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Victor Nefarious, in the Diary Room…?

A lot of my Guild read this shed of a blog, I know. I appreciate this fact more than I’ve probably ever said as well, because without them this entire thing would have been a fairly lonely task. They keep me going in the lean times with encouragement, and I know that at least some of my suggestions and tips on making glod have been taken up. Thank you guys, your support is always appreciated.

One of my particularly dedicated followers (Dwarven Hunter, undeniably dashing, and with a habit of rolling higher than me when it matters: you know who you are, you tease) and I were having a chat yesterday, catching up on stuff, and we got into a discussion over what people consider important when they play the game. This lead onto a thought from him: what if we ran the Guild in the style of Big Brother: at the end of each week everyone could nominate two people who they thought weren’t positively contributing? Maybe they weren’t pulling the numbers in raids. Perhaps they could have been rude in Guild and upset people. Maybe they had just done nothing but think about their own needs ahead of the Guild’s ideals. Everyone would get called to the Guild Diary Room to cast their vote and explain their reasoning. We’d pick the top two offenders, and those two people would then face a weekly vote, the loser being summarily /gkick-ed.

I will point out first that NO WE WILL NOT BE DOING THIS AT ANY POINT, but having said that… there’s some merit to that approach.

I see frustrated recruiters on my server advertising for new raiders every week (one even adds in their spiel that they are looking for ‘dedicated players who bother to turn up’ as if to make the point) and it’s clear that there is a place past which the game stops being about random individuals: to build and maintain a coherent group for progression you need to start to understand the people you are raiding with. There has to be an investment in getting to know who is reliable, and then you begin to learn more about the individuals playing the game, and as soon as that happens you are, I suppose, in a version of the Big Brother ‘house’. People have to get on, they are set tasks to do, they need to show their ‘housemates’ that they have skills they can bring to the table to help the Guild/House as a whole to fulfil their goals. It’s not just about being a great healer or a top tank either, it’s being the decent guy who helps someone with enchant mats for free or the girl who talks you through the quest you’re having trouble completing.

In every Guild there are always people who don’t quite fit, those who sit on the periphery for whatever reason. If Guild membership came with the caveat that you could be voted out each week if you didn’t make an effort to contribute, I wonder how many of those peripheral players would no longer sit on the sidelines. I suspect many people wouldn’t play either, not willing to expose themselves to potential gkicks if they had a week where Real Life forced them to not play. I have to say, I’d probably be one of those people. However, I could see the benefits of such a ‘rule’, and I’d hazard a guess that there are probably hardcore raiding guilds who could be using a variation of the Big Brother vote already. The bigger issue for me however would be when you were down to a minimum number, below which your Guild could not operate in the way it wished. When would you stop ‘voting out’ people? Could this not lead to a Guild that could be full of people who absolutely hated each other but were brilliant at doing whatever it was the Guild asked them to? If so, what would be the point in playing in the first place?

I know the reason that I’m still playing for coming up for seven years: the people. I’ve said this before, and it bears repeating, and even those who frustrate me (and there are those who do, and I’m betting the feeling is mutual) are part of the Guild, are there because when everyone gets together and applies themselves to a task, it gets done. You are prepared to accommodate a great deal sometimes, and eventually if someone decides it’s not working they will leave of their own accord anyway. It’s all about making sure everyone understands what is expected of them, and that it is as much about how they contribute themselves as it is about what they take from the entire experience. ‘Think not about what the Guild can do for you, but what you can do for the Guild’ used to be the way I’d describe it to those who felt that we weren’t satisfying what THEY wanted from Azeroth. This still isn’t a single player game, and it’s not likely to change any time soon.

I won’t be introducing a ‘Diary Room’ Forum on our Guild Website… but the idea made me stop and think.  Remember that being in a Guild isn’t just taking what you need, it’s about giving something back: bear that in mind and you’ll be a long way from being the #1 Nomination for Guild Eviction…

2 thoughts on “Big Brother, Guild Edition!

  1. Sounds like a one-way ticket to /gdisband, to be honest. :-)

    Anyway, Big Brother (and every other entertainment variant) is not about forming a team, it's about whittling down a group of people to find a 'winner'.

    Now if you wanted a real-life parallel to a guild, and especially the raiding aspect, I'd suggest a football team; you train (5-mans), the manager picks a team based on best chances of winning (raid composition), those who don't get picked sit on the side and hope to get their chance to play, and the following week you do it all over again.

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  2. Jack Welch of General Electric used to fire the bottom 10% of his managers every year! Not sure that this contributes to a long-term outlook in people's behaviour though…

    Having said that, whilst a public vote like the BB model is undoubtedly divisive (even if it makes great TV)there would probably be merit in the officers doing it weekly in private?

    If not as a mechanism to /kick peeps at least it might serve as an early warning system for people who need a quiet word in their ear. Having said that, I have a feeling that our Guild is pretty good at such informal 'policing' :)

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