So You Want to be a Guild Leader

Copied from the guide originally posted by Wytch.

Note: I do not claim to be the world’s greatest guild leader and I have made some mistakes along the way and learned from those and I am sure I will continue to do so. This guide is not so much for those already leading guilds but for those who are thinking about creating and leading a guild. I see a lot of posts in the Guild Relations forum that could have been avoided if some forethought was given to the process that should take place BEFORE sending out invites to your new guild. It is very simply – food for thought.

So You Want To Be Guild Leader

Welcome to the beginning of what will be a very busy (and sometimes down right tiring and maddening) but rewarding job. After making the decision to create and lead a guild, generally the first reaction is to run out and recruit. Though you will eventually get to that point, this is probably not the best starting point if you have not thought the entire process through.

I truly believe that no one starts a guild with the intentions of doing poorly, we all have good intentions, however, good intentions will not sustain a guild. Without great forethought and planning, most guilds are doomed for failure from the start. This guide has been written with the assumption that you are at the beginning of the process of creating a guild. I will speak about considerations and items of necessity for the successful creation of building a strong foundation to support the development and growth of your guild.

The thing that will kill your guild quicker than anything is the lack of strategic thinking and the ability to be flexible and allow growth. Though much of this will seem like things that will not be needed until late in your guilds progression, it is always best to start implementing them now. It is very difficult to change the direction of a large ship once it begins to move, you need to start your course in the right direction.

Who Are You?

Of the utmost importance now and through the entire life of your guild is that you have clearly defined goals and a flexible plan on how this goals will be achieved. What type of guild do you wish to lead for the long term? This may seem like an easy thing to come up with but it really is not, you need to do a lot of soul searching on this.

Everyone wants a successful guild but how do you measure success? By boss kills? By the number of members you have? By the friendships you build? By your longevity? This answer is going to be different for everyone and each answer will have it’s core strengths that you as a guild leader will need to possess to successfully lead the guild.
If boss kills is your thing then you are probably leaving towards a hard core raiding guild which requires huge amounts of discipline. For lack of a better term, this is probably the most militant leadership roll. You need to be willing to make the hard calls for the success of the guild which means being able to put the smack down on people not doing their jobs and removing and replacing them if they hinder the guilds progression. The rules are generally pretty strict in these guilds and again, you need to be able to enforce those rules (and I do not mean be a complete jerk about it).

If socializing and having people to talk to while playing in game sounds like a great thing to you and you are not so interested in boss kills then perhaps a casual guild is more your speed. Though it would seem this leadership roll is pretty easy it can have it’s drawbacks. You need to understand that you will lose people fairly frequently and be accepting of that. These guilds are generally seen as “leveling guilds” and many who hope to raid will move on. As a guild leader you yourself will need to realize that you will not be raiding in end game if you continue to lead this guild.

What if you like both of the above scenarios? What if you want to have it all? Ahh the ever elusive hybrid “casual raiding” guild. I probably know this most about this guild as it is what our guild, Resurrection, is. You will have not only the best of both worlds but also the worst. You will need amazing mediation skills while being able to balance that with putting the smack down. You will need to be very flexible in many areas, the largest being the constant leaps forward in progression and steps backwards that are inevitable in this type of guild. It is probably the most difficult of all guilds to run as you are dealing with a variety of people with different goals in the game, the one common thread is generally the time aspect that they have to devote to the game.

This list is not all inclusive to the various types of guilds on the servers. I have not touched on guilds that role play as I feel they are going to fall into one of the above categories. Not every guild will be the same and even within the three examples listed above they will vary greatly from one to another. This was not meant as a classification of guilds it is merely a tool to get you thinking about what your roll will be and if you are up for that challenge.

The Charter . What is Your Quest?

A guilds charter is basically a verbal snapshot of your guild. It speaks of your members and what their goals are and are not. It highlights the community of your guild and let’s prospective members determine if they will be a good fit or not. The more specific you are about your guild and it’s policies the better you will find like minded individuals to join you in your travels of the realm.

Charters should be living documents. You should look and them frequently and ask yourself if it still defines your guild. Your charter should always reflect who your guild is and if it is not either you need to begin living up to your charter or looking at revising your charter.

The following is Resurrection’s Guild Charter:

Resurrection is a casual PVE/ PVP Raiding guild. Basically this means that we are a group of people that have prior commitments in our lives and cannot adhere to a strict raiding schedule but still wish to experience end game content. Our raiding schedules allow for greater flexibility of those who work and attend school full time while still allowing us to progress in the game.

Our average age range is approx 25 – 35 with a few above and below that range. We are a mature content guild and we do not recommend that those under 18 apply. This is not to say that we do not make exceptions to that rule but above all we look at maturity and the ability to work as a team.

We are not looking for the glory hounds of the server, we do not feel the need to prove anything to anyone with “phat loots” and bosses killed, it is not our style. We do not r0XoR n00bz oMg wtf BBQ!

