Friday, January 16, 2009

Who's the Boss?

In WoW there are many types of guilds. Many people join a leveling guild soon after beginning to play the game. Others have a group of friends who start a guild of their own. Some end up in twink guilds focused on lower-level PvP. Almost any aspect of the game can be the basis for the commonality needed to make a guild. Well, maybe not fishing. In my experience, raiding and end-game PvE content has led to the creation of the largest number of guilds. These guilds range from the casual to the hardcore and everything in between. And each one is run differently. Many are under the leadership of one person with a vision, but others, like mine, are run by a group of Officers who work together to handle the many responsibilities inherent in a raiding guild that also tries to be a pleasant place for all members.

I have read a few blog posts lately about guilds and how they illustrate how society works on a larger scale. What is expected of a member of a guild is what is expected in all societies--that they do their share to help the group accomplish a common goal. But who sets the goal? Who's the boss?

In some societies--and, by correllation, some guilds--the people at the top of the food chain decide what is important and everyone else falls into line. The people making these decisions are expected to focus on things that benefit the group as a whole, and as long as they do this--or have power over the group members--, they can make the decisions. If they stop making decisions that benefit everyone, they face the risk of revolution (or mass /gquit). In other cultures, the people themselves make their wishes known and do what the majority says. Still others have a combination of the two: a person or persons who lead the group, but who also listen to opinions about what should be done. But what happens when no agreement can be made? What do you do when some people really want to do one thing, others really don't, and the rest don't care enough to express much of an opinion either way?

Our guild is facing this kind of discussion at the moment. I don't want to call it a "problem," at least not yet. Right now we have a few people that really (and I mean vehemently) want to do all of the requirements for the achievement Heroic: Glory of the Raider. The 17 requirements for the Meta-Achievement include killing bosses with fewer than 21 people in the zone, changing strategies to make the fights more difficult, and keeping everyone alive on every boss fight. The reward for completing the achievement is a faster mount.

I'm not going to get into my own personal feelings about the achievement itself. Instead, I want to focus on who gets to make the decision about whether or not we adjust (and in some cases, break) our strategies to do achievements.

I can see both sides of the issue. I understand wanting to feel like you are part of the decision-making process whenever the choice affects you. (After all, that's exactly what I've been whining about in my work situation lately.) But I also know that sometimes decisions have to be made "without input from 30 different people." (Sigh, I seriously just quoted my boss. Don't you hate it when something happens to make you see the other side of the issue and then you find out you agree with the enemy?)

I guess you can figure out that I think the Officers and Raid Leaders should make the final decision about whether or not to switch things around in order to do the achievements. So I guess what I'm saying is we're the bosses. That doesn't diminish your own freedom, you are free to choose for yourselves whether or not to stay or leave, raid or not raid. But the decisions about what happens during a raid are the Officers' responsibility. And I'd appreciate you shutting up about it now.


  1. Well, that was direct! I agree though. I am all for people expressing their opinions, but there is no need to carry on and on about it once the opinion has been shared. I am guilty of facilitating the discussion because I am often the one to reply when I should not. However, that does not mean that I think the conversation should still be going—I am just a sucker for a debate >_<

  2. I too am a succker for a good debate. My fiance could vouche for me =). Tam - I love it, especially the last line. I smiled on a Monday morning. Not easy to make me do!