When your guild is small, everyone is friends. You know everyone because you play with them and things are kinda normal. As the guild grows, that goes away. People form cliques and you end up with people who just won’t even group with other people. And the guild leader is often stuck in the middle of everything. I get to hear everyone complain and mock everyone else. Even when I agree, I know I’m going to have to deal with the personality clashes at some point. It means playing the game with people in the guild is a constant reminder of how much the entire guild is a society. A group of people who enjoy spending their free time playing the same game, and still manage to build walls between them and others.

I don’t really care that someone else made you feel bad. I don’t care that they did something and now you feel left out. I don’t care that someone said something offensive and someone else stopped playing the game and we lost a valuable player. I’m not here to make sure everyone gets along. I have a hard enough time getting people to understand the DKP system, or how signing up for a raid works. I have to make sure people’s forum access is set up right. I have to talk to people who applied to join the guild and make sure they are not jerks. I have to check the bank and make sure we didn’t have a bunch of stuff stolen. I have to write down policies so people stop asking me questions over and over. Of all the things that the guild needs done, at what point did you think the guild was kindergarten and you needed the teacher to make Billy stop calling Suzy names?

Axiom #1

Nothing you can do as a guild leader is going to “fix” a systemic problem.

People rolling on loot they shouldn’t? DKP! Right? It will help. But it won’t stop someone from dumping their last five weeks of hard work into the toilet for an item that won’t do them much good.

Getting bad people in the guild? New recruiting policies! Right? Sure, it helps a lot. Suddenly you have less morons coming in and less annoying people. But, every so often, they still get in. He seemed like a perfectly normal person for six weeks, then … drama bomb! You need dogs posted outside your guild to sniff out the terminators. If only it were possible.

No matter the problem, no matter the novel solution, you’re never going to get things down to zero problems. You reach a point where the added policies and systems to finish off the last 10% of the issues take 90% more work. I’m sure most people stop at the 20/80 mark.

No voting!

Voting in a guild is worthless. When people vote for in real elections, they have some pretty dumb reasons why they vote for someone. “I think he’s nice.” “I like his speeches.” “He looks nice.” Seriously? Your going to give someone legislative power over you for those reasons?

In a guild, it’s even worse. People vote to let people in the guild because they don’t mind the person chattering away endlessly and annoyingly in vent. They vote to get a DKP system in place that will make sure they can always get the loot they want. They will vote for policies that they think their friends want to follow. They will even vote in a certain way because they think they are voting the way the guild leader would like them to.

The best thing about voting is it assures the voters will get what they deserve. Not what they want.

Nothing can last

Not even the best run guild.

Given enough time, people get sick of the place. Your hard working officers get burned out and step down. No one else wants to step up and help. Everyone sits around, waiting for someone to come in and make the guild fun and exciting again. Sitting. Waiting. Not lifting a finger.

Imagine a town where the volunteer fire department got sick of always doing the work and quit. Then while the mayor is trying to get people to help put out a fire, the townspeople just kinda sit back and watch things burn. Some even wander off. “That building wasn’t THAT important.” People get upset at each other. “Why didn’t you do something!?!?” “This town is letting me down!” “The mayor should fix things! I don’t have time to help.”

At least, if people pay taxes, the mayor can hire firemen and police. No such luck in a guild.