Archive for the “Guild” Category

Any thoughts I have on my guild experiences, as well as the running of a guild.

Casual Guilds Are Not Easy! is a weekly series on Destructive Reach which is devoted to the running of those oh-so-mysterious creatures, the ultra casual World of Warcraft guild.  This series covers many of the problems which arise in the day to day running of a casual guild, possible solutions to these, and the implications of these solutions.

Choosing your officers

Your guild has many people who are good at many different things.  It is getting difficult to run everything by yourself, especially when you are totally unfamiliar with many of the things your players enjoy doing.  Your battleground grinding warlocky self just has no idea what to do when your instance loving warriors say that they are interested in doing some light guild raiding. You have no idea how to solve the dilemma your shaman faces as to what they should spec and why.  When the guild members have differing goals, they begin to bicker amongst themselves and you just don’t know what to do.

Being a GM is a difficult task.  You are the person everyone essentially looks to, whether it be for advice, organisation, mediation or just ideas and a chat.  In a casual guild, the most difficult thing to overcome is your players will have a very wide variety of interests and skills, and you yourself will not have all of these.  Try as I might, I just can’t find myself interested in PvP, and so am utterly useless for advice or organisation in that regard.

You need to have an officer group who can play to your strengths and cover your weaknesses.  Just as raiding guilds have class leaders or role leaders, casual guilds need people to cover the foci of the guild.  The first step is to assess what it is your guild members are interested in.  You don’t want to have a plethora of officers in your guild, but you don’t want to be the only one holding the reins.  If you have a large contingent of PvPers in your guild, it may (or may not) be worth your while appointing someone who is interested in PvP to the officership.  Remember, the purpose of officers is not only to help out people in the guild – they also represent the group of people that they identify with.  If you do not have an officer within a certain contingent in the guild, their interests can often be forgotten and ignored.

The question is, how do you select someone from your players to be an officer?  Should you appoint an officer when there is no clear officer material within the contingent?

The simplest way for me to answer this is to describe the qualities I possessed which led to me being appointed as an officer.

I had been in the guild for a long time (although time itself was not necessarily a requirement).  I made it clear that I was interested in being an officer within the guild, and dedicated myself to that goal.  This meant that I logged in as frequently as I was able to manage with my lifestyle, ensured that I was always polite and helpful to people, volunteered ideas and information where required, and basically demonstrated the qualities that I thought officers should have.  This paid off, and I eventually was given the position of officer within the guild.

Good qualities to look out for in an officer include:

  • a sound knowledge of the game and/or their class
  • good people skills
  • good organisational skills
  • an ability to prioritise
  • an ability to delegate where necessary
  • desire to lead
  • the confidence to make decisions and stick to them
  • the confidence to mediate conflicts fairly

Obviously a person does not have to have all of these qualities to make a good officer.  The key is to see what their qualities are and give them a role which is appropriate to their strengths.  For example, you may have someone in your guild who lacks the strength to mediate conflict, but has excellent organisational skills and is very creative.  That person would probably be well suited to organising in guild events and maintaining a guild website.

Sometimes it is difficult to spot people who would make good officers.  I would suggest making it known in the guild that you are interested in appointing officers, and see who is interested, why they are interested, and what qualities they possess.  People who make great officers are not always immediately obvious!  If you already have one or two officers (which may be all you need), then ensure that they are involved in the process.

After I became an officer I ensured that I kept doing all the things I had been doing before, but I also took on some added responsibility.  You need to ensure that people don’t start slacking off once they become an officer.  A great way to do this is to ensure that you delegate responsibility fairly and evenly, so that all your officers have to pull their weight.  Many people will go above and beyond what you ask them to do anyway, but ensuring that your officers have a role is key.  Throwing people in to an officer role and not giving them something to do is useless, and doesn’t foster a good guild attitude towards officers.

Finally, what sort of roles do you want your officers to have?  It all really depends on your guild’s interests, but some examples include:

  • Role officers: Officers who give advice to the different roles people can play (ranged DPS, melee DPS, tanks, healers)
  • PvP officer: responsible for co-ordinating guild PvP activities and giving PvP advice
  • PR officer: responsible for recruitment and liaison with other guilds
  • Raid officer: responsible for co-ordinating guild raids.  May be shared with another officer
  • Conduct officer: monitors conduct of guild members
  • Event officer: organises guild events
  • … and many more!

