As an officer of a raiding guild, I want to dedicate this post to all of you individuals who have applied to any raiding guild, and I think I speak for all officers when I say your written masterpieces are the finest in this virtual world of dragon-slaying. I want to sincerely thank you for making recruiting immensely easier. I think everyone can learn a thing or two from the experts of application-writing.
You’re right, of course, about WWS/WMO parses being an unnecessary requirement. My apologies to you for contradicting your claims of being a good player by asking for one. If you say you’re good, I should just automatically assume you are. And if I question your rotation, the obvious answer is the the “right rotation,” because everyone knows this most basic information. You are the best at your class, which should totally be obvious by your super-special purples as displayed in your armory.
I also should know better than to ask for dps numbers. Telling me you’re always top five in your current guild’s raids gives me a clear, accurate number of what sort of player you are, since, of course, I raid with you, right? And answering my request for a rough estimate of how much dps you do with “good dps” is also an universally acceptable answer.
You’re clearly the superior individual, so please make us aware of this from the beginning of your application. Insult my guild members and myself when we ask you questions regarding questionable talent builds, rotations, and itemization. You’re totally right! Since when do you have to actually be a walking encyclopedia to join a raiding guild? It’s just a video game, and you, sir, really need to put us in our places and tell us how it is. So if anyone asks you questions you can’t or don’t feel like answering, you are in your right to just call the guild bad or accuse people of living in basements.
Guild applications also aren’t English papers, so please don’t bother spending any time making sure you’ve spelled words correctly. In fact, while you’re at it, completely ignore the concept of punctuation. Language is an ever-evolving thing, and I’m clearly the bigger idiot for not realizing this. You’re applying to a raiding guild, after all, not to participate in a spelling bee. Who cares if your application is a giant wall of text comprised of incoherent babble? I can armory you, so it doesn’t really matter if I can understand you, after all.
It is also perfectly acceptable to not answer every question on an application. It’s not your fault we don’t make our applications in an easily-understandable, multiple choice format. In fact, just skip around and answer any questions that don’t require thought. For extra bonus points, just go through and answer any open-ended questions with “yes.”
Please ignore all the stickied threads that explain my guild’s raiding schedule, philosophies, expectations, and rules. You’re a pretty smart guy/gal since you’ve realized I wrote them just out of mere boredom, instead of for your benefit. In fact, after skipping over all threads, please consult me or another officer in game to ask about our schedules, recruiting needs, and progression, and preferably consult me during a raid. If you want to skip this step, just go ahead and apply but answer the “can you make our raids?” question with a written shrug or a “wat time do u raid” question of your own.
I should understand when you apply to other guilds besides mine. You’re testing the water, as you say, and you’re doing the smart thing by applying to as many guilds as possible. Feel free to stretch out the application process as long as possible, that way you can sort through which you were accepted to and rank them in order of preference. And if all those top 100 ranked guilds deny you, please get back to us as soon as possible. We totally want to be your last resort.
And last of all, who honestly cares if you put a lot of effort into your application or not? This is a video game, and if we can’t realize that, we need to go outside and see some sun, clearly. You’re not applying for an impressive job in real life, you’re applying to an internet guild with internet people killing internet bosses. We take ourselves way too seriously if we expect you to display a good attitude and a willingness to do everything you can to contribute to the overall success of your team’s progress. So instead, go join a less structured guild and cry when it falls apart, and then complain you can’t get into a good raiding guild. In fact, re-apply to us; we’ll understand!
A Very Disgruntled Recruitment Officer
/edit/-> This post was intended to be a stab at something humorous, but sarcasm is sometimes misconstrued. If you are actually interested in constructive application tips, please read my guide here. Thanks!
45 Comments »
A guildie of mine, Rhinjet, the amazing feral kitty, has indulged me and has written a follow-up to my sarcastic post, but this time it’s the opposite of what mine was about. Thank you for the hilarious post, Rhinjet! Even if I still think you’re calling me a bad tank.
Things I Learned About Tanking From DPS
When requesting my dps services for your random pick-up group, please inquire more and more about my spec. I understand that 3.0 came out such a long time ago and the concept of a dps feral druid is near insanity. Honestly, I’m not interested in tanking, truly. I want to dps.
Once you hit 30k unbuffed health… you should really just get more health. Your threat per second really doesn’t matter at that point. I usually block out about a hour and a half for twenty minute dungeon runs because I need to “wait for five sunders before dpsing”.
When you pick up a mob or a boss and there’s nothing dangerous on the floor, please feel free to continue to dance around the room with them – constantly changing the boss’ perspective. I don’t want err… need to be behind the boss to shred, really. I’m just too embarrassed because I’m not expertise capped.
