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Hello, fellow heroes.

I'm an old player that started playing WoW just before the TBC pre-patch as a trial. I was but a wee boy, and I fell deeply in love with the game. I truly hit my stride in WoTLK and Cataclysm. I played through MoP but quit just before Legion pre-patch because I wasn't enjoying Azeroth anymore. Now with Classic on the horizon, I am so excited to go back to the Azeroth that I really love.

I have never been a guild leader, but now that I'm older, more experienced, and more intelligent, I want to start running my own guild.

My guild's mission statement is simple: Assemble a wide range of players who have never played Vanilla WoW so that we can all experience it as a fresh, new game. I intend on running a very casual guild. Though we will be attempting to do raid nights each week, we are by no means a raiding guild. My goal is to build a guild that is all about new players and safe spaces. No petty drama when people under-perform. No obligations to force players to change specs / profs / for maximum efficiency. My expectation is that, with enough members, we can help each other. We can learn from our mistakes and try our own strategies, instead of looking everything up online, we will work together to over-come challenges. I do not want to be the best guild on the realm. I want to host an open guild where the only prerequisite is that you've never played Vanilla endgame (and even if you have, you are not disqualified).

I come here today to reach out to existing guild leaders as I have a few questions.

---

What exactly are you and your officers doing behind the scenes?

What sort of tasks is a guild leader expected to complete. Likewise, what sort of tasks do you expect your officers to complete?

How much time do you commit to managing the guild each week?

Are guilds usually learning dungeons and raids before you attempt them? Is it reasonable to form a guild where studying raids online is frowned upon?

How often do you organize guild events.

Did your first guild fail? Why do you think it did?

What are some beginner mistakes I should avoid.

Why do you think you're a good leader / what do you do to be a good leader?

What's the worst experience you've had as a guild.

---

Feel free to use this thread to chit-chat with other guild leaders about whatever. I'd love to see some conversations happening here so I can learn something. Any advice you can offer would also be super appreciated.

<Casual Encounters> is a casual experience based guild. We will be recruiting players who are preferably new to Vanilla WoW so we can all experience it fresh for the first time together. No expectations for members other than friendly interactions and willingness to participate when you can.

Message me for more information!
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Drama is the death of any guild.
You have 2 options:

  • Nip it in the bud
  • Play unpaid therapist and watch your enjoyment of the game drain and burn out set in
I ran a fairly successful guild across vanilla/bc/early wotlk, I did more of the 2nd than I did of the 1st and that's the first mistake I'd correct.
Your main job as a guild leader is to be the final arbiter and keeper of the guild mission.
Most other management jobs should be delegated to people you trust, that fit the guild ethos.

So my first advice would be don't be too hesitant using /gkick :cool:
(even if the people that do not fit your guild atmosphere are connected and will take 2-3 with them)
It's better to be a little early than late.

It's a huge subject tbh and there's not one type of successful guild + guild management (it depends a lot on said mission statement)

   xzaulted Morph
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I am seconding Roadblock's advice. Somebody doesn't like your Loot Council decisions and whines about it? Drop an immediate warning on them. They continue doing it? Gkick.

If you openly state your guild's goals and methods of operation, then all of your members should know exactly what they're signing up for. They agree to submit themselves to the established rules of the guild. If they then complain about the way the guild is operating, when you are simply following the rules that were previously set out, then it is their problem, and they need to be disciplined with a firm but polite warning, followed by a gkick if the behavior continues.

Other than that, pick solid officers, give them specific responsibilities, and make sure they follow through on their responsibilities. If they aren't cutting it, have a talk with them about it. If they still aren't cutting it, demote them and bring on someone who can do the job.

If you keep your players focused on your guild's goals, take disciplinary action on them if necessary, and have solid officers who get their jobs done, you will go a long way. The rest of it is mostly just managing motivation of players, which is a bit of an art form and a lot can be said about that, but that is probably my weakest point so I will leave that for someone else to discuss.

   xzaulted
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Hey xzaulted! Interesting thread which I'd like to input on a bit. Having lead a few guilds and other player organisations in different games (as well as running the forum here) I think I'm qualified to offer an opinion - whether or not you will agree is up for debate of course.

