Posted tagged ‘Guild’

How I Met My Guild

August 4, 2010

For months, I’ve been thinking about writing a guild seeking guide. However, the Universal Laws of Blogging dictate that the more and longer you think about writing on a topic, the less likely you are to get around to doing it. Or maybe it’s not a Universal Law, maybe it’s just a Bossy Pally Law. Either way, I’ll probably never get around to writing an elaborate, step by step, failproof, satisfaction guaranteed or your 5 minutes back guide to guild shopping.

Besides, even though I could write a saga on how to tell good guilds from bad guilds, it would be total hypocrisy. While I did read guild website after guild website and made lists of what I was looking for, I ended up screwing it all and went with the very first guild I considered anyway.

I get teased a lot about being indecisive. Anyone who’s ever been to a restaurant with me (or worse, who’s ever had to choose a restaurant with me) has some pretty dramatic stories to share. But it’s actually the other way around: I know exactly what I want. If what I want isn’t an option, then I don’t care what I end up getting.

I love telling the story of how I met one of my best friends. I’d been in the US for a total of two days as a very exotic Canadian exchange student (while Americans are not exotic to Canadians, apparently Canadians are exotic to Americans). I ran into another girl from my home school who invited me to a party at her dorm. I had other plans (I think they involved playing WoW) but my roomate kicked me out for the night and I ended up at the dorm party. I walked into the room, looked around, picked out one guy and thought “that one“. Even though it turned out that we were both silent types who don’t speak to strangers, we somehow ended up talking. Until 4 am. 5 years later, we’re still super close.

This is us, in Zangarmarsh

Picking a guild was just like that. I was listening to a podcast. I can’t remember if it was the WoW Insider Show or The Elitists (which at the time was a WoW podcast), but Matticus was there and talking about the hard modes his guild was doing and how they raided on tight schedule. I thought to myself “I wish that was my guild“.

A few weeks later, I was in that guild.

I wouldn’t say it was impulsive. I did think long and hard about whether I wanted to leave the guild I was in at the time. I did go guild shopping, trying to find a serious raiding guild with a middle-of-the-Atlantic-ocean-pharmacy-student-friendly schedule. I browsed the recruitment forums, I browsed WoW Progress, I fine-tooth combed WoW Headhunters. I bookmarked a few interesting guilds and followed their progression for a little while.

I did everything by the book, but the more I research I did, the more I realized that I had my mind made up all along.

I get attached to guilds, so the transition was painful. The culture shock was also…shocking. I came from a guild mainly composed of professionals in their mid 30s to mid 40s. My current guild has an age range of 15 to 38 with players from all walks of life. The dirty dirty humour from my old guild (I guess older people who are married with kids are more comfortable with their sexuality or something) was replaced by the rowdier, more aggressive joking around of a younger crowd.

There were a few “OMIGOSH” moments.

The very first raid I ran with them was a ToC 10 alt run. I’d just server transferred, so I was feeling a little spooked. I was eager to get involved, though, so I jumped at the occasion.

As we were zoning in, I noticed we’d be 2-healing ToC. Until then, I’d always 3-healed ToC, but I had been wanting to try 2-healing since, like, forever. Early on Northrend Beasts, I was welcomed with this conversation:

Random person: The healing is really bad.
Me: *Thinking* Shit.
Random person: The healing sucks and it’s not the pally.
Me: *Relieved*

Sure enough the priest was a dusty alt that hadn’t been played in months. He stood around trying to find where he put his spells. So I can almost say that on my very first raid, I was forced to solo heal ToC. (Note that this was back in October, before everyone was solo healingToC.)

Another memorable first impression moment was also in ToC. I can’t remember if it was my first or my second 25 man, but it was 25 man and it was heroic. I’d never done heroic before. I was terrified during Northrend Beasts, I was terrified during Jaraxxus. And then I was standing in front of Faction Champs. We did pretty badly. We came back and did pretty badly again. After a few times of doing pretty badly, the raid leader lost his shit. Or maybe he didn’t, but compared to the soft, gentle, soothing voice of my old guild’s raid leader, this certainly sounded like someone losing their shit.

