#1 – The Core Tenets of Your Roster

The Imperator’s Journal is a series of writings where I ramble on about my experiences as a guild leader. I share my perspectives, opinions, and lessons learned over the course of many years of competitive management.


The Values of a Guild Member

Member values and how they weigh into their actions falls among the most important areas of focus for guilds when judging the quality of members. There exists an arbitrary world out there in which guild leaders often judge members based on criteria that largely doesn’t matter, or has little influence to the long-term success of a guild. In the following I will cover some of what I find are the most important qualities to members within your roster in short.

I’d like to start this off by saying the ambitions of members is the pillar of which all other values stack on top of.  If you randomly go around the roster and ask members “what do you want to be known for”, “what do you aspire to be in this game” and similar, you can get a great image of their ambitions – good or bad. There exists multiple extremes however that we often come across in MMOs, where individuals are too ambitious, or not ambitious enough. Ambition first ensures that they have self-identity and self-worth, so as someone who tends to psycho-analyze individuals, I always pair up the term “ambitious” with “possible very successful”. Too often a recruiter will come to me and say “I don’t know about this guy, he just seems to immediately want to get into leadership or xx” – and typically I see that not as a red flag, but an attribute a guild leader can harness. As a recommendation to other guild leaderships I commonly interact with, I often recommend that their strongest recruits are usually the “risky” ones.

The candor of members matters a lot too, which involves the readiness of members during PvP or similar to be simple in their speech, but devoid of emotion. It involves being honest but also direct. Most of the time when I recall “valuable” members from previous chapters of MMOs I quickly recall the members of mine who were in the heat of the moment direct in their speech. Likewise the individuals who give clear and concise information readily are usually the ones you should try to win over for future promotion into leadership. Commitment to the cause matters just as much, and you should respect those who put their friends over the guild more-so than those who claim to wear the jersey and put all others to the side. To many this seems counter-intuitive but I find that the member who is willing to go to great lengths to help his or her friend or relative is far more likely to extend that service to the guild who is also helping to provide that.

Courage is sometimes regarded as silly in MMOs but also a huge factor in the value of guild members. Courage is the act of taking a risk even though the player is not forced to. It is done so by making a split-second assessment of the situation and going for it. In a competitive scenario, it is often the individuals who take risks that stand out among the crowd, even in failure. Too often in MMOs guild leaders play passively to the point where the membership responds subliminally as well – huddling on backlines relying on select few individuals taking risks to dive in and somehow carry the group. In most of my success I find the “yolo” mindset works best, but done so with a lot of planning ahead of time. To members, they may not realize that the “sudden” rush to attack was actually a planned effort all along. They will simply enjoy the ride. Changing the status quo in engagements in general is a source of a lot of fun for your membership, but perhaps I’ll cover that in another entry.

Setting the example in competence is also a key factor in valued rosters. As the saying goes “lead by example” – it could not be more vividly clear. However this is often misinterpreted as being relatively “skillful” or top-ranked in play, when it does not always have to be so. To achieve competence among your roster you have to set a standard that is not required, but “wished” to be achieved. This involves understanding your roster personality types and what drives their ambitions. To someone looking to be rich, you do not necessarily have to be a monarch, but provide a clear path in which to make money. As a PvPer, you do not necessarily have to be the best PvPer, but instead provide the tools and atmosphere to become as such. Competence is the basis of confidence across your entire guild, and with confidence your members can act with courage as needed and with candor through everything entirely. Only with those key factors of having controlled ambition, proper communication with candor, courage in the heaviest moments, and the competence to glue it all together – will you have what I would consider a strong roster.


This all applies to rosters at-large, whether they PvE or PvP, and in a future article I will more clearly define the psychology of both from my own experiences. Thank you for reading.


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