As always, here is J @ Casual WoW’s take on the matter in his series ‘Of Guilds and Such’.  I must say, his post is much more… logical and well informed than mine!

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Casual Guilds Are Not Easy! is a weekly series on Destructive Reach which is devoted to the running of those oh-so-mysterious creatures, the ultra casual World of Warcraft guild.  This series covers many of the problems which arise in the day to day running of a casual guild, possible solutions to these, and the implications of these solutions.

Writing Your Guild Charter

A Guild Charter is essentially a statement of the purpose and goals of your guild.  Charters differ in length from guild to guild, ranging between one sentence and many pages long.  Every guild has a different understanding of what belongs in their charter, but there are three basics which every guild should cover.

1.  Purpose of Guild

Essentially, this boils down to the reason why you created the guild in the first place.  As a casual guild this can be difficult to define.  Do you intend to help people level?  Are you just looking to create a fun and friendly environment for casual players?  This statement does not have to be long or detailed, but should be clear.

It also helps to describe your membership within the purpose of the guild for interested applicants.  If your guild members mainly live in one time zone, or only do certain activities, it can be helpful for people to know this before they apply.  You don’t want people joining then discovering there is no one on when they want to play!

2.  Goals of Guild

This can tie in with the purpose of your guild as a casual guild.  As a comparison, raiding guilds will usually state what level of raiding they are aiming to complete, sometimes with a date attached, and what achievements they have so far.  Casual guilds are much less likely to have strict goals set, and sometimes your goal is the same as your purpose – just to have fun.

3.  Code of Conduct

This is an essential part of a guild charter.  I don’t care whether your guild is made up of ten people or 300, you need to have a basic outline of what standards of behaviour you want people to uphold.  When you write this you need to consider the interactions within the guild, and the interactions people will have with non-guildies.  Regardless of a person’s guild rank, while they are under your guild tag they are representing your guild and guild mates.  ‘Oh, but that person is a new member’ isn’t going to make up for the impact of their actions, or stop people talking about it.

A casual guild’s CoC would mainly be expected to cover behaviour and interaction.  I can safely assume that a casual guild would not have any mandated attendance requirements (since that goes against the very definition of casual!) or requirements for gear/consumables/enchants.  A CoC will establish expected behaviours, and discipline measures for players who do not meet these standards.  A good CoC does the following:

  • Protects your members:  whether this be from unwanted harassment, language or inappropriate remarks, or more significant issues.
  • Ensures the reputation of your guild is maintained and enhanced
  • Ensures that all procedures within the guild are fair
  • Encourages players to show initiative in organising various events within the guild.

A CoC can also branch off to cover the roles of various officers within the guild, as well as ranks for members.  Quite often this is a part of a guild’s discipline policy within the CoC, where a member will be demoted to an unprivileged rank after a transgression of the CoC.

I am not going to give specifics of standards of conduct and discipline measures, because every guild is different, which means they will have different ideas for these.

Implementation of a Guild Charter

Implementation of a Guild Charter is a very simple process.  You need to adhere to the rules and standards established within the charter, and ensure that other players do as well.  Of course, a guild charter may need to be changed at some point, but it should not be changed without extensive consultation, at the very least with your officers, and perhaps with other guild members as well.  If consultation is not done it leaves you open to accusations of double standards.

Have a little bit of fun with your charter!  While it does need to set all the afore mentioned things out, it also needs to reflect the personality of your guild.  Don’t be afraid to use some humour, and try not to make it read like a full on legal document!  The language should be simple, free of jargon wherever possible, and points should be concise.

A Guild Charter is (to use an incredibly lame comparison) like the foundation of a house.  It isn’t a visible aspect of the house (especially to people outside of it), but it keeps the house level and everything together.  Sure, you can dress it all up later with some paint and fancy windows, but if your foundation is crap, things will fall apart pretty quickly! /end bad simile.

As usual, here is the next part in Casual WoW’s series: “What Do I Need?” Enjoy!

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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!

1. Considerations: Your Guild Charter/Code of Conduct

2. Recruitment

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.

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A major aspect of any expansion release is the wave of people changing guilds.  The gear reset provides the perfect opportunity to move to a guild which is more in line with your current goals and ideas.  This is both a blessing and a burden for those who wish to change guilds – more guilds are recruiting, but there is an awful lot more competition for those raid spots.  This means you need to be impressive on all counts, and a major part of this is presenting a good application.  You could be the best player in the world – if your application sucks, no one is going to give you the chance to even test your skills.

