6/28/2012 11:13 PM
By Tasha on
10/1/2012 8:24 PM
Ever stopped to wonder why some people seek out guilds and
others completely ignore them? People have been asking this question about
communities in general for decades and there’s been lots of research and
theories to try to answer it.
Understanding the reasons why people seek out each other
helps community leaders understand the expectations someone has when they are
looking for a new community, in turn allowing community managers (and
marketers) to maximise the effectiveness of their efforts. Given the usual
limitations of guild leaders (either with budget or time), this is exactly what
we want to achieve.
Buckle up, this is going to be a psychology and sociology
A few theories
Studying communities as a whole is hard to do and sociologists
still don’t have a full handle on what makes them tick. We can get some clues
from looking at psychological research done on individuals and a good place to
start is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In his 1943 paper "A Theory of Human
Motivation" Maslow outlined basic human requirements that are seen as the
motivation behind everything we do. While it’s often portrayed as pyramid with
the most fundamental levels of need (physiological) at the bottom and the need
for self-actualisation at the top, Maslow himself never used a pyramid to
describe these levels. In his theory, online communities start to show in the
second (safety) and third level (loving and belonging) and are well established
in the fourth level (esteem).
While Maslow’s theories have come under criticism, there are
a lot of parallels in Manfred A. Max-Neef’s 1991 work "Human Scale
Development", which proposed a series of equally important fundamental
human needs. They are subsistence, protection, affection, understanding,
participation, leisure, creation, identity and freedom. A lot of these human
needs can only be manifested by interactions with others and so have a
relationship with communities.
The important thing to take away from both these theories is
that interaction with other people is a fundamental part of being human and
comes from the desire to fulfil personal needs.
From a survival standpoint, communities don’t always make
much sense – time that could be devoted to hunting or survival has to be spent
on social interaction – but the benefits of security and stability often
outweigh these drawbacks. In a group context, people frequently make use of
their individual strengths to benefit the group. So someone who happened to be
really good at fighting would be charged with defending the group while others
saw to their other basic requirements such as shelter and food. This kind of
interaction has continued to this day, although less in a basic survival
context and more in a business context.
This kind of exchange between individuals in a group is
encapsulated in a theory called Social Capital. It is the formal name for the
expectation that if you do something for someone, they’ll do something for you
back; you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Of course, this only works if
you're dealing with people you've built up capital with, which in turn leads to
the idea of a permanent group. Again, we encounter this frequently in our day
to day lives in “mates rates” and “favours”.
With the idea of a permanent group come extra needs which
Max-Nee and Maslow outlined, such as affection, belonging, understanding and
identity. These needs are additional motivators in social settings – it isn’t
enough to just have a group that will help you survive. In order to be happy
and thrive, you’ll try to seek one that accepts you and you identify with.
When it comes to online gaming, there are usually areas of
MMOs where the game content is designed for or easier to overcome in groups.
Pick up groups (PUGs) are an option, but they generally have a low certainty of
success and the amount you identify and share affection with any group of
random people is going to be low. In broad terms, they generally aren't a great
fit with the motivational factors that Max-Nee and Maslow outlined - I'm sure
you probably have some horror stories about PUGs to support that.
The better solution is to form a more permanent group with
people you like and who accept you and build up social capital through
interactions to help you reach your goals.
The motivation to belong and be understood is powerful,
after motivation is probably the main factor when it comes to choosing an
online community to actively be part of. This manifests itself in the priority
of finding a community that is well aligned to actual or desired identity. As
an example, a person may identify themselves as enjoying PvP and seek a
community that is focussed around PvP, or wanting to seek others who want to
gain a certain achievement.
The priority of the requirements will change from person to
person and for me this is where the beauty of guilds is. There is no one way of
doing things because everyone has different priorities to each other. Few
guilds are in direct competition with anyone else because they each are trying
to achieve things in different manners and that means their target audiences
are likely to be different (though there may be some overlaps).