We currently have Onyxia and MC up to Rag on farm status as well as many of the ZG and AQ 20 bosses. We have a prominent force in AB and host other guild events from time to time (naked Gnome killing PVP time, naked instance races and Friday Night Drunken Raid) that we run to break up the monotony and provide endless photo ops .

Again just to be clear: Resurrection is a CASUAL guild and that by “casual” we mean we do NOT raid 5 nights a week, that the schedule can change due to unforeseen issues, we care much more for the well being of our players and their families over the content in this game and that there can, and will be down time and you may actually have to entertain yourself (**gasp** I know – it’s horrible!!!!).

We clearly state who we are and who we are not. We let applicants know our guild progression and the other activities in the game and we also speak to our community and “flavor”.

Rules & Policies

I know, I hate rules. It would be great if everyone around me shared the same value system as me and the world would live n complete bliss… I know – who am I fooling? Fact is if you are going to have a large gathers of humans you need to have some really basic rules and policies in place.

The biggest concerns for most guilds are the chat functions (in game and vent/ts) and members behavior in them and loot/DKP rules. These do not have to be end all lists. Again, start with the basics and build from there. If you are months away from end game raiding and DKP then state that you will be looking at a DKP system when you get closer to raiding. If you have one then great! Be aware of it and state what your intentions are with it ie: We will be using (name here) DKP system, or the guild will vote on a DKP system at a later date or all of your loot belongs to me! Just state it so applicants are aware of what they are signing up for, even if it is not determined they still are aware of that fact.

Ideally your rules and policies should be posted in the same thread as your charter so that the applicant can easily find all of the information about your guild. You can have longer specific threads breakdowns each area down but the overall synopsis and basic rules should be together.

Post it you say? In a thread? Where?

Glad you asked…

Guild Websites – If you build it they will come…

I wish I had a dollar for every thread I have read that starts out with, “We just put up our guild web site and no one comes to it”. Perhaps it’s my background in the web and the knowledge of how much incredible info there is out on the web that makes me jaded, but I really cannot comprehend not having a web site for your guild as a priority BEFORE recruiting. Why would you begin recruitment w/o first having a place to say who you are and what your goals will be?

Websites are great for a few reasons:

  • Distribution of Information
  • A website allows you to reach a great number of people with your guild information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and so on. People can cruise your site at their leisure and catch up on guild events and happenings. In some case guild websites offer public sections for strats, crafting service notices and speccing suggestions to name a few.
  • Sense of Community
  • Our members are on our website a LOT. I am really happy to see the activity we have on the members sections as well as the open forum (we love our forums trolls!!!!). We share not only info for in game happenings but also personal events in our lives, recipes and fun websites we find.
  • Recruitment
  • Last but most important of all, if you have a website for your recruitment you are doing two things that in the long run will save you time and help build your site participation. First by having people apply to your site you are wedding out those that would be a good fit form those that would not and not spending those precious hours in game doing the first interviews.

Many will go to your website, read the charter and decide the guild is not for them, you have just saved yourself 20 – 30 minutes in game from talking with them. You will always get those that still would like to discuss the guild after reading the charter and that is great but if you can save yourself a bit of times by answering the same types of questions over and over. That is always a good thing!!!!

The other thing you will do is begin a process of having members go to the site. If they have applied through the site they are more likely to return back to the site again once they become members, the more information and activity on the site, the more draw it will have.

Website Must Haves

  • Forums – The biggest necessity! You need a place to post information for all to see and for the members to contact each other out of game.
  • Calendars – fantastic to track your guild activities and events.
  • Guild News – It’s nice to see where other guilds are and to share information about where you are in game progression.
  • DKP Database – to track DKP (for raiding guilds that use DKP only).

So where do you go to get a website? If you are wanting to try to save yourself as much money as possible you might try one of the guild website communities such as :

I personally have never used either of these sites caveat emptor if you choose to use them.

A lot of people use “bulletin board” type sites for their website, these do the job nicely without all the flashy imagery and such:

The biggest drawbacks with the pre-made portal type sites and the phbb is that they are limited in their visual customization and you generally are going to have a bit of an odd website name that can be difficult for some to remember.

If you would like to have something a bit more eye catching and customizable and you have a good knowledge of web design then perhaps getting your own domain and server is the route to go. Of course now you are getting into real cost….

Brother Can You Spare A Dime? – The real world costs of running a guild…

This section can be skipped by some but I would really recommend reading it. I can tell you that the annual real world cost to running Resurrection to myself and Mok is about $700 a year in addition to what we pay for our personal accounts.

OK do we really. Really need to pay this amount? No – I suppose not but yes, we did and do. So how does it break down? :

The web site is approx $10 per month when you add up the domain name and the cost of hosting it.

We run a high quality Vent server that costs approx $32 a month

We have an extra bank only character that acts as the bank system $15 per month.

We could scrimp on this stuff but we want our members to have the very best quality for the cost.

These numbers again are provided as food for thought and not as an OMG if you do not spend this much you suck! What I am illustrating is that there can be and generally is a real world cost to running a guild.

