Last month we asked for guild leaders to tell us about their guilds. Over the next month, we will share with you what we found out there in more than a dozen guilds. We will highlight key takeaways from each interview and provide the actual responses for you to read. There is a lot of information–both interesting and useful! Be sure to let us know what you find interesting and useful. Next up is <Fury Untold> of US Sen’jin, numerically represented in this article’s graphic.
The release of Cataclysm has required guilds to take a more serious and organized approach in order to be successful in raiding progression. <Fury Untold> is a guild that has taken these necessary steps. Being dissatisfied with the ‘grey area’ that comes along with being labeled as “semi-hardcore”, Fury Untold redefined and reestablished itself with a more progression focused mindset.
In doing this, Fury Untold has taken the following steps:
- – Sticking with 10 man progression in order to demand more accountability from its raiders while being able to identify the ‘weak links’.
- – Using a 3 strike policy on failing in a raid.
- – Requiring maturity from its raiders and not allowing anyone in the guild that is under 21 years old.
- – Providing a friendly atmosphere while stressing team building and a strong sense of guild community.
- – Keeping everyone involved in guild recruitment
When assessing his own strengths and weaknesses, the Guild Master of Fury Untold goes straight to his Officers. This reinforces the mentality that setting a good example starts at the top. (From Lument: This is so awesome!! A leadership structure that is that open and honest is brilliant!) Fury Untold has been able to remain consistent with guild policies and has successfully resisted the urge to play favorites or cater to those that are more outgoing or have a friendlier personality.
Despite whether you are an established 10 man raiding guild or are aspiring to build one, there are valuable lessons that can be learned from Fury Untold. Demanding accountability, keeping policy clear and simple, setting a good example, and maintaining a team building atmosphere are all key precedents that allow Fury Untold to be successful. Redefining yourself as a progression focused guild is not easy and it is not always the most popular decision. Fury Untold shows us that with strong guild leadership, it is a task that can surely be done.
Guild Name: Fury Untold
Server/Faction: Sen’jin-US Horde
Guild website: http://fury-untold.com
Number of active members: 12-13
Number of days per week of organized guild activity (raid/PvP/social event): 3 required, 1 optional
Age of guild: 2.5 years
Type of guild (in your own words): We started as one of those “semi hardcore” guilds, which was a big grey area and I hated it. We’ve moved to a more progression-focused mindset, benching players with poor attendance and always looking for better players (and opportunities to coach our existing players).
Painting the Picture: Philosophy and Feel
1. What is your guild’s mission statement/overall goal?
We’re a guild that focuses on 10 man content because we like the accountability of a small roster size. Weaknesses stand out and can be addressed, and it also gives us more of a “team” feeling rather than just being part of a large group.
2. How do you ensure recuits/applicants/new members are on the same page with the guild’s goals?
I do an informal interview via chat, and explain to them the guild’s goals. We generally try to take everyone on a trial run (sometimes just heroics) but we always invite them into mumble with us so we can chat and get a feel for each other.
3. Has your guild evolved since its origins? In what ways?
We’ve definitely stepped up out “focus” on progression. We have always had a small group of people that wanted to do this, but it wasn’t until cata that we decided to pick up our shit and push for server standings (not that it really matters, but its a good way to judge yourself).
4. What do you feel is the biggest myth or stereotype for a guild of your type? Why?
I think the largest issue I deal with is people not thinking that 10 mans are “progression focused”. I think that will change in time, as more guilds shift to the smaller raid size.
5. How would you describe your guild’s feeling/sense of community?
Very friendly, we all communicate and play some games outside of wow together. I try to encourage the team building as much as I can. I think it helps our raids when we’re having a hard time with something, so people dont lash out and respect each other more.
6. Is there an age requirement for your guild?
Not an explicit requirement, but I generally wont accept anyone that is under 21, simply because I’ve had issues up to that point of people not being able to control WHEN they play. I do no take missed raids lightly.
7. On a scale of 1 to 10, what would you say is the average skill level of the player base in your guild?
8. What is the biggest challenge your guild has faced? What happened, what did you do, and what was the result?
We had a really tough time with recruitment for a while at the beginning of cataclysm. On nights where we wouldn’t raid I would enlist the guild to help recruit. Some of us would make groups for randoms, and look for people on our server that were the class/spec/role that we needed and invite them to join us for some smooth runs. People who weren’t involved in those runs would hang around org and chat people up that were possible candidates.
9. Does your guild have any organized events other than the day-to-day scheduled (in-game or real life)?
I like to meet my guildies in RL as much as I can. So far I’ve had the privilege to meet 5 of them personally.
