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News & Features Discussion  » General: What's In It for Me?

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  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 13449

 
OP  8/13/10 10:03:51 AM#1

In this week's Player Perspectives, MMORPG.com columnist Jaime Skelton takes a look at the oft-times overlooked guild leader. Guild leaders are the creative and organizational forces behind the groups we choose to associate with online. Most times, they do it without reward or even thanks.

Running a guild is one of the most stressful tasks that can be done when playing an MMO. The stress begins with the task of recruitment: like-minded individuals have to be found, possibly tested, and then persuaded to join the guild. For a new game, forging a guild is easy: all the niches are waiting to be filled. For players creating a guild in an established game, however, difficulty becomes increasingly harder as players become set in their preferences and current guilds. It's not just about finding warm bodies, either; there's the challenge of finding players that want to be more than just protected by a guild tag, more than those that just want to be carried by high level players or guild mates through everything. That's just the beginning.

Read What's In It for Me?

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  SnarlingWolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

8/13/10 10:19:10 AM#2

From your previous articles I'm not the least bit surprised at your view of guilds and guild leaderships. But for me, I don't really think guild leaders deserve anything extra for being one.

 

In the early days of MMOs I used to participate heavily in guilds. As the years went on and I tried different MMOs, I found guilds to be an increasingly large annoyance that took away from my fun. Too many guild leaders make the mistake of taking themselves, the guild, and the game seriously. All that does is annoy people and drive them away from guilds.

 

I don't want to have the mandatory meeting where we all have to physically stand in the same place just so the guild leader can ramble on about nothing. Clearly no deep plan was made for such meetings and no real topics get addressed, the guild leader just felt like he should get to call a meeting since he is a guild leader. After all there is guild chat for a reason, why do we have to be in the same place not hunting/questing to talk?

 

I don't plan on paying a bunch of taxes or fees for being part of a guild. So every game that implements that and guilds take part in it, I just avoid guilds. If guild members are having drama over feeling the need for respect, or they should have item X or Y, then I just leave a guild. Since these are things that happen in every single guild that exists now, and there are leaders that act like a guild is serious business, I just don't even bother joining guilds anymore.

 

This isn't because I'm so sort of selfish person, I actually spend a lot of my MMO time helping people get through quests/get items. Now that I don't join guilds, I just do it with public groups. In LotRO for example I used to go back to the earlier areas and broadcast that I was leading quests through dungeons that I remeber being tough to get through and tough to find a group for. When I was in guilds I spent a lot of time helping the lower level toons do the same thing.

 

I'm just tired of guild thinking they matter, and guild leaders thinking they are some kind of important person. It is a game and I play it for fun, I play it to relax and seperate from the real world for a couple hours. So why would I want to spend my fun relaxation time with more of the same BS that I hate dealing with? I think awarding guilds and leadership just makes this all the more common. If there are no rewards then people create guilds for the sake of having a guild. If there are rewards then people make guilds for the rewards and the guild is a drama fest.

  dar_es_balat

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/07
Posts: 456

If someone has alot of friends, does that make them a socialist?

8/13/10 10:31:29 AM#3

Aside from the sporadic break while Ive decided on a new game to play Ive been leading guilds since 1997, when Ultima Online came out.   While I enjoy the spirit of your article I dont believe offering a tangible reward for being a guildmaster ingame would be productive.  In fact I think largely it would be detrimental to the communities as members would be keener to focus on the individual flaws of the guildmaster as a way to replace them and as a result themselves obtain the much coveted guildmaster reward.

In short, the community, already prone to various forms of masochism, would turn full on cannibalistic.  From smaller guilds to more established larger guilds, groups would eat themselves up as the gamers drive to posess overcame gamers desire to socialize.

Crappy, petty people breed and raise crappy, petty kids.

  helthros

Novice Member

Joined: 10/24/09
Posts: 1477

8/13/10 10:38:31 AM#4

Just speaking with regards to something like WoW. More likely than not your character will be geared out before anyone elses :p.

 

Not to mention the perks you get from crafters/farmers in the guild that want to be on the GM's good side.

 

I remember being a raid leader/GM in Burning Crusade and people gave me free stuff all the time.

