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Filed under: (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We have a Tabard: New kid in town

Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

So you've got goals for your guild, and you've been working very hard toward recruiting new members. One of your next big challenges is keeping them around. Turn over is a plague among beginning and middle-tier guilds. Sure, guild dynamics like raid rules and bank privileges play into who stays and who goes from your guild, but it is more important to help make someone feel a part of the team.

Think about your own experiences in joining guilds. Have you ever been in one where nobody seemed to talk to you, except to ask if you could make them a flask? What about the guild that shifts their raid times, and doesn't make it clear to all members. WoW is a social world and new guildies are subject to the same anomic forces that someone might feel during their first few weeks at a new job.

First things first. Let your new guildies in on your expectations. It's helpful to have guild policies posted permanently on a website so that they can quickly learn what to do and what not to do. Be firm, fair and consistent with enforcing these rules for new guildies as well as established guild members. For example, loot systems can be daunting at first. Have a clear explanation and be prepared to answer questions. You may consider appointing an established member to helping your rookies learn the ropes.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Features, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We have a Tabard: I could teach you, but I'd have to charge

Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

It's so nice to run a raid when everyone is up to snuff on their characters and can focus entirely on what their doing. Unfortunately there seems to be at least one person who is not at the top of their game. Either the healer that's standing in fires or the DPS that can't fight their way out of a paper bag. They're not bad people and they mean well, but they are better cheerleaders than raiders. What's a raid leader to do?

I like to help people out and give people a shot, but there's only so much that I can do. At some point I have to consider the needs of the other nine or people in the raid over the needs of the single player. I was leading ToC 10 with a Hunter pulling 1800 DPS and the entire raid averaging about 2700. We had a number of wipes, but low DPS was a contributing factor. I called out the DPS saying, "Guys, I really need to be seeing 3K DPS." The 1800 Hunter said, "I don't think Hunters can pull 3K DPS." I nearly fell out of my chair.

My first response is to try to offer quick suggestions for how to resolve an issue (this is considerably easier when it's a raid awareness problem rather than a role problem). I feel genuinely awful when I have to remove someone from a raid, but the raid environment is not where one should learn his or her class.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We Have a Tabard: Strange bedfellows


Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

For years Blizzard has claimed that there would be no chance for faction changes. They didn't use the word "never" but they did say there were no plans on doing it. Much has changed since the Blizzard/Activision Merger. Well, the time has come, and what has become of it. I honestly can't tell you if the impact has been good or bad, but there has certainly been an impact.

If I haven't mentioned before, I play Horde. The first night that transfers came out, a number of my friends and guildies swapped characters over from Alliance. Good to see an influx of variety, but much attention turned to leveling forgotten alts. I don't know anyone who has transferred from Horde to Alliance. Given a better opportunity, I'm sure there are plenty who would make the switch.

Faction changes have had an interesting effect on guild on my server. A number of raiders from the top guilds swapped factions and joined forces with the top guilds on the Alliance side. The Alliance guilds have always been front runners in progression and this move has served to make them stronger. That's excellent for them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Factions, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We Have a Tabard: Gone but not forgotten


Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

Over the last several weeks, we've talked about everything that guild leaders need to do to try to maintain peace, order, and progress amongst your ranks. I'm going to let the rest of your guild in on a little secret: it's like a job, except you don't get paid.

Theoretically it should be a job that your GMs and officers love. Your leadership has less flexibility when it comes to scheduling than rank and file members. When it comes to raiding or other activities, your leadership doesn't have the opportunity to slack off. They are working hard to make sure things run smoothly and to set a good example for their members.

Is it better to burn out than to fade away? I am currently on a wee bit of a leadership hiatus. After struggling to fill raids and going over the same fights countless times, I kind of snapped. I told my team I needed a break. I have to admit that while I feel a little bit guilty, it's been blissful. I've slept more, had fewer migraines, and generally enjoyed WoW more for the last couple of weeks than I have over the last several months. It won't last though.

Let me offer you a few suggestions to avoid getting to the place where I was:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Features, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We Have a Tabard: Ring the bell, school's back in


Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

Drama is not the only issue to cause hardship among raiding guilds. We've seen guilds crumble and fall over new raid content. It seems we've come across another time-sensitive factor: the beginning of the school year. Guilds that have been blissfully progressing throughout the summer may be seeing their attendance plummet.

Remember folks, some things are more important than WoW. Education tops the list. It would be poor form to badger your scholastic members into raiding when they've got homework to do. Students also need a good night's sleep in order to perform successfully. This goes for college students as well as high schoolers, but they may have more flexibility in scheduling. In the end, WoW is just a video game and school affects the present and the future.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Features, Raiding, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We Have a Tabard: It's not cheating if...


Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

As I've mentioned before I'm not totally against PUGging raids. I find its actually an excellent way to get to know people on the server and sometimes a handy recruiting tool. Depending on your guild rules, there are some raids to PUG and some raids to save your lockout for your guild.

I had a guildie today all distraught because he was saved to Naxx 10 helping a guildie out. He apologized profusely when someone was putting together a "Badge Run Blitz" but couldn't heal it. At this point Naxx 10 is like running an extended heroic with more gold and shards. We've progressed beyond it, so lockouts are fair game.

I get a wee bit crabbier when folks get locked out of our current progression. We're actually still working on Ulduar 10, and need to draw upon any available resources to move forward. Guildies can feel free to run Naxx, Vault, and Obsidian Sanctum to their heart's content. Usually when someone asks for my blessing to run with another group, I give it if they have to miss guild times or we're unable to get into the group.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Features, Raiding, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We Have a Tabard: Don't go away mad, just go away

Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back every Friday for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

The above video by Propostris and Gigi, while awesome, is not safe for work.