When tanks are chain-pulling and someone happens to die (more than likely their own fault – you shouldn’t be expected to hold all four mobs till each of them have five sunders), you should keep chain-pulling. Your healer will just need to quit that silly rez and run up to heal you. The dead should just always run back, regardless of how far you’re in the instance.
On the other hand, you should pull slow sometimes too. Please make sure that each and every mob is marked and just spam that kill order again and again. Sure, some know that the skull is the first to die but we’re just stupid dps, really. We mash one button over and over and over again. We need that constant reminder. Oh, and just after a pull and you’ve got a full rage bar, please feel free to sit around and let all that silly rage go away. We want your character nice and calm for the next pull.
When pulling the next trash mobs, please just charge right in and then, don’t move. DPS needs to worry themselves about getting behind each mob as well as making sure we aren’t pulling a patrol that’s right around the corner. And if the dps, by some miraculous act of God, happen to spot the patrol and run away in time, you stay right where you’re planted. And if the healer pulls aggro due to the heal spam that’s hitting you – well, they just need to learn to fade or shadowmeld; heck, shamans and paladin have their own shields, too!
As a tank, you can usually use all weapons and all sets of armor. You should take this as a challenge and a right. I know some think that feral/hunter staff might be best for us but what if you’re shield is red and you need a two-hander quickly to cleave? We, dps, should just understand.
When the tank does his target marking we should follow them no matter what the situation. So the next pull has a healer and it’s been labeled last in the kill order. Big deal! By pure virtue of speccing a tank, the tank knows exactly how and when everything should die; we don’t – we mash one button. So when the healing mob keeps filling up the plate wearing mob we’re hitting, we just need to dps harder!
Feel free to go afk, tab out, or just stand there while furiously responding to your paramours in whispers. Clearing the dungeon is secondary to your schedule and everyone else needs to adhere to it because nothing happens without THE TANK! You’re a tank! The most beloved and sought-after class in the game. You can find another group in an instant. All dps are whiny, pathetic twelve-year-olds staring at their female character’s back-sides, amirite?!
When doing a boss, your strategies are always best. Look – you’re the tank and the group lives or dies by your decision making. If everyone can’t see your inherent intelligence simply because you specced protection, then they are clearly bad at this game.
11 Comments »
For my long-time readers, do you recall when I lightly touched the subject of dealing with bad players in Have A Little Faith? In that post, I had said:
If I don’t belittle, kick, or replace people who aren’t meeting our standards, then what do I do? Fixing a problem isn’t always solved by brute force. You can’t will it to magically become better or remove the problem in order to find a solution. I’ve always been of a mindset that most of the best players weren’t born overnight. And in my experience, if I just watch how I handle it (no one likes being called bad, regardless of how nice and constructive you are), I’ve been able to turn flaky people and bad players into outstanding role models. And that takes time.
I got a lot of comments and e-mails from people asking me to elaborate on how I personally dealt with bad raiders. In a more indirect way, this post will hopefully answer that question and perhaps help similar guilds in similar positions. Please note that not all guilds are run the same way, which makes most of my advice a moot point. This method is simply what works for my own guild. It’s not meant to be taken as a guide, but rather an insight to the trials and tribulations I’ve experienced when it comes to dealing with bad players.
We Struggled, Too
When I first started my guild, I cared more about getting people with the right attitudes than I did experience or skill. And when I first chose my officers, I made it clear from the beginning that we would never drop our standards, regardless of how desperate we were to flesh out our raid roster. We promise to foster a mature and intelligent player-base, with an upbeat, positive raid environment. When people are bad, we don’t directly tell them they are bad, especially in front of others. We try not to single people out unless it’s a large group of people, and we never, ever insult, belittle, or yell at people.
Most of the time, admittedly, it’s difficult keeping that promise. There are times where I have to go afk on vent during raids, so I can calm down my boyfriend (who is the main raid leader), and remind him to not lose his temper. There are times where even I have to walk away from the computer before I break the rules I created, and it takes a lot to get me angry in raids. Is that exclusive to just our guild? Of course not. These are the normal, everyday issues that plague almost nearly every raiding guild. It’s how you handle it that defines your type of leadership.
Before I explain how we currently handle these problems, let me first explain to you our problems in BC so you can understand why we do things this way. We started out as a reroll guild with a special emphasis, as I mentioned earlier, on guild personality. Many times we would read through an application, find the person well written, intelligent, funny, and with a good attitude, and would insta-invite, not really ever asking raid-related questions to determine his/her attitude towards end-game. This was, inevitably, our downfall.
We eventually gathered enough people to successfully begin 25-man raids, and although the majority of our members were Karazhan/badge-geared and experienced, we zipped through the content with all the nerfs. To the inexperienced raiders with us- which was, in all honesty, the mass majority of our guild- we seemed pretty good. We were one-shotting all the bosses, AoEing the trash, and doing most of it with relative ease. When we got to t6 content, we started seeing a more apparent gap between the good and bad players. We had about 10 people who understood raiding and their respective classes, showed up reliably, and essentially carried the rest of the raiders who didn’t enchant new gear, no-showed raids, and did half the dps the top ten raiders did.