There is a plethora of application guides out there.  By and large, my favourite is written by Auzara, GM Extraordinaire. However, sometimes you want a little more than a generic guide into how to answer it.  Think of this as your Destruction Lock Application Crib Sheet!

Each of these questions have been selected from a variety of guild applications.  I am not going to put links to the guild sites where I pinched them from, simply because they are fairly standard style questions that you will find most anywhere.  Likewise, I am not going to put answers to questions that are Warlock-irrelevant, since that would just be rehashing old ground!  My main advice for applications is to read the instructions carefully, read the questions carefully, read your answers carefully – that’s right, read the whole damn thing carefully!  I don’t know how many times I have seen people mess up the most basic instructions, and it makes me so frustrated.

OK, so here goes!

Armory Link: Not especially Warlock related, but something that I haven’t noticed anyone mention.  When you put in your Armory link, I always appreciate it if you link your talent build in WoWHead or something similar.  Why the repetition?  The Armory is not always online, and anything that speeds up the ability of the guild to assess your character is going to move things along a lot faster.

Why did you allocate your talent points where you did? 

As a Destruction lock, this is going to be a difficult one to manage.  With Destruction providing little raid utility, and less damage than Affliction, justifying your choice in sticking with Destro is going to be hard to do.  My reasoning for the spec I will be running with at 80 (initially at least, testing is not yet complete obviously) will be this:

‘My talents are chosen specifically to increase the damage I deal in a raid situation.  Specifically, I have chosen to forego Shadow based talents in recognition of Fire being the stronger school in the Destruction tree.  However, I have strengthened my Corruption and Curse of Agony in the Affliction tree as I will be using these spells constantly to try and proc Molten Core.  I have also chosen to take some talents which improve my survivability in raid situations, with Improved Soul Leech allowing me the occasional self heal, and also relieving pressure on healers when I Life Tap’.

While this may not be a perfect grade-A answer, there are a couple of things about this structure which work well.  Firstly, I talked about the tree in general, and why I overall made the selection that I did.  I then chose to highlight a couple of specific talents, and I discussed the ones which would appear to be a less obvious choice to anyone not intimately familiar with the tree.  This shows a knowledge of Warlock talents and what they are useful for, and also a knowledge of the three things we need to be successful in raiding – damage output, survivability, and utility (to a much lesser extent).

In your opinion, what do skilled players of your class and spec contribute to 25-man raiding?

This is a chance to show how well you know and love your class.  One thing which always makes me sad is when I see people answer ‘Damage!’.  There is much more to the Warlock class, and an answer that brief shows that you either don’t know your class well, or that you just can not think outside of the square.

‘Skilled Warlocks are able to contribute many things to a 25 man group.  Destruction Warlocks are able to offer a group buff (generally the ‘Blood Pact’ buff, but ‘Fel Intellect’ is also an option if required), excellent situational Crowd Control abilities through the use of Banish and Enslave, a wide variety of powerful debuffs in the form of curses, and high ranged DPS.  Destruction Warlocks are also moderately mobile with our ability to DoT targets, and need not rely on one school of damage where bosses have resistances or immunities.  Warlocks have the ability to buff their own weapons, which increases our damage output.  We also provide summons, healthstones and soulstones where necessary.

Skilled Warlocks can take advantage of these characteristics of the class and keep damage output at a respectable level, while ensuring that they do whatever a fight requires for them to survive.’

The biggest issue that I am having at the moment is that I can not think of a reason why a Destro lock would be valuable to a raid.  Quite honestly, I think that Affliction is going to be a much more viable raiding tree, with increased damage, mobility and survivability.  I expect that Destro warlocks will have to play very well in trial runs to prove their worth.  Hopefully we get some form of damage increase or more utility in the future.

You are preparing for a raid.  What do you pack?

This one is a bit of a toughy at the moment, and would require some research to discover what is best for you.  Unfortunately, I could not find a good list of Wrath Flasks and Elixirs.  Since the question is generic (that is, doesn’t name particular raids), you would probably be forgiven for not naming any particular resist or tanking gear. I would list: at least 40 shards; 2 flasks; 10 guardian and 10 battle elixirs; 2 stacks of bandages; and 2 stacks of your preferred raid food.  As a rough guide, this is what I packed for BC raiding:

- 2 Flasks (our raids ran 4 hours, and I preferred Flasks to an Elixir combo)

- 1 stack of Spell Damage Food (Blackened Basilisk/Crunchy Serpent)

- I stack of Spell Crit Food (Skullfish Soup)

- 50 Shards

- 2 Wizard Oil (Brilliant if I had the gold, Superior otherwise) (no longer relevant!)

