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Confessions of a Guild Leader: Four Years Strong

December 6, 2013 6 comments

MTBirthday133699Pop

If someone told me back in 2009 that I would have been successfully running a guild for the next 4+ years (and counting), I would have scoffed at them and said “Me? lead a guild?! And have people stick around while I lead people in circles?! HA!”

I’ve always been a “follower” type of person throughout life. A worker bee. I never saw myself as a “manager” or as someone “in charge”. It’s easier to let other people make decisions, because I’ve always been afraid of making the wrong one.

<Masochistic Tendencies> has just celebrated its 4 year anniversary. That’s 4 years of me leading this guild. That’s 4 years of being “in charge”, making the decisions and yes, in some cases, making the wrong decisions. Managers are not immune from making mistakes, as long as we learn from those mistakes and become better managers from them. The past year+ has definitely been challenging. Seriously. But we’re still here!

So, because MT has been around for 4 years with no signs of slowing down, I must be doing something right. Right? I thought I’d share some of my pearls of wisdom that I’ve learned from leading a guild over the years.

The Guild is only as good as the people in it

That’s right. Without all of you, MT’ers, it would be awfully lonely in an empty guild with just me in it! I have learned that it’s simply not possible to please everyone all the time, but it’s sure easy to piss off everyone all at once! So while some guild decisions may not be ideal for some people, all decisions are made with the greater good of the guild in mind. With a guild as big as we are, with as many members and raiders as we have, there are going to be differing opinions. And I and the officers listen to those opinions, and we take your feedback into every consideration possible. We want you to stick around! And yes, there are some of you that have been here since the *very* beginning 4 years ago. I really appreciate your loyalty.

Leadership needs to work together

I don’t mean just me. I mean everyone who has been in leadership ranks. In MOP, that was a lot of people. I take full responsibility for the turnover in our leadership ranks. Everyone who has been an officer in MT deserved the role, and are potentially very good officers in the right environment with the right support.

But what happens when you take a bunch of players with different goals and values and make them officers? Deathwing had nothing on that cataclysm. Holy crap. I was NOT expecting that assplosion of drama. No, I’m not going to get into the details, but suffice to say, the problems have been resolved with some players voluntarily stepping down from the officer ranks for the good of the guild. Nothing against the people involved, we just simply could not work together.

Dictatorship or Democracy?

I think guild leaders need to be somewhat “dictators” or the guild will just not function properly. If there is bickering among the officers, the GL needs to be able to step in and say STFU. If there are different opinions on a guild issue (hypothetically, let’s say “loot“), the GL needs to be able to make the final decision in a deadlock. However, I think having some semblance of democracy in the leadership ranks is crucial. After all, that’s what our officers are there for.

My role in the guild has been debated a lot among the rest of the leadership in the past year. I’ve been called a dictator. I’ve been called a control freak. There is some truth to those accusations, but when I’ve made an “executive” decision, it’s always been with the guild members in mind. I hadn’t changed my way of leading the guild up to that point, and my style had been working all along up to that point. At the request of other officers, I did cede control of the guild for a little while so we could be come a “GL Council”. I trusted my officers enough to go along with this experiment and show that I really am a team player. That experiment didn’t work. All it did was turn one dictator into three! But we tried. I did learn a lot from that experiment, and we’ve “majority voted” on any decision since then.

One Guild, One Goal

Part of the aforementioned leadership drama was a result of the differing and conflicting goals the guild had in MOP. This was part of the lesson I learned about not being able to please everyone. I have a compulsion to make everyone happy. We had multiple raid groups with multiple degrees of intensity and progression. Cliques formed, and one of the groups became a guild within a guild. This is what some of the officers foreshadowed, but I didn’t want to listen. Having bipolar goals and values in the guild just didn’t work. The guild has to have one direction, and the leadership needs to support that direction.

Communication

I think a big reason why many of MT’s long time members have been here as long as they have is because of the open communication between leadership and the rest of the guild. This blog is one form of communication, but our guild forums are very active. Some decisions that majorly impact the guild are presented to the guild for feedback and discussion. We’re all adults, so even though there are different opinions, we are all respectful of one another.

