I've decided to start a blog to offer WoW players an insight into what it's like for me to run a guild. Of course, every guild master is different, we all have various methodologies, personalities, and experiences that shape both our leadership and our guilds. However, we all have one thing in common (well, the best of us at least), and that is the desire to see our guild do its very best. Whether we're casual, hardcore, or somewhere in between, we all want to construct a guild that harbors good times and connects like-minded individuals for a more complete gaming experience.
I've been the GM of two guilds now. Originally creating Blood and Honor in late 2006 and then Exiled in mid-2010. In both guilds I had a similar focus, try to create a guild that would strike a happy medium between casual and hardcore. Both Exiled and BandH recruited on player's personality being the major factor and skill a secondary. The major difference between the two being recruitment strategies.
Blood and Honor had an open recruitment. We would take anyone and everyone and most members in the guild were able to invite. This works well in some aspects, but fails terribly in others. There was hardly ever a problem filling a raid, there were plenty to choose from. The flip side is not everyone could get in. This led to plenty of unhappy people and having 101 unhappy people results in EXTREME management overhead. I tried to address this problem by creating more raids and bringing in more raid leaders. However, this failed in other aspects. I loved BandH, it was one of the most rewarding and humbling experiences I've ever had. Sadly, I failed at making it work. There are several reasons for this and I learned a lot. Perhaps one day soon I'll write about why it failed and what I learned.
Exiled arose from the ashes of BandH. Eventually I no longer had the time nor the effort to manage that many people. It started to feel like 2 guilds in one and I got the worst of both. I decided to start over, take what I learned from BandH, and apply it in a fresh setting. The most prominent lesson being that I needed to know my restraints and the managerial burden I could manage being both a full-time college student and full-time worker. As such, Exiled doesn't recruit. We have a set number of raiding members and only allow more in when we lose others. This allows me to have control over the guild and make a difference for all the players, versus a select handful.
This blog is going to be a small insight in to what it is like for me to lead Exiled and to talk about various aspects of being a GM. This new journey will allow me to use my previous experiences as well as teach me new, valuable lessons. Lets be honest here, this is no more "just a game" than professional football is "just a game." My players are building lasting friendships and investing hours of their lives in to this. I'm at the helm of a ship that is sailing into the unknown. Being a GM is about more than being a player in a game, it's about being a manager, a team leader, and a friend.