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Posts with tag officers

Drama Mamas: When friends don't behave like friends

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

It hurts when your good friend doesn't have your back.
I have an issue that I hope you can help me with.

I've been playing wow for 6 and half years now and after my first guild folded I went to play on the hordes side of the fence for a little bit. After deciding to return to alliance I offered my support to a friend from the previous guild in her quest of making one of her own.

It's been about a year since I joined the guild and was appointed assistant gm and being put in charge of raiding I even took care of the guild whilst my gm and her partner was moving states I farmed for mats and put gold in the guild bank and also gained a handful of recruits.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Officers' Quarters: Based on true events

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.

This week's Officers' Quarters is going to be a little bit different than the norm. Usually I choose an email and do my best to offer advice and guidance to solve a guild-related problem. In this case of the email below, I didn't think it was worth using for a column. There are many emails that I respond to privately that I don't plan to feature on the site, usually either because they deal with a topic similar to one I've covered in the past or because the answer is relatively straightforward.

Then, about a week ago, I received a followup message from the player that made this situation worth a second look. Below, I'll post the email, my response, and the player's inspiring followup.

Cata has hit and with it, we saw a few server transfers. Our guild ranks have been bursting with new and returning players. As a tank, I've been doing a lot of work to run heroics and rotate players with me so that they can benefit from guild groups but I've noticed most of the other officers are staying in their officer-cliques. I've tried socializing with them and they've become more friendly in the last few months, but I still don't feel comfortable with them, mostly.

A lot of time they will [. . .] go back and forth with banter about incest, rape, genital mutilation, bestiality and other shock-value crap. These people are all my age (25-35) and while separately they can be pleasant, together they are gross and after months of hearing it I decided to ask them to cool the talk in public areas.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Not an officer


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 this spring from No Starch Press.

Who deserves to be an officer? Guild leaders struggle with this question quite a bit. It comes down to this question: In your guild, does the officer rank exist to reward players or to give them responsibilities? In other words, what is the purpose of the officer rank? Later, I'll talk about the two most common purposes. But first, this week's e-mail comes from a player who feels he deserves a promotion to officer.

Hey Scott,

I've been playing with a group of people for five years now. We've stuck together as a guild for most that time, though we've moved from tag to tag over the duration. I left WoW for a short period while I moved across the country and upon my return found the guild I had been in was disbanded and we had merged with another guild. No big deal, we've done it before. I was an officer in the old guild, but was not promoted to officer status in the new (too many officers, not enough members, etc.). Again, no big deal.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: PUGs are people too


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 this spring from No Starch Press.

As Wrath of the Lich King winds down, interest in the current raiding scene will wane. Members will play less, attend less, or even quit the game until the next expansion draws them back in. More and more guilds will have no choice but to invite PUG players to fill their remaining slots. When PUGs join your raid, loot can become an even more sensitive issue. This week, one player is fed up watching PUGs win loot over fellow guildies.

/salute

I'm writing to you Scott to request assistance or advice with an issue i seem to be having. I'm the offtank for my 10 man ICC guild, we only have 1 wing down, but we are extremely casual. Usually during our runs we will take 1-3 pugs with us as not everyone who signs up for a raid makes it. Here is where my issue comes in. The pug's get to roll on the gear that we guildies have been bashing our heads into a wall to get for the last month, and they WIN!! The GL/RL just hands it right on over like it's a piece of candy. I'm tired of it Scott and I don't know when to put my foot down as an officer and say "enough is enough" and "It's time for a change".

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Rolling like jerks


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 this spring from No Starch Press.

Ah, the good, old-fashioned /random command -- where would WoW be without it? It fixes so many problems. It's utterly impartial. It can't be bribed, cajoled, or reasoned with. The /random command is the friend of every PUG raid leader.

In a guild setting, however, using /random for loot distribution only works when you're sensible about using it. When you're not, you open up your guild to some terrible situations. I present Exhibit A:

Hi Scott,

I'm a semi officer in my guild (I get to be in officer chat, but I can't invite people or make policy changes, though I'm asked for my opinion quite a bit). Lately, our guild is just managing to kill the first four bosses of Icecrown in both 10 man, and the 25 man that we have to pug. (We're not a huge guild.) But lately, we've been having some problems with loot distribution. I know I know, that's always the case isn't it?

Well over the past few weeks, we've been noticing some problems with the /rolls we've been doing. In one 25 man ICC, 3 pieces of tank loot dropped, were rolled on, and went to 1 single tank(not even the MT). Problem is, Tanking isn't the role he likes to do. He enjoys healing or DPSing... but because he's gotten the loot, our Guild leader and MT wants him to be the offtank...

If that was the end of it, it'd be easy enough to fix. Get a loot council and be done with it. But, since we PUG our 25 mans, those rules don't apply, and they got worse when one of our healers rolled on a healing weapon, then immediately posted in guild, "Anyone in the raid want this thing for 6K? I need my epic flyer."

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Drama Mamas: Wake-up call to guild officers

The Drama Mamas are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. How to handle that sticky situation? Ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas@wow.com.

