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Confronting Guild Drama
Anyone who has been a part of a guild, ran a guild or still runs a guild, knows that there will always be guild drama. Usually these soap opera-esque escapades are far and few in small guilds that are composed mostly of friends. However, as a guild grows and more people latch onto a larger guild’s popularity, all kinds of chaos is bound to ensue like a Republican at a Democratic health care reform rally. Nevertheless, just because things get out of hand in a guild doesn’t mean it’s time to put the buckler in the chest, hang up the broom or lock away the level 120 all resistance war sword. No, instead…confront the drama like a proud guild leader who isn't afraid to get a little diry, and show your members why you’re the boss. If you’re a little lost on how to do this without getting your house burned down in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, or being led into a trap on World of Warcraft, as an act of member-revenge, just try following a few of the following tips.
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No. 5: Avoid Being Cocky:
The biggest mistake any guild leader can make is being too proud, arrogant and over-boastful about achievements and leadership. It can lead a lot of disgruntled members into a state of resentment and ultimately it could create more drama than what’s necessary. Guildies will also be less likely to come to you for help if you spend more time talking about your accomplishments or how you single-handedly toppled one the toughest bosses on the game, rather than spending a little time listening to what the rest of your members have to say. It’s not bad to use a little history of your accomplishments or looting awards as an example for encouragement, but it’s good to know when to draw the line with the guild in being overly cocky and appropriately confident.
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No. 4: Designate Helpful Sub-Masters
This is one of the more important tips, even though all of them are probably equally important. Nevertheless, designating a helpful sub-master (even if the game doesn’t allow you to actually designate a sub-master) will help keep some of the peace in a guild. Finding a good co-leader or sub isn’t always easy but can reap great benefits for the guild in the long run. This rings especially true if a reliable and reasonable individual is appointed to help run the guild. Letting members know that they can come to a certain sub for help or talk openly with a few of the appointed co-leaders can help relieve some of the stress of handling the entire guild’s business all on your own. Like the old saying goes: it’s easier to avoid being burned by fire if you have a good right-hand man to stand in the way of the flames.
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No. 3: Divide And Conquer
Trying to address too many guild problems at one time can lead to complete disaster. Even though a guild master is only one person, members will sometimes forget about this and may bombard the guild leader with one too many problems at a time. So it’s important to separate the issues from the members and address each problem at separate times, in an attempt to streamline guild drama. It's almost like watching a soap opera while another one is being recorded on the DVR; streamlining drama at its best. Otherwise, tackling a whole bunch of problems at one time could easily result in guild-drama overload, and that’s about equivalent to lighting a case of firecrackers and stuffing them in your underpants. One way or another it's going to be messy.
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No. 2: Communication Is Key
In addition to dividing problems and conquering them, try keeping open communication with as many active guild members as possible. It’s the best way to keep players involved and out of trouble, as well as keeping a wary eye on potential drama before it happens. Communication is also key for alerting sub-masters or co-leaders of who they need to watch out for or what sort of events could be happening within the guild while you’re not online. Just remember to communicate before dropping ban-hammers and booting members who start any kind of drama. Otherwise, letting people go before properly addressing problems is a quick way to turn the guild into an unfriendly and unwelcoming place, sort of like the Australian video games rating board. A little dialogue and chatting can often times resolve matters that might seem worse than what they really are.
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No. 1: Why So Serious? Have Some Fun
Last but certainly not least, it’s important to remember that running a guild, doing loot runs and having a good time with fellow online friends is what it’s all about. If coming online to play a game and be a part of a guild turns into a second job, therapy sessions or yelling matches, then it might be best to take a little break from the game and get your head on straight. This rings especially true when the drama gets too hot and heavy. Sometimes it’s also best to take a break and kill some ogres or put a few goblins in their place to help clear your head. Staying too serious over guild matters will follow you out into real life and ruin a potentially good day. Remember to remind guildies who are involved with drama that it’s just a game and the whole point is just to have some fun.