We also did an open-guild loot council, which was initially established as a means of making the guild more involved and close-knit. In 10-mans, it was a fantastic loot method, and was very successful. In 25-mans, especially with a large group of new players, both new to the guild and seriously raiding end-game? Not so much. In the end, as we encouraged people to be more involved, the least deserving players were getting the best drops over the ones who rarely got loot and deserved it the most. The good people were penalized because their “dps is already high enough, give it to someone who could use it more.” Players who upgraded their gear outside of raids via crafted or bagde gear were also penalized, because it was less of an upgrade for those in Karazhan or blue gear.
We were spiraling out of control. Many of our good players confided they didn’t like the path we were taking, and we agreed. After trying to snag control of the reigns, we realized at that point the only way to fix things was to change. At the release of Wrath, the officers discussed our issues and how we planned to fix them. We targeted our problems and knew we were going to have to either get rid of the bad players, or teach them to be good.
Give Them Motives
For a few people, they were just new to raiding, and with a little patience and instruction, we are able to turn into good players. But for many others, they were just lazy. If they didn’t want to show up, why should they? They raid when they want and how they want, and they still keep getting raid invites and loot, so why bother with silly things like adhering to raid rules and etiquette? Sure, we could kick all those people out, but when the mass majority of your roster is comprised with that type of player, it makes that a difficult decision to make. Besides, just like the new players, with a little subtle motivation and patience, you can turn a few of those people into reliable players, too!
We realized the biggest culprit of our BC problems was a lack of structure and motives. We had laid out our expectations pretty clearly, but because we didn’t have any direct penalties or benefits, people didn’t even try to adhere to them. So we instead implemented a strict ranking system where raiders got rewarded with first priority on loot, raid invites, and specific guild bank items (enchanting mats and gems, for example, when they were expensive and difficult to obtain), and you had to meet and maintain our expectations to be considered for such a rank.
Such a ranking system was our saving grace and while it didn’t happen overnight, helped us maintain a reliable, predictable raid roster and succeed in raids. But more than that, it helps us handle bad players while still being nice guys. We don’t have to worry about undeserving people getting loot and having to be passive-aggressive with invites. People don’t make it to core status if they don’t deserve to be there.
We try to be very upfront about core and casual ranks from the beginning. When we are interviewing new members, we always make it a priority to explain our rank system, and to also make it clear if he/she doesn’t meet our expectations, they won’t make it to core. That way, there are never any hurt feelings or surprises if it does happen. It’s easiest to have a recruit immediately go to casual after their trial period, as opposed to demoting an existing raider because he/she has gotten complacent or lazy. With that route, there’s almost always hurt feelings and, in rare cases, a gquit in following.
I’d like to say the most defining difference between our rank system and many of the hardcore guilds I’ve been a part of is how we handle it. When we notice somebody not performing at the expected level, we don’t just give it a raid to see if the problem fixes itself, nor do we immediately demote the member. Just like we like to pull members aside and recognize them for playing well, we always try to talk to our members and give them feedback when they aren’t, either. If it’s a skill/numbers issue, we will sit down with them and try to analyze and compare numbers to see where they’re going wrong. If it’s a class we don’t have experience with, we try to pair them up with patient people who are skillful at their respective classes.
There are always positive ways to motivate your raiders to play better. If you don’t want to actually penalize people, try to give them other goals and rewards for doing well, so the only penalty there is, is not being rewarded. Praise where praise is due. In conclusion, there was a fantastic post Rhaina made on the Guild Relations forums that had me nodding, and really states this point better than I ever could:
Before you start approaching individuals, make sure that the facts are out there.
Here’s a BC example .. .. ..
Right around the time we figured out the King Mulgar pull, we knew our next challenge was going to be mobile DPS for Gruul. We counted up the tanks and the healers, and figured out how many DPS that left us with. We looked at his health and at roughly how many growths we could heal through. We then calculated the amount of time that this left for the DPS to down him before he hit that many growths. Divide his hit points by the number of seconds to get raid DPS required. Divide raid DPS by number of DPS to get individual DPS minimum. Post this calculation along with the information that Gruul is a movement fight with DPS stoppages.
We told people that to give us a little wiggle room, we wanted every DPS to be able to produce that much individual DPS plus 10%, and to be able to do it in a movement fight. We took the raid back to Kara and told people “If you can produce that much DPS for the Aran fight, then we will go try Gruul.”
A lot of people who thought they were doing fine because they were 3rd or 4th on a 25-man DPS meter found out that they couldn’t sustain that DPS while moving and stopping and doing the other stuff they had to do in Aran.
