This is that point in a new expansion when beleagured officers come face to face with foaming at the mouth guildies. Already I have seen friends' guilds break up, splitting off into 10-man raid teams. I have seen friends nerd rage at being left out again from a guild heroic. I've heard people rage about the horrors of trying to complete a quest in HoO that actually requires killing all the bosses...oh wait, that last person was me.
All this excitement naturally got me thinking about the expectations we all place on our guild officers.And the expectations they have for their guilds in return.
What I Expect From My Guilds
I have to start by saying that, of course, there are more flavors of guilds with a more diverse palette of objectives than there are flavors of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. These are my opinions based upon my five years of playing WoW. From my perspective, people join a guild in order to either be a part of a group activity (such as raiding or RP or BGs), and/or to have a supportive social environment in which to pursue their goals.
For me personally, my list of guild expectations goes something like this:
- Good players with whom to go do stuff. That stuff may include 5-mans and raids, or BGs, or lowbie antics.
- Raiding. Sooner or later, I know I always want to raid. I am fine with not being in a progression raiding guild, having done that in the past when my schedule allowed, but that's not a primary motivator for me now.
- Nice people to talk to in G. Not PC people, or suck-ups, mind you, but genuinely pleasant people with whom I can talk about WoW, or in the best case, RL topics of interest.
- Vent or some other sort of voice chat. Communication is key for raiding or BG groups,; and text only just doesn't cut it.
- Twitter and/or forums/guild website. Some topics need to be talked through outside of game. And strategies need to be shared for raiding. Some folks like to fly by the seat of their pants and just listen to the RL tell them the fight. I am not one of them. I like to be prepared.
- Reciprocity. I try to be helpful whenever I can, be it with my time, helping out in an area I am familiar with, or with crafting. I don't expect tit for tat, but an environment wherein I'm always helping or donating to the guild but can't obtain any help myself becomes tiresome.
- Personal accountability. It's hard to find. And many folks tell me to get over it and deal with those looking to live in their own little bubble. But this is one of my core beliefs, so I'm not backing down on it.
What I Expect From My Officers
As someone who has both been an officer and not been an officer in a variety of guilds across both factions and several servers, I've seen many different guild management styles. And let's just say I've seen some pretty cringe-worthy officer behavior. But I've also seen some rock stars. Hence, my list:
- Acknowledgement. I kick butt. I show up to raids on time and prepared. I help out. Like anyone, I do want some acknowledgment for what I bring to the table. No one wants to feel taken for granted, or worse yet, invisible.
- Open communication. I was in a serious raiding guild run by officers that several of us referred to as "the shadow council." Not only did they not share information out to the guild, they didn't share it amongst themselves. I want to be able to talk to my officers about issues that arise and have them listen. This doesn't mean I expect everything to be changed to how I'd like it, but I do want to be heard.
- Organization and Management of the Guild. I like my officers to be thinking about guild activities and getting them going. I like a moderated forum if it's a big active guild. I like an Officer presence in G chat to quell uprisings and dramas before they boil over. And I like a guild bank that's somewhat organized and not full of junk no one could sell in the AH.
- Consistency. I am not a fan of guild policies that fluctuate. Or decisions based on whom a GL likes best that day. I expect consistency in policies and procedures.
What I Expect, as an Officer, from my Guildies
That's right -- your officers have some expectations of you too. They're volunteers, after all, putting in extra time and effort to make the game more fun for themselves and for you. Here are some of my expectations of my guildies:
- Patience. Yes, I know you really want that shiny item from the gbank. But it is not, in fact, an emergency. I am happy to help you when I am free, but if I am in the middle of doing something else, you will need to wait, and not to have a hissy fit.
- Acknowledgement. You do realize that officers spend a bunch of time behind the scenes keeping things running smoothly, right? You do know those raid strats didn't magically find their way into the raid's ears, yes? When all you hear is complaints, it becomes a lot less rewarding to be an officer.
- Assistance. If you know of drama brewing, tell an officer sooner rather than later. That goes double if you are the person with an issue -- talk to an officer. And if you want some rare item crafted for which I don't yet have the pattern, rather than complaining about my not having it yet, offer to help me attain it. An officer is not your personal dungeon slave or crafting bee; you want some assistance, offer us some as well.
- Maturity. Please understand that I am not your mommy. And that your guildmates do not owe you anything. A guild is not just a captive audience for you to talk at and to harangue about doing runs with you. Please do not behave like a two-year-old. Becuase it does not please me to have to treat you like a naughty child who needs a scolding. Really, it doesn't.
What about you? What are some of your key expectations from your guild and its officers?