Greater Good of the Guild

This is a term that Mavros coined. But it works. The guild policies are in place to support the guild’s goals and direction. Specific policies are in place for the betterment of the guild as a whole. I’m a Libra, I have a compulsion to be as fair as possible to everyone. And I now have officers in place that support that very ideal.  In order to make any kind of GGG decision, the above points must all be met, and the guild needs to have specific goals in mind. The players in the guild, ideally, share and support those goals.

Personally, I’ve learned that it’s okay to try new and different things, and it’s okay to make mistakes. When we’ve tried different things, we generally had everyone’s trust that we were “doing what’s best for the guild” and we got that support, even when things didn’t work as well as we had hoped. I just want to say that I appreciate everyone’s support, loyalty and dedication. Here’s to MT continued success in the years to come!

Happy Birthday MT!

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My MOP Bucket List

December 2, 2013 4 comments

It happens as every expansion winds down. Is the new xpac here yet? Is it? IS IT?! When’s the beta? When’s the release date? OMG I’M SO DONE WITH THIS XPAC!

It’s that lull between Blizzcon/new Xpac announcement and when new xpac finally launches (“The Lull”). We’re in the final tier of MOP, and the predictions for WOD launch are in late spring/early summer. That means we’re looking at least at another 3-4 months of Seige-ing Orgrimmar.

So what the hell do we do between now and then?

Well, we raid! We still have Garrosh’s butt to kick, and I’d like to have that done before 6.0. Once most of SoO is on farm, the boredom will kick in. Players will disappear for a while. Who knows what will happen, but luckily the lull isn’t in the middle of the Summer like it was last year. That was brutal. Players generally disappear in the summer anyway. But in the middle of “The Lull” ? Ugh.

Aside from raiding, I’ve been leveling my baby mistweaver on the side. I was going to just zoom zoom her to 90 when WOD hit, but… I was bored. So she’ll hit 90 before I can boost her there. I actually think mistweaving is cool. I like it better than shaman healing (although, *anything* is more fun than shaman healing), but not as much as druid healing (yet). I almost can’t wait to get her to 90. She may be my second favorite healer. After Chyunkki, all that’s left is my little warrior Klydde. So if there’s time, I may just meet one of my goals of LEVELING ALL THE THINGS. In the most alt-unfriendly xpac WoW has ever seen. If that’s not masochistic, I don’t know what is.

I also want to get all my blue pets to level 25. I don’t know why, aside from the fact that I’m a complete-ist.

I mentioned before, that raiding has taken a backseat for me lately. I’m just not feeling it. I did everything that I’m supposed to do. I grinded out my orange pixels, I have a couple of bonus rolls each week, but it’s all just anticlimactic to me. I’ve purposely avoided killing Garrosh on flex and LFR because I want that first kill to feel epic. The last thing I want is a repeat of Dragon Soul (the worst end game raid ever, except maybe Sunwell Plateau which needs to be set on fire). I think MOP has been too stressful, too redundant, too grind-y.

So without further ado, here is my MOP Bucket List.

  • Kick Garrosh’s ass
  • Level every class to 90
    • Deathknight
    • Druid
    • Hunter
    • Mage
    • Monk
    • Paladin
    • Priest
    • Rogue
    • Shaman
    • Warlock
    • Warrior
  • Level all my blue pets to 25
  • Get a legendary cloak on at least one alt
  • Out heal Mavros overall for at least one night

It’s a short list this time!

Categories: Community Blog Topics

I Still Already Love WOD but…..

November 25, 2013 6 comments

Last week’s topic on WoW Insider was what we are most looking forward to in WOD. This week flips it on us and asks what our biggest disappointment is about the announced features.

Truth be told, this new xpac can’t come out fast enough. So I don’t have a lot of real “disappointments” in the announcements, so these may be a bit nit-picky.

Itemization

Yes, I said this is a nice feature in my last post, but some of it just doesn’t make sense. Spirit is going to remain a secondary stat, which means it won’t change when we change specs. I don’t know about you, but if I see a DK, Rogue or Warrior running around with spirit on their gear, I’m going to die a little inside. We won’t be able to reforge anymore. This is going to have to be discussed among many a guild leadership when figuring out their WOD loot distribution. If it has spirit on it, it’s healer gear. Period. There is no more hit rating so all you shadow priests, elemental shammies and boomkins can go bugger off. So spirit gear is healer gear. But not all gear will have spirit on it. Does that mean healers are automatically ineligible for it? That’s a loot discussion for another day, but I’m not exactly looking forward to that discussion.