One week later, we went back and tested again. All our DPS had improved, and most were now over the threshold. We then worked with the two people who were not to help them troubleshoot their issues, and three days later, we dropped Gruul for the first time.
It’s one thing to say “You have to do 4000 DPS in a tank and spank or we won’t let you raid.” It’s another to say Patchwerk has X health and Y enrage timer and so the entire raid must produce X/Y DPS, so since there are 17 of you, divide that number by 17 and see what you need to be doing to ensure that you are doing your share”. The latter demonstrates that you are not being arbitrary, but are looking at the actual fights and making requests that are reasonable if the raid is to down the boss.
So start there. Provide factual information about what DPS needs to do and why. Then give people a chance to hit that target, and then when you approach the ones who aren’t, you will be doing it in context, not out of nowhere.
2 Comments »
I’ll indulge myself and go with a useless personal post today, more out of sheer desperation than any other reason.
Hi guys. This past week, my guild lost two beloved healers, which really put a dent in our raiding roster. We’re in pretty high demand for a stellar healer or two (priests and paladins preferred), and since I know there are loads of amazing healers that grace the blogging community, I figured I’d post our info here in the case any of you are possibly interested. And of course, we’re always interested in monster dps- especially hunters (do these even exist?!).
Let me know if you have any specific questions about us I can answer. Thanks!
Guild: Con Brio Guild
Server Type and Population: PvE and high population (no queues); one of the original servers, and due to its population, pugging at any time of the day is considerably easier than most servers.
Officers: Ariedan, Moskau, Malnutrition, Mantren, and Syltrian
Guild Type: Hybrid Social-Raiding Guild
Progression: 25-man, we’ve completed up to Mimiron (with a 1% wipe on him last week, so he should go down tonight; 10-man, we’re working on Yogg, although our 10-mans are neither official or exclusive to raiders only.
Any relevant information for you: We’re a guild that appreciates a good personality before gear and skill (although we strive for skilled *and* fun people). Our raiding environment is generally upbeat, positive, and hilarious, while still maintaining our focus on slaying internet dragons successfully.
The vast majority of our members are in their 20’s-30’s, and regardless of all sometimes childish tastes in humor, are mature players. Recruitment turn-over and drama are both considerably less prominent than most guilds I’ve encountered (you’re lying if you claim your guild never has any ), and we’ve had a stable member base for well over a year.
It’s about that time again. Shiny new content, forums brimming with new gear and PTR updates, the masses crying out in outrage to class nerfs, and Ghostcrawler sarcastically admonishing the paladins. That’s right, new content! And that means we need you- yes, YOU!- to come fill in our holes (that’s sexual) to tackle the dwarf-infested (no offense, dwarves!) raid instance that is to be Ulduar.
Are you an individual who….
-Is a loyal guy/gal who is looking for a long-term home?
-Knows that Ur is an ancient city, not a lazy substitute for a word?
-Is a competent, competitive, and crazy (sorry, I had to keep the alliteration going!) player, who not only has a full understanding of his/her class, but also keeps up with the latest changes to his/her class?
-Is an analytical player, who consistently assesses his/her performance to consistently improve?
-Is a self-starter, and doesn’t need people to hold his/her hand to get things done? Well, some of us might be convinced to do more than hold your hand; do you have pics?
-Is not only able to accept constructive criticism and learn from it, but expects it from his/her guild-mates as a stepping stone to improve?
-Is able to sarcastically and subtly mock people without them ever understanding they were just insulted? We’re a dying breed, I know.
-Has an outrageously good sense of humor?
-Is also outrageously good-looking? This is important, especially if you’re a man.
-Is comfortable with his/her sexuality? Is comfortable with our sexuality?
-Is a furry or Asian, or a furry Asian. Look, I don’t make the rules around here, so don’t ask me; we have some weirdos here.
Are you interested in a guild that…
-Recruits intelligently? We don’t recruit for bench spots, and personality is as important a factor as is skill/experience!
-Has a diverse and interesting group of people, real people you can actually get to know, instead of voices and pixels?
-Is able to convey things in fully coherent English?
-Is able to have fun during raids? We joke, make fun of each other, have karaoke, have full conversations in vent text-to-speech bindings, and still get bosses down effortlessly. We know how to have fun, but we also focus when it counts.
-Has girls? Which contradicts the rule of there being no girls on the internet, but balances out because they know their place is to make sandwiches.
-Has a name that’s supposed to be all deep, but has somehow been interpreted as Con Bro? That’s right, join us, and you too can bro out with us. We might even call you the next day.
Recruitment is now open for all classes and roles except full-time tanks, which a special emphasis on analytical and skilled healers! We're looking to fill in a few holes with exceptional players in preparation for hard-modes. If you're a solid player and think you'd be a good personality fit for us, please don't hesitate to apply!
