Monday, February 2, 2009

The Guild Guide: Introduction

Alright, I have been debating on doing a series about guild structure and maintenance for some time. I honestly was going to ignore the topic because it is so subjective, but then I started thinking about it a little more and decided that there is some good information that I can pass on as someone who created a guild and then had to figure out what the hell I was suppose to do with the guild. So for the next few days I am going to cover a variety of topics from simple structure to how to motivate people to achieve a common goal for the guild. There is a lot of information and I would encourage anyone who has ever had a question about why a decision was or was not made to read this series. Perhaps you will gain some insight into the thought processes that guild leadership has to go through.

I do want to give my background and the information for the founding of my guild as an introduction of sorts. It has been a long couple of years to be honest. I started playing World of Warcraft, a short time before Burning Crusade came out. I had a lot of experience from EQ and FF MMORPG series. At the time that I started playing I was working for a large financial company in a group that dealt with individuals who earned $100,000 per year, or better known as the Mass Affluent segment of the financial industry. At the time I was just a common customer service associate that dealt with a wide array of issues and concerns. I had made friends with a couple of guys who every day came in to work laughing about a game they all played. I would sit there and listen and laugh some with them, but tried my hardest to avoid jumping back into playing another online game. Well, time wore me down and I bought into the game and loved every second of it.

My coworkers/friends got me into their guild, which at the time was a decent sized guild that was pretty active. I leveled my Paladin (the first character on their server) and was enjoying life in the game. Well, as I started to progress into the mid forties, I had recruited other people at work to play the game. We had actually become quite large subgroup in the guild and we often would joke about creating a guild for our alts where we could laugh about things from work and more personal stuff that the other guild members might not get. Well, I took it on myself to get the guild charter and establish the guild. It was a great little place to go and laugh and talk.

I honestly do not know the time frame of when the guild was established, but I would say that it has been around for about two years now. At any rate, one day I logged onto the main guild and noticed that there were a lot of new members. That particular guild had merged with another guild in hopes of growing numbers to run the content from Burning Crusade, at least I guess this as there was no real communication about this to me (maybe to other more active members). A short while later there was yet another merger. This one seemed to be a little rough and all members who did not have a certain level were kicked from the guild. My Paladin was high enough to where I was left but several of my friends had been kicked and a lot of my alts. I got together with the core of the players and we decided to just move our mains into the "joke" guild until we decided what to do.

Well, to be honest we just decided to stay in Mass Affluent Slayers and make the most of the guild. During this time we recruited a couple people here and there. It was mostly people we knew or had ran content with for a long time. We probably had maybe ten or twelve people who were on and off during that time frame. A little over a year ago my wife decided she wanted to play because she found it interesting. I hesitantly got her an account and she created herself a Paladin as well. She was a regular recruiter. She brought in several great members who in turn brought in several great members. It was during this time frame that we saw a lot of growth. We had people who transfered characters from other servers to our server just to play with their friends because they enjoyed the guild as a whole.

This of course is a good situation but also put me in a great state of not having the first clue of what to do with this guild that started as a joke, but was now becoming something of a serious guild. We had members who were well geared, knew the content, had experience in both PVP and PVE, and we had a solid group of people.

What the hell had I created?

And this is where the series will kick off at. See everyone tomorrow!

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