I'll try to give a broad answer to most of your questions with some advice I have:

I don't want to make any assumptions about you - but I've seen a lot of failed organisations because their leaders often focus far too hard on the 'tasks' and 'running' of the guild. The key to being a great leader in-game is to... well, play it a lot. You want to be there giving people a helping hand levelling, you want to be in those dungeon groups, you want to be out farming there with the guys. Just PLAY and play a lot.

So many people forget this very simple and important part of leadership and then wonder why the guild falls apart. If you're not there in the muck with everyone else then you're not leading.

A lot of people fall into the trap of trying to micro-manage the guild and end up over-organising things awfully. For example designating different layers of authority, giving tasks to officers, having defined 'roles' within the guild etc. When you're growing this REALLY isn't necessary - in my opinion it's even detrimental to the growth of the guild.

What you'll find is that over organisation, delegation etc. will just repel people from staying with you. It's far better to just have a group of people who love playing with each other and for the guild to grow organically in this way. People will feel far more attached to, and will identify more, with a guild that they have actively built up the morale and contributed to its achievements themselves.

Lastly, don't set yourself goals just yet. Instead, focus on getting a cool group of people together and THEN decide. Level up to 60 together and have a blast, then you can get a feel for what everyone wants to try next. Let people's goals flow naturally as the guild progresses. There's literally no point in talking about eventually raiding or doing PvP or whatever right now - that's not important - the social aspect and connections that people make are far more important to making a community.

Don't set objectives man, just see where the adventure takes you and I promise people will love you for it and stay, no matter what you end up specialising in.

So to summarise, play a lot yourself, don't fuss with the organisation side at all, and just make sure everyone's having fun. Have fun yourself too and the rest will follow. Be a leader, not a manager.

   Jatlanti xzaulted Xaldron Sauva
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This may sound a bit weighty, but good guilds don't happen by chance, they happen by design. Managing a raid roster is like herding cats, you will need other sets of hands to help round them up. Bring in too many herders and now you're trying to manage that issue.

Leading is all about influence. Leading a guild takes a team to help with organizing and managing the raid/guild. The less you delegate, the more is on your plate and the quality of your leadership will decrease because you will become overwhelmed. The more you delegate, the less influence you wield and the more challenging it becomes to lead your guild and remain as the voice for your guild. Find a balance between delegating responsibilities and maintaining influence. Dont be the guild leader who is a figurehead and delegates every responsibility to someone else. You will no longer be the leader and you will slowly lose control. Often these guilds begin to pull themselves apart and lack direction. Dont be the tyrant that is so fearful of losing his throne that he refuses to relinquish any roles or responsibilities to anyone else. These guilds often fail to take off or stifle their own progress.

Start by selecting a few people that are capable of leading and form the guild together. Not necessarily your friends... Just because Chad is your friend, he may not be the best officer. Just because Chad is your friend does not mean that he should have an officer title when he doesn't have any specific roles or responsibilities. Officers for the sake of officership is bad leadership and it waters down your influence with no net gain.

Just like a job posting, outline your EXACT expectations of each officer role. Outline the benefits and perks and be transparent with your guild. Everyone should be aware of each officer does and their responsibilities should be meaningful. "Class officer" - what does that mean? Are they just figurehead positions that can give advice on a class if asked? Typically they can just open a class guide and read it off to a player or google their questions... Is the class officer responsible for recruiting for their class? Do they also manage DKP for their class or determine loot distribution within their class? What does the class officer do? Do you have 8 of them? Do you have someone separate managing your DKP or Loot council system? Do you then have a guild master position and general "Officer" positions. Do you have a main tank who leads raids and is the primary voice? The raid lead. The recruiting lead (responsible for acquiring new members). The PvP lead (in the PvE guild). I have seen this get as crazy as consumable leads and guild bank manager leads... Yes. A guild that I was in relinquished full control of their guild bank to someone else to manage/update on their website... The risk/reward was not worth it. He ended up quitting the game and we lost the guild bank. How many cooks are in the kitchen? These should be choices you make and roles you design LONG before you need the extra help. If 20 of your raiders are leaders, there is no leader.

