Monday, May 23, 2011

What's in a Guild Name?

When I asked my guild leader some time ago if my teenage daughter could be invited into the guild as a non-raiding Friend, his one question to me was whether she understood that her actions reflected on the guild.

Tempest has been in operation for over four years now; I have been a member for just about three. (Have to look up my anniversary, which is any day now.)  We have never been first on the server, but we have maintained reasonable progress. We have gone through bad times and good times, hard times and times when everything seemed to be running about as smoothly as guilds can run. We maintain a rather low profile in that our members are not Trade chat trolls, nor do we permit dishonest behavior, whether in or out of the guild. We are consistent in our raiding and patient with recruits as they learn the encounters. Over time, we have gained a certain amount of respect among the server population in general.

We'd like to keep it that way.

Reputations take time and hard work to build up, but they can be destroyed in an instant. The longer the reputation has been building, the more it might take to completely destroy it, but that doesn't mean it can't be weakened. And, yes, the actions of one person in a guild can tarnish the reputation of the guild. People judge players by their guilds and guilds by the players they accept.

This is one reason why, when I post on the server forums, I do so on a low-level, cross-server alt. This is not because I am ashamed of anything I say there--I dare you to find a time when I was rude--but because I do not want what I say associated with my guild name, lest my personal statements color others' opinions about my guild.

There have been times when people applied to join our raid, and upon reading the name of their current guild, our raiders have questioned their judgement or character.  For example, if you see someone applying from a guild entitled "Was This Your Instance", it is difficult to disassociate the name (and, to be honest, the reputation) of the guild from the individual player, although he may have had nothing to do with developing the guild's reputation.

Some time ago on the server forums, there was a report of a ninja. The person accused actually admitted defiantly on the server forum that he had ninja'd the item, but so what? As the exchange went on, encompassing several people from the server, it became apparent that the actions of this person were reflecting poorly upon the guild, whose leader began by defending this individual, but who eventually worked out a restitution deal for the person whose loot had been stolen in the incident. There were comments made about the quality of a guild which would keep a member of this caliber. That guild no longer exists.

It is important for players to recognize that their actions do reflect on their guild, not just their own names. In the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin: "It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it." This principle applies to guilds, as well. I think sometimes players do not realize their actions can affect the way some people see the guild whose name they wear above their heads. But, like it or not, it matters.

Oh, and by the way, if you're a ninja, please don't bother applying to Tempest.  Save everyone the time and trouble.  Thank you for your interest, and good luck in your search.

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