Saturday, November 8, 2008

WoW Officers: From Traits to Responsibilities

I figured that since yesterday's post was well received and I have more to say on the topic I should stick with the officer topic. Besides having topic weeks keeps me on schedule so you don't miss half a week of updates cause I get writers block.

Officers.. are cool.. Ok that's all I can think of.. See you on Friday!

Ok, ok, fine.. (I'm talking to myself now aren't I.. sigh). Well yesterday I talked about traits, how about a list of a few things that is required of the officers.

A lot of that is in how you set up your leadership, at least insofar as specific jobs that officers need to do. Some guilds have systems where officers are in charge of specific groups of people(IE - class officers), but those guilds tend to be larger.

No Vacancy operates with at least one representation from each of the class types(tank, healer, caster dps, physical dps). When we need to do something specific based on the class types then we split amongst ourselves and handle that.

Aside from that you may have specific titled officers such as raid leader, loot master, recruiter, etc.. I won't bore you with the details of the obvious requirements for those positions.

What I will bore you with though is the requirements that all officers must fulfill, regardless of any specific position they fill. Some of these are part of the traits you were looking at when you were trying to fill the position but others come with the territory. I'll quickly start with those that go with the traits.

1)Being Online - Now that you are an officer you can't just up and stop coming online. You need to stay apprised of the guild happenings and that means being around. Sure a vacation here and there but if you plan on being an officer you've volunteered your time to the guild now.

2)Likability - You must be as you were before. Just because you got a promotion doesn't mean it comes with a big head. You are looked up to and if you start becoming too good for everyone else then you lose your ability to lead(and probably will quickly be asked to step down).

3)Game Knowledge - If you weren't keeping up with the info before, now you have more of a responsibility. Now you need to know more than just your class and how to play it. Depending on the structure of the guild you may need to know every other class in a basic way. A lot of members will jut ask advice to you about a class you may not play. Knowing how to get to that info for them is key. And being able to back up any other officer who may be in charge of something specific but had to take a few days off helps make you the asset that the guild hoped you would be.

4)Generosity - Yeah, all that time you spent farming.. cut it in half and you may be able to keep some of that. Now your time belongs to the guild(for the most part). You are constantly going to be in whispers about class stuff or (the inevitable but unwanted) drama issues or going on raids or helping so and so do such and such. Being an officer means most of your free time you had online has suddenly shrunk. Again, this is guild based as some guilds may be so laid back that not much is required of you the majority of time that you are on.

Well maybe they didn't all necessarily fit in those specific topics neatly but hey at least you got the gist of it. What about the rest?

1)Recruiting - Unless your guild has specific people who recruit and they don't want anyone else doing it as an officer you are going to have to recruit to the best of your abilities. In some cases it is more of a pre-recruiting process, just being an extra set of eyes looking out for people who might be a good fight for your guild and then forwarding them to your recruiter's to take the last step.

2)Discipline - In many cases not everyone is going to be the officer who gboots someone(usually that's better reserved for a group decision or GM decision unless it's a blatant issue[major disruption that wont stop in guild chat, etc.]). However, you still need to make sure the peace is kept. The guild may have come up with rules on whatever and it's your responsibility to help enforce them.

3)Being the Liaison between the GM and the members - Normally the GM has a lot on their plate, as they are responsible for everything. Making sure the GM and your members are on the same page with things is part of your job. Your GM may be the most available person in the world but there is always someone who can not speak with the GM because their schedules conflict or they don't like them or feel that they wont listen. You are the person they go to and it is your responsibility to convey that to the GM and vice versa.

4)Ideas - A guild is a very molded structure and change can happen often based on many events(like, say, a major expansion?). As an officer one of your responsibilities is to come up with possible ideas of how to approach the changing situations and convey them to the rest of the leadership.

There are of course many other responsibilities as an officer but I think these are the big ones. All other ones are either a derivative of this or are situational.

Of course, these are all my personal thoughts on the responsibilities. I recognize that guilds use a wide range of methods to leading their guilds and some of the things I say here only work for my guild and not your own. As GM you need to decide on that one, I'm just hoping to give you a different perspective.

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