Return of the Mixed Blessing

"Hey guys, I'M BACK"

What follows isn't always a fanfare of trumpets for the officers of that guild.

If you're in a casual guild over the last two weeks, you've seen something along these lines:

"Good to see you!"

"Yah I let my subscription lapse and I've been waiting for The New Hotness to come out and now I'm back!"

"Right, we noticed that! Well, it's great that you're back."

Officer promotes Imback from Who Dat? to Member.

"Hey thank u"

"Sure thing, it's good to see you."

"Yah I cant wait to raid I miss all the funny jokes and I can't wait to see Zomgraid and I already have a list of items that I'm hoping for"

(officer chat: Didn't he insist on getting that rare thing from that raid the week before he vanished?)

(officer chat: Yep.)

"Um, ok! Look forward to seeing you in instances."

"Yah yah!"

<five minutes pass>

"Hey I see that we have a lot of mats in the guild bank I'd like to powerlevel my professions up do you think I could use them?"

"Let me check with the other officers and I'll get back to you."

<five minutes pass>

"Hey what about those mats?"

"No other officers online at the moment, Imback. We meet on Thursday."

"oh ok I was hoping to get that done today but I can wait"

<five minutes pass>

"Hey when are we going to start raiding? Do we have like a date in mind?"

"We're going to see how soon we get people to max level and are ready to raid. Just have fun instancing."

<five minutes pass>

"Hey can you help me with some group quests?"


"Hey can anyone help me with some group quests?"

So! Here you have this nice person with raiding aspirations, who is a capable player when they show up. Like most people, their goals are personal. Unlike most people, they're known to be unreliable. You know that at some point, they're going to flake without warning, vanishing into the Emerald Dream or wherever it is that such players go. In a casual raiding guild, how do you deal with such a person?

The key is to running a stable guild is managing your resources. The trick is to match overall investment and not immediate investment.

A quick divergence: Leading a good guild of any kind is, in part, about hope. You hope that with each person you recruit that the person will take that magical leap from rank and file to enlightened member, where they wholly participate in something greater than themselves. This will happen with some fraction of people. Then, beyond all reason, some fraction of those people will make the ascension to Core, the people who are literally synonymous with the spirit of the guild. These people are rare. As a guild leader, you need to have that hope. You need it for every applicant, you need to seek out applicants with this hope in mind. If you lose it, your successful recruitment flags and your guild will succumb to entropy, which is constant. You extend that hope to each person, not putting the guild on the line for them, but all the same creating a welcoming environment for them.

A new person is an unknown. You lay out some small bit of guild resources, whether it's instance runs or raids or free crafting or voice chat or your guild website or chatting with officers or arena teams… whatever it is that makes your guild what it is. As you get to know a person, the hope gets added to the guild side of the equation of investment. So the reality is that the new person invests X and the guild reciprocates with X + hope. It's not something for nothing; it's watering the lawn.

The trick is how you handle people who are not new, and are known quantities. The time after a break can seem like "new player hope" applies.

Of course, the player isn't new. Even in casual guilds, there's a threshold of reliability that a person needs to have in order to have guild resources flow their way. This person has demonstrated that they will take what's offered. You know that at some point, they're going to vanish and those resources are going to go with them.

The answer is to remain friendly while making investment a hard match. You do this by removing hope from the equation. Make player X = guild X. Full stop. Then when the player flakes, the guild isn't burned at all.

This isn't easy to balance, especially when your guild is likely welcoming real new people. Nobody said that leading a guild was easy.

More Words!

2 thoughts on “Return of the Mixed Blessing”

  1. What we do in our guild, which is mostly fueled by a lot of REALLY superb people, is that we have quests for ranks. Each rank you succeed in, you get to view guild bank tabs AND get a discount on the items. If you can't see it in the guild bank, you can't get it.

    To go up in rank, it requires a certain amount of dedication into the guild. Be it helping in instances, crafting, turning in stacks of mats for the next person who needs to level up a skill, etc. We're also thinking of adding achievements into that list. And of course, a gold donation to the guild. Also included are Guild Event Days – you have to attend a certain number of these to go up in rank, and the further up you go, the more you have to attend OR RUN!

  2. Nothing leaves the guild bank without payment in return. We offer it at LESS than AH prices, but we still get something from it. So if people are looking for an easy free way to get something for nothing… the guild bank ain't it.

    People won't get into the spirit of a guild if you don't make them sometimes. Some people spring in willingly, and it's best if you have something in place to help them get settled in. Other people need a kick in the pants. Either to get into the guild, or get out of it.
    (Sorry for the two posts, it wouldn't let me finish in one!)

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