Matticus reached out to a handful of his GMing contacts. We all provided some commentary on how best to start a guild, or at least our number 1 thing to do. Individually we all have differing views on what is tops on the list, but collectively one can get a very well rounded list of what to look for when it comes to starting your own cat-herding project.
My full commentary is as follows….
So, you want to start your own guild?
RUN AWAY! RUN FAR AWAY! Hehe. Ok, kidding aside (for now). Starting your own guild is daunting. It’s not something to venture into lightly to be sure, but can be an extremely rewarding venture within the game. You will get no loot, no achievement points, and much like being a Community Manager for certain MMOs you will face harsh criticism and vitriol far more than you will receive accolades and praise. You have plenty of things on your plate to start, some trivial some not. Guild name – check. Guild tabard – check. You can think those ones are trivial, but you would be amazed how many times I have had to change a tabard because everyone is a professional designer and artist.
What’s the most important consideration? Well, in my opinion – it’s the WHO of the guild, from GM to Social. You may be starting the guild, but that does not mean you will be the best GM. A GM should always be fair and open minded. The GM must be objective to situations as best as they are able and remain calm and even tempered. If you are prone to lash out or quick to rage, don’t be the GM. What about officers…gone are the 40 man raiding days of 10-15 officers all friends and buddies with little or no actual “officing” to do. Any guild should not need more than 1 officer per 5-8 players. Example: a 20 – 25 player roster (which should amount to 80-100 characters) should have no more than 3-5 officers). Be sure to pick the right person for the right job, you’re in game or RL friends may not be best fit. And because someone is a nice person or great player doesn’t mean they are necessarily a good fit. A great player could have a condescending tone and attitude, not a good fit for an officer whose tone can easily be misconstrued. A friendly sub-par player with the awesome personality may not have enough clout to provide the right constructive criticism.
In short, it’s never easy to pick the leadership core, but it is the first and in my call the most important step.
Matt used the center portion, which is the meat and potatoes point. Choose the right people. It doesn’t matter that they aren’t your best friend, what matters is they are the best for the job. Personality counts, but so does reputation, knowledge, skill, ability, etc.
I have to say this hit home for me with my officer core in CR. I had 4 officers, 1 is a close in-game friend, 1 is a perfect complimentary player who would do their best to remind me of the role/responsibility as GM and keep me honest, the other 2 were not really friends – it was complicated. They were 2 people I raided alongside for a while now, and have had my share of disagreements with both of them. We differed in thought process of what an officer should and should not do, and what kind of guild we were to be. In the end, I could not continue to lead where half of my officer core did not respect or agree with me.
That is really an important step for you to consider and get right from the start!!!