Friday, July 31, 2009

And So for Something Strangely Similar...

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you yet more guild leadership posts. Because you all care, right?

I've got 2 other druid/raidy posts that are done except for editing, but after reading back over them, I realized that my stress and attitude of the past few weeks is showing through, and I'm not satisfied with they way they are currently. So instead, I'm going to go back to my favorite topic lately.

My goal with this is not to drag out my guild's dirty laundry. Narrischkeit has a great group of people, many of them my close friends, and I don't believe that anyone deliberately went out of their way to cause issues for us.

However, I am hoping that by discussing what I believe to be our mistakes as of late, other guilds can take the warning and hopefully prevent a fallout such as we're currently experiencing.

Looking back now, I think I can identify the point where bad things began to happen.

We were in the middle of a 10m Malygos attempt, when a shaman made a comment about our guild leader (Fah) needing more health to reach the recommended # for the encounter. While the comment could have been worded a bit better, it was clear to most that he was intending it to be as a word of advice for Fah, and a heads up for we healers. Instead, Fah took it to be an insult directed at him, exchanged a few nasty comments, and kicked the shaman from the raid. Our raid leader invited the shaman back, Fah kicked him again, and then removed the shaman from the guild. The raid leader, who had been RL for us throughout LK raiding, gquit on the spot.

Lessons to learn:

1.Communication. If any of the main three involved had taken the time to really try and discuss this, I believe that the incident would have been resolved without anyone leaving the raid or the guild.

2.Authority. Too many cooks spoil the pot. I am a fan of only a select few people having raid assist. As a lock, I don't think that Fah needed or should have had assist at that time. Having too many people with authority over a raid leads to confusion and conflicting orders.

3.Organization. All guilds need a set of policies. If we had anything in place regarding raid control or guild removal, even if the incident had continued in the same way it did, I feel that the guild members' impressions would have been less that a fit had been thrown, and more that a decision had been rationally reached.

As we were suddenly without a raid leader, the GM (Fah) stepped up to fill those shoes. Raids were still going well, though we began to have some issues with scheduling, as he would typically only place raids on the calendar the day of, giving some not enough time to make plans to be there and resulting in attendance trouble.

I started helping out by organizing the raids for him, and then being a raid assistant. At the time, I hoped that I could help out for a short period while the officers got their stuff together and found a permanent person as a RL. Instead, I soon found myself as a new officer, and unfortunately still one of the few that was contributing in a major way to the guild.

I shortly became the main RL. Along with the typical problems someone would find in that job, I also began having trouble with various guild members, especially officers, trying to control certain parts (or all) of my raids. Instead of speaking with them, I simply assumed that was part of how this guild ran their raids, and that I needed to just deal with it.


1.Organization. Things going a bit lopsided after having a RL leave is one thing, but the officers and GM that were already in place should have stepped up and made whatever changes were needed to keep things happy and happening. A 25 man raiding structure should never fall to pieces because of the loss or absence of a single person.

2.Responsibility. I've always strongly felt that all raiders, especially officers, should have to answer for their responsibilities. Many of ours were not (and still aren't) being an officer in more than name. I believe part of that is due to them having no need for quite a while, but also in part due to the fact that most of them are close real life friends to the GM. As such, I feel that he doesn't like to assert his authority over most of the officers unless absolutely needed.

3.Communication. We should have communicated with the officers as soon as things started getting rough in raids. I should have spoken up about the trouble I was having with people in my runs. Instead, bad feelings and confusion started to spread throughout our raiders.

Summer hit, and with it, we started loosing raiders. We went from a 25 man raiding guild to a 10 man raiding guild in the space of a few short weeks. Due to some real world issues, I had to mostly leave the game for about a month. Things got worse, but a few officers and raiders got together and set up a good 10m group, and we've been smashing our way through Ulduar. Unfortunately, as most raiders want 25m runs, we've continued to lose members.

An officer meeting was called, and some things were ironed out, including various policies and roles for certain officers. Unfortunately, many of those have not been enforced, and a majority of our officer core does not seem to take their responsibilities seriously.

Things began coming to a boiling point when two of our officers decided to apply to one of the top raiding guilds on our server. They spoke with our main raid leader and myself beforehand, and were planning to speak with the GM as soon as he was available that evening. Unfortunately, a guild member that was close to both the officers and the GM called Fah to inform him of their application. He logged into Vent during the raid that evening, and started in on one of those that was likely leaving. The next morning, 5 of our core raiders, including 3 officers, had quit the guild.

1.Communication. The officers should have talked to Fah before applying, and let him know that it was likely that they would be no longer in guild soon. Fah should have controlled his temper and discussed it with them in a reasonable way.

2.Responsibility. We have a couple of officers that are working their asses off to keep this guild alive, but many more that do nothing. As we currently have 11 of officer rank or higher, that is a very large chunk of our admin group that is not currently putting forth the time or effort needed to save our guild.


Keep communication lines open and friendly between all members of the guild. Much drama can be solved or prevented by taking the time to politely talk to someone.

No matter the size of your guild, like every other organization out there, some basic policies and procedures need to be set down and enforced. It'll be unnecessary 80% of the time, but for the remaining 10%, it may save your bacon.

Authority should be respected, but not feared. The admin in your guild have the job of keeping things together and moving, and guild members should keep that in mind. However, keep in mind who is the head honcho in each situation, and listen to them above all.

Take responsibility for your role in a guild. Whether you're a normal raider, an officer, or a GM, you have a job to do, and you should do it to the best of your ability.

And finally, act as soon as you start seeing problems. Putting a problem behind your back just lets it grow quicker, and with less warning. Speak with your officers, GM, or other guild admin as soon as you start seeing trouble. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Things are still going downhill, though some of us are still fighting tooth and nail to save Narrischkeit. We'll see what happens =)

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