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The fathoms of a Guild Leader...

Discussion in 'Guilds, Circles and Warparties General' started by Shu, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Shu

    Shu Cupcake

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    Hey all,

    I have been running a guild/multigaming community for 2 years, we've seen our ups and downs, good times and bad times, and whatever else. That's fine and all, and I've met some really great people through my time running a community, and we're still going.. slowly.

    My question is pretty simple, what the heck am I doing wrong? I've been running this community for 2 years, we have between 15-20 solid, every day logins from members, alongside a couple of other people that hang out with us that we call "VIP" members. (IE: Community members that don't want to commit to a clan/guild.)

    One of the largest problems I have is going in blind to a game, creating a guild, and trying to bring new people in. A lot of my guys currently are hooked on League of Legends, they've been hook on League of Legends for 3 years, the game is good - but I'm ready for something else, and I'm a very avid MMO player. As a guild leader, it's my duty to represent my community in every game, even if that means only having ME in the guild, and nobody to accompany me.

    When trying to recruit in MMOs, people will join the community, we'll have some great conversation, I'll play until around 3-4am, and wake up the next day around 9-10am, only to be found that the one guy I finally managed to reel in ended up leaving, without leaving any sort of message, or note to tell me why he left. I assume it's because the playerbase of my guild is small.

    So, with that said, I'm just trying to figure out - what is the BEST way to create a new start-up guild when walking into an MMO, I'd really like to lead a successful guild within Wildstar, and I believe I can do it, but I've just had some major struggles with keeping the new recruits and retaining a player base.

    Here's a link to my community, please critique anything you see wrong or that I should do differently: http://rg-gaming.com/home

    Thanks,
    Shu
    iiFrank and Ico like this.
  2. pondfilter

    pondfilter Cupcake

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    I had a quick look at the site and it looks fine at first sight. People reply to news posts/shoutbox/threads so that's a good thing atleast. It could be much worse haha. Have you spoken to people inside the community about Wildstar? Are they hyped for it? How many people are willing to try it out? If you haven't done that you should try to convince some people to play the game.

    Other than that I can't say much other than my past experience with my first Aion guild. I was pretty much in the same situation as you, although I wasn't the leader. I joined a pre-launch guild that looked interesting, though the game was still currently in Closed Beta phase, so some of us couldn't even play the game. We just sat on IRC and talked to eachother, get to know eachother a bit more. Once we managed to get all the people inside the game we hopped on Ventrilo and started playing and chatting together and had a lot of fun. Fast forward to launch a bit, we had a decent amount of members and rushed to get our guild started (you had to be able to reach the capital and have enough money to start a guild). There was a little issue because there was another guild that wanted to roll on our server with the same name, so it was a race who could reach level 10 first. We won in the end, but the other guild kept on harassing us and badmouthing us so we just gave in and changed our name to avoid further drama.

    Anyway, what I'm trying to say is: pre-launch guilds are a good way of preparing to have the guild you'd like to have. Find some people that are pleasant to talk to or have around and get them to play the game and join your guild. Some people will leave, others will join, just keep playing and have an active recruitment and you'll find the right people for your guild. Quite a lot of people left the guild I was in throughout the levelling because they wanted a more hardcore guild, but you can't blame them for that. I later on left the same guild because I was outlevelling everyone else by quite a lot so we couldn't even group up to do stuff together.

    I hope there was atleast one helpful advice to you in that big text.
  3. Beetle

    Beetle Special Cupcake

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    Hello Shu!

    It takes a lot of guts to come out and say "I feel like my guild is struggling" and I applaud that. My biggest piece of advice I can give you is, do not get discouraged, you seem to put a lot of effort into your community and it will eventually pay off.
    You also mentioned that a lot of your members are stuck in LoL, maybe try to surround yourself with a few core members that really enjoy MMOs that way you can have some of your members show the same type of enthusiasm toward this game that you are. Try not to do it all by yourself and get some help from some of your core members.

