Let me preface this with the fact I have run guilds in MMOs for 21 years now, back to text based only, (including one of the first guilds in ESO. Thank you Tuk, for getting us into the Alpha!) the damn glory days of imagination! Yeah, I’m an old fucker at this point. My beard is legit grey from top to bottom.
More than likely I will see a few replies from previous guild members here, even leads of guilds I have handed off leadership to, I have no doubt some will be positive and others… maybe not so much! I deserve both, truly.
Running an MMO guild is fun. Really, its awesome overall, it’s become my content in these games, this life hobby if you will, and I have no plans to stop doing so. Do you care as you read this? Maybe? … More than likely, not so much.
I am writing this up as its been asked of me to do so, numerous times, over many years… so before you fall asleep or link this post to your friends for some good times and laughs… below are my TOP ten points of advice to those wishing to run a guild that lasts beyond a few weeks.
- You can’t please everyone. Sure, you have seen it before, read it on reddit and clicked across the memes. But for fucks sake, you really can’t. My advice, however, try to. Just remember: "Over sensitivity is the fertilizer for drama" ~ Bugbig (my friend and first true guild leader before the term "GUILD" was even a thing)
- “To delegate tasks large and small, a guild servant first of all” Seriously, your only goal as a guild leader should be to enable the fun of others. If you have dreams of power, ego and imaginary wealth…well, good luck to ya. Our job as guild leaders is not to micromanage or run “THE SHOW”, it’s to seek out and find those around us who can do a FAR, FAR better job than ourselves. Give them the tools and power to make people great. Do this and you will reap the rewards…. Which really, is absolutely nothing of value, har!
- gRramMar is overrated.
- Understand you are not the best person in your guild to be running things. You will come across folks with exponentially more experience as leader than you. Learn from them, be open to them and above all be humble to them. This does not mean however, that you forfeit your own goals and direction.
- Democracy in a guild if bat-fucking-shit-crazy. MMO guilds need a dictatorship, period. Take advice, learn, be open and honest but in the end… the buck has to stop with you. You are the soul owner of your guild and you need to be prepared to sink it or steer it onward. Success or failure is on YOU and you ALONE.
- Be kind to person behind the keyboard and put them ahead of in game accomplishments
- Have an open heart and mind but prepare for war. As the GL you need to be able to deal with the ups and downs of your guild. Be ready to demote, remove and otherwise take a stand against the “bad apples” that inevitably slip through. Be swift in discipline but be honest. Be prepared to keep your house clean.
- Bourbon, FFS… lots of Bourbon…
- Always keep your own health in mind, its your priority. A GL who is burnt out and tired is a GL who cares but has lost their course (I have been there, I know!) If you need help, ask, if you need a break, take it, if you need to step aside… have folks in place to facilitate. Above all, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
- Last but in my opinion the most important. You, as the GL, must be a total champion for the guild. You need to love the game, you need to (above all) love people and recruitment. The life blood of any long-lasting guild is the new player and member. Foster, cultivate and pursue this. This holds true weather you are an RP guild or a Leader-boards trial guild, you absolutely must love what you are trying to build and evolve.
Of course, there are another 73 points to go over (no really! That’s the exact number!), details and many questions but… after success and failure as a guild lead over the last two decades, the above is what I have found to hold true. Again, this post was out of request but… it was also fun to write. If anything, I hope you found something of value here, or even something to argue. My hope is that it helps someone out as they pursue this endeavor, perhaps for their first time. As always, I look forward to comments, rants, complaints, advice, agreement and everything in between!
Stay safe all, have fun, kill all the things…and take their stuff!
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© Post "Ramblings from an old GL" for game The Elder Scrolls.
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