I don’t like the word petrified because its been abused too much by bad fanfiction writers, but there’s no better way to describe me at that moment. I stared at my screen with my eyes wide open wondering if my muscles would let me try to hide under my bed. I couldn’t really make out what was being said, I get confused when people use too many swear words, but I was sure it wasn’t very good.

A few of the guys protested. Tempers all around were getting heated. Then those angry guys went and destroyed those Heroic Faction Champs.

I learned quite a bit about men, motivation and mobilization that night.

Even during those first few awkward weeks, I never looked back and I never regretted my decision. It’s been, what, about 10 months? I still haven’t had any second thoughts.

A few weeks ago, my GM asked everyone, one by one, what their plans for Cataclysm were. When asked why I’d be sticking around, I thought of Zath who yells “HI RYKGA HI RYKGA HI RYKGA HI RYKGA” everytime I log onto vent. I thought of the guildie whom I shall not name who gave me a Stratholme Lily after I gave him a Paper Zeppelin Kit for Christmas. (I still carry that flower in my bags all the time.) I thought of Kimbo and his many hilarious attempts to get a reaction out of me. (I’m not a reactive person, but I do love attention.) I thought of how I’ve always felt welcome on vent, even though I rarely say anything. I thought about how there’s always one or two people noticing my absences if I’ve been critted by real life a few days in a row. Had I been asked the question today, I would have also thought about how they make room for me in raids, rustiness and outdated gear and all, on the rare nights I’m not working.

It was too long and complicated to explain so I just answered “because I’m happy here“.

The point I’m trying to get to isn’t really that my guild is more awesome. I’m happy, but there have been others who weren’t happy and who moved on. The point is more that I think, deep down inside, we all know what we want. It’s good to look around, to consider all our options, but really, sometimes we look too far. I don’t get people who want one thing, purposely go after something else then complain about it. Be honest with yourself, take things for what they really are and listen to your gut.

So I suppose my guild shopping guide could be reduced to one line: stop bullshitting yourself and go to do what you’ve secretly always want to do.

Love is in the Guild

February 14, 2010

F Yo Couch!

If you’re on Nerzhul, standing in the Dalaran bank and you see that twist of the Chapelle show line pop up in your chat, chances are someone from Conquest is nearby. I’m told that our legendary S13 was the first of our guild to make use of that line. Now it’s become more or less our rally cry.

I was wondering which topic I would choose for a February 14th post and none seemed more fitting than some guild love. Whenever I see players complain or make hopeless remarks about their guild, it makes me sad.

Whether you’re a raider or a strictly social player or somewhere in between, as soon as you play a few hours a week, you spend a significant amount of time reading green text from these people, or hear them talk. You may have never met them, but you know their sense of humor (or in some cases, their lack thereof). You know their temperament. Sometimes you know things about them you wish you didn’t. Other times you find out things about them you wish you’d known earlier.

How it all started…

I remember filling out my application. I was a little shaky, I’d never filled out a guild application before. It was around 6 server on a Sunday night. My old guild was raiding and I was on raid hiatus. I needed to think. I needed a change but didn’t know I was ready to leave my old gaming friends. I felt a little sick to my stomach, but here was an opportunity I wasn’t going to pass up.

I may only be able to raid 9 hours a week, but I still wanted to do hard modes. Here was my chance to make the most out of my limited gaming time.

Still, I don’t like having to get used to new people, in real life or in game. Many players float from one guild to another, but not me. When I join a guild, I show up with my cat, all my clothes, my furniture and the kitchen sink. It took me about 20 minutes to fill out the application. Took another hour to edit my application and cut out the unnecessary words. It makes me chuckle when guild officers complain about applicants not writing enough. I bet Conquest’s officers fell asleep scrolling down my walls of text. What can I say? I really, really like writing about myself.

The Early Days

I was nervous when I first joined. I got a teased because I wouldn’t talk on vent. I wrote a blog post about it. My new GM answered in a blog post of his own. Look familiar? I just about died on the spot yet he was absolutely right, once I stopped panicking, I felt a lot more comfortable in the guild.