    I hope this helps a bit. Keep the faith. One Love. (<--not sure why I said the last part)
    Yakzan likes this.
  4. Shu

    Shu Cupcake

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    I want to thank you both for taking the time to sit down and write up some information for me. One thing I've really neglected in the past is getting there at launch and having people alongside me.

    One issue is that my guys are so attached to League that they're not interested in trying anything else. On top of that, they say that Wildstar looks too much like World of Warcraft (I guess art-wise?) Either way, it's rather frustrating, I've thought about disbanding the guild and starting over, I've thought about removing League of Legends from our supported games, I'm just not sure what I could do to get any of my current people to play Wildstar. None of them show the slightest interest.

    Another large issue I have is that none of them feel as though they need to "help" or "contribute" to the guild, and rather just go with whatever I do. I literally have to say, "Guys, PLEASE go sign up on X site and post in Y thread." and half the time, only 3-4 people will end up doing it anyways. I feel like I'm stuck and can't get out. I don't want to leave my friends behind in League of Legends, but I also would like them to broaden their horizons. I've known some of these people much longer than 2 years, some dating back 5-6 years.

    Thanks all.
  5. Ico

    Ico Moderator • WSC's Gentle Flower

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    Hey dude,

    My only advice would be to put in a formal application system. If people have to put in effort to join something they'll be less willing to leave it.

    On top of that there are more "elitist" nitpicks so I genuinely apologise if I seem like I'm being overly rude:

    Firstly: Pre-built websites all look terrible, guildlaunch and enjin are both as bad as each other. They are there for those people who either can't web dev or won't look for a web dev. If you're running a gaming community - chances are you'll meet a lot of programmers or people who can at least build you a clean looking site with a BB plugged in (Vbulletin/phpbb/punbb etc etc etc). Having that level of content control also makes expanding later much easier.

    Secondly: Your history page is too jokey and also a current information section is missing. All I gathered was you formed in 2011 and have played two games whilst using a lot of buzz words and movie references. Your guild about that you've placed in your announcement forum would be much better suited there for prospective members!

    Those two points are personal nitpicks and d*ckish ones at that I know, but if you're looking to recruit for MMO players, then you need to tailor your site to the type of players you want to recruit.
  6. Rumze

    Rumze "That" Cupcake

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    You cant drag people into a game that they dont want to play.

    The only thing I would do in your position, is let them stay and play league of legends and just make a new guild ( aka start from scratch ) in wildstar. Still be their guild leader for everything else but just not wildstar.

    The reason being is that they either wont come no matter what or theyll pick it up for a couple of weeks and leave to go back to LoL.

    Better to start fresh and recruit from a playerbase thats actually interested in the game.

    And it the LoL folks get interested down the line in wildstar once youve already done the hard work of establishing a guild and recruiting folks and setting up, have them app. That way you can see how serious they are and what their retention will be, especially if you want to be a raiding guild. You dont want to upset your raiders who your recruited and helped your guild grow by allowing buddies from another game easy access to what they worked hard for.

    Also make a formal charter and rules for the guild. Very important as you can refer to it for future issues and disagreements. Have things like loot rules, attendance, raid spots etc all worked out.
    I suggest finding some established guilds and reading theres to see what Im trying to convey.


    This is all typed out in a rush but I hope I was able to get my points across.

    And good luck.
  7. Shu

    Shu Cupcake

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    Wow man thank you so much for this information, I never thought about moving that about us message from the forums to the history page. :) I will try and create a more detailed application to serve a better purpose. Thank you for that information too.

    The only thing that I disagree with you on is my site. It uses enjin for hosting, and uses the Enjin netbar, but the entire site design is by me, I put a lot of hard work into making some custom html elements work, the background drawing, etc. I won't change that. :p But thank you for the input!

    Yeah, I figured either way I'm going to have to start something from scratch and work my way up. The only issue is - should I use "Respected Gentlemen" or should I find something that's more suited toward unisex? The problem I have with creating a new name to represent my community is that it will still stir confusion - if we end up having ladies join, I'd assume they won't be to pleased with being a community called "Respected Gentlemen".

