Saturday, 18 July 2009


No man is an island. Well, some are. These... 'special' individuals are indeed islands like the one from Lost; they're insanely complex and a bitch to understand. Many leaders follow a Jack Sheppard mindset – they're happy to walk amongst the members of their guild, but are quick to establish that they're better. Leaders naturally believe they're more competent and successful at what they do, whatever they do, wherever they do it. This is great because people like that generate a lot of self-belief by themselves that allows them to easily overcome criticism.

This trait can also have a negative impact on the way you run your joint. Failure to take the right precautions will cause you to stroll around like you've got a stick up your arse within a few weeks. Having an ego defence mechanism or two in place isn't a bad thing, but it's very easy to get carried away. Without careful discipline of your personality, you'll potentially develop a God complex and will begin to view your members as vastly inferior to yourself. In many ways, you'll become Lost's island – unpredictable to the extent of being batshit insane. Being aloof is good, but not when you find yourself distanced from everyone else. The majority of this blog has been about creating connections and relations with your members. You never want them to stop relating to you. Forget about how quickly you can kill a certain boss, how many honour points you can accumulate or what events you hold. Satisfying your members and getting them to relate to you is what matters. This is the foundation of any good guild. It explains why, as the article on attachment states, people stick with you even during a downturn. It doesn't matter if you're raiding five nights a week; you'll still have bad days where members will be inclined to rage quit if there's not enough emotional investment there.

Have you got a partner? I don't care if it's a man, woman or even your cat. Chances are that they play WoW (or whatever MMO you're on) already. Drafting them into your guild works well in a lot of ways. Not only do you get to show your lover what great leadership skills you have, but you're also actively conveying alpha status to your other members. However, beware of your sweetheart demanding special privileges just because you're in a romantic relationship. It's all very well to prove your humanity by having your love join up, but if you give them unwarranted attention you're just showing how inferior you believe everyone else to be.

The first guild I ever joined got it right. It was led by a Norwegian bloke and a set of ambitious officers. His woman was one of the deputies, but she certainly deserved the position. The two of them worked off each other superbly, while taking ideas from their subordinates too. The whole establishment ran like a well-oiled machine for the best part of 7 months. Don't forget that just because those guys were able to work the dynamics of their relationship into the guild, it doesn't mean you'll be able to emulate such success. It doesn't matter if your girl (or boy) is good in the bedroom; that doesn't mean they'll make a good leader. The same applies to the mates you've brought in from outside the game. I don't give a rat's arse if they're superb at Halo - they may be utterly shit with people.

Don't give people you know positions of power just for the sake of it. Make it very clear that you trust them, but that doesn't mean that 99 other people in the guild will automatically too. So long as these lines are drawn, there should be no love lost for anyone.

In summary:
  • No man is an island. You and your members do well to remember this.

  • Don't go ego trippin'.

  • Some guilds led by lovers can work really successfully. Others fail miserably. Decide what works best for you, and don't turn out like the couple from China MiĆ©ville's The Scar.


  1. Oh was the bloke named Tankalil???

  2. Nah, it was on a RP-PVP server so I don't think he coulda gotten away with that sort of name, heh.

    Although he was named after a certain type of sword found in-game. ;)