It’s important to note that determining this sense of
belonging is commonly done without any direct interaction with the guild
itself. Unless a guild really goes out of its way to have a recruiting policy
of only accepting people found in pick up groups, it is far more likely that
someone’s first encounter with your guild will be through in game recruitment
messages or reading literature such as recruitment messages and posts, and
looking at guild websites. For potential members this is a quick and good (but superficial)
filtering mechanism with the limitation of relying that the guild accurately
describing themselves. In addition, there’s only so much time a potential
member can dedicate to the task of finding a new guild: eventually they will
have to stop searching and work out what the best of the bunch is.
Once you belong to a group, there's usually some kind of symbology
involved in distinguishing members from non members. This is usually done in
game with the guild name, banner, cape, symbol or similar. Acceptance or
rejection of the symbology between members can also be a determining factor
when it comes to judging if a community is suitable.
After finding a place to belong, Maslow points to esteem as
being the next need to satisfy. This is important to communities as people
interacting in this phase are actively contributing new ideas, expressing
opinions and will reveal more of themselves than those in the belonging stage.
The feedback from this is the real hook into a community, as it leads to being
recognised, earning respect of community peers and doing things that provide a
sense of contribution and accomplishment. This is the stage that turns a guild
from a collection of loosely associated people into a tighter group of friends.
Building esteem requires direct interaction between members
of the guild but this doesn't need to be realtime. Your guild's website or
forum can be a great place to interact with others and make a real mark on the
guild. This is especially true if the member's time is limited.
What this means for your guild
As a guild leader, you need to provide people with a sense
of belonging and the opportunity to feed their esteem. How you do this is dependent
on your game and the interests of the guild in question. Often you'll find that
people stumble upon things that work on either of these needs without being
conscious of them. For example, some guilds run contests to determine the
guild's symbol with submissions from the community (belonging from the
acceptance of the community symbol, esteem from contributing a design and
winning the contest).
Esteem may be fulfilled by group events that give people
opportunities to interact and make shared memories (in and out of game), providing
people with privileges over others, contests and (a personal favourite) guild
newsletters that highlight the accomplishments of members within a time period.
You should mark the anniversary of the guild every year (this will help people
feel like they belong) and you may also like to consider marking birthdays.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Not all of
them will be relevant to every guild and there are many more I haven’t thought
of – try things out, get feedback and refine the process!
So why do some ignore guilds entirely?
For the thousands of players in guilds there are a lot who
never join a guild. Given the social benefits of joining a guild it can be hard
to understand why some people never do but it can be for a number of reasons.
Frequently people who aren't in a guild state that they've had a large number
of negative experiences with communities to not feel like they’re worth it.
Others may not have the time to devote to building social ties that are
required to get a sense of belonging in a guild. Alternatively they may not see
the benefit or can’t find a guild they think they’ll be happy in.
You’ve taken a lot of words to say what I already knew...
As we participate in communities throughout life we gain an
understanding of how they work, so good for you and well done on being
observant. Rest easy in the knowledge that research backs you up and you’re on
the right path! Still, it’s useful to carefully examine things we think we
already know to get another perspective and make sure we’re not making
What you can do
Think about how the theories provided by Maslow and Max-Nee
and of Social Capital and how they apply to your guild. What could you do to
provide people with a sense of belonging and provide opportunities for them to
raise their esteem? Drop them in the
comments below and help each other out!
By Tasha on
8/5/2012 5:43 PM
This being a Guild Wars 2 website I’m expecting quite a few people reading this post to be waiting for release day (so close!). Some of you may be considering the first moves you’ll make once you get in game and planning to start a guild for the first time. This week’s post is aimed mostly at you as it’s all about how to get the ball rolling on making your guild without a game to play, and taking a look at ways to develop your out of game presence.
A common goal
Part of my last entry was on understanding exactly what it is you as a leader want to get from and achieve in a guild. This was for good reason as once you can articulate this it gets a lot easier to be able to go to other people and let them make informed choices about their involvement. When you're doing it, you have to be honest with yourself and think about details of what you enjoy doing in game. Think about what you may want from a guild in a year or two’s time. Write it all down and get it into some organised form. Congratulations, you’ve set the goals of your community!
