Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Guildleader chores - A pinch of salt and a grain of truth

It is fortunate that I am a perpetual font of optimism and enthusiasm - as Sev often puts it, I can be sickeningly cheerful. I don't know how anyone can be a GM and not be thick-skinned, tolerant, patient and restrained.  Sounds a lot like being a parent, if you ask me. Of course I have some bad grumpy days but those are not as frequent as one would suppose.


With so many new people, there has been a lot of concern about people being cliquey and not playing outside their own groups. It's not hard to understand, because people will want to hang with people they feel comfortable with and not everyone will be as outgoing as I am. Hell, even the officers are as recalcitrant and almost afraid of getting to know new people, so you can imagine how the new people feel. I try my best to talk to everyone even if it's just a whisper to say hello, and I had wondered if people thought that overbearing or intrusive or just downright creepy.  Actually, half the time I whisper someone, they are afraid that I'm talking to them because I'm about to tell them off about something they had done. I'm not THAT scary.  Well, not that kind of scary.


Reigning in language has been a hard trot. People really do forget that you can't go around saying this stuff in real life, and so why do you think it's OK to say it in a game? On Saturday someone dropped a rule breaking comment which I immediately acted upon and that snuffed that unwelcome spark before everyone thought it was OK to talk like that. The person in question said to me "OMG I do not know why I said that, WTB 1 minute rewind and delete, sorry Navi" and it was a comment that was particularly out of character for that person anyway.  Perhaps they too were feeling like they were trying to fit in and their enthusiasm went a little astray.

Then yesterday I had some concerned tells from guildies who worried that people were overly sensitive and thus had resulted in people being afraid to talk in guild chat. It so happened that the incident that spawned this concern was one I had already dealt with and I had spoken to all parties involved with encouragement to think before you speak (and also there was some misunderstanding as someone had said a similar comment only seconds earlier and so they thought it was OK to say the offending line - another example of why a single incident should be dealt with before it becomes precedent).  I explained to the concerned people that I had sorted it out, and it was all fine now. They apologised to me for troubling me about the incident and I just grinned and said "Welcome to my everyday as a GM in Frostwolves!"

Don't get me wrong - I want to hear all the things that are going on when I'm not around.  I'm not on 24 hours a day and people tend to be more restrained when I'm on.  I don't think listening to the constant complaints really gets to me as much as people think it would. I would rather know than not know, no matter how bad it is.  I think people worry that I look at them as being a whiner but I actually prefer people to be upfront and tell me stuff. I am rarely offended when people are genuinely being honest (but of course I am irritated by people who are trying to be asshats) but I worry that my calm reassurance is mistaken for nonchalance or couldn't give a poop.  How do I tell people that this cycle has happened many times before without sounding like a know it all?  How do I reassure them that in the long run, it will settle down?


I think the biggest thing I am afraid of is that the essential spirit of the guild that I've tried hard to maintain will be washed away or diluted by the wave of new people who don't have the same passion for the values I hold dear. This "new Frostwolves" has people concerned - a loss of spirit, of unity, of togetherness that we had throughout out the last expansion. People can be resistant to change - players from Vanilla in the guild tell me how they miss those good old days in the guild and raiding, and then there are also those who miss what we had in Pandaria.  I look back on the guild dynamics over the years and in my mind (and perhaps I am biased) and I feel like the best times were had during Throne of Thunder and Siege of Orgrimmar.  Maybe it was because I had a more active role in the guild then - though as an long time officer in Frostwolves I was always involved to some extent. Hostile takeover Inheriting the guild gave me the freedom to set some ground rules in place that I thought the guild had been lacking. I sometimes wonder if I am the only one who wants these rules and everyone thinks I'm crazy or wrong.  What if the whole guild doesn't want this and I'm forcing my will on them like some kind of dictator?


A guild should not be a dictatorship, it should be a consensus. Am I being churlish for not allowing a consensus? I guess it seems a little unfair that I am trying to push the guild towards MY preference for raiding and general attitudes, but fortunately there are a few who also share my ideals, so it's not as if I am trying to shove unpalatable concepts down people's throats.  As long as there are those people in Frostwolves, I will always have a guild to call family.  And I guess I have always got the other officers around to ground me - though they may be quiet, they're not all yes-men, and they will usually give me a calm perspective n something that my single minded determination has ridden rough shod over.

Anyway it's server shutdown time and this brain expunge has lightened my soul somewhat.  I shall finish this post here and go look up some Highmaul fights before tomorrow!

