Guild Management

Leadership and Administration are the most important factors of any Guild. However they are also very difficult hurtles to deal with as a Guild Master. As a guild grows and matures, so must the leadership. And this in turn may lead to several problems along the way. We will examine a few of these potential problems in this article.

When a guild is just starting out, picking and choosing your officers is a difficult and risky task. However you do have to have officers to help you build the guild. By using your own best judgment and assessing the personality of each potential officer, by talking with them for a decent amount of time, one can safely appoint a few officers to help build the guild. However be very careful. I would suggest making 1 or 2 ranks above your highest officer, which you dont give to anyone yet. For a new guild, the best ranking system would likely be very simple. Perhaps: New Member, Member, and Officer... with a couple added, yet unused ranks between officer and your GM spot. You may also want to include an alt rank aswell.

The reason i suggest that you leave some extra unused ranks is that your original officer may not turn out to be the BEST officers in the long run. so instead of demoting them, you can keep em where they are, and make other officers of a higher rank when needed.

As a guild grows past the initial recruiting period, you will have a wider array of members to watch over. Ensuring your original officers are able to provide help, support, and also continue with recruiting and dealing with problems is important. You should be careful not to let too many people become officers. Often newer guilds will flood their ranks with officers, and it becomes difficult for the GM to manage. The problem there is of course that if everyone, or a majority or members become officers, then what happens when one of them breaks some rules, or needs to be dealt with?

I usually set a percentage based limit on how many officers I have, in comparison to the rest of the guild. I find that about 10% to 15% of the guild being an officer of some sort is a decent number. Oficers not pulling their weight, should be asked to step down. You must keep in mind that an officer rank is NOT and should NEVER be a rank of status. However many people do think of that rank as a status symbol, and those types of people are likely the worst officers to appoint. Officers should understand that as a GM, your objectives and plans for the guild are going to be in the guilds best interest. Therefore they should be willing to step down, if they become inactive, or begin to slack in their duties. It is often recommended to make a special 'respected' status rank, for retired officers, and loyal members who want that 'status'.

You should make it clear from the start, that being an officer is a job. As an officer, they should be expected to work, and devote some personal time into guild issues.

As the guild develops and bonds begin to form, it is important to re-evaluate your officers. Have your officers all made social bonds, and contributed to the guild thus far? Are they willing to help out when needed, and devote time to guild matters? This of course is their main priority. No one said being an officer in a guild was easy. At this point you should have a clear idea of who helps, and who doesn't and you should appoint officers accordingly. Since the guild should only be about 3 months old at this point, you still have only a little bit of 'loyalty' to work with, so picking your officers based on loyalty, might be difficult. However at this crucial stage, it is important to pick officers who you agree with, and who are able to see the guilds future, in the same light as you do. I.E. Do not pick a raider to be an officer, if you want to be a casual guild.

At about the 6 month period, pressure will be for the guild to begin to raid, and as such you have to have a sturdy crew of officers, prepared to handle whichever course of action you plan on taking. This is where a 2 or even 3 tiered system of administration should be implemented. At this point you should have a good handle on who will make the best officers. You should never use bias, and appoint friends as officers, just because they are friends. The officers whom you trust the most should likely get tier 1 positions, helping you with guild decisions and administration. These officers will mostly deal with major problems and guild wide issues such as raiding and cliques. They will be your crutch on which you will be able to run the guild. Without your main officers, the guild is doomed.

You will also appoint your tier 2 officers. These officers should be appointed based on how much they help, and how loyal they are. Loyalty is key now. Older officers who are more inactive and perhaps less helpful, should also be demoted, in order to make it clear that this is a new stage of the guild. Your tier 2 officers will handle most day to day issues, invites and recruitment. And your tier 1 officers will handle raiding, officer administration (ensuring your tier 2 officers are all doing their job), and investigations into problems.

At this point you should continue with a tiered system. Making it very difficult for members to reach officer status provides a goal for some people, and reassures others, that the officers in the guild are indeed top notch.

As a GM you may also want to set up tests, to test how your officers handle situations. This will become more important in the later guild life, as the guild settles into a more set groups of people, and problems occur less frequently.

All in all, your officers are what make or break your guild. Choosing carefully, and being unbias, is the biggest key to making sure your officers are the best of the best. Also, administering officers... is not easy at all. Being a GM is like being a boss at a company, sometimes you have to fire some good people, but its for the best in the end. The challenge of being a GM far outweighs the challenge of the toughest dungeon in my books, and a good officer to help with that challenge, is worth 10 officers who aren't.