Week in the Life of a Guild Leader – Day 3

 Posted by on November 9, 2013  Guild  Comments Off on Week in the Life of a Guild Leader – Day 3
Nov 092013

Read this for context

9:20am: Running late for work but answer a guild related tweet. Check forum & ask if it would be any better if this Sunday’s guild meeting was moved to next Sunday due to the large number of people saying they can’t attend.

4:30pm: Get message from deputy guild leader about the survey. Asked to check when I get home.

7:10pm: Get home later than expected due to accident. Do rounds on forum & confirm guild meeting moved to 17th. Post about maintenance this weekend. Review survey before breaking for dinner.

7:50pm: Log into Guild Wars 2. Notice someone has left and pop on forum to deactivate their account. Gather folks together for an evening of doing mini-dungeons in the game. Tackle some in Caledon Forest, Straits of Devastation, Cursed Shore, Timberline Falls and Lornar’s Pass before wrapping up at around 9:30pm.

9:45pm: Go over the survey again as it’s still due to be released this weekend. Call it a night at 10:15pm.

Week in the Life of a Guild Leader – Day 2

 Posted by on November 7, 2013  Guild  Comments Off on Week in the Life of a Guild Leader – Day 2
Nov 072013

Read this for background

12:30pm: At the hair salon getting it coloured with 30 minutes to kill. Get out tablet & draw up points to be raised at the guild meeting on Sunday

10:00pm: Review survey questions again & provide more feedback. Go on forums & reply to needed threads


Purposely quiet day today as the weekend will be anything but quiet.

Week in the Life of a Guild Leader – Day 1

 Posted by on November 6, 2013  Guild  Comments Off on Week in the Life of a Guild Leader – Day 1
Nov 062013

For context, read this.

8:30am: Wake up & do my morning rounds on the internet, checking email, twitter and the guild forum. Notice there are no new posts since last night. Post a notice about the guild meeting this Sunday and an event next Friday. Also post asking for an update on how people are getting on with NaNoWriMo. Head to work.

12:30pm: On lunch break at work, thoughts drift to potential topics that can solicit a response from lots of people. Consider topics on Christmas adverts and their inevitable yearly creep, the newly announced Funcom Lego MMO. Schedule tweets for this week’s events.

5:40pm: Get home from work & check forum. 2 replies on the guild meeting message but no others. Check the stats – 18 people have viewed the forum today. Realise a few new members are close to their probation to their review date and one has exceeded. Post on forum asking current members for their interactions with 2 of them to make a good decision if they’re fitting in ok. Know one isn’t working out so decide to draft a rejection letter later in the evening. Hop on Steam Chat & strike up a conversation with people for 20 minutes before doing some housework.

7pm: Finish up housework & hop back on pc. The midweek session of guild missions is in 30 minutes so I boot up Guild Wars 2 & start loading in. While it is, I start downloading the necessary files for the website update that needs to be done this week.

7:15pm: Start up guild boosts and queue up more. Arrange to meet with deputy leaders later over survey questions to be sent out on Sunday. Discuss mods for the forum & the merits of adding different functionality.

7:30pm: Hop on Ventrilo to run guild missions. Quick jump on the forum again to read replies.

8:30pm: Guild missions wound up with a Bounty, Rush and Puzzle done. Pleased with guild progress on the puzzles (Langmar Estate done in 11 minutes). Hop off for dinner & squeeze in a Tequatl kill.

9:45pm: Meet with deputy guild leaders & discuss survey progress.

10:15pm: Draft & send rejection email to a new member who didn’t make it to full member.

10:30pm: Stop doing guild work for the night.

Nov 052013

I’ve been a guild leader for over 7 years, and since I started there hasn’t been a great revolution in understanding between members and leaders. You still see the same drama stories, the same challenges and the same lamenting about the troubles that come with leadership.

I firmly believe it doesn’t need to be this way. While there are a great many differences between guilds in different games and even guilds in the same game, largely guild leaders face similar problems. And a major problem is that so many feel the need to attempt to solve those problems in isolation.

Moreover, the role of those of us who have been doing it a long time isn’t exposed to our members.  In the hopes that things can change, I’m going to be writing a daily entry to this blog for a week starting Wednesday about what I’ve done that day for my guild, Mystic Spiral,

So a brief background about my guild for the unfamiliar. Mystic Spiral was founded in May 2006 in Guild Wars 1, because I felt that you didn’t have to rule a guild by a power trip. Rather than being PvE or PvP or even PvX orientated, MYST is a social guild. The overriding thing that brings us all together, and indeed what we recruit for, is outgoing people who want more from a guild than just people to play with, but also people they can form long term bonds with – friends and sometimes more. To make that happen we recruit slowly and have a stable base of around 40 people who are online daily. These days we don’t play Guild Wars 1 much any more, but play Guild Wars 2, DOTA2 and other games. I’m supported by 2 awesome deputy leaders and a handful of others who help when they can.

