Guild Chat: Dealing with MMORPG guild inactivity
Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which the Massively Overpowered community gets together to help crack guild problems presented by readers in need of assistance. In this edition, we’re going to take a slightly different spin on things and deal with two thematically linked reader submissions in one article since both readers have requested help with inactive guilds. My first submission from an anonymous reader asks a very simple question of us: What can be done to save a guild that is dying from inactivity? Our second submission comes from reader Razornus and looks at the matter from the perspective of a guild member rather than a leader, so we can discuss both sides of the coin and determine the best course of action for both types of player.
See below for each reader’s full submission and leave your specific advice for both parties in the comments.
My guild is dying because of inactivity; what should I do?
Simple, straightforward, and to-the-point, anonymous submitter! While you can sum up your issue so efficiently, I suspect that we’ll need to address a lack of groundwork in founding your guild and developing a cohesive roster as we tackle your inactivity issue. To start, we’ll need to determine any trends or patterns in the player migration away from your guild, and then we’ll reorganise and repurpose the skeleton roster you have left to see if we can get your guild up and running again. Asking ex-members who you can still communicate with for their reasons for leaving in a non-judgemental, respectful manner will help you learn where your pitfalls are so you can cover them up in future. I’ll refer back to previous articles throughout since I suspect that your guild is perhaps missing some of the cornerstones of a solid in-game collective, but this will hopefully steer you in the right direction with a little bit of hard work on your part.
We have to always remember that, no matter how involved and complex our dealings with our MMO families are, how seriously we take our involvement with our chosen title, or how many hours we sink into our guild each week, we’re still dealing with a game when all is said and done. Gaming time should be enjoyable, and if your guild members are experiencing any guild-related barriers to that entertainment factor then they’ll certainly look elsewhere. That being said, it could be the case that your particular MMO of choice is seeing a downturn right now, or it could perhaps be the case that your guild’s particular content emphasis doesn’t match the current content consumption trends of that MMO. Think about how well what you offer actually matches what players expect from a guild.
If you’re still lost on what’s going wrong, going right back to basics is probably the best course of action. I deeply suspect that you run a catch-all, general content or levelling guild in your chosen MMO and don’t have a set guild mission aside from “join and have fun”. Pro-tip: The having fun part should go without saying and isn’t enough of a purpose to hold a guild together, so you need to come up with some common little kernel that will help you form a cohesive roster since strong bonds make for a stronger roster. Call on your existing playerbase to help determine the sort of content your current flock wish to play and go from there, recruiting those who share similar ideals and want to tackle the same content. Once you find your guild’s purpose and kit it out with a clear guild mission and
Once you find your guild’s purpose and kit it out with a clear guild mission and re-engage your existing roster, you need to become proactive about organising the content your players want to see. While it is very true that a guild leader is not responsible for all guild activities and that effort should come from more that one person, you’ll need to lead by example at first by organising runs for your members. If the content your roster wishes to run is challenging or exclusive, pave the way for success and reduce the capacity for unfairness to seep into your team selection process by clearly outlining what a player must bring to the content in terms of gear or other equipment, time commitment, or out-of-game tools, and make tactical overviews available to your members for consultation before a run happens where needed. Whatever direction you go in, good luck and have fun!
I loved my PvP guild and we used to rip up our server but recently our numbers just aren’t there anymore and I don’t know whether or not I should join a new PvP guild. I don’t like it being such a chore to get results and I carry my guild so hard right now that is frustrating. Any advice?
The thing with guilds is that the content type that each collective mainly focuses on has an effect on the nature of player that each guild attracts: Just as PvP is often a volatile, rapid-fire type of content, PvP guilds see a certain degree of volatility in their ranks as new and exciting powerhouses emerge and power dynamics on servers shift. PvP guilds make for some of the most interesting rosters, and I find that leaders of such groups must continually and demonstrably stay at the very peak of their game to hold the trust and respect of the wider roster. What you’re probably experiencing right now is the emergence of another successful PvP guild on your server that is perhaps performing better that your current guild is (or at least is promising in terms of known names making up its roster), and you might find that people will go with the flow of the strongest forces in your realm and numbers will stack with where the power players reside.
What you decide to do about this is ultimately down to how you feel about your guild currently, whether or not you feel capable of picking up the power mantle and continue carrying your guild’s roster, and what you expect out of your gaming hours. If you’re the main strength of your PvP force, you could be in an excellent position to climb the ranks of your roster and lead your own PvP wings to battle, or perhaps you’d be able to use that fact alongside your relationships with ex-guildies to jump ship into whatever guild has attracted away your roster. Check in with your old running mates and see where they have ended up, though do also consider why you weren’t invited to jump alongside them in the first place.
Although MMO players tend to feel a degree of loyalty to their guilds, we always have o remember that our gaming time is precious leisure time that we want to maximise as far as possible. If you are finding your current guild and its dynamics irksome, it is probably time to part ways if you are not in a position to start damage control measures in the form of recruitment drives, open days, and team building activities. Far too many players lag behind the curve and don’t complete their MMO goals because they feel tied to a group of players that don’t share their same dreams, so be careful that you don’t wait so long for someone else to place a solution before you that you lose your love for your MMO of choice. I wish you good luck and fabulous success on the battlefield whatever you do!
Over to you!
How have you dealt with inactive, nearly-dead guilds that you’ve been a part of? Do you attempt to salvage the situation or do you simply see it as time to find a new home for your toons? Let our readers in need hear your side of things in the comments.
Many thanks to our submitters for sharing. If you have a guild related issue that you’d like to see tackled in a future edition of Guild Chat, ensure it hits my mail bag for consideration.