Over the past few months, I got to know my guildies a little better. I discovered one was a Russian spy disguising his identity with a French accent. I discovered that another guildie was quite the Casanova as he and I patiently offered unsolicited dating advice to a third, clueless and flustered, guildie. I discovered that one of our bear tanks raids with, on her shoulders, the skin of a bear she killed with her bare hands. I discovered that rogues talk way too much (but I love them anyway. One of them even gave me a fancy shmancy new headset!). I discovered that we had a team of brothers who will take everything you say out of context and hold it against you. I discovered many other crazy, and by crazy I mean awesome, personalities among those people I raid with a few nights a week.

The good times don’t stop

Speaking of awesome, I’ve experienced quite a few awesome moments. Starting right at my very first 25 man raid with them. As we made our way to Ony, we noticed a Horde guild hanging around the stone. We started to kill them. What the heck, I thought, and joined in. We won. We celebrated. I found out afterward that the guild we killed was, at the time, a top 20 US guild.

We also have some moments of awesome on our guild forums. My personal favorite was the thread where everyone commissioned the daughter of one of our guildies (who’s also doing some artwork for my blog BTW!) to do drawings of their character killing our brave and fearless raid leader’s paladin. Our brave and fearless raid leader would probably disagree about the awesomeness of that thread.

You know you’re really at home when you find yourself trying to explain your guild’s personal dialect to outsiders. No matter how I tried to put it, I just couldn’t get my girlfriends to understand how much win is in the word “poopsock”. I don’t care what you think, I find it hilarious.

Just us, chillin' with Festergut

Here’s the Good Part!

Now, you’re probably reading this and thinking “man, I wish I could have that much awesomeness in my WoW“.

Good news! You can have that much awesomeness in your WoW! We need new people!

A lot of our members have stuff going on in their lives that’s getting in the way of their raiding, so there are quite a few openings, notably for DPS and backup healers.

We do have a lot of priests (I guess thats what happens when your main recruiter writes a popular priest blog), but the lack of Shamans, Druids and Holy Paladins needs to be remedied. Hot guys with sexy accents are especially appreciated (by me).

We raid Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday from 6 to 9 pacific time, with optional 10 man runs on Wenesdays and Sundays.

So if you want to hang out with a bunch of nutcases, and by nutcases I mean wonderful players, like yours truly, and Ryan, and Skip Cocoa, and Matticus, and Hempia (who many of you Twitterfolk probably know) and all those I described earlier, come apply on our websiiiiiiiite!!!!!

Thats http://www.nerzhulconquest.com for those of you who never click on links.

Shared Topic: Guild Retention Strategies

December 6, 2009

I’ll admit, I had a dilemma this week. I could spend my Saturday night writing my part in this week’s Shared Topic. Or I could quit stalking people on Twitter and spend my night making a pretty account so I can follow people without feeling like a total creep. It was touch and go for awhile. Then I realized that I’d probably end up with a total of 4 followers on Twitter, 3 of which will be IRL friends and the fourth a random bot which would make me feel like an internet failure. Then I also realized that I’d probably have to answer tweets and stuff and I have enough on my hands with the one time a month I log onto Facebook. So the Shared Topic it is.

The week’s topic was again a courtesy of Windsoar from Jaded Alt who pointed out that in this era of player interest recession, guild retention strategies are something to think about. Links to the other participants’ (well, right now it’s still participant’s) post(s) can be found on Blog Azeroth as linked in the above paragraph. As you may have noticed, I’m skating more than usual this week. I mean, this topic is HUGE. Plus, having recently (because a month is totally recent tyvm) left an old guild for a new one, I have guild stuff on the mind way more than I’d like and I’m sure those of you who read this blog are sick of hearing about it.

/lonely

These days, everyone and their cat has a sudden renewed interest in the offline world, which can be a pain for the rest of us who still want to do 25 man raids a few times a week. What is there to do? The annoying answer is: the same as before. You have to use the same tactics to keep players around as you did back when Wrath was shiny. The only difference now is that you have to use them. So lets break it down to the different levels of membership and my personal and biased suggestions to keep them motivated. Some of these are applicable to officers, some are applicable to anyone and some are not so serious (but still quite valid!).

(more…)

Positivity!