    Thanks,
    Shu
  8. TehTic

    TehTic Cupcake

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    First off I believe you need to assess your assets, whether or not you have interested parties in a specific game, that is will current members in the Guild follow you to the new game? As a Guild leader I believe you need to delegate specific persons over each game if you are doing a multi-gaming community that is one lieutenant which will be in charge of organizing a specific game and not interfering and less absolutely necessary. As for the role of the lieutenant or game leader these need to be selected very carefully as they cannot be wishy-washy people they have to stay with the game continuously, if you are supporting this game until a permanent reliable replacement is found. Many gaming communities switch so many games and end up losing players for the loss of guild structure. From your brief statement it seems you are trying to do everything and possibly hopping from game to game i.e. failure of guild structure. Without being very selective in your members you have to realize that just filling slots leaves you with probably only 10% of all persons that have joined the Guild will stay.

    After analyzing your assets, what type of goal will the Guild have, Casual play, hard-core? Do you have experience people to accomplish this goal? When you sit down I think it is pretty easy to set up a type of flowchart of what type of goal and if this happens we will do this. I hope this generalized guidance helps direct you where you want to go.
  9. Tiberius

    Tiberius Cupcake-About-Town

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    My guild experience is based on GW2 and WoW(Cata) social scense so take it as is. My buddy and I started our own leveling guild in both games, and and had similar experiences.

    Guild creation number one we advertised our guild as a "hangout, lving guild" it failed miserably. You get one or two people for a few days.

    Guild creation number two we advertised with a game focus, i.e. group questing, dungeon groups, raids, even just dedicated profession buddies for discounts.

    The important thing I noticed is that they functioned identically. From my experience everywhere you go there's people to hangout and talk with, but the immediate hook that keeps people together is any tangible focus. I'm not saying your guild 'has to be teh hardcores'. For a while I was in a 1000 member social guild meant for dicking around, but what kept people in it was guaranteed groups (no LFG puggers that fail), guild crafters, and maxed dudes willing to help out lowbies.

    I want to stress the last part, because most of the time early guilds fail. Don't fret, because the longer you play the more people will flock!
  10. Rush

    Rush Cupcake

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    I've lead and co-lead guilds in a lot of the major MMO's that have come out over the past 9 years, and if there is one thing I have learned, it's that recruiting isn't just going out and saying, "Hey, my guild is pretty cool. You should come play with us". Growing and nurturing your guild is probably one of the toughest things that a guild leader has to do.

    The second hardest thing for the guild leader to do is to be the "bad guy". Someone has to do it, and most likely your officers don't want to disrespect you by kicking someone (even though you freakin' tell them they have the authority to take care of it >.<). I've hurt a lot of feelings over the past 9 years, and it doesn't get any easier. There are some people that have good intentions, but they keep saying offensive things. Then you just have the basic trolls, or ninja looters looking for a guild bank to steal from.

    As a guild leader who has left his current guild in the hands of the officers, the best thing you can do for your guild is to build a relationship with everyone in the guild. Find the core group of guys who would do anything for the guild, make them officers, and treat them right. I stride myself on being a fair leader, so don't judge your members too harshly. If you are a fair leader, then your members will know and respect that.

    Also, like Tiberius said above me, learn some PR skills when it comes to recruiting.
  11. Ico

    Ico Moderator • WSC's Gentle Flower

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    It's good to hear you put the time in to do it yourself matey, but I truly recommend you just setup your own server, move your domain name to it and just host the site that way. The Enjin CMS makes every Enjin site look the same just with different colouring, this is mainly due to the way they way the it does the plugin stacking.

    Also have you actually Trademarked "RespectedGentlemen"? Either way that TM at the bottom doesn't actually mean anything :p
  12. Shu

    Shu Cupcake

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    Yeah, I'm the only one in my current guild with any knowledge of Web sites, HTML, CSS & Designing. I don't know anything about servers or hosting unfortunately.

