Stuck Up Officers

I was reading the latest Officer’s Quarters on wow.com recently, and was struck by this question that the author posed:

Is every conversation among the officers, even those having nothing to do with guild business, held in /o chat instead of /g?

In many of my previous articles, I’ve talked about keeping the lines of communication open.  But I hadn’t really thought about how guilty I’ve been of having most of my conversations in-game be in the officer channel.

I assume that most guild leaders tend to get along with their officers (even if the officers don’t always get along with each other).  Perhaps they are friends, perhaps they’re just people who are “better” at the game (by whatever metric you want to use) than other members.  Perhaps they’re just people who laugh at your corny jokes.

The trap lays in thinking of your officers as your inner circle of friends, and having most of your conversations in the officer channel instead of in guild chat.  It’s an easy trap to fall into, and a hard one to break out of.  You might not even realize how damaging it can be until you spend some time only able to see guild chat and realize how dead it is, even when several of the guild leadership are online.

In a previous article, I talked about whether you should have a rank for officer alts.  I suggested that this rank would be the same as your raider rank, but with the additional permission to read and speak in officer chat.  The point of setting up this rank a raider-plus (as opposed to an officer-minus, if that makes sense) was to improve security without making it difficult for the guild leadership to communicate if many of your officers were on alts during guild events.

Having given it some though, I’m going to go back on that suggestion.  Keep your officer alts (and perhaps even your own alts) at your highest general rank (raider if you followed my advise from that article).  Try being one of the members for a while, and save the use of officer chat for official guild functions.

When guild leaders are online but nothing is being said in guild chat, rumors can form.  What are they talking about?  What’s changed in the guild?  You can’t stop people from thinking like this (it’s part of human nature), but you can encourage more communication both among members and between members and leadership.  Learn how to effectively wear two hats – your member hat and your officer hat.  Minimize the use of the officer hat, and spend as much time as you can as a member of the guild.

Try to break down the wall between officers and members – encourage your officers to be a part of instead of apart from your membership.  This will do more for the health of your guild than you can possibly imagine.

But My Guild isn’t That Bad!

Perhaps it isn’t.  But how can you tell for sure?

I’ve been writing small addons for WoW for a few years now.  Most of them were just simple or amusing things for my guild.  While writing this article, I came up with an idea for a new addon, one which is thankfully quite easy to implement.

And so I present to you: StuckUpOfficer.  Once installed, the addon will count the ratio of messages sent and received in guild chat vs officer chat.  It will report these statistics every 10 minutes, or when you issue the

/suo report

command.

Learn for yourself just what the mix in your guild is.  I would say that anything even close to 50/50 is dangerous, and that you should be aiming for something more like 80/20, especially when the guild is not actively raiding.  If you find that you’re not communicating enough in guild chat, consider changing guild permissions, or eliminating an officer alt rank if you have one.  Force yourself to communicate more in guild chat and see what effects it has on your guild.  After the experiment is over, you can always go back to the old permissions, but you will hopefully be doing so with a slightly different perspective.

If you’re in social, RP or even just a very large guild, the ideal ratios are probably quite different.  I’d be interested in hearing both what people think the ratio should be and what the addon reports for your guild.  Was it what you expected?  Better?  Worse?

Until Next Time

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