July 12, 2009

happy-face Not very bossy of me, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot. The topic of member recognition recently came up in guild discussions. We finally decided against establishing a formal motivational system, but I made a point to remind everyone that informal recognition can be very motivating as well.

Personally, I find that a formal system (such as a guildie of the month) is a little childish. It reminds me of when I was 9 and in Girl Guides. The other issues that were pointed out with that sort of system were that 1) by recognising one person at a time, you’re not recognising the 24 others who’ve also dedicated their time and energy to the guild, and 2) an effect opposite to desired one might occur and people who are forgotten may get resentful. Basically, formal recognition has the potential of becoming an additional oppertunity to play favorites.

So how can recognition be done informally? Many ways!
– Point out someone’s improvements and the raids where they perform better than usual
– /w someone after a raid and let them know they rock
– Thank people warmly (and possibly publically) when they do a favor for the guild
– Slide compliments into conversations
– If you’re a leader of some sort, occasionally give someone a specific task that will allow them to shine

The sum of it is, be positive. While downing a new boss and getting new lootzes is lovely, knowing that you’re appreciated by these people you’re spending several nights a week or more with has a longer lasting afterglow. Plus, you’re not limited to a certain number of members per month and anyone can recognise someone else, its not just officers pointing out who they currently like most. I think officers do have a role in setting the atmosphere and in reaching out to the quieter, overlooked members, but in the end, keeping up team spirit is a group effort and is everyone’s responsibility.

I realise that I’m a little girly and sentimental, but I think that everyone, even the most serious, grim player, smiles a little bit, deep down inside when told “good game” after a /win.

I don’t want to see your dirty laundry, but…

July 6, 2009

While no one needs to see your dirty laundry, a little conflict isn't always bad

While no one needs to see your dirty laundry, a little conflict isn't always bad

My guild does not believe in hidden forums. Anything good enough for the boards should be good enough for the world looking in – including potential applicants evaluting us.

This is rarely problematic as most of the posts are raid threads and contain nothing but lines akin to “I’ll be 5 minutes late” or “sorry I can’t make it, good luck in there!” or “here are the stats for the night”. Occasionally someone will post a funny link. Nothing embarassing, nothing incriminating.

Then, out of the blue, something less….dull…. will happen. A person will disagree with another. Or several people with several others. Discussions start, tempers get heated, the texttypers post something illegible and so on. Oh the horror!

Officer emails suddenly abound (the officers in my guild correspond by email) and the team devides itself into three groups :

Group 1 : OMG close the offending thread and bury it! Delete it if we can!

Group 2 : We can’t censor people or I really don’t care what the world sees

Group 3: What thread?

Are disagrements always bad and embarassing? I don’t think so.

Some types of conflict (read: drama) are better off hidden from the world. Heck, the guild itself doesn’t need to watch personal conflicts explode. Equally, threads containing “I worked so hard for you guys and in return you stab me in the back and now my life is ruined and you suck and I hate you all” or its modern cousin “i wrkd so hard 4 u giz n in rtrn u stab me in teh back n no my liefz rund n u sukc n i h8 u all” might not be helpful for recruitement. Just saying.

But what about something along the lines of “I’m not sure I agree with this rule for reasons X, Y and Z. I would like to propose changing it a bit to the following…”? Is that harmful? I mean, if a few people in the guild don’t like this rule, the guild must be awful and we should never apply or associate them. Obviously, in order for a group to have a good environnement, everyone must agree with all the rules all the time…. And anyone who thinks that way has yet to experience kindergarden. Or at least experience a group with a positive environnment.

As soon as you have a group of people, some will disagree on something at some time. Thats just how things work. Is that bad? Of course not! By disagreeing, you’re introducing a new perspective, you’re opening the lines of communication and you’re showing that you’re comfortable enough to take an emotional risk. Now, the frequency of disagreement, the topic of disagreement, the way the disagreement is expressed and the way the disagreement is received make all the difference.

