Being a guild leader is no easy task. It is often more demanding, more trying than you thought it would be. It will frequently make you question why “common sense” is so named, because it will seem that “common sense” is, in fact, incredibly rare.
You will spend much of your time either talking to people through voice chat, chatting in-game with your guild members about various issues or sending them messages through your guild’s forums. Your time actually spent playing the game will likely drop substantially as you will find yourself in a constant state of having to do something guild-related.
Over the more than seven years that I actively played WoW, I found myself in the guild master position on three separate occasions.
The first time was an unmitigated disaster. The GM of the guild I was in decided to leave the guild to form another guild with his in-game girlfriend, since the officers of our guild had unanimously forbidden this drama-causing person to return after she had /gquit in a huff… for the third time. With no discussion, the GM kicked out all of his alts and foisted the title on me before /gquitting.
My time as GM lasted about three months, mostly because I didn’t want to be GM in the first place. It was a difficult position to be in, yes, but it was really the mismanagement of the guild that did us in. Frankly, I didn’t know what I was doing. None of the other officers did, either. We were plagued with in-fighting while dealing with trying times in terms of raiding and recruitment. We were drifting without a solid focus or plan. Eventually, guild leadership went to the officer who was, arguably, the most knowledgeable player in the officer group. Unfortunately, he was also the player who was the least concerned with how his decisions affected other people. There was a mass exodus and, shortly before Burning Crusade launched, the guild was disbanded.
It was the disintegration of this guild, complete with my own blunders and miscalculations, that really got me thinking. Before long, I started wondering what I could have done better. Would the guild have survived if I’d done something differently? Could I have reined everyone in and ultimately succeeded?
As difficult as that time was for me and the guild, it was a great learning experience and I would carry those lessons over to the other instances in which I was a guild master, both much more successful than my initial foray into leadership.
Being a guild leader is an incredibly daunting task that will change your in-game life forever. Are you sure you’re up for the challenge?
Awesome! While leading a guild is one of the most difficult things you can do in the World of Warcraft and should come with a lifetime supply of Tylenol, it is also one of the most rewarding experiences you can possibly have. To help cut down on the headaches, in every column, I will endeavour to give you a specific task with the goal of somehow benefitting your guild. While you might not need to do each of them, as perhaps you’ve already done so, they’ll be there just in case you need a practical task that will aim to improve things in your guild.
Today’s task is to think up some fun, amusing and interesting ranks for your guild. Don’t be content with “Initiate”, “Member” and “Veteran”! Branch out and be creative. Also think carefully (and communicate with the rest of your leadership team) about what it’ll take for someone to hit those new ranks and what privileges those ranks come with! We’ll go over rank-based stuff in a future column, but this ought to get you started off right.
On that note, get ready for a twice-weekly column from me about navigating the challenges of running a guild. I’m really looking forward to helping you through it, whether you’re a brand-new guild master or have been in the position since Day 1 of WoW.