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The Guild Counsel

The Guild Counsel: Is shared interest in an MMO enough to justify a guild?

Culture, Guilds, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

EQII pandas
It all starts out so innocently. A few friends are casually chatting and realize they all are excited about an upcoming new MMO. Maybe a group of gaming bloggers connect over their shared appreciation of a certain game. Or even here at Massively, readers notice that there are many others who share their positive impressions of a game's launch. Next thing you know, someone suggests that it would be a great idea to start a guild, and the roller coaster begins.

Forming a guild based on a shared interest in a game doesn't guarantee success, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. It does come with its own unique set of issues to address early on, however. Let's take a look at these connoisseur guilds and how to make them work in this week's Guild Counsel.

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The Guild Counsel: How guild meetings can help your guild

Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

The Guild Counsel How guild meetings can help your guild
I know what you're thinking after reading the title of this week's column. Why in the world would anyone want to have a meeting in-game when many of us spend our days in meeting for our work? But holding a short guild meeting every so often can actually help curb guild drama, boost morale, and bring your guildmates closer together. The relatively short time spent bringing the guild together can pay off later on by reducing time spent on drama created by miscommunication, low morale, and frustration.

In today's Guild Counsel, let's take a look at why you should consider holding a meeting and how that guild meeting can improve your guild overall.

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The Guild Counsel: How to handle the horrors of conflict

Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

The Guild Counsel How to handle the horrors of conflict
With the arrival of Halloween, I'd like to revisit an all-too-common nightmare scenario: handling guild conflict. We've looked at how to treat complaints before, but what should you do when those complaints balloon into full-fledged clashes?

Guild leaders dread dealing with conflicts, to the point that it deters many players from giving guild leadership a try. But even if strife is inevitable, it can be made less painful. Let's take a look at how to steer through the choppy waters in this week's Guild Counsel.

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The Guild Counsel: Low in levels? Join a guild!

Guilds, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

The Guild Counsel  Low in levels  Join a guild!
Every single MMO player should be part of a guild. Yes, you too! Massively Shawn's recently launched Looking for Guild column has been well received and is bridging players with potential guilds. But one comment that pops up quite often is that players like the column but plan to wait and level up more before throwing their hats in the ring.

Don't wait, and don't hesitate! It's never too soon to join a guild, and there are plenty of good reasons to jump in even if you aren't of the same level as everyone else. Let's look at a few in this week's Guild Counsel.

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The Guild Counsel: Is it time to shift your vision or just shut down?

Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

The Guild Counsel Is it time to shift your vision, or just shut down
A big part of running a successful guild is having a clear idea of what type of guild you want to have and knowing how to make that work. Everything revolves around your vision for the guild, from recruitment to scheduling events to guild rules and even the overall tone and atmosphere. But what happens if your guild philosophy ends up clashing with that of the bulk of your members? Massively reader Mbbrazen, who commented on a recent Guild Counsel article, illustrated the issue:
The other issue I've seen, which is not specifically mentioned in the article, is what should the guild leader do when the people who originally joined the guild because they all had similar interests are gone (burned out, gone to other games, etc.) and the majority of the new people have more varied interests? Should the guild leader shut the guild down or adapt to the new membership? I actually think a guild I was in recently is dying a slow death because the leaders needed to decide to either shut it down or adapt to needs of the active membership. Thoughts?
This is a tough situation but all too common. Let's take a look at some options in this week's Guild Counsel.

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The Guild Counsel: Speed up those slogging raids

Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel

The Guild Counsel  Speeding up those slogging raids
If you ask guild members for their number one reason why they avoid making the leap from casual to a more focused, hardcore progression path, the answer would be time. Progress means raiding multiple nights for several hours, and that's time that many either don't have or aren't willing to give up.

Ironically, one of the things that separates good raiding guilds from everyone else is their use of time. Cutting-edge gear and high DPS parses are fine, but even average guilds can progress quickly by making the best use of their time during the raid. And in addition, slow, monotonous raids suddenly feel vibrant and fun. Let's take a look at how to speed things up in this week's Guild Counsel.

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The Guild Counsel: Why won't they listen to me?

Culture, Guilds, The Guild Counsel

The Guild Counsel  Why won't they listen to me
One of the most common reasons for guild leaders walking][ away in frustration is because members won't listen to what they're saying. It can be extremely irritating, because you're overseeing dozens if not hundreds of players, and it can feel like herding cats to get everyone to behave and work together.

So why won't members listen to the guild leader? And what can the leader do to get members to "respect his authoritah?" Let's take a look in this week's Guild Counsel.

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The Guild Counsel: You screwed up, now what?

Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel

The Guild Counsel  You screwed up, now what
When you're a guild leader, it can often feel like you're under the spotlight, and everything you do gets scrutinized by the guild. The leader is looked upon as the one to carve out a path, set goals, and figure out a way to get the guild to reach them. Every day, a guild leader has to make dozens of decisions, whether it's deciding who to invite, determining loot allocation, scheduling guild events, or making command decisions during a battle.

