Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Honor Among Thieves, or A Merry Bandwidth of Men

So, I heard a rumor the other day that guilds cannot disband if they are over level 4?...not sure.  I am trying to confirm this, or get the facts, like any girl reporter worth her moxie, an Azerothian Amy Archer from The Hudsucker Proxy, if you will. If any of you would like to go on the record and confirm or deny these reports, I would greatly appreciate it, and never reveal my sources. The new rule is, if the guildmaster chooses to turn over the helm, literally and figuratively, he/she must appoint a successor. If this is true, it should bring relief to all players who have helped, in any small amount or bandwidth, from losing their comrades by the whims or needs of a guildmaster. (Sometimes it's not due to a guildmaster's burn-out, capriciousness, or truculence, but there may be some real life responsibilities --go figure.)

One of the most-read posts was Don't Tase Me, Bro. I think the reason for this is not because I have the blog traffic, but the the original postings do, and this struck a nerve with a lot of folks. We are all feeling the pinch and sting of large corporations seemingly, randomly, making life-altering decisions based on the bottom line. It's easy to lay off hundreds, if not thousands, because you went from making1.9 billion to 1.89 billion. I'm not bitter. No. Not me. In real life, I personally work for hugs and tator tots, and even those are being cut back. But my employers have i-Phones, and the head honcho has a substantial office-rennovation tab: sometimes a boss just needs more room for hubris. It does take up a lot of space.

What would my dream guild look like? A lot like my dream work environment, I guess. The guild I belong to now comes pretty close to this, and perhaps my fantasy is unrealistic (I'll explain that later.) It is afterall, a fantasy.

  • Raiding is fun, collaborative, and respectful
  • Encouragment of others to start and lead raids
  • Accessibility to knowledge, removal of obstacles
  • Allowances for bad nights, mistakes, and errors
  • Allowances for celebrations of success
  • Intelligence, not elitism
Guilds are messy because human interactions are messy. Gotta break a few egos to make an omelette. That's an intrinsic trait. This fantasy may be unealistic simply because whenever there are more than two people in a room, the sociological factors dictate the norms:
"... he defines a social system as consisting in a plurality of individual actors interacting with each other in a situation which has at least a physical or environmental aspect, actors, who are motivated in terms of a tendency to the optimization of gratification and whose relations to their situations, including each other, is defined and mediated in terms of a system of culturally structured and shared symbols."-http://www.sociologyguide.com/basic-concepts/Social-System.php
In other words, when I miss my debuff and you see I am stepping in fire, but I don't, it will cause conflict. And conflict is stressful, in any form, but if there is no conflict, there is no motivation or narrative trajectory.

Basically, it is fun to poke, prod, and punk each other, but moreover, work collectively to achieve a goal.

There are many sports parallels. If you love fencing, martial arts, cage fighting, or perhaps gymnastics, you tend to be an individual player. Those are not team sports. Your success or failures depend solely upon your skills and training. It's not that you don't like raiding, or are not good at it; in fact, in some aspects, when you are in a good group, and your contributions are valued, you rock it. You also probably enjoy a side-dish of RP and questing, as well as finding those nooks and crannies that no one else knows about. Conversely, if you love football, soccer, field hockey, softball, cricket, or baseball, you understand the patterns of play in a true team. You may not enjoy the RP or questing side of the game, but really love to pull a good group together for end-game content. Caution, though: if you never played on a team, but imagine what it must be like, know this: good coaches, really good coaches, always treat their players with respect. I wonder, and this is only conjecture, if some players in WoW weren't on football or cricket teams, that this world is their chance to be the superstar. Their lack of experience in the real world of sports has them under the false notion that this means to tear down their teammates. I even saw an Add-On on curse.com for a WTF macro. Those are certainly many of the images in media. I have a very dear friend who is a coach of a high school football team, and I cannot imagine him talking to his young players in the manner by which some players speak to each other. I'm not talking about trash-talk or joking around.

Guildmaster-y or game burn-out? I totally, completely get it. The fact that more guildmasters don't burn out faster is somewhat amazing. I do understand. Whenever I have tried to do a quick thing, and someone, say, goes to do the ribbon dance or runs out of arrows, it is frustrating, and tries my patience now. I imagine all those times my silliness caused eye-rolling and others' patience. Just like the real world.

If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge fire.

So, give your guildmaster and officer a /hug. And pray their tasers are out of batteries.

General guild information: http://www.wowwiki.com/Guild

Theme song: Big Time/Peter Gabriel

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