Monday, June 22, 2009

4 Haelz Scenario questions

Bellwether from 4 Haelz posted some hypothetical situations so I figured I'd post my response:

1. You've just started a guild. You're guild leader, and you have a decent sized pool of regular players. It's time to create officer positions. You can have six officers. What jobs would you give them, and what character traits would you find most desirable for those officers? Keep in mind, you can have less than six officers, that is just the problem's max range.

Answer: First I wish I had 10 positions available because I do enjoy a good "Class Leader" position to go with officers. As for actual jobs officers should take on, here's a list I've compiled:
- Raid Leadership
- Loot distribution (whether through Loot Council or DKP, with DKP the officer should be able to track each raid member's points via addon)
- Strong class leadership through the sharing of knowledge of their specific class and WoW general knowledge
- Website/Vent management if not done by the Guild leader
-Player recruitment
-Bank manager for the guild bank
- Sometimes raid morale can be boosted by an officer over vent or chat but this can really be done by anybody in the raid with a good sense of humor and timing.

As for an officer's characteristics, I think consistency, honesty, and a level head are three traits that make a good officer.
- You want an officer who is online when many of the guild members are online. That way the officer can answer questions and interact with the rest of the guild. What good is a person with a guild leadership position when they are never online?
- Honesty is an important quality to look for in a guild officer. All too often guild drama sparks from small miscommunications and turns into heated words that could all be stopped with an honest answer from the guild management. The biggest situations where this happens in my mind are loot distribution and roster setup for a raid. For loot, making sure everybody knows and understands the loot system before stepping foot inside the instance is key. Being up front with the guild by saying, "Hey, in order to progress as a guild we are going to gear out our tanks before anybody else, that means they will be the first to be receiving the tier tokens," this clears the air of any misconceptions dps or healers may have on being the first to get loot or whatnot and informs the raiders as well that the guild does have a plan on how to progress through the current content.
- Level Headedness is something I think is invaluable to a guild officer. People always have problems, and these problems will inevitably come to the attention of the guild management, how the officers deal with the problem will determine what quality of players stay with the guild and those that hop fence to greener pastures. Returning petty insults with petty comebacks is no way to act in a position of authority and it is on the guild leadership to be mature and think before they speak. Remember, it won't just be the complainer that sees and hears about the conversation if an officer decides to turn on the caps lock and make a complete fool of him/herself.

2. You're in a raiding guild. You're not a "new" member (you've been around a few months) but you're definitely not one of the senior ranking members. However, you notice that there is a job that could be filled. None of the officers are taking it on, but the GM has stated that he does not want to promote any more. Would you offer to do the job without the officer title? If yes, how would you discuss it with your GM? Would you be hoping for eventual promotion or would you be fine without the title and promotion? If the GM decided to simply pass off the job to an officer and not you, would you be okay with this?

Offering to do something for the guild and not asking for a reward is an excellent way to show your dedication to the guild and shows good character. As for approaching the GM, bring up the job as a suggestion and see if the GM/officers have discussed the situation in the past, if this job is something that the guild has previously tried and chosen not to continue then that should probably be the end of it, but if it's a novel idea then the GM will hopefully sign off and approve the idea. Hoping for a promotion is really all under the control of the player, some people aspire to fill leadership positions within a guild while others enjoy simply being able to raid and not have to worry about 24 other people's concerns. Personally, I enjoy the added responsibilities of guild leadership and though hoping for an eventual promotion is all well and good, throwing a fit without the title just isn't good etiquette. If the GM decides to pass off the job to an officer I'd be more than fine with this, this means that my idea is being implemented in the guild and this will hopefully make some part of the guild run better/smoother/etc. The only time I'd be irked is if I put a lot of work into the job with the guild leader's knowledge and then handing off my work to an officer, not cool.

3. You are the GM of a relatively successful progression raiding guild. Within your guild, you have a large amount of couples. One of your tanks and one of your dps are a couple. They will not raid without each other; however one of them is exceptional at their job, and the other learns slowly and does poorly. This situation is slowing your guild down and a lot of adjustment needs to be made for the one who does not do as well. Though you have other people who can fill the job of the person falling behind and their partner, they are inconsistent in showing and for the moment, you need them. What do you do?

This is a difficult situation and one my guild is currently facing but not quite as dire as this hypothetical appears. Here's a list of possible outcomes and what I think of them
1. Continue taking both the exceptional and the mediocre and hope to simply push through the content. By the looks of this hypothetical this has been tried and is not working for progression anymore so it is not a good option
2. Take neither the exceptional nor the mediocre. Many people have many reasons for playing WoW and it appears this couple chooses to always play together even if it is at the expense of the raid. This is a choice they've made and the guild can also make the choice of honoring that by filling their spots with other players.
3. Coach the mediocre. Having an officer, preferably of the same class, coach the poor player both during and outside of raids could potentially help the poor player perhaps improve and finally be able to carry their own weight. This strategy should be taken with caution however as not all players are open to criticism and can be sensitive. So starting with simple things like spec, gem selection and slowly tutoring the mediocre player could warm them up to the idea of having a "mentor" or something of the sort. This is where I think class leaders as officers works very well because the officer can immediately start coaching with the justification that it's his job to do so.
4. Compromise with the couple. If one partner is hindering progression but is able to do well once the strategy is figured out then it sounds like they would do just fine on farm nights. Ask and see if the couple is alright with only taking the exceptional player during progression nights and bringing the mediocre player on farming nights. Here we're forcing the couple to choose how they want to play the game and who they wish to play with. It sounds like the mediocre player knows they are holding back progression so they they should hopefully know that in order for the guild to progress that they either need to step it up or move out of the way.
5. Recruit more consistent players. There's a whole World of warcrafters out there, while finding exceptional players can sometimes feel rare they are out there. This selection goes along with the taking neither the exceptional nor the mediocre and should probably be done only if no compromise can be met and the couple is adamant in their goals to stick together at the expense of the guild's progression.


  1. Sunkist,

    Very thorough and inciteful post. It's nice to know that some of my thoughts as a non-raider are in line with yours.

    Also, thanks for commenting on my blog. It was greatly appreciated.


  2. This is great! I love your very detailed responses. Much food for thought here, and a lot mirroring my own.