Once you have a firm idea of what you want to achieve, it’s time to try to find other people who share your vision. A good place to start is existing friends who are looking to play the same game as you. Tell them what it is you're trying to achieve and ask if they'd be interested in being involved. Even if they don’t share your enthusiasm, ask them if they have know anyone they think may be interested. If you’re a member of any social networks, you can try to drum up support there. Finally, you may be able to post your idea on fansite forums or similar but check the rules of the site or contact an administrator before you do.
The first few members
After finding someone who’s interested in what you want to achieve, it’s time to build yourself a mini community. The aim in this stage is to get 4-6 likeminded people talking to each other. If you’ve managed to snag a group of friends who already know each other to join your guild, you get a free pass to the next section! Otherwise, stick around.
To make the challenge seem a bit less daunting, you can go about it in quite a methodical way. Get to know interested parties on their own, and then introduce them to each other. You can do this on instant messaging platforms or in other games. Get people to talk about themselves - their interests, likes, dislikes, good and bad experiences. Disclose some information about yourself. Once you feel like you're getting on well, ask them if they know anyone who'd be interested in joining your group, and start the process of getting to know them. This will probably take a while to achieve but it's the basis of forming a close group that provides a stable foundation for later success and will help pass the time until you can start playing.
If you find someone isn’t working out or doesn’t click with others in the group, don’t invest extra time with them. Find someone else and start the process over again. Eventually, you’ll end up reaching a critical mass where it gets hard to maintain these relationships in real time, and that’s when it’s time to make a nest on the web.
Making a home
When it comes to guild websites, there are 2 main routes to go and it all depends on how much web development experience you have or want to gain. There are pros and cons either way so make sure you research your choices thoroughly.
If you have very little in the way of web development skills, there are a number of companies who specialise in guild websites that you can explore. Enjin
is a prime choice as it appears to have all the basic features you could want. Guild Launch
is another and I'm sure there are more. Usually they’ll offer you some basic space for nothing but will charge for skins and optional extras. They’ll also limit you by only being able to use what they supply. As a result, you’ll probably end up looking like a load of other guilds on the same platform. On the plus side, they’ll take care of updates and will help promote your guild on their recruitment platforms.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and either know your way around a server or want to learn how, you can choose from any number of free forum platforms
to use to power your community (check the sub-articles in the link for feature comparisons). There are no absolute right choices when it comes to which platform to use, but look carefully at the community that surrounds each software as they will be your first line of support for problems and additional upgrades. When it comes to a domain and hosting there are free options out there, but if you’re in it for the long haul you may want to consider purchasing a nice domain name and some paid hosting. Going free isn't always the best option with hosting! The downside of going this route is that you’ll need to look after your software on your own, rolling out any patches that come along, but you’ll benefit from a load of freedom and being your own boss. It’s my preferred route.
Whichever way you choose, it’s important to understand that an online platform does more than just house your discussions with other guild members. It’s also a useful recruitment tool to help inform people who your guild is and what you’re about. Pay attention to layout, colours and the words you put around the site as it may be what puts someone off hitting that application button. If you’re the researchy type, look at a few articles on branding - this is essentially the process you’re going through.
A pet peeve of mine is visiting forums that have 30 rooms and posts in only 4 of them. Don't do it - it draws attention to any lack of activity and that discourages people from getting involved. Start with 2 or 3 rooms at most and add more as more people talk about different topics.
Use what you have to your advantage
There is a major advantage to starting to make your guild without having a game to play in and that is that you're forced to wait until you already have a community before you're required to have a name. We'll be talking about group symbology in a later post, but having a symbol that everyone can get around (like a name) is an important part of making a community. With this in mind, it's a good idea to get your close group to help you pick the guild name. You should lay down some ground rules when framing this discussion to avoid ending up with a name that will make you cringe a few years later though!