8 comments:

  1. Our guild is similar in a way (although probably not as far advanced as far as raiding, etc, is concerned) in that we've had a large influx of new players over the last few weeks. It does cause concern but we do have a vetting process and, although some people in the guild think it's a little strict, as I've said to them, I'd rather miss out on a good person, than recruit a bad one. Because the bad cause a heck of a lot of problems, for everyone in the guild.

    Luckily we have enough people in the guild who have been with us a considerable length of time, who are happy to include new people in chat .. and we also encourage random dungeon guild groups to include new people.

    We have a massive list of rules, but they kinda grew organically ... when something bad happened in the guild, we'd talk about it and suggest ways to avoid it in the future, and that would become a "rule". But at the end of the day, our rules do boil down to "be nice .. don't say in game what you wouldn't say to someone in real life". Just the rules say it multiple ways :p

    We have had people question certain rules in the past .. but as they came about the way they did, we can point out specific examples of WHY a rule exists.

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    1. In the last 2 months only one of the people who joined was not known to me - the rest got in for being friends with guildies. Which you would think might make it easier but I think I had rspid growth TOO suddenly. I think if I had people come in smal increments then it would be easier to integrate.

      Everyone who joined who was new had to go through me and I was pretty specific in my conversation with them. Everyone claims to want what I am looking for in a guild but it's offhand comments in guild chat that make people uncomfortable - things like talking about doing certain things which are "easy" or how looking up things is silly because you should be able to figure it out from in the game. Those sorts of comments make other players feel like they are stupid or lesser players and it's hard to control that because they are not directed at people, they are conversations between guildies that just happen to occur in guild chat.

      I can't change people suddenly but i think i can do it gradually. The problem is that people want instant results but everything takes time. My gosh this comment is long lol!

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  2. Growing pains are inevitable. If you recruit a small number of people they generally assimilate into the guild culture or leave, and if they do something out of place it is easy to correct. Rapid growth particularly when you have multiple people who already know each other join together, they can bring their own culture with them. That isn't necessarily bad, what is is when new people complain about how things are and/or try to change them without consideration of all those that come before them. I don't think countering this is dictatorial, I think it is important to maintain a standard and trust in your officers to guide you because herd behaviour can have a strong influence, and unchecked the culture can change before you know it.

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    1. Thanks Crooked! That's exactly right - I didn't want the guild to grow so quickly and I didn't want large groups to come along and have their culture influence the guild in a large way, but it's very difficult when guildies ask if their friends coming back to the game can have a spot here as a social and it feels churlish to refuse. The largest influx has been from Blackrock - Neri and Disco's friends - and for the MOST part they have been an easy social bunch. Concur was a social guild like ours so I expect them to adapt more quickly to the Frostwolves guild culture than those who came from hard core raiding guilds or guilds with a lot of uncouth and unchecked behaviour.

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  3. I should correct a detail here - I have never described you as sickeningly cheerful!

    Terms I've used include:
    - Excessively cheerful
    - Way too cheerful
    - Worryingly cheerful
    - Overly cheerful
    - Scarily cheerful
    - Terrifyingly cheerful
    - Facepalm-inducingly cheerful

    But never sickeningly! I'm very hurt you could think I'd say such a thing. :p

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    1. I think I like worryingly cheerful the best. Overly cheerful.. there's no such thing really. And I have NEVER heard you say facepalm-inducingly cheerful - at least, not to my face.

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  4. This blog gives good insight into stuff that most guildies wouldnt think were happening or just not noticing, i know im still one of the new people you were talking about, but like i personally said on many occasions your guild makes me enjoy raiding again like when i first started in Vanilla and BC, between then and now its been likea chore which i just dont have the stomach for anymore lol, i appreciate how welcoming and friendly everyone in Frostwolves has been to myself and to sharne, and i do personally make it my mission to make sure everyon is cheery :) small things like just asking how your doing or something like that every now and then :) which i do no worries i feel it makes that little difference to peoples days sometimes, or helping guildies out with stuff ie pets ... prof stuff or dungeon ques for the dps :P... these things i wouldnt have done before but you guys are just over bearingly nice haha its rubbing off one me :) and ill do what i can to keep the sun shining :P

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    1. I'm glad it's rubbing off on you - hopefully you'll keep being happy and enjoy playing and be good to your fellow guildies because that's all I really ask for :)

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I hope these comments work! Not sure why people can't comment lately, it makes me sad :(