My guild Phalanx of Nod as of December 5th is officially 8 years old. We are older if you count us playing together some in the closed beta, but for the sake of our anniversary we count December 5th. Why not the day Blizzard launched WoW? Well during those first couple weeks, you see the server we chose crashed and died, so instead of going somewhere else we waited for Dalaran to come back up. Also there were some issues and bugs around creating a guild back in the day. We overcame all those obstacles to have the guild we have today. Phalanx of Nod has been going strong for 8 years, never compromising our culture, and always putting that first over progression.
8 years is a long time to be in the same guild, let alone lead one. Like most guilds, mine has had its ups and downs. The most important thing being the guild leader for the past 8 years was that its impossible to run a successful guild on your own. You absolutely have to surround yourself with great officers who share your vision of the guild, but beyond that as the leader you need to delegate responsibility to those officers. You also need to establish what your guild culture is going to be, then not compromise on that for anything. That is who you are, and what a new recruit ultimately buys into. Phalanx of Nod has developed the culture of that we are for adult gamers (18+), we raid but its not our job, we are here to have fun, enjoy the limited time many of us have to enjoy a game with great friends. To this day we don’t stress over server firsts, if we get anything great on us, but ultimately we push ourselves at our own pace. We have scheduled raid nights, we goof off during trash pulls, making fun of dumb things we tend to do, pull too many, life grip at the wrong time, etc. When it comes to a progression boss we all get a bit more serious. Once raid is done you can find our folks on our mumble server, trading recipes, talking about their day, or goofing off running some heroics.
Leading a guild for 8 years hasn’t always been easy. Having to make tough calls about who to remove from the guild. What direction to take the guild in terms of what content we focus on. The one piece of advice I can give to any GM out there is to not make snap judgements. Think through your decisions, bounce ideas always off of your officers, involve them. Also don’t be afraid to ask your members either for their opinions on things, its always smart to know the pulse of the guild before making big and even small decisions. I know I mentioned this earlier, but I can’t stress it enough, delegate to your officers. If you don’t trust your officers to delegate items to them, then they shouldn’t be your officers. When my wife gave birth to our daughter, I had to take a step away from the guild to focus on family, which in PoN we always tell our folks, family comes first, the guild can deal without you. So I stepped away, but the guild continued to progress in raid content, they grew and they went on as normal, why? Because of the fantastic officers in PoN, people who I trust implicitly with running the guild in my absence.
Over the past 8 years, we have made 2 trips to Blizzcon, 2 trips to MassiveLAN, countless other guild related get-togethers. We have shared in our members graduating from college, getting married, having children, assisting those grieving over the loss of a loved one, provided career advice, played other games, chatted over IM during work hours, started epic twitter conversations that seemed to go nowhere except it made a person on the other side smile a bit more during a boring work day. I like to say our guild is more than just some folks logging in to play a game together, we are a family, we look out for each other, and while dysfunctional at times, we all come back together to make it work.
On a personal level, I love my guild. I truly do. They have stood by me as I dated, as I got engaged, they supported me through career changes, my marriage, they gave me encouragement when I was sitting in the hospital waiting on the birth of my daughter. They have supported me for 8 years, been more than just a place to play an online game, they have been true friends. I am proud of the online community I helped start, but the members grew.
Happy 8th Anniversary to the members of Phalanx of Nod!