  SwampRob

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/05/07
Posts: 1010

8/13/10 10:44:37 AM#5

Instead of offering rewards to guild leaders, I would rather see MMOs designed such that guilds are not necessary in any way, and that people who choose to form them, do strictly for social fun.

*Sorry about the large font, my eyes aren't what they used to be.

  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6668

8/13/10 11:46:07 AM#6

Problem with most guild leaders, they don't want to deal with drama, hence they tend to ignore it.   Drama will kill a guild faster than anything else, especially in any sort of competitive play.

Problem with rewarding guild leaders is that for every good one there are more bad ones.  Why reward a bad guild leader?  Some games do reward the guild leader, in Eve the corporation leader gets to set a corporate tax which goes into the corporation coffers that they control.

Yes good guild leaders are a precious commodity, unfortunately there are not many of them.

  Nephaerius

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/18/09
Posts: 1465

8/13/10 11:54:59 AM#7
Originally posted by Ozmodan

Problem with most guild leaders, they don't want to deal with drama, hence they tend to ignore it.   Drama will kill a guild faster than anything else, especially in any sort of competitive play.

Problem with rewarding guild leaders is that for every good one there are more bad ones.  Why reward a bad guild leader?  Some games do reward the guild leader, in Eve the corporation leader gets to set a corporate tax which goes into the corporation coffers that they control.

Yes good guild leaders are a precious commodity, unfortunately there are not many of them.

 

 This is an innate flaw I see with rewarding guild leaders as well, how to weed out the good for the bad?  Granted generally the bad wind up with no guild in a short amount of time, many "top" guilds I have been a member of have had terrible leadership.  At the same time a good guild leader busts their ass and puts in a great deal of time and effort.  While I once went to these lengths and led guilds as I got older I just found I didn't have the time.  My hats off to the good guild leaders out there.  Many times this requires mastery of pvp, pve, tactics, people skills, kindness, and the game's economy.  At this point in my life, I am more than willing to leave all that work up to someone with more time than me ;)

Twitter: @Nephaerius
Steam: Neph
Xbox 360 GT: Nephaerius

  alkarionlog

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/19/09
Posts: 1034

8/13/10 11:57:46 AM#8

If you think being a guild master will make you get equips faster you are wrong, if you think being a guild master is easy you are wrong, also if you give perks like item and such to only guild masters you are wrong.

 

simple being a guildmaster it a 24 hour of work or at least will consume a lot of you play time there, because don't matter if you are laid back or friends guild you will need a certain lvl of organization to get things done, for anything. it also falls to what kind of guild you are focusing, pvp/raid/pve, to each of it you will have to act diferently and even make use of the ban from the guild.

 

some people only will join your guild to steal your best members, some will come just to be carried to the end game, some looks like they just join to piss you off, some will just come ask for help then when they have everything they want they logoff or quit game without saying anything.

its stressfull, tiresome, time consuming and sometimes annoying,  being a guild master is not for everyone.

it also have the good part, like you see everyone will hear what you say, your opnion will really make a diference to your members, you can get other guilds to respect you and your guild, enemy factions/ or guilds stay alert when they say just one member of your guild.

 

best way to lead is have people who you can work and share a little the control of the guild, like a recruiter officer, strategic officer and so on, that make things less stressfull for anyone.

FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.

  erictlewis

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 3058

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

8/13/10 12:33:58 PM#9

Running  a guild seamed like it would be easy. It was when you had friends you already new. However adding new folks is what makes it go to h in a handbag.

It can be stressfull if you let it. 

My moto was were a guild were hear to have fun. No drama,  those who create it were gone.

  ZoeMcCloskey

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/14/05
Posts: 1126

INTJ, fun is fun except when it's not

8/13/10 1:18:32 PM#10

There should never be any or extra reward for being a guild leader.  It would only lead to even further politics, drama and a bigger mess.

The reward to a guild leader should be in seeing those in their guild succeed.  In helping them to achieve what they want to achieve and in building a team that all help each other.  It should be in having good officers and members who will assist others and act honorably.  Making the name of their guild stand out and be known as players who are worth knowing, because they are polite, helpful, play need before greed and act with honor in the world.

