Welcome to our guide on how to run a successful gaming guild. For right now, we are going to keep this simple and boil it down to a few simple tips.
Running a successful gaming guild or clan is in many ways similar to running a business. You will deal with many of the same challenges including tardiness to events, conflict between members, and general drama. For those of you have real-life management experience, you will know what I am talking about. Unfortunately, most people who attempt to create and run a guild have zero experience at doing so, which is the reason so many guilds have such a short lifespan. With the idea in mind, that you as the Guild Master are responsible for creating a great guild culture, let's discuss a few simple keys to running a successful guild:
- Recruit Quality, not quantity
- Be Nice, but Firm
- Organization is Key
- Provide the Basic Tools
Recruit Quality Not Quantity
This is the first step to running a successful guild, and likely the one that destroys most guilds before they ever get started. Log in to any MMO and you will likely get any number of random invites to various clans. The Guild Masters who recruit like this believe that mass inviting people will allow them to weed out the bad players in the long run, but this could not be further from the truth. People who play MMO's are generally looking for community in the games they play, or else they would be playing FPS games.
The proper way to recruit is to do so slowly and deliberately. Have a conversation with every person you are thinking about inviting to your guild. Find out their schedule and when they are generally online. Find out some things about them and tell them some things about yourself and your guild. Let them know you actually CARE about your organization and the people you are inviting to it.
Be Nice but Firm
It is natural to want to be popular with everyone in your guild. It is human nature to want to be liked and "please" those around you, especially when you are trying to grow a gaming guild. You want the guild to be successful and you are working hard to make that success happen. However, sometimes hard decisions need to be made in accordance with your guild culture. Online games are one of the few places people can have almost complete anonymity, which means they will sometimes act differently than they would in a real-life situation. This translates into people acting like complete jerks in the online space. You will have to handle situations like this carefully or the situation can quickly get out of hand.
Firstly, stay calm and speak in a reasonable and paced tone. Second, take any and all disagreements out of public chat, whether that is an in-game chat or Discord channel. Pull all of the involved parties into a private chat where it can be hashed out. Attempting to resolve a conflict in a public chat channel is a recipe for disaster as more and more people will feel the need to get involved and add their opinion. Usually cooler heads will prevail in a private space where people can think calmly and reasonably about the situation without the interference from others who might decide to chime in and magnify the situation.
Guild Leadership - Organization is Key
Plan your guild activities. A Guild Master that runs a tight ship with plenty of weekly activities is usually a successful one since the vast majority of the population are not leaders but followers. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just a simple fact that people will naturally follow someone who is organized and leads with a confident manner. There are very few people who can do this, and the ones who can are natural guild masters.
As a follow-up to this, make sure to keep track of those who actually participate in guild activities and find a way to reward them for consistent participation. A guild with a lot of activities running that are well-attended is a successful guild.
Lastly, remember to be positive and encourage those who are not attending guild-sponsored events to do so. Sell them on the idea of getting involved and relay the fact that being involved makes the guild stronger and builds friendships that usually last for many years.
Provide the Basic Tools
The essential tools for running a guild these days are Discord and a website. Discord is self-explanatory since people need to communicate, and voice chat is the easiest way to do that.
The website is a different beast and this can become very complex if you allow it to. However, there are only a few simple things you need to provide on a guild website to fulfill the needs of the guild:
- DKP Tool - this one is important as members need to be able to see their current standing for DKP points. If you are not using DKP points for loot distribution, you probably should. Loot Councils usually end up failing and causing strife.
- Events Calendar - Your members need an easy place to go and see what is going on that they can attend. As a bonus, if you can offer a sign-up form for events, this is even better as it allows people to both hold their spot in a raid or event, plus it allows leaders to plan more effectively.
- Home page that features the accomplishments of the guild - this one is optional but I mention it because it offers a place to brag a little on your groups accomplishments, but it allows your members to feel included in the success of the guild. Members that can go and see themselves in a screen shot of a successful raid or PvP event are generally happier.
Running a guild is very difficult and takes a lot of time and energy. However, following these steps will get you off to a great start. If you have any additions you think are vital to a guild, let us know in the comments!