Monday, August 23, 2010

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

Before I can even begin to form a new guild, I need to evaluate my reasons for doing so.  I've been doing a lot of research and as a result, I've come across some very helpful advice and information regarding guilds.  I'm using the Build Your Own Guild From the Ground Up articles by Sydera from the World of Matticus blog as a main basis for my building a guild preparation.  The first part of that article asks 4 basic questions that everyone who wants to start a guild, should answer first: What kind of guild do I want to be in?  How much work can I put into it?  Do I know people who can help me?  Why do I want to be a GM?

What kind of guild do I want to be in?

The first section goes on to ask, "How much do you play? What kind of hours do you want to put in raiding? How much say do you want to have in guild decisions? What kind of attitude do you want your guild to have?"  And I'm going to add one more question, "What do I want from the guild?"

Right now I'm not playing at all because my subscription is up and I have no money to buy a game card right now.  However, if I remain unemployed, I'll have more than enough time to play once I'm able to get the game card.  More likely though is that I will at the very least be part-time employed, which means I will have to balance my game time between work, fiancee time, house time, and other things (including meals, etc.).  Realistically, I will likely spend around 2-4 hours playing the game each day.  Apart from that, I would make sure I devoted at least 1-2 hours to guild stuff, whether that be website management, posting on forums, guild meetings, dealing with guildie issues, etc.  I think this question carries into the next section, so I'm going to leave it at that for now.

The question of raiding is somewhat of a sticky issue for me.  I have a fiancee and as such I can't spend too much time raiding.  Preferably, I'd like to spend, at the most, four hours for a raid once a week.  I don't want to devote too much time to raiding for a couple of reasons.  One, like I said before, I have a fiancee and while she doesn't prohibit me from playing the game or raiding, I can tell it bothers her if I spend too much time raiding or playing and not enough time with her.  The second reason is simply that there are so many other aspects of the game that I love and actually like more than raiding.  I don't want to be in a guild that requires me to raid any amount of time.  I want the freedom to enjoy the environment, to level, to pvp every once and a while, or even just to chat with friends/guildies.

As part of a council (you'll need to read the third section to find out more about that), I would be one of a group of people making the guild decisions.  If necessary, votes could be held between the council and maybe, eventually, even between the membership.  I do want to be part of the guild decisions, not for egotistical reasons, but because I have a certain vision for the guild.  That's the whole purpose of me doing this.

The attitude I want the guild to have is a relaxed one.  WoW is a game and I've had times where this has been forgotten.  I've been pressured to raid when I didn't want to and I believe that's so wrong.  As a game, it should be fun... and frankly, fun should be the most important part of the game.  In my opinion, hardcore guilds are not fun.  I know there are people who, for them, raiding is the best and funnest part of the game.  This is not true for me.  So basically, I want a guild that's relaxed and casual.  Which leads me to my last point for this section.

What do I want from the guild?  Before I can answer this completely, I need to refer you to where I first got this question from, the blog Pugnacious Priest.  I came across this question as part of my research from their article Guild Audit - and Guild Loyalty.  I found myself agreeing with pretty much everything Pugnacious was saying.  "Maturity, experience, understanding, patience, support,  advice, fun, adaptability, companionship – Dedication." 

I do want a more mature guild.  All too often I used to find myself babysitting kids 14 and under instead of enjoying the game.  Now please understand I have nothing against young people and part of me would like to be a mentor to these adolescent players and I also appreciate the fact that there are some teenagers who are mature for their age.  Even with those things in mind, I think it would still be best to be a part of an 18+ guild.  Experience for me isn't as important for the guild in general.  Don't get me wrong, a certain amount of experienced members have an essential part of a guild and when it comes to raiding experience plays an important part as well.  All that being said, I would be perfectly fine having some less experienced members as part of the guild who the more experienced players could mentor.  As far as I'm concerned, even though I've been playing since December 2005, I still have a lot to learn about the game and would assume others do as well.   

Companionship is perhaps one of the most important things I want in a guild.  Its important to have people who have the same goals and enjoy the same things.  This is true in both real life and in the game.  And for me, having in game companions also leads to the possibility of having those people eventually becoming friends.  To me the ideal guild is like a family.  I do realize and strongly believe that real life comes first, but at the same time I also believe that just because I've met someone online instead of in person, it doesn't make them any less important.  In fact, I've met my best friends online, including my fiancee.  When I was younger I always had trouble from my biological family because they did not value the friends I had met online, they were simply referred to as "internet people," like they were lepers or something.  

How much work can I put into it?

I do realize that the amount of time I would need to put into the guild will differ from the time when it begins to the time when things like the guild charter, website, etc. are complete.  The World of Matticus mentions spending around 15 hours per week on getting a new guild established.  I believe I can accomplish this, even if I am working full time.  I've setup guilds before, writing guild charters, setting up the website, recruiting, and all the other things required to get a new guild going... and I did that by myself too.  I'm not too worried about this as a result.   

Do I know people who can help me?

I know lots of people who play WoW, yet there is only really one I know well enough that I know I could trust her as someone who could help me with a guild.  And while I may ask her to be a part of this, at the same time I know she has many other commitments and has actually said she might not even buy the new expansion.  I don't want her to feel pressured to help me out.  With that in mind, what I want to do is set up a council type leadership where I'm not the only leader.  I know guilds are like this generally already, having guild leaders and their officers to help them lead.  But that's not what I'm talking about.  I want to be a GM but not the only GM.  I want a group of five or more people who are each considered equal leaders of the guild.  I've even heard the idea of having a different person in that council be GM for a certain period of time and then switch it off to the next council member.  I think this might help with things like GM burn outs and getting bored of the same thing.  Therefore, I would have to do a search for officers for this council first before recruiting to the guild.  I would also have to build a relationship with these people and feel like I can trust them.

Why do I want to be a GM?

I have asked this question of myself many times before and always come to the same conclusion.  I have a vision for what I believe would make a great, fun guild.  It may be selfish to an extent, but I want to see the guild grow and flourish in that vision.  However, I want this for not only myself, but also for the entire guild as a whole.  I want everyone in the guild feel satisfaction for having the guild reach the potential we all believe it can reach.  I want to experience this with other people who share the same vision.

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