Healers may still want to carry a completely different set of gear for their offspec, though. That spirit is going to do diddley squat for my kitty spec. And it’s just going to sit there on my gear. So it doesn’t exactly solve many of the bag space issues as it should, if we’re min/maxing our offspecs.

Which brings me to….

Reforging

The Ethereal reforgers are packing up and leaving town, leaving us with what we got. Make spirit a primary stat, and I’ll stop bitching. Reforging is a pain in the ass, so I’m not sad to see it go. But if I use my kitty offspec and have to deal with stats of: stamina, agility, spirit on my gear, I’m going to twitch.

Garrisons

This is nice. But I wish they would make Guild Garrisons. Then each guild member could have their own “player housing” within the Guild Garrison, and share the resources. With end game raiding not requiring players to be in guilds, this would be a big motivator in joining a guild. There is SO much potential with a Guild garrison.

No new Race/Class

We really don’t need a new race or class, but it’s always something new to look forward to. But please, no naga race. Just, no.

It’s really hard to be disappointed in anything that I don’t have a lot of information on yet, and despite these points, I really can’t wait for WOD. I mean, REALLY. CAN’T. WAIT.

Confessions of a Guild Leader: One Big Happy Family

November 20, 2013 8 comments

In my last post I noted what I thought would be my favorite feature in WOD. But I changed my mind. I’m a girl, and I’m entitled to do that every once in a while.

The feature I am really looking forward to most is the new raid structure, and I have many personal feelings about this. One thing I didn’t want to happen with running a fairly large guild was the formation of cliques within the guild. Having multiple 10-man raid teams completely enabled that.

This entire expansion, I really only raided in one group. This time around, I never brought my alts up to the point where they could actually fill in raids. So for the most part, I’ve raided with many of the same people, which was only a small part of the whole guild. We reshuffled groups a few times, and although it was needed, it also got some guildies raiding with other guildies they weren’t familiar with. But at the same time, I don’t think everyone really got to know their guild mates in other groups. I know I didn’t. Up until MOP, I’ve always made a point to know who everyone is here. I ran in multiple groups so I can enjoy playing with everyone. This time, I took a huge step back, and even though I needed to for my own sanity, that’s probably been one of my biggest mistakes as a Guild Leader in MOP.

The flexible scaling technology that has been introduced in 5.4, and will become the norm in WOD will allow us all to play together as we really should be. We will no longer have “guilds within a guild”. We will be one guild, one team, working toward the same goals. We had our fun with the server rankings the last couple of years, but now I’ve removed it from the guild website. We’re going to focus on having fun together while killing the bad guys. I don’t care where our guild ends up on the server list anymore. It’s too stressful, and it sucks a lot of fun out of what’s supposed to be a hobby. No more silence in vent on farm nights. Speak up folks! Pick on Giz. Keep setting Tai on fire. Laugh at Phaedara when he Time Warps on trash. Get drunk with Emor. Even blame Cejey when you accidentally pull that room full of fail. Hell you can even get back to your “pick on Aly” fun. The key word here is fun.

And we’re all in it together.

I Already Love WOD

November 15, 2013 7 comments

This is what I was waiting for. The end of this wretched expansion is in sight. Of course we don’t know exactly when Warlords of Draenor will launch, but I’ll say that it’s not soon enough. It’s hard to say what I’m looking forward to most. There are just enough new features coming up that make me not want to quit the game forever. And I’ve come dangerously close recently.

Garrisons

Finally, player housing. It’s about rassafriggin time. But I’d think this would be even more awesome if we could have guild garrisons, and then guild members could build their housing/shops/specializations within the guild garrison that all guild members have access to. Yes, I’m waiting for that. So this is not my favorite feature yet. Gimme a guild version, and I’ll love Blizzard forever and ever and ever.

Raid Configs

Normal/Heroic are flexible! I love this. LOVE. THIS. Of course I’m biased, having run multiple 10 man groups in my guild. I have been wanting for years to have all my guild members raid together, but nobody wanted to deal with 25 man raid leading. The logistics of it suck, because you need exactly 25 people to run. Now I can merge my 2 10 man teams (plus whoever comes back to the game) into one big fat team. I’m so excited about this I can’t even…

Mythic level raiding. I can’t say I’m a fan. While I feel this is a great raid size, this is going to royally suck for 25 man “heroic” teams who have to dump 5 players. This is going to royally suck for 10 man guilds who suddenly have to recruit a crap ton of extra players. And there are TONS of 10 man “heroic” guilds out there. Recruitment is going to suck. With a capital SUCK. There will be poaching. It’s gonna get ugly folks.