The challenges I’m facing at the moment involve the mix of people we have in the guild and the platforms we operate on. Migrating from Guild Wars 1, highlighted the need for our main channels of communication to be game agnostic as tastes will evolve and no one should be left behind. The forum and Steam group chat are front and centre of that, but making them appealing so that people frequently visit and participate on them is something I’m trying to work on. Likewise, I’m always working to improve the sense of community within the guild, to get people to mingle with people they normally wouldn’t and set boundaries, goals and adversaries. This is harder when there isn’t one shared experience.

On top of my usual duties this week I have to prepare for a guild meeting set for Sunday, with a survey to follow, and prepare a software update for the guild website. Oh and hold down a full time job and get settled into my new home.

I hope you’ll check back regularly this week. See you Wednesday!

A Year with Guild Wars 2

 Posted by on August 31, 2013  Guild Wars 2, Personal  2 Responses »
Aug 312013

This post was written as part of GuildMag’s Blog Carnival

Shortly after Guild Wars 2 released, I made a post outlining what I thought of the game so far and my goals. Today, just over a year from launch, it’s time to see how I fared with those goals and set some new ones for the coming year.

Finish my personal story

I’ve done this with my main character, Lady Tasha, and am progressing with others. I can’t say that the personal story turned out to be my favourite aspect of the game, but I did enjoy spending time with Elli towards the end of it. The story was finally cleared with completion of Arah, cementing the uselessness of Destiny’s Edge to do anything. Next time you go through Arah story, look at how little work they do and how much credit they claim.

Round off getting level 80 armor

Done. More than once. My main has 2 nearly full sets of armor now because last month I didn’t feel like her outfit was fancy enough to go to Queen Jennah’s Jubilee. Ok, that was the excuse, I’d had my eyes on a top since early in the game and I wanted my character to have it. She’s also kitted out with all the weapons she can use. No legendaries though – I don’t like how most of them look. My “nicest” skins are the Princess Wand and the Mystic Artifact focus.

Lady Tasha: In October 2012 and today

Lady Tasha: In October 2012 and today


Is a level 80 warrior and level 80 elementalist good enough? I also have a level 40-something necro who I’m slowly levelling. I spend a load of time on my main character though because Mesmer suits my playstyle so much more than others. I rarely play my elementalist any more because he’s leveling cooking and has no bag space as a result!

Play more WvW and PvP

I went through a phase in April of playing PvP a lot and got to rank 11. Considering how much I played Random Arena and Team Arena in Guild Wars 1, I’ve done a lot of solo PvP in Guild Wars 2.

Sadly WvW hasn’t grabbed me as much as I originally hoped it would. This has primarily been because I have no great driving force to be there; most of my guild are playing PvE, doing dungeons, Fractals, Living Story and other bits, so WvW is lower down the scale than joining them.

Get a sense of community back into the game

This is a really hard point to measure and I think I’ve had mixed success with this. On the one hand, I’ve had some really great moments shared with others in the last year. In December, MYST held its first major charity fundraising event, playing games for 24 hours and raising over $500. Not only was it a charitable event, spending that much time together in 24 hours also brought us closer together. Nothing says bonding like doing Arah p4 at 3am (we didn’t get past Lupicus)!

There were other moments too. We’ve uncontested every shrine in Orr a couple of times. Regular guild missions give everyone a common goal and our Sunday brunch events give everyone who wants to be sociable a focal point to sit down and talk about life out of game.

Yet there’s still times when the game feels like a solo one. Much of the Living Story, especially getting achievements is something many often do alone, and leaves those who wish to do group content like dungeons side-lined until the second week of each update.

So what about the next year?

I’d really like to start on the, what I call, optional extras. Things like Legendaries (if there are any I like) or named Exotics with nice skins, like Infinite Light and The Anomaly. I’d also like to continue exploring the different professions, especially Guardian and Engineer. Meeting and connecting with strangers and friends will also be on the list; after over 7 years as a guild leader, I don’t think I’ll ever drop meeting people as being a central reason why I play MMOs. And while it’s not directly in game, I would like to finish the trading post helper software I started months ago.

As for the crazy goals I like to set myself, I’m considering trying to max out the crafting materials storage.

Will I manage it? We’ll see next August.

Happy Birthday Guild Wars 2, and here’s to many more.