That's it! I've had it. There's a nasty little problem gnawing its way through guilds across Azeroth, and the people who can fix the situation aren't even listening. One simple change would solve probably half of the questions the Drama Mamas receive every week. Even worse, we've covered this matter multiple times before, but certain people (ahem) don't seem to have their listening caps on.

So allow me apologize in advance to our letter-writer this week, because I'm not going to answer his question. (And let me apologize to Robin in advance, too, since she'll be left picking up the actual question.) Instead, I'm going to lay out the underlying situation clearly enough that perhaps a few of the guilty parties will wake up and take notice.

Guild officers: listen up.

Hey Mamas: With my current guild we've been hitting ICC-25 regularly since its release, but I've noticed we've been hitting a wall lately. Sadly, "the wall" isn't Putricide or Blood Queen or any of the bosses, for that matter. The wall is the guild itself. We've cleared all non-gated bosses up to Dreamwalker, but now all of a sudden people seem to have cold feet. Our healers are pretty crummy, except for one or two of them (if they show), which has meant that certain fights have been disproportionately harder than others. Festergut is one those. But our guild's failure on Blood Queen, due to the healers' inability to stay on top of the damage, is now preventing us from moving on to Dreamwalker. The rationale here is that if the Queen is impossible for us to get down, then we shouldn't even "waste" time on Dreamwalker.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Drama Mamas

Officers' Quarters: The A team question


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 this spring from No Starch Press.

The "A Team" -- in WoW, it's not a bunch of guys in a van who help people by . . . shooting other people. Rather, it's your best players grouped together to the exclusion of other guild members. Most guilds don't have the numbers to fill two 25-player teams, so this issue usually relates to 10-player runs. The forming of a 10-player A team can be riddled with drama. This week's e-mail asks whether allowing an A team is the right choice.

I enjoy reading your perspective on guild leadership. I'm hoping you can give us some ideas on balancing progression versus inclusion.

We are an established raiding guild that works on the top tier of content. While we are not a guild that makes server first kills, we steadily progress through the content and see hard/heroic modes on 25 man difficulty. Our raiding core is pretty solid, although there are levels of skill, from very high to adequate. We typically complete the ten man content, and use the ten mans as a base to gain experience on the twenty five mans.

Our problem mainly rests on the makeup of our ten man groups. One school wants to have the maximum number of people get in the ten man groups. This school spreads our best players among multiple groups. All of the groups have some success, but because there are weaker players included, these groups usually hit a wall on harder fights (Heroic Anub or the Wing Bosses of ICC). There is a lot of frustration on the part of our best players when this happens.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm's guild revamp -- guild currency


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

After Blizzard's big announcement about how they plan to improve guilds in Cataclysm, I've been examining the changes in detail. First, I wrote about the lack of guild improvements over the years and how the expansion will, for better or worse, change WoW guilds forever. Then I speculated on possible leveling system options, guild talents, and guild achievements. This week, I'm going to finish up the series by talking a bit about guild currency and suggesting some products that Blizzard should let us buy with this new system.

Here's what we know so far. Guild currency will be earned by players in your guild who earn experience. It remains to be seen if experience (and thus currency) will still be earned by players once they reach the level cap, but I assume that it will.

So far, they've only mentioned a few items that we can buy:
  • Vanity items like mounts, tabards, and standards
  • Reagents like frost lotuses for flasks
  • Recipes
  • Heirloom items that scale with level

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: The fall surge


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Back in June, I wrote about surviving the summer, when raider interest wanes and many players go AFK for weeks on end. Now that fall is back in full swing, all those players are back. Many guilds find themselves with a renewed roster of raiders clamoring for suddenly limited slots. This week, one reader asks how to handle all the extra bodies.

Scott,

I lead a casual raiding guild. We have 1 25-man a week and about 3 10-mans a week including ToC 10 and Ulduar 10. I don't force anyone to raid. I tell them that they can sign up for whatever they want but if they sign up and don't show up, then they are penalized.


My problem is that since I allow anyone to sign up and I don't have set groups, what do I do when I have more people signed up than I need?

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Ragequit fallout


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.


If you've played WoW long enough, and if you've raided enough, odds are you've wanted to quit your guild right in the middle of a run at some point. Some people actually go through with it. I'll never forget the night many years ago when our raid's main tank quit the guild and zoned out of Onyxia's Lair while he was tanking the boss. Yeah, that guy had some anger issues . . .

But what happens when a guild leader ragequits in the middle of a raid? Read on to find out!

Hi Scott,

A friend and I started a guild about 5 months back. I assumed the Co-Gm role, led the raids and recruited quite a bit. After a slow start we ended up making an impact on the server as a stand up crew and were moving into the top rankings for 10 and cracking the 25 man progression as well. The other Co-Gm was very good at handling issues and I admit that was not my strong point. Things worked really well until unfortunately I had an "EMO" moment.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: From the mail bag


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.