- 10 – 20 Health Potions

I didn’t pack bandages because my First Aid sucks.  This is really not acceptable for applying to a raid guild.  I also didn’t run with a trash set/boss set of gear, I didn’t think it was necessary and my trash DPS was still significant.

Successful raiding is as much about preparation as it is about execution.  When you’re not raiding, what are you doing to prepare for challenging raids?

This question is basically there to ensure that you know the basics of preparing for a raid.  I stole this question from one of the ‘uber-guild’ forums on Cenarius.  In my mind, this means that they are expecting more than ‘I do dailies for gold and watch the videos’.  Most of the things you do in your non raiding time can be used to answer this question – you just need to put a raid related spin on it.

PvP – ‘I regularly engage in arena based PvP as it allows me to learn how to use the different abilities of my class in a wide variety of situations.  Often the creative use of abilities can translate well into PvE content, and also ensures that I do not fall into the ‘stand and pewpew’ mentality.

Dailies – ‘I spend a small amount of my play time completing dailies to ensure that I can always afford the best quality consumables and gear enhancements’

Instances – ‘I run instances to test possible specs and spell rotations.’  A big added plus in my opinion if you test regularly on test dummies.  Testing new rotations on dummies shows an element of foresight which many people forget about, and also gives you a vague idea of which rotations are most successful (but remember – often you will not have full raid buffs in testing, and you are able to stand and nuke)

Research – ‘I regularly research boss encounters on a variety of forums, and watch relevant videos of these encounters.  However, I do understand that reading a strat does not mean that strat is the only possible way to down a boss.  I also regularly read my class forums on Elitist Jerks, and other useful websites such as …(think the Warlock’s Den, etc)’ Note – please don’t put down my blog!  I really don’t think this place would be seen as an adequate research tool!  If you do link blogs, link to informative and useful posts, which are referenced very well.

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I am sure that there are many different variations of these questions on guild applications, and possibly questions which I haven’t thought of.  However, these are the generic sorts of questions which most GOOD guild applications will ask you (at least regarding playing your class, there are also many more non class related questions).  Obviously take the points I have raised into consideration, but make the answers your own.  No one wants to see a bunch of copied material, and you ultimately are selling yourself, not someone else.

SHAMELESS PLUG:  Conquest (Ner’zhul, Alliance) is a progression guild that is currently recruiting for Wrath of the Lich King 25 mans.  They are currently seeking skilled Warlocks to fill their roster.  I imagine successful applicants would have similar goals to the guild, be progression focused and have a deep knowledge of their class.  For more information, I would suggest looking at their website.

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Just so you guys know, there wont be a great deal of posting this weekend. Lots of ‘Real Life’ stuff has cropped up, and I am in the middle of managing about 10 crises, so… yeah. It seems like fate chose THIS weekend to have the whole world turn upside down.

One major thing which has happened is that some of this real life drama has unfortunately had to spill into WoW. I decided that it would be best for me to leave my guild, just in case it did cause problems in the future. While there are no problems at the moment, I just wanted to ensure that this would continue to be the case. It was difficult to leave, but it was a friendly farewell and I do wish them the best of luck. It is going to be hard adjusting to not being in a raiding guild, and they have already said that they wanted me back, but I just don’t think it is the best idea right now.

As for me, well… I don’t know what I am going to do. I could go out guild hunting, or I could take the opportunity to take a bit of a break and leave Sar unguilded for a while. It is certainly a tough decision, but I am just going to take things as they come. I figure something will force my hand eventually!

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Today Arcis continued their plunge into Mount Hyjal. While I must admit I was somewhat dubious (and disappointed) about heading in there rather than venturing further into Black Temple, it was an interesting experience to have our first go at Kaz’rogal. While we didn’t get him down, he seems to be a fairly easy boss, and I found that the trash before him is actually much more difficult. We got him to less than 20% on our first and only attempt, with three people blowing up the raid (which I found to be both stupid and disappointing).

The trash is an absolute nightmare, especially when you have not experienced it before. We had some difficulty killing waves fast enough, which resulted in prolonged periods with no drinks. This wasn’t so bad for me – life tap FTW! – but the healers were getting pretty antsy by the end of it. I found gargoyles difficult to AoE as well – only once did I manage to get them all together, and let me tell you, I was taking a heck of a beating from them! Sure, one gargoyle may not hurt much, but 8 of them all at once is nasty. We wiped a few times on the fifth wave, but eventually made it through with some well organised CC, and got to the boss.

