Recently I overheard a discussion about what GM’s and guild officers should and should not be allowed to do with alts and it has really struck a chord with me. Since there are no written rules to how a guild is ran or what is expected of officers, I have no way of determining which of the opposing opinions is the one most commonly believed or followed. So I thought I would present it to you, interwebz, and see what your opinion is on the subject.

Now to the specifics. I only witnessed the dialogue between 2 people. Let’s call them Person 1 and Person 2. Basically, Person 1 believes that it’s okay for a GM or officer to have alts in the opposite faction and alts on different servers than the guild, but they should not be allowed to have alts that are the same faction and on the same server as their guild but are not in the guild. Person 1 thinks this is a disservice to the guild and means the officer has no loyalty to the guild. No alts allowed outside of guild on same server. Period.

Person 2 started off being a bit of a smart ass, saying that Person 1 should treat all alts the same. Why differentiate between whether they are on the same server or not? If an officer is logged into another server he is not serving his guild then either. Person 2 doesn’t see why some are acceptable but some are not.

Person 1 was not amused with Person 2’s attempt at humor.

Person 2 then got serious. If an officer has an alt somewhere outside of the guild (no matter the server or faction) that they begin logging into more than their officer toon, and they begin not showing up to events, etc. then Person 2 can see how that would be a problem. But if an officer has an alt on the same server in a different guild and are still available to their main guild at all times and participates in every event, actively recruits, actively works for the better of the guild… then what’s the harm if they spend 3 or 4 hours a week logged into another guild? Are officers not allowed to have friends outside of the guild? Does spending time in another guild during your guilds downtime really indicate you don’t give a shit about your guild and don’t deserve to be there? How many more times can I say the word guild in just one paragraph?

I’m perplexed by this debate. Neither of the people involved are troublemakers or constant complainers. As far as I can tell they are friends and get along just fine. So why is this suddenly a topic of discussion? How can it be resolved? Is there any middle ground here?

So what is your opinion about how an officer should behave? Do you think alts in other guilds are something that should be against the rules for officers? Or should it depend on the situation and the individual actions of an officer? And what other rules should there be concerning officers and potential conflicts of interest? Someone really needs to write an Idiot’s Guide To Being A Guild Officer or something similar. I know each guild will choose to do things their own way, but there’s bound to be some general guidelines that we can learn. Someone, please teach me.

Comments on: "Guild Officers Should Not Be Allowed To _______" (13)

  1. As long as they are meeting thier duties within the guild, I think a player should be able to have alts anywhere they wish.

    If they are not living up the the responsibilities of being an officer, then they may want to step down.

    The thing to remember, it’s a game.

    What the difference if a player has alts or is on the X-Box playing Halo?

  2. The guild does not own the time of the officers or other players. WTF does it matter whether you spend time on an alt in another guild, an alt on another server, an alt in another game, or IRL doing something like WASHING YOUR HAIR.

    There’s no law that you have to tell your guild the name of your alts – on other servers, in other games, or on the same server in a different guild. A policy of “guild officers may not put alts in other guilds” will only cause the guild officers to keep those alts secret.

    People need to be less concerned about controlling what other people are doing.

  3. The GM of a rival guild on Alleria had a toon in our guild. She was a lot of fun to have around and raided with us from time to time, but her srs bsns raiding guild was sure to have issues with the GM being in another guild once it actually had an effect (guild XP), so she left our guild and put her alt in her main’s guild. I was sad to see her go, but I do understand why she did.

    Had she not been in a rival guild, though, I don’t see where it’s anyone’s business. A waste, sure, but not aiding a rival, at least.

  4. Almost by definition, a guild officer is going to want to spend a lot of time on their main or alt hovering in guild land to be available for random things that crop up. However, that’s a lot different than a REQUIREMENT that said person should spend all their time/energy/efforts on behalf of the guild. There can be many positive reasons to have alts in alternate guilds, especially on the same server. Having an alliance with another guild can help you when your roster is a little short, but guilds rarely allow this with unknowns.

    The other reason to think such a plan is a BAD IDEA is that guild leading can be stressful. Having a quiet place to get away from everyone associated with your current guild can actually be a great way to make sure that your officer is refreshed and ready to tackle the real problems of the guild.

  5. Being a GM for almost 7 years, I do not care how my officers spend their time on their alts unless they neglect their duties. Then again my guild is a casual raiding guild with many full time college students, working professionals, family members, and sometimes they need to do something on an alt and not be bothered by petty things, though I can get in touch with any of them via real ID or phone.

    Personally a great book on guild leadership is The Guild Leader’s Handbook: Strategies & Guidance from a Battle-Scarred MMO Veteran. It can be found on Amazon for cheap.

  6. Yes to most of the above.

    Officers/GLs playing their alts in another guild/on another server are no different to officers/GLs playing Burnout Paradise (as I did last night, although admittedly because my PC has fried itself and I was out of fixing-things energy), officers/GLs going out for dinner-and-a-movie with a friend or significant other or … etc.

    If that officer or GL isn’t doing their share of the work, then it’s problematic, whatever it is they’re doing instead. What constitutes a “fair share” will be different from guild to guild.

    That said, it’s entirely up to the guild/the guild leader. If you want to make a guild where officers must keep all of their alts in the guild, you can do that by putting it in the guild rules. You can make pretty much anything you like be a requirement, as we all join guilds voluntarily.

  7. In my experience, both of those viewpoints are rather extreme. Of course, I’ve never been a member of a hardcore raiding guild so perhaps they have different views on how their playerbase should act.

