Friday, July 10, 2009

After Midnight the After Math

So I haven't written in a few days, that is mainly because I haven't had much time. Work has been crazy and the "behind the scenes" work Forth, the officers and I have been putting into the guild has been a long arduous but rewarding task.

When I last wrote we were trying to find ways to rebuild/revamp the guild while staying on our server, Uldaman. I have to say so far so good.

After much soul searching and discussions with the officers, we felt it was unfair not to outline what we expected of our raiders in specific during-raid rules. One day (usually farm days) we would let loose on vent and on progression days we would command silence. Those that have been raiding with us for a long time might have known the reasons but newer players might view that as bi-polar.

So we implemented much regimented and very straightforward rules and expectations, in writing and published on our website so all could see. Our goal is to make sure our players feel comfortable knowing the limits they have within our raiding environment and never have to be paranoid with not knowing what is expected of them.

We fully expected some players to not be happy with the new implementation and style of leading we were setting forth; in fact we had a couple of players leave outright the next night. Two with minimal drama, one with a slightly over the top post on our forums due to sitting for one night, only due to min/max reasons of setting up out raid and not agreeing with how we wanted to go about the changes in the guild.

It's hard for me to accept that you cannot please everyone, so the over the top posting was hard for me to objectively handle; mainly due to my personality and I'm sure something a lot of women struggle with in society in general. Gender issues within the game though will be something I will touch on in a later post.

In order to properly ease the guild into the new way of doing things, we held our regular monthly guild meeting on Wednesday but rather than having a complete open forum with any topic that came to mind at the time we asked for 15-20 minutes silence on vent while we went through the changes to be implemented. Then instead of a complete open forum, we had each class leader (and one officer for those classes that we do not have class leads for) take their teams into separate vent channels to discuss concerns without the GMs present. One by one Forth and myself "visited" each group, elaborating for anyone who had questions, asking players to voice their concerns and giving them a task of coming up with evaluation benchmarks (on specific boss fight and on training dummies) for their class for any future newcomers to the guild.

All in all it was a very positive experience. Forth and I were very aware there were people hesitant or unhappy after the meeting but were not willing to say so; but we also knew there were lots of people who felt more at ease and actually appreciated the direction. We also knew that some were waiting to see the outcome of our labour within the raid environment.

We ended the night with pulling everyone back into the ventrilo lobby and handed out promotions to initiates and instated our new raid leader we were looking for.

Thursday night was "show-time" so to speak. It was our first raid night after the guild meeting, with a new raid leader and new raid rules. After the whole gquit drama at the beginning of the raid, everyone seemed to fall into a comfortable rhythm; players were able to focus when needed, knew the limits of speaking in vent and joking around and were able to keep a comfortable medium doing so. Trash went faster, we one shotted bosses, people laughed, joked and had fun. It was nice to see the guild turning into a happy family again, albeit even for this one night and hoping for repeats. By buckling down, keeping a positive attitude, applying the new rules right away which corrected any (minor) problems last night evenly and without bias we were able to set ourselves up for a complete weekend of progression attempts on General Vezax with only spending 2 raid nights on farm content. This is something we have not been able to do since Ulduar came out.

I'm hoping for a repeat again tonight on the progression attempts. Our new raid-leader seems to have the calming "Aura of Command" (I love this term which is stolen from Matt of and I hope the guildies continue to respect him as under his delegation and organization we seemed to thrive last night.

So through the storm the guild seems to be finding their light, I guess change is not a bad thing after all.

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