A General Guide to
Building a Guild
One of the greatest aspects of MMO gaming is forming and
running a guild. Guilds can be the grandest or nastiest part
about your gameplay experience. Finding or creating an
exceptional guild can make a game really become more than a mere hobby;
you have knowledge and resources to fall back on when the game gets
rough, you always have people to talk to, and groups are much easier to
On the other hand, a bad guild can result in anger,
frustration, and may even make a person quit the game.
Obviously, that situation is to be avoided at all costs. With this
brief, handy guide to building a guild, the Ten Ton Hammer
team hopes you find some advice that could help you run your guild
better or, if you're still on the ropes, encourage you to take the
plunge and start your own guild.
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As a guild leader, it is your responsibility to watch
over your guild's members and make sure they are content.
Step One: Leaders
This has to be the most important part of building any
guild. A strong chain of command is something that is
imperative to a successful guild. A leader is not just a
title, it is someone who can earn respect with their actions and sets
an example for the guild as a whole. Once the guild leader is
determined, he or she should select their chain of command.
The guild leader should appoint an assistant guild leader who will fill
that role while the guild leader is off line. Remember when
appointing your number one that this person will act as your proxy when
you are not around and represents you so select someone who shares your
vision for a guild.
The most important thing is to make sure your guild members
feel they always have someone to turn to at any point with almost any
problem and get a prompt resolution. A leader in your guild
should be fair and non-judgmental to either side. Lastly, you
must trust your chain of command and never discuss problems with them
in public. Leader discussions should be kept within the
Step Two: Mission Statement
Determining your mission statement is essential when you are
initially developing your guild. Have a purpose – a
mission – for your group. Is it a PvP guild? Or is
it a roleplay guild? This is the kind of information
potential guild members will need up front. The “we
are just a bunch of friends” type guild rarely grows past the
initial members so you have to determine what kind of guild you want.
Running a guild of friends is fun, easy, and works for the
short term, but normally any growth past the founders is minimal and
can end in disaster fast. Making a mission statement lets new
recruits know what they are getting into right away.
It’s better to turn away someone for not sharing your vision
rather than have them mad and spread discontent among the ranks.
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Raids are extremely important to your guild members,
but make sure everyone gets the drops they need.
Step Three: We are in a guild, what do we do now?
If you have selected several exceptional leaders and have a
solid mission statement, the guild should run itself with few
problems. However, if you’re just starting out and
don’t have experienced guild members beside you, the best way
to impart your wisdom to other members of your guild is to lead by
example. If I am raiding a dungeon for an item and other
people want that item as well I will set up a raid group and let people
know, up front, that this is the order that people will get the drop
and we will not stop until everyone has the item.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself on the top of the list if it
is an item you need, but don’t stop until everyone has that
Even though each MMO is different, you should still try to
organize guild events for everyone in your entire guild, across the
games you’re a part of. An active guild is a happy
guild so raids and quest groups are terrific ways to keep members busy
and help the people within the guild achieve their goals. The
person you help today might be the new leader of tomorrow, so get
everyone active within your guild.
An outstanding guild leader always puts the needs of his guild
before their own and makes sure everyone has what they need to survive
in an MMO. Don’t totally neglect yourself, as the
guild leader you should exemplify what people look up to, but if you
are stock piling for no reason other than to stock pile and a new guild
member needs specific items, the right thing to do would be give them
the items you don’t need.
In the end, the loss of income will be reinforced with loyalty
and the desire for that person to give back to the guild.
This becomes a cascade effect where, in-time, everyone will be helping
everyone. If people in your guild express their happiness to
others, your guild will become very popular very quickly.
Step Four: People/Recruiting
The people in your guild can be a direct reflection of you as
a leader and the guild as a whole. At one point I was not in
a guild and not really in the market for a new one. In my
travels, I came across a player who was in need of some
assistance. She asked for help and I decided to assist
her. I helped her with a mission, and she did not loot a
single corpse. When I gave her the go-ahead to loot the
corpses, she asked if I wanted them before telling her it was alright
if she looted the monsters. After the mission was completed,
she thanked me profusely and tipped me money. I was so
impressed by this attitude that I tipped her back her money with change
and explained that I would be joining her guild for the simple reason
that she had swayed me.
As a leader, your people are your biggest asset, and
you’ll want to insure the players that you recruit are also
individuals who are not going to abuse the guilds generosity and not
mistake kindness for weakness.
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When two guildmates are upset with each other, you need
to know when to step in.
Step Five: Knowing When to Step In
This is probably the most difficult part of a guild
leader’s job description. When does one step in to
quell an argument or render a decision on a situation? The
fact of the matter is, you’ll need to make that based on your
own judgment. This may not make sense now, but it will when
you are in the role. No one likes being told “do
this” or “do that” and depending how you
say it will determine the effect of the ruling. A guild
leader acts like a judge and needs to stay neutral in any
dispute. No matter who is right or wrong, you cannot take
sides because this is not your fight. You exist merely to mediate.
When talking in these situations, it’s best to speak
to both parties privately and negotiate a compromise that works for
both. Instead of doing a public trial, take both parties into
a group where you mediate and they negotiate, intervening as
needed. Both parties will reach an agreement with your help,
you just have to keep it civil and let them argue it out. It
is normal for people to have disagreements and talk things out. Always
remember a solution is almost always obtainable.
Lastly, you need to know when you have a bad apple and when
it’s time to release that person for the good of the
guild. One bad apple will spoil the bunch, and sometimes
it’s best to boot a person before it becomes a larger
problem, which leads me to the final topic.
Step Six: Cliques
Cliques are probably some of the most destructive forces in a
guild. You have to watch for cliques because they can form
right under your nose and the results can be devastating.
Groups will always form and people will make friends and want to hang
out, but when you start to see the same people hanging out all the time
you might find yourself in a sticky situation in the future.
This is a gentle reminder that you are not getting everyone involved in
the game, and one day you might log in to find 10 to 15 people gone
because they thought someone else would be a more effective guild
leader. These groups tend to form when you are not leading
effectively, so watch for these groups and respond accordingly.
In the end its hard being a guild leader, especially in an
MMO, and my only advice to you is be honest and fair.
It’s hard to be an excellent leader and no one gets it right
all the time. You will make mistakes, but effective leaders learn from
Try to be honest to your guild and when you make a promise,
fulfill that commitment. Being a leader means putting aside
your personal goals to help others. You ask your guild to put
their trust in you and follow your selected leaders, but if no one is
leading your guild what incentive is there for people to
stay? This commitment can be one of most rewarding
experiences you ever undertake, but it takes work, patience, and solid
amount of determination.
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