We're a friendly, selfless, fun, goofy, and downright dirty-minded bunch, whose ultimate goal is to balance a guild appealing to both social and progression-minded folks of the game. We have an exceptionally lengthy application/interview process, which helps ensure all members recruited fit our ideals and personalities in the guild. We created this guild after being fed up with our past guilds looking at all members as only a raid spot filled, and the members looking at one another as raid loot/slot competition. We strive to create a guild of individuals that play for one another, not the purples, and a guild that feels more like a group of close friends experiencing content together rather than serious job-like raiding. And as such, we've established a very strong foundation. We're a unique guild with a unique philosophy, and people love it. They play for us, not for themselves, so when the going gets tough, we still remain strong.
We raid three nights a week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9pm to 12am PST (which is 10-1 server time). That's nine hours a week, and you're only expected to make two out of the three the raids. We have the mentality that if everyone carries his or her own weight, you don't need to raid five, six days a week. Don't waste time, have a fun time doing it.
[ ] Yes [ ] No
Apply today, and get a free copy of our best-selling bromance novel, Blow My Boat.
16 Comments »
When requesting my tanking services for your random pick-up group, please inquire about all of my stats. You may not realize this, but you need 30k unbuffed health and the heroic Yogg-Saron achievement in order to successfully complete heroic Azjol-Nerub. It’s science!
The higher dps you do, the less you should worry about your threat. When you finally hit the 5-7k dps range, just go ahead and uninstall Omen. If you pull aggro, complain it’s not your fault you’re the more solid player.
Always stand in front of the mob. It’s a little known fact that hugging the tank makes your dps higher. And if those mean nay-sayers retort about a cleave, just cheerfully pip up with, “But I’m no warrior!”
If a tank is chain-pulling, he is clearly a jerk that doesn’t realize you need a full mana bar for every trash pull. In this situation, you should demand that he stop after every pull. For special emphasis, you should create a yell macro. If he doesn’t slow down any, as a last resort, just call him terrible.
On the other hand, if you feel the tank is pulling too slow, you are fully entitled to pull for him. Don’t worry, he’ll thank you for helping him out. All he has to do is press some tanky buttons when a few groups start chaotically frolicking towards your healer, so it’s not a big deal, right?
If a tank says “LOS pull,” it’s actually a foreign acronym that translates roughly to mean “dps pull.” And remember, you’re doing the tank a favor by dpsing that caster that’s shooting shadowbolts around the corner, so if the tank yells at you, tell him he needs to learn to play.
If you see a pack of mobs patrolling nearby, you should hurry up and pull it! Hurry, now! Go go, it might get away for good!
AoE is more effective if you begin before the tank can ever fully hit all the mobs. After all, tanks have the easiest jobs; all they have to do is hit one button and they have eternal aggro on all mobs immediately. And if they lose aggro, well then, call them bad.
If the tank asks if you’re ready to pull the boss, tell them you are, even if you aren’t really. Be sure to wait until he pops his cooldowns in preparation to pull before screeching he has to wait for your mana. Again: science!
If a tanking weapon or stamina item drops, you’re allowed to roll need on it for PvP. Tanks need to quit being selfish twats and realize the game doesn’t evolve around them. Besides, PvE players are all scrubs, so you deserve it more, anyhow!
If the tank marks skull, point and laugh at him. Make it clear you are mocking him because focus-fire is never, ever needed these days, as AoE is king. If your tank tries to explain some nonsense about healing and special abilities, just ignore him and AoE anyhow.
Feel free to go afk, tab out, or just stand there while furiously responding to your paramours in whispers. This is just a game, after all. Who does the tank think he is, telling you he’ll kick you if you don’t dps? I mean, first he tells you you’re dpsing too hard and pulling aggro, and now he’s telling you to start dps? All tanks are whiny little prima donnas, seriously.
Link the dps meters consistently. Preferably after every trash pull. You need everyone to know you’re carrying this group, fo real.
When doing a boss, your strategies are always best. Even if the rest of the group does it the tank’s way, yours is clearly better. Argue until they realize you’re smarter.
Disclaimer: this post is in no way sarcastic. That was also sarcasm.
46 Comments »
In some raiding guilds, gkicks are a lot more frequent and expected. Those kicks aren’t really difficult to do, as people know their performance is consistently being judged and analyzed, and if it doesn’t meet the officers’ expectations, they will be replaced. But what about the gkicks due to personality conflicts? What about the people who have been in the guild for a long time?
In my opinion, these are the hardest guild removals, especially since you don’t have hard facts and concrete evidence like you would with WMO parses and recount numbers if someone is being kicked solely based off raid performance. People might realize they’re playing horribly because it’s easier to compare themselves with others’ performance. However, few people ever realize they’re rubbing others the wrong way, have a bad attitude, and/or just don’t fit in with your guild, because there’s no real easy way to see these things without being an outsider. And since they don’t know, explaining said issues is always an unpleasant surprise for them.