You should also get them to help you in other ways. If someone has web development skills than yourself and you don’t particularly want to learn, ask them if they’d like to take charge of the website. Get some input from others on text, colour and layout as it will score you brownie points even if you decide against their advice. However, don’t overload people with too many options or too many questions - you’re there to lead them and it’s ok to make some decisions for them.
Keep the momentum
Once you have your online platform it's time to encourage it to become something that people visit every day. To do this you'll need to get people into something called the feedback loop, which is where they revisit a forum or site to see responses or reactions to things they have posted. Encouraging them to post is your challenge.
What you can do
Think of 5 questions that you can ask people in real time and on a forum that will start a conversation. They should be open questions that encourage people to reveal a bit of themselves and invite discussion rather than closed questions that require a yes or no answer. They don't need to be related to the game you're hoping to play together. Examples include "What was the first game you played?", "What area of Guild Wars 2 are you most looking forward to?" or "Tell us about the last movie you saw".
Pop them in the comments and help out other leaders!
By Tasha on
7/25/2012 7:43 PM
This week we’ll be looking at the role of guild leader, what it takes to do the job well, and what benefits you may get from putting yourself through putting the extra effort in.
Why do you want to lead?
The first place to start for any potential leader is to work out exactly why they want to lead. For all the potential riches it rewards (usually not financial ones), guild leading is a time sink, can be drama ridden (despite all the best intentions and actions) and you’ll have to make hard choices along the way. So what is your motivation for putting yourself through all that?
For most they want to bring a group of people together to work towards a common goal. What that goal is, is mostly up to you. It could be PvE, PvP, some mix of the two, something entirely different or just bringing people together for the sake of itself. You’ve probably heard the expression of “like attracts like”, and this is the basis of our voluntary interactions with communities as a species. Generally, you stand a better chance of making a successful guild if you know what it is that you want from one and it will help you keep motivated through the tough times. It will also help you to convince others they want to be part of your guild when you believe what you’re telling them!
What to Expect
The leader of a community (like a guild) has a special role to play and you should expect to put a significant amount of effort and time into the guild to make it a success. At a very minimal level, you need to be able to connect with people - this is the basis of community after all! Continual input is required to maintain these relationships, so you’ll need to be active. When you get a group of people together inevitably there will be a disagreement about something, so you need to have some conflict resolution skills.
Some of the more interesting dynamics of guild leadership come when you introduce the expectations members have of their leaders. In an unscientific attempt to remove my own experiences from the equation, I asked my twitter followers for the qualities they look for in their guild leaders. The same sort of words kept cropping up: kindness, understanding, caring, fairness, organisational skills, friendly, social. Fulfilling these expectations can lead to some of the best moments of being a leader, and also cause the most headaches!
On top of that, being a gaming community brings additional expectations. People expect you to be knowledgeable (but not necessarily a guru) about the game or if you’re making a focussed community, knowledgeable about a specific area of the game. As these communities are usually focussed online rather than geographically, some people will expect there to be some kind of non-live communication platform (like a forum) to communicate on, so having a basic working knowledge of web development is a huge boon but not a requirement.
Don’t worry too much if you look at the above and think you fall short; you’ve been learning how to deal with people since you were born and lots of the rest need to be learnt on the job!
Doing the job well
Describing how to do the job well without knowing exactly what kind of guild you want to deal with is tough, but I'm going to try to give a few pro tips on how to achieve a good output.
In my experience, the main aspect of leadership that new leaders underestimate is the amount of time running a guild can eat up. If nothing else, you need to maintain relationships with your guild members which takes time, possibly organise events and do the other things you enjoy in life (plus work or school). Requiring this constant level of time input can be really restrictive so it's best to look to ways of spreading the load and getting ahead of the curve.
Where possible, be proactive rather than reactive and be organised. Where you can, cut out talking to lots of individual people and throw around a survey. Call meetings sparingly and with as few people as are needed. Get others involved in helping to run the guild as it grows - not only will it give you some time back, but people like being involved. Use internet based tools so you can give a job to someone else easily - I love Google’s Calendar and Drive services personally.