Casual guilds, fun guilds, hardcore guilds, meme guilds ALL require leadership to become effective at whatever their aspirations may be. The action of leading and organizing requires influence. Keep this in mind while you mold your guild and assign roles and responsibilities. The single worst mistake I have seen in leadership is not building a raid guild around a main tank and simply recruiting for the position. The main tank position is a coveted place that NEEDS to be controlled by leadership. Allow this to go into a random recruits hands and you are relinquishing a TON of your guild control. You have just lost an incredible amount of bargaining power within your guild. One of many small mistakes that can lead to a guild unraveling at a later time. Even though you may not be planning on leading a raid guild, this is something to think about.

As for your questions I think aspiring to have a guild full of players who havent experienced the content is admirable, but wont be realistic. Youre going to get people from all walks and every guild studies the content before they attempt it. There is no way to silo your guild from the impact of outsider knowledge. The cumulative knowledge of millions of players for well over a decade will impact your guild.

   xzaulted
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teebling wrote:
1 week ago
So to summarise, play a lot yourself, don't fuss with the organisation side at all, and just make sure everyone's having fun. Have fun yourself too and the rest will follow. Be a leader, not a manager.
Thanks for the response. (And thanks for this awesome forum).

I often feel like I get conflicting messages when it comes to guild leadership. Some people say it's a job that requires heavy organization, others say it's a lot more hands-off than I realize. I feel a bit less stressed about it now.

That's really what I'm looking forward to. Meeting people during the journey to 1-60, helping players with difficult quests, forming regular dungeon groups to make it easier for my guildies, etc. I'm sure I'll meet some great folks along the way.

Cheers!

   Selexin
<Casual Encounters> is a casual experience based guild. We will be recruiting players who are preferably new to Vanilla WoW so we can all experience it fresh for the first time together. No expectations for members other than friendly interactions and willingness to participate when you can.

Message me for more information!
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xzaulted wrote:
1 week ago
Assemble a wide range of players who have never played Vanilla WoW so that we can all experience it as a fresh, new game.
Stfuppercut wrote:
1 week ago
As for your questions I think aspiring to have a guild full of players who havent experienced the content is admirable, but wont be realistic. Youre going to get people from all walks and every guild studies the content before they attempt it. There is no way to silo your guild from the impact of outsider knowledge. The cumulative knowledge of millions of players for well over a decade will impact your guild.
An anecdote :)

I was an officer for < Apex > on Nostalrius Begins, a guild that attempted something somewhat similar for the large portion of the Community of the Server that was new to Vanilla Private Servers, like I was. The GM's Mantra was something along the lines of "We want to be an ambitious Raid Team, but we want to try to emulate the challenge that original Vanilla guilds faced & figure shit out as we go." Which was a little weird, because I know the leadership had not just played on other Private Servers, but even ran their own for a while. But they wanted to give players this kind of experience and I liked the idea.

From my perspective, I can say that what @Stfuppercut states was entirely true for us. Not only because some people will research anyway, but other reasons as well. For example recruitment was so slow that eventually we had to start recruiting people who were knowledgeable about the content. For instance: we couldn't find a suitable Main Tank for a long time. Most decent tanks already played other Private Servers and it was difficult to find someone both class savvy and blind to Raid content.

When we did get the full roster together & started Molten Core Raids, I believe we did good compared to what a 2005 Guild would have done, but nevertheless hit our first brick wall with Garr & some players got impatient. Now all of a sudden it wasn't as easy as saying "but we want to figure shit out ourselves", as links to videos, guides and strategies were thrown around, contradicting what our Raid Lead/Guild Master wanted to go with (he wanted to adjust the strategy to fit the raid, whereas the impatient players wanted to replace people with more locks for more banishes and stuff like that). And there you have it: Drama. The Main Tank and his buddy (our most geared rogue at the time, I believe) left for the top tier Horde guild at the time & as you can imagine that already spelled the end of our guild.

While many players were relatively new but had the right mindset to go through with the path we had chosen, others were not. Finding 40 people willing to go through the punishment that is a Raid Night without Boss kills for the satisfaction of finally putting them down some day is hard, especially when most of the community you play with will look down on you and tell you that the content is so damn easy.