Somebody’s Gotta Do It
I’m a pretty nice person. I make friends easily, and generally speaking, I’m the more approachable officer of our bunch. If a certain person is playing horribly or is acting sulky, I’m usually the officer that gets to have a nice, casual chat with him, because if anyone else did it, it would result in drama. I lead by friendship, and the unique relationships I have with my members are what make my leadership a success. But there are downsides to this as well.
I don’t like removing people from my guild. Blame my gender, blame my age, but I feel it’s the worst aspect of guild leadership. Unfortunately, someone has to do it, and that someone became me when I elected to help lead this guild. I have a tendency to always try to imagine how others might feel or perceive my actions, and I doubt being kicked from a guild is something anyone likes. Regardless of whether or not the individual’s actions have justified the guild removal -even if I dislike the person- I always have a heavy reluctance when it comes to asking someone to leave.
If I feel so strongly about kicking people I dislike, imagine my personal distaste for kicking friends. And, considering I lead by friendship, I’m good friends with most people in the guild. When I got into this position, I knew I would have to make many sacrifices in order to always put the guild first. But nothing weighs heavier on my heart than having to put on my “officer hat” and asking a friend to leave the guild. Nothing hurts more than knowing that friend feels betrayed, and regardless of how close we had been, I’ll never receive a friendly inquiry from him again.
I’ve been in this situation many times, and as much as I hate it, I will do the right thing every time it happens. Nobody likes removing people, especially friends, but it’s something you’re going to have to face if you want a stable guild. Leadership isn’t always what it seems from the outside. There’s a lot of dirty work you’ve got to have the stomach to handle. You won’t always be the glorious, fearless leader that represents your outstanding group. You will be seen as the bad guy more often than not, and if you can’t take that, this isn’t the job for you. In the end, it’s worth it for me. It’s the bigger picture you’ve got to look at, folks, and that bigger picture is what motivates me to keep on truckin’, even when I’m emotionally crushed from doing said dirty work.
The Bigger Picture
You have a guild to run. There are so many different roles you have to play, so many jobs you’re required perform. One of the biggest and most underperformed role is managing personalities. Everybody is different. Duh, that’s obvious. But what isn’t as obvious is that due to everyone’s differences, there will always, always, always be people that don’t mesh well with certain others. Sometimes it’s as easy as knowing the quickest way to happily quiet the loud, obnoxious guy in vent, which satisfies both him and the people he bothers. Sometimes, though, there’s no easy solution.
I had a recent situation in my guild where there wasn’t an easy solution. The individual was good friends with many people in the guild, including myself. But at the same time, he had twice as many people dislike him. I tried privately talking to him about the issues, but in the end, the only way to fix it would be for him to change himself. It got to the point where he was ruining people’s enjoyment of the game. They were reluctant to log on for raids, they avoided guild chat and vent when he was online, and they sat out of off-night activities when he was involved. I finally realized with an alarming clarity, that if I didn’t remove him, I would end up losing more than just him.
In this situation, you need to come to the realization that you want to have as few causalities as possible. It’s unpleasant removing a good player and friend to the guild, but keeping him/her at the cost of many more is not worth the price. You always need to look at the bigger picture and do what’s best for the guild, not the individual. Yes, his feelings might be hurt, and yes, you might lose his friendship. When you sign up to run a guild, though, you are officer first, friend second.
The Actual Kick
Once you’ve realized there’s a problem, it’s imperative you act swiftly. Don’t grow soft; your guild is depending on you. How you act is entirely dependent on you and the situation. Sometimes, the solution is as easy as a blunt talk to the person and some work on his/her end, and a kick isn’t required. But you need to fully assess the situation, considering different actions and the potential results of said actions. Take the route that is the least bumpy for your guild.
If you’ve decided to remove the person, consider how to approach him/her. Make sure all or most of your fellow officers are present and agree with your decision (hopefully, you all discuss such issues and decisions together!), to help present an official, united appearance and lend credibility to your reasoning. If you often use ventrilo as a guild, do it over vent in a private channel; it’s quicker, more personal, and more importantly, saves you the trouble of screenshots that reflect poorly on your guild posted at inopportune times.
Consider too the personality and attitude of the person, and be ready for any reaction. Everybody responds differently to the “gkick talk,” but nobody ever responds happily. Some people get sad and quiet, whispering a rushed, “Thank you, may I leave?” lest we find out they were crying the entire time. Some people get hurt and angry, and make demands and accusations regarding our capability of leading a guild. Nobody likes to be rejected, so try to be understanding and imagine how you’d feel in their position. If they get angry, yell, or insult, don’t fall prey to their bait. Keep it official, and if it gets nasty, wrap it up immediately.