Enough with the carrot, we don't always need a carrot handed over.  Maybe we can get some focus back on the social aspects and on fostering better behaviour and attitudes instead of all the gear, omg I got good gear stuff!

  User Deleted
8/13/10 1:49:29 PM#11

I personally despise guilds. Guilds in my opinion do not go well to my play style and it forces me to behave in certain way that infringes my freedom to enjoy the game. Guild leaders are often bias in solving issues since they favor their friends more than making a fair decision, they rather see someone they don't know who is right to leave, than see their friend, even wrong, leave. And you want reward for the guild leader? Bah!

 

The party system and friends lists are good enough, guilds only complicate stuffs.That's why many player prefer PUGs than Guilds?

  FreddyNoNose

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/05
Posts: 1564

8/13/10 2:56:41 PM#12

I really hate the OP and the sense of entitlement I sense.  Look, if you want the job deal with the headaches.  Nobody is forcing you do to it.  As the saying goes, if it's too hot get out of the kitchen.

  User Deleted
8/13/10 5:42:22 PM#13

While you have quite a few points, there are two key things that are missing and without them there can be no successful guild: dedicated and active officers and dedicated and active members. It does not matter how active the guild leader is if the few people that are trusted to function as officers do not fulfill that role properly and id does not matter how active the guild leader and officers are if the regular members do not fulfill their role properly. A guild is not like government, it is government, and much like any government all of the parts have to function properly for good things to happen. A guild, though, is a much smaller version of a government and feels the pain of even a few members or officers doing their jobs poorly.

From what I have seen in the MMORPGs I've played, no doubt along with you and many others, most players (officers, regulars and even guild leaders) want a free ride and do not want to do the necessary work to get things going and keep things going. And why should they? With so many avenues to get a free ride in a game, with so many guilds just wanting to bolster their numbers provided someone isn't a total leech, this is just par for the course.

The best possible guilds, guild leaders, officers and supporting members seem to be shot down well before they ever reach the starting line. After all, how many people can reminisce about 'that one guild' that was awesome which they stumbled upon after going through several horrible onese, or finding the great one right away while watching a slew of terrible ones? In some way we can all do this and this speaks to the experiene of guilds and people working (or not working) in an anonymous online environment: they don't have to do their part because it's 'just a game.'

As much as I appreciate your articles, this one is really lacking despite some quality points.

  kaiser3282

Tipster

Joined: 5/21/08
Posts: 2645

8/13/10 5:52:15 PM#14

Just wanted to point out a couple things:

1) It really depends on the specific game you are talking about, as some of them do foffer rewards/incentives for guild leaders beyond what regular members get. On eexample is an F2P called RF Online. Guild leaders have a constant 5% att and 5%def buff at all times making it easie rfor the leader to both accomplish things when theyre on their own, or increase their effectivesness in group battles with their guild to help everyone out.

2) It also really depends on the guild and its leadership. Everyone has different ways of doing things, though in some games people to tend to follow certain patterns for various reasons. Using RF again as an example with my guild and others, the game also has a built in Council system in which the leader can appoint a few council members (aka officers). There is a tendency amongst guilds in the game to do a couple of things:

 a) when killing PitBosses, which can drop various things such as armor, weapons, jewels for upgrading, and some of the most powerful accessories in the game the general rule is ONLY leader & council touch the loot so ther eis no squabbling. After killing all of the desired PitBosses, then the leader/council divides up the loot amongst those who need it, with the leaders getting first pick, and then passing whatever they do not need to those who need it most (generally undergeared people who contribute to the PB run or other guild functions)

b) Guild leaders also have somewhat of a tactical advantage by being able to assign guild targets (which puts a big arrow over the enemies head so all guild members can see it easily). This allows guild leaders to actually lead in battle by picking out priority targets (or perhaps just an enemy they dont like) and having everyone focus fire them.

c) Guild leaders and council can also withdraw guild funds, however leaders are auto-approved, but council members must hold a vote for approval.

  someforumguy

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 3496

8/13/10 5:57:11 PM#15

Although I have met some wannabe tyrant guildleaders in the years that I played MMOs, most of the guilds Ive been in were quite laidback. I never join without getting to know some guildmembers first, so I think thats why I rarely get disappointed with guilds.

