I recently had someone from WoM link to a post of mine about Eff the Ineffable being officerless. While the discussion in that post went in other directions – how to prevent having officers who do nothing – I found myself caught by the poster saying that they didn’t agree with the idea of a guild without officers.
I wouldn’t expect that a guild like ours would be right for everyone or for every guild charter. In many cases, it would be exactly the wrong way to go. But I don’t think that means the idea as a whole can or should be discounted. I’ve heard of several guilds out there who don’t have officers and it works for them – Rades‘ being the primary one I can think of – and, you know, I think it’s working for us as well.
Nevertheless, it got me thinking about success – the success of an idea – and how it is measured. I think the default opinion of whether or not something is a success is whether or not a lot of people get on board with it and say that they think it’s a good idea. Viewed in that light, we Effers are not a success because there have been plenty of detractors who have cautioned about potential pitfalls and who have strongly implied that we’re a little bit nuts for doing what we’re doing.
And that’s okay. I, for one, don’t take any of it too seriously. After all, when I look at Eff the Ineffable in the light of what I wanted it to be, we are wildly successful. And I feel that as we get to know each other even better – and stop apologizing so much for speaking our minds or giving each other constructive criticism – that we can only go up from here.
I would also offer an alternative viewpoint for whether or not we are successful as a guild, and that is from whether or not we are getting what we wanted out of the way things are organized. In the end, that’s the only viewpoint that matters.
A casual environment versus adults being adults
At our heart, we are a raiding guild comprised of adults with real life responsibilities that take precedence over the game. No one is going to abandon their school work or their families to raid and that’s something we can all understand and respect about each other. Because this limits the time we can have in game, we have to make the most of it.
In a more casual raiding environment, I found that the “Rules” were more often taken as “Suggestions.” You might want to show up on time. You might need to sign up if you want to have a spot. You might consider looking at some strats or videos or something – but if you don’t, someone will tell you what you need to know so no worries, mate.
Also, in a more casual setting, it was a seriously tricky business to try to suggest to someone that they might need some improvement. Almost without exception, suggestions were met with a defense about “we’re not hardcore so you can’t expect me to read up on my class” or “the reason I don’t perform well is because I need gear.”
There hasn’t been any of that in Eff the Ineffable. Everyone here knows what EJ is and will read it. Everyone here knows how to find strats for boss fights and will take the time out to watch a video. We’re all running heroics like mad people, trying to improve our gear and performance. Zel recently started a tradition of post-raid self evaluations, where we all head to the forums and talk about things we could do better and solicit ideas on how to accomplish some of those things.
And perhaps that doesn’t sound like a lot to people who are in progression raiding guilds. But I think the fact that people are doing this without having an officer standing behind them to check and make sure they are is pretty cool. We don’t need babysitters. And as GM, I don’t have to babysit anything.
People are responsive, too. I spoke a short while ago about how the guild bank was making me a little nuts (hell if I can find the post though, so you’ll just have to take my word for it). Shortly thereafter, I organized it all and then headed to the forums where I told everyone how I would like to see the bank used. No problems since, except that everyone is so determined to be independent that I had to beat people around the head and shoulders a bit to get them to actually use the flasks and potions and flowers put in there for raiding purposes.
Can you hear me now?
I think the key to most good relationships is communication. And with so many people active outside of the game in talking to each other – whether it’s through our forums, Twitter, FaceBook, blogging, Google chat, texting or sending emails – we certainly have that bit down.
So agree with the idea or not, it is working for us and going splendidly.