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Posts with tag criticism-culture

Officers' Quarters: Helping a tween tank

Orc tank
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

This week's email is from a guild leader in a delicate situation. One of his younger raiders is holding the guild back, but he doesn't want to upset her. Her highly protective father is also a member.

Heyo Scott!

My problem comes in the form of a raider who's enthusiasm and dedication are impressive, but who's ability are not.

I'm Co-GM of a guild that's been together for about a year. In that time, we've gone from only having one or two people on all day to regularly having 10-15 at any given moment. We raid 10-man normal and Flex mode, everyone in the guild who can make it to raids regularly is happy with the situation, and even those who leave for greener raiding pastures always leave behind their alts because they just enjoy the community so much.

The problem is that we are slowly bleeding away some of our best raiders due to our lack of progress.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Lessons from a guild split

Immerseus
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

This week's email doesn't have a question for me. It's the story of a guild with clashing raid cultures. It includes some great lessons for officers about the consequences of trying to do too much.

In addition to [our progression team] Team Elite ("TE"), my guild ran 2-3 other 10-man teams throughout MOP. The other teams were not as intense due to differing skills and play styles. However some resentment did build. Some players did have the "greener grass" syndrome and wanted to be a part of TE. So when spots opened up, a handful of them ended up moving over to that team. This was the main reason for the resentment. Other raiders saw themselves as "farm system" groups for the "major league" group.

For the record, I was on TE for the first tier only. After I moved to other teams, I really gained the perspective of the other raiders, and I started to feel that resentment as well. I saw a huge shift in attitude from the TE players, even the longtime members.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Extinction event

Direhorns in patch 5.2
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

For some raiding guilds, the last couple of weeks before a new patch is an opportunity to get those last normal or heroic encounters down, earn achievements, or farm for the last few items the raid team needs for the next tier. For others, they are a reminder of how little the guild has progressed. This reminder prompts raiders to weigh leaving the guild. This week's email comes from a raid leader facing this tough situation.

Hi Scott.

I've become Raid Leader of my old guild. Which, is driving me crazy.

This raid team has been through thick and thin, through multiple Gm's and having lost multiple strong raiders I came back to the guild to help them and to join the team as Raid Leader. I've been having a really tough time though. Progression is non-existent. We're stuck on Blade Lord due to a lack of strong dps players and the new people who show promise need to do Mogu'shan Vaults to get gear for Heart of Fear. The raiders who've been on the team since the start of this tier are bored and have had enough of no progression and Mogu'shan Vaults. They're mainly all thinking of leaving the guild and if so, it'll mean the end of this guild, which I love.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: How to avoid the feeder guild label

A fern feeder moth in Grizzly Hills
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available from No Starch Press.

No community wants to be known as a feeder guild. No raid team wants to see its best members leave for more progressed guilds when they have the opportunity. No guild leader wants to fall victim to poaching over and over again. It's an embarrassing place to be. How can you stop the bleeding and shake the label? Read on to find out! But first, this week's email:

Hi Scott.

I'm GM of a guild that is not a hard core raiding guild. We have been around since Ulduar and were founded at the break up of a guild that existed since vanilla. ... The founding principle of the guild was no drama and keep it casual. This has crystallised into my own rule as GM: advice for other players is fine if you ask if they want it first. Unsolicited "you are rubbish" comments are not allowed.

... One advantage of the guild is that the atmosphere of advice and support over criticism means that "OMG you Noob" players either change their tune or leave. This mean the relations between guild members generally remain good even after people move on. So on to the issue.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Impending doom


Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available now from No Starch Press.

As the dawn of the Cataclysm era looms, new guilds have been springing up on every realm, hoping to tackle the expansion's challenges. Founding a guild is no easy task -- it requires dedication, patience, and hard work. How can you be sure it's all going to work out? Well, you never can. However, if you can identify signs of trouble early on, then you stand a much better chance of heading off some major problems later. This week's email is from a guild leader who's already sensing divisions in his fledgling community.

Scott,

I have been playing WoW for some time now. I had joined a guild last year and made several friends in it. However, we had several differences we felt over what we wanted and the direction the guild was going. So we parted ways with the guild, leaving behind many friends.

We started a new guild and are starting to recruit, establish guild rules and goals, etc. However, I am worried that differences among guild members and especially officers may become a problem. We have several very kind and patient officers and others who are less so. How does one manage the two groups (i.e., still get things done in a kind and patient manor and keep those with shorter fuses from turning off new members or current officers)?

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Destructive criticism, part 2


Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available from No Starch Press.

Last week, I began addressing what is one of the most complex and difficult duties an officer or raid leader must occasionally perform: giving out unsolicited constructive criticism. As the email that sparked this discussion proved, such conversations can be volatile. With the wrong approach, you can destroy friendships and lose guildmates. Let's continue to examine the right approach.

To recap, here are the first two steps from part 1:
  1. Consider your guild's criticism culture and adapt your approach accordingly.
  2. Plant the seed of taking personal initiative to research and improve play.
At this point, you have to be a little bit patient. If your guild is on the brink of collapse over performance issues, you can't always afford to let this situation play out. However, the safest bet is to give the underperforming player another week of raids to show an improvement. Keep a close eye on him during this week. Examine his spec and gear to see if he's made any adjustments. Record a combat log to see if he's using the appropriate class abilities. Watch him during boss encounters to see if he is following instructions and executing the fight properly.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Destructive criticism


Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available from No Starch Press.

In the day-to-day duties of an officer and a raid leader, few endeavors are more fraught with the potential for drama than doling out performance advice to your players. Constructive criticism, no matter how well-meaning, can become destructive in the blink of an eye if it's not approached delicately. After scaring off a healer, the officer who wrote this week's email is looking for a better way to deal with these situations.

Scott,

As an officer in my guild, I take care of several things, but the big three are raid leading our second 10-man group (which is not easy as a healer, by any stretch of the imagination), making sure our priests are doing what they are supposed to be doing both as dps and healers, and any extra healers, making sure they're doing their job right. The first two are interesting enough, especially since there's very little consistency with our group, and our number of priests waxes and wanes with the seasons. But the big problem here is when I have to "fix" a healer. Now, I know no one likes to receive constructive criticism, and officers like even less to give the constructive criticism for fear of running off the guild member.

Recently, I've had to talk to two different healers to try to help them out with their healing, one was a holy priest, the other a restoration shaman. Now, I have some pretty hefty experience with both classes as healers (I have two max level priests, and a max level shaman, and I've healed in raids on all of them), so I find myself at least somewhat knowledgeable about the classes, but by no means do I consider myself an expert. I'll leave that to Elitist Jerks. At any rate, the two healers, after speaking with them separately in tells, I found that the priest was more willing to work with the suggestions I'd made, and there was a huge improvement the following night in our raid. The shaman, however, was very adverse to my suggestions. Here's where the meat of the problem comes in.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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