Yes the world has ended, yes I’ve been playing and enjoying the new Azeroth a lot. No, it’s not what I want to talk to you about. I want to touch a bit on guild drama today. I was scouring my list of blogs to find out other bloggers reactions to the new content when I found out about some guild drama in Zelmaru (Murloc Parliement) guild. Following the linkage I uncovered a sad story of a guild having to deal with a member having different opinions about how raiding should be handled. It’s a classic story and it’s one I’ve been part of way too often. It’s also why I’ve made Walk the Plank but more on that later.
The game of expectations
So you have this guild who started raiding one day. It was fun and glorious at first but quickly they encountered the same problem every raiding guild has, failure. The guild search for answers and solutions, implement them and then the real problem of raiding guild rears its ugly head.
Not every member is on the same page when it comes to raiding.
Seriously, no matter how you twist and turn things, nearly every single guild problem when it comes to raiding boils down to a member not having the same idea about how to raid. Someone has different ideas about how, when, what to raid and problems appears. Maybe he or she thinks 3 days are too much, maybe she wants the leadership to be harder with the raiders, maybe he disagrees with the strategy. Whatever the reason, things are not going the way he or she thinks they need to go.
If its a member, they may leave. An officer, big drama ahead. A guild leader?.. bye-bye guild.
And I believe it gets to this point because most guild who are raiding are about success and not about the members. If you keep repeating to everyone that every rule is there in order to succeed at raiding then they will expect success. When success is not coming the rules will often be the first suspected cause of failure.
Recruited bad players? You need to change recruiting rules.
People not having enchanted gear? Change the requirements.
Progress is not fast enough? Add raid days
Group composition is not working? Change raid invite rules.
Every step of the way, we remove the individual human being from the process so that in the end it becomes a very mathematical process. We figure that if we have the right rules, success will come. However every time you change the rules you create more opportunities for someone to disagree with them. Eventually it becomes a simple process for the players:
If rules equals success: Stay.
If rules doesn’t equal success: Change rules.
If rules doesn’t change: Leave guild for success in another guild.
So when I hear that we are loosing human relationships in guilds it’s simply because we made our guilds about success first and people second. We made it so that no success means no guild.
I’ll admit, I’m a bit uncomfortable with the word “experiment”, for me it’s not so much a question of deliberately experimenting but rather an idea I’m trying. So what’s that crazy idea? Making a guild where the explicit goal is to prioritize the human player and not measure the successes in raids or bgs.
In short, I want to have fun playing with my fellow guildies, not because we just killed Arthas but because it was fun doing something with them and being with them. I want to log in because I want to chat and play with Kaozz, MMOGeecee and the others, not because I have to or else I’ll lose my spot or be kicked out of the guild.
And I want the same to be true for them. I want them to log in just because they enjoy being there. I don’t want them to feel pressured to log in. When I see a member online, it’s because he or she genuinely wants to be there.
I don’t know if it will work or even if it’s viable. Maybe we’re bound for a spectacular failure or we’re doomed to remain a small guild. Doesn’t matter. What matter is that with only the 4 or 5 of us in there right now I’m already making friends and connections that I enjoy more than any boss kill I’ve ever been a part of. And that is happening right now, not in some long-lost golden age way back when.
So once more I’m going to extend an invitation to all of you looking for a place to hang out, hide from your guild for a few hours or if you just want to say hello. Just look for a Walk the Plank member on Silvermoon (US) and we’ll give you an invite right away.