    By that person being an officer in a guild, you have responsibilities that are assigned by whomever leads that guild. If you are not living up to those responsibilities (Say, not being online when you are supposed to) then yes, it is a problem. Other then that, why should it matter whether someone is online in the guild they are an officer in or not, or on a character of the opposing faction? It’s up to them how they play their game.

    It is entirely up to the guild master on how he wants his officers to behave. This seems like an unreasonable request, but it’s within the rights of anyone to leave the guild if they dislike the way it’s run. Technically, each guild is it’s own little sovereignty; they don’t really affect each other. I don’t see why anyone shouldn’t be able to be in multiple guilds!

    Personally, it seems a lot easier and more simple to me to have all my main toons in the same guild, but to each his own!

  8. Exactly what Theanorak and Windsoar says. As a former GM I have found it invaluable playing anonymous alts at times. It gave me breathing space when I needed it. In fact, I don’t think I did it enough, as I forgot to play for me.

    Ideas about loyalty will differ from one person to another – but if someone is truly loyal to the guild, it should show, irrespective of where their alts are. At the end of the day people should do what they need to do to enjoy the game, and that should be something that all good guild officers especially should try to remember.

  9. I’ve been a GM of a big guild for 5+ years. What I do with my alts is my business. Several of the members of my guild have my cell number and/or are RealID friends with me. Every member of my guild has access to a messaging system through our website, and an e-mail address for me. I have good officers who can handle things when I am not around. There is almost nothing that would need my immediate attention, but in the event that it did, I can be reached whether I am online or not.

    Using the guild advancement/leveling as an excuse to control how your GM/officers spend their time is bogus since I’d be willing to bet that most GMs are near the top in guild activity on their mains. That’s all you can ask of anyone. There is no requirement for anyone to have an alt, let alone use that alt for the benefit of their main’s guild. [This is the main reason I dislike the Stay Classy achievement being used for a bank tab.]

    When we were running a guild alliance, I had a toon in the other guild and their GM had a toon in ours. It was a good way for us to blend our groups and for each of the guilds to feel comfortable in the alliance. They have since joined us and he is an officer in our guild, but as Windsoar said, it’s a good way to build/strengthen alliances.

    My husband and I have our own alt guild for some RL friends and family that we maintain for the added bank space and to keep our kids from being bothered when they play. The main toons we play are in our big guild for the guild perks, but sometimes we just want to have some peace and quiet and the ability to play just with the kiddos and that is our right regardless of our status as officer/GM.

    How would you feel if your GM told you that every alt you had must be in your main guild and you must be RealID friends with them so that they can check up on your online time to make sure you weren’t playing on other servers/factions/toons?

    If the officers and GM of your guild are generally doing a good job at managing your guild and they are generally available and accessible when you need them, what’s the issue? People are entitled to have lives… even officers of guilds. These people are already dedicating an awful lot of their free time (organizing and managing a guild, especially a raiding guild, is a big time commitment) and possibly money as well (websites and voice servers) to make your hobby more enjoyable for you. If they choose not to spend absolutely every moment they play in your guild, maybe you should be thankful for all the time they do put in, so that you don’t have to and can just show up to raids and collect loot.

    Oh, and if you want to control how I spend my time, you know what you have to do? Pay me. :D

  10. I think that as with most things, it just depends on the details of the situation.

    I have been in a leadership position for several years and we have always had some loosely defined guidelines that me and the GM always watch out for when it comes to people with “active” alts in other guilds.

    For example, I think that most of our guild members have an alt guild of their own for the extra guild bank space. (I have 3 alt guilds, all with 4-6 bank tabs, because I am a virtual packrat) I also know of several of our members that have alts on other servers where they get to hang out and play around with friends and family members when we don’t have anything going on. I have no problem with anything that resembles either of these cases.

    On the other hand, we have had members in the past, especially when we weren’t seen as one of the “top guilds” (whatever that may mean) who were pretty clearly expressing their desire to move on once they could talk some other raiding guild into accepting them. Obvious signs of this are people who regularly start sentences with “in my other guild, we do it like this…” or often times the even worse, the dreaded “I know we seem to be struggling with this boss but this guy should be easy, my other guild killed him with 4 people and two of them were afk”

    In this respect, I don’t think that a policy regarding how people spend their time outside of your guild would ever make any sense. On the other hand, having a policy that regulates how those outside activities affect the time that they *do* spend with your guild makes perfect sense. Thankfully, its been years since we have had to deal with anything like this.

  11. As a former GM, officer, RL, and class lead, I am all for any and all guild leadership having alts outside the guild. As others have said, as long as they aren’t slacking on their responsibilities or missing guild events, it’s a non issue. It isn’t a job, it’s a game.

    I was expecting this post to be more of a “officers/GMs shouldn’t do _____”

    Certainly have a few things for that list :p

  12. Like most others said: if the GM/officers are able to do their duties, who cares what they do with the rest of their free time?

    If they’re not fulfilling their commitments to the guild, then the heart of the problem is their lack of commitment. In that case, having alts outside the guild is the symptom, not the disease..

  13. Oh yay! I have enough internet to leave a comment. Thanks everyone for the feedback. I’m glad to see that my opinion on the subject is the common one. And Ceraphus, thanks for the link to the book. I believe I’ll check that out.

    And Shorah, I’d love to see your list. I would love to know what things are truly on the not allowed list. I mean, I’m sure it’s mostly common sense, but there’s bound to be stuff that’s learned the hard way.

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