Itemization

One set of gear that changes stats when  you change specs. As a Druid, I can’t thank blizzard enough. At one point I had 3-4 sets of gear in Cataclysm. Since I rarely pvp anymore, I’ve been getting away with carrying 2 sets of gear in MOP. Having just one set (aside from trinkets/weps/jewelry) will be a great change. Reforging sucked. I’m not a dps’er but I’ve heard hit and expertise sucked. Even the most casual player had to learn to min/max with all the ways to alter gear in MOP. No more! Just gimme my armor and be done with it.

New Character Models

I could take it or leave it. This wasn’t a huge deal for me, and to be honest, I don’t see a world of difference. But they are improvements. So I’m good with this!

Inventory Improvements

This. Is. Awesome. I love the fact that I’ll be able to keep all my consummables in one bag without thinking about it. All my flowers in another bag (without needing an herb bag). New heirloom UI! I have random heirlooms on other servers. I don’t even remember where the foo all my heirlooms are? I know I have leather ones, but are they on my 2nd druid? my rogue? or my baby monk? I’m so confused! NO MORE!

Zoom Zoom to 90

This is great for altoholics. I’m not sure I totally agree for new players. New players will miss out on the leveling zones. New players will miss out on gradually learning their class with a handful of spells that increase as they level. They’ll get a bunch of abilities they won’t know what to do with, and they’ll miss out on… everything. Hopefully they can figure out what they’re doing on the leveling grind from 90-100. Hopefully they’ll also roll another toon from scratch and go through the leveling experience.

The New PVP Zone

I’m mildly curious about this one. I wasn’t around when the original AV lasted forever in Vanilla. I did grind the TBC version of AV ad nauseum. Since I play on a PVE server, this zone probably won’t be as active as on PVP servers. But I will be playing in this new sandbox for sure.

In-Game Group Finder Improvements

I’m not sure if this will happen at launch, but the OQ addon is really clunky and yucky. And this will be awesome for finding raiders.

No More Dailies

THIS IS MY FAVORITE FEATURE!!!! THIS OMG THIS!!!!! Where did I read it? I know I read it somewhere. Oh! Here it is! Aly doesn’t do dailies!

Warlords of Draenor will be the death of daily quests. They will still exist, but they’ll be few and far between.

Can I get a HELL YEAH?! HELL YEAH! I don’t know how rep grinding will work. Will tabards come back? Who knows. All I know is Dailies can go die in a fire! Weeeee!! /happydance

And there you have it. There are other class specific things going on, but that’s a post for another day.

/cheers

Confessions of a Guild Leader: World of Irony-craft

November 12, 2013 22 comments

Pick your cliche: Shit happens. It’s part of the game. Pick another one, I don’t care.

In my 4+ years of leading a guild, I have seen a bit of turnover. But I’ve seen more loyalty than anything. That’s my priority as a guild leader – to not just recruit great people, but to also keep them around. The majority of MT’s raiders has been here for years. And I mean yearssssss. Can’t get much more loyal or dedicated than that. But as I’ve learned over the years, it’s just not enough sometimes.

I’ve seen it happen before, and I’m sure I’ll see it happen again. MT has been a fairly large guild for the past few years. We’ve run multiple 10 man raid teams. So it shouldn’t really come as a complete surprise when one of the teams decides that they should be their own guild. A team made up of members that have mostly been here for yearssss.

Ironically, their new guild leader has always publicly said that splinter guilds and small startup guilds never last and should be part of a bigger guild instead of trying to make it on their own. He can say what he wants about the shell of the guild having existed for years, but this is a startup guild, and you’re welcome for the groundwork that I laid out for ya. 🙂 Ironically, it was that guild that originally floundered, and caused the leadership to take refuge in MT. And ironically they’re back resurrecting the guild with at least 8 of MT’s longtime members. It’s a good thing we still have 2 other teams, so not a whole lot will change. Except the players in the leadership ranks.