The Day After Drama
It’s inevitable. Where there’s a kick, drama will soon follow. You need to make sure you smother this drama as quickly as possible, before it evolves into a nasty wildfire.
- If people ask why the person quit/was removed, put on your “officer hat.” Be as straightforward and unopinionated as possible, and give broad, open-ended answers.
- If the person posts on the forums about it, don’t respond. Instruct the guild to not respond. Don’t fall for troll bait.
- If the person starts whispering people to start trouble, advise people to ignore the pleas for attention.
- Under any circumstance, do not insult the person in front of others. Even if the person was disliked by everyone, it’s disrespectful and makes you look bad. Don’t be so petty.
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First of all, I’d like to give a big thank to to Nippy13 for creating my lovely banner art. You can see and commission his art here
And second of all, to my friends and readers, thank you for being so patient with me this past month. My unanticipated hiatus from the blogging world was due to a few reasons. The first, which I explained previously, was due to a rather busy and overwhelming real life. I only have one more work-related class, and then things should even out, so worry not: Wordy Warrior is back!
The second reason was more or less related to my lack of motivation to write. Which is funny that I say that, since when I started, I had ample ideas overflowing, to the point where I was jotting down passing ideas during my breaks at work. I think the biggest cause was that I had cornered myself into writing strictly leadership-based posts, when I had created this blog to be an outlet for my opinions. In the end, I was writing what I thought people wanted to see, instead of writing for myself. So my goal is to strike a balance between the serious, constructive posts, and the silly, worthless, sarcastic posts I’ve been suppressing from the beginning.
On a final note, I regrettably must tell you that while I promise to remain active, I can’t promise to adhere to my previous schedule of updating daily. My goal is to do an update at least twice a week, but between a full-time job and actually playing World of Warcraft, updating more than twice a week is a little unrealistic. With that said, thanks again, and expect a new post within a day or so.
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I just wanted to give everyone a quick update and a big apology for my lack of posts lately. Real life has been busy and stressful, and I’m learning new games at work (I’m a dealer,) which makes for 12-hour work days. I have only enough spare time to spend running my guild, instead of writing about my trials and tribulations in said guild.
The good news: I’m getting a kitten next week, and it’s been about five years since I’ve had a cat so I’m ridiculously excited. If any of you have any suggestions for a name, I’m all ears. Appearance-wise, he’s six-weeks-old, long-haired, and a sort of darker tabby with a few white spots here and there. His face is much rounder and chubbier than his litter-mates, so he looks like a cherubic little fluff ball. Pictures will be available upon request once I have ‘em!
I suppose that’s it on my end. I’ll try to post at least once a week, but it won’t be for another month or two when I’ll be able to maintain the update schedule I initially started out doing. In the meantime, keep a lookout for a new layout and domain. Coming soon!
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I’ve touched the subjects of both applying and trial periods for people looking for new guilds, and there are plenty of outside guides written on how to recruit in general. Rarely do people mention how to evaluate a trial and to make him/her feel comfortable in your guild, though, and that’s something I feel is just as important as recruiting and applying efficiently.
Every Sword Has Two Edges
The biggest thing that bothers me with a lot of raiding guilds is their self-righteous attitude when recruiting. They act like applying to their guild is an honor, and being accepted is an even bigger honor. “You’re applying to us, not we to you!,” they’ll say, and then add, “And we don’t owe you anything.” While it’s very true that the recruit is applying to your guild, and you’re busy judging to see whether or not he* will pass the trial, he’s assessing the guild just as meticulously. He’s watching how you handle loot, issue raid invites, discipline people for mistakes, and how well he fits in. He wants to know this guild is for him just as much as you want to know if he’s for your guild. Officers never seem to remember that it’s just as important to make sure he’s happy. Treat him with respect, answer his questions, and don’t make him feel like he’s wasting your time when he asks you questions, simply because he’s a recruit. Remember, without recruits, your guild would never be successful.
In the end, treating new members with respect and making them feel important right from the beginning is also good for your guild’s growth. A lot of the members of my guild are with us today because how at home they felt initially, and it definitely helps contribute to the overall feel of our guild.
Make Him Feel Welcome
Joining a new guild is scary, especially if you transferred servers. You don’t know a single person, you don’t know how things are done, and you don’t understand all the nicknames/inside jokes that are unique to every guild. What’s worse is when you join a new guild it feels like people are ignoring you, as if you cease to be a person until your trial period is done. Believe me, I’ve been there, and it’s an unpleasant feeling.
Instead of doing all the work yourself, take initiative and encourage people to make him feel at home. When he first joins the guild, be sure to welcome him in guild chat; people are sure to follow suit. If half the guild is chatting in vent, invite him to join. He might feel like he’s intruding or annoying if he joined on his own volition. He also might be a little shy and not talk at first, but if it looks like the guild is making an effort to get to know him, then he’ll warm up pretty quickly.