No one is perfect, and it can be very hard to admit mistakes. If you're trying to build the trust of the guild, it might feel as if admitting a mistake will undermine your efforts or that the guild will lose faith in your leadership. So what should you do if you make the wrong call? Let's take a look in this week's Guild Counsel.

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The Guild Counsel: Running an MMO guild on an empty server

Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

The Guild Counsel  Running a guild on an empty server
Guilds and MMOs have a surprising number of things in common. They both want the game to succeed, they both want lots of players to be in game playing, they want people to be happy and having fun, and they both constantly struggle with attrition. That last one has been a particular problem for practically every MMO that's launched because after the first few months, populations begin to drop, sometimes dramatically.

For MMOs that have multiple servers, this means some servers will begin to feel empty, and that can take a toll on the guilds that play there. When you're running a guild in a graveyard, it's harder to recruit, more difficult to find others to group and raid with, and harder to keep morale up. But is moving the guild really the best answer? Let's explore your options in this week's Guild Counsel.

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The Guild Counsel: How to make PUG raids work

Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous, Dungeons

The Guild Counsel  How to make PUG raids work
There's one thing every guild leader dreads: It's raid night and your guild is short on numbers. You could call it a night and postpone it, but that will mean a dip in morale and an increase in frustration within the guild. Too many postponed raids will eventually lead to an empty roster as people move on to other guilds.

An alternative is to PUG it and advertise for more guests in general chat. The upside is that you'll be able to do the raid, but inviting in the unknown can bring plenty of new problems. Like the misfit toys above, there are plenty of players who have their own set of flaws and can make even the best-planned raids a true test of patience. Can a PUG raid work, or is it a recipe for disaster? Let's consider that question in this week's Guild Counsel.

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The Guild Counsel: Building a roster from the ground up

Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

The Guild Counsel  Building a roster from the ground up
When you're running a guild, it's essential to choose wisely when you're filling out your roster. Longtime guilds are successful at weathering the ups and downs of guild life because they've put together a team of like-minded people and have established a guild culture that suits everyone well.

But it's hard to build a guild from the ground up, and it's no surprise that most new guilds don't last very long at all. Guild leaders need to grow their roster quickly because if there isn't enough manpower to take on guild goals, the few who have agreed to join will have second thoughts and end up leaving. How do you recruit quickly but avoid building a guild that's primed for drama? Let's take a look in this week's Guild Counsel.

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The Guild Counsel: What's the worth of a website?

Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

The Guild Counsel  What's the worth of a website
On the "to-do" checklist of practically every guild leader is setting up and maintaining a guild website. It's a central hub that serves as a source of news, a resource base, and a virtual locker room where members can bond with one another.

But websites come with their fair share of drama and potential problems, and game changes through the years have put into question whether guild sites are still relevant. Have guilds outgrown guild sites? Let's look at whether they're worth it in this week's Guild Counsel.

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The Guild Counsel: It's time to meet your fellow guildmates

Events (Real-World), Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

The Guild Counsel  Why it's time to meet your fellow guildmates
While game conventions are usually focused on video games, panels, and really cool fan-made costumes, one of the best parts of going to a con is meeting up with fellow players. And for guilds, an opportunity to finally put face to names is a major moment.

While players might shy away from guild meet-and-greets, it's actually a terrific opportunity to strengthen ties and cut down on the potential for drama in the long run. More importantly, it's an important step toward making gaming seem less "weird" and more like any other "normal" group activity or shared interest. In today's Guild Counsel, let's take a look at why guild members should come out from behind the computer screen and attend a guild meet-and-greet.

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The Guild Counsel: Filling gaps when guild members leave

Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

The Guild Counsel  Filling gaps when members leave
Imagine a scenario where a baseball team is heading into a do-or-die game, and as the coach is making up his lineup, he hears that his best hitter decided to take a break and take up knitting. Or a business manager who is scheduling a crucial demo of his new product with investors, only to find out that his star performer just took a job with a rival company. The result would be nothing short of catastrophic.

Just about every guild leader who's been around for any length of time has had to deal with sudden and unexpected gaps in the roster, and it usually comes at the worst time for the guild. While it can cause no end of stress for the leadership and become a potential guild breaker, it's actually a natural part of the game and of guild management.

Let's take a look at the issue of filling gaps in this week's Guild Counsel.

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The Guild Counsel: EQ Next, guilds, and you

Guilds, Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, The Guild Counsel

The Guild Counsel  EQ Next, guilds, and you
Once again, SOE Live has come to a close, but with all the news about EverQuest Next, there are several questions left unanswered, particularly when it comes to the social side of gameplay. Each week here, we look at questions related to guild leadership, but over the years, the design process of MMOs has had as much a role as anything in how guild leaders make management decisions.

It's been less than a week since we first saw the EQ Next reveal, and there are already many guilds mobilizing and preparing for their first adventures together in game. So let's look at a few of the questions related to guilds and the social side of EverQuest Next in this week's Guild Counsel.

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