Being a Guild Master can be a tough gig. It takes a certain person to step up to the task, and a unique set of skills to do the job well. I find it so incredible how something as universal to World of Warcraft as a guild can mean different things to different people. We can learn so much by simply sharing our stories, and that is why I’ve decided to run an “Inspirational Guild Master” weekly feature. Guild masters new and old may learn a new trick or two, members get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes, and those guild masters who are nominated get the credit and praise that they so rightly deserve!
Kicking off the series is Casadella of Concur. If you’re a regular around these parts, that name should ring a bell, as she is my wonderful co-GM! Without her incredible dedication and skill, there’s a good chance that my virtual family may not even exist today. Filling the position of a Guild Master who suddenly resigns is no easy feat. It can be tempting to make some noise and mark the guild as your own, but Casadella’s story shows that the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is one that a new Guild Master of an established guild should pay particular attention to.
Anyhow, without further ado, here is my interview with the inspirational guild master, Casadella of Concur:
[Neri]: As many of my readers may know, I dumped you in the deep end when I got burnt out with WoW earlier in the year. What motivated you to accept the role of Guild Master?
[Casadella]: Well, from being your right hand lady basically since we started Concur, it was a pretty easy decision. I was far more involved with the inner workings of the guild than the other Officers, so it was a natural step. Also my love of the guild. They can be a rowdy bunch of people, but they are a loveable bunch and I didn’t want to lose my WoW family.
[Neri]: That they are! When you took over the position, did your vision for the guild change?
[Casadella]: No, not at all. The direction Concur had been going in was one I had influence over already, and I didn’t need to change it. That doesn’t mean I didn’t shake things up though! Boy did I get some unhappy campers when my first week in, I completely tore apart both raid team structures.
[Neri]: Some people are resistant to change, but in our case change was definitely a good thing! Speaking of structure, tell us a little bit about Concur’s ranking system and why you went with it.
[Casadella]: After our shared CO-GM rank, we have our Community Manager. She hosts fun activities outside of normal raiding. Our raid leader rank is next. We have a Tier 11 leader and two Dragon Soul leaders. We then have seperate ranks for each of our DS raiding teams (known as Myrmidons and Whoa Whoa Trucks, both decided by polls held on our guild forums) We then have Social, followed by Alt, followed by Fledgling/Inactive.
The reasoning behind CO-GM is simple. We both have such different but cohesive leadership skills, that it was silly to not be a team. Our Community Manager is there to build team spirit and allow our non-raiders to still feel included. From transmog tournaments to ‘guess the location’ competitions, everyone can participate. We have our Tier 11 leader position for two reasons. One, obviously to satisfy our old school achieve needs and for nostalgia, but two, it’s our initiate Raid Leader position. Our next in line current content leader, should one of our existing leaders need to take leave. It’s a great way to test someone’s leading abilities without impacting progression raiding. Dragon Soul leaders are self explanatory. We originally had one team more Heroic Progression focused, and the other again as an initiate or alt team. Hence the contrasting raid team names. Alt has considerably less bank privalleges than Social, purely for loss prevention in the case of a possible hacking. And then lastly, but least, we have Fledgling/MIA. New recruits into the guild that have a one month probabtion as well as toons that have not been online for more than four months, again, for loss prevention should inactive accounts be hacked.
[Neri]: I’m definitely a fan of the MIA rank. Too many people get hacked these days. You’ve mentioned snippets in the last paragraph, but I’m interested to know what you think sets Concur apart from other guilds on your server?
[Casadella]: One line we’ve always used is ‘we recruit the player, not the toon’ We’re not out there searching for the best healer on the server or the highest dps, though we’re also not just letting in any player who can’t take the time to enchant or research their class. We’ve built Concur up as a bunch of people, who might not necessarily know each other face to face, but people who thoroughly enjoy gaming together as a group.
[Neri]: So would you say Concur is more about giving people a fair go?
[Casadella]: Yeah, absolutely. We’ve had quite a few new-to-wow recruits over the years. It’s wonderful when you can sit back and watch Guild Chat flow with people offering advice and resources for new players. In the past it has bitten us on the behind though!
I can recall just a couple of players, that were given a fair go multiple times and took advantage of the Concur family. It’s about finding that balance, and I feel we now have found that balance.
[Neri]: Ah yes, I can remember them all too well! It’s always a potential risk bringing in fresh blood, but it’s necessary sometimes. On the topic of recruitment, what can you tell us about Concur’s recruitment methods?
[Casadella]: In the past we’d just stick to the standard spamming of trade/having Concur listed in the in-game Guild Finder. We’ve found some wonderful (and terrible) recruits that way, but I think the best decision we’ve ever made is our recent one to solely use our Guild Website for all applications. The application has the standard ‘get to know you’ questions, as well as a list of what Concur has to offer (for example raid times and loot rules) our requirements (Mumble and Microphone among other things). My favourite part is the brief rundown of our guild values and structure, as well as an indepth link that includes our guild policies. By using our website instead of simply typing /ginvite, both parties have an idea of expectations. And as we love to recruit the player, not the toon, how could we not ask those simple ‘get to know you’ questions?
[Neri]: I wish it was something we had have done from the start. I can’t get over how wonderful our newest recruits are! While I’m gloating, I may as well ask you what your proudest moment is as a Guild Master?
[Casadella]: Well this wasn’t technically when I was Guild Master, but the conversation was only recent. We had a recruit that was very keen to tank, always asking for advice, and would take everything on board. The main thing was they lacked confidence in their ability, so I kept offering the support and the dungeon runs. I had a small amount of influence in his progression, but he utlimately did all the work. He’s now our main tank for our Heroic team! He recently thanked me; he said he kept at it because I told him I believed in him so very long ago. It made me gush.
[Neri]: I remember that! It just goes to show how much of a difference support and patience can make to a person. Speaking of advice, for the final question, if you could offer one piece of advice to a person thinking of taking on the role of Guild Master, what would it be?
[Casadella]: Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. If something is already working well in the guild, don’t go changing it just to ‘put your stamp’ on things. People generally don’t react well to change, so try to look for opportunities to improve and build on existing things in the guild, rather that turning your guild members’ worlds (of warcraft) upside down.
[Neri]: Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you, Casadella, for agreeing to chat with me!
So there you have it, a story of a Guild Master who had some pretty big shoes to fill, but she pulled it off with minimal drama. Next week I talk with Reliq of Harvest Moon, a guild master whose hard work building the guild from nothing has been credited by one of his guild members for rekindling their love of World of Warcraft.
Do you know an inspirational guild master that deserves to be acknowledged for their hard work and dedication? I would love to have a chat with them! Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org telling me a little about why your Guild Master rocks and the best way I can contact them.