Coping with Guild Politics in any MMORPG including World of Warcraft, Warhammer, Everquest and Eve Online
Any online game designed to have many players interact is going to run into problems dealing with people. Many gamers are not social butterflies to begin with, but when playing an online game they must learn how to interact with people.
Why Interpersonal Political Skills are Necessary in an MMORPG
Any endeavor with a large amount of people participating will inevitably have to cope with the politics. MMORPGs are certainly no exception to this rule, and there are often political maneuvering that go on between the higher level guilds, especially in older games where much of the content is not instanced. Newer games get around many of these guild fights by using instances for raid content.
Even if the conflicts between guilds have been minimized, a high level player must be aware of politics within a guild. A college level human relations course can help people sort this all out, but there are a few tips that will help the player navigate through guild politics.
The Key to Guild Politics: Treating MMORPG Guilds as a Corporation (Especially important for Eve Online Players)
Wired once ran a story about a person who put down his position as a guild officer in an mmorpg on a resume for a job. This would not normally be interesting as most employers would have thrown that resume away, unless they were applying to write for Bright Hub, of course. (No, the author did not put down that he was the recruitment officer for his Everquest guild when he applied for this site, as that detail seemed irrelevant.)
High level guilds often function like a corporation. The upper echelons are the board members, the middle level officers are the managers, and the people without any titles are the laborers in the guild. Anyone who has played mmorpgs long enough knows that sometimes these games can feel like an additional full time job, but the attitudes are a little more relaxed. Good guild leaders and officers know why people play, and they, like the average players are there to relax for awhile, not worry about the bottom line.
The important thing to remember is that most guilds are not democracies. The guild leader and a few of the officers have dictatorial powers. They can kick you from the guild for any reason at all if they so choose. Good guild leaders do not do this, but it is important to remember that most guilds are not democracies.
Dealing with Your Fellow MMO Players in World of Warcraft, Eve Online, Warhammer Online or Runescape
Reputations are valuable things in MMORPG. A damaged reputation is as difficult to repair in the game as it is in real life. At least in the game, a player can go to another server to get a fresh start, something that has become difficult to do in the information age. A little politeness goes a long way when dealing with other players as a tip given when many games load says.
Being polite is not the only element to a player’s reputation, however. A mmorpg player must also be competent at his class. Players known to have no talent at their chosen profession will find it hard to find work – groups or guilds that is – and may want to consider starting over as a different class. This involves reading quite a bit of material and experimenting with the game options. Remember that some classes are in higher demand than others. Tanks and healers, for example, will always, be able to find a group more easily than people that are less group friendly. However, a character that is friendly whose class is not as desirable as another will always be more welcome than an antisocial player who has a class in high demand.
Navigating MMO Guild Politics Can Be Frustrating
Keeping quiet about some things can be difficult for an individual. Often it is not so much what you say as how it is said. Remember to voice disagreements with the guild leader with respect. The time to bring such problems up is not during a raid, as raids are chaotic environments where people need to pay attention to the instructions of the raid leader. If this is not possible, log out of the game for a little while. There is another world outside of the game that is completely free of mmorpg guild politics.
We all make mistakes from time to time. Even the best player has his off days. If you know you scewed up and wiped the raid or the dungeon, do not be afraid to admit it. An apology takes much of the fury out of your fellow players and lets them know that you know you screwed up. It also makes recovery go more smoothly and helps you to corerct the mistake that led to the wipe of the group (or worse, the raid) in the first place.
The author recommends doing mostly the opposite of what he has done in mmorpgs. Find his character in World of Warcraft for further consultation about what not to do.