Wow. Has it really been nearly a month since I posted? When I started the blog, I figured it'd be at least a weekly thing. But life is what happens when we're making other plans and the majority of mine happens at the office, which is like one giant f'ing Drain Life. Not that I'm here to bitch about the daily grind that pays the bills, though the time constraints it applies to my avocation are part of what's been occupying my thoughts lately.
A few noteworthy things have occurred since my last post.
First, and foremost, my other guild Officer, A, is back after a school-work-overload-forced hiatus. /cheer Let me tell you, logging in to his "Howdy" in the guild OOC channel made my night!
Second, I've learned that it's far more efficient to auction raw mats than use them to craft stuff and auction the end product. Yes, it's sad to say, but this was a revelation for me. See, I suck at making $ in WoW. It's too much like work. This epiphany came courtesy of A pointing out to me that I could sell a stack of Northrend herbs for 4-5 times what it'd cost to buy the one snowfall ink I need for Northrend Inscription Research each day. (I hold out hope that someday I will actually know all the glyphs in the game and will no longer need this annoying daily.) And I won't even mention the sums folks on Moon Guard are willing to pay for Cata herbs/volatiles. Talk about pay dirt! I now have high hopes of no longer having to scrape together funds for every little thing my toons need. Like riding upgrades. And gear.
Third (thanks to A & the aforementioned revelation), I was able to make enough gold in 24 hours for Caela's last riding upgrade. Whee! The downside to this is that Kam now seems to fly even slower than before so upgrading the Rogue's riding is now tied with contributing to a new guild bank tab as my next gold-saving goal.
Fourth, there's light at the end of the tunnel in the quest to re-form the guild. Guild name changed in game - check. Guild website updated with name change and new Charter - check. New guild rp concept - check. Just need to settle on an accurate and appropriate guild description and create a decent recruiting blurb or two to spam in LFGuild channel. And that last is where I've been stumped. But before I ramble any further, I think some background might be useful....
I didn't start the guild. I did help co-found it and was an officer pretty much from day one. About 10 months ago I logged in from a couple weeks of being MIA (pinched nerve in my neck, very painful and not conducive to time spent in front of a computer) to find the guild leader/founder gone from the roster and someone's alt as the new guild leader. Short, drama-free time-skip, as the only original co-founder/officer left, guild leadership was passed to me.
Now, I'd imagined starting a guild many times. But never a heavy rp guild. I just don't have the free time to dedicate to running a successful heavy rp guild IMO. I work full time, and unfortunately, I'm one of those people who actually need 8-9 hours of sleep a night to function properly. Factor in eating and a bit of keeping up with the house, and I'm left with about two hours each week night to play and then whatever I can spare on weekends. However, I did the best I could and I think I did a pretty decent job for a good while, aided in large part by my two fantabulous officers. But my time is limited, and I have that lovely pinched nerve in my neck that likes to flare up and kick my ass when I'm overloaded with stress, and both my officers are college students balancing full-time university class schedules and jobs and WoW officer duties. There were, and no doubt will continue to be, lulls in what we can provide.
Like many small guilds, Cataclysm took it's toll on our roster. So much so that I called a vote among the remaining members on whether to disband or to re-form. The guild voted unanimously to re-form. The rp concept on which the <Order of Chaos Dreams> was founded no longer fit our group. Even the name didn't fit us anymore. And it had become perfectly clear to me that despite my best efforts, there was no way in hell I could run the sort of heavy rp guild with weekly events and multiple guild rp plot lines that the original founder had going. So I made it perfectly clear that the "new" guild would be more casual. We'd still be an rp guild and we'd still have events, but not on a committed regular time table. Most of the guild was cool with that so we started working on re-forming pretty much from the ground up. Luckily, Blizzard lets you rename your guild (just open an in-game GM ticket and list a few names you want in order of preference after you've checked them against the armory to be sure they aren't already taken) so we got to keep all our guild xp, tabard, bank tabs, etc.
Which brings me back to the issue at hand and the fourth development above. New guild name <Burning Serenity>. (Not my first choice, but I run a rather democratic guild. We voted. And the name's growing on me.) New guild rp concept: a cross between a chivalric order and a royal society. The military Order is for folks dedicated to fighting the good fight and battling Azeroth's (or their own personal) enemies head on. The research/learned Society is for folks who prefer that sort of thing to combat. It fits our existing members better and I'm happy with the rp potential it provides. It's summing that up in an rp friendly and originally appealing way that has had me stumped.
It's almost a case of writer's block, only it's not so much not knowing what I want to say as how I want to say it. What audience do I want to target? How do I want to bill the guild to best set expectations? And thinking about expectations gets me off on a brainstorming tangent and then having to pare down all my brilliant ideas to things I might be able to commit to doing on a weekly basis. After struggling for a week, I finally asked myself a question (that I should have asked long ago) and have had something of an epiphany.
See, Moon Guard (especially the forum community), has this sort of unspoken prejudice that if you're not a heavy rp guild, or a raiding guild, you're somehow... less. Casual, social, leveling guild = second-class citizens if you will. Rather like the whole nonsense of the "casual gamer" being somehow "less" simply because they don't play as often as the lucky folks who have more time to do so. Yes, it's just as nonsensical to look down on the "casual rper" as the "casual gamer" or "casual raider". And no, it isn't explicitly stated anywhere (though I have seen it, occasionally, heavily implied). Or perhaps I simply read too much into things because I still feel obligated to uphold the heavy rp guild tradition that we were founded on. Either way, I've struggled with what I know are my own limits and finding a way to "spin" the guild concept to be appealing to other rpers.
Then, that little voice in the back of my mind that nags, and occasionally offers inspirations, piped up. "What do I want from the guild?" /blink I'm pretty certain a tiny little light bulb appeared over my head in that moment. What do I want when I come from work, an empty husk of a human being because my day of stress has sucked out pretty much all will to live? I don't want something that's more work than it is enjoyment. I don't want to feel pressured to participate in dungeon runs, or raids or even every rp plot-line that pops up. I want... I want what I already enjoy with our few guildies. I want to chat and goof off with folks in the OOC channel. Ask advice on all stuff WoW related and sometimes stuff that isn't. Run dailies and dungeons and quests with other guildies while we're in character so we can enjoy the new content to it's fullest. That's what I want. Which would make us a social and leveling rp guild. And you know what? I'm ok with that. =)