When it comes to leading, walk the line between making decisions for the group to get things done and get input from others to make them feel involved. Consider what others besides yourself want when making decisions, but reach a solution that most people can be happy with. You can't please everyone.
The Prize at the End
It’d be easy to think that guild leading was completely without satisfaction but it’s really not. Working on bringing a group of strangers together for a common goal and achieving it is a great feeling, especially when no one else appears to offer what you’re looking for in a guild.
In addition, you’ll probably learn some new skills along the way that will see you well in your professional life. A report by IBM highlights the value of MMORPG leaders and guild leaders
noting “Gaming leaders are more comfortable with risk, accepting failure, and the resulting iterative improvement, as part of their reality. Many of these leaders are able to make sense of disparate and constantly changing data, translating it all into a compelling vision. And the relationship skills of the best gaming leaders would put many Fortune 500 managers to shame.”
However as they also note; “it should not be assumed that just because an employee has demonstrated an aptitude for leadership in one set of circumstances, that same person will be an effective leader in all circumstances.”
In other words, don’t flash the guild leader badge and expect to be on the executive board.
However it’s not just IBM taking note. Technology magazine Wired ran an online article in 2006
highlighting how the then senior director of engineering operations at Yahoo!, Stephen Gillett, benefitted from being a top guild leader in World of Warcraft; of course, he was technically qualified for the job as well. As our hobbies become more mainstream, people will see the benefit of hiring guild leaders. In the meantime the skills you learn along the way will shine through and you may find yourself in line for a promotion!
Don’t do it Alone
All the above can sound hellishly daunting and even if you’re really motivated, it’s hard to get the confidence to dive in. The good news is that you’ve been practicing the basics of leadership most of your life - getting to know people is a big one. The rest of the skills can mostly be learnt on the job or are instinctual, and while there isn't a 10 point plan to being a good leader there are things to help you along the way.
As MMO players, we’re used to community managers being our window to the world of our favourite developers. While the action required by the roles may be different, there are a lot of parallels between what is expected of a guild leader and a professional community manager. They have tricks for stimulating discussions, engaging members, dealing with disputes and throwing events, all of which may be on your plate as a guild leader. I highly recommend that you start looking for and reading material designed for community managers. Not everything written will be applicable to you (notably you won’t be worried about how to prove your worth to an employer) but a lot of it will.
I’ve put a couple of sites I’ve found useful in the Useful Pages section on the left hand pane and I’ll be referring to various websites throughout all posts - after all, who better to learn from than the professionals. It’s also worth talking to other guild leaders to find out how they would approach a dilemma. Remember you can always pop into the Dragon Season forums
and discuss any problem you’re having with your guild with other guild leaders.
What you can do
So there we go, a run down of what to expect of your time as a guild leader and the benefits of putting yourself through the ordeal. If you’re still keen, or are currently running your own guild, here’s an exercise that will help you which we touched on at the start.
No matter where your guild is in terms of its age, size, focus or game, having a clear idea of what you’re all together for is really useful for keeping focussed and recruiting. It’s really hard to convince others that you’re worth joining if you can’t explain what it is you’re trying to achieve! So spend a few minutes and write down what it is you want from your guild. Be as descriptive and specific as possible. Avoid words like “nice” and “friendly” and think of the problem from as many angles as possible.
When you’re done and if you feel like sharing, you can pop them in the comments for others to get inspiration from!
Next time I'll be talking through how to start up a guild before a game is launched and the options before you when it comes to building a guild website.
By Tasha on
7/14/2012 9:43 AM
Time to get stuck in! The first step in founding a guild in any game is to know the tools that are available to you and that is where we’ll be starting, with a broad strokes look at guilds in Guild Wars 2.
Disclaimer: this information is based on what is known about the game in beta now and may be subject to change.
In Guild Wars 2, guilds are player run communities of up to 100 people, but ArenaNet have indicated this limitation is likely to rise. Guild creation is currently free and has no level requirements.
