Managing Expectations for the Big New MMO. (Also video game music and Escape Goat 2!)

WildStar has opened pre-orders and just had a big beta weekend, which means my guild is all excited about the game. And that’s a good thing! MMO launches are fun, and they are even more fun with a group of friends! But already my (retired) guild leader senses are tingling, and I’m worrying about making sure that expectations are managed. “Everyone will start playing again and it’ll just be like the old...

Raid Leader Anxiety Never Dies

I started the guild Machiavellis Cat in late 2005. We began raiding in 2006, starting out in Zul’Gurub and moving on to Molten Core and a bit of Blackwing Lair. The guild gradually got more serious about raids, eventually moving into “hard modes” in Wrath of the Lich King and a bit of Cataclysm. I stepped down as the guild leader and people manager in early 2011 and quit WoW completely (for a while.. you know)...

Gear Scores and Gatekeepers: automated non-solutions to a social problem

Yesterday two lovely bloggers, Belghast and Alternative Chat, wrote posts about why WoW could use a better player skill ranking system, and ways to go about that. Bel wrote about the Gatekeeper in The Secret World and proposed a similar skills test in WoW. The Godmother devised a detailed way to essentially create an “effort score” for gear instead of just a flat gear score. With respect to both, I think they are looking...

How to Raid More Seriously as a Guild, or Life After Casual

A couple of weeks ago I got into a discussion with someone who was struggling with running a casual guild and yet wanting said guild to perform more professionally in raids. I’ve seen similar discussions going on quite a bit lately, particularly in the wake of Pandaria. So how do you convince your guild to focus more on raids without becoming a shouty jerk? As someone who built a guild from a couple of low level characters...

Balancing Multiple Games in a Community

World of Warcraft inspired the creation of thousands upon thousands of guilds. Once the population started dropping, though, and fickle gamer eyes started to wander I think most savvy guild leaders saw the writing on the wall and started looking at multi-game structures. I know I did! It doesn’t matter whether we called it a community or collective or organization, the idea across the board was not to hook our group’s...

Preparing for the Guild Wars 2 Rapture

Tonight at midnight in my time zone the Guild Wars 2 headstart will kick off, with probably millions of players taking part over the next few weeks. I’ve been jokingly calling it the “Guild Wars 2 Rapture” in RIFT guild chat. This is the first time I’ve been sticking with the “little guys” during a hype-ful launch, whereas in the past I’ve either been engrossed in WoW during its behemoth days...

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