I've said this on other threads and I'll say it again here: Today, we, the players of this game are omniscient.
Finding 39 other individuals that are willing to forego the extensive knowledge about this game and take the pain for the sake of accomplishment, that is your real task. While a really fun idea and one that I also fell in love with, it will be extremely hard, if not impossible to achieve the goal that you aspire.

Now all of this being said, I don't want to discourage you, I am one of the biggest advocates of making people do whatever they want!
I'm just saying you might have bigger issues to master than you might think :)

Now for your other questions, I have never lead a guild, but I have been an officer for many a guild, so I'll give some input.
xzaulted wrote:
1 week ago
What exactly are you and your officers doing behind the scenes?

What sort of tasks is a guild leader expected to complete. Likewise, what sort of tasks do you expect your officers to complete?
Let's start at the beginning: Who are the Officers? I prefer a very pragmatic setup of:
  • Guild Master (Charismatic Vision Keeper & Owner, able to create a sense of community)
  • Raid Leader (Respectable Leader & Strategist, able to keep the raid in line)
  • Loot Master & Guild Bank (Trustworthy Player, willing to document information)
  • Class Leaders (Well-spoken and Class-Savvy, empathetic & able to mentor others)

You are expected to have a Vision, not necessarily an ambitious one, and stick to that vision and be a role model by living by that Vision.
This Vision needs to be put into a written or visual form of some kind (to make sure everyone stays reminded), this could be in any form you desire. You should also be the one organizing Guild/Officer Meetings however regularly you want them to happen, appointing or dismissing officers, have the last say on recruitment, gather information from your officers to always know whats going on in your community. Very important in my opinion: be approachable and not dismissive.

If being a guild leader is what you want to be, this is not going to trouble you, because as @Teebling said:
teebling wrote:
1 week ago
So to summarise, play a lot yourself, don't fuss with the organisation side at all, and just make sure everyone's having fun. Have fun yourself too and the rest will follow. Be a leader, not a manager.
The following are expectations that I have experienced in my time playing in almost any WoW Guild. This does not make them "right", "true" or anything, it makes them anecdotal, but factual.

Your Raid Leader is expected to have a Plan, by which I mean they know what Resources they have at their disposal (which is a joint effort by Class Leaders and Raid Leader) and - in your case, as opposed to guilds that promote existing strategies - they analyse what they see when they encounter it, then combine the two into a working strategy to beat the game.

A Loot Master and Guild Bank administrator is expected to be trustworthy and distribute Loot, as well as document who received what in what quantity and when. They also keep track on "guild tax" if that is something you do, though I don't know how many guilds still do this. This job becomes increasingly time-consuming if you are using a DKP system, but I think this is rare these days.

The Class Leaders are expected to keep tabs on their respective players gear, speccs, performance & personalities. They are expected to be able to give the correct input for Loot Distribution (If using Loot Council), negotiate (not make by themselves) decisions on who to take and who to bench (if this is an issue), help players out by educating/mentoring them in terms of speccs, rotations, boss mechanics etc, for their respective class. They are the mini-form of you and should be as approachable and empathetic towards their players as you are, if not more so.

In my opinion:
You are doing your job well if everyone knows what they are getting into when joining your guild; you are doing your job well when everyone else - especially the officers - are doing theirs; you are doing your job well if gather information pro-actively and know whats going on; you are doing your job well if everyone's goals are aligned, etc. etc. But most importantly, you are doing your job well if people are happy in your guild and having fun.

You also have out-of-game issues, like a guild Discord, Website?, maybe you guys want to plan Guild Meet-ups, etc.

xzaulted wrote:
1 week ago
How much time do you commit to managing the guild each week?
As much as it takes to do the job well. You are doing most of it already if you are online playing the game & are approachable to your members.

xzaulted wrote:
1 week ago
Are guilds usually learning dungeons and raids before you attempt them? Is it reasonable to form a guild where studying raids online is frowned upon?
Answered this at the beginning :)

xzaulted wrote:
1 week ago
How often do you organize guild events.
Depends entirely upon the event, the guild & the members. A fishing trip in-game could be as much of an event as bar-hopping in your hometown.