Hello, fellow officers! This week I'm going to try something a little bit different than usual. I tend to focus on one topic that requires a detailed analysis. However, I do receive many more questions that I never feature in the column because they have a more straightforward solution (or, at least, because I believe they have a straightforward solution). So I would write a private reply to the e-mail but never showcase the question here.

I've decided to try an experiment this week and feature several of these e-mails with shorter answers. Even though they may not be the most complex situations, I think the answers will be helpful to other officers. Let me know what you think! Here's the first question.

Too Many Cooks

I was wondering if you could do an article on having too many cooks in the kitchen during raids.

My guild is brand new, 3-4 weeks old, and we run Ulduar 10 and ToC 10 as well as Naxx 25 and Naxx 10 for the new 80s. As of right now, I am my guild's GM as well as raid leader. I have plans in the future to add an official "Raid Leader" to create events and lead some raids although I plan on still leading a few because I really enjoy it.

Right now though, I have a few natural born leaders that attend my raids and it causes some problems.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: An exclusive party


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.


I get a lot of e-mails, many more than I could ever cover in this column. I hear about a lot of drama, drama of all different kinds, for all different reasons. So it always piques my interest when I read an e-mail like the one below, with an entirely new kind of guild drama. This one sounds more suited to a middle school class than a guild, but here it is: secret party drama. Read on for the details!

I am a member of a fairly progressed raiding guild. I am a member of the main raid. I am not an officer, but almost all the regular raiders are officers. In many ways the guild is good. Raiding rules and loot are fair.

However, it has become clear that the guild is dominated by a clique and that promotions to officer and most raid invites are largely based upon becoming part of the in group. Recently it was announced during raid that we would be taking a week off as many would be out of town. After the week off, during Vent chat, it became clear that the many out of town were all out of town together. That is, the guild officers were invited to an in person party (some traveled to go to it, others didn't but all were invited). I also learned that the officers intentionally tried to keep the party a secret beforehand.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm's guild revamp -- guild achievements


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

After Blizzard's big announcement about how they plan to improve guilds in Cataclysm, I've been examining the changes in detail. First, I wrote about the lack of guild improvements over the years and how the expansion will, for better or worse, change WoW guilds forever. Then I speculated on possible leveling system options and guild talents. This week, I'm going to look at guild achievements.

Here are the announced guild achievements so far:
  • Working as a Team: Have a grand master in every profession
  • We Are Legendary: Complete a legendary weapon
  • United Nations: Become Exalted with all Northrend factions
  • Insider Trading: Trade 100,000 craftable items among guild members

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Guild leader loot rage

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

This week's e-mail describes a fairly typical loot drama situation. What makes it unique is that it involves the guild leader, who did not handle the issue very well at all, as you will see. As officers, we have to be very careful about how we handle loot for our own characters. We have to set the example for how we'd like our members to deal with loot issues. Let's look at the e-mail first. Then I'll talk about what this guild leader should have done differently.

Hello --

I have written to you before regarding an attendance issue in the guild I was in. Your response was very timely and incredibly helpful -- once 3.2 hit we made raids happen a lot quicker.

Recently, we made an adventure into Ulduar. We did very well for a small guild and got up to Thorim in one night. After a few wipes, one person had to leave and was replaced with a new person. We made the decision to have the new person switch to his DPS spec and had one of our existing DPS go to a tank spec. We downed him that attempt (which was awesome). I was the Master Looter, so I opened up the chest and a Tier token dropped, along with the epic mace Legacy of Thunder. The DPS who had switched to tank was a Warrior, and the mace was a huge upgrade for him. I said in raid, "Roll for Legacy". The Warrior rolled and a Paladin, the guild master, rolled against him. The Warrior won the roll, so I gave the item to him. The GM whispered me a message along the lines of "way to do loot". I didn't think too much of his comment, and logged off for the night.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm's guild revamp -- leveling and talents

Last week I talked about the massive guild overhaul unveiled at BlizzCon, and the impact these changes would have on guilds, for better or worse. This week I'd like to delve into the leveling system and guild talents. (I'll cover achievements and guild currency in a separate column later.)

Currently we know that guilds will level up as players participate in the following:
  • Boss kills
  • Rated battlegrounds and arenas
  • Leveling professions
  • Increasing faction reputations
Blizzard has stated that only the top 20 experience producers per day will count toward leveling. This is a smart idea. Without this limitation, I could easily see guilds recruiting every player possible just to level up quickly, and then discarding the players they don't really want once they hit level 20. Guild size should help in a small way, but it shouldn't be the determining factor of leveling progress.

One other factor I'd like see contribute to guild leveling is player achievements. Many of them, particularly for Heroic dungeons and raiding, are very difficult to get without a solid guild. Aside from a few vanity items along the way, there's no great reward for racking up a ton of achievement points. Yet, well-designed achievements (i.e., not the exploring or holiday achievements) demonstrate mastery of various aspects of the game. Shouldn't your guild be rewarded for having such players? Besides, it never hurts to give players more incentive to go out and /love some squirrels.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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