion of topics as I see fit, depending on mood, the weather, and coin tosses.
You may be wondering exactly why you should listen to my opinions on this: “Sar, we KNOW you were in a raiding guild! What do you know about casual guilds?” “Sar, when have you EVER been a Guild Leader?”. I can’t give you a great answer, but a bit of my history may help you here.
Prior to being a raider in Arcis, I was an officer of Dying Breed. Dying Breed is a casual guild on the Cenarius server (a server which has a healthy raiding and ‘uber guild’ climate, but which is not especially known for being casual). Dying Breed has, just as described above, a variety of members with different interests, login times and levels. As an officer, I participated in officer discussions about the direction of the guild, addressed concerns members had about a variety of things, helped resolve disputes, and also (somewhat happily) gave myself the responsibility of being the ‘PR’ person wherever I could. This essentially boiled down to thanking people who were pugged to our raids when we did them (since we often could not field a full 10man team on our own); sending letters of thanks to GM’s of other guilds when their members provided a service or were exceptional above and beyond what one would expect from a pugged player; and fielding complaints on the rare occasion on of our players had offended someone within or outside the guild. I enjoyed my experiences as an officer (and quite often miss my days in officerdom to be honest – I do enjoy leading!!), and think that my experiences in a rather special type of guild give me some qualification to talk about this.
Also, there is a parallel discussion happening over at Casual WoW, which would be interesting to follow. The first post of their series is here.