xzaulted wrote:
1 week ago
Did your first guild fail? Why do you think it did?
Partly answered this at the beginning :)

xzaulted wrote:
1 week ago
What are some beginner mistakes I should avoid.
Thinking a guild is just a name and a few people that play a game together. Community is more than that & a Team must be even more.

xzaulted wrote:
1 week ago
Why do you think you're a good leader / what do you do to be a good leader?
I'm a Servant Leader. I do what I do to enable others in my community. This is what I make a living with, so I'd better be decent :lol:

xzaulted wrote:
1 week ago
What's the worst experience you've had as a guild.
We have this fun casual guild that we have had ever since... 2002? It was not always a WoW guild, but a CS Clan, a WC3 Clan, so yeah, whatever we played we just took it with us (this is me and 4-5 real life friends). Recently we took it to BfA and wanted to get a 10-Man Raid together so we invited a couple of other buddies we befriended over the years. One of these buddies invited a bunch of his real life friends and they took shit much more seriously than we did.

One of them ended up simply "seizing" the role of GM for himself, giving Raid Lead Position to another and they started recruiting random people for 25-Man Mythic Raiding... I was publicly called out in Guild Chat for leveling an Alt, when I should have been running M+'s to get better gear on my "main". This was a very weird situation because I never said I had a main, I just wanted to play some WoW, man :D

But fun fact, they had no leadership skills, they thought they need a name, put players of the right classes together and just raid. No Vision, no sense of community. Luckily when they started going completely apeshit they started a different guild and left us to go about our casual ways :)

   xzaulted Stfuppercut
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Rinkusan wrote:
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Now all of this being said, I don't want to discourage you, I am one of the biggest advocates of making people do whatever they want!
I'm just saying you might have bigger issues to master than you might think :)
Thanks for the extensive write up. I really appreciate it. I've definitely got a better idea about this whole thing.

<Casual Encounters> is a casual experience based guild. We will be recruiting players who are preferably new to Vanilla WoW so we can all experience it fresh for the first time together. No expectations for members other than friendly interactions and willingness to participate when you can.

Message me for more information!
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xzaulted wrote:
1 week ago
My guild's mission statement is simple: Assemble a wide range of players who have never played Vanilla WoW so that we can all experience it as a fresh, new game. I intend on running a very casual guild. Though we will be attempting to do raid nights each week, we are by no means a raiding guild. My goal is to build a guild that is all about new players and safe spaces. No petty drama when people under-perform. No obligations to force players to change specs / profs / for maximum efficiency. My expectation is that, with enough members, we can help each other. We can learn from our mistakes and try our own strategies, instead of looking everything up online, we will work together to over-come challenges. I do not want to be the best guild on the realm. I want to host an open guild where the only prerequisite is that you've never played Vanilla endgame (and even if you have, you are not disqualified).
I wish you all the best, but from my experience you will be just a stepping stone for all players that want to get easy loot from early content and once they cannot get more from you they will just turn you down and go further, leaving you with more and more underperforming players, and you will end up explaining (and exploring for new ones) entry content all the time. It is very hard to find and keep all 40 players with the same mindset through all stages of content.

I intend on running a very casual guild
- It is just a question of what boss will be the roadblock

No petty drama when people under-perform
- This will make everyone slack if you do not make the community willing to learn and accept criticism. You cannot teach a bad person to be a good person, but if an inexperienced player wants to learn - keep him, but simply some players are bad, and you should remove them or make them social only.

No obligations to force players to change specs / profs / for maximum efficiency
On specs: You cannot raid first few phases with mages that are not frost, you cannot bring arms warriors or pvp spec rogues there either, you will end up clearing MC for days while in other guilds content will be cleared in one or two nights at start and later on in few hours or less.
On profs: You can raid without tanks that are engineers, but some content like Garr adds, BWL suppression room and AQ suppression tunnel are simply easier with Engi shield, you can raid without rest of the people being engineers, but having 20+ engineers in raid makes AQ40 a breeze. You may not need to ask all cloth users to have tailoring for their Pre-BIS chest but it will help a lot. If you want feral druid he will need to have enchanting.

Instead of looking everything up online, we will work together to over-come challenges
This is a nice idea, but in reality, you will encounter people that will use you to learn entry-level content and jump to other guilds.

   xzaulted
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