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The joys of being an Officer

Brasse -- 2007-04-17 19:51:22

When Wren, Alluvian and I decided to play Lord of the Rings Online, we figured that we were probably the only ones from our venerable InnMates guild who'd be going, and we sure didn't feel like running a teeny guild. Even less did we feel like trying to build up a large guild of our own, with this site to run.

I asked Wren to cast about and after we looked at about 50 different kinships, we settled on applying to The Old Timers Guild. It is a very large guild that spans many games, and looked to have a solid presence in LOTRO.

Turns out that about a dozen InnMates decided to try out LOTRO in the end, but heck, even if we'd made our own guild, in three months time when the next shiny MMOG of the Month came out, half of them would go and we'd be down to a one-group kinship, which is no fun at all.

So we dragged some of our lot with us…. Errr…. Encouraged them to apply to… The Old Timers Guild as well. Several have joined now, and it is nice to see old friends in among the new people that we are just getting to know.

To say that the OTG is large was true early in beta. Nearing the end of Open Beta, it is huge. I believe that it is the first kinship in LOTRO to hit the ceiling cap on members, at 1,000. Now of these, just less than half are unique accounts, and so the leadership has decided to create an alt guild. To confuse Gladden players even further, and to convince the universe that there is no end to the hordes of OTG'ers, the kinships are called "The Old Timers Guild" and "Old Timers Guild".

This brings me briefly to a gripe I have (one of a very few) with Lord of The Rings Online… the lack of custom chat channels. I loooooved these channels in EQII, and they would have gone a long way toward fostering communications between our two kinships. Further down the road, they would help when other kinships wish to form alliances.

A huge guild like OTG has many benefits, and a few drawbacks.

There is a LOT of information exchange and cooperation going on, both tangible (goods/services) and intangible (advice); the sheer volume of aid being passed back and forth is impressive. There are always people willing to group – sorry – fellow up, and plenty of helpful opinions on everything from which traits to choose to what sort of tires to get for your car. There is always someone on at 4am when you decide you cannot sleep and want to hang out for a bit.

The drawbacks… well, large guilds tend to suffer from communication overload, and this can be overwhelming to new members who are used to a smaller, more intimate environment. I had to put kinship chat in its own window, because it was in danger of blowing up my regular chat.

Most other negative issues are to be found at the management levels, which I am not, in any way involved with… Mwa-ha-haaaaaa.
[pours another beer and sits back with feet up on table]

Large guilds have bad apples, and it takes a while to weed them out, no matter how careful the selection process is.

Now we enter the territory of the leadership – the Officers. Large guilds tend to foster envy and resentment among smaller guilds and individuals, because the name seems to be everywhere. In this case it only takes one bad experience with someone wearing an OTG tag to ensure that a long thread appears on the official forums about how awful the guild is. To counter this, the leadership team repeatedly encourages members to be extra careful about behavior in all areas ranging from chat to harvest nodes. I am sure they'll investigate every legitimate, supported complaint received about our members as well. Just contact them in game, no need to blast offal all over the forums for the trolls to feed on.

To their credit, members tend to encourage honorable behavior in chat, especially when someone within the guild becomes embroiled in a "node-jumping" or "kill-stealing" issue. OTG'ers have been labeled bots (they aren't), exploiters (if documented, this would cause serious problems with their membership status), and other nasty terms that don't bear repeating.

I am not going to pretend that I love everyone in the kinship – heck, I don't even know a quarter of the names – but it is a good, solid organization that takes its fun seriously. If OTG was as full of jerks as some would have it, we'd never have joined, nor remained.

The point of this long ramble is to introduce tonight's comic! Ready?

Most of the time, Officers get little or no credit for the work they do, most of which is behind the scenes. The comic highlights what I know was happening to Draznar on Sunday night… OTG was holding a Crafting Faire inside Thorin's Gate, and there were a great many members online. Alluvian was ready to have his characters added to the kinships (main to TOTG, alts to OTG, yah, confusing, I know)… and I decided to heave an alt in as well, and in between our tells, with the Faire going on, I knew the poor bugger would be swamped with communications.

In fact, I made sure of it when someone else asked me if an officer was on.

Uhh yah… [giggles to self] Draznar is on, send him a tell! He can kill me later.

Thanks guys… we really do appreciate all your hard work, especially those of us who have been officers and leaders in the past. We feel your pain.

Here's to The Old Timers!

;-)#
Brasse

ps. For those who might now wish to join the juggernaut of Gladden server… OTG has placed a hold on new applications until Lord of the Rings Online goes live. If you hope to join then, start preparing a darn good application now. Think expository essay as opposed to one-sentence fill in the blanks when applying, and you're on the right track. One more thing… you need to be 25+ and have a mature attitude. The two don't always go hand-in-hand, hehe.
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