Mar 30th 2008 1:29PM Perhaps if they made updated characters models optional for people to take...
Jan 14th 2008 1:00PM I just discovered this old post, but it's caught my interest and I'd like to comment anyway.
The most interesting part to me is the tricky issue of favoritism, real or perceived, towards a GM's SO. Two observations:
1) Assuming a strong and healthy relationship, the SO -does- have a position of power with respect to the GM that other guildies don't have. No amount of good intentions or striving for impartiality can change this.
This power doesn't need to translate to influence over every particular issue. It doesn't mean that decisions regarding loot or other conflicts will always be biased in the SO's favor. But in aggregate, the SO is a trusted influence in the GM's life. The SO influences (directly or indirectly) the GM's philosophies, prioritization, and emotional energy they bring to bear on their life, and that includes their role as a WoW player and GM.
2) Even if favoritism is not present in a situation, the perception of favoritism may be present, and this is all that is necessary to damage trust and credibility. The GM can mitigate this risk by following a fair and transparent set of rules (for example, determining officers by election), but even the best set of rules won't cover every circumstance, and sometimes judgment is needed.
When judgment needs to be applied in a situation where the SO is involved, I think the GM needs to do two things to combat the perception of favoritism: (a) Communicate their reasoning very clearly to everyone involved. (b) Bias their judgment somewhat -against- their SO anyway, making it very clear to their SO (and perhaps everyone else) that they are doing so.
If this seems like a tough pill for the SO to swallow, remember that one can minimize these situations by creating a clear set of rules. And also remember point #1 -- the SO already has an unfair advantage that nobody else does. In the grand scheme of things, this can all balance out.
It's important for the GM and SO to have a conversation about all of this in advance and agree on an approach that works for both people.
One way to shortcut -all- of this is for the couple to become co-guild-leaders. Of course, this requires that the SO has the interest in doing so, and that the GM is interested in sharing the seat with them. And if the guild is already established, the GM better be sure the change will go over well before implementing it. AND there's a whole debate one could have about the advantages and disadvantages of trying to lead with two heads rather than one. But it does nicely sidestep all the questions of favoritism.