I honestly believe that this boss is fairly straight forward. I don’t have any of the shadow resist gear yet, but with Prayer of Shadow Protection I managed to successfully resist between 50-80% of the damage from other people’s explosions. Exploding from lack of mana is pretty easy to avoid as a Warlock obviously! The main things I noticed were that people were unwilling to sacrifice some DPS in order to stay alive – rather than run away from the raid if they knew they were going to explode, or ease off and auto attack for a short while, they would continue running through their mana and blow everyone up. One of the paladins managed to do this to the whole melee group. I suggested that he could perhaps not be in the melee group and help heal or something if he felt he couldn’t effectively manage his mana, but people vetoed that idea ‘It’s a DPS race! We need his DPS in there, not him helping with healing!’. Well… sure, his damage would be nice (although it’s not really huge, since he is a Prot Pally), but I can guarantee the damage from the other melee is much better! It would be nice to not have them killed!

Other people also didn’t take the advice to run away from the raid if they knew they were going to blow up, and killed over half the raid in doing so. Thank goodness he goes down very easily – the fastest I have certainly ever seen on a raid boss. Another couple of attempts, where everyone knows what they are doing, and we should be fine. More people are getting some shadow resist gear for the next attempt, although I am far too poor at the moment (as usual). Of course, I will need it for Azgalor, but I like to take these things one step at a time!

Tomorrow’s schedule appears to be Shade of Akama, Teron Gorefiend (uh oh, because I fail badly at the simulation!), and Kaz’rogal if we have time. I will keep you posted :)

Finally, I made yet another video (glutton for punishment, aren’t I?) answering the questions posed to me by Elf. Currently it refuses to upload onto YouTube – not sure if it is an internet issue or what – but I am testing alternatives. Since I am having difficulties uploading, it may be up tomorrow. Here it is!

Also – thinking I might do a BlogTV thing tomorrow after my raid, which finishes at 10.30pm Cenarius server time (don’t ask me what timezone that is, sorry – hopefully someone knows), which is 3.30pm Australian EST. I would estimate a 4pm start for me. I know thats kinda late for most people, so it’s not like I expect a huge attendance! Just let me know if you are interested by commenting please. It will be at http://www.blogtv.com/People/Saresa . I make no guarantees about my personal appearance – my weekend uniform generally consists of gym pants and a baggy jumper. Yep, I’m a slob!

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So, I know that I usually don’t write about guild leadership stuff. Wouldn’t really make sense, since I am not a GM, after all! However, I heard some great stuff today which I think applies just as well to guilds as it does to schools. Oh, yes, if you didn’t know today was my very first day of my internship (scary stuff!), which is where I stole all this from. Funny how school applies to EVERYTHING! I try to tell the kids that, but they never believe me.

1. You should always aim for value-adding.

Value Adding is the latest catch phrase on the educational landscape, I swear. It simply means that people are continually learning and improving – you are adding value to their abilities. In the schooling context, we measure this by student marks – if a student’s marks improve as they go through school, then we have added value to their education.

This means that there is no settling for second best. Sure, you may recruit someone who isn’t the best at their job. You train them, teach them, and they improve. Does this mean that we can stop? Heck no! Even the highest achievers have some room for improvement. Sure, it may not be in their DPS, or their crowd control. Perhaps they would be a valuable addition to a leadership team, or just need a little nudge in their intrapersonal skills. There is always somewhere that we can ‘add value’ and increase their achievement.

2. There is no such thing as ‘best practice’. Always aim for ‘better practice’

This relates to the point above. Continually assess what you are doing, and actively look for room for improvement. I seriously doubt that everyone could be perfect, 100% of the time. Learn your flaws, and work on them. Don’t be too embarrassed to discuss them with others, whether it be to look for solutions, or to share your solutions .

3. The loud kid in the class is not necessarily the best kid in the class

This is something that lots of early teachers can fall into the trap of. The kid who answers every question? Who occasionally puts down the other kids about their answers? Well, he isn’t necessarily the brightest kid in the class! Many times the quiet, unassuming kid is. Or your average, answer a couple of questions, get distracted a little bit kid is. The same thing applies to guilds. All too often guilds promote the most vocal members, thinking that their constant chatter means that they are the most knowledgeable members of the guild, or the most suited to raid leadership.

