Many online games provide the opportunity to form guilds. One can also form a gaming guild to encompass multiple games. Here, we will look at (1) the different reasons why you might want to create a guild, (2) what to expect, and (3) just about everything to make your guild awesome!
Is Running a Guild Right for You?
The single most important aspect of being a Guild Leader is being an active and regular player – either playing almost daily or possibly being a weekend warrior. It is also helpful to have at least some experience as a member or officer of an existing guild, so you know better what you are getting into. From there, starting a guild is something you might consider if you really enjoy the game or want to make gaming “more than just a hobby”.
- You really enjoy the game (or several games)
- You want to make gaming more than just a hobby
- You are willing to invest in the potential to get more from your game time
- One or more of the following describe you:
- You are very social and like to meet new people
- You prefer playing only with friends and family
- You are very competitive
- You work hard and play harder
- You are very experienced with the game
- You are an entrepreneur at heart
Starting and running a gaming guild can involve a significant investment of time and energy. Its success and longevity depend a lot on your commitment and reasons for starting the guild.
If you are already a member of a guild and want to branch out, talk with your present guild leader in hopes of creating an alliance for common interests. This can work especially well if you are starting from a social guild and want to focus heavily on PvP or Raiding.
Different Types of Guilds
Being the founder of the guild you get to decide what kind of guild it will be and potentially evolve into. There are several basic types of guilds:
- Social Guilds – Aiming to be a friendly place for friendly people to cooperate on any aspect of the game, focused mostly on helping everyone to “level up”. Social guilds tend to be large and can eventually evolve into other types of guilds (usually Family or Raiding Guilds).
- Family Guilds – A place for friends and family often picking up other players who have proven to be very friendly and cooperative.
- Roleplaying Guilds – Focused on game lore and “immersion” in the game world.
- Raiding Guilds – Very organized, usually high maintenance groups focused on beating the most challenging “end game” content, ranking high on leaderboards, and often developing a reputation throughout the game’s community.
- PvP Guilds – Focused on Player vs. Player game components, typically very competitive and the most likely type of guild to seek playing professionally – for real rewards and money.
- Metagaming Guilds – Not usually referred to as such, but the most entrepreneurial of all. Guilds of this nature aim to be represented in multiple games and to monetize their role within the gaming community.
Note that you do not need to start a guild by yourself. You may have friends or find others willing to co-found a guild with you. In exceptional cases, it is even possible to “inherit” a guild if or when the present guild leader becomes inactive or wants to step down.
Guild Leaders and Officers
As a guild founder or co-founder, you get to define the type of guild it will be, its rules and policies. You are also the one who will, at least initially, make appointments to various “guild officer” positions. The critical point is that you do not need to do everything yourself. You can delegate tasks and responsibilities to others.
- Guild Leader/s – That would be you, the final arbiter of anything relating to your guild. Note that if you really don’t want all of the associated responsibilities of “final arbiter”, you can fill this role as a figurehead.
- Executive Director (or similar term) – who has the capacity to act on behalf of the guild leader in all things, your second-in-command, and hopefully the person who will replace you if you decide to step down.
- Board of Directors / Inner Council Members – whatever you want to call it, these are the people who help you define and decide on all of the complex aspects of the guild, making rules, disciplinary actions.
- Guild Treasurer – There is an in-game and real currency component to most games spanning everything from guild perks, guild bank space, acquisition of materials for high-end crafting, guild prizes and potentially things like pay to play subscriptions, web sites or even advertising. This role could be divided between in-game and real currency components.
- Recruiting Officer/s – Players willing to spend time seeking out new guild members through in-game announcements on world or guild chat channels, spending time in “lowbie zones” helping new players for a more personal introduction to your guild. This can also extend to game forums, social networking pages, and your guild web site.
- Webmaster – What? Yes, webmaster – someone who can set up and maintain your guild web site. This is probably an article unto itself; suffice that if you are aiming to have a large guild, a guild with a reputation, intend to be competitive in tournaments or are looking at entrepreneurial gaming components, a web site is an absolute must for success.
- Class Training and PvP Officers – Experienced players who know their class (like Warrior or Mage) or very active in Player vs. Player content. Their role is to help other players optimize their skills and equipment for the roles they will be playing.
- Event Coordinators – This can encompass almost anything – guild raids, PvP zergfests, in-game weddings, crafting events. To be successful, everyone needs to know when they are and what they will need for the event. The Event Coordinator is likely to be the one who maintains the Raid Roster and a list of players who can step in as substitutes.
Your guild can be structured as simply and informally or as complex and formal as you like. The type of guild you form will tend to define some of long-term requirements. Initially, you may not need any of these roles, as your guild grows and matures, everyone in it will need some form of guidance on conduct.
As the guild gets more active in raiding, players will be committing their time and will depend upon other key players to show up. It is not unusual for a raid guild to have a mandatory attendance policy. Real Life issues are important and usually take precedent, suffice that advanced notice of an absence may be required. That may seem extreme for a game, but guilds of this nature are approaching it as “more than just a game”.
Making Your Guild Awesome!
It does not happen overnight. It requires a significant investment of time and effort, a long-term commitment. As your guild grows to the point where you do have recruiting officers, guild events, social media activities, a treasurer, a web site, you are starting to rival many small businesses in terms of online potential.
- Rules – A clear and consistent code of conduct and disciplinary process for violations.
- Keep Calm – Avoid getting emotional. There can be a lot of drama in a guild, maintain the code of conduct, enforce it. At some point, we’ll cover more on this with another article.
- A Regular Schedule of Events (raids, PvP hour, etc.) – start with one per week and expand as you grow. You want at least one occasion each week with maximum participation and remind everyone why your guild is the best for them.
- A Promotions Protocol – how someone can rise in the guild ranks from new member to officer.
- A Suggestion Box – Welcome and encourage ideas from guild members.
- Diplomacy – coordinate events with other guilds, really good for high-end raids and PvP.
- Clearly Defined Goals – let everyone know what your next objective is – the next raid boss to beat, getting everyone geared up, donating to the treasury so you can buy the next guild bank tab, etc.
- Advanced Admissions Process – Some guilds require members to submit an application explaining why they would be a good fit for the guild, how they might benefit the guild. This is best reserved for when your guild is very established and well-known. This will slow down guild growth, but help make sure new members fit in better.
There’s a lot more that could be covered especially if one really wants to get hard core with the development of their guild. There are not many differences between managing a gaming guild and certain types of “real world” businesses or, perhaps more appropriately, organizations. Not all organizations are interested in making money, but many organizations have a money-making component to facilitate their interests.
The next article in this series will get into Mega Metagaming. As the mobile world evolves, so do games, the way we play them, sometimes the reasons why we play them, and we are well on the way to many games having the potential to be a lot more than “just a game”. There is the potential for playing games to evolve into real paying jobs. It is being done now.
In sports, some have taken the college route; others have gone from minor leagues to major leagues, some made their mark through the Olympics. In each of these pursuits and all of their supporting elements, people are involved. The same has and will continue to spill over to eSports and most segments of online gaming.