December 8, 2008

What Makes a Guild Leader Great?

Posted in Guilds, WoW tagged , , , , at 6:00 pm by Andrea

I was doing my usual Monday Morning reading of my RSS feed, and I came across a post by Matticus from World of Matticus that really got me thinking… I’ve been a Guild Leader before. I’ve also been an Officer, Raid Leader, Class Leader, and plain old member, too. I think, having seen the multiple sides of guild leadership, that I have a fairly good understanding for it. My husband insists that I have a natural nack for it too, but he’s biased. However, I know that guildmates I’ve lead in the past have either sought me out for help since then, or have flat out re-rolled to play with me again. That’s gotta amount for something… but anyways, Matticus posed this question:

Here’s a challenge for the WoW bloggers and readers out there.

What makes your GM great?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Whether it’s stories about bad experiences or good experiences, others including myself would surely benefit.

Currently, I’m honestly not entirely sure what makes my guild leader great. I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to see him shine. I have been on a raid or two with my guild since I joined it just before the WotLK release… and they’ve been fun. I especially appreciated that when we were standing in front of Tidewalker, and I was hearing the strat for Leo, they allowed me to interrupt and explain the strat they needed. I was not chastised for speaking up, and it was a relief. I HAVE met officers and guild leaders who’s way was the only way, even when it’s wrong. I, too, sometimes suffered the troubles of deciding which path to take when more then one was available to me, and I’ve even been known to make up my own strats for some bosses.

I appreciated that there was no rule against speaking up about a strat, but I nearly didn’t say anything. I’d previously run raids, and eventually implemented a rule that a raider could submit strats or ideas before and after a raid, but not during. Perhaps I should rethink that rule should I ever lead again.

Some of my leaders I’ve had in the past had great ideas, but most didn’t carry them out in a sensible manner. For example, there was Exhumed, and Wana, who was GM. He had a very rigid guild that was incredibly structured. Right down to essentially having a loot council mixed with DKP that no one was allowed to see. His theory? Keep a spreadsheet documenting every item won, how many runs attended, and any other modifiers (like donations to the guild) that could factor in points. Each time you received gear, it was factored in as a divisible. Runs/loots = score. This placed you in a numerical order in which loot would be assigned to you… based on what you had already and some personal opinion as well. Eventually it became evident that there was some favoritism taking place… and I eventually got my hands on the list that no one was supposed to see outside the raid leaders… I posted it for the guild to see once my thoughts had been confirmed. At some point, it was apparent that this list had been followed, but recently, favorites had been played. I even followed the list, and marked notes for a few raids where the loot SHOULD have gone, even though it hadn’t. Needless to say, I was not long for that guild.

I also crossed paths with another guild leader that had successes in his own way, but not one I would want to be associated with. I never joined this guild, but the GM never took kindly to me, nor I to him. It was obvious he didn’t understand a lot of game mechanics, and also wasn’t a very good people person. I, along with every other person on the server, watched him poach members from all over the place… promising them the first epic that dropped from MC that they could use. His tactic worked, and soon, Hordy Bass Terds (HBT) grew to be some sort of specticle. He managed to obtain every ninja, lootwhore, and asshole on the server into one place. Other guild leaders thanked him for collecting every asshat on the server, so we could just avoid the group as a whole. That’s what happened, too. No one would group with them, and I started to feel bad.

The guild leader borrowed a lot of ideas from other guilds, as most do, and he saw success, sort of. His guild made progression, but no one was ever happy, and it eventually fell apart.

Over time, I’ve seen guild leaders run ignorant guilds, I’ve seen GL’s ninja guild banks, I’ve seen them flat out abandon thier mates, and Ive even seen marital distress destroy an entire guild. I wasn’t immune to these things myself, and tried to make sure that if I had faults, that they were addressed as quietly as possible. But, I’ve come to realize that no guild is going to be perfect of course. There will be drama, there will be anger, there will be ninjas and people who don’t understand raids. Its what happens when you gather a group of people together. Its the human factor and cannot be removed. Accepting this will be the first step to your success.

My opinion of a great Guild Leader? Someone who plays fair, who can share the workload, and the glory, is motivational (I don’t like working for assholes, do you?) Either understands raid mechanics or gives the job to someone who does… who doesn’t steal from their guildmates, who is self reliant, who has an agenda, and is willing to work right alongside his guildmates…. but finally, a good guild leader listens, and listens well. Realize that you don’t know it all, your way isn’t always the best way, and give your guildies the chance to shine… those things are far more important then a loot system, the ability to scream into vent really loudly, and then all those petty rules guilds come up with. Being an approachable person will give you the ability to lead in the first place… and that’s what you’re here to do, right?

So now I pass it on, cause I wanna know, too…. what makes a guild leader great (or terrible) to you?

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August 17, 2008

Shenanigans!

