Guild Master: Apathy

ap-a-thy; noun  1: lack of feeling or emotion  2: lack of interest or concern: indifference

Speaking only of myself as a GM, apathy can present itself as a problem. Not just within the guilds’ membership, but also as a contagious virus looking to infect you. Surely, it is one of the many things a GM must address at some point, in some form. Logically speaking, the way to address any problem is to get to the root(s) of said problem. Kill the roots, kill the weed? Sounds like a plan. But what if you were the one who originally planted that particular “weed”, with seemingly better intentions in mind?

Nokila lvl70 warlock

GM’s temporary answer to self-apathy…play an alt!

In retrospec, I back up a step and look once again at both our mission statement and the recruitment info page from our Wiki. From our mission statement:

“Gray Dawn” is based on the US Fenris server. We are a relaxed guild that values enjoyment of the game in many aspects. Although we’re starting out as a casual/leveling guild, what we become will be up to member participation.
As a member of Gray Dawn, we hope you’ll enjoy your time in-game and respect others while here. A sense of humor is valued, so are the quiet people. We hope to be inclusive to all types of players; no matter your interests, we’ll be happy to give it a try. Stress, drama, and unpleasantness are sometimes unavoidable in real life. We are going to make every effort to keep them from our virtual life.”

and from our Wiki recruitment page:  “Your level of social interaction with the guild, amount of playing time and/or style is by your own choice. We do believe and practice that real life and family comes first. You will never be demoted in rank or removed from the guild for lack of play time.”

I would have to admit to fostering the level of apathy I now see within the guild. Although the intentions were honorable, I completely missed the mark of another goal I hoped to accomplish.

Along the way, Gray Dawn is advertised/promoted as a “semi-casual” guild, looking to build a 10m raid team. This “team,” has also been described as “semi-casual.” Perhaps, not the best terminology to use for attaining any goal beyond individual playstyle. In looking over the roster, I see a lot of alts. Even many of the “mains” in reality, are alts from somewhere else.

The ideal of a carefree/dramafree guild home, obviously met it’s goal. That’s a good thing. Trying to grow beyond that point? Problematic at best. You don’t really wish to dig out those roots of “apathy” you indeed planted for good reason, but must begin to look at ways to, (dare we say) splice in another plant-type with those roots?

Going through my usual reading list this morning I came upon a new term, at least new to me. “Midcore.” Not casual, not hardcore. Not semi-this or that. I really don’t think terminology makes that much of a differance, short of what so many players have already adopted for various use. Perhaps though, this is a plant worth nurturing. ~Ay

The Guild Master

A great tank has the qualities of a leader, and is not shy to step up and take control of the group.” “…tanks are most likely to receive criticism…you cannot let it get to you…do not let it impede your drive.” (highlighted from a tanking guide at Icy Veins.)

Ay is a Tauren Paladin, specced in Protection and Retribution. The quotes above were gleaned from older research done for Ay. As to why they’re mentioned here? I see a relationship between some tanking qualities and those of a young guild master. And that dear readers, is the subject of choice for the days and time ahead. The life, times, trials and tribulations of a guild master/leader on an average PvE server with all it’s nuances, mediocre population trends/activity and a far from promising economy.

I am going to literally dissect a guild master, and his game life.

Advisory!  This is not meant to be any sort of guide for current or potential guild masters out there. You may or may not read things you can relate to, or expect to encounter on your own journeys. You can most certainly google and find more specific information pertaining to your individual needs, by infinately far more experianced guild masters.

Having been duely and respectfully advised; meet Aygaren. GM of Gray Dawn on the US-Fenris PvE server. Feel free to stop by and say “Hello!” anytime you’re in the neighborhood.

Aygaren, guild master

Aygaren, guild master

Gray Dawn came into existance a little over a year ago and grew into a level 25 guild. One day, Aygaren, and a blogger/ingame friend decided they finally had enough of all the auto-invites guilds would use. Both were mostly solo players who enjoyed questing and collecting various items, pets and achievements. Both, obviously needed more bank space. Conversation ensued for a few more days followed by the decision to go with it. Aygaren happened to be the one in Org at the time, so he did the initial set-up and became the guild master of record.

Aygaren pretty much assumed many of the duties guild masters are generally considered responsible for. First on the list was obtaining enough unique signatures for the charter. Fenris, being Fenris, this took a few days. Mission accomplished, Gray Dawn became an official guild. Aygaren set up a beginning ranking system and quickly promoted Sasche to a Co-Gm position.

Co-Gm's of Gray Dawn

Co-Gm’s of Gray Dawn

In the days that followed, an initial flurry of actions were taken. The guild bank was established, a guild website set-up and many conversations between the co-gm’s over type of guild, direction, etc. Guild invites of each others alts soon built a team of workers for the guild :)

A note of interest here. Sasche came up with the guild’s name, Gray Dawn. I remember her explaining to me her thoughts that day. “Gray,” because we were older players. “Dawn,” since we were both daytime players. Sasche also designed the header image for our guild’s website.

As Co-Gm’s, we’ve been fortunate enough to have mostly simular game beliefs, thoughts and opinions over many aspects of our new guild.  This is not to say that there aren’t any differences, although none have proven to be of any major concern. Aygaren views these slight differences as a good and healthy partnership. As something of a “balance.” Lol, where Aygaren tends to be more “heavy-handed,” Sasche keeps the softer view of things alive.

That about covers the background story over the guild’s inception, founders and how Ay became a guild master. I’m forever indebted to Sasche for making this aspect of the game available to Aygaren. It’s proving to be an experiance and challenge in more ways than I could list. So much so in fact, it is the very reason why I’ve chosen to feature this aspect of World of Warcraft. The life of a guild master.

Renewed Effort

Right. I’ve certainly been away from this blog. To be honest, I had become quite disgusted with it. And here’s why that became so.

The numbers: (at time of last post), approximately 11 months, 90 posts, 1 regular reader/commentor. I felt that the WoW blogging community found “Aygaren” un-acceptable in their eyes and unfit to be a part of said community.

Even I would have to concur that the content was bland; had no real direction or any real game value. It was purposely written to be non-opinionated in any way.

Long before this blog, before the life changing medical flare-ups (for lack of better terminology), I did write. Quite well in fact, having been published in several literary sources and other places now lost in time. I loved writing. I still have some of that love laying around somewhere, I feel it’s nagging presence. I must say though, that I feel the loss within.

I’m not able to pinpoint why this loss bothers me to such an extent. It just is what it is.

If you actually read this far, hey! I’ll look around and see if the game provides some sort of achievement for you. If you’re brave and go places others dare not to go…

…I’m going to continue writing here. Acceptable or not. I am going to choose one specific aspect of the game which has become my love, and write about it. Extensively, in-depth and opinionated.

I expect a slow start. Perhaps though, determination and old fashioned stubborness will see me thru. ~Ay

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