Lots of guilds for everyone
A major aspect aspect of player communities in Guild Wars 2 is that an account can be a member of more than one guild at any one time. However a character can only participate in the guild chat of and represent one guild at a time.
With such mechanics, it could be easy to conclude that no-one could ever hope to make a successful guild because a player’s time will be split between all the guilds they are a part of, but this isn’t what happens in the physical world. People are members of more than one community in real life with few conflicts (like a sports club and a movie club), and in general individual communities do not suffer because a member has other things they want to do.
It does mean thinking about guilds differently though as leaving or un-representing a guild are no longer as big a deal as it once was, and people can try a different guild before they leave yours. For guild leaders, this means working on understanding what kind of people would be interested in your guild and what they look for, and then trying to provide that. For a WvW guild, this may mean regular or continuous groups or squads and voice communications servers. For a PvE guild, it could be a large guild bank or a focus on dungeons. We’ll be looking at why people join guilds in detail in upcoming entries.
However, some guild leaders do very much reject the multi-guild decision that ArenaNet have taken and are intending to implement rules that would stop members joining more than one guild. How successful or popular such guilds are remains to be seen.
Guilds are game wide but also local
Due to the server architecture, guild names are game wide. This means your awesome guild “Winning Guild Wars [WIN]” is the same guild no matter what server the members are from. So if you’re a large guild that has an American and a European section, you only have one guild and one guild chat for both areas. If you want different ones, you need to make 2 guilds. The servers and areas that your members are currently playing on and in are listed in the roster.
However, the influence your members earn and the upgrades you build with it are local to the server you are currently on. This is a major disadvantage to migrating servers!
Representing and Influence
Guild Wars 2 allows guilds to build various items that provide services to members and non-members alike, through the use of a special currency called Influence. In order to gain access to current services and gain Influence a member must represent a guild. This is also required to read and post messages on guild chat. Members earn Influence by representing a guild (a set amount every 24 hours) and completing different events in-game. More influence is gained if guild members are playing together. This means a smaller guild that plays together a lot will have as much or more Influence as a big guild playing solo.
At the moment Influence can be invested into 4 main build channels, each aimed at being of use to different types of guilds. For example, the Art of War reward category contains a large number of boosts that help allies in WvW and the Architecture category contains a number of permanent upgrades to the guild, such as a vault. Everything on the list takes influence and time to build. If there is an excess of influence, builds can be rushed by spending extra. Some of the rewards in the Politics and Economy lines rival those available in the gem store. Influence can be converted into +15% Karma for 24 hours, +10% Magic Find for 3 days, +5% EXP from events for 3 days, +10% Influence from events for 24 hours and a +10% gathering bonus for 3 days - none of which should be sniffed at. You can also allow your guild members to adorn their armor and weaponry with your guild symbols, and throw a banquet for an entire town!
Obviously having the right services and boosts will encourage members to represent the guild, earning it more influence, which means more can be built! It’s a positive cycle that every founder should be looking to induce. The good news is that it’s rather easy to get a decent amount of Influence. Over the first beta weekend my guild of around 30 people managed to gain over 11,000 Influence, peaking at over 600 in a single hour. That would have been enough to get us a 50 slot guild bank and symbols on our armor if there had been enough time to build everything.
Some items take more than a day to build, so choosing an optimal path to your builds if Influence is scarce is a mini game in its own right. There are builds that allow you to put more than one item into the queue at once so it may be worth prioritising those. It’s worth noting that the timed buffs don’t activate as soon as they’re done building, so if your guild is only active over weekends, you can set a bunch building over the week and activate all of them at the weekend for a bonanza of extra stuff!
Integral to all guilds is the idea of government. Even if a guild is essentially flat in structure, that was a conscious decision at one time another that had to be made. Various guilds approach government types in different ways, from dictatorships to republics, to their own special concoction! In Guild Wars 2, leaders can create their own ranks. Leader, Officer and Member are supplied as standard, but these can be edited and others can be made. There’s all kinds of fine tuning available, from different symbols for the ranks in the guild roster to which ranks can draw from storage.