As I've mentioned before, building a guild can be very challenging. Recruiting and retention efforts are critical. Sometimes you find members, however, that may seem to fit in, but in the end they do not. You must strike a balance between having enough guilides to get things done and a team that works well together. Your guild rules and personal interactions help determine which members are valuable members of the team and who needs a /gkick.

I have found that having a lot of guild members is generally not better than having quality guild members. There are many ways in which guild members can not fit. Sometimes folks activity times do not mesh with the guild. It doesn't really do any good to have folks tagged up but stuck PUGging raids because they can't be there for raid times. This person may not need to be removed, but don't be surprised if he or she leaves to find a guild with raid times more suited to their play times.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Features, Raiding, Buffs, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We have a Tabard: To 25-mans, and beyond!

Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back every Friday for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

Founding and nurturing an up-and-coming raid guild can be quite a daunting task. We see it every day in trade chat <New Guild Name> is now recruiting players of all levels. "We're a fun, friendly guild that regularly raids 10-mans and is looking to build our 25-man team. We have a tabard, bank tabs, and Ventrilo. PST if you're interested." The bark is always the same, the only difference is the number of spelling errors. How do you gracefully move from 10 to 25-man content?

If that's your guild, first of all, congratulations on some early success in progress in getting to 10-man raids. When you're not quite there, you have a few options are a few options, all of which have their upsides and their downsides. You can pug into 25-man content, you can run guild raids and take pugs along, you can work with another guild, or you can be content with 10-man content. Let's take a moment to explore each of the options.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Features, Raiding, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We Have a Tabard: Hang up and raid

Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back every Friday for Amanda Dean talking about guilds ad guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

I've been having a blast raiding since Ulduar was released. It's been a joy learning new fights and getting more and more bosses on farm. I understand that learning new fights in raid encounters takes time, but once a fight is on farm the only thing more annoying than healing preventable damage is wiping because someone wasn't paying attention.

Just like distracted driving can cost lives, distracted raiding can cause wipes. In most cases the time for tank and spank is over once you walk in the portal to a raid. The encounters require players to be prepared and on the ball. Not only should officers lead by example when it comes to raid awareness there are a number of things that can be done to improve attentiveness:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guilds, Raiding, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We Have a Tabard: The green-eyed monster


Congratulations! You've bested the bosses in 25-man Naxx and Kel'Thuzad is dead. You have one last trial to deal with: distributing loot. He drops Cape of the Unworthy Wizard, Betrayer of Humanity, Crown of the Lost Protector, and Crown of the Lost Vanquisher- and everybody wants a piece.

There's something "Lord of the Flies"-esque about the way that Blizzard drops loot and then allows players to decide who gets it. DKP, Loot Council, Biggest Upgrade, Two Token, simple rolls. Every system is flawed. Someone is going to walk away unhappy. For GMs/RLs I give you this advice: be fair, be consistent, and brace yourselves. Odds are good, someone is going to be unhappy and you're going to have to deal with it.

But this column isn't for GMs/RLs. Jealousy, the green eyed monster is one of the worst adversaries in WoW. Guilds have fallen apart over loot decisions and overall loot practices. In most cases leadership tries to be fair- with an eye on progression. A good GM doesn't play favorites when it comes to loot. With good leadership, you can count on decisions that strengthen the team as a whole.

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Filed under: Ranking, Guilds, Features, Raiding, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We have a tabard: Make it so


Warning: This guy is probably not someone you'd want as an officer. Nor is this video safe for work, small children, or anyone who is sensitive about cursing or animated depictions of sexual acts. But with that said, everyone and their grandmother has seen it, so enjoy.

Adding officers to your guild can help ease burdens on the Guild Master, and up efficiency within the guild. But poorly chosen or corrupt officers can do more harm than good within. Even before you select a cadre of officers, you should have an idea of what you'd like them to do for you. Let's take a look at the different types of officers you should consider having in your guild, and how they all interact with each other and your fellow guildies.

Class leaders are the first to come to mind. This type of authority should have a keen knowledge of the common specs and rotations for their class. They should be familiar with itemization for their charges and advocate for them in loot decisions.

Raid leaders are an absolute blessing for dungeon-crawling guilds. He or she can either be in charge of raiding as a whole or just fill in for the GM as needed. It is very helpful to assign an assistant Raid Leader to the Loot Master position so that the raid can continue with trash pulls as loot is distributed. Raid Leaders should be intimately familiar with the fights, and have enough patience to be able to explain them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Odds and ends, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We Have a Tabard: A little help from my friends

The We Have a Tabard series is designed to help guild leaders, officers, members achieve their goals to maximize their cooperative experience.

I'm relatively new to leading a raiding guild. I've been working on building and training my team for about six months. I've been leading the recruiting and correcting members, managing raids, and in general trying to make my online family as functional as possible. It's a lot of work for one person, and no matter how much I love my guildies I have to admit that I am tired.

The best thing that I've ever done for myself and my guild is to ask for help. I have some great players in my guild that are well respected by other members and the server community. They have expertise in areas that do I do not. Probably most importantly they are less likely to mince words than I do and are willing to do what it takes to get the job done. Having some backup has helped some become more invested in the guild and has really lightened my load.

Choosing who to ask for help can be a tough call. It does little good to select only your favorites or your friends, if they are not successful leaders. Take several factors into account when selecting a council of officers:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guilds, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

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