However, these people aren’t always the best for the job. Sometimes they are, sure, but most times they aren’t. They can come across as brash, occasionally obnoxious, and sometimes forget to mash the tact button before they speak. Pretty much like one of those kids in the classroom. When they are like this, they make other guild members feel at best uncomfortable, and at worst completely insecure in their own abilities. Never a good thing for a guild as a whole!

4. Feedback is good. Meaningful feedback is godly.

Just like when a kid brings home a report card from school, your guild members need feedback. Occasionally, report cards can use a lot of words to say very little at all. Our feedback to guild members can be much the same: “you have to improve” without specifying what is wrong, or “you are doing well!” without saying what is great about that player. Tell people why you think these things!

5. Praise, then criticise, then praise.

The fair criticism sandwich should always have some form of praise as bread, to make the nasty tasting criticism go down a little easier. People tend to have difficulty accepting criticism, no matter how fair it is, if you don’t praise them as well. Human nature is a pain in the derriere!

So, these are the five lessons I brought home from school today for you. Aren’t you glad I am a good teacher?

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One thing which I often find both amazing and interesting about the World of Warcraft community is that it is in a constant state of flux. It never really stays the same – people come to and leave the game, guilds change and develop, new blogs crop up and old blogs take their graceful exit from the scene. It is really interesting to meet the people who write these blogs and find out the different perspectives that they have. I think it is this change which is what keeps our game so interesting in some ways – I definitely play for the social aspect, as I have oft stated, and I enjoy the relationships that are built up throughout the community. I don’t log on each day to grind some gold, or conquer an instance, or farm any gear. I log on to chat to my friends, and find out how they are going, especially in their real lives. Yes, I care that a friend has been kept up all night with a sick child, or if it is nearly their birthday and they have planned something special.

Anyway, this has gone somewhat off topic at the moment. So back to my focus! Even the most hardcore of us do have difficulty overcoming the social aspect of the game. My now infamous friend Kalfurion was considering leaving our guild and joining a guild which is much further along in terms of progression. As you no doubt now know, my guild has hit a point of stagnation (for lack of a better term) due to summer – Darn you people and your real lives! – and some other essentially unidentifiable factors. He had gone so far as to have a couple of trial runs with them (in Sunwell, can you believe it?), and they sounded pretty interested in what he had to offer.

Monday rolled around, and that was the crunch day. The raids he participated in before were on days which Arcis does not raid, so there was no real conflict. Mondays however ARE an Arcis raid day, and the other guild (I enjoy saying it like that, it’s almost like ‘the other woman’) wanted him to come to Black Temple. I said to him, quite frankly “Well, you need to talk to the officers about this before then. They really will not be impressed about you skipping a raid day to go off with some other guild” (and I got to throw in all sorts of other things, including “You can’t have your cake and eat it too!”). He hummed and hawwed over it for a bit, finally decided that he was going to go and join the other guild, and prepared to let our officers know.

Well, best laid plans and all that… when he was telling them, the GM got fairly upset over it (as you would). Kalf is considered to be one of the more central members of our guild (imo), despite his lack of attendance and such recently. It is always a blow when a friend leaves a guild. Then, what do you know, Kalf got himself upset as well. I can’t really laugh at this (this IS the girl who cried – about 5 times – when she left her old guild), and he didn’t cry or anything. This horrible feeling though was enough to convince him to change his mind and stay with Arcis.

This, my friends, is the power of the social aspect of WoW.

Other random stuff to whack in under social aspects!

There is a new healer community abounding – Plus Heal (not Plush Eel… I always manage to read everything wrong!)

Guided by some of the best healers in the blogosphere (so, rest assured, I have nothing to do with it!) including Siha, Matticus, Phae, Auzara and Lume (and heaven knows who else I forgot!), Plus Heal provides all healing classes with a place to discuss the fine art of healing.

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Now, I have always known that Ammana (one of my DB guild mates, and good friends) is a dab hand at sewing. Thanks to WoW Insider, now you all know!

Squee! Grats Amm!!

(Oh, and to those negative commenters out there, I find it amusing how you feel ‘brave’ enough to attempt to insult a complete stranger through a basically anonymous forum. I really have to wonder about how secure you are within yourself if you need to make yourself feel superior by bagging on someone you do not even know. Just go and bathe, I am tired of seeing your filthy presence on various forums, dirty trolls!!)

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