Friday, April 4, 2014

Guidleader chores - What does it mean to be an officer?

officer
ˈɒfɪsə
noun
a person holding a position of authority

An officer is the rank of a member within the guild that has similar privileges to the guild leader.  Officers can chat in officer chat /o which can only be seen by other officers. In general, officers are given responsibilities within the guild which can range from raid leading, managing the guild bank and finances, loot distribution, recruiting - all those crappy jobs that SOMEBODY has to do.

In Frostwolves, we have 2 ranks of officers - Alphas are the officers main toons, and betas are the alts of officers. And then of course there is me, as Pack Master (Guild Master).

It turns out that my favourite Spiderman line is actually taken from Francois-Marie Arouet aka Voltaire, the French philosopher.  Voltaire, like Victor Hugo (Les Miserables), was disturbed by the abuse of authority and power whilst the poor and deprived suffered around him.

Abuse of power to the detriment of others disturbs me. Things that unfair disturb me. People may wonder how can you do that in a video game - but believe me, there are many ways, that power can be abused within a guild.

It starts when you start to set yourself apart from the rest of the guild. For example, as officers, thinking that you are somehow better than the rest of the members of the guild.  The typical example comes from raiding.

I've heard many complaints of people saying loot distribution is unfair because loot would go to officers ahead of other raid members. Also, officers getting raid spots over other players - but there may be more than one side to that story.

Other examples are of officers and GMs helping themselves to guild bank funds - guild bank gold comes not only from the direct contributions from guild members, but is also earned through perks such as Cash Flow, and guild members running the guild dungeon money spinners.  I mean, I saw this post in forums and the thought had never occurred to me to do that for earning gold!
...Certain *cough* enterprising players are starting guilds with open invites which, ofc, with a lot of players, level to 25 in no time and once the Cash Flow perk is unlocked, start accumulating a lot of gold in the guild bank fairly quickly.
One notorious player on Stormrage has four (yes, FOUR) lvl 25 guilds, to which he contributes nothing except the dutiful emptying of the bank once cash accumulates.
Guild members get nothing. The only one that can use the guild bank for repairs is himself.
- Shadowmaid
However, I do have to admit that I have a tiny abuse of my officer power - I use the guild bank as my dumping ground adoption home for my Imperial silkworms...

And don't forget, that power (and gold) if it gets to your head, can change a person. My friend, Saya, wrote about her recent experience:
I was part of a guild I helped found with two others. A guild council with equal voices in decisions, and to share the burden of guild responsibility. It sounded great on paper, but I suppose the one thing we can never account for is what power can do to people.
As time went on, things got worse. We were soon confronted with someone who didn’t want to be texted or bothered with guild management things, yet saw fit to yell and question decisions that went ahead without him. The few conversations that did take place were about reducing his workload, not stepping up.
So yes, that's the "great power" part - abuse of power maybe /mumbles to self.  How about some great responsibilities?

In Frostwolves, being an officer has evolved from what it was when I became an officer.  There were a lot of officers back then - each person was deemed to be a responsible person and back then we also had class leaders - something we don't need anymore now.  All the class leaders were officers, and I think we had 12 officers or something like that at one point.

Now we have very few officers as people who were officers stopped playing WoW. Previous guild leaders remain officers for honorary sake, even though they haven't been online for ages.  But each current officer in Frostwolves has some sort of administrative duty that they perform - Lushnek uploads and records our World of Logs fights and does techy web stuff, Moo pays for our guild Ventrilo, Kyxyn was our raid leader (and still is for Flex) and Sev... well I told him that he has to be the guild quartermaster, so he dishes out raid food and is supposed to do flasks for people who need it. Not that many people ask - they are quite self sufficient.
Lushnek
Kyxyn

Moo
Sevrus

With the exception of Moo, whose explosive behaviour can border on hilarious at times (he really is like a tauren - quick to anger and charge, and then quick to shrug it off), and Lushnek who is quiet until he is riled up - officers are expected to be calm, rational and reasonable people. We want people to be able to ask us things without fear of retribution, and make suggestions. I've had complaints a few times about people trying to make suggestions but are not heard - the hard part is, sometimes you want to try something a few times before you make a change, because constantly changing a tactic leads to confusion, but bashing our heads against something that doesn't work. Still working on that one.

