Yes I realize that it can by no stretch of the word be deemed as spring anymore, but it was the most evocative title I could come up with. I’ve been going through a good deal of “cleaning” in real life, trying to get the house in order and backyard in a state that is anything other than a disgrace to our crystal clear blue pool. The whole process has put me in a mood to “clean house” in the virtual world as well.
There are a good deal of chores that, if you are like me, you just put off until you otherwise can’t anymore. Two things that have been sticking out like a sore thumb is the maintenance of member ranks, and the maintenance of the guild bank. These on top of some much needed maintenance to over overall policies, are in dire need of attention. Like everything, I thought I would attempt to post some of my thoughts in order to spur all of you into tackling those items you have been leaving alone too.
Ushering out the Old
House Stalwart does not remove members, and this has been a point of pride for me. We have members who have quite literally not been online in 4 years, and these are individuals I know in person. However it is a simple fact that accounts that have not been active in some time are just a treasure waiting for an account hacker to find. If one of these nefarious individuals were to get a hold of a privileged account, you could find yourself in a position with all of your guilds worldly positions gone in a blink of an eye. I don’t know anyone who keeps an accurate record of all of the guild banks tabs, so as a result you would most likely be unable to recover the majority of it from blizzard.
This said I have implemented a guild rank called “inactive” that is one up from the default rank of the guild. Once a month roughly, I have been going through the accounts in our guild looking for any account that has been active for a year. When this occurs I bump them down to the inactive rank, which has no rights whatsoever to the guild bank, or guild permissions in general. The problem with this process is I have been extremely lax when it referred to inactive officers.
We currently have several officers who are either on hiatus, or otherwise unaccounted for and each of them is a true disaster waiting to happen. So as a result tonight when I get home, I am demoting every officer that is currently inactive, and promoting a few new ones to take their places. The guild is a living entity, and its important that you prune your ranks from time to time to make sure that it stays safe and current. While I know personally I am most liable to leave close friends with the honorific title of “Regent” (our officer rank), it is important that you push these things aside and do what is best for the guild.
Another activity that should be considered is deciding whether or not your permission scheme for your guild is too strict or too lax for your current situation. For us we have 2 tabs that are considered to be “Free For All”, and the last 4 tabs to be officer access only. For the most part this works well, and our default rank of yeoman, has no access to any of the tabs at all. This gives new members a bit of a trial period before they can wreak havoc. You might ask why this permission less default rank is so important.
Stalwart is very much a unique entity. We are one of the remaining “day one” guilds on the US Argent Dawn server, however we have never really had a “traditional” recruitment policy. Simply put, we are both always recruiting and never recruiting. House Stalwart is only open to players who already know a member, and all of our members of any long standing have the ability to do guild invites. This has lead us to grow in a very organic method, and while we are flush with raiders, kept a very tight knit family atmosphere.
Every so often one of our members is a poor judge of character, and as a result this default permission less rank acts as a safety net between the guild as a whole and new members. So as part of your guild spring cleaning I urge you to map out exactly what your permissions are, and determine whether or not they still meet the needs of your guild. It is almost every day that you can read on the forums about some poor guild being robbed blind by a less than honorable individual. It is important as you the guild leader and officers to set up a scheme to protect against such attacks from outside… and in the case of hacking, making sure that when someone is compromised they can only do so much damage.
Clearing the Clutter
Our guild bank overruneth… quite literally. We seem to always be short on the items that players actually need, and long on the miscellaneous crap that nobody seems to need. If you are not watching it, things like the 15 stacks of Pygmy Suckerfish can creep in and just take up needless space. So as a result it is once more time to clear out the clutter and debris from the corners of the bank.
Lucky for us, we have had a member step up and offer her services to help us sift through what is good and auction house the rest. But the basic idea is to get together with your officers and determine, which items are actually needed, or rare enough to warrant saving, and which items are now outdated or simply junk. The old items should either be offloaded to an individual alt bank, or shipped to the auction house as fodder for the guild bank funds. For example, we have had some blues stacking up in the bank that have quite literally been there since January. If no one is using them, then there is no need to keep them around, and as such should be auction housed before they become “last years fashions”.
Another prime example is that we tend to keep ready eat stat food on hand, as we have several cooks in the guild. Problem is, we have a good number of outlands recipes that nobody actually wants. So our basic idea is to make these into care packages for players in the guild who have alts in the level ranges of this food. This serves two purposes. Firstly it clears out the bank freeing up space for better items, and secondly it gives players a little added benefit to level those characters.
Everyone wants Free Enchants
One of the problems that we have been having is that we simply cannot keep enchanting materials on hand. They seem to fly out the door faster than they arrive. The key issues, is that very few people actually donate the materials, and everyone wants to tap upon the resources sitting in the guild bank. This has lead me to become a pit bull when it comes to enchanting material requests, forcing me to check the logs and see whether or not this is a player who has been actively donating to the guild bank or not.
One of our procedural tweaks we are looking at is to auto loot all green items to a disenchanter for breaking down and storing in the guild bank. In the past we have always let greens go to the luck of the draw, to help players out with repair bills. However as the donation of materials has come to a halt, we have literally 2-3 players carrying the entire raids material needs. It is completely unfair to ask a handful of players to support the whole guild.
This however is a symptom of a larger issue that I don’t quite know how to deal with. As with everything in life, 10 percent of the players do 90 percent of the work. This carries to guild bank donations as well, and other than imposing some kind of a formal system I am really not sure how to fix this issue. I would be curious to find out how other players handle the guild bank, and requests for items. More importantly, I would be interested to know how guilds handle the restocking of the bank once items are taken.