Handling Criticism as a Guild Leader

Today one of my long time guildmates sent me a whisper.  He didn’t agree with how I was recruiting for our raid groups.  He felt that the players that were in our community were not well vetted, which is true, they are not since I have the link to join posted on public forums.  I’m not looking to create an exclusive club with a whole list of criteria from the get go.  I would find myself saying no to people all day and not growing our ranks.  What if I told a player “no” based on their lack of raiding experience and they ended up being amazing?  A good resume does not mean that the player is going to be great.  People lie all the time and tell us what we want to hear.

This type of criticism is not uncommon for a guild leader.  There is always people that want to tell you how to do things.  I have one time that stood out as a clear, what not to do to keep your guild alive and healthy:

It was the first couple weeks into Wildstar.  We had started strong and were currently sitting at the #5 rank for the entire world for boss kills.  One big problem was that the #1 guild was on our same server and provided extra pressure to catch up to them and surpass them.  This was because we wanted to be the best, and so did the majority of our guild members.

There was a lot of complaining about how we needed to change and improve or people would leave.  The loudest critics came to me and said, we need to do XYZ in order to succeed.  They offered to help, so I promoted them to officers so that they would have the authority to make the changes that they wanted.  Or maybe I promoted them to shut them up, or so they wouldn’t leave.  The later two were the wrong reasons.

So the loud critics didn’t make any changes and continued to complain and now when they were complaining, they were doing so with the Officer title.  OF course maybe part of this was because they realized how much work is involved with leading a successful guild.  The continued complaining created massive problems with moral for a large chunk of our members.

It all reached a boiling point when one of our long time officers sent me a message that they were done with all the stress of trying to be a leader in the guild and that they were going to join the #1 guild in the game.  When they left, so did 30% of our members.  We were a broken group that lacked the ability to complete the content that we were clearing just the day before.  All of the venomous talk of how bad everything really got in my head and stressed me out.  I didn’t even want to play the game anymore.  This experience had sucked all of the fun right out of it for me.

Cancerous members like these may have good intentions, but when they start stirring up crap with rumors and complaining all the time, it’s time for them to go.  You may end up losing a player or two in this process but most likely your guild will remain intact.  Don’t promote your biggest critics to officers in your guild.  If they already don’t agree with you, its more likely that they’ll work against you than with you in the future.

After the experience of trying to allow people to do more and help out and having it backfire so badly, I am leaning towards trusting my gut.  I’m not going to create a perfect place for everyone, its just not possible.  Since I’m doing the bulk of the work getting this thing off the ground my instincts tell me to just keep doing what I’m doing and know that I won’t be pleasing everyone and they’ll move on to green pastures.  The goal is to create a place where I’m still having fun and not burning out form all the stress of trying to please people.

Ikea, a Gamer’s Best Friend? Yea, I think so.

We have the good fortune of having an Ikea warehouse close to our house.  Anytime that we have had something specific in mind for a piece of furniture we look everywhere for options.  Most of the pieces that would work for us tended to be expensive.  Enter Ikea!  A cheap, modular furniture super hero.  Being a small family, we tend to be easy on our furniture which gives the inexpensive Ikea furniture a long life.  I also own a power drill which is necessary for any type of assembly.

Of me and my husband, I am the more handy.  I’ve installed a wall mounted tv, replaced the ice maker in our freezer and have put together countless desktop PCs.  Furniture is not much different.

I had a vision for my computer desk and shopped for months before I threw my hands in the air.  There were no good options for what I wanted to make.  I needed something clean and modern that was also ergonomic, I was getting neck pain from looking down at my monitors all day.  Looking for answers on the internet I found Ikea Hackers and found exactly what I was looking for.  Not long after I was building my desk and creating the simple, minimalist look that I wanted.

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My husband has been playing on a small glass top desk for many years and talking about updating his set up.  After settling on a design idea it took almost a year to pull the trigger.  We took a trip to the store and picked up the pieces to make the hub’s dream desk.  A month later the boxes are still sitting unopened and driving me nuts, which in retrospect may have been by design.  I was fed up!  If I get something new I want it set up right away and it was just sitting in a box looking ugly in my house!  One evening while he was working on something outside of our computer room I started clearing off his desk and carry it down stairs.  I emptied the first box of a zillion pieces onto the floor and got to work.

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Later when he comes into the room I look up to him and say “the fastest way we can do this is if you take that box in the other room and start putting that piece together.  It will probably take 30 minutes.”  One hour later…we have most of the desk put together with just a few finishing touches needed.

It wasn’t until the weekend when I found myself staring at the mounting bracket spread out along the floor.  The hubs was in the next room taking a nap and I got to work.  I haven’t mounted a monitor before but I’ve done a wall mounted TV.  This was similar and the directions were good.

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We also found this LED sticky tape lighting which was a total impulse buy.  I ran this along the back edge and down the side of the desk.  The light will either scroll through the color spectrum or you can freeze it on a specific color.

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It was a long process, mostly of the pieces sitting in boxes in the hallway, but we finally have a new desk!  Just in time for BFA!  At least we got it done before our upcoming MMO bingefest!

Logging in to Game Server

Oh Azeroth, how I miss thee.  Today was the day!  Months of anticipation all lead to the start of a new war…the Battle for Azeroth.  The night before I sharppened my sword, polished my plate male and packed up my Goblin Glider Kits.  I was ready.

There a lot of reasons to be on a high population server.  There are always people to play with and you get a really big pool of players who want to do the raid content, which is what we tend to focus on.  When your server is know for being the home of 5 guilds that are in the top 100 in the world, that’s a big draw for people.  I know when I’m looking for a server I want to have lots of options for guild prospects.

Of course there are drawbacks to being on a high pop server.  If there is going to be issues with log in queue or server stability, odds are it will hit the high population servers first.  This is exactly what I faced last night as I watched the hours tick by looking at this screen.  Oh how I hate this screen…

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Watching the clock tick by while my games decides if it wants to log in.

I sat there, just waiting for my time to charge into battle and catch up with my friends who were lucky enough to be on a stable server and enjoying their BFA launch experience.

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This screen is such a tease. You think you’re almost in…only to be completely disconnected 5 minutes later.

Sometimes I would get a little bit further and I would just be disappointed.   It was nearly 9pm before I could log in.  Some of my friends couldn’t log in for the first 6 hours of the new expansion.  I got a whopping 2 hours to play before it was time for bed.  Tomorrow is a new day!  I’ll be hitting the leveling hard.