When we first started the guild we had the website but used another member’s vent server. When they left the guild we did not feel right about staying on the retired members sever, and though we had many offers of others servers, we felt that to ensure continuity, purchasing a server ourselves would be the best course of action.

When we were small using member’s available alts was great for our banking needs but as we grew to 100+ members, hit our 60s and began raiding we found that we needed to consolidate the bank to one accessible account and assign an officer to oversee the banking function to allow it to run smoothly. The decision was made by myself and Mok to purchase a third account to be used solely as banks, which has worked out extremely well and helps keep bank items categorized for ease of sending and retrieving goods.

So – do you need to spend the amount we pay? No. However, if you are in it for the long run and want to have a really well organized guild, encourage communication and have a smoothly functioning guild economy, I really recommend looking into some of the above.

Realize that for many guilds to function at the level they do, there may be some real life costs.

Voice Chat . Can We Talk?

Generally considered a luxury afforded to the high end raising guilds, voice chat software should truly be a consideration by anyone considering to pay a social online game.

So what is voice chat exactly? It is software that you download to your computer that allows you to connect to a server and talk in real time to other connected to the server. It is extremely helpful in 40 man raiding where the action can be quite fast and the needs of the raid party need to change rapidly. Speaking, “George, pick up that puppy!” is much faster than trying to type it out while fighting another MOB and can mean the difference between a successful pick up and a wipe.

The two most popular voice programs are Teamspeak and Ventrillo. Each has their strong and weak points and both are widely used. The software to connect to the server is free for all, but the server will need to be hosted by someone and there is a server cost that can range from $15 – $30+ per month unless you have a very fast server that you can dedicate some space to house the server software.

So why would you need this software if you never plan on raiding? Because WOW is a social game, creating relationships is a huge part of building a strong guild. There is only so much human interjection you can get through text in a chat box. Voice can take the social interaction to the next level.

We BS a lot in our voice chat program and because of it have grown closer to one another and built stronger relationships which has lead to a stronger guild and raid group. Though not a necessity outside of raiding, we see it is a perk to our members and I cannot imagine to having the ability to sit and chat to them just to see how their day went.

As with the website, it is wise to have your voice chat set up before you begin your application/invite process to get people accustom to using it from day one.

Time… Ticking Away the Moments that Make Up the Dull Day.

The biggest consideration of all in leading a guild is time. Do you have the time to commit to working in a game? You ARE truly working to make playtime enjoyable for your members. This is truly a JOB. If you are here to be the UBAH figurehead and think that being the guild leader means you play all the time and bark at other to do the work then you will be a very lonely guild leader very soon.

Ultimately the responsibility of running the guild is yours, you chose to do it so be prepared to work for it.

Much of my time is spent working on making the game time more enjoyable for the members of my guild and ensuring our success in achieving our goals. This means that myself and the officers are spending the time helping the members key for instances, complete their quest lines to upgrade their gear and working hard with the guild to learn boss strategies in addition to the day to day operations of the guild. You need to be in the trenches with the members and officers.

If you are only showing up for the “fun” parts of guild life and leaving your officers and other members to run UBRS for the 15,000 time to key someone while you are playing another video game or an alt on another server then guild leadership is NOT for you. This is not to say that running a guild takes priority in your life but it will be taking up most of your free time.

Good officers are worth their weight x one million in gold. Be sure you surround yourself with officers who share your passion for the work involved in running the guild, allow them to be active in the guild leadership process and listen to their advice. Do not ever take advantage of your officers hard work by being an absentee guild leader.

Bottom line – you will spend many hours in the game and out working on your guild, be prepared for the time sink.

To Infinity and Beyond!!!

So you have read this little guide, it has not scared you off and you are ready to start planning your guild, GRATS. This is where my guide ends and another’s should begin. I am just here to get you thinking strategically and to help you build the foundation on which to build your guild.

There are many aspects to running a guild that I have not covered because I feel that you need to have your members involved in much of the choices and allow them some ownership in their guild:

  • Guild Ranks
  • Looting/DKP Rules
  • Raiding Rules
  • Guild Banking
  • Disciplinary Actions
  • And many, many other items!!!

My partying advice is to always hold true to your core guild values, be prepared for change as it will happen to allow growth, always ask yourself if decisions being made are beneficial to the entire guild or just a few people, do not be afraid to say no, but also do not be afraid to try new things. Above all allow yourself some playtime and have fun with your guild! After all the whole point of playing the game is to have fun.

About Me: I am the GL and responsible for the operation of the guild “Resurrection”, along with my husband and our officers, on the Skywall server, where we will be celebrating our first birthday on July 17 of this year ;) This guide is dedicated to the members of Resurrection, the greatest gathering of drunks and pervs ever know to man, the officers who give up their playtime to help run the asylum and to my co-leader Mok for patiently leading us through the end game content, being able to get 110% out of everyone and for being a loving, caring and supportive husband. For more information about Resurrection or simply to see how we have addressed many of the items I speak to in this guide please visit our site at:

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