10. Do you have any “rules” that you require your guildies to follow?
Common courtesy, is the main one. We dont really have a code of conduct though. We do have the obvious stuff (no talking while we’re doing loot, no excessive chatter during boss fights) but its all just understood. We do kind of avoid talking about RL politics/controversial issues in guild chat, I dont mind if they take it to private channels but not in public ones.
11. In terms of someone being removed from your guild, what kind of behavior is zero-tolerance? Second chance? Three strikes you’re out?
Racism is my zero tolerance. That’s really the largest one. On the raiding front, I usually have a 3 strikes policy on being a baddie. Standing in fire, or lagging out or whatever.
12. Do world rankings matter to your guild, either formally or informally?
Informally, we track our rankings (the officers), but its not a focus in the guild atmosphere at all.
1. What is the leadership structure of your guild?
I am GM, and I have 2 officers. Both are delegated different tasks.
2. How have you selected leadership in the past and how will you in the future?
I used to be way more relaxed about picking a officer, but after a few rounds of drama involved with that, I became very selective. I was the only “leadership” person for almost a year, then I decided I was getting burnt out and reached out to the two people that had helped me the most, and showed the most potential.
3. What is the biggest issue that you have to deal with in day to day guild operations?
Keeping the guild in line with our goals. I had a long time wow-friend rejoin (he left when one of the officer drama events happened), and he held good attendance for a while, but then just missed a few raids. He’s been benched a few times since then and I’ve had to remind him that we value perfect attendance very highly.
4. How do you deal with guild drama?
I always hear both sides of the story, directly from the people that are involved. Although our drama has been really low over the last year or so.
5. Do you have guild and/or leadership meetings? How often? Are they organized?
Nothing organized. sometimes we’ll have formal meetings after the raid, but we all keep communication open, so we’re all on gtalk all day. We also maintain a vbulletin site, with dedicated officer forums (general and player discussion).
6. What are the guild’s leader’s strengths?
I personally am down to earth and approachable. I’ve got 5+ years of guild leading under my belt, and feel it helps me keep a well rounded outlook on the guild and its goals.
From one of my officers:
[12:24 PM] Chris: you do your research and you are generally good at setting direction and keeping focused on your goals
[12:24 PM] Chris: Folks generally know what to expect
[12:25 PM] Chris: Raid schedules are strict and raids are generally well organized
7. What are the guild’s leader’s weaknesses?
From one of my officers:
[12:20 PM] Chris: I’d say that you have a tendency to let player personality impact your overall view of them.. meaning, someone that has a personality you don’t like rarely does anything right while players who have a personality you do like sometimes make it hard for you to see their weaknesses… but that’s actually normal human behavior
8. What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a guild leader?
I’ve had two different times when I’ve had an officer, and they’ve decided to leave the guild and take half my raiders with them. My biggest challenge with that is keeping morale up while we fix the damage, and keeping everyone busy.
9. When your guild hits a road block, what do you do to try and maintain morale?
I believe strongly in positive reinforcement. We’re working on rag atm, and are having a hard time with some of the aspects of that fight. When we get things right I always make sure to thank the people responsible and ask them how they did it, and if they have any tips to give people. I try to keep my constructive criticism to whispers, to avoid embarrassing people and causing un-needed stress.
10. What tools does your guild leadership use to help run the guild?
We maintain the private officer forums (in addition to our public forums), WOL for wipe analysis (mostly), and we’ve also got a custom built attendance tracking webapp I made (we were using a spreadsheet beforehand) check it out: http://a.fury-untold.com you can have read-only access to the information we collect, but only officers get to see the back end
11. Personally, what is your goal as a leader?
To build a guild that is self sustaining and able to operate (at least somewhat) on its own. I want to make policies clear, and have officers that aren’t afraid to step up when the time needs it.
12. Have you ever been the leader through a guild meltdown, takeover, schism, or other related major event? What happened, what did you do, and what was the result?
Yeah twice, as previously stated. I had to keep morale up by keeping people busy, either through our recruitment runs or old achievements or something.
As far as dealing with the actual problem, I would always “amputate the limb” meaning I would quickly weed out any and all member that were associated with the defectors. to prevent them from hanging around and causing more problem (these were pretty clear lines in the guild). That’s why I’ve shifted to more of a team building atmosphere to help dissolve any cliques that may form.
13. How do you assess member performance? Do you use World of Logs (or similar)?
WOL but we rarely use them for performance gauging unless we’re having DPS/healing related issues with an encounter. 99% of our problems are just execution, which we usually get after a week or so of attempts on a new boss.
14. How does your guild handle loot?
EPGP, but in a 10 man there is minimal gear competition (mostly just caster weapons/rings/trinkets).
Is there anything else you want to add? This could be anything: something personal, information you want to add that isn’t covered in the above questions, something random.
You can’t spell slaughter without laughter!