The Guild Leader Maxim Series

Copied from the original posted by Vuelhering

Over the course of the long time I’ve been posting on the Guild Relations forum, I’ve found the answers to most questions and problems fall into a small subset. I’ve decided to post this series (one per thread) to allow discussion on that single topic.

Call it a FAQ, but much of this is my own opinion, so read it as such.

Guild Leader Maxim #1: Never try to please everyone.

This is the first, biggest mistake any new guild leader of a growing guild can make. (Small, family guilds are generally immune from this.) Once a guild reaches a certain mass, it is inevitable that differences will arise in areas such as guild direction, guild policies, personality issues, and so on.

The way you solve this potential problem is to gradually, but intentionally, determine the answers before the questions about it become an issue.

For instance, the GL will eventually be faced with many different questions. He should at least consider how he’ll answer them.

How will recruiting happen and which ranks may invite?
How big do you want the guild to be eventually?
Will you have a application form? What kind of questions on it?
How can policies get changed? Who will have input?
Why will someone want to join your guild, anyway?
Will you allow the officers to kick, or only to demote to a
“time out” rank and you’ll decide whether to kick them later?
Will you raid? When?
How important is presence and reputation on our realm?
What kind of people will you recruit, and what is worthy of a /gkick?
How much time, money, and effort are you willing to donate to running the guild?

The Guild Leader(s) must set the direction for the guild, even if it’s only a vague idea at first, because this direction will get questioned eventually. It doesn’t have to have concrete answers before the charter is signed, but it has to happen before the members start wondering about the answers.

Once you have a good idea of the answers, you will be able to truthfully tell someone “This is not the guild for you.” Don’t be afraid to say that when it’s true. But you won’t know unless you have questioned yourself first.

If you try to please everyone, it means you haven’t thought about what direction the guild should go and how it should get there. You will have members that want the guild to go in different directions. You’ll be asking for trouble, conflict, and drama. Determine who you want in your core, and work to keep them and be up-front with those that won’t fit in well.

Guild Leader Maxim #2: Raid or Die.

I cannot count the number of times I see a thread similar to
“How do I retain members?”
“Drama destroyed my guild”
“I hate poachers!”
“Should I leave my guild?”

The answer to most of these types of questions is: Raid or Die.

Here is why:
Ignoring the small minority of twink guilds, roleplayers, and extremely casual players, most people view levelling as advancing. Most people view getting better equipment as advancing. And most people view advancing as the primary goal of perpetual worlds such as WoW. The rest of this discussion is based on that assumption which I believe is true most of the time. Again, I’m not addressing RP guilds or pvp twinks or other similar special exceptions.

People generally like to see their characters become more powerful, get better loot, more gold, and see more of the world. They can purchase mounts to go faster, get into more and more dungeons (or visit old ones), run pvp battlegrounds, and so on. The more they level, the more options open for them. They can do most of this solo, too!

That is, until they hit level 70. Somewhere through level 70, they slowly run out of things to do. They’ve been through every 5-man dungeon, run every quest they’ve seen, and seen most content they can solo or PUG.

Then it starts to sink in.

They no longer gain new abilities. They have seen all the solo content, mapped every continent. Some have exhausted all the meaningful reputation gains. Some have every mount and every pet. But at some point, there is content out there that they cannot attain that they know exists, and see linked to the trade channel. They need a guild that raids, and only a very strong sense of loyalty will keep them in a guild that won’t.

Some people have stated it’s not “raid or die” but “progress or die”. I agree with this, because some guilds see progression as making awesome in-game movies, attacking capital cities, etc. But most people view progression as attaining better gear and seeing more content and new instances and new bosses. And once people have gone through Shadow Labyrinth enough times, they know they’ll never see new bosses without raiding.

Some people also see wiping while learning a new boss as a lack of progression, so make sure you’re prepared for the fights… getting a guild to raid is just the first (and hardest) step. Most people, in my experience, will tolerate several weeks of wiping, but you do need to progress or people will get frustrated. Even though it’s slightly more accurate to say “Progress or Die”, I prefer the shorter, clearer “Raid or Die”.

So, to those guilds that have several max-level characters, “Raid or Die!”

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