HOW TO: Have Fun and Be Successful in a Guild
From this (very good) blog: http://wowgrrl.com/2007/03/06/guildmates-are-not-automatically-friends-elitism/
TL/DR summary: "Your guildmates are not a bunch of NPCs that activate when you log in." Guildmates Are Not Automatically Friends; Elitism
There’s an interesting discussion thread going on in the World of Warcraft Official Forums under the Guild Relations board, surrounding the topic of whether it’s asking too much to be able to find instance and quest-grinding parties in guilds.
Of course, there are a lot of different opinions being posted in this thread, but because the forum is aimed towards Guild Masters and Officers and others who are in charge of running guilds and guild activities, at least the post hasn’t turned into a flame-fest. Yet. What The Problem Looks Like
In every guild, there are players who join and find it difficult to get the help they feel they need to complete quests and get nice equipment from instances. While initially they’re able to get into parties, they find that more and more often, when they ask on the guild line about anything going on, their question is met with silence or a few “sorry, I can’t go” responses.
In time, these players get frustrated, and they quit the guild and move on to a new one trying to get the help they need, form their own guild, or they get more insistent on the guild line and through private whispers to guildmates. The general feeling they have is that everyone is ignoring them and they can’t get the help/answers they need, and on top of that, they’re seeing others get their questions answered and others find the help/parties they need without near as much struggle.
To the person having troubles finding parties or guildmates to team up with, it seems unfair, and calls of “elitism” and “cliquishness” start to ring out. What The Problem Fails To Take Into Account
In my opinion, it’s super easy to find new “friends” in World of Warcraft, and from there, parties. Yep, I’m one of those people who would likely get called an “elitist” by those folks who have troubles finding parties and “online friends”, but I find their label quite funny, since they seem to be blaming ME for their troubles, as if that’s going to make me want to include them as a friend!
What are their (main) troubles in my opinion (as someone who can find parties no problem)?
* Players assume that because they’re now guildmates, all other guildmates are automatically upgraded to “friends” status
* Players may assume that it is an Officer’s “job” to help Members with quests and dungeons, etc
* Players fail to make plans in advance
* Players are constantly looking for a party and seemingly cannot play without grouping up
And now to clarify what I mean… Guildmates != Friends
In life in general, I think people misuse the word “Friend” an awful lot. Personally, I know I misuse it myself simply because it’s “easier” to say “I have this friend…” instead of saying “There’s this guy I know…” or “I have this acquaintance…” because the latter two sayings tend to invite topic-derailing challenges more often than the first one.
But, on an online game just like when it comes time to move In Real Life, the whole “friends” label seems to need a little bit more clarification. After all, would you ask a near-complete stranger to help you move across town, choosing him just because you work at the same company?
On a game, “friends” tend to be the people you can turn to for help or for humor. But just like in Real Life, friendships need to be built - and they don’t automatically form just because you play in the same guild as someone else, or even if you have already participated in a few dungeon runs with others.
To me, a guild is simply this: Something designed to give players consistent access to a smaller percentage of the Realm’s population on a more regular basis than if we all wandered around guildless and just used the General channel to communicate. From there, it’s up to the individual players to find successful strategies for building a Friends list separate from their Guild Roster which is full of reliable players who also enjoy partying and instancing and can be called upon to party up. Officers For A Reason
For some reason, some players jump to the conclusion that a Guild Officer’s primary responsibility is helping otherwise-friendless guildmates finish their quests or get through dungeon instances.
It’s easy to spy those ones - shortly after they join, they’re asking Officers and other high level guildmates through guild chat and whisper for assistance on any quest they’re currently thinking of tackling, and every time they log in, they ask about any dungeon runs that the Officers may be leading. Oh, and they feel “left out” when they can’t easily get into a party that Officers are a part of.
Personally, I became a Guild Officer a year ago specifically because I demonstrated an ability to make friends and both lead dungeon instance parties and listen to another dungeon instance party leader when I wasn’t taking the lead. As a Guild Officer, I had already built a lot of friendships with current and ex-Guildmates. Before I became an officer, I already had no problem finding parties (with my Hunter, no less), and once I became an Officer, that didn’t “suddenly” improve.
So, for those who think that the Officers are being cliquish, consider this - they’ve already done the work required to build a quality Friends list (some in the guild and some outside of it), and it’s not their Officer status that has done this work for them. Take the time to build your own Friends list instead of riding on the coattails of the already-popular members of your guild. Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
Especially in a Casual guild, it’s tough to get enough people of the right levels together at the same time to run an instance or work on difficult “group” quests. For this reason, I personally encourage party planning in advance. As a result, members who are unable to plan in advance for various reasons may very well find themselves “left out” in terms of help, because my response rate to “who wants to do X right now” is probably under 5%.
Why do I “have” to plan in advance? Mainly, because I’ve got limited play time. As an adult, I’ve got a job and hobbies that take me out of the house and an apartment to maintain and food to cook and animals to care for. Plus, I’ve got a billion goals for my 4 actively-playing toons. And frankly, I just like to plan things in advance, even if it’s just a few hours or day beforehand.
In the thread linked above, someone made a perfect comment in regards to this topic of planning run times. It went something like this:
Your guildmates are not a bunch of NPCs that activate when you log in.
In other words, we’re all humans who have our own goals and own plans, and unless your guild chat looking for a party hits us at the exact moment that we’re bored and open to suggestion for what to do, we’ve already got plans. The Damage of Always Looking For A Party
In terms of building my Friends list, I personally value independence. While I may add the occasional “needy” person to my Friends list for a while, they tend to be removed in a short period of time because their neediness overwhelms my ability to give.
This topic really just goes back to the underlying theme of “take the time to build your friends list” which, to me, is one of the primary problems a lot of these “everyone’s ignoring my pleas for help” people. In my opinion, any player who is constantly asking for someone to party up with them on the general guild line is someone who is completely focussed on their own goals and needs and completely ignorant of effective social behavior to accomplish these goals.
The result, to me, of someone who is ignorant of effective social behavior in putting together a Friends list of quality, reliable, friendly people… is that they never end up on my Friends list, and even though they’re guildmates, are dangerously close to making it on to my Ignore list.