Run Activities Outside Raids
Heroics, 10-mans, alts, old world content, PvP, achievements… there are so many things you can do. When you’re organizing these things, be sure to ask him if he wants to join, and make sure to get everyone on vent. It’s good to see how he interacts with other members outside of raids because:
- He’ll be less nervous and under pressure than he’ll most likely be in raids, so he’ll probably actually play better. Do you play your best when you know everyone is waiting for your mistakes and watching your every move? I know I don’t.
- He’ll warm up a bit because he’ll feel like he’s being included.
- You probably don’t get to see how he fits in with other raiders during raids because that’s generally a time of focus. Running off night activities gives you a chance to really assess if he meshes with your other members.
Does he show up on time, late, or early? Is he at the summoning stone, or is he always begging to be summoned? Is he fully repaired or is he the guy crying for an early repair mammoth? Does he take afk’s during trash? Does he need to be told to buff (if applicable), or does he take initiative and does it without being told? Does he come prepared with consumables, and does he need to be told to use them? All these little things really make a difference when I’m assessing a new member. We’re too busy handling other things to babysit people. If he needs to be told to do these things, privately approach him after the raid and explain it’s required.
How does he play? Does he die to everything? Do you suspect he’s a tunnel vision player? Is his dps comparable to the others of his same class, and if not, is it a gear difference? If you know little about his class/spec/role, be sure to make sure you’ve assigned another officer or someone who understands the role to watch him. Be sure to look at recount during the raids if you have any questions about what abilities he’s prioritizing to see if his rotation is what it should be. If your guild uses WWS/WMO, be sure to look at his play in depth after the raids.
How does he take instructions? Does he understand the first time, or do you have to repeat yourself? Is he a quick learner for bosses he’s never done before? Does he need to be told when he makes a mistake, or does he learn from it the first time? To me, this is one of the most important things in a new raider. Gear can be obtained, and if it’s a matter of numbers, you can teach him to press buttons better; but you can’t teach someone to learn faster.
Make a list of questions and concerns for him. It’s very important that you explain your concerns and give him constructive feedback. He probably wants feedback of some sort, but it’s also a good test to see how he responds to your criticism. Watch him the next raid to see if he’s made any improvement, and if he hasn’t, make note of it.
Above all, though, communication is the most important part of the trial period, for both sides. If the officers don’t communicate with the applicant, then he’ll never know what he’s doing wrong. In a perfect world, people fix their own mistakes. The reality is, though, that things don’t get better on their own. There have been plenty of times where the officers in my guild and I groaned and put off talking to an applicant, instead hoping he would magically improve over time. If you don’t tell people when they need to improve, then you’re really being unfair when you take disciplinary action (or worse, telling the applicant he didn’t pass his trial) for not playing well. From his perspective, he may think he’s playing fine because no one’s given him any sort of feedback, and then out of nowhere, he’s being told he’s not meeting your expectations. What expectations? If you didn’t lay any out, how does he know to meet them? Communicate, people.
Give Him Time!
I’ll admit, some of the best raiders and funnest personalities within my guild were people we almost judged too early. It’s called a trial period for a reason, so don’t make your final judgment within two days or even a week. Some people really just take a while to feel comfortable and open up, and some people also don’t play their best when they know they’re being judged.
*He/she/whatever! There was no way I was going to put that every time I needed to use a pronoun, and I’m too grammatically anal to be lazy and say “they.”
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I knew it was a controversial topic, but I didn’t think the way I worded things would receive that much negative attention. I was wrong.
The comments on the thread have been getting out of hand. I woke up this afternoon to find a few comments from people that would clearly erupt into an argument if I left them.
For justification, the post was supposed to be constructive tips for several female officers I either actually know struggling or for all the people who have posted threads on this subject in the guild relations forum. I understand it was poorly written and most of the tips were generic tips that weren’t necessarily gender specific, but they were, in my opinion, the main reasons I’ve seen female officers struggle.
With that said, please play nice. Constructive feedback is nice, but comments like:
“Personally, I have been under female guild leadership for most of my life, and I am sick of woman slowing down raids.”
“I am also sick of ‘girl talk’ in vent, sluggish raids because of poor direction and leadership from woman, and most of all I hate the fan-fic writing nature of woman. They will turn ANY server into an RP server because they are so emotionally tuned and connected to every little thing.”
“PS to woman everywhere. (Talk less – Play More)”
Are bound to offend people and start trouble. Opinions are one thing, but try not to set my blog afire while I’m away at work, okay?
In other news, working on a few drafts.. not sure which will end up being published first. Maybe I can play topic roulette with ‘em? Or, I could always do a silly post. Haven’t had one of those in a while.
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