When the guild was founded back in 2006 I had a couple of reasons for doing so. I believed it was possible to lead a successful guild in a collaborative fashion; without resorting to dirty practices like taxes, unrealistic demands on time and avoiding a structure where the leader got all kinds of perks for no real reason. Together, we’ve proved that this is possible.
The other reason I did it was because MMO gaming is extraordinary and opens a lot of doors. Think about it; we regularly play with people up to 10,000 miles away and can interact with them as though they’re sitting in the same room. It is something that we forget about, but to me it’s just plain amazing.
Today I still believe a lot of good can come out of people from around the world working together. Be it something as simple as finding a friend in an unexpected place, having someone you can go for a drink with while you’re travelling, or just having an open mind to cultures worldwide. Gaming is a vector for doing this, where friendship is the goal. Again, we have proved that this is is possible.
With that in mind and having listened to feedback offered by some of our members, there are going to be a few changes in emphasis and process. We are aiming to get 80% of our active members to regularly share and contribute to common, game agnostic platforms within 6 months (right now we’re at around 40-60%). This decision has been made by Andy, Tunk and myself with the longevity of the guild in mind; just as it was with Guild Wars 1, there will be a time where we don’t play Guild Wars 2 or DOTA2 any more (whenever that is) and I don’t want to see the work we’ve done unravel. Changes you make now to move to these platforms are an affirmative action stating that you are in the guild for the long term, that you want the friendships you have made so far to last for years rather than months and that you are open to making more.
To this end, the chat room on the website will be disappearing for good during website maintenance occurring on Saturday (see calendar) and Steam group chat will become the main real-time platform for communication. Think of it as a guild hall without an avatar. Events like quizzes and other social gatherings will move across from taking place in games to Steam group chat. Did you know you can launch any game from Steam, including Guild Wars 2, by adding it to the library? You can get yourself a Steam account here if you haven’t got one already, and you can join the guild’s group by contacting a leader or adding your account name to this list. We will help you verify your account if needed and give you a free game in the process. Our very own Gummy Joe has written an extensive How-To guide to get you started.
Using Steam group chat on a regular basis will allow you to get to know members you don’t have contact with in the games you currently play, and maybe find something new you like. There will not be a requirement to join Steam or group chat, but I would be disappointed if people missed up on the opportunity to mingle when friendship is at the core of what we do.
The forum will remain important in all of this, not just for information but also for coordination and discussion. There will be projects on there that will need your help, starting off with a review of the welcome information for new members. What would you have liked to have known as a new member? What jokes and nuances do you think we should explain? You can help bring people together just by writing a post with your thoughts.
To help keep people informed, Patch Notes will also return in email form. We haven’t used the mass mailing abilities offered to us by the forum much but they are there and Andy will be in charge of writing those monthly newsletters covering member achievements, trends, project progress, events and more. You can opt in and out of these emails through your user settings (Board Preferences->Administrators can e-mail me information).
Finally, noobonsteroid is taking a look at how we recruit at the moment and there will be changes so we get the involvement of the whole guild in evaluating new members. It will still be up to Mentors and Leaders to make the final in or out decision, but your experiences with our newcomers will now form part of that process. This is an experimental change and will be reviewed in a few months to see if it has any benefit. More information here.
While will still be up to new members to make the effort required to be part of the group, to provide good feedback members will need to have experiences with each other. In game events will form part of this, but sometimes it’s better to sit down and have a chat with someone. To do this, there will be a “coffee morning” style event (I’m still looking for a good name), happening every other week before the guild missions, where everyone can get together with members, old and new, and get to know them better. The first will be this Sunday, starting at 12pm UTC. Details here and on Steam.
If you would like to play a more active role in our community, there are opportunities available. Likewise, comments on these changes and suggestions for further improvement are welcome. As is a name for the coffee morning event.
Thanks for your time and happy gaming!