Part of the work that has been done in preparation for Guild Wars 2 is to step back and look at how the guild was run in Guild Wars 1. This has been done with a view to identifying areas that are lacking or not working efficiently, sticking points that put people off making the most of their membership or general challenges we’re likely to face.
As we migrated from a young to a middle aged guild, a group of regularly active and interacting members emerged and it became progressively harder for new members or those that just didn’t have as much time to feel welcome and feel like they could become (or were) part of this core group. Several years later, the group has become tighter and as we look to take on new members and welcome old ones back we’ll need to help them mix and interact to help them feel welcome.
Growing has allowed us to diversify beyond the original game that we met in. This is something we should encourage as it ensures the guild remains relevant to people over time, but it also presents administration challenges in making sure the requirements of members in different games are being addressed. Asking one person to stay across everything is no longer viable – delegation has to occur and be handled better. Similarly being diverse means it is harder for newcomers to know where to start.
To facilitate addressing some of these problems, we’ll be moving from being game-centric to being guild-centric. This is something we’ve been doing gradually over the last few years without really being aware of but now it will be a concerted effort. This means having a common administration structure across all games and leaving it up to the players in the game to decide how to build a structure (if any is needed) around the tools available in the game.
Our new structure
Above you’ll see a diagram outlining the proposed new structure. The names are up for review and are likely to be part of competition in the coming weeks. Here’s a quick overview of each of the ranks.
As the name suggests, they’re new members. The main concern with this group is integration and informing them about the way we do things. They’ll become members when they’ve settled in and made a few friends, and their status will be available for review after a minimum of 4 weeks.
Bread and butter of the community. They’re trusted with free reign of the guild services, invited to all events (and encouraged to host their own), given membership of the guild in all games automatically. They’re expected to be reasonably active on at least one main communication channel (counted as voice communications, playing with the guild in any game and contributing on the forum). Unless banned or removed for unsuitability members who go inactive are welcome to return after a reintegration period, the length of which depends on how long they’ve been away.
There are 2 special groups within Members; Mentors and Specialists
This group is primarily responsible for helping to integrate and settle new and returning members. Their brief is similar to old Officers (which will disappear as a rank) but they will be expected to actively befriend people and encourage them to join in our activities. They will not be instructing people on playing any game. It’s expected that people fulfilling this role will be extremely active and we’ll be monitoring activity. We anticipate that this role will take no more than an hour a week, plus any voluntary time spent playing with their mentee(s). We’re aiming to start with around 5 of these, but more may be needed later on.
This group contains members with specialist knowledge about a particular game, popular aspect of a game or of a service we provide to members. They’ve volunteered to assist others interested in their speciality by being the contact point for questions and may also run series of events to help others learn. Due to the wide variety of specialists we may have, the time commitment for this role will vary.
The leadership role now contains as much in the way of administration as it does any leadership! There’s 3 of us up to speed now with the day to day tasks of running the guild, which means less stressed individual leaders and a better continuation of services.
What does this mean for me?
Probably not a huge amount really. The fundamental ethos of the guild isn’t changing and we’re aiming to run things better. You’ll still be in the driving seat of decisions, we’ll still be asking members what they want for the guild in the future. We’re aiming that this system will lead to better response times to problems and better delegation of tasks which will benefit as a whole. And of course, you being responsible for more of the success of the guild.
Although it may not be perfect right away, this structure will be a step in the right direction for everyone. New members will have clear contact points and people who will help them get used to who we are and how we do things. Everyone can enjoy the challenge of running events and sharing their expertise without waiting to be promoted. Likewise, we’ll be continuing to listen to your feedback and will be asking members to fill in surveys from time to time to help get a general idea of where people want us to be headed.
Current officers will have the first choice of being mentors or going back to being members. They should be able to register their decision and ask questions in the appropriate thread in the officer room on the forum.
These changes won’t take effect right away so you have time to send in your feedback. You can either send it in using the form after the break, or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Either way, it’s welcomed!