Posted in General, WoW tagged , , at 7:29 pm by Andrea

That’s right folks. I call Shenanigans. On what you say? Guild politics and drama. Having been a guild leader and an officer almost my entire WoW career Ive seen many many different dramas and shenanigans. Every guild has them. Even I myself am not immune to my own. This is what happens when you bring a large amount of people and stick them into one place. Some have been more serious then others. Some are just big headaches rather more then anything else, and some are just downright hilarious. So without further ado, I share with you some of the Shenanigans I’ve delt with.

First up we have from back in the days of WoW Pre BC, some drama that became a server spectacle. I unfortunately do not have screen shots of these events in particular, but trust me, it was hilarious.

Once upon a time when I ran my guild <Dead> I’d been searching for more people. I was contacted by another guild leader of the guild <Hordy Bass Terds>. After some talking with my own co-leaders and his, we decided a merge was doable and he brought over his guild to mine. I had roughly 200 members and he had the same, and before we knew it, with added recruitment we had a guild of over 500 people. This being the first guild I’d ever run I had no idea how much drama that would make. At first we had small issues. <HBT> had been a guild of no rules. Say what you want, freedom of speech sort of thing, and <Dead> had been its opposite. Go ahead, be funny, but respect your fellow guild mates sort of deal. The kicker of disagreements came on a ZG run, when the GM of <HBT> (I’m gonna give his name as these event lead to his quitting the game), Ballsycow, Stood under the bat boss in ZG and wiped us, claiming he didn’t know standing next to her would do that. In that very same raid he asked us what a mana pot was, and when we told him, he proceed to message every healer to make sure they too, knew what a mana pot was.

After a while we had it with his noobishness and unruly guild members. We asked him to take his guild and go. And they did. But not quietly. It was only a day or two before I seen him in trade, in the global LFG channel (glad that’s gone) and in the realm forums, trying to bash my name. Luckily I had some awesome guildies and support from other guilds on the other server that this man was truly an idiot. He recruited for his newfound guild with promises of “Epix” from their MC runs. First one that dropped that they applicant could use would be theres.

Pretty soon they had every known ninja and idiot on the server in the guild. People began to thank him for collecting all these folk into one guild tag so they could avoid them. However despite his successes he continued to bash on me publicly. I finally had enough and broke my silence and when I did, all hell broke loose. What had been simply “Chroniclust sucks, she’s a bitch!” turned into nitty gritty personal attacks, to the point where I finally reported him for bringing my marriage and children by name into a public forum of bashing. People ragged on him so much that he quit playing, but not before posting on our realm forums that he was playing on a private server, complete with a link. Intelligent guy really.

After that first experience I swore never again would I deal with that sort of thing, and everything went smoothly for a long time. It wasn’t until long into my <Infusion> days that I crossed another “Ballsycow”. Except this guy was opposite, he knew it all, and you WILL listen to him. Eventually I got mad enough that I yelled at him, and he immediately Gquit. But not without telling me he was the WoW God and I needed to bow down to him. I decided it was time for a reality check.

Reality Check

Reality Check

I kept the names in as most of these members don’t play anymore. But as you can see the guild wasn’t all that fond of him either, as I didn’t assume they’d be. Nowadays I don’t run a guild anymore. I got sick of dealing with the personal aspect and I had dramas of my own to deal with. However now that I’ve been an officer in AaA, I’ve come across a few incredibly interesting scandals in our guild. First being that of a player we had that was gay, and liked to give the guild details of his escapades. It was almost sickening. I can take a detailed sexual conversation, but some of the stuff he pulled was downright disgusting.

He eventually was removed and I thought all was well. However I came across more drama fairly recently. One guild member who is young and female, apparently had some issues when she became infatuated with an older male member. There was a guild camping trip not to long ago that resulted in an unintentional hook up. He didn’t want to stay involved, but she did. She pestered him and sent nude pictures of herself to him. When he rejected her she moved on to said no removed gay member. She sent him the same pictures, and he, in turn, posted them on our realm forums. It was a huge disaster. People sat in Ironforge spamming “PST AaA for a good time!”. We had to remove her. She changed her name, reapped to the guild with the new name and a new spec. All of this was done to cover her ass. (Ha ha ha funny right?) However its proved pretty pointless as everyone refers to her by her former name and she’s continued her antics.

Boob Chat Anyone?

Boob Chat Anyone?

