The Guild Leader's Handbook - A WoW Nerd's Review
Not very long ago I received a copy of
The Guild Leader's Handbook
, a nicely-printed book authored by
column. I'll admit, I had never really read the column before as, despite being a guild leader, I've always decided to remain blissfully ignorant on how to do things properly and have been just winging it with friends in my World of Warcraft escapades. We've been pretty successful, but I can tell where the ability to properly identify problems and make changes early on would have definitely helped in the long run to create a more productive and enjoyable experience for my guild's members, as well as myself. That's where Andrew's book comes in. The
Guild Leader's Handbook
offers a detailed look into the more technical aspects of effectively managing a guild in any MMO - dragon slaying is business, too! Check out my impressions after the break!
Oh, My Guild? We're Called the "The Council of Knights of Darkness"
The Guild Leader's Handbook
(with the subtitle "Strategies and Guidance from a Battle-Scarred MMO Veteran") covers pretty much every process, thought and issue a guild leader in any game (not just World of Warcraft!) deals with in their epic quests to slay dragons, collect loot and become famous among their peers. I'll admit that I initially thought the book's content was all going to be pretty much common sense to a seasoned World of Warcraft veteran such as myself, but after I started reading through just the different chapter summaries I quickly realized that was not the case.
The Handbook covers nearly every aspect of creating, building, and maintaining a guild in an MMORPG - from selecting the right name for your guild (including a hilarious section on how NOT to name it), deciding what kind of players you are looking for and identifying potential problem players (such as the "Eedies," as he called them) and properly promoting and maintaining your guild through web resources, positive server presence and more! The book is not only limited to PVE content guilds, as there is an entire chapter dedicated to the other popular types of guilds in an MMORPG, including PVP guilds, Roleplaying guilds, and even economically-oriented organizations.
Guild Officers and the Art of Handling Drama
The guide offers valuable information on how to select guild officers and delegate responsibilities accordingly, and gives insight into what to do when common problems arise. Anyone who has been in a guild in World of Warcraft can relate to at least one of the scenarios detailed in Chapter 4's "
Dramatis Personae: Dealing with Guild Drama
." Whether we like it or not, drama is going to exist in World of Warcraft - it's up to each one of us (especially Guild Leaders out there) to take the necessary steps in trying to prevent problems before they arise. The guide includes common profiles of problem players and offers insight into how to deal with "guild drama" and how to take the steps necessary to prevent these situations in the first place.
That's a 50 DKP Minus!
Andrews' writing also covers more directly game-related technical aspects of guild management, such as identifying roles in raid composition, deciding on a proper loot system and handling distribution of key items. I speak from my own experience in saying that I've pretty much always hated trying to decide on a proper system for distribution of loot - it's so much easier now that I'm mostly doing 10-player dungeons and we can just /random and call it a day. For bigger guilds, though, this typically won't fly and it's always best to decide on a system which appropriately rewards the most active players in your guild while not disregarding those who don't have a chance to play as often but still put forth significant effort when they are available.
So many guilds have run with so many horrible loot systems that present scenarios in which these most active players (dare I say, "hardcore" players) are able to scoop up all of the loot and players who can't play as much get completely shafted. The Handbook details a variety of different loot systems and offers advice on deciding which one is right for your guild.
Final Thought? You Aren't "Too Good" For This Book
I'm sure a lot of people out there are thinking, "Oh, geez - who would need a handbook to run a guild in World of Warcraft." I didn't think I did, I laughed when I received it and was pretty ready to disregard any significance of the content contained within. After all, I've run my own World of Warcraft guild for about 2 years and I spent another 2 years before that in one of the world's most powerful guilds (Illidan-US's
) - what is a book going to tell
about guilds in World of Warcraft? I was humbly mistaken, and I hope a lot of you will check it out and be as pleasantly surprised as I was. I've always loved looking into the more technical aspects of World of Warcraft, not only from a internal, data-oriented perspective but from a community angle as well, and Andrews' handbook can be seen as a detailed study of interactions and micromanagement of our own communities within Azeroth. I definitely recommend
The Guild Leader's Handbook
as a quality addition to any gaming nerd's collection - you don't have to be a guild leader to appreciate it!
Chapter 3: Nonhuman Resources: Recruiting Players and Evaluating Recruits
) can be downloaded from
No Starch Press' site
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