Of course I’ll get over it. We’ll all get over it. I  have before, and I will again. Ironically, one of my resulting officer promotions was the same foo that did the same thing 4 years ago. Ironically, he did the same thing 4 years ago almost to the day. It was Friday the 13th in November, and it was ugly. But we got over it. And MT was born from it. And he’s been back for a couple of years, now as an officer, ironically enough. If anyone is superstitious, you could say this is a great thing, and MT will be better because of it.

Categories: Confessions, Guild Leading

What’s Your Endgame?

October 21, 2013 2 comments

This week’s WoW Insider’s Community Blog Topic is pretty thought provoking for me. Since the end of TBC, my endgame has been solely raiding and defeating ALL THE THINGS. I met my first endgame goal in Wrath with the defeat of the Lich King. It was a defining moment in my guild’s history. MT was born in Wrath, and that kill put us on the map (way down on the map but we were there!).

This continued with Cataclysm, when we had our guild first full heroic clear of the final raid (yes, I know it was Dragon Soul, don’t judge). We started to become a “heroic” raiding guild in Firelands, when we defeated heroic Shannox and heroic Majordomo Staghelm. We set our goals higher for DS and accomplished them about two weeks before 5.0 hit. The guild’s MOP goals remain the same, with one of our teams having defeated 4 heroic bosses in T14 and T15. Thankfully Seige of Orgrimmar isn’t as much of a cakewalk as Dragon Soul was, and we’re still pushing for that Garrosh kill before diving back into heroics.

However, my personal end game has shifted a bit. It’s no secret that MOP is my least favorite expansion. I was burnt out by the 3rd week into the xpac for crying out loud. I was going through some changes IRL (move, job, relationship), and I ended up taking a step back this xpac. I took a break from raiding about halfway through T14, came back casually in T15, and experienced a LOT of frustration with a couple of raid teams. Somehow, I managed to get carried through a full T15 clear and heroic Jin, so all was not lost. But personally, I just don’t care as much about the raiding aspect as I did in the past.

It’s no secret that I’m also an altoholic. My end game goal is still to clear all raid content, but I also want to finish leveling ALL THE THINGS! I have 9 toons at level 90. I still have to get my 87 rogue as well as my baby warrior and monk up to 90. For years, I’ve wanted to get every class to max level, and each xpac I manage to get a couple more toons there. In TBC, I only had my paladin, hunter and warlock. In Wrath, it was my paladin, warlock, mage, priest, druid and hunter. In Cataclysm it was my priest, druid, warlock, mage, shaman, hunter, paladin and DK. In MOP I added a 2nd druid to that mix. I’ve got 3 more classes to get leveled.

I also got dragged into the poke-craft aspect of the game. When MOP was announced up through 5.3, I swore NEVER to do that stupid pet battle crap. Until they introduced the “Crazy Cat Lady” title. I’ve had cats ever since I was little. I loved my kitties more than life itself. And I’ve always been teased that I would end up being the “crazy cat lady” when I got older. So I had to get the title, in homage to my cat loving ways. In order to get the title, I had to have 20 cat companion pets. In order to do that, I had to …. capture them in pet battles. Now I MUST COLLECT THEM ALL!

Tai will be proud.

(yes, I have issues)

And then there are the achievements. I’m a sucker for the nerdpoints. By the end of Cataclysm, I finished Loremaster. I must have all the titles, all the mounts, all the pets! I’m a completist. Yes, I made that word up. The only thing I will never finish, and this is a promise, is all the dailies. ALY DOESN’t DO DAILIES. Molten front? Ha. Krasarang? Go eff yourself. Barrens? Never touched a quest, I just got my baby alts power leveled while my guildies went around killing stuff. Isle of Thunder? Yeah, ok. Excuse me while I park my butt here and kill all the mogu for Black Prince. Once exalted, BYE! I actually play on the timeless isle, because I AM an altoholic so I must get them all the purples. But I think My main is still neutral with the August Celestials. Someday I’ll go back and grind the rep to fill all my bars to exalted again. Maybe. I’m a completist, so it’ll happen eventually. So my endgame in MOP is completing everything. The raids, the achievements, the alts, the pets… ALL OF IT!

And then I get to do it all over again in the next xpac.

Categories: Community Blog Topics
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