I can’t say I shop for guilds on a daily basis. However, I do frequently have to choose to be around various groups of people, be it in a professional, acedemic or recreational setting. And yes, I like to know how often people argue, what they argue about, are they respectful and constructive in expressing their dissent and are dissents in turn accepted in a respect and constructive manner. In real life, we rarely get to see conflicts within a group until its too late. However, when browsing guild forums, we often do get that chance. And should your guild forums have the rare thread where people are constructively discussing in a grown-up, mature fashion varying points of vue on a perticular rule, I believe it may play in your advantage.

Besides, a guild composed of members and officers with good conflict resolution skills is nothing to be ashamed of!

Mount? Check! Mace? Check! Bubble? Oh yeah!

April 7, 2009

Its hard to make a paladin joke that isn’t clichéed.
Well.
Maybe its not hard, but the clichéed jokes are just THAT easy.

So lets talk about me and my pally. (I’m loving this blog thing already.) We go way back. 4 years, maybe? It was love at first click, for sure. My love for her was unrequited for some time, this is true. I don’t blame her – by their nature, paladins are slow to warm up to their players, especially back in those days. Seal-judge-seal-judge… But after two years of getting to know each other (slow levelling), a few minor arguments (corpse runs) and some “experimenting” (PUGs), magic suddenly happened. She hit max level and I took her to Kara. We’ve been inseperable ever since. As many good toons played by females, she started off as a healer. (My boyfriend at the time, however, was neither the tank nor the guild leader, but rather a hunter. Despite my clichéed paladin jokes, I’m not always a stereotype.) Once I realised I spent more time during a raid doing my nails than healing, my paladin and I had a long talk. Well, I talked. She has a pretty limited vocabulary, usually she just complains about being out of range or there not being room in her bags. Its ok, words aren’t everything, I still love her. SO BACK TO THE STORY, I talked, she was there and my guild’s raid leader stood by to mediate the whole thing. In the end, I decided to make her go prot. OMG! I didn’t think that we could get much higher, but we did, we certainly did.

Tanking’s a blast. It took me a long time to learn and I’m still learning. Its wonderful. After 4 years, two expansions, several patches and countless raids, little pally and I are still getting to know each and are growing closer every day. *sniffles and wipes tear* Our relationship is pretty adventurous, despite having settled on tanking, I mix things up by making her heal regularily and occasionally the raid leader lets her go ret. She loves melting faces, she really does. I’m afraid that with her personality (competition and theorycrafting aren’t my forté), she’ll tire of it so we save the retribution tree for special occasions.

Another way I keep the juices flowing is through a little pvp. Arena was tons of fun until I went down the protection road. Sadly, my pally and I have not played arena since. I miss it a lot, but its just not worth the extra respeccing. Dual specs are coming out soon, maybe that will be my chance! Regardless, Wintergrasp is amazing and I love the battlegrounds, whether I’m prot and guarding the flag, or holy and healing the crap out of everyone. (When I’m finished healing a battleground, I can assure you that all the crap has been healed out.)

For those who don’t know me well, it is a suprise to learn that my pally and I have an open relationship. She’s a little quieter in that respect, although I have logged on before to see that some of my baby spice and old spice is missing and that my bars have been switched around. That is ok with me. I, on the other hand, have been seeing a cute litte mage fairly regularily. She’s coming up to level 75, as well as a handful of other alts. That is ok with her.

The home I share with my paladin and my alts is a small, mature, casual raiding guild in the land of Moonrunner. Its kind of a long story how I ended up with them and they’re probably the only people who care the *slightest*. So I will save the story for a more appropriate audiance (or simply an audiance, really!). But anyway. I enjoy getting involved in my little community (I’m an officer) and I like reading about other guilds. I love watching how people interact both in the gaming world and in regular life. As if you couldn’t have guessed that by how I speak of my pally =/.

My weapon of choice is the Giant Spoon:
Giant Spoon with a cherry on top

It is extremely effective against the following:
– Other tanks who taunt off of me
– Warriors who put vigilence on me (Like I wouldn’t notice! – a giant spoon/hand of salvation macro is the best strategy to down such warriors and take their purples)
– Priests, Mages and other Paladins when tier tokens drop.
– Tanks who roll against me
– Officers who argue with me
– People who come to raids without flasks

Ok, this has been long winded enough. Laterz!


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