So you want to start a guild…

Recently, Matticus (of World of Matticus) asked some GM bloggers for advice that we would give to a new GM looking to start a guild.  As a GM who recently left a guild and started my own – and being someone with much to say on many topics, I could not limit to one comment.  So I turned it into this blog post and let Matticus choose the comment that helped fill out his blog best.

Here are some things that I feel are important and that I would pass along to someone looking to start a new guild.

Officers. Obviously, as in my case, I am the most qualified person to make decisions and will run the guild as a dictatorship.  🙂  That being said, you need people that think you are listening to their suggestions anyway.

Who will these yes-men be?  Sometimes it may be obvious as your RL BFF, spouse, that dude you have run with since Vanilla, or maybe someone you’ve met fairly recently.  Start with a small officer core and take time to work through at least the main start-up issues with these people.  You may even want to get the guild up and running a bit before expanding the leadership.

Be aware that not everyone – even your BFF – is cut out for guild leadership – and that may not be apparent until you are in the thick of things.  Be sure that the officers are people that can work through disagreements.  If you and your spouse have conflicts with both of you running in the same raid, leading a guild together may magnify that. Real life relationships are more important than a game – don’t forget it.  Oh, you thought this would be all peaches & cream?  Only if your dictatorship is structured well.

Communication.  Rarely will you and all of your guild members be online at the same time.  Actually, you can probably make that “never.”  So how do you make sure everyone knows what is going on?

Guild Website.  There are numerous free guild hosting sites, like out there that will provide everything you need in a “cookie cutter” type format.  If you are tech savvy and want to break out of the box, most of these sites offer some form of premium service that will allow you to modify the way your site looks or let you use a custom domain.

Ventrilo/Mumble/Teamspeak.  Whatever service you plan on using, get it set up right away – even if it is only for a small number of users to start.  As soon as you are GM, you will be bombarded with people trying to get your attention.  All at the same time.  Every day.   Forget about actually playing WoW.  Just kidding!

Typing in chat is time-consuming and easily misinterpreted.  And if you have more than one conversation going at the same time, there are going to be mistells.   /r “OMG, Eugene, I made out with Jethro’s GF at the movies last night, I couldn’t keep her off of me!”   [wsp from Jethro] “This isn’t Eugene, you .”

You can also have quick, impromptu or even scheduled meetings on vent.  Set up a vent channel for yourself, too.  Hang out in it when you are on.  That way you are available for anyone that needs something.  At the very least you can have a cool channel with your name on it.

Leadership.  Actual day to day, raid to raid leadership can be time consuming.  In some cases it can even  be physically and/or emotionally exhausting.  Sleep?  Hmm, that sounds like a concept I was familiar with at some point.

Rules & Expectations.  Be sure to post a clear description of your guild and any expectations that you have. This includes details about guild rules, raid rules, loot rules, etc.   Interpretation:  Make rules, shove them down peoples’ throats.

Have your guild members “sign/acknowledge” that they have read, understand, and agree to the rules.  Issues that arise can be fairly easily resolved this way.  Sure many people are going to sign without actually reading them.  If a person is breaking guild rules and their only response/excuse is that they didn’t really read the rules, is this really someone you want in your guild?

Evaluating Players.  Telling someone that they are not performing up to expectations can be rough.  You want your guild to succeed, but some people may not be at that stage.  How can you let them know and help them through it, without coming across like a ?  Start off with a clearly defined set of minimum requirements for raiding.  You should actually have two sets of criteria here – one objective and one subjective.

The objective list will be one that the player can refer to, see exactly where they stand, and what they need to do to meet the minimum.  This can include things such as gear item level, passing the WoW Armory Character Audit, and/or meeting some level of experience such as achieving Cataclysm Dungeon Hero.

The subjective list should also be something that the player can refer to, but it may be less obvious to them where they stand (hopefully not in the fire!).  This is where things can get dicey.  Some people can take constructive criticism and some cannot.  Keep the criticism constructive and work together actively for a solution.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate.  You don’t have to do this alone.  Remember those yes-men I talked about?  Use them.  They are just hanging out at the Stormwind fountain panhandling anyway.

Assign each officer a specific class(es) and/or role(s) for which they will be responsible.  Have them watch how the individuals in those groups are doing and identify anything that needs to be addressed.   This does not mean that these officers need to be experts in the classes/specs.  Once an issue is identified, the officer(s) can discuss to figure out a solution.

This also provides guild members with a first line of communication, especially for those players who may not say anything at all because they are unsure of who to talk to.

In General.   Remember that the guild is not just a group of players.  It is also a group of people, each with their own wants and needs.  If you remember that, then you can be like me and have the:

Best. Guild. Ever.

Everyone at Force of Impact will agree with that.  Seriously, they will.  They know not to piss off a Druid/Shaman/Pally – we can do nasty to you!

How One Man Saved the Internet

I was sure that this post was going to be a major rant. For about two years we have had on-and-off connection issues and, DAMMIT, it was affecting our raiding.

Some background: We have two choices here for internet, but because of service bundling, we would have to pay twice as much if we had to split the services.  We’ve had numerous tech calls/visits with no long-term solution.  We were guaranteed that the tech coming out this Saturday would be accompanied by the local area supervisor. If the supervisor didn’t show, we planned on sending the tech on his merry way and canceling our service on Monday.