One of the exciting aspects of this feature is how many different government types can be thought up with it. For example, it’s possible to assign more than one person to the Leader rank so guilds aren’t forced to have a single figurehead. Having seen a fair number of guilds that are run by councils, I am really pleased to see this amount of flexibility. Not only that, but there’s a great deal of fine tuning as to what powers you want to give individual groups which further add to the customisation of government. It becomes far less about what the game can support and more about what you can imagine and make work for you - exactly how it should be.
Showing off in-game
When it comes to grabbing people’s attention in game, Guild Wars 2 has a few novel ways of introducing yourself. For example in the politics construction line guilds will have the option of building a flag which grants +5% EXP to everyone who touches it for an hour, whether they’re inside the guild or not. If you’re the kind of guild who likes to party, you can spawn a banquet table that people can eat and drink from for an hour. It’s also possible to pay the herald some gold to shout about your guild’s accomplishments in a race’s capital, granting that guild additional influence.
In World vs World, you can claim any keep or fortress that isn’t already claimed for your guild. The bonuses you’ve built up through the Art of War construction line will then apply to allies in your keep. In addition your guild emblem will fly from the flags in the fortification you’ve claimed, striking fear in the hearts of attackers and respect from your allies.
It’s not entirely clear how you’ll be able to show off your guild in structured PvP, but it’s probably fair to assume that it’ll be through tournament completion.
No matter how many tools are provided by any game maker, communities will always want more. Guild Wars 2 is most notably lacking a significant number of offline communication avenues (probably rightly so) outside the as-yet shrouded in mystery Extended Experience. For example, there’s no offline discussion or messaging system (you have to go online to read & send mail), guild calendar, screenshot gallery or ways to disseminate news beyond the small welcome message. Some of these features have been indicated to be on the great ArenaNet to-do list, others haven’t. Either way, it’s prudent to think about other features you think your guild would need that aren’t included in the game.
Another feature that’s missing that was included in Guild Wars is alliances. As many of the guilds in Guild Wars 2 will have migrated from Guild Wars and have previous allies they’d like to stay in contact with, this is a problem. Some are considering merging their alliances into one big guild but with the guild cap likely to be well short of the 1000 people that could be in an alliance (and that not being enough for some), there’s a numbers problem to be solved.
What you can do
At the end of every post in this series there’ll be a few things that I’d love to hear from you about. This week, I’d love to hear your solutions to how to accommodate larger guilds or alliances and what other tools you’d like ArenaNet to add to guilds. You can leave a comment against this blog post or email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next time we’ll be taking a closer look at what it takes to be a guild leader.
By Tasha on
7/11/2012 6:00 PM
Before diving into the meat and potatoes of this new blog I’d like to take a few paragraphs to introduce myself and why the topic of guilds is so important to me. So hello and welcome, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Sam, some will know me as Tasha. I’ve had the good fortune to work with some great people in the Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 and general gaming community, and I’m now making a nest here at Dragon Season to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart; guilds.
I’ve been a guild leader for most of the last 6 years with the same guild, taking it from an idea in 2006 to a thriving community today. Over that time we’ve faced the same problems that many other guilds face - how to recruit effectively and get people to stay, trying to enhance gameplay with events and yes, dealing with drama. On occasion, I’ve tried to search for the experiences of other leaders to get an idea of how they’ve approached similar problems and come up lacking. Similarly, I’ve tried to learn from other guild leaders I’ve been in contact with and found them muddling through the same problems in isolation, often needlessly.
My aims with this partnership with Dragon Season are many fold. I’d like to share the knowledge and approaches I’ve learnt in a way that can be applied to any guild in any stage of its life to assist experienced and new leaders. I’d also like to bring guild leaders together to discuss the problems they are having and the solutions they have discovered so that everyone, myself included, can benefit. I hope that if you are an officer or have leadership ambitions you’ll find the information useful as well.
I’ll be starting off with an overview of the guild system in Guild Wars 2 in a few days.
Until then take care,