    As for the trademark, it's just a "thing" to make it look professional I suppose. Not that I think anyone would steal "Respected Gentlemen". lol

    By the way, you can completely customize, move, and remove any of those plugins, you can make it turn sideways on the right hand side of the screen. There aren't any limitations that Enjin has, it's just an easier way to maintain the web page. I've used Drupal, I've used vB, I just like Enjin because of the usability for some of my officers to jump in and make a news post without the hassle of jumping into code or using some weird CMS. Just thought I'd let you know that it's not all bad. We also get our Enjin ultimate site for free, so it's just cheaper, and easier to use - there's no reason for us not to use it really. :)
  13. Mizpah

    Mizpah Cupcake-About-Town

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    Hi Shu,

    I have just been scan reading the thread. Firstly cudos for making it! You can be assured that you will have number of other people not posting, but also in the same boat waiting to see what the replies are.

    My perspective is that of someone who has run the same guild since 2005. Nobody has all the answers - everybody (myself included) will only have the answers that they know to have worked for them. Thus you need to look through the number of great comments I have already seen in this thread and work out the principle and reasoning behind those you like, ands see how to apply it in your case.

    Some points do jump out at me however:

    You are currently trying to take on a great deal yourself, without help. whilst this can work short term, or even medium term if its rewarding (it does not sound like it is atm), its asking for trouble long term. Your energy levels, focus and effort are bound to decline, with predictable results. Work out how to get some trusted help on board, on the WS side, even if that means entirely fresh blood.

    You dont appear to have a 'transferable' core, due to a split focus. As such I would advocate using the mentality of 'starting again' even if you keep the guild name.

    I am not a fan of 'me to' sites such as enjin - however I dont think its top of your list to deal with, but it is somthing to bear in mind.

    For wildstar you need to go through a written process (on paper if needs be!) where you:

    • Define the aims of the guild - what would success look like ?
    • Define the ideal structure of the guild ? ranks, numbers, hierarchy ?
    • Write a 'Guild Charter' (in fact I just blogged about this tonight, here )
    • Set standards. Do you post in forums together ? Do you use voice comms together ? try to get to know people before the game goes live.
    Once you have done that, your next big challenge is finding people who share your view of life. You need to recruit people based on you, your plan, and your vision of the guild. Be open and honest with new recruits. Explain the journey and challenges ahead. If people buy into the fact that they need to work with you to stabilize and grow the guild, then they wont be as quick to run away when trouble and effort first rears its head. There will be people who like the challenge of helping you grow a guild, and working towards a shared vision.
    So, as a result:
    • Recruit a 'core' before the game goes live - at a minimum I would look for around 10 people, so that you have the opportunity to interact in game, whilst you grow and recruit
    • Make the recruitment 'semi formal' at least.
    • This is a new game and landscape. Do not favour existing guildies post launch, over people that work with you pre-launch to get the WildStar 'chapter' up and running

    Also read this thread - http://wildstar-central.com/index.php?threads/the-opinion-running-a-guild.1994/, theres great content in it from a number of posters.

    Finally, Good Luck!

    If there are any specific questions, or anything else I can help with just shout!
    Good luck!
    TehTic likes this.
  14. Yorobashi

    Yorobashi Cupcake

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    Well I can tell you the "easy" way of recruiting. Create a macro, send a PM to every person within a game that you see unguilded, have it be a super brief guild summary with what your guild is about. If they don't reply then no harm, if they do, possible new guild mate. It's more professional than Spam Inviting but it also allows you to gather large numbers of gamers quickly, even if they're interests and play schedules don't line up, this is something you work on after you have numbers, prior to their first raid night, players care more about having people to group with than having a witty guild name or a great theory behind the guild they're a part of. It's a sad truth, but it is just that in relation to your average MMO gamer.