So as you can see, you can’t avoid the drama. You can’t run from it. You can’t stop it. But occasionally, Its funny to go back and look on it and shake your head over all the trouble something so simple caused. I’m still working on my abilites to handle such dramas. I can’t help but be amused by the things people do because its “online”. Hopefully though the shenanigans won’t be so serious that we have to run someone off the server again XD

August 14, 2008

Memories

Posted in General, WoW tagged , , , at 6:49 pm by Andrea

I was talking with a friend yesterday and realized I’ve put a lot of time and effort in this game. Its been a few years now and I have over 1 year soild of time played. The up side to this is it means I have a lot of good times and memories to share. Unfortunately I dont have all my screen shots anymore but I made due with what I could find, so for you all, here’s a nice little slideshow of my WoW memories. You can click any picture at any time to take a good look at it 😛

Well WordPress wont let me put the stupid thing in here directly so here’s a link to the slideshow! Enjoy!

 http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v610/chronic_lust/ZG/?action=view&current=b0ae31ca.pbw

July 3, 2008

An Introduction, of Sorts

Posted in WoW tagged , , , , , at 2:11 am by Andrea

Well, after viewing my friend’s blog over at http://www.benameless.wordpress.com (Shameless Plug!) I decided he had a good idea. I thought I’d give it a shot as well. So lets begin shall we?

Hi! my name is Andrea. Im a 23 year old mother of two, and I, am an altoholic. Those of you familiar to World of Warcraft are probibly familiar with this term. Some of you may not be, so in short, I can’t seem to make up my mind, therefore I play as many toons as I possibly can. Thus far I have leveled three to 70 on my own, was given a fourth that I haven’t really touched, and have two in the upper 60’s. The rest are 20 something or less

I have been playing a long time, since about a month after release. This doesn’t make me an expert, or a WoW goddess, but I do believe it gives me an edge. Currently my high levels include A Demo Undead Warlock, A Holy Undead Priest, A BM Tauren Hunter, A Holy (Previously Prot) Dreanai Paladin, and a Gnome Combat Rogue. I also played a Tauren Feral Druid, but for only a month at level 70. It really wasn’t my cup of tea. I’ve also messed with other classes, but currently they are of lower levels.

Experience wise in the old world I was fortunate enough to experience MC, BWL, ZG, and AQ20 full clears. Back in the MC daysAlso did AQ40 to Princess Huhu. I never did get to see Naxx and at its time of release I wasn’t really intrested in yet ANOTHER fourty man raid. In the new content I’ve seen all of Kara, ZA, and SSC for Lurker Only… And one encounter in Hyjal where we downed the first boss, but that was kinda being in the right place at the right time. However I have done all of the Heroics… if that accounts for anything at all.

Socially, I appear to be quite the butterfly. My friends say I have Charisma… my husband says Im a bit of a bitch…. either way it tends to lead me to places where I end up, “In the know”. I tend to have friends in many guilds, and I seem to be kept in good with the latest gossip, though I do try to stray away from that.  I’ve run a few guilds, which ultimately, end up being a great group of people to hang out with, but aren’t much for accomplishing content progression. The first guild was <Dead>. This guild I had joined due to a RL friend who played… and two months in the guild leaders quit, and handed it off to me. I was in no way prepared to run a guild. I tried to adapt but it never amounted to much. Few bad mergers, and eventually I gave up. I joined a guild that gave me all of my old world experience… but after awhile… the amount of time involved in raiding and me working were just more then I could take… so I took a three week break from WoW.

My husband later convinced me to try again. Start fresh and anew. We rerolled Horde again on a brand new server. Started up a guild right away and recruited people of the same level as us, so we could work together and teach them how to be successful raiders. This plan actually proved fruitful for a long time. The guild Infusion, Halloween 2007grew, progressed and was doing well until Kara hit. With Three groups going, the first two were successful. The third was not. I learned quickly that even though its just pixels, people will still get mean and greedy if they don’t get what they want, right away. For a year the guild flourished, was self reliant (meaning heroics went off with ease. Enchants, Jewel cuts and the like were easily accessible). However the job for myself became harder and harder. Loot systems to keep track of, three kara teams to organize, a guild bank (Before guild banks were built into the game) and Forums and a website to upkeep again began to become more then I could handle. With the additon of demanding players and a brand new baby, I again gave up on running my own guild.

I decided to give WoW one more shot. This time on the Alliance. I rolled a Paladin, uncertain of her role at the time. I leveled her up, made new friends (along with the old who did in fact follow me across all these relams) and when she got to Outlands, I made her into a tank. For the few months following, I easily cleared Kara, and began to see instances outside of that. I built up her tanking gear using mostly badge gear items, and was blown away by how naturally progession comes to the Alliance side. She stayed a tank until recently… and now she’s a Holy Paladin for the needs of my guild, Ale and Arms.

The Paladin is currently my active main character. I raid with her and am still working on her holy gear. However my warlock remains a love of mine and is used to PvP every now and again. Also Im building up a rogue, since historically I’ve played casters. I wanted to give Melee its fair shot.

The point of this blog is to relate experiences I’ve had, guides I’ve written, and overall the rantings I have about being a serious gamer, and a mother at the same time. WoW is a male dominated game, but there are girls (and mothers!) out there who I know enjoy the game as well. This blog is for everyone alike, but it is from my point of view (Men be warned!) So I hope you enjoy it, and I’ll be posting again soon!