I. Preface To start this is opinion, but in a worst case scenario I hope that we can at least get a really good discussion now about the benefits of running a healthy guild. While this community is still small, I think it will help a lot long term in making the game attractive to people when they are interested in this game. A lot of the things that I think are highly effective or correct may not work for you, and just know that it is ok, and what this is really going to be about are the basic needs to keep you and your members more happy over the course of the game. I also hope it helps you new ambitious guild leaders in effectively creating something that will last for years to come. II. The basic needs There are many thing a guild should have in order to stay functional, and though most of them are obvious I find that they are often times not used to their full potential. 1. A guild website. - This should be your main form of communication, as well as your outreach to a community that should be foaming at the mouth to join you. An effective guild web page is not just a home for your guild, but will be your most effective recruitment tool, and also a place to hold discussions within the community as a whole. 2. A guild communication tool - Ventrilo, Mumble, Teamspeak, etc. will be your direct form of communication. Where as your webpage will be the place where you go to learn more about what is going on with the guild. Your in game voice tools will be used to direct members in raids, organize parties on the fly, and just be yourselves in general. If you have never run your own before then I will recommend mumble, as the costs for higher player amounts tends to be lower and the voice quality is generally good. As a personal recommendation I prefer ventrilo as it tends to be more widely used, and will be less of an issue on the off chances that you have to pick up a pug for a group etc. Also as 40 man raiding and pvp are going to be a focus in this particular game, I would look at a 50 or 100 man setting. 3. A clear guild charter - Not just a generic set of goals like - We are a PVPVE guild that does everything and we are focusing on helping each other out. When you get into the next phase which is recruitment, it is very important that you, and the people that will be potentially joining you are completely and utterly on the same page. Some specifics you may want to add are; A clear message on what you expect from members, a listing of the times when people are required to be on for events, your policies on webpage activity, and your rules on loot, vent/mumble, etc. This stops the revolving door that guilds experience when they are new which benefits both you, and your respective recruits in the long run. 4. Recruitment - A standardized and predictable way that you will bring new members into your fold. You may be a casual guild, and if that is the case then you can probably ignore a lot of these suggestions in general from this entire thread, but if you are a guild that wants to operate with a more urgent sense of order, then one of the most important things to do is to make sure that the way that you recruit new members stays consistent throughout. We will go later into some effective ways to handle the trial process later, but again the main thing you want to remember is to always be consistent. This helps to make everyone in the guild feel like they are on a level playing field which is important in the long run. 5. Delegation of Power - I know a lot of people do not like to talk about it in this manner, but what people need to realize is that sometimes even the nicest, and well intentioned people can change when put into positions/ranks above other people in games. Being a guild leader can be a really empowering position, and it is important that before anything else you can be level headed when the situation demands. My personal preference is generally to have 1-2 officers that are generally the type of people I would want in my own position if I was not here IE. they think and act in a way similar to me, and above all that they are respected in the guild the same way I am. After this I generally choose Class mentors / Advisers that are your coaches. Where as I would give unique powers generally to officers that more closely resembled my own, the advisers would be people with infinite amounts of patience that understand their classes very well. They would be a trusted resource in the recruitment process, and the people pushing to better themselves and the people they work with in their classes. While who you choose for a CA can be based on a combination of things, I will give a bit of advice for those looking for new officers, or looking to promote people to the position. The people that tend to ask for power, are the people most likely to abuse it. Again I would try to model it after someone who reminds you of yourself over the person going over the top to become an officer. 6. System of Reward - Like with recruitment the main thing that you want to focus on is that this is consistent. If you have a relatively small guild and you know the same people will be coming day in and day out then you could do something extremely simple, like use the loot roles that the game provides. For larger guilds though you will want to use a system that is as fair as possible for the environment you are trying to provide, and above all else that people understand how it works before they are fully accepted into your guild. Loot drama is one of the largest things to plague guilds in MMO's and you will find that in a lot of the top guilds it is one of their least concerns. The better you are at communicating where your guild stands, the better off you will be on this subject. 7. Coaching - As a guild leader you want people to know that your officers, and class advisers opinions do matter, and in the end this will make your life a lot easier. Turn your leadership team into coaches. The most important rules to teach them is that for one: You should not be teaching people how to play their classes, and secondly that they should be able to help with reasonable requests. Unreasonable requests would be someone asking you exactly what to do at all times, and asking what gear they should have in every slot. These types of conversations should be happening in your forums as your members work together to theory craft the best possible scenarios for their classes. When someone is struggling with a particular mechanic, they should know that they have a place to get a valid response, which would not be L2P. Conversely you do not want your officers, or class advisers going out of their way to "teach them how it is done". This will often times be taken negatively, and that is not the goal of improving people. Create an environment where people want to come to your community for help. 8. The hard decisions - I have said this before the in Reddit WoW forums but it is very true. It is harder to remover a great person from guild or raids that does not perform up to par with everyone else, then it is to remove a cancer that is best at their class. In my opinion when people are not up to par with the raid team then they can be offered a social slot in the guild, but to be perfectly honest it is better to remove them in the guild long term. You will have to deal with a lot of people in game that end up not working out with your guild for various reasons, and even great people can harbor contempt for the guild after being demoted, or removed from raids. Some of the decisions you will have to make can not be sympathetic because they should be for the greater good of the guild. Because I say this though, I also hope that you do not take these types of decisions lightly. Preferably there should be no one but your officers, maybe CA if it is a performance issue, and the person involved in the loop whatsoever. Above all you do not want members at each others throats over performance, or attitude, and it is your job to make sure that your team is seen as such as the only people that involve themselves with it. A good formal way of showing the guild your personal thoughts afterwards will be brought up when I talk more about recruitment and website set up.