Spark post – thinking about the post made over on World of Matticus about “What holds a guild together?”
In my head I have to say that I think guilds are like… like little living ecosystems of people. It’s all about the people, but the people don’t have to be the same ones year from year. A guild is still a guild when the members have cycled in and out full turn. A raid will still find a way to raid on if they lose their favourite healer or tank or epic DPS. The people in the guild can certainly flux and change and shift. But if you want the guild to be sustainable then the ecosystem your members are living in needs to be kept healthy, it has to be a functioning habitat, and it has to be built on strong and tested foundations so to say. Nothing is created in a void and there are plenty of good guilds out there setting the example of solid sustainable ecosystems.
So looking at the habitat of the ecosystem.
I suppose the first thing you do is set the boundaries, mark out some land to build in, put up the fences: The foundation of the guild habitat is full of shining concepts such as mission, and policy that explain purpose and rules for behavior, a guild structure, a guild purpose, a reason for existing – these are the bones of your habitat, these set the scene for the types animals you attract into the habitat.
On top of the bones of the foundation you plant the greenery: A lovely guild website, set your raid times, decide if you will PVP and so on. Create the physical elements and activities that people can be attracted to and visit regularly to partake in.
And then there are the processes of the ecosystem: you have start the day to day process and paper work rolling – the things that keep the guild running, the bodily functions of the habitat. The sun rising each day, the rain coming often enough to keep it all alive, the waste removal. This is the consistency and stability – keeping the habitat from dying from drying up. You’ll need officers then, to take up the job of keeping the systems flowing – they will organize the raids, dish the loot out, act as mediation when behavior can cause clashes, keep out disruptive elements and generally try to keep the habitat functioning. Zookeepers? Well I certainly feel like it some days, but that’s not quite the right metaphor because your people (the animals lol) they aren’t behind bars and without them the ecosystem is rather pointless. Caretakers mainly. In reality it’s a bit like being in game Human Resources. I mean have all the tanks in the guild migrated? Well the ecosystem requires tanks, without tanks the healers just mill around sadly and start dabbling in DPS specs – better get out there and catch some more to release into your ecosystem.
Release the animals: When you got all that set up the people will start arriving naturally, well maybe you have to hunt some down to start with so that others can see that there is real life and activity. It’ll be the people that make the rest of it worth it, they’ll be the ones that refresh your guild landscape as the game changes, they’ll attract more critters into the ecosystem, and they’ll step up and be officers or raiders or members.
And it should all start to feed back in onitself… sustainable like :D