    If you're not worried about getting a few bad eggs that you'll have to weed out, spam inviting is a way to build an absolutely massive guild (these are usually what are referred to as Zerg Guilds) I employed a tactic in WAR early on where I just spam invited my entire server to my guild, I got about 600 people, 400 were left after the first week after I filtered out the trolls, the spammers, and the kiddies. then WAR died and i lost almost all of that community haha. But the important bit is if you're willing to take a risk, and your community is willing to tolerate the influx of guild drama while you are attempting to hunt for great members then spam inviting is an effective way of growing a guild.

    The last method is the tried and true one, do dungeons with 2 other guildies, anyone you're queued with who is not in a guild, if they perform admirably attempt to recruit them. These are usually your future PvE raiders and they'll probably be more than happy to join you.
  15. Sabre070

    Sabre070 Cupcake-About-Town

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    This is a good method. Even if they are in a guild you can still ask, they might just be in it for the hell of it.
  16. TehTic

    TehTic Cupcake

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    There is no professionalism within spam inviting! Unless you consider a professional nuisance such as telemarketers. Though this may be an effective technique at filling a slot, I don't believe you could get loyal and reliable people this way consistently. You may stumble across one or two out of your 600 but not likely.
  17. Shu

    Shu Cupcake

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    I've made a lot of changes recently to my website, and to how I'm going about recruiting. I want to take a moment and thank everyone for helping me and getting me up on my a-game. If you are interested in joining a guild, please let me know. ;)
  18. Yorobashi

    Yorobashi Cupcake

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    Did I say it was at all a professional form of recruiting? No. I simply stated that it is a form of recruiting, note that within 2 weeks of the 600 that joined i lost at least a third of them, and obviously not many of them stuck around because when you do spam invite you're creating a zerg guild not a gaming community. This isn't for those guilds that are looking to be raiding guilds or anything like that, they're for the guilds that want to power through guild levels, gather large amounts of ingame money through taxes and (at least for in WAR which is why I did it) for having a channel to organize large groups for raids on certain zones.

    Also I may not have kept even 10 of my members from that recruitment method in WAR but we nonetheless did make friends who we still keep in contact with to this day. So it does show that even though the large majority of those who do recruit may not be the kinds of players you're interested in it does pay off, and for games where guild leveling plays any kind of substantial roll and large guilds level more easily than spam inviting is a (though unfortunate) viable form of recruiting and progressing your guild.

    I should also point out, when I say spam invite, I mean I just invited an individual without asking, I never sent multiple invites to people, that is a sure fire way to get added to peoples ignores and generate some serious hate for yourself.



    Poaching (snagging players from other guilds) is something I try to avoid. I don't like getting
    grief from other guild leaders for "stealing" their players. It's also a sure fired way of recruiting thieves. My guild had an incident on WoW during WotLK where we recruited a really good resto druid pug from a dungeon run, his gear screamed that he knew what he was doing with his character and so me and my officers talked him out of his guild and into ours, less than 2 weeks later, the very day he got promoted to a raider he robbed our potions/buff foods tab and went back to his old guild, we lost about 20k gold worth of supplies. Obviously not all people who drop their guild for yours are thieves but something to ask yourself is why were they in a guild they were so willing to drop in the first place?
  19. Sabre070

    Sabre070 Cupcake-About-Town

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    Yeah, that is one concern. We try to recruit people who aren't geared but are either nice or good without gear.

    You do have to be wary about poaching but we try to make sure that they aren't in a high up position in their guild (ie they're just one of the recruits sitting for guild buffs) and then most people don't care/notice if they're gone.

    If they do steal from us then shame on us for not realising but we then know not to trust that guild again.

    Depending on how Wildstar's guilds work we may not see people sitting in guilds for no reason, so there may be more guildless players to recruit, making it easy to recruit new members.
    Yorobashi likes this.
  20. iiFrank

    iiFrank Cupcake-About-Town

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    As for this community and right now I can say that we have a great group of people, but when release comes and the player-base shoots over 100k i'm not sure how friendly the game or this community will be anymore. As far as the original members that are here now i'm sure they won't change, but the new comers/trolls/wow-fanboys around release time might make <REDACTED> uncomfortable -__-

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