  Dwarvish

Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/09
Posts: 208

8/13/10 6:06:33 PM#16
Originally posted by SnarlingWolf

From your previous articles I'm not the least bit surprised at your view of guilds and guild leaderships. But for me, I don't really think guild leaders deserve anything extra for being one.

 

In the early days of MMOs I used to participate heavily in guilds. As the years went on and I tried different MMOs, I found guilds to be an increasingly large annoyance that took away from my fun. Too many guild leaders make the mistake of taking themselves, the guild, and the game seriously. All that does is annoy people and drive them away from guilds.

 

I don't want to have the mandatory meeting where we all have to physically stand in the same place just so the guild leader can ramble on about nothing. Clearly no deep plan was made for such meetings and no real topics get addressed, the guild leader just felt like he should get to call a meeting since he is a guild leader. After all there is guild chat for a reason, why do we have to be in the same place not hunting/questing to talk?

 

I don't plan on paying a bunch of taxes or fees for being part of a guild. So every game that implements that and guilds take part in it, I just avoid guilds. If guild members are having drama over feeling the need for respect, or they should have item X or Y, then I just leave a guild. Since these are things that happen in every single guild that exists now, and there are leaders that act like a guild is serious business, I just don't even bother joining guilds anymore.

 

This isn't because I'm so sort of selfish person, I actually spend a lot of my MMO time helping people get through quests/get items. Now that I don't join guilds, I just do it with public groups. In LotRO for example I used to go back to the earlier areas and broadcast that I was leading quests through dungeons that I remeber being tough to get through and tough to find a group for. When I was in guilds I spent a lot of time helping the lower level toons do the same thing.

 

I'm just tired of guild thinking they matter, and guild leaders thinking they are some kind of important person. It is a game and I play it for fun, I play it to relax and seperate from the real world for a couple hours. So why would I want to spend my fun relaxation time with more of the same BS that I hate dealing with? I think awarding guilds and leadership just makes this all the more common. If there are no rewards then people create guilds for the sake of having a guild. If there are rewards then people make guilds for the rewards and the guild is a drama fest.

 

  You just made an argument for how hard it is to be a guild leader.  A good leader will address these issues.

  In short, a 'good' guild leader is very very rare!!  Thats why so very few guilds last long.

 
  Morcotulcon

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/28/10
Posts: 261

8/13/10 6:18:35 PM#17

I must say that I understand the OP  feelings because I was Guild Leader for some time in 1 or 2 games and one of the sub-leaders in other games. But I do agree with the posts, giving a reward to the guild leader might be a REALLY bad idea because of a lot of reasons.

IMO, why don't give the Guild Leader (and the Guild higher members) a reward that gives advantage to the guild in itself instead of a reward to the player?! Let me tell my thoughts better. When a player goes up in the hierarchy of the guild, his work (doing his own quests, getting important items for the guild members, doing quests for the guild fame or guild level, etc.) will give more fame, reputation, points, or whatever the guild needs to be sucessfull (in their objectives, because different guilds have different objectives). This way, those that care more for the guild, will want to go higher in the hierarchy to help the guild itself instead of theirselves.

 

Of course, I have another opinions about guilds in order for this idea to work better:

