Defining Success

Posted by Weezzii in ,

I spent the last two days out of WoW a little more than normal--popping in to check the AH or buy/sell for the guild bank and that's about it.
This coincided with some time spent playing Left 4 Dead... mowing down zombies by the thousands in some good old fashioned mindless spraying of bullets in every direction.

Stepping back and looking at your guild or raid team should be done as regularly as any function you perform being in a leadership role. Most of the time you can do this "on the fly" without putting too terribly much thought into it. The longer you are a GM, the more in-line your senses become with certain attitude and playstyle trends as they unfold (or so I would like to think). Occasionally however, it's nice to take a little further step backward (without doing the oh-so-common "AFK FROM WOW FOR 2 WEEKS").
I'll be one of the first ones to admit, I'm not a perfect GM or raid leader. How would one really measure that sort of thing? Defining a successful raid leader... a successful guild master... or even a successful guild?

More than likely, a number of people reading this have answers flying into their heads right now.

Switching gears a bit--
Other than Vanquish, I've really only spent a decent amount of time in one other "structured" guild--which is to say, a guild that was meant to have some direction beyond just "hanging out."
For me, the experience was awful... some of the worst time I've ever spent in this game. Unfortunately, I didn't take much away from that experience. It was just plain bad... and mostly what it proved to do was reinforce a lot of my thoughts/ideas/opinions.
Defining the "worst" part of an already woeful situation can sometimes be difficult, but in this case (for me at least) it wasn't.
The GMs and Officers in that guild thought they were damn good at what they did. Without a doubt, they had confidence in they way they handled business and conducted raids.

I was in that guild for just a few months. For me to say "it was like watching a train accident unfold" doesn't begin to scrape the surface of what it truly was.

[There's bad guilds everywhere Weezzii, what's your point?]
The guild was fairly successful in clearing pve content. When I joined they had just downed Vashj but hadn't managed to kill Kael'thas yet. They went on to push through Hyjal and up to Illidan with decent pace... leading Horde progression on the server for part of it. I was discontented enough being there that I quit the guild when Illidan was the only thing left for us to kill--the last thing in the game at the time.
Admittedly, we had been working on Illidan for the better part of a month and a half at that point. I know that is an extremely long time to be on a single boss, but honestly I don't think in all that time, that we even logged two full nights working on the encounter. I would have liked to see Illidan die, but it ceased to have meaning after a while. Rather than joining another guild to finish off the current game, I quit playing my character altogether and re-rolled onto another server as Alliance.

It's very easy to be disillusioned as a GM/Raid Leader/Officer.
WWS and WMO can tell you a lot of things about your raids and your guild... but it won't tell you a damn thing about how well you do your job, most of the time.

Let me re-introduce the above questions--

How do you define a successful Raid Leader?

How do you define a successful Guild Master?

How do you define a successful guild?

Most generalized answers to these questions leave gaping holes. Something GMs/Officers/RLs need to understand, is that their definition may not be in line with their guild's definition.
I have a lot to say about this topic and I'm sure I'll write plenty more of it.

[My point today?]
If you're a GM or Raid Leader with a throne... set it on the ground at least.

--thoughts/comments/opinionated answers to these questions?


A successful raid leader is a person who is able to unite and focus the energies of all 25 players and turn them into a cohesive unit.

A successful guild master is one who can find said willing players.

A successful guild has both.

A successful Guild Master is someone who understands their guild members' abilities and needs, and can tailor the guild to make the most of the abilities while not neglecting the needs.

A successful Raid Leader is someone who is organized, attentive, and consistent.

A successful guild is one that is full of players who want to be there.

I think that leadership really comes down to managing expectations and resources. In a raiding guild, players have certain expectations about what raids will occur and when they will happen. It is the guild master's job to make sure that those expectations are realistic based on the number of players available, schedules, skill, etc. A Raid Leader does the same thing, but in a different way. Once in a raid, players have certain expectations about how things will go down, what the timing will be like, how much will be discussed before a pull, etc. The Raid leader should endeavor to make sure that players know what to expect every time they go into a raid, as they will probably perform better if they do.

-- Cobeathris

A successful raid leader is someone who is able to put a raid together, and then lead the members in a way that effectively kills stuff. I would add in that the raid is only truly successful when there is some measure of fun to it. When the raid leader can facilitate a raiding atmosphere that is both downing bosses and fun to be in, then a successful balance has been reached.

A successful guild master is able to recruit and keep good players in the guild. He is able to tell when a player is a fit with the chemistry in the guild, and able to take care of all the business end of what goes on.

I would define a successful guild as a guild that keeps its members happy and accomplishes the goals of those members. For example, Vanquish exists to kill bosses while keeping a cool, casual atmosphere. (at least that how it seems to me). I think we have been successful in doing that. We raid casually, but (normally) when we raid, we do so with success. Other guilds exist to just be a group of friends that just hang out together without having drama. Still others exist to be the best of the best in the raiding scene and therefore don't consider themselves successful unless they are raiding 5 nights a weeks.

In our case, I would say we are successful when we are fielding full raids, our raids are killing stuff, and outside of the raids we are drama free and people are having fun.

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