Lo and behold, Ben, the tech, showed up totally unaware that we were supposed to have a supervisor as well.   He asked that we at least let him check out the immediate problem (3 days of absolutely horrible or no connection) while he was there.  Ok, fine, because we could do next to nothing and had missed another raid, why not.

But he didn’t pull out his meters and tell us “everything reads fine” and that “it must be your equipment” or “your router settings must be wrong”, or “you must have bad lines in the house”, etc. He sat down with us and asked us about the problems we had been having, what we had been told, and what had been done.

Then he called his “tech support for the techs” as many others had.  Guess what they said?  Yep, “it must be their equipment/router settings/bad lines” etc.  Ben was clearly annoyed, thanked them for their “help”, and hung up (really? WTH? did this guy care?).

Any of you out there fans of Ghost Hunters?  That was what Ben was.  At one point he even said the words, “I need to disprove this before I move on to the next thing.”  It was obvious that he didn’t intend to leave until he had resolved the issue.  Or maybe he was waiting for an invite to dinner – Mustafah was making his famous spaghetti at the time.

Then Ben started checking things out.  He found both the splitter coming into the house and the splitter going to the TVs and modems were BOTH configured improperly.  The teeny tiny TV in the upstairs bedroom was getting the “full” juice, the TV in the family room was getting the next chunk, and the modems were getting the “leftovers”.  WTH?  No one caught that before?

He corrected all that and amazingly we now had downstream power levels around +7.8 (up from -8.8) and the upstream power level dropped from 58 to about 37.   Seriously, I have never seen even ONE positive reading on the DS and the UP had always been between 54 and 58.

But Ben wasn’t done.  On our two computers, we checked the power levels and ran dueling speed and ping tests.  Hmmm.  The power levels and speeds were still fluctuating wildly.  Ben then found that there was one small section of the cable that was not new.  As he removed it, he found that it had a small kink and another small pinch.  He replaced it. Our internet stabilized.

Ben, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts/wallets.  You did what no one else was capable of doing for the last two years.  It is amazing that one man (person) can make a company, especially while many others are breaking it.  We even got a phone call from Ben a little while ago, checking to see if it was still working properly.

One man saved the internet.  Ben – we /salute you.

The Story That Never Was….

So, I had surgery on Friday to fix a blocked tear duct in my eye.  The doctor said that I would have one or two very black eyes for a couple of weeks.  I encouraged everyone to get their stories ready to harass Mustafah.  But Babylicious said that I needed a story myself.  So, I had my story ready, but lo and behold, I did not end up with any noticeable bruising.  Well, Baby and others still wanted  to hear the story.  So here is the story that never was (and I doubt it will live up to the build up it has received):

So, there was this baar (that is how us tough folks say “bear”) and he was all “hey, hey, hey” and  I was all “you can’t take peoples’ pic-i-nic baskets.”  He looked around and was all “I don’t see Ranger Smith” and I was all “well you see Ranger ME!” and I bopped him one.  The thing I forgot was that he was smarter than your average bear and he bopped me one back – and gave me this BooBoo.

OMG! She DOES Exist!!!

No, not Mrs. Clause, but Zaralin!

Oh my, it has been a while since I posted anything. I am getting off my butt a bit and posting, thank you, Eresin!

SO – I am still playing WoW and have been very busy. A LOT has changed since the last time I posted! I keep meaning to post, but never get around to it. Once I list off some of the changes, you’ll see why. 🙂

So, brief summary of changes since the last post:

Zaralin is still running with ill repute, gone through parts of Ulduar, all of ToC10, and most of ToC25 (still working on Anub, though). So many new content raids and we don’t seem to stay on one long enough to get through – and now we have ICC. Still a tree healer, but can also do some mean Doomkin damage now, too, if necessary.

Gnomara got to 80 and then switched over to ill repute as well. Same as above for raids.

Meleah worked her way to level 78 and has been languishing there for a while. She and Shakarri aren’t minding too much, though. Many people stop by to visit and get gems cut.

I also have a warlock – Analyn. She was my token hordie, but I switched her to alliance when that option became available. That’s a fun class to play too, she is hanging out level 36. All the new content causes toon neglect!

In the meantime, I leveled a ret pally – Isobel (“devoted to God” – appropriate for a paladin, no?). Melee is so different, yet fun to beat the sh*t out of stuff. Anyway, at level 70 I dual specced with holy. OMG – pally healing is so much more fun than druid healing (yes, I went there). Anyway, I have gotten her geared up now and just recently switched her to my main toon in the guild. No, I am not changing this blog to Isobel’s Zen or anything. I am still Zaralin (“Z”). Maybe I will make a off-shoot of this blog for Isobel – or maybe I will just start to post here more. 🙂

And then recently I created an elemental Shaman – Cayce. I named her in honor of my grandmother (but not after her). My grandmother was a very spiritual woman and she had a great respect for Edgar Cayce – who many people considered to be a shaman. Look up information about him some time – fascinating!

Anyway, there is the three minute update. I promise to try to post more often (hey, my first New Year’s resolution!).

Love and peace to all!

My Horoscope for Today per

So this is my horoscope for today, as posted on

Aries (21.03 – 20.04) You need to deal with kid-related business today, even if you’re childless yourself. Maybe you’re called on to babysit, or maybe it’s time to sit down with someone close and talk about the future.

Pretty funny, considering today is the start of WoW’s Children’s Week!

Parenting Advice # 2141 from Zaralin:  Don’t let your kids watch too many zombie movies.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

« Older entries