  1. There are few rewards (or none) for the guilds when they have different objectives, giving the players the feeling that creating a sucessfull guild can only happen with only 1 objective in the game, for example: most of the games give the objective of conquer lands for more money and nothing more. Why don't give different rewards to guilds that have different objectives?? The guilds I was Leader for most my time were looking only for ppl from my country, but it was always losing ppl because there was no more motivations except beeing with country ppl and learn about the game with them... later the players want more challenge in their roles as members and left to bigger guilds (internationals, of course), or just lost interest in the game itself (it happens a lot -.-"). There should be a way to chose different objectives of the Guild and beeing able to have challenges from those choices. Creating a system for this isn't simple in any way, but it will help develop better relations between players that have simillar objectives when they join a guild, and THAT will help attract more players and keep the players interest in playing the game (in other words, more money for the game company xD ).
  2. Why only 1 Guild Leader??? The guild I was a successfull Leader, I had the help of 2 friends, so I was the Leader but we acted as a counsel: I acted as the one that gives events to players, gives different objectives, gather the items in order for them to help the guild lvl up, work with problems between members and held the meetings; another person would play most of the time with the members, give them advices and help them lvl up as well as the guild (but he was the worst person to solve problem between members, especially girls -.-' , that's why I was the Guild Leader xD); The 3rd person was the one that was actually strict with rules and acted like she was superior in some ways (when she got into the guild she wanted to "kill" the Leader in all the ways possible, or I might say, kill ME xD), but that helped giving the guild a feeling of home where everyone could be despite beeing different. Having 1 Guild Leader that has the ultimate decision is not always the right way, but having 3/4/5 Guild Leaders can be very good for the guild itself. Game developers should give Guilds the choice of having more than just 1 Guild Leader if they want too (and I say this, because the Guild Leader is always the one that controls the restrictions to all the other guild members).
  3. There should be various was to help the guild evolve, and considering the guilds objectives (from what I said in point 1) there should the different rewards to guilds from those objectives.
  someforumguy

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 3496

8/13/10 6:25:54 PM#18

Its funny that the OP wonders what the benefits are for a guildleader, while starting with 'recruitment of likeminded people'. Isnt that why you started a guild in the first place? Why should there be more benefit then finding likeminded people to play with? And having the ability to remove them if they dont turn out to be like that. Something which normal members cant do, they can only hope that someone listens to them if they want someone who is a disturbing factor gone.

Like others already said, if you find it stressfull, maybe you should consider promoting someone else.

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

8/13/10 8:08:23 PM#19

I think I have to invoke the old doctor's saying here: "if it hurts, don't do it."

The last thing I want to see in a game are rewards designed to attempt to lure me into an playstyle I wouldn't enjoy otherwise.  *cough*powerscrolls*cough*

  Nifa

Novice Member

Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 327

You can get more with a kind word & a 2x4 than you can with just a kind word

8/13/10 8:54:00 PM#20

I have been in guild leadership for about five years across multiple games - never willingly, I should point out - and I have to say that no, there should never, ever, EVER be any kind of in-game incentive or reward for being a guild leader. 

Yes, it is often a thankless job and yes, in leadership, you spend much of your time refereeing (No, you can't ninja loot your guildmate; No, you can't charge your guildmate market rate to craft an item for them and yes, you do have to refund their pixellated cash to them; No, you can't treat your guildmates - or anyone else, for that matter - that way and and yes, that goes for both of you...), trying to put together groups/raids, putting down loldrama before it can even really get started (personally, any guild I have ever been involved with has always had a strict recruitment process and a zero tolerance policy for drama), and just generally spending more time in tell hell than you do actually playing the game, and yes, you often piss people off when they don't get their way, but that is part of the job and you know it when you accept the leadership position.

As far as playing politics, in leadership, one requires tact; one does not require the ability to be a politician.  There is a vast difference between the two.

 

Still, the point of Jamie's article, or at least what I perceived to be the point of what she wrote (I could be wrong), was simply to say that, yes, guild leadership is usually a very thankless job and one that is frequently overlooked and even more frequently abused by a lot of players in MMOs who are not and who never have been in guild leadership.  Sometimes, we just want to play the game and have fun, too, and it would be nice if  we could do that without having to resort to hiding on an alt on another server or without having to resort to playing another game entirely to just kick back and relax.  Just something to keep in mind the next time you want to flip out in tells to your guild leader because a guildmate did soemthing stupid.  Take a deep breath, calm down and try handling it calmly between yourself and the person who pissed you off - you'd be amazed how often a calm conversation can diffuse things and - trust me - your guild leadership, most of whom do not WANT rewards,recognition, or any other shinyness from the devs and think such a thing is a truly bizarre and absurd idea not rooted in reality, will be incredibly grateful for the break. ;)
 

Firebrand Art

"You are obviously confusing a mature rating with actual maturity." -Asherman

Maybe MMO is not your genre, go play Modern Warfare...or something you can be all twitchy...and rank up all night. This is seriously getting tired. -Ranyr

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