I also expect officers to help out the rest of the guild for things like Flex runs. Though I REALLY appreciate the help from everyone, I tend to put more pressure on the officers to be there, and I don't put the same pressure on our normal raiders. Fortunately, Kyxyn and I have very similar views on how to run the guild and how we want to handle our casual raiding, so it all runs very well.  Lushnek is happy to hang out and play when his arm isn't bothering him. Sev is the one who suffers from burnout more than any of us, and will come if needed but I try to let him have a rest whenever possible - we tend to only need him for the last wing, and he has no desire to do SoO on his alts.  I hear you asking why don't I pressure ask normal raiders to come? Well, the reason is that with 3 days a week of raiding already, burnout is a very real risk.  Asking someone to turn up for 3 days a week for 2 hours at a time doesn't seem like a big commitment - but add an extra day where you don't get any loot and potentially wipe on bosses that you can do easily already - are there not better things to do with your precious WoW time? But as an officer, as part of your responsibility to the guild, you need to help with running things for the casual players - and that's because that's the goal that I set for the guild.

One more thing that officers have to do is deal with is the dreaded "drama". Where you have a bunch of people, inevitably there will be drama, friction, tempers, tantrums. Putting out little fires here and there is part of what we do - calming down the angry frustrated raider, reassuring the emotional one, disciplining the people dropping the C-word or excessive F-bombs in guild chat or vent... sometimes, you wouldn't be mistaken if you thought Officer was another word for PARTY POOPER.  Sometimes though, I've just about had enough...



So really, being an officer in Frostwolves is more work than play! The only cool things we can do is invite people to the guild, set the Messages of the Day and gkick people (not that we've had to do that in a long long while!). I think it would be rather nice if we got something cool like a Tshirt or something... but then Kyxyn wouldn't be caught dead wearing anything that was gaming related... you should have seen the look on his face when I turned up in a WoW Tshirt for our guild meetup.

So do you think you're ready for this crappy responsibility?  Step right up for a promotion! :D Of course, rigorous selection criteria apply /wink


8 comments:

  1. The mage community is so proud of you Sev. Providing food to your team is a very noble thing to do! I'm sure it bring so much joy to all the mages out there to see a warlock serving food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The difference? I CHARGE for the food Shab - and I make the ... less gifted classes plead for it before generously providing their deep-fried Gnome 'noodles' with sliced Sporegar waif and a Tauren soul for flavouring.

      Delete
    2. I'm with you Shab, I have never met a more mage-like warlock than Sev!

      KyXyn

      Delete
  2. Finding officers that actually want to do work can be harder than it sounds. I remember when I first started out as GM. I promoted people who I thought would be good at it, and then got all disheartened when they didn't actually do anything. Well, duh, of course they didn't do anything! I never -gave- them anything to do! When I finally stepped down as GM I still had officers who would refuse to interject in rowdy conversations and it was always left to either Casa or myself to deal with it, sometimes days after it had occurred and awesome people had already bailed on the guild. Blegh. I honestly believe that all officers should be 'fun' police when it's important, but apparently my officers disagreed!

    Ahem. Yes. Back on topic! Good luck with your officer hunt :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found the same .. but since then I've tried many, many, many times to actually dish out duties ... I've tried specifically giving them out to officers, giving a list of duties and saying "pick one" ... never seems to work. I was going to say that, generally, our guild runs itself .. and then I thought about it for a moment and realised it didn't :p I do the guild website, twitter and Facebook feeds, roster updates and keeping the bank tidy. The main "duty" of the officers that they seem to fulfil is being online fairly regularly and keeping the peace .. helping answer questions in guild and helping guildees if needed. They also need to be level-headed and "grown up".

      The only perks officers get is an increased amount of repairs .. of course as guild leader I don't think I can limited the amount of repairs or cash I can take out, but I'm generally careful. I have an addon that tracks how much gold I spend/gain in any session - so I know when I sell stuff from the guild vault how much I need to put back in.

      Delete
  3. >> I've heard many complaints of people saying loot distribution is unfair because loot would go to officers ahead of other raid members. Also, officers getting raid spots over other players - but there may be more than one side to that story.

    I am so guilty of both these things. Back in the bad old days, I'd get a spot on raids automatically in my old guild just for my old rank. Most of the time I was fair on loot, but I remember our first Garr kill I took the sword because I rolled higher, even though I was a tank and it would have benefited a dps player much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forgot to include this. The old justification for having a raid spot over other people was in order to wrangle the raid group of 40 people.

      Delete
  4. You should be able to give the silkworms to the orphans as part of Children's Week! That would make tailors the world over incredibly happy....

    ReplyDelete